Paul does go out of his way to defend the Gentiles from the error of seeking salvation through observance of Jewish custom and rite, In Jerusalem he has to disprove rumors that he was "teaching Jews who live among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, not to circumcise their sons, nor to observe the customs." (Acts 21:21)
I think this verse also helps to clear up the issue a lot.
There are two components that are covered here:
It was said Paul was teaching Jews who live among non-Jews to forsake the Torah, and even the rite of circumcision given to Abraham by God.
Paul was teaching the Jews who live among non-Jews to forsake the customs of the Jewish people.
It is very important to remember that Acts 21:15-25 is a biblical treatment of these doctrinal issues for all time. Even if centuries of tradition and practice indicate otherwise, if the Scriptures teach otherwise, it is the centuries of tradition which must be abandoned, not the teaching of God.
The first accusation was that Paul was teaching Jews to abandon the Torah. If this was his opinion, then would have been the perfect time to state it. The Apostles could have demanded that Paul make a clear statement to Jerusalem's Jewish leadership that he was standing for a new way, one in which Jewish customs and even Torah observance were obsolete for Jewish believers, But he did not. Instead, the Council made the exact opposite decision. They tell him that these lies must be shown to be not true, and they provide a plan to follow which will make clear demonstration to all of Jerusalem that
"... concerning these things which they were told about you are nothing; but that you yourself still walk in order, keeping the law"
So, what is unclear about this at all? Both the issues of Torah observance and Jewish custom are raised, and we are given the opinions of the Apostles, James, and Paul. They do not disagree on this.
Some people say it is ok for Jewish believers to retain the Acts 21 stuff because it is "Abrahamic", or pre-dating the Mosaic Law: but thats not what the Apostles did in Acts 21. They dealt with circumcision ,the Torah, and Jewish customs in one lump. Their focus was the preservation of the Jewish faith and national identities in the face of a new phase of the plan of God.
They also agreed, in Acts 15, that heritage of Israel is not binding upon non-Jews: only the general moral and anti-idolatrous directives given there and repeated in Acts 21:25.
There is in my opinion, a perfect harmony appearing to me between the teachings of the Jesus and His Apostles: they all agree upon this point: Jewish believers are not to cease to observe what Torah is possible to observe, and they are not to abandon their Jewish culture for another culture when they become believers in Jesus. The teachings are pretty clear to me.
The definition of a "Judaizer" is specifically one who says gentiles must be circumcized , that is, become jewish, to be SAVED.I do not believe that, and therefore am not part of any heresy Galatian or otherwise. If we are "free" in "Jesus"(which I am still unsure of btw, i am still figuring all of this out) do not get all upset because I freely have made a choice to obey every instruction and command He gave in the Bible? If Jesus is God, Jesus is Torah is Jesus is Torah is Jesus. Jesus is the the Living Word (john 1) Who handed down Torah, The "Law", to Moses in the first place. That Jesys died to free me from a relationship with God that you believe he instituted initially?
The Error Can Be Seen In How Galatians Is Misinterpreted as well.
The primary error I am seeing just now is the standard view of certain passages in the book of Galatians. In his Letter To The Galatians, Paul writes to address a problem: some mis-informed Jewish believers from Israel visited Galatia and told the non-Jewish Galatian believers that if they did not become Jews by circumcision and bypractice of the entire Torah, they were not truly saved (Acts 15:24).
THIS is what "Judaizing" truly is, and it is wrong and it is bondage.
However, to apply this concerning Gentiles to the Jewish people is to entirely ignore the rest Galatians, as well as the rest of the New Testament too. Galatians 3:28 is often misapplied by reciting the first part of it, and not examining its entire sense:
"There is (in the New Testament dispensation) neither Jew nor Greek ..." is chanted to say that there are now no differences between Jew and Gentile, and that all differences in religious practice and national identity should therefore be done away with. Yet, the passage does not end there.
It goes on to say " ... there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Jesus." If you apply that logic as most of the church uses in the first line to the rest of the verse, then it would naturally follow that since there is no longer any difference between slave and free, all the workers in any company can now go straight up to the executive suite and sit down in the President's chair, kick back their feet on the desk , and relax all day. also, if there is no difference between male and female, then you, if your saved, may now enter the locker-room of the opposite sex any time they wish!
Of course, the worker mentioned in the first example will be fired, and the locker-room visitor in the second example will go to jail. Why? Because Galatians is not saying that these differences no longer exist or have meaning in the real world ... Paul was writing that these things mean nothing with regard to how a person gets saved!
Jew, Greek, master, worker, male, female all get saved the same way: by repenting from sin and turning in faith to God to receive atonement through the finished work of Jesus, as the NT teaches. Galatians does not teach that Jewishness is wrong or bad. It teaches that Non-Jews are not required to adopt the mandates upon the Jewish people in order to receive salvation.
Anyways, Prejah, thanks for your patience and your kindness in dealing with me in a time where my beliefs(but not my faith) are really being testing and I feel as though I am struggling to maintain. I am sure that God is using you as an catalyst to change in my life in one fashion or another, so Praise the almighty for that, I promise you that I will.
So let me know what you all think. I really do value everyones opinion here.
Also, Martial Shadow, if you read this, tell me if these are completely foriegn concepts to judaism, or if any of this makes any sense at all to you. Its if hogwash, thats ok too..