A friend (also a convert to Judaism) recently counseled me to start a blog so there would be information out on the web that represents a change in my beliefs. He’s a wise guy. I really mean that. He must have also known that writing about this process would also help clarify my thoughts and boost my chutzpah to talk about this. As he said, converting to Judaism is not like switching churches or synagogues. I’m becoming a new person. But I’m also becoming an apostate. A full-fledged heretic. Friends and family will surely look at me with that you’re-going-to-Hell look in their eyes. But I’m sure they mean well.
So as I move forward with renouncing Christianity and Messianic Judaism and all of the beliefs associated with these religions, a thought keeps playing in my mind from the Paul, the New Testament apostle to the Gentiles. In a letter to his followers in Philippi, he warns them about Jews who would convert them and says that being Jewish is nothing to put confidence in. Then he shockingly writes that he counts his lineage, the Torah, the mitzvot all as “rubbish” for the sake of knowing Jesus. Really? Is that necessary? Will the Messiah of Israel require Jews to flippantly write off the Torah and their tribes so they can be in his company? I don’t think so. What is more plausible is that Paul has become an outcast for the sake of a man who really meant well but failed, and Paul has to make sense of it all and convince others who are struggling with doubt (after all, the more the merrier).
Anyone who asks me to choose between the Torah and his religion and the Jewish people and his special group is no ambassador of G-d and no messiah of Israel.