Choosing Between a Local Church and a Messianic Congregation
The below article contains a response written in 1989 by our founder, Moishe Rosen, to a question concerning Messianic congregations. To read our stance on why we support Messianic congregations, which can play an important role in helping Jewish believers maintain a very significant part of their identity,
please see this more recent article by David Brickner.
Question: I appreciate my church. The pastor is a good preacher and he sticks to the word of God! The singles group is great. I have loads of friends there. But a Messianic congregation is being started a few miles from my home. I am really torn as to whether I should join that group or stay with my church. The leader of the new congregation is saying that every Jewish believer in the area ought to be committed to this Messianic congregation. Do you think that every Jewish believer should go to a Messianic congregation? What would you advise in my case? Incidentally, I have been a believer for four years.
Answer: I’m glad you appreciate your church. And I’m glad that you are interested in the Messianic congregation. But you don’t say why you feel torn about choosing between the Messianic congregation and your church. Your pastor is a good preacher, he sticks to the word of God, you have a lot of friends within the church and somebody comes along and tells you that every Jewish believer should go to a Messianic congregation. Listen, if I were a General Motors dealer, I would teach that everybody should drive a General Motors car. What you don’t see is that the leader of that Messianic congregation has set himself up in competition with the church. Where in the Bible does it say that you should belong to a Messianic congregation? And in what way is the church you belong to so lacking that you can do better? My advice is grow where you’re planted. We like Messianic congregations. Most wouldn’t try to get you dissatisfied with a congregation to which you are already committed.
Listen, when we stand before the Lord on judgment day, he’s not going to judge us on how Jewish we were, but on how closely we followed the Messiah. Besides, if you belong to a truly affirming church, sometimes you can be more Jewish in a church than in a Messianic congregation. On the other hand, maybe this Messianic leader is also a good preacher, maybe he sticks to the word of God, maybe they’ll have a large singles group, maybe you’ll make many friends there too, and maybe the new congregation does need you more than your present church. Ask God. He’ll show you.