Monday, October 21, 2013

In Memoriam

Recently, a friend of mine who, up until recently was a Messianic Jewish blogger, told me that he has decided to reject Yeshua and the Apostolic Writings.  Considering that this man has been an outspoken opponent of One Law, you'd think I would be happy right now.  I assure you that I am not.

Now, this man never really accepted the Deity of Yeshua or the supernatural nature of the Apostolic Writings.  Yet, on some level, he accepted Yeshua and identified as a Messianic Jew and so, despite any hard feelings from time to time, I regarded him, on some level, as a brother.  [For those who don't have brothers, let me assure that you can love them and be angry with them at the same time]

You know those stages of grief you're supposed to go through?  I kind of feel a blend of those right now...

It actually feels like when a friend commits suicide.  That's exactly what it feels like.  But you know how they say you get to that "acceptance" stage?  I've not found that to be true.  Sometimes things just hurt and keep right on hurting.

This ones gonna hurt for a while...


  1. I totally get it, a good friend of mine that kept Sabbath each week together did the same thing.

    I don't think a day goes by that I don't feel hit in the gut, a sad sorrow as if the wolves ate the child.


  2. 1 John 2:19 HCSB They went out from us, but they did not belong to us; for if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. However, they went out so that it might be made clear that none of them belongs to us.
    2 Peter 2:20-22 HCSB For if, having escaped the world's impurity through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in these things and defeated, the last state is worse for them than the first. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than, after knowing it, to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 It has happened to them according to the true proverb: A dog returns to its own vomit, and, "a sow, after washing itself, wallows in the mud."
    Hebrews 6:4-8 HCSB For it is impossible to renew to repentance those who were once enlightened, who tasted the heavenly gift, became companions with the Holy Spirit, 5 tasted God's good word and the powers of the coming age, 6 and who have fallen away, because, to their own harm, they are recrucifying the Son of God and holding Him up to contempt. 7 For ground that has drunk the rain that has often fallen on it, and that produces vegetation useful to those it is cultivated for, receives a blessing from God. 8 But if it produces thorns and thistles, it is worthless and about to be cursed, and will be burned at the end.

    1. When a heart hurts it does not need anyone to inflict additional pain by beating on them with Bible verses. Yes, at some point those verses may be useful and even helpful but now while this man is clearly hurting you are only hurting him more.

      Cry with those who cry, mourn with those who mourn, hold those who are hurting. Love your fellow man!

  3. I'm very sorry for your loss but even more grieved for these folks. It's a tragedy.

  4. One thing I will say about him (can we say his name? I see no reason to hide it), our now-apostate friend almost continually worked against God's move among the gentiles and God's spirit in the Messianic movement. If anything deviated from traditional Orthodox Judaism, this man was against it.

    I recall several years ago on my blog, I was talking to a Christian friend for probably 3 years about the Torah. I was making some headway with this Christian guy when the Messianic Jewish man, our now-apostate friend, shows up and tells the Christian man, "No, don't keep the Torah. You'll blur distinctions between Jews and gentiles."

    The confused message turned my Christian friend off from God's commandments.

    I remember an instance where I was speaking with several Messianic leaders of the great blessing and inheritance we have in Messianic music. Our apostate friend shows up and dismissed all of it as trash held over from Evangelical Christianity. I pointed out how many of the modern Messianic pioneers -- Chernoff, Wilbur, and others -- have been used by God to bless people through Messianic music, myself included. It didn't matter to our apostate friend, Messianic music was discarded as Evangelical trash.

    Our now-apostate friend wrote several blogs about "former One Law" people who came to him privately and found the new path forward in Bilateral Ecclesiology. In doing so, how many were discouraged from the work God was doing in them through the Torah?

    I remember yet another instance where my younger brother in Israel who, at the time, was a believer. Our Messianic Jewish apostate friend made a mockery of what my younger brother said in a recording, made the recording public on his forums, and pointed to it saying, "This is what these crazy Hebrew Roots people believe!"

    My younger brother was discouraged by that. Later, anti-missionaries in Israel found that post by our now-apostate friend and used it against my younger brother. My younger brother later became an apostate himself.

    Just a few months ago I was speaking with our now-apostate friend about the deity of Yeshua. When I saw the path he and James Pyles were taking on Yeshua, claiming the worship ascribed to Yeshua in the NT was no different than bowing to a human king, I called out how such a belief leads to apostasy, and in fact, was one of the key factors in my younger brother's apostasy. James Pyles and our now-apostate friend dismissed this as alarmist. But here we are, months later, and our friend has rejected Messiah.

    When I look back on my 8 years of interaction with our now-apostate friend, I recognize now, as I did then, that he was working against the move of God in the Messianic movement. I don't say this lightly or flippantly or in a dismissive mode: but I cannot say I ever witnessed positive fruit from our apostate friend. The most I could say of him was, he defended Yeshua to those Jews on his blog quite well. But now even that is cancelled by his apostasy. He was more concerned about preserving Judaism in its current form, and less interested in what God was doing throughout the nations, and the fruit of that was the often bitter arguments that resulted from his turning gentiles away from Torah, and Messianics away from anything that deviated from Orthodox Judaism.

    Even with all this in perspective, like Paul, my heart breaks for our Jewish brothers, including our apostate friend. With our friend's apostasy, I'm consoled only in the knowledge that all Israel will be saved when God's plan for the Jewish people culminates; it will be life from the dead and faith in the Jewish Messiah, Yeshua. The blinders will be removed and the hearts softened even for our friend who continually worked against the move of God in the Messianic movement.

    1. Peter or Judah, if you do not want to say it publicly, can you email me, have I conversed with this person before? I hope it is not who I think it is...

    2. Dang, I had a dream with Gene, not to long ago, it must have been a call to pray for him, now I will...

  5. I don't know GS or the backstory, but I will surmise that the issue was not theology, but a heart problem, as it always is. If a person has a man-pleasing spirit and a bitter root within them, well, the fear of man brings a snare and the bitter root springs up and defiles many.

    We have to be a lot more careful as to who we allow and promote as leaders and spokespersons. The most humble and godly people I know have no desire either for the limelight or authority. Usually a person is chosen for their talent and communication skills, as well as loyalty to the camp. Character is glossed over and things that don't seem to add up are ignored and swept under the rug.

  6. I knew Gene from the forum over at Rosh Pina Project and also via his own blog. I fully recognize your feeling about his way away from Yeshua. I was VERY dissappointed as he was a man with a load of knowledge and very useful in defending Yeshua's Messiahship. He turned like a leaf. It kind of broke my heart, as I've seen MANY people falling away through orthodox giur or "converting" to the Noahide religion. I have nothing against orthodox giur on itself and also nothing against the Noahide laws, on the contrary, but NOWADAYS both are being abused by people who hate Yeshua. A good friend of mine used to be an Evangelical Christian and got in touch with the Jewishness of the NT and Yeshua. For some reason he didn't have a solid foundation in Mashiach and so he decided to go for full giur and basically says he "doesn't know it" about Yeshua. For me it's clear, he abandoned him. He only focusses on halacha now, because THAT will gain him respect and acceptance among the orthodox community. And trust me, I am very Orthodox Judaism focussed (another discussion), but there's limits, because Yeshua is not accepted, at least not openly yet. I think it's terrible that so many people fall away. Years ago already some friends went from Christian to somewhat Messianic. A married couple of which one half was "goy" and did giur and the other half was Jewish and became Hareidi and basically anti-missionary. I can honestly tell you that the years to follow I had EXTREME difficulty staying in touch. Everything changed! I basically hated these people for stabbing not only Yeshua but also ME in the back. At least, that's how it felt. I took me years to stop hating, but I still am very alert and sad about them. Most people who reject Yeshua become not "just" ignorant (I almost wish!) but VERY much against him and anything that has to do with him. In that they create "Children of Hell", sorry to say. I fully recognize that God does good works among the nations, I myself am an example. ;-) May Hashem bless you all richly. Chazak venitchazek!