I mentioned Torah Observant Christians in my first blog. These are gentiles that believe the best way to convert Jews is to as fully as possible, emulate the Jews. Although other groups of Messianic Jews do this as well, they take it to a whole new level. I met my first Torah observant Christian just a couple of years ago while making a shiva call to a friend whom had lost her mother. Joe introduced himself as being Jewish but after all these years of battling messianics I sensed something was not right. It is not an exaggeration to say that the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. With further prodding I found out that he was not Jewish but he claimed that he and his entire family were in the process of conversion to Judaism. Those hairs were still at attention. A few moments later I met his wife and asked her how the conversion classes were going. She became a bit huffy and said that they were Christian and would always be Christian. Seems that Joe and his wife were not on the same page.
Naturally, I Googled Joe and discovered his group called Bella Torah. On the surface it appeared to be about a group of gentiles seeking to learn about Judaism but I never judge a book by its cover. After some considerable digging I discovered that they are indeed involved with messianic “Judaism”. I also found a link on their website to First Fruits of Zion. I have since learned that Joe’s family and the founder of FFOZ are personal friends that have travelled together. I think the best way to explain FFOZ is through their own words, taken from their website. I have highlighted important sentences and italicized certain key phrases. Read and learn:
Who and What is FFOZ?
First Fruits of Zion (FFOZ) is a Messianic Jewish educational ministry dedicated to proclaiming the Torah and its way of life, fully centered on Messiah, to today’s people of God. A non-profit (501(c)(3)) organization with offices in North America and Israel, FFOZ has both Jewish and Gentile staff and contributors. We are on a mission to restore the original faith and practice of the apostles and first followers of Yeshua of Nazareth. We rejoice in our rootedness in Judaism as well as our relationship with Christianity.
We specialize in teaching Scripture from a historical, linguistic, and cultural context using ancient biblical and extra-biblical sources. Our teachings are not infallible, but they are birthed out of our personal convictions and honest understanding of the Bible. We live out those convictions as Torah-observant followers of Yeshua. We are a voice for a Torah-observant Messianic Judaism, and we regard Messianic Judaism as both a legitimate sect of greater Judaism and as a solid member of the broad community of the body of Messiah. Conventional thinking may regard this as an impossible theological position to occupy, but that conventional thought is the very paradigm we challenge.
Me again; I know that is kind of scarey but believe me, it is mild compared to some other groups’ theories that I will discuss in the future. Thanks for reading.