I've distanced myself from the title "Messianic" or "Messianic Jewish" because there is a pervasive distraction among that group of people these days. It's sort of an arrogant hostility that demeans everything and everyone that doesn't their (somewhat varied and eclectic) list of expectations. This is not a definitive characteristic of Messianic Believers or Messianic Jews; but it is a distraction that I had hoped would blow over as the groups mature; but instead, it has become more aggressive and more antagonistic. And I've grown weary of the collateral damage.
My respect for diversity within the Bible believing community (whatever they call themselves) has grown and my love for people who are passionate about their faith has intensified. But, my patience with those who are wanting a comfortable fit (a "consumer" Christian (or Messianic) if you've read some of my articles over the years), anyway, my patience with that sort has reached its limit. It's not that I am embittered against people who are looking for a quiet place of peace. It's just that I don't have any time for them. I'm compelled forward, and sitting along the side of the road because there's a nice bench and the view is pleasant, just doesn't fit for me. I'm not concerned about those people or thinking poorly of them. But, just please don't get offended if I don't feel the need to sit and chat.
I believe that the Bible is the key to drawing us more deeply, every day, into a knowing relationship with Almighty God, through His Messiah/Our Deliverer promised from the beginning and described for us in the Canon Texts of the New Testament. I believe the Jewish context is relevant and that people who have spent the past 4000 years committed to better understanding the Bible have a serious competitive edge. I believe in the Holy Spirit and that He is working today in the lives of people diligently seeking to connect with the God of the Bible. But, I also believe that there are a lot of other spirits who are welling to sell us anything that we are otherwise willing to believe.
I believe that anyone who is satisfied with what they believe about God, or what they have experienced to date, is an idiot. And anyone who has decided that teaching what they think they know is more important than personally learning and growing and leading by example is the most culpable fool alive. I believe that God is not so finite that He can be contained or understood within the scope of any one denomination or culture; but nor will He be found by theological window shopping. I believe that by forgetting about where to look and realizing that we are seeking a relationship with the Living God, He will find us. That doesn't happen by gathering people into our own religious community. It happens by focusing ourselves with integrity, and being responsible for our own spiritual growth.
So, it's pretty hard to put a theological label on that. I've been at this for a while. There is not a single religious persuasion that can offer that kind of direction. But, it shouldn't. Because, it doesn't matter where you look, if you look hard enough, you can find it. Because God isn't interested in our theological biases. He's interested in us.
So, what do I call myself? Or, what should you call me? Call me Mark. Cause that's the only name, right now, that fits. And I'm not making any new denomination or religious order. I'm just trying to walk with integrity and raise my family as God-ward as I possibly can.