In outlining these Ten Commitments, we are talking here about the contours of a well-formed, balanced, and mature identity for Jewish followers of Yeshua. And for sure, being “well-formed, balanced, and mature” will include being respectful, judicious, and appropriate. What I mean is this: God has not called us to button-hole everyone we see and give them a dose of our religious views. This is not a well-formed, balanced, and mature way of living. I have known people like this, and they can be counted upon to trigger awkward, embarrassing, and counterprodictive social encounters.
In this area, as in much of life, the key is striking the right balance. Just as God has not called us to be that button-holer, he has not called us to be in hiding either. A mature Yeshua believer cannot justify being in hiding, except in a country like North Korea or some other contexts where identifiability is a death sentence, or nearly so. And even in such contexts, believers in Yeshua continue to pay the supreme price
But certainly here in the West there can be no justification for a camouflaged Yeshua-faith. If we say we have faith in Yeshua our Messiah, that we are his followers, then we will stand up and be counted, which is not the same as standing up and being an obnoxious button-holer. But being a hide-in-a-hole person is not right either.
Yeshua spoke sternly on this matter, because he knew that we would be tempted to hide out rather than coming out. He said this: “if someone is ashamed of me and of what I say in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man also will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels" (Mark 8:38).
Yes, these are hard words. But it may be widely observed, that people who claim to be Yeshua believers and who never come out of the faith closet are never “well-formed, balanced, or mature.” In fact, one might wonder if they are believers in the biblical sense. In my lifetime I have never met someone who was hiding out who was "well-formed, balanced, or mature." God delights to give to his children For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but [a Spirit--the Holy Spirit] of power, love, and self-discipline" (2 Tim 1:7). But that Spirit is not evident, developed, nor in control in people who are hiding out.
The term “Jewish believer in Yeshua” is an unfortunate one, because the term for beliee in Greek, pisteuo, does not suggest assent or agreement, but rather, commitment and trust. If we are committed to him, we will stand up and be counted, and people won’t have to endlessly wonder if we are “one of them.” They will know.
If you haven't done so, don't you think it's time to come out of this particular closet? Only those who do so will know the startling life-dynamics that Yeshua lavishes upon his people as we live our lives empowered and accompanied by "a Spirit of power, love, and self-discipline."
This one is difficult.
Appreciate your candor, and you are right. To me it is a matter of degree. As I stressed in my post, we don't want to be hard-nosed or button-holers. Yet I have known people who have spent years and even most of their lives hiding out. This NEVER leads anywhere good. We should talk more about this in a ZOOM call or something. It deserves attention.
Shame is not a prerequisite for pursuing Rav Yeshua's instruction in Mt.10:16 to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. Until the MJ community in general repents and returns to halachic Torah obedience, and the Jewish community becomes aware that this has occurred, those of us who are living as Jews within the traditional Jewish community will be presumed falsely to be some kind of accursed underhanded Christian missionaries at enmity with Judaism. Consequently, at present, the only means by which we can live our lives as truly Jewish disciples of our admor are those of discretion, circumspection, and quiet wisdom. Obedience to the genuine Rav Yeshua is not a stigma; but demonstrating his true nature has been rendered almost impossible because of centuries of gentile Christian antagonism against Jews, persecution of Jews, triumphalism and supersessionism. To put it another way, the stigma attaches only to "malshinim", slanderers, and "minim", factional separatists. It does not apply to loyal Jews who pursue Torah obedience with Rav Yeshua's insights about "malchut ha-shamayim" in order to strengthen the Jewish community and not tear it down. Thus, eschewing false associations and misapprehensions might be misconstrued as "hiding", or it might be construed as pursuing life and truth in accordance with Rav Yeshua's instructions.
I'm actually with Proclaim on this, with some caveats on the issue of halakhah, as it applies differently in some minor respects even to Sephardim and Ashkenazim, as Yeshua's halakhot and principles of evaluation need to be given the greatest weight.
There's a lot of Evangelical baggage, in my opinion, in the admonishment to 'stand up and be counted'. While Dauermann rightly says this does not imply one should be an obnoxious button-holer, I'd have to go further. I've have a couple friends who are observant and members in conservative and orthodox synagogues. They meanwhile keep up personal relationships with many Christians and Messianic Jews from the wider movement. I would not suggest that these people should broadcast their faith known in their shuls. No one at a shul asks what you believe. That's between you and God. On the other hand, when there is the appropriate occasion, I can't imagine either friend not taking the opportunity to speak of Yeshua.