September 17, 2013

The Answer to a Problem

At Purify, several of us had stayed up talking that first night. One of the things that we had discussed was the immense disjointedness of the "Messianic/Hebrew Roots Movement" as a whole. We all agreed that, as a whole, we are beginning to see that there is a chaos issue. One person brought up the analogy of the ditch on the side of the road- that it doesn't matter which ditch you're in, you're off the path. And the majority are off the path. But we didn't know what to do about it.

In writing an article this past month, I have spent a lot of time reading the book of James. I have come to realize that we have the answer to the problem right in front of us. And that the problem is the basis for James' writing in the first place. 

The theme of James goes something like this.

Chapter 1- Trials are good. They work endurance, and strengthen your faith. "Become doers of the word, and not hearers only" because you're deceiving yourself if you don't live according to what you say you believe.

Chapter 2- If you believe it but don't act on it, do you really believe it? Likewise, you have to believe in the reason for your works, otherwise it profits you nothing.

Chapter 3- Leaders are held to a higher standard, and words are a powerful fire. It only takes a few words to cause a great problem. In the flesh, it cannot be tamed. But if you are striving to follow YHWH and live righteously, the fruit of the Spirit will be shown in your life. Under the category of Self-Control it is very possible to bridle your tongue. "The fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace."

Chapter 4- Striving comes from battling amongst yourselves. You want gifts from the Father so that you can satisfy your own lusts. You judge the splinter in the eyes of another, while having a log in your own. Humble yourselves, repent, and focus on dealing with your own issues, rather than looking for them in others.

Chapter 5- Prepare your fields for rain. Be patient and look toward the coming of the Master. Don't start grumbling among yourselves, but endure. If a part of the body of Christ is "sick" then the whole body is affected. So we need to work together to heal.

Romans 15:5-7 says,

"Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God."

A lot of people think that "likeminded" is supposed to mean that everyone else thinks the same way they do, and does everything the way their personal standards dictate, even if it goes against principles in Scripture- which is more “Misogyny” than “Like-mindedness”.   And for our parents' generation who left the church religious system, in many cases, they have thrown the baby out with the bathwater. So anything that even could be "churchy" is bad, even if in reality it is good.

A house built on the rock will still shake in an earthquake. But what is important is whether it will weather the storm without collapsing under the strain. If we are beams in a house, right now we would all be pulling in different directions and leading the house to collapse. The Messy-Antic movement is not a well-built house. We ought to be working together to stand through the storm.

We need to re-focus on the Messiah, individually and as a whole. We've gotten so wound up in the details and rabbit trails that we have left our first love. We've forgotten what really matters.

I think that if we can readjust to see the Messiah in the Torah, and Torah in the Messiah, rather than creating dissention by arguing over whose interpretation of the text is right, we will begin to see a repair in the body of Messiah. It is a bit complex in its simplicity, but this seems to be the closest answer to the problem. It is the underlying theme of all of the letters of the apostles. It makes sense, and I think some people are starting to realize this.

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