12:11 04Jan13 Father Nicholas A. Marziani, D.Min. -
Back in in 1990s I had my own name for these kinds of churches,
"entrepreneurial religion" (I think I once mentioned this
specifically to Dr. Mike Rudolph). Pretty much says the same
As John Cardinal Henry Newman of blessed memory put it, the
church is an organic entity, whose doctrine and life grows and
proceeds by processes similar to nature. The 20th century
corporate model of existence has little resemblance to the
Creator's intention for human beings, and to try to imitate
that mutant model of life in the church is of even greater
concern. You hit it on the head, Dan ... keep up the good work!
14:12 04Jan13 Hannah -
I do so agree with what you have said, and pray for such a move
of the Spirit which will enable us to live in such a way that
brings honour to our GOD and envy and longing to those who do not
yet know HIM.
15:16 04Jan13 Rittie -
After having committed pretty much my entire believing life to
this quest I wish you the best. It seems as though the idea of
community and the early stages are truly wonderful. It then
unravels and causes disillusionment and pain. I now favor the
model of small groups of people breaking bread and sharing life.
I want to see people in love with Yeshua and each other. It is my
conviction that we will grow into His image supernaturally
-- Dr Juster replies: While I do not reject the value of larger meetings and
celebrations, the meeting in the house was the most basic model
in the first century.
18:26 04Jan13 Gloria Putnam-Kilgore -
This is soooo "on target." Our "church" is working on community
starting last year. Pastor is teaching this.My prayer is not
only that all Israel be saved, but that the Messianic Community
becomes what I know you men and women know it should be - not
unlike our desires for the church as it should be the church of
the Book of Acts. Excellent, educational, anointed article.
23:42 04Jan13 FD -
Looking forward to having these principles of real community
achieved here in Australia.
00:01 05Jan13 JerryAnn Berry -
I agree! Even church has become a lonely place! The expository
word listened to only goes so far to meet the cry of the heart
for communion with one another! I love that the Holy Spirit is
starting to call a new kind of fellowship into being. I have
been hungry for this!
02:52 05Jan13 SR -
I came to Israel to fulfill Elohim's call upon my life. As
a child, I knew Israel to be my homeland. When I arrived, I met
believers at a local congregation. I also saw many needs not
addressed by the brethren. There was an unwillingness to allow
me (a stranger to the community, yet a strong, committed believer
to Y'shua) to be a part of the ministry there. I have been
disappointed and broken hearted by the state of affairs within
the body of believers, especially for the young adults who need
Biblical truth and guidance. I have watched as many fell away,
several into trouble with the law, others disillusioned away from
their faith in Elohim, still others going about living a life
that they believe is right with the LORD. You speak of
community, yet my own experience is that when I was part of
"community," this community did not seem to care about the
burdens of my heart, the ministry that Elohim gave to me. I
wanted prayer support, I needed prayer support, and other helps
as time went on. New immigrants need courage and strength to
persevere within this Israeli society. So much I did not
understand. But my brethren did not come along side of me. My
testimony is that Elohim is sufficient and has proved
trustworthy. For now, it is hard for me to trust others. My
trust has been broken by those whom I called sister and brother.
And these were strong, "mature," believers living longer than I
in the land. I do not know what the answers are. I have felt
very alone in Israel. I believe in all you have written about.
I agree with all you have written about. Yet, my own experience
has caused me to withdraw from organized community. I miss the
community and the inter-action and life found within a vibrant
community but I walk this land with Adoni.
-- Dr Juster replies: I too have seen the great need for maturing here. Some new small
groups are very good. We are working on a small one.
11:36 05Jan13 Jay Axtell -
Great article, Dr. Juster! Since Israel is the head (Deut.
28:13), it seems the biblical pattern you write of will come to
pass in Churches in the west as well. I agree that prayer is
vital to this movement. Thanks to leaders and influencers like
yourself the message is gaining ground.
-- Dr Juster replies: May the Lord give us grace to see this happen. We have far to go
in Israel too.
12:12 05Jan13 CM -
In your article you mention "We were disillusioned with much of
what we saw as the Church (of course, this was before Messianic
Judaism had taken root and become known)". I am unfamiliar with
Messianic Judaism. What authority does one practicing Messianic
Judaism adhere to as the ultimately authority: The Bible (OT
& NT)? The Torah? The Talmud?
-- Webmaster replies: Messianic Judaism takes the whole Bible - both the Hebrew and
Greek Scriptures - as its final and ultimate authority. The
Jewish writings (such as the Talmud) are formative, in that they
record and explain how Jews in ancient times and places
interpreted and observed the Hebrew Scriptures, but they are not
authoritative. Many Messianic Jews choose to follow parts of the
traditions of Judaism, where they do not conflict with Scripture
- this is our calling and heritage as part of the Jewish people.
13:36 05Jan13 Ron Blake -
Our Father Who Art In Heaven, Hallowed Be His Name, has given us
His Ten Commandments to abide/live by. This world of His
Creation would certainly be a much better place if people would
embrace and live by the Top Ten List of Divine Laws, beginning
with Thou Shalt Not Kill. Those Laws are still in effect people;
let us all get back to the basics of life, including Love Your
Neighbor As Yourself!
18:15 05Jan13 Diane -
Where else but in Israel, where it all began. I lived in
Jerusalem for 10 years and although far from perfect, there was a
sense of community that I have experienced since returning the
the USA. Thanks for the article.
19:05 05Jan13 Kathleen -
My heart gives a hearty "AMEN!" to this article. For a long time
I've been burdened by the lack of strong discipleship for
young believers and the young generation. In previous years, I
had the privilege to disciple a number of children, youth and
young adult women. The joy of experiencing Christian community
has been a blessing in just the past 7 years through language
school and home church fellowships. Praying that Adonai opens up
doors for these real New Covenant dynamics to multiply in His
land and spread throughout His Body in the earth. May the Lord
use me also as He chooses!
20:40 05Jan13 John Peacher -
I can agree whole heartedly with Dr. Dan Juster's thoughts
on the present condition of organized religion; especially here
in the USA. A local Assembly of God has torn out the altar and
platform area and another is in the process of doing the same. As
a child I had great reverence for the entire altar area; it is
where sacrifices are made and it is the first step in entering
the Presence of the Almighty. Large screen televisions and
loud-speakers are replacing a place of reverence and sacrifice.
The noise and picture show reminds me of the prophets of Baal
yelling, jumping up and down and making noise in the hope that
their god would appear. How far we have fallen! Thank God
Almighty that I can meet Him, speak with Him, and hear from Him
at my own living room table and on my knees in prayer in my home!
If we seek Him out, He will be found!
-- Dr Juster replies: We had much training in understanding God's holiness and our
priesthood. Instead we seem to be trying to entertain the
05:36 06Jan13 Nancy -
If we are to obey all the commandments and teach our children
this, how do we explain the worship on Sunday instead of the
Sabbath, as the Bible Teaches? Is this breaking one of the
-- Dr Juster replies: Check out Boaz Michael's book, "Twelve Gates". It is not
such an easy issue.
06:09 06Jan13 Abby Chapple -
I would like a definition of "religious event manufacturing
corporation." It was a wonderful tease that got me into the
article but was never explained in the article and was not self
explanatory. Sometimes Dan's great brain is traveling too
fast for us mortals and I am one of them. I could interpret what
he means and already have a explantion in my mind. I would say
churches (in and out of the Messianic fold) have done this
historically. I would apply it to The Church that has created
Christmas on a pagan holiday, one that does not celebrate
Chaunakah, and is off the "Jewish" calendar. But this is my
interpretation. What did Dan mean? Because this interpretation
does not have much to do with living in community, for example,
that was the thrust of the article. But it also brings up another
question, also not explained in this article. What is community.
At Beth Messiah, members were encourage to live, physically, near
one another. But this does not apply to Dan's role speaking
to an international community. How does he suggest that we have
community on a worldwide basis?
-- Dr Juster replies: Community begins in small groups and shared life. The term
"Religious Event Manufacturing Corporation" is really quite
clear in my mind. It means that we are putting on a show for
the saints, but have little in community life and discipleship.
10:37 06Jan13 Steve -
I have these exact feelings about churches and messianic
synagogues where I live in the US. I have experienced great
disappointment and have lost my desire to be a committed part of
any congregation. I have also been unable find even one or two
men that I have enough in common with to build lasting
relationships with to have the type of community and fellowship
the bible speaks of. I have decided to shift my efforts and focus
on my first ministry priority, which is my wife and kids. I have
found peace and enjoy creating closer relationships with my wife
and kids than I ever have within any congregation.
-- Dr Juster replies: The call to build the extended family of congregation can still
take place when the Spirit brings change. However, it requires
a group that is all out for the Lord and wants to seriously obey
16:03 06Jan13 Jacque Householder -
You are so right about discipling and reaching into the
communities. I am so tired of playing church. My spirit is so
restless and bored with it. I want the word, reaching out to the
communities with the love of Yeshua and the life of hope.
-- Dr Juster replies: Let us look forward to God doing a new thing that is really quite
17:49 06Jan13 Mariel -
I don't understand the division of life-style and ministry
between Messianic Jews and Gentile believers in Yeshua. As a
Gentile, our heritage was pagan, so why shouldn't we
participate in the traditions, ministry and life-style of Jewish
believers? If Gentiles are now part of the Commonwealth of
Israel, why is there separation as to what is for Messianic Jews
and what for Gentile believers to be part of? Why, if Israel was
to teach the nations about God and His way are Gentiles not
expected to participate in everything Israel does? How are
Gentiles to be included in the constitution of Israel
(sprituallyY) and yet be separate from it? What then is the "One
New Man" of Ephesians?
-- Dr Juster replies: Well, I can only give you an analogy. How is it that New Zealand,
South Africa, Canada, etc. are the commonwealth of Britain but
still not Britain and do not participate in all the same things.
Somethings are indeed in common and some are not.
09:00 07Jan13 Lisa Sowry -
My heart was so engaged in your article, because as a believer, I
find myself unable to connect anymore to the western church. I
have been looking for an organic, Acts type community and they
are out there, but few and far between. However, I believe this
is a movement of the Holy Spirit in this age and we will see more
and more. You cant mature apart from community. Thank you for a
timely and encouraging article.'
-- Dr Juster replies: I agree with you. It will happen more and more but at time of
writing is hard to find.
14:54 07Jan13 Glenn -
I would say that many younger people are in fact rejecting
outright free enterprise and religious manufactured churches.
The emerging church, the monastic communities and many other new
models have been noted as seeking to build the life together
model Bonhoeffer described. Emerging church philosopher Peter
Rollins is perhaps the biggest critic of any I know of the models
you described in the past. Not many of the 20's age group
has any draw at all to the baby boomers model that defined the
seeker sensitive movement. This is one reason Barna see these
older models as becoming a relic fading quickly with the baby
-- Dr Juster replies: Alan Hirsch says similar things.
18:22 07Jan13 Suzanna -
Very truly said. Also from 2 great seminars in one church, when
together we learned (not new) but re-affirmed aspects of all
kinds of prayer. The second even more meaningful was a godly,
spiritual and scriptural study of the SEVEN (only) MAIN
"Motivational Gifts of the Spirit".
Sadly finding out the gifts and using them wisely did not follow.
Seeking to be humble, I almost always worked in the kitchen
(that's O.K.) but never in direct "People Ministry" where my
heart was (and I believe God's gifting is). Amazingly, God
has now given this to me, (through the Internet!) If members in a
congregation are working in the area of their giftings, that
would bring deep satisfaction to their participation and
"FELLOWSHIP" - which should be spelled "FRIENDSHIP" i.e. knowing,
caring, praying, accepting, helping when needed,and really LOVING
in Yeshua ... Sadly often just not there. You have described it
16:24 15Jan13 Richard Brokaw -
I could not agree more! Community is such a missing, yet an
integral part of the Kingdom mission. It cannot be fulfilled
without community. John 17:23b "... that they be perfected in
unity that the world may know that Thou didst send Me, and didst
love them as Thou didst love Me." I am reading a great book by
Andy Stanley called "Creating Community". He has blazed a trail
in this area of building community and we can learn much from
him. In our church, we are slowly getting the picture. The Spirit
of God is moving His Body into community in preparation for what
is to come.
12:48 23Jan13 Lorraine Bastien -
Thank you for this excellent article. Identifying the cracks in a
vessel is the first step in reparing the vessel. Much to pray
about and put into practice.