A statement of faith. That’s what I thought my first post would be. As one who goes straight to a statement of faith whenever I go to a new place regarding matters of faith on the world-wide-web, my thought was that a statement of faith would be an appropriate place to start with this blog.
Having invested some lengthy study time into the issues that prompted me to start this blog in the first place, I feel moved to make my inaugural post one of a bit of reflection . . .
Here was little ole me . . . a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom-of-six, saved by Grace through Faith, having accepted the gift of the Blood of Jesus and His glorious and completed work at the Cross. Everything was just fine. Life is not perfect, but good, overall, with its normal ups and downs.
So who knew? Who knew that there were believers out there who actually kept the Mosaic Law, the Torah? Not only that, but who knew there were religious teachers out there who are actually teaching that Torah observance is mandatory for all Christians, (for as long as you might have that label after actually becoming Torah observant) right down to keeping nidah (look it up) and the dietary laws, along with all the appointed Feasts, Sabbaths, and Holy Days.
Who knew that there was a curriculum out there for homeschoolers that promotes the learning of the Biblical holidays and that families who go through the textbook feel commanded to keep Torah by the time they’re done?
Who knew that there were people out there who instigated an actual church split because they could not convince leadership that God mandates a hyper-patriarchal view of the world (women in the home – all women, even adult female children until marriage, mandatory homeschooling, mandatory courtship, only men vote, among other things)?
Who knew that there are people who have been actually told to leave not one, but three, churches because of inappropriate behavior when their ministry’s scriptural basis was questioned by leadership at those churches and they were asked to make themselves accountable? (This is a formula based child-rearing organization, with an emphasis on very early training, starting in infancy.)
Who knew that there was an institute out there that has placed millions of adherents under an umbrella of legalism, deceptively labeling itself as principle-based, when in fact it is rooted in Old Testament Law and promotes a skewed definition of grace? To be fair, the organization of which I speak has been beneficial to some, but has left many wounded and even shattered lives in its wake.
Never mind that God does not specifically command these practices or methods in scripture (though some would argue that He does command Torah observance for Christians today). The above ministries and formulas all claim to be grounded in the Bible alone. The parts of them that make them unique, however, are built on a system of extra-Biblical rules and methods, claiming that their way is how God mandates (commands) things should be done. Who knew?
Beware of legalism, dear reader. Where Grace is like a lubricant, keeping the machine of real life running for the race to which we are called, Legalism is sticky stuff, and applied long enough will seize the machine, sometimes irreparably. (We’re talking a metaphor for this paragraph folks, not a definition, so relax, I’m not saying that the definition of Grace is that it’s a lubricant.)
Two things I have come away with as I have become aware of these viewpoints and practices: 1) I kneel before God with thanksgiving that He has spared me from such things. I have been blissfully ignorant of these specific things (though not of legalism in general) until very recently. 2) I am grieved that so many, having the truth of the freedom purchased by the Blood of the Lamb, would put themselves under any kind of bondage – whether it be under someone’s “formula” for living, or putting themselves under the Law from which Christ freed us through His completed work at the Cross and with His Resurrection.
Why has God brought these things to my attention? I’m not really sure, yet. But I know He is preparing me with knowledge to be used for His purposes and in His time. I’m also grateful to Him for grounding me more deeply and firmly in His Gospel in the past few months. He is Faithful! What a joy it has been to refresh my spirit in Him and His Grace and His Word!
Filed under: "Law Keepers", Belief Sytems, Discernment, Formulas, Grace and Law, Hebraic Roots, Hebrew Roots Movement, Legalism, Religion, Torah | Tagged: Authority, Christianity, Discernment, Grace and Law, Hebraic Roots, Religion, Torah |