I have joined (and left) a couple of Face Book discussion groups over the past month or two. The groups are titled as Messianic: either Messianic Jews and Christians, or Messianic Christians and Jews, or some combination, thereof. I joined them mainly because I want to get my name out there, get people interested in this website, this ministry and (most important of all) get the word of God out there to people who have only heard the word of religious leaders (which, if you haven’t guessed by now, I believe is sometimes the word of God and mostly the traditions of their particular religion.)
I believe from reading the multitude of postings that these people, except for a few nutcases who infiltrate the group, are “saved” in that they have accepted Yeshua as their Messiah and are becoming more Torah observant.
My problem with much of what I read is that there is constant talk about salvation, but without any real substance. Posting after posting of biblical quotes, dressed in pretty pictures and bold fonts, but without anything else. There is always something to learn and see in the bible, God always shows us each new meanings and increases our depth of understanding as we continue to delve into His word, but to just repeat what everyone else already has read, without explanation as to the message God has given regarding that scripture, or to just post pretty, rose-colored statements over, and over, and over again, is not really helping anyone.
Oh, yes- there are the customary “Beautiful- thank you” and “Just what I needed to see this morning” replies from people, encouraging more postings. But overall, we need to educate and edify each other, not just rote-repeat bible verses.
For the record, how to pronounce God’s name, the etymology of the word “Jesus” and using Paleo-Hebrew doesn’t edify or help anyone. I believe it only tends to confuse new Believers and is more in line with Gnosticism than with salvation through faith. I also disagree with the argument (I have read) for using Paleo-Hebrew, which is that knowing the “true” name of God and Messiah will prevent the enemy from fooling us into following a false Messiah. That is really hard for me to accept, mainly because if we concentrate on the word of God instead of how to pronounce His name, we would recognize the false (or the true) Messiah, as we can recognize a false or true Believer, by the fruits he bears. And by relying on the Ruach Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit) to make sure that we aren’t fooled. Spiritual insight doesn’t come from studying Paleo-Hebrew- it comes from faith, from reading the bible to know what to expect, and from wearing the armor of God (Ephesians.)
I have found people in these groups that do have substance, but they are the remnant, so to speak, within the groups.
Another problem, which has caused me to quit at least one group, is that too often these discussions are very nasty. People have been accusatory, belittling others and highly judgmental- not what you would expect to find from a group of “Born Again” people.
You may be wondering why I stay in these groups- I do it because (and forgive me for sounding egocentric) I believe I can act as a mediator, and also bring substance into these discussions. If I do, I credit God with working through me to do so, because I don’t think, on my own, I could get through to most of these people. It seems (to me) that they wear their salvation like some coat of many colors, reveling in flowery rhetoric and spitting out bible verses in pretty pictures with artistic backgrounds but accomplishing nothing of value.
DREK!! I say: be happy in your salvation, be joyous in knowing what God has done for you- all that is fine! More than that, if you are going to be part of a discussion group, then discuss something, for the love of Pete! Stop worrying about useless dribble that doesn’t help save anyone, stop serving up empty calories that taste good but don’t nourish anyone, and put some meat on the table.
OK… sorry…I got a little carried away there. Whew!! Take deep breaths, Steven…deeeeep….breaths…..
I don’t want anyone who is a member of one of these groups and reading this to feel insulted- that is not my purpose. Far be it for me to insult someone while saying how bad it is that people insult others, right? I am trying to ask, in my usual tactless way, for those in discussion groups to discuss things that are relevant to salvation, that help new Believers know what God expects of them (which is found in the Torah) and to help others who have been influenced (what I really mean is brainwashed) by “religion” to get back to the basics, which are the commandments and regulations God gave us in the Torah.
Also, I am not saying we should “Judiaze” the world: maybe we can just suggest that it wouldn’t hurt for people to do what God said He wants us to do. I assume members of these groups to be Jews learning about their Messiah and Gentiles learning about their Jewish roots, and as such, we should concentrate on helping each other do just that. Quoting bible is fine, discussing modern day problems as we associate them to biblical events is fine, and even an occasional discussion about archaeological findings and historical events is OK, so long as we don’t get too zealous about it. I totally disagree with the spelling of the names of Messiah and God that I see in these groups, but I am not going to argue about it. What value will that have? If I am saying it wrong, or if they are, so long as we pray to the one that the name represents we should be OK. I think God and Messiah are big enough to handle a mispronunciation of their name.
If you are in a FB group, or thinking of joining one, please try to have discussions and give messages that have substance, that will edify and help encourage others, and don’t just throw out so much “fluff.” There is plenty of that already in religion.