Such an odd thread.
Do most of you actually believe that "the majority of Christians don't refer to/think of Jesus as 'The Jewish Messiah?'"
: Whew! I must hear that three times a week! Not just from the fundie in-laws, either; the overwhelming majority of the Christians I know are absolutely convinced that they know what's right for Jews, and that Jewish people are just very wrong about their own scripture. It doesn't take too much for me to shut most of them up-- "Have you read that in Hebrew? No? Aramaic? No?" "What, you're telling me you've read the entire Tanach in Hebrew?" "Actually I have. It was kind of a requirement in school, and I was always one to go above and beyond when it came to academics." "Um... oh. Can I pray for you?" "Knock yourself out."
My FIL is worse than most; he's been to seminary, and he's absolutely convinced that if Jews read the bible they'd know that Jesus was the Messiah. He prays for our souls every week and preaches to the children in what he considers "a way that is respectful of your beliefs."
. How is it respectful? Oh, he's talking about "the Old Testament," which is "Jewish."
He's never going to be able to accept that his beliefs are Christian by definition. Thankfully my husband does understand this; if he didn't, we never would have gotten married. That's seriously irreconcilable.
As to "Jewish beliefs..." I was born and raised Jewish, but I'm practicing Chaos Magick. I'm never going to begin to tell anyone that Eris, spiral pentagrams, or sigils are part of Jewish belief. It'd be just as ridiculous as justifying the fact that I turn the lights on on Saturdays by twisting the words of the Torah.
Can I justify it? Obviously I can, or I wouldn't do it. Can I justify it within the context of Judaism? Sometimes, but I know better than to try to claim that what I'm doing is, in any sense, "Jewish."
I drive on Saturday. I think I might hurt myself if you told me I could never have shrimp again, and my favorite pizza topping is pepperoni (double nono!). I will never, ever EVER claim that this is "something Jewish" or that it is "acceptable to Jews;" that'd be a lie, plain and simple. I can't say that I'm practicing Judaism in any form, it's just not true. Could I say that there are Jewish elements to my beliefs and practices? Absolutely. Could I say that my practices and beliefs are influenced by Jewish thought? Sure, that's definately the case... but being influenced by a particular paradigm doesn't make you part of it. You reverence for nature might be influenced by a particular First Nations belief system, but that doesn't make you a practicing member of that religion, particularly if you refuse to adhere to some of the fundamental rules (or if you cannot let go of the fundamentals of another belief system).