God is doing something special in our times. Abram Poljak, a Messianic Jewish luminary from the twentieth century, said, “The Messianic Jewish movement is the most important phenomenon of our time—the distinguishing feature indicating that the world has come to a turning point.”
One of the best examples of the reality of Poljak’s viewpoint is that Christians are desiring Messianic Jewish teaching more so now than we have seen since the days of the apostles.
Mike Eldred is an elder in a Lutheran Church and leads a Torah Club in Connecticut. Recently, the Torah Club staff had the opportunity to visit Mike. We asked him to share about how God is using Torah Club in his community.
(Photo: Mike Eldred and Ryan Lambert)
Torah Club Staff: Mike, what led you to want to start a Torah Club?
Mike: I was called into ministry and assumed that it would be a typical pastor’s path. I started going to seminary and soon realized that there was a fire in my belly for Hebrew and Hebrew studies. It was more than just the language. I wanted to learn about the culture of the Bible and God’s people. This began a process that led me to Messianic Judaism, and I eventually found FFOZ and Torah Club.
Torah Club Staff: Are most of the members of your Torah Club part of your church?
Mike: Yes, eight of the nine members of our club are members of the church where I am an elder.
Torah Club Staff: Is the leadership at your church supportive of Torah Club?
Mike: Yes, our leaders see the value of getting into God’s Word deeply and studying it from a Jewish perspective. We have four elders in our church, and three of the four are part of my Torah Club!
Torah Club Staff: Share with us an “aha” moment that someone in your club had?
Mike: One of our elders grew up having a bifurcated view of the Old and New Testaments. Since it was hard for him to connect the old and the new, he mostly didn’t engage the old. However, since he has been coming to Torah Club, he sees the continuity between the Old and New Testaments in new and exciting ways. He has said that this is helping him to see that the Bible is one continuous story.
Torah Club Staff: What would you advise to other church leaders like yourself who may not be sure what their church leaders will think about starting a Torah Club at their church?
Mike: I recommend starting small. Even if only two or three people meet together, it can begin to make a difference. Then, once you have Torah Club established, it’s easier to invite people to try and see what they think. Starting is the key.
Times are changing. God is restoring the church to the Jewish people and Judaism. Christians are hungry as never before to learn the Scriptures in their original Jewish context. Torah Club is where disciples learn and it is where Christians are coming to know Jesus better by seeing Him in His Jewish context.