Treating the Church with Grace

We thought a good separate forum would be one where we could discuss real life examples of Torah problems. This is intended to be more specific than simple discussion of general Scripture topics. It is for actual descriptions of problems that crop up from time to time between people. The situation is described (what happened/is happening), solutions or judgments are given (what did you do) and further opinions or judgments are solicited (what should have been done/what should I do?).

Postby bentsion » Sun Dec 28, 2008 3:56 pm

Shalom chaverim,
Just a few things we should consider:
- I found the same hatred within the church, back when I was part of it (though born Jewish, I was brought up a Christian). I remember how the protestant/evangelical churches would bash the SDAs virtually as if they were worshipping Satan or something.

- There is, too, a lot of hatred from the churches towards Torah observance. I have met many people who suffered the most violent forms of persecution in the churches they attended once the started keeping Torah.

So doesn't it all boil down to the fact that us human beings keep having the need to point to someone and call them evil so that we may feel better with ourselves? I think the problem transcends the church or the Hebrew-roots movement. The Hebrew-roots movement just gives people the excuse they need to feel superior - as does the "we are the only ones saved & who got things right" of protestant Christianity and its ramifications.

This is one of the things that disappoints me the most about human beings in general...

YHWH bless you all,
Sha'ul
bentsion
Member
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2008 7:28 pm

Postby Bruce Bertram » Fri Jan 02, 2009 3:46 pm

I think you are right, Sha'ul, that it's a problem transcending the various organizations and movements and more of a universal theme than something particular to one. The hate is not just between Jews and Gentiles but also between Protestant denominations or almost-denominations and just about any other two groups you can think of.

We humans are perverse and seem to take great delight in doing the opposite of what God requires. He's been trying for millenia to get us to follow Him, thought 'trying' isn't exactly the right word. The Messianics grab hold of the Word, then do the same things with it that the church has been doing and the Jews originally did. But we really can't blame any one group for it. Even when there was only one people group (the antediluvians) the hate was so bad God had to cleanse it with a flood.

I encourage people to stay in groups if they feel they can, but I don't blame them for leaving either. If you stay it is hard, and if you are by yourself it is hard. I want to do the mature and loving thing if I can, but even Jesus wasn't able to make it work with everyone. If we find a group that has like minded people (or start one) it would probably fall apart eventually anyway.

I'll keep doing the best I can wherever I'm allowed to stay though.

Shalom
Bruce
Bruce Scott Bertram - http://www.wholebible.com
War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory.
User avatar
Bruce Bertram
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1315
Joined: Sat May 07, 2005 9:46 pm
Location: Grand Junction, CO

Postby bentsion » Fri Jan 02, 2009 6:15 pm

That's so true, Bruce! I've seen many groups which start out as different, but quickly fall into the same old tired thing.

This reminds me of the following joke:

[i]A man was walking along San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge when he saw a woman about to jump off. He ran up to her, trying to dissuade her from committing suicide. He told her simply that God loved her. A tear came to her eye.
He then asked her, “Are you a Christian, a Jew, a Hindu, or what?â€
bentsion
Member
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2008 7:28 pm

Postby Bruce Bertram » Sat Jan 03, 2009 11:58 am

Unfortunately that joke is more truth than fiction, and sadly illustrates the unreasoning hatred in tribalism. It doesn't seem to matter how much agreement there is, there's always that one tiny little area that seems to cause trouble all out of proportion to the size of it.

There are some core issues, however, that make it difficult to continue fellowship. A problem arises when the organization doesn't share your core issues, so you end up endorsing the teaching of ideas with which you cannot agree. Plus in order to hold a position such as elder or teacher you must include those ideas in your presentations even if you don't think they are right.

I think that fellowship should be based on willingness to learn, and the Scriptures have to be the final authority (but even these two could be considered core issues that might engender a ton of disagreement). I can fellowship with a person who does not believe that Jesus is God, as an example, as long as we continue to share ideas and teachings from the Word. Or if someone likes Christmas and wants to celebrate it we could still meet together and discuss all the whys and wherefores as we go.

This is not how it happens, though. Usually a person gets stuck on a particular set of ideas and doesn't want to be confused by facts, and then reacts with anger if you disagree. Especially if you show them the Scriptures are teaching something different than what they want to believe. The dividing line for me is the issue of Scriptural authority, the pursuit of truth, and willing submission to truth when you find it. As long as someone is searching for truth, I can get along with him or her. When they search only for confirmation of what they've decided they want to believe, there we find ourselves divided.

The hatred for the church is in part justified by the actions of people in the church who do not pursue truth. They deserve some of what they are getting. But Messianic people turn right around and reject truth themselves. Then it becomes a competition between two different country clubs for members, and one has to say, "Who cares?"

I haven't separated because I wanted to, but because I was booted out either officially or unofficially. If we could sit down and have a rational discussion over Scriptural teachings, in the end we could arrive at an understanding. But people do not want the Scriptures, they want their clubs and cliques (otherwise known as tribalism). They want to feel better at the expense of others, to find a superiority in hollow observations of tradition learned by rote. It's no different than high school and the class distinctions between band and jock (I was in band myself) or nerd and social elite.

The cure is to submit to one another in love. But that would require giving up the markers we use to bolster our pride. Humility is the hallmark of His followers, which explains why we have problems. There are those who want to slap His name on the marquee in the church (or synagogue) parking lot but that's as far as they allow Him to affect them.

Shalom
Bruce
Bruce Scott Bertram - http://www.wholebible.com
War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory.
User avatar
Bruce Bertram
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1315
Joined: Sat May 07, 2005 9:46 pm
Location: Grand Junction, CO

Postby bentsion » Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:17 pm

Personally, for me, the following are the core set of beliefs:

1 - The Bible is authoritative. Though I am open to fellowship with people with different canons - as long as they are historical canons. Usually not an issue.

2 - Yeshua is our Messiah and Savior. (if it's an issue, there's serious problems ;-)))

3 - Yeshua is YHWH in the flesh. I find it very hard to fellowship with someone who thinks otherwise because:
a) We are forbidden by the Torah to have two Spiritual Powers above us
b) From my experience, these people most likely end up denying Yeshua anyway (for the reasons stated in 'a')

4 - Yeshua was a normal human being. Unbelievable as this may sound, a vocal minority is now denying this and going back to gnosticism. John warned us against this. But, for most people, not really an issue.

5 - Torah is eternal. I think it's very hard to put under the same roof those who believe in the Torah and those who don't. It usually doesn't work.

Aside from that, I also have trouble fellowshipping with radicalism that majors on the minor. For example, though I don't see a problem with people who want to call Him "Yahshua" (I think it's wrong, but don't think it's important), I can hardly ever fellowship with those who do, because they are usually so radical to the point of thinking it is actually the correctly pronounced syllables which make a difference.

Please give me an honest answer (I promise I won't be upset): Do you believe I'm being too divisive?

Shabbat shalom,
Sha'ul
bentsion
Member
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2008 7:28 pm

Postby Bruce Bertram » Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:02 pm

No, I don't think you are being divisive at all. I would go along with your list, and I also have made allowances for people who wouldn't. But others don't make allowances for me, that's for sure. You are right that frequently it is the radicals who major in minors and take all the fun out of things.

I used to say 'Yahshua' and it might even still be in some articles here and there. Only briefly, but there was a phase I went through in which I wanted to emphasize Jesus' deity so I used that version of His name to do so. Later I also thought that people were going too nuts over the arrangement of consonants and vowels. And yeah they were also the ones going nuts over other side issues such as Jewish traditions or Hebrew culture.

Divisive? Nah, I for one am very glad that a person of Jewish persuasion such as yourself has worked his way to that list. I firmly believe that our Jewish brothers and sisters should be helping to take the lead in matters of faith. It's just that it has to be of the Word and not pet causes or superficial agendas such as culture or other minutiae. But it does set you up as a target along with people like me. Not that your people (our people really) don't know a lot about being targets as it is, no offense intended.


Last bumped by Bruce Bertram on Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:02 pm.
Bruce Scott Bertram - http://www.wholebible.com
War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory.
User avatar
Bruce Bertram
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1315
Joined: Sat May 07, 2005 9:46 pm
Location: Grand Junction, CO

Previous

Return to Real Life Torah

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron