Q: Dear Kevin, my identity is in Yeshua, and this identity connects me to Israel. I am not Jewish by birth, but I am an heir to the seed of Avraham. So, as a Messianic Believer, should I convert?? Personally, I feel I should, but am seeking guidance on the matter. Shalom
A: Thank you for seeking my input on this sensitive topic. I hear your heart and your desire to connect with Israel through Yeshua.
I believe the issue of conversion is laid out for us very clearly in Scripture. In 1Corinthians 7:17-20, Paul says, “Only let each person live the life the Lord has assigned him and live it in the condition he was in when God called him. This is the rule I lay down in all the congregations. Was someone already circumcised when he was called? Then he should not try to remove the marks of his circumcision. Was someone uncircumcised when he was called? He shouldn’t undergo b’rit-milah [circumcision]. Being circumcised means nothing, and being uncircumcised means nothing; what does mean something is keeping God’s commandments. Each person should remain in the condition he was in when he was called.” (CJB)
In other words, if you’re a Jew (circumcised), remain a Jew; if a Gentile (uncircumcised), remain a Gentile—being a Jew is no better than being a Gentile.
Also, don’t forget Galatians 5:2, “Mark my words—I, Sha’ul, tell you that if you undergo b’rit-milah the Messiah will be of no advantage to you at all!” (CJB)
If you truly have such a heart-pull toward the Jewish people, you may have a calling to be like Caleb, Rahab or Ruth—a ger or “sojourner.” Unlike the first century practice (and modern practice, for that matter), conversion (or proselytization) is not the Scriptural prescription for Gentiles—especially those in Messiah. I would encourage you to pick up a copy of my audio teaching on this subject, “The Gentile Believer in a Jewish Movement.”
I strongly urge you to not seek conversion. There may be a place for you among the Jewish people, but conversion is not the path to get there.
This “Gentile Chronicles” article was originally published in Messianic Jewish Issues. The Gentile Chronicles is a recurring feature in Messianic Jewish Issues, and is part of Perfect Word’s developing “Gentile Initiative” designed to explicitly build up Gentile believers in Yeshua.