Monday, September 16, 2013

A Message and a Reply

I recently received a private message from yet another "Torah-observant" believer, appealing to me to seek truth and enlightenment, while using some of the same assumptions and general attitudes that I have seen in almost everyone who holds to these views.
He wrote:
"Seek him in prayer, deeply, listen, read the Bible from Genesis to revelation, asking Him to remove any false images or doctrine not in line with truth. He will answer that genuine prayer. Though many people that "have the truth" are negative, bitter, etc, that dosen't mean that what they are saying is all lies. Jer. 16 comes to my mind. But anyways, when I finally threw all my doctrine I learned in the trash, or tried to and studied the Bible from more of a "the writers were Heberew, so let me think like a Hebrew perspective", my life changed, I still know I have much in my mind that dosen't line up with the word, but as I come out of Egypt (spiritual Babylon) I am seeing this:THE main point of my salvation is to glorify God by hating this world unto death, which results in life (Y'shua). This is what Y'shua did. He hated sin, the system, and all that was in it, but loved God's image, which God's people were made in. Love you. Peace."
I responded:
"Do you not understand that from the first time this appeared on my horizon three years ago, I have diligently, desperately cried out to the Lord in my distress to remove any blinders from my eyes, or any spiritual oppression. I do not take my faith, my walk, or my role as a minister lightly at all -- in fact, I am ever so conscientious that I will be held to a higher account before the Father.
"And yet, if anything, the more that I have searched, the more that I have cried out, the more that I have yielded myself to Him, the more convinced and secure I have become of my positions. In fact, I have discovered just how amazing His grace is when set against the black backdrop of our own wretchedness; I have discovered that where I had thought I had known the heights and depth of His love, I had only barely scratched the surface; I have discovered just what is so very "GOOD NEWS" about the Good News of Christ.
"My only true doctrine is Christ, and Him crucified. I have a living relationship with Him. Yes, I still struggle with sin, but I am no longer condemned by it, nor by trying to live my life conforming to a set of external do's-and-don'ts that always either left me feeling spiritually prideful (when I imagined myself to be "good" by living by the letter) or spiritually condemned (when I failed to measure up to these perceived external standards). 
"Now, though, I know that it is the Holy Spirit living in me that teaches me and reminds me of the Truth, the Way, and the Life, convicting me when I am wrong, keeping me conformed to the Law of Christ written on the tablet of flesh that is my heart. 
"This is one of the parts that I have the hardest time with, even coming from you, with whom I have a general mutual respect. Because I do not follow Torah, it is ASSUMED that I just haven't bothered praying about all of it. 
"When it comes to matters of spiritual life or death, I especially value the Word of God over my own pride, my "need to be right," my ego, etc. I would rather be universally hated by all than to preach a wrong, dangerous Gospel. 
"Many within the HRM (Hebrew Roots Movement) also erroneously assume that I preach "greasy grace," as though grace were a "get out of hell free" card in the quest to gratify the lusts and pleasures of the flesh. They assume that people such as myself would prefer the Old Testament be ripped out of the pages of our Bible, that the New Testament is better appreciated without the context of the Old. 
"They might as well be saying that I preach the core tenet of satanism -- "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law."
I generally don't make a practice of sharing such exchanges, but I thought that this one serves as a near-perfect illustration of the attitudes and assumptions that I still encounter from time to time.  I haven't told my personal story in written form yet, and I may never.  Still, as I shared in a recent sermon, sometimes the 'thorns in our flesh' are provoked in unexpected ways when our guard is down, and we find our old wounds still sore and throbbing.

And God continually reminds us, "My grace is sufficient for you."

What are YOUR thoughts on this general "if you would only pray, then God will reveal truth to you" line?

Love in Christ,
Pastor Joe

1 comment:

  1. Elequently stated as always... I love you and your heart for the Lord!

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