Lately, I have been pondering the chains of tradition and why they cause us such angst when we make a break from the accepted warped norms. I recall the first six months of our transition to Torah and remember multiple times, waking in a cold sweat and running to the kitchen table where my books were often laid out to be reassured once again that the Scriptures indeed say the Torah is forever and THE way of life. The Christian traditions of my fathers and the doctrines I learned in seminary and then parroted from the pulpit had indeed become chains upon my soul.
Now, don’t misjudge what I just said, because Christendom contains much, MUCH, truth, but mixed with that truth are pillar doctrines that are demonstrably false. The angst comes when we finally know, undeniably, that the pillar is wrong, yet we want to still cling to it even though we know we must remove it. Let me give you a practical example, then a real life theological example.
Tearing down walls…
Over the summer my school schedule lightened a bit, so I decided to do a little remodeling in the house. Central to the remodeling was the decision to open up the pantry/kitchen/living room area. To do so, I needed to remove two load bearing walls, something I have never done before.
I thought about the process for weeks. I would look at the walls, tap on them, picture how to do it. I crawled under the house a couple times to find the support piers. I knew how to do it, but fear gripped me as I pictured all of the potential disasters of a misplaced beam, or accident.
I purchased 2x10x10s to make the replacement beams out of and had all supplies on hand when I decided one Sunday morning to open up the first wall. Upon doing it, I realized, because the two walls come together at a 90º angle, I would have to open both walls simultaneously before either beam could go in. Once opened, I was committed, but tied in knots. I removed everything but a central stud in each wall, measured and made my beams, carefully instructed my helping boys, then took a deep breath. Angst, that deep ill-defined dread, gripped me. I was about to make a major shift in the weight of the house.
With everything ready, and well beyond the point of reassembling the now destroyed walls, I cut the supporting stud, hammered it out of the way and quickly swapped the beam into place in each wall. Preparation took hours, but the final moments of angst and giving over to the new wall-less paradigm by swapping the remaining studs for beams took just a few stressful minutes. Then, a long exhale and a step back to reveal the whole new and much improved area between those three rooms.
Cleaning it up and dressing it all up with sheetrock, molding and paint took another couple weeks, but today the rooms are considerably more open. Air and people flow is better and lighting is much improved.
The point, as I began with, is that shifting from the safety of a known paradigm, even if one is convinced of the truth and improvement of the new paradigm, can be very, very stressing. The anxiousness of taking the leap, from inherited traditions to greater truth can be chains upon our soul. Choosing to leave the herd, or turning to swim upstream can be very scary, but it is where freedom is, once we break the binding chains of doctrines and traditions that are not true according to God’s Word.
A practical theological example is the discussion my wife and I had yesterday evening as we drove toward a weekend get away. The subject was teenagers and sex and she said something like, “That is supposed to be kept until after marriage!”
I asserted, “No, sex, according to Torah, IS marriage. If two people enter a sexual relationship, they have, according to Torah, become ‘one flesh’ and are married.”
This led to a spirited discussion with her trying to defend the Christian/Western cultural position that marriage happens at a ceremony with Judge or preacher/priest, while I asserted that Torah does not support that. Marriage happens when the two come together into physical union whether after the ceremony or months before.
She said, “Well, what about us? Neither were virgins and we were together before we saw the Justice of the Peace, did we commit adultery?”
“Yes, what we did in ignorance has been forgiven, but according to Torah, God’s Word, we were wrong,” I replied.
“I just don’t buy that,” she huffed.
The conversation drifted off to other topics and I again pondered the angst of paradigm shifts.
Several years ago I wrote a lightning inducing article titled “Marriage, Divorce and Christian Error.” It caused quite a heated discussion as it delved into multiple related topics from a Torah perspective, so I eventually locked the article. What I found most amusing and troubling was the number of solid truth-loving teachers that contacted me privately to say they agreed with the article and the assertions, but they would never say it out loud or defend me. People cling to their traditions and don’t want some pieces of truth. The wall of anxiety caused by a shifting paradigm is too much for most to face.
Coming to Torah requires facing a number of anxiety inducing walls. We must jettison false traditions and embrace the new pillars of Scriptural truth. As a people of truth, though, we must be willing to move farther forward and continue to root out other cultural and doctrinal traditions that don’t line up with Scripture. This requires facing the anxiety, but knowing that there is freedom on the other side!!
More I could say, but this ought to spawn some discussion about the anxiety of paradigm shifts. A few testimonies would be nice, too!
Blessings and Shabbat shalom!
9 thoughts on “Musing: The angst inducing chains of tradition…”
Thanks for sharing what you have wrestled with and are wrestling with. The ‘consumate the marriage’ does appear to be YAH’s way according to Torah:-) As to tradition, I am reluctant to dive into another tradition from another one. On both sides, Jewish and Western Christian, there is tradition mingled with Truth. It seems what Y’shua (Jesus) railed against so forcefully was the oral-torah or tradition of Israel 🇮🇱 at the time vs Torah written on the heart by the Ruach haKodesh that leads to the freedom and rest he speaks of and invites us to.
One somewhat cloaked big one for instance is not using the Fathers Name. It was practiced then, it is practiced today. Whether intentionally or ignorantly. Y’shua made it pretty clear that he taught and used the Father’s Name, יהוה, several places. But today the tradition of the Jews, Orthodox, is to follow the same tradition that was implemented 200 years or so before Y’shua arrived on the scene. And Western Christians, mostly out of ignorance I think, use titles like ‘God’ and ‘Lord’, etc. with little understanding of grasping the significance or importance of His Name. So, it is easy to go from one wrong tradition to another wrong tradition for whatever the reason may be but it is still following a tradition and not Torah. That is the example that came to mind although I didn’t know I was going to write that when I started:-) Shabbat Shalom.
Around 20 years ago, When I was first aware of the whole debate about using the Name of God, I admit it frustrated me a bit, and so I simply prayed and wanted an answer of what His Name meant. He’s always been my Daddy Abba, and as I prayed I was given what may seem like a child like answer, but it was awesome and profound to me, and I wrote it down.
W-ill be my
That is a beautiful thought. Thanks for sharing it. I recently met a gentleman, Chris, who is the first person I have had a conversation with who died. We ended up talking for a couple of hours. I don’t think he goes around talking about it as his story was not particularly rehearsed but he died about 13 years ago while being treated by two neurosurgeons after a motorcycle accident without a helmet. All that to setup this thought. I asked him if he ever heard of ‘Heaven is for Real’. He had not. Said he would be interested in reading the book though. Low and behold, later that evening when my wife and I stoped off at a thrift store, there it it was on the shelf, ‘Heaven is for Real’, Todd Burpo, dad of Colton. Love this quote from Colton that I think ties back into your Daddy Abba and childlike answer thoughts: “Well Jesus told me he died on the cross so we could go see his Dad.” I am staying in contact with Chris and told him I found the book that night after meeting him and have it for him when we meet up again and he can tell me how it jives with his experience during his brief encounter at the gate!:-) Father YAH’s Blessing and Shalom.
Yes, we have been coupled and bound to so many traditions that have become essentially pillars in our religious systems. They have so conditioned our thinking and become so concreted into our being that getting back to the simple, pure righteous ways of instruction from YHVH seems sacreligious to many.
Every concept our Father gave us simply to ensure life in us and to bring up a fitting bride has been so corrupted – just by mixing a little un-truth or building a fence for our own protection through traditions.
The most prevalent Scriptural concept -Marriage, has been so maligned that very few believers have even a clue to the Father’s intent and purpose. (I agree with your statement of Biblical marriage, Pete.) There is so much to be said and done to demolish this old pillar and restore His older, original Standard. Should be very easy, if indeed It is in our mouth and in our heart…
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My wife replied: ‘Excellent article’. It struck a chord with her:-) Shalom
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Surely ‘marriage’ would have needed witnesses, dowry, ketubah etc? Otherwise, in this day, many would be ‘married’ at a very young age to an abuser and so destined to a life of aloneness or adultery…
Torah addresses this very issue.
The purpose of the post is not to argue the points of marriage, but to discuss the challenges of actually digging out and abiding by the truths in Torah and the whole of God’s Word.
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Most people don’t understand the subtle delusions and deceit from the Truth of scripture. Although they talk about separation of church and state, I find that most of the religious principles taught in churchianity, are very much entwined with the government. Like marriage for instance. As you say, marriage IS,
By Torah standards, the sexual union, according to Scripture; but most religion out there only recognizes it at the time a government paper license is signed, acknowledging the union on a state or federal level. As Yahshua meet the woman at the well, I don’t think she was a polygamist, in the sense of having 7 different paper licenses issued by the government of that day, but she was sexually intimate with numerous men, and He called her out on it. She was ashamed of her actions and turned from them that day. She DIDN’T have to go file divorce on all of them. It was in her heart, and bed that she had committed these unions. It is a sacred binding act and shouldn’t be taken lightly. We shouldn’t enter into these flagrant irresponsible sexual acts. This is called fornication, but was spelled PORNication. Most Godly people would not want to be involved in porn, but wouldn’t define a sexual act as porn, but basically that’s what it is if you do it flippantly with out a life long responsibility to that person. Maybe I’m too strict in my thinking, but I think what I say is Scriptural based on Torah. And I am guilty on many deviations of YHVH’S Law, some blatant and a LOT out of ignorance because of not having proper biblical teaching.
I was confused for a long time as I came out from all of the prostitutions of the churches that dish out a form of goodness that doesn’t totally line up. There’s just enough Truth there to keep the huge majority of masses hooked in. Others simply follow along because generations of their family are rooted in. (Funny when I spelled rooted my keyboard wrote it as rotted, and I had to correct it) I made a HUGE leap and change because I chose life for my son Derrick, 25 years ago, when the man wanted abortion. That simple obedience turned me to YHVH, and He began a process of removing the scales from my eyes. Now two decades later, I learned the Hebrew meaning of my son’s name is “A Way” and where we get the word direction. (Derek) So, YHVH has seen me, and provided A WAY for me to come away from the blindness and SEE His Truth! Shalom!
This is just privately meant for you, Pete – I get the impression you don’t like posting my ideas on your forum, yet, we see things so close – as in this particular case.
I am writing NOT to criticize or force you in any direction – that will come eventually by itself and perhaps sooner as we dare to consider each other’s ideas. I certainly read your blogs often and do learn from you, sure. So, just the few remarks on an important topic:
1.You write: “Marriage happens when the two come together into physical union whether after the ceremony or months before.’ Correct. If this happens between two souls just for fleshly pleasure or two unbound people, it is called ‘fornication’ – if no adultery factors are present, In any event, it is marriage like you observe which brings serious responsibilities in its wake. If witnessed Marriage results from it, there is no problem. Judaism according to Rabbinic interpretation has no judicial procedures for fornication, even for the category of just fleshly entertainment. While it is NOT approved, there is no judicial implications. There are however several serious backlashes in life for committing to it outside of marriage purposes, e.g. it subjects the female partner to ‘stoning’ if she is one day found by her future husband to not have been a virgin at marriage. And if she admits it to him then she may forfeit the marriage. If children are born from such fornication without marriage following, it is a social and family disaster. If a married partner commits to it, it earns the death penalty for adultery within the Marriage.
All this apart, I wish to pose the following consideration with regards to the 2-House Restoration.
Physical union between two partners consummate a Marriage. If such uniting results in Marriage it will be because of underlying uniting and binding love (even if there was pre-marital fornication). This can NOT come about without a bonding LOVE relationship. Love secures the marriage for the future: it forgives, forebears, makes up when cracked down on occasion, overlooks personal failures of the other spouse, makes allowance for weaknesses and mistakes by the other spouse. And here is a shocking realization: True love will even forgive the worst betrayal in the marriage, that of adultery! IF it is true Love which only can endure this highest form of betrayal of a Love Covenant.
This statement will surely raise eye-brows – but consider sometghing even more shattering: that THIS is exactly what HaShem is doing with taking back His harlot Bride, 10-Israel, whom He divorced as a roving harlot!
Jer. 3:8 Note entire chapter
“And I saw, when, forasmuch as backsliding Israel [The House of Israel Northern 10 Tribes] had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a bill of divorcement, that yet treacherous Judah her sister feared not; but she also went and played the harlot;”
Even more: This even in contradiction of His Own Torah
Deut. 24:1 “When a man taketh a wife, and marrieth her, then it cometh to pass, if she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some unseemly thing in her, that he writeth her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house,2 and she departeth out of his house, and goeth and becometh another man’s wife,3 and the latter husband hateth her, and writeth her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, who took her to be his wife;4 her former husband, who sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD; and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.”
What awesome Chesed based on Love – of the Creator for His Creation!
2. You wrote: “Lately, I have been pondering the chains of tradition and why they cause us such angst when we make a break from the accepted warped norms…. The Christian traditions of my fathers and the doctrines I learned in seminary and then parroted from the pulpit had indeed become chains upon my soul…. The angst comes when we finally know, undeniably, that the pillar is wrong, yet we want to still cling to it even though we know we must remove it. ”
So easy to see this in others and not in ourselves. Which is why we (you and I) have such a hard time bringing people to Truths – original Truths.
Just recently, through the very symptoms of fornication and marriage sticking out its head in my own close religious surroundings (I don’t want to define, you probably have heard the street version of it already), has powerfully taught me on these topics – of course, from the Jewish point of Torah view – hence I could share the above observations with you for what it is worth to you). These were my own inbred and Jewish cultured feelings before I consulted higher Rabbinic advice in this saga.
What I also learnt after 55 years on the Hebraic Restoration Track, is how devastating the Damage that the Church has done to us truly is. In fact, it is Church left-overs that still keep you back from overcoming the Angst for the Final Step. Back to the saga that I became enroped in: It was all about fornication by an unmarried person with consenting non-married partners. however, the Ephraimite ‘brothers’ in the Faith decided to take the Judgment Throne. I refused – from initial inner convictions (NOT condoning, but neither judging). After in-depth intrigues I learnt how that these brothers (Ten Tribers, thus still in Egypt with one foot) really justified themselves on basis of several direct confirmations from the NT, i.e. that they have the right to judge their brothers; should cast the sinners out and cut all relations with them. If NT is involved, then yes, they are correct – allowing of course for the NT to supercede the Torah as Ephraimites normally do (which I do NOT agree with -in my book Torah supersedes all – that is, Torah as interpreted by the 3500 yr old Jewish Academy of rabbinic learning. My logic question to these brothers was: Where are you going to stop your cutting off, for “we all sin and come short of the Glory of HaShem.” Of course, many Ephraimites believe that they do not sin.
Can you see in this, with me, the foundational seeds which are causing all the Division in 10-Israel / Ephraim? Judaism teaches NOT to personally judge anyone – even if they sin. For this judgment, the Torah defines appointed Justices and a Justice System. The same applies in all the world – you have law and order by appointed judicial faculties, or you have ‘kangaroo courts’ dishing out popular civi barbaric judgments. Christianity has awakened that ‘saintly’ justification in its adherents! They are holy, ‘Spirit filled’ and led by the HS’ – while they often reject Torah if not in total (like the formal Church) then partially while they are still exposed to Angst (like Ephraim (like re-awakening Ephraim) , as you so clearly point out.
Fact is: the Church and our previous Egyptian and current part-Babylonian culture has imprisoned us more than we ever can realize. And when we do realize, there is the Angst.
The solution?: If Judah can be related to the Bride (a 2nd metaphor (next to becoming the Bride of God) regarding the Restoration of ONE 12-Tribed House of Israel, then there is a lovely lady walking around, whom Ephraim does cast an eye upon because of her beauty and culture. However, Ephraim has been warned by the enemy of her ‘evil’ inclinations and ‘unfaithfulness’ to her Husband. In fact, she has been thoroughly black washed by the enemy . We don’t have to look further than the world presentation and treatment of Jews and the Jewish nation to see this confirmed.. They have few good words for Jews apart from when they are forced to admit Jewish wisdom, brain power and Israel leadership amongst the nations today. Hate overrules and prevents that Ephraim would ever get involved with and then intimate with this Lady to consumate a LOVING and forbearing Marriage!
This is truly part of the reason for the Angst.
How does one overcome it? Get the facts straightened out. Accustomize oneself with the beautiful Lady and test the accusations against her for yourself.
Angst will then turn into faithful Desire.
And LOVE shall overrule all. As a Jew, I have to commend the greatest Definition of Love I have ever found, as in 1 Cor. 13 in the NT. . THIS is the sort of Ephraimite Love that the beautiful Jewish Lady requires for a lasting (though what will be a rough) Marriage! THIS is the LOve that HaShem is revealing towards His stray and Lost Bride – 10-Israel. When she humbly and repentantly returns in tattered and shabby worn-out clothing HASHEM SHALL DRESS HER AS HIS QUEEN ONCE MORE!
The greatest Love Story ever told