Memorial 85

SPECIAL DIRECTIONS: Support of Messianic Jewish ministries

Whereas, The prophet Ezekiel foretells that in latter days God would breathe on the dry bones of Israel, restoring them physically to the land of Israel and spiritually to God (Ezek. 36:24-28; 37:1–14); the historically unprecedented, miraculous and prophetic re-gathering of the Jewish people to their ancient homeland, starting in the nineteenth century, reached a climax in 1948 with the establishment of the modern State of Israel, and the physical process of national restoration continues to this day; since the pivotal year of 1967, when Jerusalem was reunited under Jewish rule, the number of Messianic Jewish individuals and congregations throughout the world, including Israel, has mushroomed, growing at a rate far greater than any other Jewish religious movement in existence today; the modern re-emergence of the Messianic Jewish community is in the process of fulfilling biblical prophecy;

Whereas, Messianic Judaism is a prophetic revival movement empowered by the Holy Spirit, the stirrings and first fruits of the full spiritual restoration of the Jewish people. Messianic Jews are part of both the people of Israel and the Body of all Believers in Yeshua (Jesus);

Whereas, Messianic Judaism is lived out in the context of Messianic Jewish synagogue communities that are in turn a part of both the Commonwealth of Israel and the Body of believers; Messianic Jews in these communities embrace a Jewish identity, heritage and lifestyle; this lifestyle emphasizes Torah and related healthy Jewish tradition that is lived out in the context of the New Covenant, the means by which God's promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are fulfilled;

Whereas, Some Christians have tragically demanded that these Jewish persons become "more Christian" and abandon their deeply revered heritage, cultural identity and expressions and, on the other hand, some Jews have demanded that these Messianic Jews stop believing in Yeshua or they are, in fact, not Jews; it is time for us as Christians to support Messianic Judaism and affirm their uniquely Jewish expression of their faith in Yeshua, especially since they most closely resemble the first century followers of Yeshua;

Whereas, It is clear that Scripture portrays God's promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as valid even after Israel's disobedience and exile. In the New Testament era, in the face of widespread Jewish rejection of Yeshua as Messiah, Paul reminded his readers that concerning God's election the Israelites are "beloved for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable" (Rom. 11:28b–29);

Whereas, the Messianic Jewish community worldwide standing in the place of their forefathers Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the prophets and apostles who authored the Scriptures, view the modern re-emergence of supersessionism or replacement theology as a serious theological error, which has fueled anti-Semitism throughout history; this is the doctrine that the church replaces Israel as God's covenant partner; it needs to be exposed and rejected by Christians worldwide; this theology, if left unchallenged, will eventually result in the continued suffering and persecution of the Jewish people, whether inside or outside of Israel;

Whereas, we recognize the Gentiles are as a "branch" gloriously "grafted" into the faith of Yeshua through the "root" of Jewish expression (Romans 9-11);

Whereas, Messianic Jews do not want to walk alone on this journey; the call of God to preserve His Word, bless His people, and honor His land is not only for the Jew, but for all who call Yeshua their Lord; the Gospel is the power of God to salvation for both Jew and Gentile; all believers are partnered in Yeshua for God's glory; any effort for peace and reconciliation between Jews and Gentiles, even within the Yeshua believing community, must recognize that the gifts and calling of God toward the Jewish people are irrevocable and still in effect today;

Whereas, The times in which we live sound out the great need for the ministry of reconciliation; Messianic Jews and Christians walking and serving together under our Lord and Messiah Jesus demonstrate the truth of our reconciliation to God in Messiah; the awakening among tens of thousands of Jewish people to Yeshua in America, Israel and around the world are but the "earnest" on the pending "salvation of all Israel"; this is the hour for the Spirit's fullness to be evident among us all as successful witness to the entire Jewish nation;

Whereas, We, as The Wesleyan Church, are the spiritual offspring of John and Charles Wesley whose theology was set forth in clarity in the hymns of Charles; Calling them "Abraham's favour'd seed," Charles Wesley wrote lyrics regarding the Jews returning to Israel in his hymns published by him and his brother John in 1762; Charles based a hymn entitled Almighty God of Love* on Paul's writing; 'and so all Israel will be saved,' (Romans 11:26) and made a clear theological statement about the coming spiritual harvest: "We know, it must be done, For God hath spoke the word, All Israel shall their Saviour own";

Whereas, The Wesleyan Church has chosen to stand with the Messianic remnant of Israel and desires to model divine service in their love and support of "All Israel" and have established their faithful partnership with God as joint "blessers" of Israel (Gen. 12:3); we stand alongside our Messianic Jewish brethren honoring both their Jewish heritage and their continuing in their identity as Jews, and the teachings of the Son of God, our Messiah Jesus; and

Whereas, Now is the "set time to favor Zion" (Ps. 102:14) and our stand with the Messianic Jewish community is one of the first fruits of this divine favor and set time;

Resolved, The following statement be included in the "Special Directions" of The Discipline of The Wesleyan Church:

The Wesleyan Church recognizes the validity and God ordained rebirthing of the Messianic Jewish movement and supports Wesleyan local congregations in enjoying oneness with Messianic Jewish congregations believing in Yeshua (Jesus) in the Spirit of "one new man" (Eph. 2:15) and as "branches engrafted" into the "root" of Judaism (Rom. 11:17-24).

PACIFIC SOUTHWEST DISTRICT CONFERENCE

Tim Kirkes, Secretary

Committee on Memorials

Not Recommended

General Conference

____ Adopted ____ Not Adopted

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