A few days ago I was reviewing the ‘About’ page trying to ‘see’ what others ‘see.’ You know, a sort of self assessment.
I noticed on the page that I had written that my goal for this blog is to ‘share the journey’ and ‘explain what I am learning.’ Well, it is pretty clear that I love sharing the fire in my soul that burns daily with new ways to challenge the reader to action and growth, but I realized that I have missed widely on the other ‘goal’ for the blog. Sharing my journey.
While I don’t have a particular story or encounter to share, I thought I’d take a post to give some general thoughts and experiences over the last two years as this transformation in my understanding of Scripture has happened. Certainly, my post on Antisemitism was heart wrenching, and the early RT series more personal as I related the early parts of this ‘walk’ but I have missed that area a bit lately.
Overall, I, and my family, are incredibly blessed and fulfilled in our journey, but it has not been without bumps and heartache.
Perhaps the hardest part has been the seeming difficult relationship with members of my large family. By way of background, I am a third culture kid, the eldest of six. I come from a solid Bible believing family with multiple familial connections in ministry… so, when I, an ordained minister, turned and began to swim against the accepted tide of dogma, you can imagine how that went over. Lead balloon?
The most challenging part, the most hurtful part of the whole journey is that not once, not a single time has any member of my family asked to sit down with me and open a Bible to discuss where I am and why my family and I have made this change in direction. Not once.
Yes, several have attended a Seder dinner we hosted, but no meaningful exchange or wrestling with the Word. We are talking solid, grounded, believers. Nothing.
There are a couple who talk about me… They even go to the trouble of ‘warning others away from me,’ but they haven’t a CLUE what I actually believe, because they have never had a single conversation with me about what I believe!! Astonishing.
It hasn’t been for lack of trying on my part. I’ve really tried to open that door, but thus far, they prefer to avoid the topic or change the subject.
Not unlike my own family, the elders at two churches I served in have severely disappointed me for exactly the same reason. Men that claimed to love me… nothing… save one elder who has kept in touch, but we haven’t had a theological discussion. (I worked with one elder for a while and we had a few conversations, but generally, he would quickly disengage and seemed very uncomfortable wrestling with hard verses.) The only in-depth conversation I had with that pastor was because I pursued him. According to a later email from that pastor, the most loving thing he said they could do for me was to ostracize me. Seriously.
I’m just glad they didn’t have the authority to burn me at the stake!
I could go on, but you get the point.
The most perplexing part of the whole thing is the unwillingness to have honest rational discussion about Scripture.
I mean, I went to a planned lunch meeting with two pastors from my denomination to discuss the things I was seeing in Scripture and I was the only one to bring a Bible to the meeting! Seriously?? These are pastors! Conservative pastors that would disavow mainstream ‘churchianity!’
Maybe the best way to encapsulate this is to say that the most perplexing part of this journey is the revelation that the professed ‘love of truth’ by the conservative Christian community I was in, was NOT matched by a willingness to actually wrestle with Scripture. At least from my perspective, all parties prefer avoidance and their precious doctrinal statements they KNOW are fallible.
I’ve gotten over much of the initial anger at the ‘system’ that I had when I first began to find holes in mainstream Christendom. But, the hurt lingers. I pray for my brothers and sisters, both physical and spiritual, because I long for them to know the Messiah as I do now. I would love to have midrash sessions with them the way I enjoy with my family and congregation.
We are blessed to homeschool and, at least for the time being, I am not employed. It is such a joy to join my family for their daily Bible reading, now directed by the Torah Portions schedule we got from First Fruits of Zion. It is a HUGE blessing to have my teen sons put pieces of Scripture together now seeing things that two years ago would have been lost on my Masters of Divinity. I want to see my nephews’ eyes light up in the same way…
In this time of year we are focused on Rosh Hashana and the return of THE King. We say, ‘May He come soon, and in our generation.’ Yet, I genuinely fear for those I love who are not being obedient to His commandments.
It was one thing when I/they walked in ignorance. Neither of us is ignorant any more. My family and I have chosen obedience, they have chosen willful disobedience. That scares me. Really!!
Oh that the Father would open their eyes to the fullness of His eternal unchanging Word!!
So I will keep Your TORAH continually,
Forever and ever.
45 And I will walk at liberty,
For I seek Your precepts.
46 I will also speak of Your testimonies before kings
And shall not be ashamed. Psalm 119:44-46
And, the words of Messiah Yeshua,
Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
If you’ve been through or are going through some rough waters as a result of understanding Scripture the way it was written (from a Hebrew perspective), then know you are not alone. In spite of the bumps and hurts, there are many blessings and the depth of Scripture begins to open glorious views and understanding.
Yahweh bless you, and keep you;
Yahweh make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;
Yahweh lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace.
B’shem Yeshua Hamashiach, Sar Shalom!