Havurah Interview: Paul Liberman
Paul Liberman has been a Jewish believer in Yeshua since 1971. He has had extensive leadership involvement with the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America, for which he currently serves as president, the International Messianic Jewish Alliance, and Messianic congregations in the U.S. and Israel. He has served as publisher of The Messianic Times and is the author of The Fig Tree Blossoms.
In many ways you have dedicated your life to encouraging unity among Messianic Jewish brethren. Why has this been such a priority for you?
Some people think Abraham Lincoln was the first to say that a house divided against itself cannot stand. Actually, it is a Biblical precept from Mark 3:25. Being one with another is a source of power to get things done and our movement needs this improved enablement.
Why has the Messianic Jewish movement perhaps seen more than its share of disunity?
The modern-day Messianic movement is being pioneered by many individuals with very independent streaks. We have many people with dynamic leadership abilities and we are also pulled in different directions by many traditions in both Judaism and Christianity. Naturally “iron sharpens iron” (Proverbs 27:17) in this process, as we have been sorting things out during the last 45 years. Jews and Gentiles partake of the same fallen human nature. So we should expect the same unity or lack thereof, whether in Messianic Judaism or church communities.
What encouraging signs of unity are you seeing?
At different times the emerging institutions in the Messianic community have had disrupted fellowship. However, in more recent years, many of these issues have been amicably resolved. Perhaps there has been some growing maturity. We increasingly realize we are more alike than we are different.
Are you optimistic for the future of the Messianic movement?
Our gracious Lord is optimistic about the future of the Messianic movement. We believe the Scriptures predict it. We are being abundantly blessed. Yeshua our Messiah has put it in our hearts to work together toward the expansion of His kingdom. So, it’s “push from the bottom and pull from the top.” Yes, we’re working hard, but it seems more like fun!