Two House: the mechanism, not the end result

Today is South Carolina National Shabbat and we are hosting the Washburn Family from Tennessee as they will be providing the music.  They got in yesterday evening and we had a blessed erev Shabbat hanging around the firepit.

The Washburns, as agreed, brought the challah, so when it came to that point in our simple setting apart of the day, I asked Tom to lead in  blessing the bread and the Bread of Life.  He held the bread up and began, “I am not a ‘two house’ person.  I am ‘one house’ because two house was never the Father’s will.  Sin is what caused two houses and the Father is bringing restoration!”

And, I could not agree more! Continue reading “Two House: the mechanism, not the end result”

Shooting Ourselves in the Foot….

Perhaps the very warmest memory I have of our recent trip to Israel was the incredible peace and unity at the First B’ney Yosef Congress.  I really do not remember a single theological debate or discussion.  Surely, between 135 people, Jew and non-Jew, representing 12 different nations from all over the planet, there had to have been some theological differences, but I saw zero manifestation  of disagreement.  Our focus was how to be used of Abba to begin taking steps to bring the Kingdom back together.

Since being back, I have had the joyous task of visiting several congregations and fellowships to report on what we did, discussed, and plan going forward.  One such report to a Sunday school class I have been guest teaching for the last five months was recorded and posted on this blog as part of the ongoing series. Then, this week in that same class I posted the video of us beginning to tackle some of Paul’s seeming ‘hard verses’ concerning obedience to the instructions of our Father.  As part of the introduction to the next couple lessons, I shared several resources for the new Messianic to consider.  More than the lesson itself, it was the resources I mentioned that generated discussion, primarily because neither of the authors (Tim Hegg and JK McKee) agree with the so called ‘Two House movement/theology’ in exactly the same way most attendees of the First B’ney Yosef Congress see Scripture.

***Now, I am NOT calling out anybody or pointing any fingers!***

What I do want to do is make a few observations that will be of value to the larger Messianic Movement, and especially of value for any who are seeking peace and unity for the sake of the Kingdom. Continue reading “Shooting Ourselves in the Foot….”

The ‘ger’ was expected to do what??

We’ve discussed ‘one law for all.’  Honestly, the alien/sojourner, the ger who joined him/herself to Israel is expected to do it all…  Look at this list of requirements from the Torah:

  • Keep the Sabbath (Ex. 20:10; Deu. 5:14)  (Targumim translate ‘within your gates’ as ‘in your cities/towns’)
  • Observe Pesach (Ex. 12:48-49)
  • Observe Feast of Unleavened/Chag HaMotzot  (Ex. 12:19) or be ‘cut off.’
  • Observe Shavuot (Deu. 16:10-11)
  • Observe Yom Kippur (Lev. 16:29)
  • Observe Sukkot (Deu. 16:13-14) (Same note as above on Targumim)
  • Participate in sacrifices (Lev. 17:8-9; 22:17-18, 31; Num. 15:14-16)
  • Observe all laws of purity!!  (Lev. 17:12, 15; 18:26; Num. 19:10;  (Proper observance of sacrifices and festivals required ritual purity!)
  • Obey moral laws (Lev. 24:16; Num. 15:14-16, 26, 29-30)

NOTE:  I was going to put an asterisk next to each verse where the Chumash incorrectly translates ger as ‘proselyte’ or ‘convert,’ but after looking all of them up I realized that at least they were consistent in their bias.  All of the preceding verses cited incorrectly translate ger. In doing so, they ‘anachronistically’ apply Second Temple Judaic proselyte conversion to the ger of the Torah, thus ‘adding’ to the Word of God.  But, we have written about that.  Hardly a… nuance.

But, there is hope.  Maybe the translators of the Chumash got tired or careless….  They got it right near the end of the Torah: Continue reading “The ‘ger’ was expected to do what??”

The solid Rock of…. the Rabbis?!?

I’m on whopping page 39 of Tim Hegg’s shifting-sandFellow Heirs and already have dozens of margin notes and thoughts.  While some come directly from his writing, others  not necessarily related to his topic have been generated  by something he says.  This is one of those thoughts…

Now, before I lay this thought out there, I have to state clearly, I am NOT unfairly addressing the Rabbis.  I am an “equal opportunity offender” and have dressed down many Christian theologians, Reformers, translators and doctrines. So, in addressing something with the Rabbis, it is not personal, just the business of seeking truth!  Fair?

Hegg, on page 21 said,

The Sages, following the destruction of the Temple, ruled that in lieu of the sacrifice an equivalent payment of money was required: “Our Rabbis taught: A proselyte in these days has to put aside a fourth [of a denar] for his sacrifice of birds.  Said R. Simeon: R. Johanan b. Zakkai held a vote on this rule and abolished it for fear of misuse.  Said R. Idi b. Gershom in the name of R. Adda son of Ahaba, The decision is according to R. Simeon.”   Once again, the fact that a Sage of the stature of Johanan B. Zakkai should seek to abolish the halachah because he saw it as potentially dangerous, should tell us that this requirement was also in some state of flux before the destruction of the Temple.  [Rabbinic quote footnoted from b. Keritot 9a in Fellow Heirs, by Tim Hegg]

Those two mentions of ‘abolish’ in regard to halachah hit me like a bolt of lightning!  Of course!  Halachah can change and is therefore Continue reading “The solid Rock of…. the Rabbis?!?”

Tales from the Bus. Wilfredo.

I got emotional this morning as I picked up a new 2nd or 3rd grade passenger, a smiling chap named Wilfredo.0ebe777a684f562898a53431348553af

Just yesterday afternoon, the second day of school, I was introduced to this young immigrant from Guatemala who speaks not a word of English!  Apparently, the previous day he had accidentally gotten on the wrong bus and had no clue how to communicate anything, never-mind his new address, etc to the new bus driver.  After he wound up at the bus office with frantic parents and school officials trying to sort the situation, you can imagine why yesterday the whole family was standing in front of the house, visibly relieved, when I dropped him off at the right place and time.  Smiles, waving and the littlest children leaping for joy.  Wilfredo was home!!!

I was an immigrant once.  Growing up as the eldest son of missionaries in the jungles of South America, I remember not knowing anyone, the language, culture, etc.  I learned, but it took time and I never felt like I fit in.  Even today, being a ‘third culture kid,’ I never feel quite like I fit in, so my heart really went out to Wilfredo as he boarded my bus.  Brave!

“Buenos dias, Como le va?” I greeted and he replied, amazed as are a few other Hispanics on my bus that I speak semi-fluent Spanish with a correct accent.  I am so glad that I can help him adjust and feel safe and secure in this transition.

After I dropped him off, as we began rolling I was suddenly overwhelmed with emotion Continue reading “Tales from the Bus. Wilfredo.”