The Light from Within

It used to be a burning issue for religious Jews, and for many it still is a quandary: may one daven in a non- Orthodox shul? The main underlying question is regarding whether a mechitzah is an absolute halachic requirement.

When the Chazon Ish, zt”l, was asked regarding whether a mechitzah is a halachic requirement, he affirmed that it is. “Mechitzah is a halachic obligation. Gazing into the women’s section of a shul is absolutely forbidden. Those who heed this halachah an put up a halachically acceptable mechitzah will be blessed with everything good.”

When the Machaneh Chaim, zt”l, was asked about davening in a shul without a mechitzah, he replied that this is forbidden. “It is a very serious sin to look at women in a shul; even more serious than in other places. For this reason it is preferable to daven at home than to daven in a shul without a mechitzah, even on Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur.”

A certain rabbi was offered a position in a prominent liberal shul. He wondered whether he was permitted to accept it, since he believed that he could influence the community towards greater commitment to Torah..

When this question reached Rav Yosef Shalom Eliyashiv, shlit”a, he explained that this question had already been put to the Chazon Ish long ago, and been well answered. “Rav Yitzchak Hutner, zt”l, asked the Chazon Ish this question. The Chazon Ish replied that it depends. If the rabbi felt certain that he could influence the community to accept a mechitzah within a year, he could be their rabbi for this time. If not, he may not.”

Rav Eliyashiv added, “But since this rabbi is a talmid chacham, he must avoid making a chilul Hashem. He does this by informing the public that he is accepting this position because he hopes that the situation will change within a fairly short time.”

Daf Yomi Digest
Stories Off the Daf
“Proper Separation”
Middos 35-1

This “story off the daf” brings up a lot of issues for me in terms of comparisons of different faith communities. I scarcely know where to begin but I have to start somewhere (I also have to stop somewhere, so I’m not going to cover everything I’m thinking of..yet).

I know most Christians will take one look at this commentary and wonder what the big deal is about looking at women in a congregation. After all, I can’t think of a single Christian church I’ve been in that required separation between men and women during worship. What’s the problem? Of course, Christianity, even among the more conservative churches, doesn’t have the same sense of modesty that Orthodox Judaism employs. But let’s take a look at this for a moment (and no, I’m not suggesting separating men and women in the church).

My wife made an interesting observation, more than once actually, when we were regularly attending a Christian church over a decade ago. During services in the sanctuary, she remarked on how husbands and wives seemed to be “all over each other” during worship. What she’s describing is the hugging, cuddling, and leaning on each other of married couples in church, primarily during the Pastor’s message.

This is just a thought, but what are you going to be focusing when holding your beloved spouse closely in church, worship or your beloved spouse? I suppose it’s just a matter of different “cultural values” between the church I attended (I can’t say this sort of “cuddling” goes on in all churches everywhere) and Orthodox Judaism. I’m kind of a conservative guy, so I’d probably not engage in a lot of affectionate touching with my wife in worship (assuming we ever worship together in one place again).

That’s not really the main point I want to make, though.

For one brief moment, when reading the story, I started injecting the various Judaisms into the situation, including Messianic Judaism. Look at this particular phrase again:

If the rabbi felt certain that he could influence the community to accept a mechitzah within a year, he could be their rabbi for this time.

Earlier, I mentioned the cultural differences between the church and the Orthodox synagogue but of course, there are a number of cultural and halakhic differences between different branches of Judaism. We see here that it would be permitted for an Orthodox Rabbi to accept an appointment to a more liberal synagogue, but only if the Rabbi felt “he could influence the community to accept a mechitzah within a year.”

This is addressing a very specific situation; the separation of men and women in the synagogue for purposes of promoting modesty and proper respect to God during worship. Now I’m going to turn the issue on its head, so to speak, and put it back on Hebrew Roots and the Messianic movement.

I have been considering a suggestion I’ve heard recently, that “Messianic Gentiles” might best serve the Messianic Jewish movement, not by attending a Messianic or Hebrew Roots worship community, but by worshiping in the church instead. This is probably a radical idea to some Messianics who may be reading my blog. After all, a lot of Christians in the Hebrew Roots movement deliberately left the church because they felt the church wasn’t meeting their needs or worse, because they felt the church was pagan and apostate.

Gentile Christians in the Hebrew Roots movement, at least some of them, have given the church a lot of “bad press” and much of it is undeserved. Sure, there are things in the church that could and should improve, but we have to remember that for the past nearly 2,000 years, the church has been the sole custodian and transmitter of the Good News of Jesus Christ to the rest of the world. During the past century or so, many of the Jews who have discovered Jesus is the Jewish Messiah have done so through the church. What we think of as “Messianic Jewish synagogues” are a very recent expression of Jewish faith in the Messiah. For the most part, historically, Messianic Jews have come about as “Jewish Christians” worshiping in the Christian church.

The church isn’t going to go away and be replaced by Messianic synagogues, at least not anytime in the foreseeable future. Do people in the Hebrew Roots movement then just intend to ignore Christianity as irrelevant and pray for the day when it no longer exists?

That’s insane. That’s like saying you want 90% or more of the body of Christ on earth to simply vanish.

But as a staunch opponent of supersessionism, I’m the first to admit that the church could do a lot better in terms of how it perceives Jews and Judaism (Messianic or otherwise) and the state of the Torah in relation to the New Testament. The response of many in Hebrew Roots/Messianism, is to blame the church for betraying them, to dismiss the church, and to even revile the church. These behaviors aren’t likely to promote an atmosphere of cooperation and a mutual exchange of ideas and perspectives.

What will?

Perhaps more people attending church who have a “Hebrew Roots” perspective.

Gasp!

There are a lot of barriers separating the idea from the actuality, but as we see from our example off the daf, it is not unheard of to compromise your personal comfort and convenience for the sake of “promoting change from within.”

I’m going to cover this idea in much more depth in the near future, but for now, I’m asking you folks within your various areas of Hebrew Roots to consider what the best option might be for combating antisemitism and supersessionism in the church (and just to throw a monkey wrench in the machine, both of these elements exist even within some Hebrew Roots congregations). You aren’t going to change anyone’s mind by arguing with them and by insulting them. You are more likely to make a positive impact, not by pretending to be their friend, but by really being their friend and showing them how things can be otherwise. God never intended to throw his people Israel under a bus. We can be examples of how to understand the Bible outside the (church doctrine) box.

Our Master taught among his Jewish people who spanned the spectrum from sincere but confused to almost hopelessly corrupt. He showed his Jewish disciples (and not a few of the Gentiles) how to be a light by being a light himself. He called all of his disciples, including us today, to be a light among the nations. If our understanding of the “Jewish Jesus” and the current and future relationship between God and the Jews is of value, then we should shine that light in the church rather than hiding it under a bowl.

The ascent of the soul occurs three times daily, during the three times of davening. This is particularly true of the souls of tzadikim who “go from strength to strength.” It is certain that at all times and in every sacred place they may be, they offer invocation and prayer on behalf of those who are bound to them and to their instructions, and who observe their instructions. They offer prayer in particular for their disciples and disciples’ disciples, that G-d be their aid, materially and spiritually.

Hayom Yom
Iyar 29, 44th day of the omer
Compiled and arranged by the Lubavitcher Rebbe
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory, in 5703 (1943)
from the talks and letters of the sixth Chabad Rebbe
Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, of righteous memory
Chabad.org

14 thoughts on “The Light from Within”

  1. HI James, I’ve just started to following your blog. This is precisely where I find myself right now. I’m still a member and still regularly attending my local Christian church and even attend Sunday School. I’m getting increasingly frustrated with it though. On Shabbat I go to the Messianic Congregation and take the Beginner Hebrew class and would love to stay for the service, but the situation at home prevents me from staying. I also attend Torah study. I feel like a baby believer when I attend the Messianic studies. I’m reading and understanding my Bible from a different perspective and I’m soaking it up like a sponge. At my church I get the same ole thing rehashed over and over. I’ve made comments in my SS class during our lessons from a Biblically Jewish perspective and sometimes it is welcomed and I get positive nods of the heads like “Oh isn’t that nice”. Other times I get stares back like I have 3 heads. I just want to give up and go where I’m being fed. But then I feel like you wrote about. This is an opportunity maybe to shed some light on the subject. I do see Replacement Theology and anti-Semitism in my SS class and Christian church, so that frustrates me. On the other hand it is a very mission minded and giving church and genuinely nice people who love the Lord. So I appreciate that aspect of it. What to do What to do….

  2. Hi Joy. Thanks for following my blog.

    I think a lot of people are in your situation. I know that often in a family, one spouse will be attracted to the Hebrew Roots/Messianic (HR/M) movement and the other will remain firmly rooted in the church, so it can make it difficult to participate in HR/M services and events and keep peace in the home. As far as your experiences in church, I remember when I first started looking into Hebrew Roots and was attending a church, my comments about the Torah and Tanakh were looked upon in Sunday school pretty much the same as you describe. It’s not always easy to suggest something that doesn’t readily fit in with accepted doctrine.

    What I’m suggesting in the context of my blog post is directed more at someone who has been in HR/M for a number of years, is firmly grounded in their knowledge of Jesus as the Jewish Messiah, is able to gently counter suggestions of supersessionism in the church when it comes up, and is even in a position to occasionally educate. At your stage of development, you are probably better off being a “sponge” in your Messianic congregation and absorbing all the new information about the Jewish context for the Bible, including the Apostolic writings.

    I don’t know what Messianic congregation you’re attending, but they come in all types and flavors, so to speak. Some are well grounded in the Word while others tend to offer less than reliable teachings and theologies. If you’re interested in well-researched, well-written educational materials, I can’t recommend First Fruits of Zion (FFOZ) highly enough. I’ve been associated with their ministry for a number of years and they’re just first rate.

    If you haven’t discovered it by now, you’ll eventually find out that the Messianic movement contains a lot of different movements within the “Messianic” container and they don’t always work and play nice together. It requires a certain amount of discernment to separate the “wheat from the chafe” so just be aware of that.

    Discovering the Jewish context for the Messiah, the Apostles, what they wrote, and how it all forms an integral part of a completely unified Word of God is a fabulous adventure full of endless wonder and discovery, but it can also be amazingly frustrating, especially when you factor in the different groups and people involved and their particular priorities. Please feel free to read what I write, to comment, and to ask questions. Walking a path of faith is less about finding all the answers and more about the freedom to ask questions that we can’t always speak of in a traditional church setting. That’s more or less what I do here.

    I’m no expert, theologian, or congregational leader. I’m just a guy who is walking a path of faith and happens to blog about it every day.

    Blessings.

  3. I quickly skimmed your post because it is an interesting topic. If I understand you correctly you are suggesting that Messianic Gentiles consider attending a Christian Church in order to be agents of change that influence the members back to their Hebrew Roots. If this is the case, I see a couple of problems with this suggestion. First, most churches have a statement of faith, mission and vision. When someone becomes a member of a church they are agreeing to these statements. To join a church and then teach against their core beliefs would be seen as causing division. A person like this would not be welcomed and eventually asked to leave. I know of a few Messianics who have tried this and not had very fruitful experiences. I wouldn’t like this happening in our community. In fact, at our Messianic community we’ve been visited by a couple of folks who wanted to be ‘change agents’. One believed that the Apostle Paul was a heretic and his writings were not inspired. The other believed that Yeshua was not divine. If they hadn’t left on their own, I’m not sure how much longer they would have been welcomed. The second problem is our own spiritual growth. How can we grow in an environment that does not teach or live what we believe? Imagine the potluck dinners! It’s tough being a lone Messianic in a church full of Christians; and then when you are labelled a Judaizer and legalist and then asked to leave, it can be very discouraging. How would this kind of experience affect our children? I think the best place for a Messianic Believer is in a Messianic Community; and I think Messianics should be cautious and respectful when visiting or attending Christian Churches. I’ve got a friend whose tactic is to ‘convert’ the Christian Pastor. His hope is to get the Pastor turned on to Torah so he would then begin teaching Torah to the rest of the congregation. He’s planted many seeds but I have not seen or heard of any fruit yet.

  4. Greetings, Michael.

    In my little missive, I’m actually referencing a yet-to-be published manuscript and am unable to reveal the details about the book until it is closer to being released. When I’m able, I’ll write a formal review and in reading the book, it addresses most of your queries.

    What I’m suggesting wouldn’t be something that would suit everyone and certainly it would amount to a serious commitment. Not everyone would be willing to make such a commitment and you bring up many good points about the specific barriers involved. Those barriers are quite valid and would prevent many families from responding to this sort of “mission trip.”

    I actually know a Jewish gentleman and his wife who are Messianic and who do regularly attend a Baptist church. The also attend a Messianic congregation on Shabbat, but feel “lead” to worship in a local church for exactly the purpose I’m describing. I don’t think they’re full-fledged members of the church, but they do worship on Sunday mornings and go to Sunday school. The Pastor and the congregation know who they are and they occasionally enter into polite but spirited debates over the place of Judaism in relation to the Messiah and to God during classes.

    There isn’t always agreement. Perhaps agreement occurs very seldom. But the door is open and both sides are talking.

    Please understand, I’m not suggesting anything sneaky or underhanded. I’m not suggesting that some Messianics attend a church just to insert their particular points of view. They would have to be willing to be part of the community, serve the church in some humble manner as the needs arise, to be a true friend.

    Admittedly, the course is full of trap doors and tripwires, but the alternative is to have two completely isolated groups of disciples who have little or nothing to do with each other. That isolation likely contributes to whatever misunderstandings and even hard feelings exist between the two groups.

    It won’t always work but it might work sometimes. Over the long haul, some traditional Christians might learn to be a little more understanding of Jews and less likely to criticize or dismiss the faith and worship of Jewish people.

    Thanks for you insightful questions and comments. I really appreciate your chiming in on this topic.

  5. It would be a very difficult proposition to try and negotiate the current dynamics of a Christian church system after many years of learning what would amount to the antithesis of what they teach as doctrine.

    YHWH is calling people out of the church system. Once a person is out it is unlikely that they will see a way to to go back with any success. After Israel was delivered from Egypt they were told not to go back that way. And it is my belief that they were given that instruction because YHWH knew that it would be a case of Egypt changing them and not the other way around.

    For us it like this: if YHWH has called you out of that system, then it is best to stay out. If He has not called you out, then it is best to stay where you are as it can be quite disconcerting for someone to try and grasp the Hebraic truths of scripture if the teachings of the church have not been left behind.

  6. That amounts to calling all churches everywhere “Egypt” and likening all Christians in all churches to “Egyptians” in the time of Pharaoh. Not exactly complements. We should remember something Joy said in her comment above about her own church:

    On the other hand it is a very mission minded and giving church and genuinely nice people who love the Lord. So I appreciate that aspect of it.

    What is the most important mitzvot. The Master said it was to love God with all our might and to love and serve our neighbor as ourselves. Jesus also said that he didn’t come for the healthy but for the sick. If we believe that the church desires to serve God and often succeeds in their efforts but that they lack the ability to please God in certain areas, should all of us stay isolated in our comfort zones, or should some of us take the risk that the Messiah was willing to take for humanity, and enter a less than perfect world in an effort to be a light?

    Like I said, this task isn’t for everyone. For a lot of reasons, it probably isn’t for me, either. But if no one makes the attempt, we are taking it upon ourselves to judge all traditional Christians and all traditional churches everywhere as unfit for our compassion and our fellowship.

    Of course, we could also be saying we have nothing useful to offer the church.

    I’m not telling anyone what to do. I am seeing however, that it’s not just the church rejecting the Jewishness of Jesus, it’s us rejecting the church and our brothers and sisters in Christ.

  7. Were I simply trying to equate Christians with ancient Egyptians I could have easily done so. I didn’t.

    What I was attempting to do was to point out the difference between being called out of the church system by YHWH and just leaving, for whatever reason.

    What any of us have to offer the church would only be as useful as the church would allow it to be. Sound teaching rejected isn’t of much use to anyone. And if the sound teaching is perceived to be divisive, the results could easily go the opposite of what was intended.

    Loving people in the church system, not a problem. Appreciating all they do in alignment with the instructions of Messiah Yeshua, not a problem.

    Going into their midst uninvited and attempting to enlighten them with Hebraic concepts, not a good idea. It would be disrespectful at the very least. Similar to going into an orthodox synagogue and trying to enlighten them.

    I personally do not reject the church system and those who are within. They are welcome to ask me what I believe and I would be OK with trying to explain the whats and the whys. But an uninvited solicitor is just that and would probably be treated as such when the real motives were discovered.

  8. Perhaps I overstated my point Russ, but there are lots and lots of non-Jews in the Messianic/Hebrew Roots movement who have written “Christianity” off and believe they and their group are the only “true believers.”

    I’ve been talking all this over with the person who originally put this particular “bug in my ear” and we agree that this is an enormous challenge, one that a book or a blog or a paper won’t really answer. There will probably need to be some sort of dynamic process involved between people who are currently living out the lifestyle I’m describing and those “Messianic Gentiles who would be willing to take on the challenge, or at least those who are interested enough to listen.

    Here’s a summary of the “target audience” of Messianic Gentiles this material would be most relevant for:

    This message are not for everyone. I wrote this for the many Gentile disciples of Yeshua I have met over the years who have learned about the Jewish origins of their faith and have, subsequently, become disillusioned with Christianity.

    If you are a Christian participating in a Christian church and are just beginning to learn about the Jewish roots of your faith, this material is not exactly for you. You can, however, glean from the history and perspectives I share because, as you will see, there have been many others who have found themselves in your same position. Some have not allowed their new perspectives to drive wedges between them and their Christian church and friends and have thus done amazing things by being able to bring others along with them in these understandings. On the other hand some have allowed their Jewish roots perspectives to bring great separation, pain, and isolation. I pray that this material will inform and inspire you to do great things for the Kingdom of Heaven by effectively transferring to others what God is revealing to you.

    If you are a Messianic Jew, I would ideally like to encourage you to participate in your local Messianic Jewish congregation, so this book is not speaking directly to you. However, I pray that you, like me, will see the value of staying connected to the Christian community on some level in order to bring the needed change to the church for the sake of Israel. As you know, the church’s presentation of Yeshua is one of the greatest stumbling blocks for our people to see his true character. That needs to change – as Messianic Jews we are positioned to bring that change.

    If you are a Messianic Gentile who has been called by God to help build Messianic community outside of the church, I think you should read what I have written, but ultimately, this material may not be for you either. I am sure that you are in contact with many other Messianic Gentiles who can benefit from this vision and do great things for the kingdom. It would be good for you to understand the vision of this work, and all-the-while I affirm your mission and calling.

    This information is for those of you who, on some level, have left the Christian Church on the basis of objections you derived from your studies in Messianic Jewish teachings and still have not found a home or place of worship in a Messianic community. If that sounds like you, then I’m writing directly to you. I have a job for you to do.

    -from an unpublished work I can’t talk a lot about yet

    I hope that answers a few questions, but there’s a lot more coming.

  9. I see what you are saying.

    And although I see the term “Messianic Gentile” as a contradiction, it may be for the larger audience a place for them to start the conversation. But in the same light one could also use the term “Messianic Christian” and perhaps that would start a conversation as well. And of course there are the “Messianic Jews” who have rejected Yeshua as being the Messiah but nevertheless anticipate His coming. Or the “Messianic Jews” who have accepted Yeshua as Messiah and are instructed to play nice with the “Messianic Everybody Else”.

    At least you’re not saying “Torah observant” which tends to lead people to the idea that Torah is being properly observed by some group or another.

    What has become the “Christian church” system will be a part of what takes place in the near future. They, as a group who have similar foundational beliefs but differ on almost everything else, are going to be the most recognizable segment of non-Muslims on the planet.

    During that time I believe that we will all find some common ground very quickly.

  10. I’m having to use somewhat imperfect labels and to take into consideration what people call themselves. I actually don’t think in terms of “Messianic Gentiles” but rather, Christians. It’s just that some Christians (like me) have less than traditional perspectives on the Bible, God, and the Messiah.

  11. James. I’m familiar with FFOZ. In fact, I’m about to start the Hayesod course this summer with a small group here in the area. You are so right, I have definitely realized in the short timeframe (about a year) that I have been studying and learning from this perspective that there are many flavors of Messianic groups. The congregation I found in my area seems to be good, not too extreme either direction. They don’t bash the church (too much) and don’t make demands on people like head coverings, beards, etc.
    Recently I mentioned the Hayesod course and FFOZ in a fb thread and got a scathing comment back. The commenter said that FFOZ doesn’t believe that gentiles have to be Torah Observant and they are false prophets, yada yada.

    As far as my SS class at my Christian church goes. It is a very discussion oriented class so I have chimed in when relevant. I’ve never used the word Torah Observant on them. That would do them in. haha. I will however, make points about scriptures and the way I read them (thru my new lens) vs the traditional way I was taught about them when the opportunity arises. Anyway, I haven’t “challenged” or spoken to the Pastors of the church regarding my feelings. Its actually a mega church so I don’t really have a personal connection with them. I just know most of them love bacon (based on their fb post) :).

    I grew up in the Baptist church. I went to 2 different Christian colleges (one you would definitely recognize.) I’ve done Bible Study for years. But the frustration I have with the church is not once in all my years in church/college/Bible Study have the Feast ever been mentioned. Passover might get a passing glance, but that is about it. But I guess that is not relevant to this post.

    I think bottom line we need to be led by the Holy Spirit or Ruach Hakodesh (as I’ve learned) in our responses to our Christian brothers and sisters. I’m coming to the realization that unless a person is curious and open to study Hebrew Roots of the faith and has a longing in their heart to go deeper and understand more then it will probably be a waste of time to confront them. Burning bridges isn’t the way to go and I don’t want to do that. I think in my opinion that is what most of the NT is about. Bringing these two people groups (Jew and non Jew) together with the knowledge of who the Messiah is and going from there and working thru the issues that both bring the table.

    It’s hard. I’m swimming against the tide in my family, my church and most of my friends. But I wouldn’t turn back now for anything. I guess I will keep doing what I’m doing. Going to Shabbat Hebrew class/ Monday night Torah Study and then off to church on Sunday. sigh.

  12. You said, “They would have to be willing to be part of the community, serve the church in some humble manner as the needs arise, to be a true friend.”

    I understand what you are saying but I still think church leadership would be skeptical of someone coming in to help out but not espouse their core beliefs and traditions.

    You said, “…but the alternative is to have two completely isolated groups of disciples who have little or nothing to do with each other.”

    It doesn’t have to be this way. We don’t have to be isolated from one another. I encourage the folks in our community to maintain their relationships with their Christian family and friends. Share the Torah in love, don’t bash them over the head with it. I try to lead by example—I have a few Christian friends who I fellowship and pray with on a regular basis. A couple of them are pastors. We don’t try to ‘convert’ each other but rather look for common ground to build our relationship in Messiah and encourage one another. As a community we’ve also reached out to the local Christian Community. We gear our Chanukah and Purim celebrations for ‘Believers in Messiah’ in general so our folks can invite their Christian family and friends and we advertise it on the local Christian radio station. One year we had a Calvary Chapel girls youth group join us for Purim. Later that year we led the same group through a Seder. Anyway, I think we can make connections with Christians without making waves in their communities.

    Looking forward to learning about the book you are alluding to.

  13. Michael said:

    I have a few Christian friends who I fellowship and pray with on a regular basis. A couple of them are pastors. We don’t try to ‘convert’ each other but rather look for common ground to build our relationship in Messiah and encourage one another. As a community we’ve also reached out to the local Christian Community. We gear our Chanukah and Purim celebrations for ‘Believers in Messiah’ in general so our folks can invite their Christian family and friends and we advertise it on the local Christian radio station. One year we had a Calvary Chapel girls youth group join us for Purim. Later that year we led the same group through a Seder. Anyway, I think we can make connections with Christians without making waves in their communities.

    That works. If you read my quote of the “mystery book” from one of my previous comments (1:42 p.m.), you’ll see that there are a lot of disclaimers attached to my suggestion. It’s not for everyone and every situation. What I’m emphasizing above all else is keeping the communication lines open. There are a good many congregations under the Messianic/Hebrew Roots umbrella that have built a concrete wall between themselves and the church. To be fair, there are a number of churches that won’t have anything to do with anyone who calls themselves “Hebrew Roots” or “Messianic,” so the door swings both ways.

    We’re all part of the body of Messiah but in a lot of ways, we live in different “cultures.” We need to keep the conversation alive.

    Joy said:

    It’s hard. I’m swimming against the tide in my family, my church and most of my friends. But I wouldn’t turn back now for anything. I guess I will keep doing what I’m doing. Going to Shabbat Hebrew class/ Monday night Torah Study and then off to church on Sunday. sigh.

    Unfortunately, that’s how it works out sometimes. All you can do at this stage of the game is to stay the course and trust in God. As far as following the leading of the Ruach or the Spirit, just remember that everyone in your Messianic and Christian congregations believe that’s exactly what they’re doing. Our perception of God is always going to be filtered through our personalites, our wants, and our needs. We constantly struggle to move through all that and to touch something that is purely God. It’s a rare and wonderful moment when that happens.

    Have faith.

  14. One question that we must ask and answer for ourselves; did YHWH create the separation (I’m referring to His own people) for His purpose or are we just unwilling to work together for the common goal of Messiah?

    Most of us who read this blog would agree that YHWH separated Israel from the rest of the nations through His Torah. And He was very specific that the Children of Israel were not mix it up with those whose beliefs and practices that were not on the approved list.

    I think there comes a time for each of us who are being called out of traditional church systems to make a decision as to whether we are going to remain mixed with what we now know to be wrong in the sight of YHWH or, are we going to go on to where He is leading us?

    Uncertainty as to how and when to make that decision is usually due to a lack of knowledge about our identity in Messiah.

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