BOB DOTY answers ...

Answer: this is a subject that has caused probably more trouble in the church than anything and still isn't understood correctly. Here are some, but not all, general guidelines:

A. In the beginning God intended marriage to be permanent (Matt. 19:4-6).

B. Because of the hardness of people's hearts, God instructed Moses to write divorce into the Law(Deut. 24:1; Matt. 19:8,9).

C. If a man divorces his wife and then remarries her after she has married another man in the mean time, then they are living in adultery (Deut. 24:2-4).

RABBI JOSEPH KRESEFSKY answers ... First let’s define Kabbalah - Kabbalah is a discipline and school of thought concerning the mystical aspect of Judaism. Once we bring the word “mystical or mysticism” into our walk with the L_rd, we begin to walk outside of scripture! The two don’t mix!! G_d and Mysticism are not related. Kabbalah is man-made – it has nothing to do with the G_d of the Bible. What does scripture say about thoughts or actions such as this...

(By Michael Brown) If you've read the Gospels, you know that Jesus taught that the two greatest commendments are that we love God with all of our heart, soul and strength and that we love our neighbor as ourselves (see Matt/l 2235-40).

What do we do when there's a perceived conflict bwtween the two and when it feels as if we have to decide between loving God or loving our neighbor?

On the one hand, the Scriptures teach plainly that allegiance to God always comes first, to the point that we have to side with Him even against our own families if they turn away from the Lord (in the Old Testament, see Deuteronomy 13:6-11; in the New Testament see Matthew 10:34-37).

On the other hand, the Word warns us against hypocritical religion, challenging those who claim to love God (whom they cannot see) while failing to love their brother or sister in the Lord (whom they can see; 1 John 4:20).

SANDRA JEFFERY answers ...

These popular Evangelical teachers are wonderful in presenting their topics, teachings and discussions. The only difference between themselves and Messianic teachers is that they preach a doctrine that is largely void of its Jewish roots. By this, what is meant is that the Jewish customs and feasts are not generally taught and understood by themselves or their listeners, which makes the New Testament somewhat confusing and not as rich in content in certain instances.

In an age of competing voices and growing awareness of the Hebraic roots it is now necessary to be absolutely clear what we stand for. We have one abiding ministry aim and that is to glorify God by introducing the wider Church to the Hebraic roots that has been lost to it for centuries and to address the reasons for this historical neglect.
To do this we must be relevant and uncompromising in order to communicate effectively to an audience that is, by default, suspicious of our motives. This suspicion has two elements. The first is the historical situation best illustrated by the following sentiment – what gives us the authority to query the teachings and attitudes of our leaders and theologians, particularly those who came before us in the past? The second is a fear, sadly fed by some existing Hebrew Roots teaching, that embracing one’s Hebrew Roots is somehow locking us into a legalistic system, perhaps even sucking us into a form of Judaism.
The truth is that the Church has historically had an awful record of antagonism towards the Jews, resulting in a rejection of anything deemed Jewish and swapping the mindset of Jesus with a pagan one fed from Greek philosophy. Also, many Hebrew Roots teachers have failed to pick up on the liberating truths of the restoration of this mindset and, instead, have dwelt on externalities of traditions and rituals. This has given a false picture of what God has really intended for His Church, with respect to the One New Man of Ephesians 2.
We at Saltshakers are attempting to create a balance that we call Hebraic Church. It is a reclamation of the true Hebrew roots of the faith, as driven by the mindset of Jesus and the early believers. But, also, it doesn’t reject Gentile elements for the purposes of instructing the Church without antagonising it, illustrating restored truths without dwelling on wrong teachings and attitudes. It’s about presenting a fresh slate, quarried from a deep pool, but also trimming away some grime that has been picked up on the way.
For instance we have no problems with the name of Jesus, though we would probably prefer the more authentic name, Yeshua. Also, we are aware of the pagan derivations of Easter and Christmas but would not condemn those who partake in these festivals with a pure heart. The purpose of marketing our booklets with the name of “The Christmas Telling” and “The Easter Telling” is simply one of communication to our target audience. It is no different to Peter’s different approach to the way he presented his message to the Jews (Acts 2:14-36) and the Gentiles (Acts 10:34-43). It’s about connecting with your audience without diluting the truth.
It is all about communication. If it is our mandate to instruct the Church to embrace its Hebraic roots then our attitude and use of terminology is important, particularly in our current age of information overload, where misunderstandings abound. We need to embrace our Christian brothers and sisters in love and help them to move beyond the mistakes of the past and the confusions of the present and walk in the real blessings and liberating truth that come from the Hebraic foundations of their faith.
The Saltshakers team

A revolutionary symposium was held in the sprawling downtown Jerusalem headquarters of the World Union for Progressive Judaism this February. Meeting next to the Israel branch of the Hebrew Union College in an office building that overlooks the Old City, a collective of 20 Reform and Progressive rabbis and heads of rabbinical courts from 12 countries intensively discussed for three days shared resources and minimal standards for life cycle events — especially conversion. The major impetus of the Progressive Jewry symposium is a recently released list of criteria for acceptable non-halachic conversions that was drawn up by the civil Israeli Ministry of Interior. This list, born out of protracted legal battles, was presented to the Supreme Court in October 2014, and is slowly being discussed by Liberal Judaism’s leadership with the promise that, if the movements conform to the ministry’s criteria, presumably their converts will now be given a free pass into Israeli citizenship.

By MICHAEL BROWN Published on May 31, 2018 

My time at the Christ at the Checkpoint (CATC) conference in Beit Jala, near Bethlehem, was both wonderful and terrible, powerful and painful. As I said to the leaders face to face: The people were even warmer than I expected. Their positions were even worse than I expected.

Regardless of who is right or wrong, the deep chasms that exist can only be bridged through prayer, humility and forthright dialogue. By God’s grace, I am committed to continuing the journey with my newfound Palestinian Christian friends. (For those unfamiliar with the controversies surrounding Christ at the Checkpoint, see here.)

A Warm Welcome

Let me start with the positive, which was very positive.

I was received with open arms and without restriction by the Christian leaders there. They could not have made me feel more welcome, and they truly honored me as a respected brother in the Lord. As for the conference attendees, about 300 in number, they went out of their way to thank me for coming as the lone, public voice of dissent.

The message I brought was quite intense — although bathed deeply with love, which was apparently quite evident — bringing a very public and open challenge. Yet I received applause and even hugs rather than jeers and scorn.

The conference leaders made it clear that their greatest desire is to honor our Lord. I believe and hope that they now count me as a friend.

As difficult as it was for me to bring the message, it must have been difficult for the audience to hear it. Yet hear it they did ...

These are Christian conferences like no other Christian conferences. Wouldn’t it be great if: