Christians Who Are More Jewish Than Jews

Cast of "The Sisterhood" (TLC)

In a New York Times article entitled “Oy Vey, Christian Soldiers,” Maud Newton describes the seemingly bizarre trend among certain Christians to give their kids Bar Mitzvahs and otherwise adopt Jewish religious practices:

Of all the surprises promised by the recent TLC reality show “The Sisterhood,” which followed the lives of five Atlanta preachers’ wives, the only one that truly amazed me was the Christian bar mitzvah, an event organized by Pastor Tara Lewis and her husband, Pastor Brian, for their son, Trevor. Brian was born to Jewish parents; Tara was not. Both are born-again Christians, and they’re of one mind about their son’s bar mitzvah as a Christ-centered take on the traditional Jewish coming-of-age ceremony.

In one episode of “The Sisterhood,” Brian and Tara plan the theme of the bar mitzvah cake. “How about Christ in the Torah?” Brian asks. “Amen,” Tara answers.

Their Jesus-fied version of the Jewish ritual is intended to celebrate both Trevor’s ethnic heritage through his father and, even more important, his spiritual identity through salvation. For, in the eyes of the Lewises and many fundamentalists like them, born-again Christians are in some sense more truly Jewish than actual Jews are.

I grew up in a Charismatic church and later went to public high school in a heavily Jewish neighborhood of Miami, yet I was unfamiliar with a trend of bar mitzvahs among Christians…

[continues in the New York Times]

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  • lreeher

    Hey, thanks for a BS story. Why do I care?

    • Ittabena

      And to think you could have used the time to cure cancer. What a loss.

      Play nice, and I’ll give you your twelve seconds back, but you can’t pout. Okay?

      • $23802000

        he’s right, this shouldn’t be a mirror for random “human interest” stories from the mainstream media

        • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

          yeah, but Jesus was an alien

          • Matt Staggs

            Soon i discovered that this rock thing was true
            Jerry Lee Lewis was the devil
            Jesus was an architect previous to his career as a prophet
            All of a sudden, i found myself in love with the world
            So there was only one thing that i could do
            Was ding a ding dang my dang a long ling long

        • Matt Staggs

          The story is a mainstream story, but I think it’s one that offers several points for discussion, including the Christian majority’s appropriation on the religious rites of another spiritual tradition, as well as – conversely – the mainstreaming of Judaism. We could have a pretty good conversation about the syncretic nature of early Christianity and the evolution of doctrine, too. Also, what about the depiction of religion or “alternative” spiritual practices on reality television, and the role of religion in culture by and large?

          • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

            I talked to somebody who is converting to Judaism and I assumed it was due to marriage but it wasn’t. She said she had a powerful experience at a Shabbat at a rainbow gathering.

            Also my room mate’s church I think celebrates Passover and some other Jewish holidays. So there is definitely some kind of a trend going on. I went to a Shabbat at a guy’s house who was a Messianic Jew, back on the lat 90′s early 2000′s Maybe the Messianic Jews are having a big influence on Evangelicalism.

          • Matt Staggs

            Actually, now that you mention it, the church I went to as a boy celebrated Passover. They were a hardcore fundamentalist church.

  • jnana

    They’re called Ebionites or also the 12 Tribes of Israel(a modern communal Christian movement). The early church was split b/w remaining Jewish(following the Law and traditions) or stepping out. Some people still think of Jesus and his disciples as following the laws and traditions, and expecting his followers to do the same. I don’t think it matters either way. I think anybody who comes to follow Jesus’ Way has their previous traditions. Almost any tradition Jesus’ teachings can be seen as a fulfillment of. There is often a kernel of truth in any religion that should be kept, while the dross should be thrown out. Traditions are a link to the past and can create a certain atmosphere. If they are practiced, but w/ a more enlightened up to date, personal understanding they can be quite pleasant

  • James Phillip Schmitt

    never pass up the opportunity to do drugs with Orthodox Jews. Ye Cats, them kids are buck wild.