Messianic/Hebrew Roots congregation are for the most part made up of people who have been lead to worship in a Biblical form. One way or another we have become aware that the worship we see in “inherited churches” came from very pagan sources. This is disturbing to us. The Lord’s Supper has been modeled after the initiation rites of the Mystery Religions, as is Baptism. The supremacy as well as the celibacy of the clergy (the not universal but differently practiced by some) has that same pagan source. We are convinced by Scripture that if it came from the Mystery Religions we should evict it from our worship, for we want no part of her sins.
1 After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority; and the earth was made bright with his splendor. 2 And he called out with a mighty voice,
“Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! It has become a dwelling place of demons, a haunt of every foul spirit, a haunt of every foul and hateful bird; 3 for all nations have drunk the wine of her impure passion, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown rich with the wealth of her wantonness.”
4 Then I heard another voice from heaven saying,
“Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; 5 for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. Rev. 18:1-5
As Messianic/Hebrew Roots people we now have two common challenges: How to deal with the inherited churches. And how to deal with the Jews. We need to turn to the Jews to find our how to construct our worship. However it is easy to forget that they have constructed a form of religion that denies Yeshua/Jesus is the Messiah. So there is a hazard of throwing the baby out with the bath water as well not recognizing that there is even a baby there in the first place.
We find ourselves hated by both groups. The church does not want to reform their form of worship. They clearly do not care about its pagan origins. The Jews see us as just more persecuting Christians who have found a new way to destroy the Jewish people. Messianic/Hebrew Roots congregations use conversion and assimilation. (We will deal with the details of the Jewish challenge in a later paper.)
Most of us have been terribly hurt by these people who claim to be worshiping the same God. We share our newfound freedom and joy. In our enthusiasm we thought that they would meet our information with the same joy that we did, that same feeling of freedom and relief. However we are often rejected and scorned. They do not care that God has a name, or that on Passover there are three separate pieces of unleavened bread or four cups of wine, or that Messiah rose on First Fruits. They are hostile and sometime threatening. The leaders say we are rebellious. Rebellious? How can telling the truth be rebellious? It becomes hard to continue being loving toward them. We feel abandoned and rejected. So we do, the up till now unthinkable thing, we leave the congregations we know.
At first this is all confusing to us. We don’t know why we receive such reactions. We asked ourselves, what did I do? I only spoke the truth. Why all this hate and rejection? What we have innocently sbled into is a situation where we are a threat to everything the leaders have built over the centuries. They have a vested interest in not rocking the boat. The clergy knows that Messiah was not born on Dec 25th, they know that Messiah did not rise on Easter, etc. They know these things but they rarely say a word. Occasionally we find one or two that don’t know these things. So how did they get so ignorant? And why would anyone sit under such ignorant teachers? Why are they not teaching truth? If it is the truth that sets us free, why have they left the truth?
“. . . and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8:32
The clergy need to maintain their leadership, as shepherds they are payed not to offend the sheep, the more sheep the more income. As we learned in Bible college, “he who has the biggest congregation makes the most money” and big congregations are made by accepting the most people regardless of their true spiritual standing with God. Never forget that the biggest money making month of the year is December followed by the weeks before Easter. People want to buy forgiveness the want righteousness without changing their lives.
Then I saw the wicked buried; they used to go in and out of the holy place, and were praised in the city where they had done such things. This also is vanity. Eccl. 8:10
The inherited churches have so long been captive to a pagan environment that they now identify with all things pagan. They have become comfortable wearing the shackles of paganism. This is called Stockholm Syndrome, where the captive comes to identify with their captors. Their captors have been kind and friendly. For almost as long as there have been Christians there have been deceivers among us. Century after century, generation after generation the web of lies has grown. To the point that the children now grown cannot imagine Christianity without Christmas, Easter or Sunday Worship hour. So their slavery continues. Anytime there is even a thought that the Messianic/Hebrew Roots people might be right, they have been taught to chant, “The Law has Passed Away.” They don’t even know that they are only quoting half the verse because they do not know where this verse is. They chant to drive out the truth.
Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law. Rom. 3:31
These purveyors of paganism have carefully rewritten history. Renaming and concealing the evil pagan roots behind their deceptions. They offer a good time, fun, sparkly lights. The church has been so long under these influences that they are completely brainwashed. What was evil and pagan, has been renamed and repurposed with Christian names, forever hiding the truth in lies and deception? The people are enslaved to forms and customs that were never part of the Bible. However these pagan ideas and practices have a spiritual component that we often don’t recognize.
For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Eph. 6:12
The spirits of these pagan holidays are real. (We will look only at one here.) The spirit of Christmas is an evil spirit, a spirit of envy and covetousness. He wants the children, the children that belong to God. If he can get the children he can often keep them for their entire lives. Lives of empty striving and greed. He has had many names in many cultures. To the Romans he was Saturn, to the Greeks he was Kronos, to the Austrians he is Krampus, and in the Bible he is called Molech.
Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from a man’s envy of his neighbor. This also is vanity and a striving after wind. Eccl. 4:4
The reason the inherited churches cannot see what we see is these spirits.
There are no magic words to liberate them. Yelling, “we have not Judaized, you have paganised” wins no friends and influences no people. There is no intellectual argument that will reach them. We cannot do the work of the Holy Spirit. We can only beg that He will move in the lives and renew their minds.
This is a spiritual battle, and many of us are not prepared for the battle. We haven’t put on the full armour of God Eph 6:10-24. We must not wade into this battle without armor. Note that there is nothing on our backs, we must always face the enemy and never ever run.
We must try to lovingly convince them that we are not their enemy. The enemy is and always has been paganism, all the way back to that tower in Babylon. The tower was a way to push God away from man and up into the heavens. Normal people wouldn’t have to know God. They wouldn’t have to face Him. They just needed to do what the pagan priest said.
Messiah came to free us from all that.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1Pet. 2:9
The preachers do not want such freedom for the sheep. They want to stand between the people and God. The people on the other hand are a bit lazy. A change would mean they would have to come to God on their own. Without a priest or pastor they would have to study.
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 2Tim. 2:15
All we can do is pray that God will open their eyes so they can see the vanity and nothingness of their actions.