Sunday, January 25, 2015

Speaking Out

Early the other morning through prayer, I heard a simple question and a concise statement regarding the "great falling away."  First the question.  "How can a group of a few hundred people who cannot agree on a name to call themselves, a day of the week, or when the month begins even be considered a "great number?"  Now the statement.  "Men who speak to tens of thousands every week under a generic title of cohesiveness, while endorsing a Pope who endorses Islam could indeed lead a "great falling away."

Rick Warren "Our Pope"

"I love the fact that's he's made the Church more inclusive," he said. "Not trying to make it smaller, but to try to make it larger — to take everybody in. So, that just resonates with me," Osteen added.

I never really thought of needing a religious label, although it does come up now and again.  I've been a Torah observant follower of Messiah since before the turn of this century.  I still remember the day I clearly heard The Name of Messiah, then the many aspects of our Creator with His Name.  That also occurred before the turn of this last century.  I've known my call, since I first heard our Creator speak it to me, so servant of YHWH, follower of Y'hshuwah has always been adequate for me.  Our gracious Heavenly Father has let me know, He calls me His child, and we find in the Matthew 12:50, Y'hshuwah calls us siblings.

As of late, however; I've come to understand humanity has many labels, most of which can seem a bit confining.  The Hebrew Roots Movement was never attached to me, although for a time I did try to generically use the term, Messianic, but as it turns out, I seem to go in the "Sacred Namer" category.  Having had the "cult" word aimed at me through the years, that now tends to fall on me like water off a duck's back.  The apostles were referred to as the Sect of The Way, and I've grown to love that label.  Paul is quoted in Acts 24:14 to state, "But this I confess unto thee, that after The Way which they call heresy, so worship I the Elohim of my fathers, believing all things which are written in Torah and in the prophets:"  In checking the original Greek, it would appear the religious right of the day, considered the apostles to be heretics.  The terms sect and heresy were both translated from the same Greek word: Hairesis.

In studying just how many verses Paul wrote in his epistles that can be chosen to be interpreted to be anti-Torah, a realization has come to me.  There are a great many verses in Paul's writings that confirm Torah.  There is also another correlation with Paul and Moses.  According to Acts 17:23 Paul makes a very concise statement that the Creator of the Universe does in fact have a Name and title.  There is absolutely no doubt, once Moses encountered that burning bush, he came down that mountain a "Sacred Namer."
And Elohim said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, YHWH Elohim of your fathers, Elohim of Abraham, Elohim of Isaac, and Elohim of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is My Name for ever, and this is My Memorial unto all generations.

Being a "Sacred Namer" may get you thrown out of some groups, but it also lands you in pretty good company!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Pagan History

This past holiday season, I almost turned off the computer.  I simply didn't know how to share and respond to all the comments and arguments against any celebration.  Social media seems to afford a great many folks a confidence and assuredness that I just can't relate to.

I celebrate Hanukkah, although I have set aside the gift giving, and don't even try to gorge on fried food for eight days.  It seems every year, as more Christians leave the church, many bring with them the same perspective that "this is how it's to be done."   All religions, of course, believe they are correct, but when one changes beliefs, coming in as an expert is simply not possible.  I was truly saddened at the number of times I received a message or read a post calling the eight days of oil, a myth.  I've witnessed and experienced several miracles in my life, but they aren't included in Scripture!  The last verse of the Gospel according to John, says the world couldn't hold all the books, if all the great works of Messiah were recorded . . . so whether or not the oil lasted eight days, there was clear victory and deliverance by the hand of YHWH.  Then there were all the research sites about the origin of every part of pagan tradition . . .

 I don't celebrate Christmas with a tree or Santa or anything else, but I do pause on December 25 to tell Y'hshwuah I'm thankful he came to this earth, and I'm really sorry about the day.  I also thank Him for bringing me to Himself and showing me this holiday is not a Holy Day in his honor.  I thank Him frequently, but I feel badly that a false image of him has been created, and the day of materialism attributed to him, while the season really screams self, materialism, and lies.  Not just ridiculous myths and fables, but big horrible lies!

Acknowledging the obvious lies and taking note of Jeremiah 10:3-4 seems sufficient to discredit Christmas as a holy day.  How much does one need to know about Nimrod's reproductive anatomy or Ishtar's fertility celebrations to know YHWH is Creator?  I remember 20 years ago, the church spent more time talking about the power and deception of the enemy than the power and truth of our Creator, and twenty years before that, the power of the devil and eternal damnation . . . Now, another generation is hearing about pagan rituals . . .  I've pondered aloud many times, "if the pagans spoke of our Creator as much as "believers" speak of the enemy, the Good News would cover at least twice as much ground . . ."  How much wrong do we need to know, to recognize what is right?

I realized years ago, I did not need to know about the devil and hell to seek a loving G-d!  He is difficult to find, however; in the local church.  I also realized, once I found our Creator in Messiah, a devil had no authority; none whatsoever!  And I soon discovered pagan rituals had no hold on my spirit!  I was a new creation in Messiah, old things had passed away, all had become new.  It seems we spend an inordinate amount of time focusing on what we don't believe and studying traditions that have no value.  Could this be what Paul was referencing with the term [vain babblings?]

I knew I had no questions for any of the folks posting anti-Christmas and anti-Hanukkah messages, but I also know I didn't do all I could to proclaim the Good News through this recurring holiday debate.  What if my silence led someone to research some of the pagan history posts and embrace any of that?

But sanctify YHWH Elohim in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:  I Peter 3:15