Noahide Protestant Religion
Noahides who come from Protestant Christian backgrounds generally fall into two categories.
- Reformist: Some Protestants, through a more thorough and historical search of their own traditions have questioned some of the teachings of Protestant Christianity which deviate from Jewish teachings. They see in this the continuation of the reforms of the Protestant Church over the Catholic Church. Specifically they tend to be anti-trinitarian and they adopt a Jewish concept of Messiah, claiming Jesus as a divine teacher and Saviour but not equivalent with God.
- Rejectionist: Some Noahides, many from a Baptist or Evangelical background have declared themselves Noahides. Some have sought conversion to Judaism. Their approach has been to reject all aspects of Protestant Christianity and adopt various Jewish traditions, albeit modified is some way.
This category refers to Reformist Noahides, for further information on rejectionist Noahides see Noahide Religion
Origins of Our Faith
Rick Richardson in his book "Origins of Our Faith: The Hebrew Roots of Christianity" explores what it means to be a Noahide Christian. He believes that Christianity started out as a kind of Noahide faith, but was swerved off track by the 3rd century CE. In it he describes "the Phenomenon", the movement of Christians not away from their faith, but back to their roots -- back to Judaism. His book may be purchased or read-online.
His website carries this warning:
- Warning: This book may cause a paradigm shift. It turns Christianity upside down and gives new meaning to our faith, purpose and future by exploring Christianity's Hebrew roots.
Origins of Our Faith is an historic look back to the Hebrew roots of Christianity. Rick Richardson explains how and why a small group of Jewish "believers" were transformed into the most influential religious movement in history, and how returning to the origins of our faith is the only way for us to reach our destiny.
Something is happening. It is happening within every denomination of Christianity. It is not the work of any organization or charismatic leader. On a very “grass roots” level people are meeting in home fellowships and church Bible studies to study the Hebraic origins of their faith. Many others are reading their Bibles on their own, believing that they are all alone in their discoveries.
Although this development in Christianity seems to be quite expansive, it is also a quiet movement, much of the time going undetected. Yet, within the Orthodox Jewish community, many have noticed the movement and call it simply “the phenomenon.”
David Klinghoffer in the Toward Tradition pamphlet, “Enemies or Allies?” writes:
- “As the Evangelical magazine Christianity Today has noted, “The real story in the last 20 years is the founding of scores of small, grassroots, pro-Israel organizations that rarely get into the headlines. They exist to educate and mobilize their local Evangelical community to support Israel.”
- Many groups go beyond supporting Israel, and actively want to learn from Judaism the meaning of their own faith. Organizations have been multiplying that seek to inspire Christians to return to their Judaic roots; these groups include the Restoration Foundation in Atlanta, advocating “the restoration of all believers to their rightful heritage in the Judaism of the 1st-century church”; Hebrew Ministries in Houston, which proposes that Christians observe the Sabbath on Saturday as Jews do; and First Fruits of Zion Ministries in Jerusalem, but with an American following, which likewise advocates Saturday Sabbath-observance as well as observance of the laws of kosher food preparation.
- Here in Western Washington State, Christians gather each year at Ocean Shores, a resort city on the Pacific Coast, to observe the festival of Sukkot, complete with dwelling in temporary booths or “sukkot” and waving palm branches and citrus fruits as per Jewish tradition. Jews who hear of such goings-on may at first suspect an attempt to lure religiously uneducated Jews to embrace a version of Christianity concealed behind Jewish decorations – a shamefully dishonest tactic pioneered by “Jews for Jesus.” But the folks at Ocean Shores don’t mean to convert any Jews; there are no Jews in Ocean Shores. (As Toward Tradition’s Rabbi Daniel Lapin has quipped, “I’m less concerned about Christians who perform mitzvot [commandments] like wearing a prayer shawl and praying to God than I am about Jews who don’t.”)
- We are aware of no comprehensive study of this phenomenon, but the anecdotal evidence is striking.
What is this phenomenon all about, and where is it heading? Upon arriving home from my first visit to Israel in March of 2001, I posted the following on my website:
The Origins of our Faith
Something is happening. In every denomination within the Christian Church there is a drawing -- a tug back to the origins of our faith. We who are being drawn are seeking something, but we are not always sure what that something is. We are part of a phenomenon, trying to the best of our abilities to follow that tug that we believe is God Himself drawing us back to our beginnings.
From my perspective, it is not necessarily essential to know why the phenomenon is happening, only to see that it is. It is somewhat like the movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” Many people feel like the character played by Richard Dreyfus. They are pulled toward Jerusalem. They are compelled to reevaluate, and begin to observe in a more complete way, the Sabbath and the Biblical Holy Days. Prayer and gratitude and an eagerness to learn are becoming more prominent in their lives. They find a kinship with complete strangers who are also being pulled the same direction, to the same end.
There is no organization that will control or contain it. It is not our doing -- it is God’s. That, however, does not mean that there will not be organizational attempts to take control and even take credit for the movement now a-foot. This, in itself, is the biggest obstacle that we are facing: to allow ADONAI to do His work, and for those of us who are leaders to be gentle guides; to not evaluate our own significance as of any importance; to not read ourselves into prophecy; to not focus upon our own accomplish-ments, as if they were the important factor.
When you get right down to it, none of us have the market on being able to even fully comprehend what He is doing. Every time I believe I understand the breadth of what He is doing, I soon realize I was only seeing the edges of a small corner.
What then are we to do? Should we sit back and ignore it, avoiding taking any active role? No, but neither should we force it into our individual areas of comfort and familiarity. We should be aware of, and watchful for, those people eager for followings: for the person who believes that God has given His truth to them alone.
As phenomenees and observers of this phenomenon unfolding, let us not be focused in narrow areas and subjects that will divide us. Rather let us focus on what unites us: the topics, issues, and values that we can clearly see we are all moving toward; asking each other for patience and understanding; being able to teach and be taught; not forcing or convincing, but gently guiding, directing, and educating in the service of one another.
In order to understand where this phenomenon is heading, we need to look into the origins of our faith. Christianity began as a messianic sect of Judaism. This is not to say that other religious Jews are not messianic, because clearly they are. One of the 13 articles of Jewish faith drafted by the thirteenth century Jewish philosopher, Maimonides, states:
- “I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Messiah; and, though he tarry, I will wait daily for his coming.”
However, there are a couple of factors that make Christianity different from other messianic sects of Judaism that have risen throughout the years. First of all, the size of Christianity is much more than that of other sects. Secondly, it grew and changed into something quite different from what it started out as, and did so very early in its development. It became a different religion. This causes us to ask the critical questions: Why and how did this happen?
This new religion believes in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and yet has adopted many pagan beliefs and customs. Its new writings used the Tanakh (Old Testament) as its authoritative text by which it “proved” its positions. Then its leaders said that the authoritative text was not authoritative after all and they, in fact, were “doing away” with many of the principles found in the Tanakh: a contradiction that many Christians have no problem accepting. How did a group of just over one hundred followers grow into the most influential religion in all of history? Obviously, Christianity is part of God’s plan, but how exactly does it fit in?
The Paradigm Shift
Sometimes the key to understanding requires no more than viewing our beliefs from a vantage point we may never have considered.
The reason for this is that our doctrinal outlook is derived through a particular perspective that is based upon certain assumptions. These assumptions are held as undeniable truths, locking us into a paradigm that is very difficult to alter. And, in fact, we will discover proofs that seem to support our paradigm, because we do not accept as valid any other perspective. The condition then that we find ourselves in is known as “cognitive dissonance.” Regardless of what may be true, we believe those things that are comfortable for us to accept, and do not believe those things that are uncomfortable.
- Origins of Our Faith website
- Chapter 1 – The Phenomenon
- Chapter 2 – What Would Jesus Do?
- Chapter 3 – What is Law?
- Chapter 4 – Who is a Jew?
- Chapter 5 – Who is a Gentile?
- Chapter 6 – From Synagogue to Church
- Chapter 7 – Why Keep the Holy Days?
- Chapter 8 – What is Messiah?
- Chapter 9 – What is the Point of Salvation?
- Chapter 10 – Why Christianity?
- The Universal Torah Network Rabbi Chaim Richman, Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum, Sam Peak and others.
- The Divine Code Volume 1 - The Seven Noahide Laws codified - The first Shulchan Aruch for Bnai Noah
- Archived classes of past Bnai Noah Studies on The Divine Code and Service from the Heart Bnai Noah prayer book