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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.

    To borrow from a Forrest Gump quote, “Law ‘keepers’ are like a box of chocolates - ya never know what you’re gonna get!” The goal of JGIG is to be a resource to help those affected by the Torah pursuant movements to try and sort out what they’re dealing with. Make use of the tabs with drop-down menus found at the top of this site – there’s tons of info there, and it’s very navigable.

    Be sure to click on the many embedded links within the posts here - there's lots of additional and related information for you to access that way, as well.

    Welcome, and may God grant you wisdom and discernment as you consider all of these things.

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Celebrating the Birth of Christ – The Reality is Christ . . . . . (ya bone-heads) . . .

2005-mar7-16

In the writing of the previous post, Christ’s Birth – Why It’s Okay to Celebrate, I was aware of the controversies regarding the “history” of Christmas, but perhaps was not up to speed on the passion that some feel when it comes to their hatred for all things “Christmas”.

Wow.  My heart is grieved that so many put so much energy and hate into something that has been so clearly perverted by the Enemy.  There are several comments that have come to JGIG that were not fit to approve because they were completely agenda-driven and full of stuff that has nothing to do with the true celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, nor did they contain any thoughtful, personal experience or insight as did the comments that were approved.

So determined are some to convince those of us who do celebrate the birth of Christ that we should not that one commenter even plagiarized an article, making it seem as though it was her personal comment.  She made assertions that infant males are sacrificed on Christmas Eve, so I did a search to see if there was any documentation for such a claim.  I found something that looked familiar and what do you know?  There was an article that matched the commenter’s “experience” and “insight”, word for word.  When I emailed her about it, the exchange ended with her telling me to stop wasting her time.  Um . . . okay, I’ll do that.

Did you folks who sent those comments even read the previous post?  Can you not recognize a heart in a right place of worship for the Lordship and advent of  Jesus Christ?  Have you read Luke 2?  There was a celebration!  There was a distinct event and a marking of that event by God Himself.  The fact that the Enemy has perverted the event that was foretold in prophecy and has continued to pervert it after the actual event occurred – including in the hearts of those I’m speaking of  – does not change the reality of the event itself.

Is it so far out of your mental grasp that JESUS IS THE REALITY that MANY CHRISTIANS HONOR at Christmas time???

Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.  These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.  (Colossians 2:16-17)

I spent some time poking around at a couple of forums which had linked here to JGIG regarding the Hebrew Roots Movement.  There were discussions there about Christmas that were incendiary.  These were supposed believers that were sniping and ripping (I am being kind in my description of the treatment of some by these people) at other believers simply because they choose to celebrate the birth of their Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

christm-as20toon

They take something that is for many Christians a sacred time of honoring God and turn it into something evil and ugly, claiming that Satan had “first dibs” on all things Christmas.  To all of you demon-behind-every-bush types I say save it.  You’re judging the hearts of people you don’t know, making ASSUMPTIONS about how they worship, WHAT they worship, WHO they worship, taking scriptures out of context and projecting evil where there was none originally (speaking of Luke 2 and the REALITY of the event again here).herb20roasted20turkey203a

Yep, I am aware of the pagan origins of many modern Christmas customs and traditions.  And my goal is not to convince you of anything except that the reality for me is CHRIST.  PERIOD.  There’s no tree-worship or child-sacrifice or sun-worship going on at our house.  And some of you Torah-observant types might be comforted to know that we prefer turkey over wild boar ham for our celebration dinner.   We just celebrate with hearts full of gratitude that God was willing to dwell among men in the flesh as Jesus Christ.

The lack of character and integrity I’ve seen demonstrated in those who vehemently oppose Christmas speaks for itself in the parallel demonstration of the fruits that they bear.  And the fruit is not good, folks.  It’s ugly and rancid and not fit for consumption.

[I’m done venting now.  Merry Christmas to the rest of you!]

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For some good articles covering the issues of paganism, date setting, and traditions concerning Christmas, click on the following links:

“Should Christians Celebrate Christmas?”

“Are Christian Holidays Pagan in Origin?”

“Should We Have a Christmas Tree?”

“Was Jesus Born on December 25th?”

“Do Some Christmas Traditions Have Pagan Origins?”

“Is Christmas Pagan?”

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Other Holiday-related Posts:

There are also links to articles from other sources regarding holidays on the Articles Page here at JGIG.

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Other articles of interest:

For more resources regarding the Hebrew Roots/Messianic movements see the Post Index and the Articles Page.  General study helps, discernment, and apologetics sites can be found HERE.   Make use of the tabs with drop-down menus found at the top of this site – there’s tons of info there, and it’s very navigable.

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2 Responses

  1. Thanx Wendy, for a well written response to those who hate Christmas.

    I was one of those types at one point. Quite literally, the way the pagan traditions were presented and thrown at me in my Messianic days, I was terrified for what I had committed against God, and in turn, despised Christmas with every fiber of my being. It ruined Christmas for me the last several years.

    Slowly, I gained some balance – in part, due to your last article on Christmas and some of your posts that I read on a forum the past few weeks. So if you ever feel like God doesn’t use what you write, think again :)

    Bottom line, for the first time in 8 years I have come to more peaceful resolution. But I don’t believe I will ever go back to the way I was. Far too much of my time was spent on Christmas – the traditions, decorating, and shopping. I am still bothered by a lot of what I see as extraneous and self centered. If we could just keep it simple, like the lowly shepherds who were the only visitors to the manger on that special night. They had no gifts but their hearts, kneeling in worship before their Savior and King of kings.

    I pray that the simplicity that is in Christ fills your heart with joy in this season …….

    For the Love of Truth,
    sheep wrecked
    http://fortheloveoftruth.wordpress.com/

  2. Here’s my take on celebrating Easter, but the same conclusion applies to any formerly-pagan holiday coopted by Christianity!

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