Sunday, June 29, 2014

You Mad Bro?

This is what I hope to be the first post in a series of posts geared towards those in, or interested in understanding, the Messianic movement
A Messianic help guide. #1
A little tiny bit of background.
A long time ago in a land far far away ( actually it was probably about 30 minutes from the pace I type this) I had my first encounter with a Messianic community. I had attended Christian churches for years and there were issues in doctrine that I did not see as being in fluid harmony with the entirety of scripture.
God led me to a church to help show me the answers that I had been missing in relation to the holes in doctrine and the cohesion of scripture. I saw a body that prayed together in service. I saw a body that had teaching, and the vast majority of congregants had their bibles out to see not only if what the man behind the pulpit was teaching was true, but they were also given an opportunity to share scriptures and passages that helped build upon the message that was being conveyed.
I hadn't much seen that in a regular service.

I admit, after a time of studying for myself what the word had said, and seeing the faulty logic of some of the christian churches that I love, and people that I love as it did not line up with the fullness of biblical integrity...
I became bitter and angry at the church.
1) for never teaching me the fullness of the scriptures from the start
2) in some circumstances, mocking the very scriptures that my heart loves.
3) disregard of God's commands for sake of traditions, specifically the removal or revision of the 4th commandment from "God's Sabbath" to "the sabbath of the Jews" or " take A sabbath"

Now if you are new to the Messianic movement.... I would caution you on some of these points.
I would warn many of you who come in this movement to either try not to get stuck here, or if possible, avoid the anger and the bitterness all together.  In fact, God ended up using a pastor that I love very much from the christian church to point out the fact that I was harboring bitterness against the church.... something that is not of the Messiah.

For those of you reading this who are not part of the movement, you may have experienced someone like the way I was... or, if I've know you long enough you remember the way that I was.
If the bible is a sword.... wielding it without training is going to hurt a lot of people. Think about the scriptures like a scalpel. It is an instrument intended to be wielded by a surgeon for the purposes of healing.... without that training its just a knife that is going to scar people and possibly take their life.

There are many of us that come to the Messianic understanding of the role of the Torah in the life of believers in the Savior. Many of us come out of the world, into the christian church, and then through Gods direction and deep study we wind up in the Messianic understanding.

Too many of us come into this movement angry.
Too many of us, instead of loving our neighbor as ourselves, get angry at our neighbor for not following the commands of God.
Too often, we say  we don't have to love our neighbor, because our neighbor doesn't love God with their actions and therefore they are my enemy...

.... But the Messiah said we are to love our enemies too.

Too often, we come into this movement with this anger that isn't focused on US doing what GOD has told US to do... but instead, being MAD about THEM not doing what GOD told US to show them how to do.

There is even a Messianic site that post scriptures and references on facebook that often posts a lot of really good and positive things...
... and then there is that one issue...    They get mad at people who go to church on sunday.
Now we know from scripture that the Sabbath is on the 7th day and all that. We know that the Sabbath is not on Sunday....
|...but beyond that, there is nothing wrong with meeting together to hold a church service on sunday. It isn't the sabbath, but there isn't anything wrong with meeting on sunday and praising and worshiping God.
It isn't the Holy convocation that God stated is His day in Lev. 23....   But it is also not something that is evil.
I would doubt that those people would be up in arms about a tuesday night bible study... same concept.
So, there in many of their posts there is this subtle aggression based on friction and resistance that I am sure that they experienced when they left the Christian church.... A type of unspoken grudge that many of these people have... but here's the problem...

You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD.- Lev 19:18

Some people, seeking still to justify themselves might be inclined to say in their hearts " But who is my neighbor?"

"But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

Love yourself, Love your neighbor, love your enemy, love the levite, love the priest and love the samaritan all the people who don't do the things the way that you do them ( or are supposed to do them)

As an example for Messianics everywhere... we must as a people let go of the aggression we held against the church. Most churches follow more Torah without knowing the Torah than many of the churches that know Torah. Does that mean that they are without fault? By no means. Does it mean that we should extend grace and humility as we pray for our brothers and sisters that have not received a fuller revelation of the fullness of all scripture as being for the believer? Yes.

Preach the way of the Master by being a beacon of His loving compassion. Let the Holy Spirit do the job of the Holy Spirit.  Don't try and make man in your image. Trust me on that one. I've been a tyrant about some of these things in the past.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Don't read this one

This post contains censored swearwords.

I remember one time I was in a place of reflection and being broken hearted. I was in this very raw and broken awe of God, His grace, and His mercy.

I remember I said something controversial and provocative that drew a lot of backlash.
I said "Jesus only died for the F*** ups"

It had some people absolutely appalled. How vile a thing to say. How uncouth an utterance.

Yeah, it was devoid of tact. Yeah, there are dozens of different ways that I could have conveyed it...

yet,  there I was sitting in reflection of that undeserved mercy with the heaviness of all that is my sin and my failures pressing deep on my heart so hard that I felt like it was crushing me,
Disgusting by a moral standard having fallen down and ran away and hidden and touted my proud face and angry words.....

I'd F*** up.

... and he still died to redeem me.

The bible states that all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,  being justified as a gift by His grace...
 through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;
 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith.
 This was to demonstrate His righteousness,
because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed;
 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just
and the justifier
of the one who has faith in Jesus
- Romans 3

"Have faith," The man dying for me had said, "And I WILL make you something NEW"

We live in a broken world, with hurt people who want blood. We often look out at the broken people and we want to break them even more for how we have been hurt by them....

.... and then there is this man, dying for us, while we ourselves were/are/are going to be, F*** ups.

He says, "You want to help me heal the world?"

 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’
 But I say to you,
 do not resist an evil person;
but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.
 If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also.
Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two.
 Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.

 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?  If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?  Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

And there is the definition of perfection....
I can tell you in the year(s) since I initially made that post,

.... I'm still pretty lousy at Mercy and Grace and Loving my enemies.
When I feel wronged I get loud and I yell and I tell all the people about how wrong it was.....
....and I don't love enough.
... I don't fix enough.
I don't die enough....
I still get pretty indignant and F*** things up for myself and others. In my flesh, I perpetuate the brokenness of society.
I become part of the problem instead of a reflection of a solution.
That one sentence... That one controversial sentence... contained the stark contrast of mans vulgarity and God's compassion.