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    Joyfully Growing In Grace engages in an examination of beliefs found in the Hebrew Roots Movement, Messianic Judaism, and Netzarim streams of thought and related sects.

    The term “Messianic” is generally understood to describe Jews who have come to believe in Yeshua/Jesus as their Messiah. Jews who are believers in Jesus/Yeshua typically call themselves Jewish/Hebrew Christians or simply, Christians.

    Many Christians meet folks who say they are ‘Messianic’ and assume that those folks are Jewish Christians. Most aren’t Jewish at all, but are Gentile Christians who have chosen to pursue Torah observance and have adopted the Messianic term, calling themselves Messianic Christians, adherents to Messianic Judaism, or simply, Messianics. Some will even try to avoid that label and say that they are followers of "The Way".

    These Gentiles (and to be fair, some Messianic Jews) preach Torah observance/pursuance for Christians, persuading many believers that the Christianity of the Bible is a false religion and that we must return to the faith of the first century sect of Judaism that they say Yeshua (Jesus Christ) embraced. According to them, once you become aware that you should be 'keeping' the edicts and regulations of Mosaic Covenant Law, if you do not, you are then in willful disobedience to God.

    It has been my observation that Christians who adopt the label of Messianic identify more with the tenets of Judaism than they do with the tenets of Christianity. Many reject the label of Christian altogether and some eventually even convert to Judaism.

    1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 says, "But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil."

    Joyfully Growing in Grace examines the methods, claims, and fruits of the Hebrew Roots Movement, Messianic Judaism, and Netzarim streams of thought and related, law-keeping sects.

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The American Concept of Harvesting

With all the news stories about farmers not growing this in order to grow that in order to make the other . . . well it got me to thinking about the farm “industry” in this country vs. the small local farmers.  And that made me think of this . . .

The American concept of successful harvesting is for a farmer to climb up into the big air-conditioned cab of their combine, fire it up, crank up some tunes, and proceed to mow down the fields before them.  There is little contact with the ground, and the harvest is swift.  The crop is shuffled off to the next stage in production (cleaning, sorting, inspecting) and then arranged neatly in attractive packaging for sale at market.

Hmmm . . .  do you see any elements of the above paralleling some [mega] churches and formula-based movements out there?

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5 Responses

  1. I think you’ve hit on a solid analogy here. So many pastors now seem to be looking for the air-conditioned tractor with the iPod mounted on the dash instead of being concerned with the state of the harvest. I have seen a steady increase in this sort of pastoral negligence over the past decade. It’s a shame, but it’s happening more and more.

  2. [tongue in cheek] No, not at all! What could you possibly be referring to? [/tongue in cheek]

    I definitely agree. I’ve been at the receiving end twice of pastors more concerned with the air conditioning that with the reality of the harvest. They were so disconnected from what was actually happening in the church that I was beyond shocked. I remember thinking, all you had to do was talk to these people for a minute or less, and you would have known! One was regarding regular attenders/volunteers who suddenly stopped coming. (Their child had fallen dreadfully ill and was in the hospital. A couple of liasons had called the church from the hospital to tell the leadership, but somehow, mixed messages or something. But How? I’ll never know.) The pastor went on and on about people who “failed to remember the admonishment to forsake not the assembling of ourselves together” and all but named the couple by name. Needless to say, a couple of members set him straight, and he claimed that he had been “so” busy lately. How in the world the whole church knew about it but he did not still blows my mind. He then went on to basically say that the kids was sick because of sin in the parents’ lives. We left there soon after.

    Sorry to write a book. But I’ve been touched by the fruit of this more than once, to the point that I am a bit dubious of many pastors (especially younger ones) in my area.

  3. Joy – I had actually gotten to the place where I wondered if it was my fault that I was seeing so much neglect of and abuse of the flock by pastors. But recently I have found many others who have seen the same sad trend. It is very unfortunate.

  4. Joy-

    Very good analogy.

    However it is 104 degrees fahrenheit today where I live so I would take the air conditioned combine if I was a farmer! Grin.

  5. Richard and Joy – Thankfully my observation has been one made from afar . . . no really bad personal experiences with leadership.

    Hutch – Yeah, yeah . . . what did we do before AC? (Stated by one who hibernates in AC in the hot hot summer here!)

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