My Former Life in Messianic Judaism

In the summer of 2020 I took my family and left Messiah Fellowship. We began attending there when it was Maranatha Christian Fellowship, in 1993. I served in worship, teaching, outreach, as a teaching elder, and the vice president of the board during our nearly three decades in the fellowship. We left because it became a cult.

At the end of this article you will find a video of a Q&A that I did with Pastor Paul Mowery at Harvest Fellowship on Wallen Road in Fort Wayne, specifically concerning this subject.

Bitterness was at the top of leadership and that began to come out as arrogance and narcissism, manipulation and control. In the late 90’s and into 2000 a study by our pastor entitled myths and fables, which looked in great detail at some of the practices of the church as having some pagan origins, fueled legalism and the attitude of being right and everyone else wrong. By 2002 some of us in leadership began to observe the seventh day sabbath and our attitudes more than our practice created sharp division. People began to leave the fellowship.

By 2005 we were headlong into a version of the Hebrew Roots movement, or Messianic Judaism. In February of 2007 leadership made the decision to no longer gather on Sunday, but go to a Sabbath gathering. We dwindled further. People were hurt. Our church out in a cornfield, once around 600 strong, was down to under a hundred, and bleeding people fast. I managed Christian radio stations in studios housed in the facility, and I lost that position the week we jettisoned Sunday and became fully a sabbath keeping Hebrew Roots fellowship. We had been disfellowshipped by Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa/Murrieta Hot Springs in 2006.

I am ashamed to say I was in this crazy insane situation. I knew better at one time. But it’s like the frog in the water pot on the stove. It feels good at first, but as the heat is turned up the frog is lulled into kicking back in the bath until he is boiled to death by the water. That was me. BUT GOD!

All along God was slowly waking me up, getting my attention in many ways. I would push back into the legalism of the Torah, while never quite being able to make it copasetic with the gospel, the good news of Jesus and Him crucified. But God didn’t leave me alone. It’s quite a story, but in our daughter Laura’s last days on earth, before passing from cancer into the presence of Jesus, I was fully awakened and we left Messiah Fellowship and I resigned my leadership roles. That has proven to be a traumatic experience, as my son quoted the Eagles song that says, “You can check out anytime you want, but you can never leave.

The blessing is how God the Spirit has used my time in that cult to open my eyes to legalism and the falsehood of Messianic Judaism and Hebrew Roots as it is expressed. He has also taught me the Scriptural defense for a complete grace by faith, and not of works based salvation and sanctification. My Bible study is entitled No Room for Man’s Religion. It’s the basis of my ministry as I work to plant a church fellowship and look for opportunities to share at other fellowships, small groups, conventions, backyard gatherings, coffee houses, or whatever God brings in my path. Pleas check out the video below and if you would you would like to see what it’s like for me to come share at your church or event, let’s discuss and we can find a way. Blessings!