Definition: (noun) A compact or close-knit body of people.
Synonyms: crowd, unit
Usage: The party members disagreed on many topics, but when it came to
social issues, they formed a solid phalanx.
The Body of Messiah, according to the book of Corinthians, is supposed to be a phalanx. Each member, though as distinct as the arm, hand, eye or ear on a human body, are supposed to operate in synergy, working toward the same end -- the glorification of the Head -- Messiah YahShua.
Yet today we see the so called Body of Messiah split by schisms, doctrinal differences and thousands of denominations. What has gone wrong?
The rejection of Torah.
The Torah of Moshe has a powerful result on those who observe it -- amazing unity. When Christians cast aside the lies they have inherited and the doctrinal disputes they have lived with due to their Gentile, western perception of the Jewish Scriptures and adopt the Torah of Moshe, the doctrinal disuptes fade and a synergy takes its place. This probably explains why the Messianic Jewish movement is the fastest growing denomination in christianity today. Christians are tired of the endless division between denominations.
This is not to say there are not divisions within the Messianic movement; there are. However, it is undeniable that when a body of believers rejects Christianity in place of the Torah, more common ground is established amongst members than not. The gatherings for the annual Feasts, the weekly sabbaths, the monthly New Moons, the similarity in diet, clothing, etc all help to bring people of various backgrounds into harmony with one another.
The Torah was designed for an entire nature -- a culture of people. So when a body of believers adopts the Torah as its code, they establish a "culture of Torah" that is not present within the pagan churches.
The Gentile-Western perception of scripture is given to disputes and doctrinal differences because of its limited understanding. The Torah-centered gospel opens the mind and heart to the Jewish heart and soul of scriptures, destroying many disputes and emphasizing the unity amongst belivers through Jewish song, dance, festivals and the weekly shabbat.
In Israel today, Jewish families use the weekly shabbat to draw closer together and strengthen their families. It is a 24 hour period of time in which families can spend together when not at synagogue. Contrast this with the Christian Sunday -- in which many Christians attend a service for 2 hours and then go work or conduct business for the rest of the "sabbath".
The Torah is filled with so many feasts and celebrations that it is hard not to establish unity amongst Torah-keepers. It is certianly easier than trying to form bonds bewteen pagan Christians who might throw a "pot lucK' every once in awhile on a Sunday afternoon after a boring service.
The synagogue-style of Torah-centered congregations are more lent to establishing a phalanx as well. Rather than one pastor speaking to an assembly, everyone brings a song, a word, a prophecy, a tongue. Everyone hashes out doctrine, everyone participates -- thus everyone is involved and included. This is why Paul and Barnabas could go to towns and simply walk into synagogues, being invited to speak -- because everyone was allowed to speak in the synagogue.
There are disputes within the Messianic Movement involving kabballah, two-house doctrines, the need for Gentiles to keep Torah,etc. But I would say I have seen far less division in the Messianic Movement than within its Christian counterpart.
Let us return to the Torah of Moshe -- that the bond of the Law of Liberty might seal us together as one body working in conjunction with the Head -- Messiah YahShua.