Now some of you may be thinking that this is not a problem. Many think that denominationalism is and has been the problem for centuries. They think that it is denominationalism has caused all the strife and trouble for centuries sometime exploding in actual wars back in Europe. People may have fought wars over religion but the denominations were never behind it. Wars are fought over power or money. Who has it and who does not. Religion is just the rallying point.
Historically when a group/denomination has broken away from a previous religious organizations, they have sat down and organized their new way of thinking and behaving, mostly to explain to those they have left, why they have left.
One of the reasons for the Messianic/Hebrew Roots community’s hesitancy to write down our new ways of thinking and behaving, is that we come from many other denominations. We did not just come out of the Roman Church as the Lutherans did, or out of the Lutherans as the Evangelical Free etc. We have come pretty much from ALL the preceding denominations. We have staggered out into the Light of the Festivals with luggage from a miss matched set of trunks, cases, boxes, and bags. None of us wants to go through them all, so they just sit there in the corner of our thinking causing all kinds of problems for us.
Our congregations are full of people who are not coming from the same set of preconceived notions and few in this movement have studied enough church history and theology to sort it all out. With many thinking that opening these bags will only cause more hostility and discord, the problems are never dealt with. Pretending the problems are not there will never move us forward. We must get over our denial and take these problems on.
There is no need to reinvent the wheel. At Biet Sepher we have chosen to start with a Baptist Doctrinal statement because of the Baptism (a Mikva is a dunk after all). We have modified the parts on Shabbat. (However we would like every one to note that in 1689 the Baptists thought Sabbath was important enough to put in their statement, they did not think it had “passed away”.) We will continue to modify the Statement when and if things come to our attention.