We have the luxury of having milk goats and therefore, fresh milk. One of the interesting things about fresh milk is that the cream rises to the top. Most know this, however, the dairy industry has virtually erased the examples from our refrigerators by taking some cream off the milk, then homogenizing the rest.
The process of homogenizing is a bit violent in that the milk is processed in such a manner that the fat globules in the remaining cream are broken up to such a degree that they will remain suspended in the milk rather than rise to the top. As such, every tablespoon of milk, from top to bottom in a gallon will look exactly the same. supposedly, consumers like this.
Me? I know better. I love skimming cream off of the top of a couple quarts of fresh milk for my coffee, or to enrichen some delicious dish. Mashed potatoes with fresh cream… (Now, that is ‘the bomb.’)
Recently, I’ve had several conversations concerning the divisions in the Hebraic movement. There are so many divisions that it is hard to fathom Yeshua’s final prayer with the disciples. He prayed for, among other things, unity!! He prayed they (us) would be ‘one.’ Echad!
Yet, a cursory look at Christendom and we find little unity… even less among the Hebraic. The Adversary must be delighted! (But, I digress.)
Does ‘unity’ mean ‘homogenous?’ Let’s consider the definitions and some Scripture.
adjective ˌhō-mə-ˈjē-nē-əs, -nyəs
: made up of the same kind of people or things
: of the same or a similar kind or nature
According to Merriam-Webster, ‘homogenous’ leads to everyone looking, being, doing pretty much the same.
: the state of being in full agreement
: a way of combining the parts in a work of art or literature so that they seem to belong together
b (1) : a definite amount taken as one or for which 1 is made to stand in calculation <in a table of natural sines the radius of the circle is regarded as unity> (2) : identity element
b : continuity without deviation or change (as in purpose or action)
b : a combination or ordering of parts in a literary or artistic production that constitutes a whole or promotes an undivided total effect; also : the resulting singleness of effect or symmetry and consistency of style and character
Unity, means working together, even looking like the parts belong together, but not necessary all looking alike. Much like a Rolex watch, the parts work together, belong together, and function as a unity (echad: one), however, each part/gear etc is different.
In the Hebraic we really need to consider how to love each other despite not all looking alike, talking alike or understanding alike. Rav Shaul/Paul said something about ‘one body many parts…’
Where we often err is thinking we have a lock on all truth and everyone else must look, act, walk as we do, else they are wrong. we fail to stop and consider we are each at different places on the ‘trail,’ and we each have blind spots and things we need to work on.
As Yeshua prayed for unity, surely He was not thinking of ‘homogenous’ copy-cats who all look the same. We have only to look at nature and see the great diversity in creation!
Consider the use of the word ‘echad.’
First use is in Genesis 1:5.
5 God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one (echad) day.
The ‘one’ day was composed of two different parts: light/day and darkness/night. Still, the two very different parts make ‘one’ (unified) day.
Another very early and more applicable use is Genesis 2:24,
24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one (echad) flesh.
I don’t think anyone would argue that man and woman are identical or even similar in some ways. In fact, many marriages, an echad/unity, is a combination of two rather different individuals who come together and covenant to walk in unity, even if it mean working out or working through tough differences.
In many respects, the Hebrew roots movement is like a marriage in that there are many disparate people and personalities with myriad different understandings and all the attendant squabbles. Where we completely fail is in remembering that we are in a marriage covenant! As such, divorce is NOT an option! Division over minor issues is NOT an option, yet countless people think it is with lame excuses about minor differences that are better left for the Messiah to sort out.
Do we really want to bring joy to the heart of our King and be a light in the world? To do so, we MUST learn to walk in love and peace even when we may not completely agree on many of the issues that plague us.
My very great concern is that our Father will bring unity, only if we do not arrive at that point the ‘easy way,’ He will get us there through tribulation! The crucible of persecution has a wonderful way of erasing our penchant for division over minor things… but, is that the way we want to get there? Are our necks so stiff that we cannot learn to love each other?
I think we can, but it takes each of us seeking our Father in prayer and repentance and then, as each of us walks toward HIS Light, we will be drawn closer and closer together. rather than ‘crossing each other’s lines,’ we’ll be coming to meet together at the foot of the Messiah!
I would encourage each of us to seek the peace and unity of our brothers! Seek even peace with the Church that we may win some. Seek peace and unity in as many ways as possible with brother Judah. Let Messiah sort things out, but we accomplish nothing by dividing, bickering, backbiting and being out of fellowship with each other.
Let us focus prayerfully on how we can walk in greater love and unity with our brothers, both in the Messianic and with those around us!
For an additional study and deeper Scriptural look at echad and unity, see 119’s Echad!
11 thoughts on “‘Unity’ does not mean ‘Homogenous’”
Makes me think 12 different tribes with 12 different personalities , unique traits, blessings etc
Exactly!! Why so many people think we all have to look the same is a bit of a mystery… Pride? (I’m right! attitude..)
Praying you guys are well! Looking forward to meeting the new addition!
Ain’t that the Truth!!! Watched this 119 echad on Shabbat. Recommend it highly.
Where is the “love” button? “Like” just doesn’t cut it! I believe you have written the true heart of the Father! Fantastic post, Pete — and one we must constantly be reminded of.
If we step back from the “Messianic” trees, we might actually be able to see the forest that makes us echad. I believe more and more are moving from a love of separation to a love of unity, which is far more mature. When we are stuck in separation, we confuse unity and compromise. Your analogy cuts through that confusion beautifully. (Still haven’t watched the video; I’ll do that tomorrow) 🙂
If you don’t mind, I will reblog this tomorrow from my desktop. 🙂
Happy to have the reblog.
Your mention of maturity and trees immediately opened in my mind a picture of mature hardwoods… Beautiful, tall, strong, but many different varieties… Poplar, maple, walnut, etc… Different characteristics, different elements of beauty, different shades of color and types of fruit, but much stronger standing together than as individuals against the wind.
Reblogged this on GRACE in TORAH and commented:
This article by Pete Rambo gives a wonderful analogy of what the real meaning of being echad or one (Unity) is from a Hebraic perspective. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Don’t think that I came to bring peace !
So should Moses just have loved Korah? (Though YHVH had the ground swallow them up) Maybe Phinias should not have taken a spear to that couple (though Father gave him and everlasting covenant of peace).
What I am saying is that our issues are sometimes real “dividers”; and we need to make sure we don’t find ourselves missing this mark on the side of compromising on His truth either.
I had a brother suggest that if YHVH asked us to each make a picture of an island, we would all have different pictures and that YHVH would be pleased with all of them. I pondered that and believe that instead He might have asked us to pray and have the Holy Spirit show us each a picture to draw; yet show each the same picture so we all drew nearly the same thing.
The Holy Spirit is to convict us of sin, righteousness, and the judgment to come.
Is it too much to think that the Holy Spirit is convicting us each of sin? Sin is the transgression of Torah, isn’t it? So if all obey the conviction of the Holy Spirit (and not any other spirits) wouldn’t we be finding that we all are moving towards the same understanding of Scriptures?
When we are on different days for feasts, can anyone suggest we are all correct? How important was getting the first Pasach done on the right night? If you don’t keep unleaven bread at the right time, aren’t we cut off from Israel? Is that bad, have any consequences?
Is there more than one day for Sabbath, can YHVH both delight in the evening to evening of Friday to Saturday and also delight in a lunar calculation? Does He bless both?
Maybe we face this problem “going backwards” harder than our fathers leaving Egypt because we do not have a “Moses”. Yet, Moses when he needed clarification asked the Heavenly Father and that was that. Do we seek the same Father for these answers today? Does anyone argue that He tells us “different” answers to bring diversity? Wouldn’t that make Him the author of confusion?
I know this is hard, but it seems the answer from many is “just accept everyone’s truth” rather than suggest there is one truth and fall on our faces until He gives it to us.
The world looks in at what we are doing and sees “confusion” and “strife” which they already have enough of in the world and “christiandom”; so in our “soup of confusion” we offer nothing appealing.
Accepting all truths as equal is not the solution in my opinion, yet it is only my opinion, maybe truth doesn’t matter, and maybe He has many truths? Wait, maybe that is the spirit of antichrist, and not His Holy Spirit after all.
I watch many ministries seemingly becoming more and more tolerant of this “confusion”. They suggest something, and some time later they change their minds. Did YHVH tell them the truth the first time? Do they change because the Holy Spirit changed their minds, or pressure from men? Will that position change again as a different wind blows?
We are working backwards and it appears we are like the body at the end of Judges “every man doing what is right in his own eyes”. Where is “our Moses”; where are our Nehemiah and Ezra?
Has anyone read Hosea lately to see what Ephriam is about to suffer for this embracing of “confusion”; or Zechariah’s last few chapters so see what Judah is about to suffer for the almost the same thing? Have we read Isaiah 24 and see that our “confusion” is breaking His Torah, changing His ordinances; and breaking His everlasting covenant; therefore is defiling this earth?
Yeshua said He was the way, the truth, and the life…….. I am quite sure He did not teach different Sabbath, different calendars, changing ordinances, and most certainly was not accepting of the teachings of the Pharisee’s and Scribes when they added to or took away from His Torah.
I pray this post will be heard in the tone that it is being written, grieving for our souls and the souls that need to see unity brought to us through His Spirit and His Truth, as the days are short.
I understand exactly what you are saying and agree with most of it. Where disfellowship often occurs is in trying to BE the holy Spirit and the Judge in directing others to the truth we understand or has been revealed to us.
I think the post wrapped up with us all facing the Father and praying walking toward Him and letting HIM sort it out.
Calendar? I’m on record as saying I think Yeshua will have to bring final solution there, though the Spirit is continuing to lead and we may all draw much closer to a unity of understanding.
Sabbath? That is a lot easier.
Where we go awry is when I use my understanding as a hammer on fellow believers who are trying to learn/walk Torah… If we can be half as patient with our brothers as the Father has been with us, the landscape might look a lot different.
In terms of homogeneity, there are many things that are ‘non-essential’ that we can look different in…. We can still walk in unity without demanding that brother so-and-so use the same chant tune for the Shema… or other absurd point of division.
I total agree! What I am saying is that the Holy Spirit must lead, and we follow Him, not men.
Yeshua once preached such a divisive message in John 6 that everyone left Him except His 12 and He even asked if they too would leave. Truth does divide.
What I am saying is all too often men have just learned from other men, not the Holy Spirit. We use the name we were taught by men, calendar…….etc. We can tend to follow men, so many also can then become “men pleasers” rather than God pleasers.
As you and I have discussed, maybe our situation is evidence that we have not attained the “new/renewed covenant” because it appears men are still teaching men, not all hearing rather from YHVH.
I am not suggesting I have the answers, or that I have total truth, I am sure I do not, as I have never had the Holy Spirit confirm every matter I believe in that small still voice. What I am suggesting, as you seem to be is that we should carefully try and categorize what is a point of division and what is not. My concern is what I am hearing in many ministries (not yours) that are suggesting dividing is never required.
For instance: a elderly brother told me he told his Group Leader on Shabbat that although he came to his fellowship, he didn’t agree with him on all points; but sees no reason to divide on doctrine.
I asked that man if he was ever in a Sunday Church. He said, Yes! I then asked him why he left. He answered “I didn’t agree with their doctrine!” and then said “Wow, how did I miss this! I left the church when I saw false doctrine, while staying where he now was for sake of unity.”
He had said it didn’t matter if many in the body at different levels had various doctrines; but he was in a place where his “leader” lead on Sabbath (Saturday) morning services though he was a “lunar Sabbath believer” who also believed the Torah was not for the church: that they were fine as long as they did the 4 things in Acts 15.
I asked if he was giving his stamp of approval on his “leader” and his doctrine if he stood in that body. His answer was yes. I asked if a new comer should thereby believe what that “leader” would teach that person because of that standing in his group, and therefore if they heard “lunar sabbath” teaching in their ear and departed for that, did he have any “liability”. It was then he realized what he was even doing if he was there. It wouldn’t have been so dangerous if only one had that doctrine, but could now see that the leader had a higher responsibility and he did as well in whom he stood with.