Monday, August 13, 2012

I'm a Closet Messianic: Question 26



I believe that's it's possible to love Christians without being attracted to their religion.  I even visited a Christian church this past Sunday.  I felt very loving toward the people...but I sort of drifted during the service.  The pastor held my attention whenever he talked about the book of Acts but whenever he made excursions into broader areas I found myself growing sleepier and sleepier (and at one point toward the end I momentarily lost my battle, dozing off for the briefest of moments).   

They are doing a lot of things right.  I observed that in the lobby they had an Israeli flag right next to the American flag and that the t.v.'s intermittently advertised that Messianic singer Marty Goetz was going to be visiting.  All of these things show growth and potential. 

However, they hate G-d's Torah.  I'd gone in with the secret hope that they would be Baptist's in name only and that they would really be a Baptist-Hebrew Roots hybrid church.  And in some ways they are.  Certainly more so than most Baptist churches.  But they still recite the same old lies "Jesus fulfilled the law!"

Will I go back next Sunday?  Sure.  Am I happy about it?  I guess I'd rather be in a non-segregationist Messianic synagogue or Hebrew Roots congregation.  But since that's not available, this is probably the next best thing.  

It's definitely not the ideal though.  And I know the Leman's out there will just say that I'm "paganoid" but that's not it.  The pagan aspects of Christianity are not the only drawback to attending Christian church.  Here's the drawback:  if they find out you are secretly Torah-observant they will treat you like you are a closeted homosexual.  It's a sickness that must be treated because "the law is the way of sin and death" and "to follow the law is to deny grace" etc, etc.

ON TO THE QUESTION:

Question 26:

Is the urge to separate from Christianity a healthy urge?  If so, is it unhealthy to suppress it?  [I'm still gonna go to church but I'm interested in what you all have to say]

12 comments:

  1. Eat the meat (after the required waiting period < grin >), and then spit out the bones.

    Although I am thankful that I am not in a position to have to darken the doors of a "church" (shudder, did you feel that cold draft just then?) - I am all for folks staying connected to the "future obedient" therein.

    Seriously, remember the weightier matters. Shabbat seems to be the one area in which they seem to fail, but meeting on Sunday does not mean that they do not rest on Shabbat (assume the best, albeit unlikely).

    And lastly, remember it is the leaders that have been deceived and continue to deceive. Blame the dude behind the pulpit < grin >.

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  2. I successfully remained "incognito" for almost four years at a Baptist church. I taught a Sunday school class each week for 75-100 adults - all about the glory of HaShem's word and the Torah.

    My mistake was not teaching Torah itself. The reason I was "kicked out" was over the Sabbath. I was told, "Yes, we know that the Seventh Day is not Sunday. Yes, we know that is the way it was done back then. But how could we do that today?" In other words, "truth is not what matters... don't rock the boat, we have a good gig going."

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    1. My heart goes out to you. I too have been kicked out of a congregation. When it happens it really hurts.

      Yes, it's true that we should give Christians the benefit of the doubt. This is a principle of musar, the character trait of giving people the benefit of the doubt. Dan L’Chaf Zechut...

      Ah, but it's a difficult trait. One that I'm still working on developing.

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  3. I'm a simple man, not very sophisticated so don't beat me up.

    My thoughts: have mercy on his little ones for they are real people with real hearts. They suffer in this world. Many of them will be called least in the Kingdom. Some of you will be called GREAT IN THE KINGDOM and your reward will be great.

    Some of these who have misunderstood and misapplied scripture, have taught and believed false things....they are the blind, the deaf, the broken hearts, the crippled...and it is in body and spirit.

    You who are strong, have mercy on Yeshua's little ones who are not able. You have eaten well at the Master's table and that is a blessing. But some of these poor little ones may only know that G-d loves them and has forgiven them and they cling to that like a life raft in a stormy sea.

    Don't think yourself better than these little ones, but condescend by putting aside what you have in dignity and superiority (I don't mean that in a bad way, you are blessed to know as much as you do) to assume a position lower than equality with these, but even lower...to understand that to sit alongside these Yeshua loves without measure....to understand you sit in a place of honor.

    And while you sit in this lower place, gently and in the love of the Ruach haKodesh, befriend, heal, restore, teach, bind up the wounds, cry with those who cry, sorrow with those who sorrow, laugh with those who laugh.

    Torah, grace and truth, is a great inheritance and it belongs to these little ones as much as it belongs to you. We will surely inherit it at the appointed time.

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    1. Anonymous,

      My friend, you are right. I need to be more charitable with my words. Thank you for the gentle reminder.

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  4. Peter,

    I hope you realize that you are fulfilling the Bilateral ecclesiology dreamby attending a church and not a messianic congregation....

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    1. Dan,

      I'm certainly open to suggestions.

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  5. Start you own home group. You have a lot to offer.

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  6. I like Dan's idea... a small group in our town have been doing for some years now. Home groups work great if you guard the bread and keep out the wolves. It gives people a safe place, fellowship, hospitality, support, and more.

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  7. Dear Peter,

    Your story is an encouragement to this other closet messianic ;-)
    Unfortunately I'm pretty much the only person in our family that sees himself as Messianic and that wants to live a TO life....so I go to church with the rest of the family so that there's some kind of "unity" but it feels far from ideal! I guess there's a lot of truth in the encouragement to live alongside christians and love them, but it's hard sometimes to find the balance between not speaking out about your beliefs and being a light to those that have only understood part of the message and that I wish for so very much that they'd return to Abba's Torah....maybe we'll exchange experiences once...
    Shalom uv'rachah,

    Jean

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    1. Good to hear from you, brother. And I'm glad we can learn from each other's experiences.

      I'm fortunate in that my parents are Messianic and my wife (whom I met at Messianic synagogue) and her mother are Messianic. So I guess I shouldn't complain. And yet we do have a communal need that is not being met right now. My wife and I talk about this all the time.

      I was heartened recently to learn that the church where we're visiting actually hosts a Shabbat service on Friday evenings and they talk about Jewish Roots on their website. And it's a Baptist church, mind you. So perhaps this is an indication that some churches waking up.

      I think Dan is right on the money about Home groups. The home is a neutral place where you can reach out to Christians and share with them the beauty of Shabbat. ...there seems to be a great need for a database that tells people what Messianic home groups are in their area... I know of one at Psalm 119 ministries...but I don't know how comprehensive it is.

      Anyway, feel free to contact me if you ever want to talk about anything else.

      Blessings,

      Peter

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