Last week I was involved in a conversation on Pete Rambo’s blog that brought up several interesting points from both sides of the table regarding One Law. For those not familiar, and in simplest terms possible (because I tend to be long winded), One Law is the belief that Torah is valid for Jew and Gentile. Now before I end up with a bunch of comments pro and con, I only brought this up to share what is happening in my heart over the diversity within the body of Messiah. I am seeing some diversity that is good and brings honor to the Father. But I am also seeing some that is not.
The conversation on Pete’s blog was good. I follow Pete’s blog, as well as James Pyle’s. These guys are on opposite sides of the table regarding One Law. Yet both have blessed me with great information and inspiration. Both have caused me to question some of my beliefs in a way that either caused change or solidified. This type of diversity is a good thing. And as I study Judaism, I see this pattern of differing opinions questioning and discussing God’s Word throughout the ages.
But yesterday was quite a different experience, one that broke my heart. Before getting into what happened, I must say that I am quite used to hearing Gentile Christians say that they no longer see a place for Israel in God’s plans. For those unfamiliar with this belief, it’s called Replacement Theology. This says that the church replaced Israel. Again, comments regarding the rightness or wrongness will miss the point of this blog.
So on to yesterday and my experience on Facebook. A brother in the Lord, who is a Sephardic Jew, posted an article talking against Israel and the ‘genocide’ of Gaza. Yet this was only the tip of the iceberg. Anyone who commented in favor of Israel, trying to point out that Hamas started the war, kept breaking ceasefires, and guilty of various war crimes, were called names like fool, murderer, liar, and the like. He kept quoting scripture, asking someone to prove by scripture that Israel had the right to exist, or defend its people, saying we should turn the other cheek.
Then he really floored me – he said Israel was a pagan nation and God was going to wipe them out, and that the Old Testament was done away with!
I just didn’t know how to respond to that, so I didn’t…at least not until this morning. But I’ve got to tell you that my heart was breaking all day and night. I know the world can be deceived by the media, but a believer? And a Jewish one at that?
Then the verse, ‘even the elect may be fooled’ slammed truth home.
So this morning, I responded with couple of Apostolic Scriptures followed by these words:
The bulk of Yeshua’s teaching was to expound upon the Torah. The Israelites were expecting King Messiah to come. But His mission first was to come as the Son of Joseph, the suffering servant who dies on the battlefield. He returns as Messiah Son of David – the Conquering King. But what is most important is in Rev 19:30, where His name is The Word of God. And John tells us, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” Yeshua is the totality of the word. This includes the Hebrew Scriptures. Messiah did not come to change the Torah but to show us how to live it out in its fullness. If anyone says Yeshua did away with the Torah or any of the Hebrew Scriptures, they stand in agreement with those who falsely accused Him of the same thing, looking for a way to put Him to death.
And his response was that I have not accepted Yeshua in my life.
The diversity I experienced with Pete’s blog, (which, by the way is leading to more discussion in future posts) was a positive experience. It was an exchanging of ideas, whether or not we agreed with each other. As one who followed the conversation more than participated, I did not feel any animosity, though sometimes people appeared frustrated.
The diversity I experienced on Facebook was a completely different matter. It was not brothers and sisters discussing our various beliefs in a situation, but a judgment against and often outright hatred toward anyone who did not agree with his position. There was no ‘agreeing to disagree’, just condemnation.
And I don’t think that kind of diversity brings honor to our Father or to the Lamb who died to take away our sin nature.
What about you? What do you think?