Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Spiritual application of Coke and Diet Coke

In my last post I started what I hoped to be a series of posts intended on helping those in, or attempting to understand the messianic movement.  I touched on the frustrations with some in the Messianic movement with our brothers and sisters in the Christian Church. I wrote about how those frustrations must not be allowed to take a root and spring into bitterness and self righteous anger.

Tonight I want to touch on something else that I see, as a caution to my brothers and sisters.

There is a mindset that tends to permeate with those who come out of a predominantly protestant background when they begin to study the first half of their Bibles.  Once a believer discovers that 1) there is this thing that is called the Torah 2) it is for us, who believe in the Savior, what we often see is a complete submersion into the Torah and the idea takes hold that the Torah and the Messiah are the same.
They are not.
There are many who would read that last line and just stop, close the page without seeking the context in which I differentiate. Yes, The Torah is God's self disclosure to the world. Yes, the Savior is that word made flesh. Yes, that is the definition of what righteousness IS and Is not...
However, I submit that the Torah ... though the path of the Messiah, though the foot prints of those who wish to follow in the ways of the Messiah, Though the Torah is Holy, Righteous and Good... It is not the same

Most of you remember when you were kids, or you have kids... and you tell them to do something like, pick up all the things off the floor in their room. You walk in and there is absolutely nothing on the floor of their room, because they have thrown it on the chair, the bed, the dog, the bookshelf.
Technically, they complied with what your directive was, even though your mind was telling them to clean their room or put all the stuff on the floor where it goes.

The Torah is God's set of instructions to His children and His bride.
The Messiah, Is the proper interpretation of that set of instructions.
Messiah =/= Torah
Messiah > Torah.

Take for example, Coke and diet Coke.  Made by the same manufacturer, both have caffeine. Both come in a can usually. They look similar. However, diet coke is an impression of the regular coke. It taste similar but not quite right with a strange aftertaste.  It's coke that is missing something...
In my opinion, it's coke that is missing the point of coke.
I won't eve touch on the counterfeit doctrine of Pepsi, and yes this is a joke.

... like the flavor of Pepsi, but I digress.

There are many who come into the Messianic movement and they become so zealous for the Torah, so Zealous against Sin, that they they tend to lose sight of the attributes of the Messiah that emphasized patience, mercy, love, compassion, gentleness, long suffering, Joy...
Many of these people, even within Messianic Circles, earn the nickname Torah Terrorists. They'll spring up and commit a spiritual malpractice by administering a lethal dose of truth without checking a patients chart or clearing it with the attending physician upstairs.

Consider the charge of Yeshua/ Jesus against the Pharisees  Matthew 23:23:
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.


Now I believe we can get a deeper insight into some of this same mindset, again from the Savior, in his rebuke of the CHURCH of Ephesus in revelation 2:

“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: The One who holds the seven stars in His right hand, the One who walks among the seven golden lampstands, says this:
‘I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false;
and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary.
‘But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.
‘Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent."

If you are new to the ways of Torah as they pertain to the Messiah, I would caution you right here that the entire point of the Torah is to show you how to live as the Messiah lives.... The focus is the Messiah. The emphasis is the Messiah. Don't get into that mindset of " I have spent so much time in the church studying the gospels, now I have had enough of that, I am now going to focus on each individual commandment"


... that my friend, my brother or sister, that is an error. That is not balance. That is going from far left field to far right field.

The Torah says to love your neighbor, The SAVIOR tells us that pretty much every man woman and child we meet, even our enemies... they are our neighbor. Without the Messiah's proper interpretation of the Torah, The hard hearted stiff necked man would only be nice to the people on either side of his house.
I don't want the caffeine free, sugarless, diet with a funny aftertaste version of what God wants for me...
I want the FULL flavor of his purpose and intentions for my heart. Better yet, I want that bottled imported doctrine that is made with real sweetness that I can share with someone on a particularly nasty summer day.

The Torah didn't die for my sins, but one who followed it Perfectly Did. I love them both.

I just love one more.