We recieved a great question that illustrates one of those cross cultural misconceptions.Â
A visitor asked:
"...do both people need to be believers in Jesus or can one be Jewish and the other not?"Â
It illustrates why Jews and Gentiles have so much trouble discussing the issue of faith.
I don't know about you, but when I grew up the world was easily defined as "we/us" and "them."Â Of course "we/us" means the Jews. "Them" was the "goyim" or "Christians." Trouble is, those two words describe two distinct categories in themselves. "Goyim" simply means "Gentiles" or non-Jews. "Goyim" would be the most accurate antonym of "Jews."
However, not all Goyim are Christians. In fact a lot of Gentiles do not believe in Jesus. However, since the overwhelming population of Christians don't appear to be Jews, the term has become a Jewish cultural synonym for Goyim . Fact is, no Jew can be aÂ Gentile due to the sheer ethnic distinction. However, by contrast Gentiles and Jews can believe whatever spiritual truth they want without injuring their DNA or ethnic lineage. The term "Christian" simply means "Messiah's follower." In the beginning of that faith, the majority were Jews. Gentiles followed the path and eventually overwhelmed the Jewish number of Messianic believers. Today Gentiles believe in the Messiah (Jesus) in the main, but so do a few ethnic Jews.
Under the glassary of terms section on FAQs, I defined the terms that are used in the web site. Ethnically speaking, there are Jews and non-Jews (or Gentiles). In terms of belief, Messianic faith is an option that is open to anyone, Gentile or Jew. By implication, ethnic identity is not impinged upon by what someone believes. Shabbatai Zvi, though he converted to Islam, was always considered a Jew (though an apostate) and, on the other hand, Ruth was always regarded a Moabite even though she turned (converted) to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
I do believe that spiritual harmony can be found and mutually experienced by a couple, even when one is a Jew and the other is a Gentile. I am convinced that a shared joint awareness of the one true God of Israel is the basis for that spiritual intimacy. One Jew, and always a Jew, joined with one Gentile by a common faith in one true God.
So, you will find a discussion about "Spiritual Harmony" here.