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A Discussion of Messianic Judaism, the Emerging Messianic Jewish Paradigm, and Related Leadership Issues from the Preoccupied Mind of Rabbi Stuart Dauermann, PhD.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

What Has Changed in the Role of Torah Now That Messiah Has Come?

The following is an edited and off-the top of my head e-mail I sent to a friend in response to the question captured in the title of this blog entry. "What Has Changed in the role of Torah now that Messiah has come?"

Well, first of all, Messiah redeemed us from the curse found in the Law [as in the Tochacha passages, the curses found at the end of Vayikra/Leviticus, for failure to comply with the Covenant], so that we need not fear the condemnation that comes from failure to comply with Torah.

But on the other hand, the purpose of Torah for Israel was to serve as a means whereby we might collectively glorify God as a Kingdom of Priests and a holy nation. The keeping of Torah has nothing to do with "salvation" and everything to do with honoring God as a people. Since the way of Torah was given by God to our people as a people, I also believe that the Torah way of life is not a matter of one's private interpretation, with each person doing what he/she feels "led to do"" or feels comfortable doing, or, in the horrific model promulgated by some, "we should only be as Jewishliy observant as we were before we believed in Christ." I believe that the way in which the Jewish consensus about Torah has evolved over the years is in the main the appropriate way of life for those of us Messianic Jews who would honor God through Torah. Otherwise, we are, in the name of Torah, [through insisting on private interpretations, and insisting on taking exception to the traditional interpretations] breaking away from the people to whom Torah was given *as a people.*

Part of the key to my thinking is vigilance against and elimination of creeping individualism. I am planning to write a blog posting named "The Kingdom of God is not a Democracy." This is something which is very foreign, and unwelcome in our day and age.

I believe on the basis of Romans 8 as well as Jeremiah 31, that the Spirit is given "that the righteous requirements of the Torah might be fully met in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." I believe that it is the carnal man who is not subject to the Torah, and that a sign of real spiritual renewal is a pliability to the Torah's demands.

Again, the key issue is that the way of Torah was given to a people, and not to a book, or to individuals interpreting that book idiosyncratically. And the way of Torah was given as a way of life whereby the sons [and daughters] of Jacob might collectively honor God. I believe that the Holy Spirit has been sovereignly present and active in the midst of Jewish life and its development. And I believe common Messianic Jewish avoidance of "that Law thing" is symptomatic of spiritual malaise and a need for renewal. . . I

I believe that a sign of renewal among our people, . . in these eschatological times will be a growing fascination with and embracing of Torah and all its demands *out of a Spirit engendered love and irresistable zeal to honor and obey God,* the kind of zealous love that does not think about nor balk at the "inconvenience" of it all.

The "difference" in our relationship to Torah after the comig of Messiah is that In Messiah we obey Torah out of perfect freedom and love (not because we have to or because condemnation will result if we do not), and that this free-choice keeping of Torah is wholehearted, passionate, comprehensive, eager, voraciously hungry for "what else can I do for You?" and Spirit-filled. It will be compatible with Jewish norms, since the Spirit has not been absent from the development of those norms. And again, our obedience must not be a constant way of taking exception to the way our people do things. There must be an end to the missionary impulse: "The rabbis say X, but we say Y." We will also have Yeshua in the gospels primarily, and the other Apostolic Writings secondarily to guide our intepretations and instincts as to what wholistic Torah obedience feels like, what should be our right sense of proportion, the Spirit of the things, etc.

Under the influx of the Spirit, in the kind of renewal of which Torah speaks, it will not occur to Messianic Jews of the Spirit to think and say "I am free to obey the Torah or not," or, "I am free from the Torah." This would be unthinkable for people filled with the kind of love which the Spirit will be inculcating in these days. Rather, such persons will say and think, "I rejoice that I am free to keep Torah in the power of the Spirit to the fullest extent of my ability in a manner which glorifies God the Father and His Son Yeshua the Messiah."

And if we are to be the remnant OF Israel [instead of the remnant OUTSIDE of Israel], we will be like kindling within the Jewish people, sparking this kind of renewal. There will and must be continuity between OUR Torah and the development of Torah obedience throughout the ages [where God has NOT been absent], but the vitality we will bring, and the Spirit-filled, Yeshua reflecting perspective we will bring will be remarkable, unique and and compelling.

We are meant to be priests to a Kingdom of Priests, and as such, we are meant to be a purer and more focused version of what our people Israel are called to be. This priestly metaphor, the focus of my disseration, is expressed well by Christoph Barth. What he says about the priests can and should be said just as easily about us, the priestly remnant.

"No human being but the Lord, the God of Israel, and he alone installed the priests. Installation by the people could only acknowledge and confirm God's prior installation. The original installation took place at a specific point. It coincided with God's adoption of Israel as his people at Sinai. Adopting the people, God instituted the only legitimate priesthood. God separated the priests or set them apart (Num. 8:14), he took them (3:12), chose them (16:5, 7), and consecrated them (Exod. 31:13), as he also did Israel as a whole. Installation was not set over against adoption. God separated, took, chose and consecrated both the larger circle of the whole people and the smaller circle of the priesthood, with himself at the center of both circles. The priests might be described as especially holy, but their purer holiness was only a symbol of the holiness of all God's people. There might also be special covenants with the priests and Levites (Num 25:12-13), but these special covenants can be understood only within the context of the general covenant that God made with all Israel" (Barth 1991:153, emphasis added).

[Following is some additional material not included in the e-mail above. It is all from my dissertation].

Charles A. Anderson interacts compellingly with the argument some adduce at this point, that Hebrews teaches that the Law has been done away with now that Messiah has come.

The following material concerning Anderson's views is quoted from some of my dissertation research

Here again it becomes obvious that the standard view of the letter is distorted due to the presuppositions and the Paul-colored glasses worn by exegetes and indeed by the Western theological tradition.

Anderson redraws the boundaries concerning what is said about "that law that has been done away with" in the Letter. He states that the Letter never "makes nor assumes a wholesale onslaught against the Law as such nor against Judaism as such." Indeed, in Hebrews the author is not in any sense setting at variance Christianity as over against Judaism. Rather, he sees the religion of Hebrews (which he unfortunately terms "a Christianity") as being "oriented primarily if not exclusively toward Jews. This form of Christianity, while opposing cultic or temple Judaism in the strongest possible terms, nevertheless considers itself Jewish, not just in a metaphorical but in a quite literal sense (1989:258). Of course, this perspective is 180 degrees removed from the standard Christian construal which thinks in appositional categories, and speaks naturally of Christ versus Moses, and Christianity versus Judaism. However, this is not the world of the Letter to the Hebrews.

Anderson states later that Hebrews is dealing with different questions than those arising in the context of modern Christian theologizing. In contrast to these, he says, "Here we deal with questions such as the following: 'Does the community envisaged in Hebrews keep the whole Torah or any part of it? What is the relationship in Hebrews between covenant, the people, and the Torah?'" (1989:269). To Anderson, it is clear that the recipients of the Letter do indeed keep part of Torah and that the bond between covenant, the people and Torah remains intact. This is a very Jewish world!

Once we see things in concert with Anderson, the overdrawn discontinuity that modern evangelicalism interposes between the two Testaments and upon which is erected the edifice of a theological tradition of and old versus a new Israel simply vanishes. With Anderson's paradigm in place, it is not only possible, but necessary to construct a Messianic Jewish ecclesiology that gives due weight to Israel as the people of God, the people of Torah, the people of the covenant. Israel remains a kingdom of priests and a holy nation in both Testaments! Furthermore, it becomes clear that it is the theological tradition of the West which has wrested the text from its context, missed its meaning, and used it as a pretext for ecclesiological conclusions alien to authorial intent.

But, is there no law that is done away with the coming of Messiah? Most certainly there is! Anderson affirms that Hebrews 7:11-12 refers only to a change in legislation as it regards the cult, sacrifice and priesthood, not to a wholesale jettisoning of the Law of Moses. Discussing the use of the passive verb nomotetheo as used in this context, Anderson states "7.11 refers to specific commandments concerning the Levitical priesthood and their sacrificial service to the people, nothing more. . . . Those commandments were of course part of the Torah, but not its totality. . . . The Torah as such never enters the picture" (1989:269-270).

In other words, the change in law spoken of in 7:12 refers only to priestly law due to a change in priesthood, from the order of Aaron to that of Melchizedek. Contrary to the widespread evangelical assumption of overwhelming discontinuity in Hebrews, Anderson indicates that "What is referred to in 7.12 is the one elemental discontinuity permeating the epistle, the cultic life of Israel. . . It is 'liturgical law' (8.2,6), and only liturgical law, that is changed in Hebrews. Inferences concerning other aspects of Torah or the Torah as such are unwarranted" (1989:270, emphasis added). This is a different religion than gentilized Protestant evangelicalism. Messianic Judaism would do well to model itself more after Hebrews in keeping with Anderson's perspective, than after the appositional models current in evangelicalism.

Whereas discontinuity between the former and the present times is vigorously affirmed in Hebrews it must not be extended beyond the limits set for it there. Rather than covering the entirety of Torah, it applies only to cultic legislation. And rather than proclaiming, as Paul did, a new ethnic principle inherent in the new covenant which constitutes a fundamental departure from the first covenant, Hebrews contains no evidence of an envisaged rupture between traditional Israel and the heirs of the new age. In Israel then and now are found both those whose apistia ('unfaithfulness') barred them from inheriting the rest and those whose faith qualified them for it. The "seed of Abraham" (2.16), whose salvation is at stake, is "Israel." (272-273)

The arguments in Hebrews regarding Law and covenant are misunderstood if confused with Paul's argument concerning the incorporation of the gentiles into faithful Israel. The religious world of Hebrews is narrower and more traditional than Paul's. With the one fundamental exception relating to the cult, the Torah is still valid for those to whom it was given by Moses. No break with Jewish tradition apart from priesthood, sacrifice, and temple is assumed in Hebrews. Discontinuity centers upon cult, not Torah. Of course, cult implicates Torah. But Torah is a larger category, and apart from priesthood and other cultic aspects, is left untouched by the critique of Hebrews. The new covenant does not imply a new Torah, but a "changed" Torah in which earlier cultic legislation is replaced.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Some People Call Me a Heretic

(The following is an article I wrote a few years ago for the Semi, an on campus newsletter at Fuller Seminary, followed by a scathing critique of my article from a student in the School of Theology. Following that is my critique of his use of Scripture in attacking my position. This is meant to be a lesson to all of us in how we too often unknowingly misuse Scripture and misunderstand it due to our communal assumptions. This lesson was taught at Ahavat Zion Messianic Synagogue when we discussed the daughters of Zelophehad in keeping with the Torah reading cylcle.)

Some People Call Me a Heretic
By Stuart Dauermann
Published in The Semi of Fuller Theological Seminary
November 3-7, 2003

I am a pretty well-educated person. Still, I find it baffling when the orthodoxy of my faith and the authenticity of my life's work is judged by my answer to the question, "Do you believe Jewish people are going to hell unless they believe in Jesus?"

Most of the people who try nailing me on this issue take what I call a Greco-Roman approach to theologizing. When these people think about God and His ways, they do so like the ancient Greeks instead of the ancient Hebrews. The Greeks sought to develop systems of thought which explained reality. In the 1970s, Francis Schaeffer said the Greeks (and Romans) wanted to draw a circle of knowledge big enough to encompass all that exists and all that could possibly exist. People who employ this theological method think about God and reality by labeling things or concepts and slotting them into categories within their systems. They seek to have an answer (what they would term "a biblical answer" or even "THE biblical answer") for every question which is consistent with their system of thought. Hebrew thought is not like that.

In the Hebrew way of thinking, it was assumed there were some things we cannot understand, chiefly because we are finite creatures speaking of an infinite God. Indeed, even if God explained things to me, there are some things I could not understand. That is what it says in Psalm 139, "Such knowledge is too wonderful for me: it is high, I cannot attain unto it." Or, in Deuteronomy 29:29, "The secret things belong to the Lord our God" (there are some things that are only God's business) "but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children that we may observe everything written in this Law" (that is our business). In other words, all of reality is broadly divided by the Hebrews into "my business" and "not my business because it is only God's business." Let me say it again: Jewish thought makes peace with the fact that I cannot understand everything and do not have all the answers.

This lack of closure makes Greco-Roman theologizers uneasy. Even today, we see Christians who recognize that evangelicalism has an over-developed anxiety about closure. Greco-Roman thought and theologizing assumes that if my philosophy/model of reality is good, there must be a category and an answer in that system for everything I encounter. Not so with the Hebrews.

Lately, some people have attacked my friends and me. When they do, they are thinking and acting like a Greco-Roman. Thus, they call me a heretic because I don't form my categories and/or fill my categories the same way they do. To them, every Jew who doesn't believe in Jesus belongs in the category "going to hell." Only those who die in infancy or are mentally defective get a break. However, I don't believe the Bible unambiguously supports their claims. God may still have some surprises up his sleeve. I argue he may just apply the benefits of Messiah's death and resurrection to some people who loved and served God the best they knew how, and who sought his mercy because they needed it, even though they never received Messiah Yeshua in the evangelical sense. I believe this is God's business and not mine. I am prepared to say, "I don't know the answer to that question because it is not my business to know - it is God's business."

A few weeks ago and this week as well, the Torah reading has another teaching for us on the particulars of a Jewish way of doing theology. Let's look for a moment at five sisters, the daughters of Zelophehad. The account of their lives is found in the 27th and 36th chapters of Numbers. They came to Moses with a problem - a question that the Torah of Moses had not yet addressed. Up until then, nothing had been said concerning inheritance rights for daughters. All land passed down from generation to generation went through sons. But they had no brothers, so their father's land inheritance would die when he did.

They said, "That's not fair!" These women wanted the inheritance to pass through them so their father's name could be honored from generation to generation. So, God directed Moses to issue a new ruling covering such cases. At the end of the Book of Numbers, some members of the tribe of Manasseh, to which the Daughters of Zelophehad belonged, came to Moses and said, "One more point, Moses. If these women marry men outside our tribe, and take their land inheritance with them, then our tribe loses land - and that's not fair!" Moses knew they were right, so he gave a new order - new Torah according to the Word of Adonai.

What do the daughters of Zelophehad teach us about a Jewish way of theologizing? While Greco-Roman theologizing involves fitting new situations into a revered grid (i.e. old answers to new questions), this Hebraic approach involves asking new questions and perhaps finding answers that haven't been discussed before. I contend it is not wrong to say, "God, it's not fair that these people should go to hell because they have never received Jesus. After all, look how Jesus has been represented to them by 2000 years of persecution and prejudice! Look God: they seek to honor you! Is there no place in your Kingdom for them?"

Here is a concrete example from our synagogue. Judy visited a 100-year-old Jewish woman who was blind and almost totally deaf. It was not possible for Judy to get doctrine across to Mildred, but she did go and visit with her. A few days before Mildred died, Judy heard her say clear as a bell, "Father, forgive me." Now, assuming she was talking to God, does "sound doctrine" require us to say that God said to her, "Mildred, I'd really like to help you, but you chose door number two and the answer is behind door number one?"

Finally, I think any conclusions we draw about people's eternal destinies need to be made with a heightened awareness of what we are talking about, rather than in the airtight theological grid which has a preformulated response for every question. I think it is better for us to embrace the rigors, uncertainties and agonies of beseeching God for better answers, than to accept the closure that comes from acquiescence to a system of theological thought that gives us tidy answers but a terrible God. Or so it seems to me.

Response to "Some People Call Me a Heretic"
Published in The Semi of Fuller Theological Seminary November 10-14, 2003
Robert Jones (SOT, Ph.D. student) [Name changed for privacy reasons].

Mr. Stuart Dauermann is not sure that faith in Jesus is absolutely necessary for salvation from hell. This is deeply troubling, especially given the fact that Dauermann is a professor at Fuller. Fuller has always held to the orthodox position - namely, that faith in Jesus is absolutely necessary for salvation. It is not necessary to take a "Greco-Roman approach to theologizing" in order to comprehend the clear teaching of Scripture. Peter, John and Paul were all Jewish, but they were nonetheless quite willing to state basic soteriological truths categorically. There are literally dozens of passages one can adduce to support the orthodox position, but I will take just two. Consider 1 John 2:22-23: "Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does to have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also." Couple this with 1 John 5:10, 12: "He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. ... He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life."

Neither is there any indication in the New Testament that these rules apply only to Gentiles - that things are somehow different for unbelieving Jews. Clearly, Christ taught that some Jews are going to hell (Matt. 23:13-15). John refers to certain blasphemous Jews as a "synagogue of Satan" (Rev. 2:9). Furthermore, it would be interesting to know if Mr. Dauermann believes there are any unbelieving Gentiles - perhaps Christ has been "misrepresented" to them for 1400 years. Would they avoid hell because they "seek to honor God?"

Mr. Dauermann is "baffled" that he is labeled a heretic for holding this view, but heresy is precisely the term for it. Yet, he must be given credit for his courage in going public. I suspect there are other members of the Fuller faculty who hold a similar view, but they are closeted and afraid to go public for political reasons. I hereby challenge them to exhibit the same courage shown by Mr. Dauermann; I challenge them to make their opinions known to the larger evangelical world and let the chips fall where they may.


In evaluating Mr. Jones’s response to my presentation, let’s look at the passages he quotes.

Rev. 2:8"To the angel of the church in Smyrna write:
These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again. 9I know your afflictions and your poverty-yet you are rich! I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.10Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death.

What does this passage mean? Who is John writing to? What situation are they facing and what situation is he addressing. What is the "slander" of which he speaks? Who are they who "say they are Jews and are not?" Why are they saying this and what do they mean by it? All of these questions must be answered credibly before anyone can rightly quote this passage and use it against someone else.

Some commentators, bringing their anti-Semitic or supersessionist presuppositions to the table, come up with interpretations that we simply cannot accept.

In my dissertation research, none of the Christian commentators I consulted saw the "144,000 from all the tribes of Israel" (Rev. 7:4; 14:1, 3) as being Jews. Indeed, their assumptions would categorically preclude this. Eugene Boring is one of many who states that the 144,000 cannot be Jews or, Jewish Christians (his antiquated term). But note especially his comment on "the synagogue of Satan."

(That the 144, 000 from all the tribes of Israel are Jews) cannot be the case, since John identifies this group with the same number as 14:1-5, which cannot be limited to Jewish Christians. "Israel" is obviously not meant in a literal sense; there were no literal twelve tribes in the first century. Judaism had long since been more of a religious community with people of various ethnic backgrounds rather than a racial group identified by genealogy. . . . (The text) speaks with disdain of "those who say they are Jews but are not" (2:9; 3:9), that is, Jews who did not accept Jesus as their Messiah (1989:129-130).

This language could hardly be more inflammatory. First, he demonstrates and identifies the theological presupposition that determines his interpretation. The sufficient reason why the 144,000 cannot be Jews is that "we know that John considers the church to be the continuation of Israel." He seems to me to be arguing in a circle, since he interprets one of John's texts on the basis of what he has already concluded is John's theology. Would it not have been better for him to have entertained the possibility that the text is saying something new which he as a reader/interpreter ought to factor into his assumptions about John's theology?

More poisonous still is his assumption that what makes the Jews of Smyrna to be "those who say they are Jews and are not" is that "they did not accept Jesus as their Messiah." There is nothing in the context at all that requires of us to assume that what motivates John's denunciation of these people as Jews is the fact that they do not believe in Yeshua. In 3:9, the evidence is lacking, but in 2:9, the statement is explicitly made that they are those who both slander and oppose the believers to whom John is writing. In other words they have set themselves up as enemies of the believers to whom he is writing. They have positioned themselves as opponents: they are not simply Jews without Yeshua -faith. And to assume that all Jews who do not believe in Yeshua are enemies, opponents, or not truly Jews at all is not only uncalled for, it is the stuff from which pogroms are made.

A far better perspective is found in this comment by Bruce Metzger, found in the notes of "The Access Bible": "Slander probably refers to Jewish refusal to recognize John’s community as part of the Jewish community, thus exposing them to Roman suspicions as a new religious group. John engages in similar slander by calling them ‘those who say that they are Jews and are not.’ ‘Synagogue of Satan’ is not anti-Semitic in this situation since John himself is claiming to be Jewish, but it soon becomes so in Christian tradition."

So we see that the problem here was a particular synagogue community which was expelling Jewish believers in Yeshua saying "these people aren’t really Jews." These were deadly words during the reign of the Emperor Domitian, when many scholars believe this book to have been written. If these Jewish Yeshua-believers are not seen to be part of the Jewish community, they will be required to burn incense before a bust of Caesar, as an act of civil worship of gods of Rome. To fail to do so will then mean death.

So, John’s comments must be seen in a heated polemical context. He is saying, "That synagogue community in Smyrna is slandering you, casting you out, exposing you to great danger, saying, you aren’t really Jews. Well, speaking of slander, the way they are acting, they aren’t really truly Jews themselves! They are more a synagogue of Satan!" This is very heated language born of a crisis situation. And it must not be used as a way of characterizing all Jews, nor should it in any way be joined to the issue of whether or not these Jews or any Jews believe in Yeshua. It is not the absence of Yeshua-faith that made this or any other synagogue fit to be called in exaggerated tones, "a synagogue of Satan."

Matt 23:13"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. 15"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.

Here again we are dealing with heated, scolding, polemical language. Is Mr Jones right in using this Matthew text as a proof text that some Jews are going to hell? No, Yeshua is scolding the Pharisees and teachers of the law for hypocrisy, and is using a strong Hebrew idiom to underscore his judgment that this kind of behavior smells more of the kingdom of darkness than the kingdom of heaven!.

That some Jews will be in hell is almost certainly true. God is a righteous judge, and those who merit perdition will get it. But Mr. Jones will have to work harder at finding an appropriate text to make his point. This one is weak.

1 Jn 2:18Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. 19They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us. 20But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. 21I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. 22Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist--he denies the Father and the Son. 23No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also. 24See that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. 25And this is what he promised us--even eternal life. 26I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. 27As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit--just as it has taught you, remain in him.

1 Jn 5:10Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. 11And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

In interpreting these texts, we must answer some of the same questions mentioned earlier: What does this passage mean? Who is John writing to? What situation are they facing and what situation is he addressing?

He is not speaking into a vacuum, nor is he just spouting theology. Rather, in writing his letters, John is seeking to address crises and problems in the congregations under his charge. Bruce Metzger again helps us here:

"The context of the letter is a serious crisis of schism in which a significant section of the community has withdrawn. While the schism reflects a leadership struggle, serious differences also divide the two groups. An understanding of the two groups can be built up by a cautious reading of the positions the author affirms and opposes. So serious is the schism in the eyes of the author that he presents it as evidence that ‘it is the last hour’ (2:18). . . . I John stresses the reality and significance of the humanity of Yeshua for believers against the refusal of the opponents to recognize this (4:1-6). (Also) by implication, he asserts that the schismatics are children of the devil because they do not love the brethren. The task of 1 John is to deal with the confusion caused by the schism. It was written to confirm that those who remained in the community were on the side of the truth and that the opponents had shown their error by their departure."

In other words, John is writing about dangerous heretics from within the community who have departed from the community. These are people who deny the true humanity of Yeshua, who are opponents of the community’s leaders, and who are seeking to destroy and undermine the congregations to whom John writes.
Is this a fair description of most Jews you know? Are they schismatics who have broken away from the believing community, are resisting and discrediting their former leaders, and are actively involved in perverting the true doctrine of who Yeshua really is? Are most Jews you know even determined opponents of the gospel?

I would respectfully note that we need to be more accurate and careful about the proof texts we use to establish our positions, than has Mr. Jones. In addition, he needds to become more aware of how his own exegetical instincts are shaped and informed by thousands of years of assumptions. In the context of Christendom, these assumptions are often ant-Semitic, or counter-Semitic. The later term is one I use to label those attitudes and habits of thinking and rhetoric that always define Christian/New Covenant faithfulness in contrast to what the Jewish community holds to. Often such statements are framed as follows: "The rabbis believe X, but we believe Y." Always, Yeshua-faith is contrasted with the Jewish community consensus.

All of us need to become aware of, reexamine, and repudiate this habit of thinking and speaking. It smacks more of Justin Martyr than of Jesus the Messiah.