The Law of Moses.
MJM: Is applicable in the New Covenant, but in that application, it is important to distinguish Jewish covenant responsibility and Gentile responsibility. Jews are responsible as part of their election to maintain Jewish identity and the patterns of life given in Torah in regard to the weekly Sabbath and the annual Feast/Sabbath days of which there are 7. This also includes avoiding the foods on the forbidden list in Lev. 11. We distinguish between Jewish-specific Torah and universal Torah which in Rabbinic thought is summarized as the seven laws of Moses.
GJROLM: There is one law for the Jew and Gentile. All are called to keep the same Torah with maybe the exception of circumcision. Soft one law people say that Gentiles are not required in the same way as Jews but that Gentiles are invited and that it is better and more blessed if they keep them.
On Biblical passages releasing Gentiles from Covenant responsibility for Jewish specific law.
MJM: Acts 15 releases Gentiles from the Jewish specific parts of the Torah, the Sabbath, Feast/Sabbath days, and food laws except for eating blood which goes back to Noah. This is also clarified in Col. 2 where the seven biblical annual feast/sabbath days are said to be a shadow but the substance is Messiah. “Let no man hold you accountable,” means that you are not accountable to keep these days. Romans 14, probably written for Gentiles, says that it is up to one’s conscience as to which days to keep, and there is no apostolic rule for such. Gal. 5, warns against circumcision for Gentiles and notes that the one circumcised is responsible to keep the whole Torah (law). So, the exhortation is to not do it. The clear air-tight implication is that the one in Yeshua not circumcised is not responsible for the whole Torah but only the universal standards. I Cor. 7 also notes that each is to maintain their distinct callings as Jew and Gentile.
GJROLM: All the passages noted above are re-interpreted to support one law conclusions. Acts 15 is just the beginning point for fellowship, but Moses being read in the synagogues is interpreted to mean that all will study Torah and eventually keep it all. Col. 2 is interpreted to mean that no one is to hold you accountable as to how you keep the sabbath/Feast days but of course, all will keep them. So also, Romans 14 means that eventually there will be unity to keep these days. Gal. 5 Is usually ignored.
On the Legitimacy of Church Traditions
MJM accepts the legitimacy of Church traditions for the Church, especially Protestant traditions. As such it accepts the legitimacy of the Church year, the two climactic celebrations of the Church year, Christmas as the celebration of the Incarnation and birth of Yeshua (though there are different views among Messianic Jews as to the date of the birth), and Good Friday/Easter (Resurrection) as the observance of the death of Yeshua and the celebration of his resurrection. We do not argue that the Christian use of Christmas trees is pagan. We also accept the legitimacy of the Church’s weekly celebration of the first day, Sunday as the day of resurrection. We accept that God has not enjoined Christians to take Saturday or the 7th day as their Sabbath rest day and accept the Church also seeing Sunday as a day of rest. We still believe Sabbath continues as a seventh-day celebration for Jews. Scholars criticize those who say such practices are pagan or rooted in paganism as committing the genetic fallacy. The meaning of a practice is not some long-ago pagan connection but is defined by the meaning given to it by the community that practices it. It is recognized, with regard to dating Good Friday and the Resurrection, that the actual dating is very debatable, and we do not pretend to have a final solution. We have no objection to Christians being led by the Spirit to keep the seventh day as their day of rest.
GJROLM: They criticize church traditions as pagan and declare that Sunday is based in Sun Worship, Christmas in Mithraicism or other pagan celebrations, and Easter in the feast of the pagan God Ishtar. They call the Church to forsake these pagan practices. Christmas trees are condemned as pagan. The Church should embrace the biblical Feast days.
Our Call to the Churches
MJM people ask the Church to embrace the following. First to declare their embrace of the biblical teaching on the continued election of Israel. Secondly to embrace that Jews who come to faith in Yeshua are called to identify and live as Jews, as part of their people. Third, we desire that the Church would teach the whole Bible in context. This means teaching on the meaning of the Sabbath and Jewish Holy Days including their historical meaning, fulfillment in Yeshua and still to be fulfilled eschatological meaning. Fourthly we ask the Church to be in alignment with the Messianic Jewish movement in Israel and the Diaspora, to pray for and support Jewish ministry and consider, if they are in or near Jewish population centers, to embrace witness to Jews and Jewish ministry. We recognize that a Church may be led by the Spirit to seasonal celebrations near the time of the Feasts (for example a Saturday evening) and to join with Messianic Jews to bring out the full meaning of the first four things that we hope the Church embraces. We are glad when the church is led to create Jewish space for Jewish members including services, home groups, and specific discipleship programs. We ask the Church to avoid the actual days of Jewish Feast sabbaths for its seasonal celebrations of the Feasts as the time when our families and congregations gather in our own programs.
GJROLM seeks to see the Church leave its Christian traditions and keep the Jewish Biblical Holy Days including the seventh-day Sabbath and biblical food laws. There is some dispute on the right dating and GJROLM people vary on whether to keep the rabbinic dating or dating they calculate to be more accurate. Some embrace Jewish traditions such as wearing prayer shawls. While fringes are commanded in the Bible, prayer shawls are a Jewish tradition for one way to demonstrate the command. Again, GJROLM people keep the Torah food laws for clean and unclean foods. Some buy Torah scrolls and read the Torah in Hebrew in their services.
Summary: Many times Church leaders have a negative response to GJROLM people and confuse them with Messianic Jews and think this is what the MJM is teaching. This is very painful to us in the MJM. There are key papers from the main organizations of the MJM (the mainstream movement organizations) that refute the GJROLM teaching and orientation. We think GJROLM teaching will cause division and that it erects a new wall of partition.