Just as there are 2 roads – 2 paths you choose to follow, there are basically 2 kinds of people. There are those kind of people that choose the broad path, and there are those type of people that choose the narrow gate. Make no mistake though, just because there are two kinds of people, doesn’t mean that there is an equal number of each.
Yeshua (Jesus) said many when talking about those that choose the broad path . . .
Yeshua (Jesus) said few when it came to those that would search for and try to enter the narrow gate . . .
In the business world, we see two kinds of people:
- The guy that tells you what the problem is (many)
- The guy that offers a solution when he tells you what the problem is (few)
You see, you don’t have to know much about anything or have much skill or training to come up with the problems in the business world – it is an imperfect place and problems abound in business as in life. I used to tell my employees that I would listen to the problem on one condition . . . if they offered a solution as well. No solution = no complaint!
Maybe you are not understanding the point I am making. I will offer another example, albeit a cliché one at that: A glass with liquid in it that is utilizing exactly ½ or 50% of its capacity and space.
- Is the glass half full?
- Is the glass half empty?
The way you approach this simple question says much about you and your personality. I want to make sure we are on the same page so I will offer 2 more examples.
If you are young, you probably won’t remember the Cola Wars. Coca-Cola is and was a huge brand that put its primary emphasis on family and family values. Pepsi on the other hand, liked to paint people (consumers) that drank Coke as old, stiff, out of touch, and UN-hip – – – the older generation vs. the New Generation. I found them distasteful and disrespectful when I was young and I find them more so now. You see, instead of growing their brand based upon its own merit, they chose instead to make fun of Coke and Coca-Cola drinkers to make their brand more appealing.
This leads me to my 2nd example – politics. It seems very few politicians can run on their own merit. They spend hundreds of thousands of dollars – even millions of dollars discrediting the other guy to make themselves seem more appealing. That is not running a campaign based upon your own merit, this running a campaign based on the perceived “lesser of 2 evils.” It is distasteful and hard to take anything they say seriously when they do this. Instead of talking about the glass being half full, they talk about how the other guy’s glass in emptier than theirs . . . pitiful.
If you understand the points that I am making above, if I have been successful in framing the two sides properly, then you will understand the point of this post. What I am talking about exactly? Simple. I am talking about a division in the body of Messiah that is destructive to the core. One where you tear down the other to elevate your own status. You may have seen the memes flying fast and furious in your Facebook feeds or in your emails – especially during this holiday season. One side attacking another. Essentially the battle is:
I’m righteous and you are not.
One side will send out a meme stating how pagan Christianity is only to have a response meme stating how God’s Torah is no longer in effect. And the stone starts rolling down the hill from there . . . Both sides are vicious to the other . . . nothing neighbor loving about either side. Both sides claim to be in union with Him. Nothing in their words or actions are anything like he conducted His life:
1 John 2:6 (CJB)
6 A person who claims to be continuing in union with him
ought to conduct his life the way he did.
They quote the text back and forth – using the Word of God as a sledgehammer to bash each other’s brains out . . . to prove how much they are in His good graces and how much the other person is NOT . . . how utterly pathetic! How utterly sad!
It is called feuding . . . it is called fighting . . . it is called factionalism . . . it is called the old nature.
Sad part is, people that do such things (regardless of what they call themselves such as: Christians, Messianics, Hebrew Roots, One Law, or 2 House) will have no share in the Kingdom of God!
Galatians 5:19-21 (CJB)
19 And it is perfectly evident what the old nature does.
It expresses itself in
- sexual immorality,
- impurity and
- 20 involvement with the occult
- and with drugs;
- in feuding,
- becoming jealous and
- getting angry;
- in selfish ambition,
- 21 and envy;
- in drunkenness,
and things like these.
I warn you now as I have warned you before:
those who do such things
will have no share
in the Kingdom of God!
The Greek words used here are
ἔχθρα echthra – Enmity, hostility (In the secular or “Classical” Greek, personal hatred and quarrel are to be understood as well. The Septuagint (Translation of the 70) used it thus:
Genesis 3:15 (CJB)
15 I will put animosity between you and the woman,
and between your descendant and her descendant;
he will bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel.”
Make no mistake, you were warned in Galatians 5 that if you have this kind of attitude towards (especially a fellow believer), you will not see the Kingdom of Heaven. The reason is clear . . . to do so is to be hostile to the Creator as well! Messiah’s death also was to end this:
Ephesians 2:16 (CJB)
16 and in order to reconcile to God
in a single body
by being executed on a stake as a criminal
and thus in himself killing that enmity.
You see, there is much in the text that testifies against these groups of people. Most of them ignore the parts that testify against them and “cherry-pick” the parts of the text that they want to use in their battles – in the bashing of the other group. It is not surprising since the text is as clear above as it is here:
Galatians 5:14-15 (CJB)
14 For the whole of the Torah is summed up in this one sentence:
“Love your neighbor as yourself”;
15 but if you go on snapping at each other
and tearing each other to pieces,
or you will be destroyed by each other!
The word for fighting is ἔρις eris – Strife, discord, contention, quarrels. Josephus used the word to describe a battle. The Septuagint uses it in the following way:
Psalm 139:20 (CJB)
20 They invoke your name for their crafty schemes;
yes, your enemies misuse it.
In context, the “wicked” – “Men of blood.” It is easy to see why men and women who start and propel quarrels and battles will NOT see the Kingdom of Heaven.
Another word in Galatians 5 is θυμός thumos – Great anger, wrath, rage, passion. It means to boil. In the Septuagint, it means: fury, anger wrath, rage . . . Remember, for those with θυμός thumos, NO Kingdom of Heaven!
Finally, we get to the Greek word διχοστασία dichostasia – Dissension. More specifically, apart – divided in two. In a word, sedition.
- in feuding, ἔχθρα echthra
- fighting, ἔρις eris
- getting angry; θυμός thumos
- factionalism, διχοστασία dichostasia
These are the words using in Galatians 5 and the Greek words they translate.
These are words used to describe people that are still living under their old nature.
These are the words used to describe people that will NOT see the Kingdom of Heaven.
These words are NOT used to describe someone that loves his neighbor as himself . . .
These are the words used to describe people that will go to hell . . .
In fact, the Rabbi Sha’ul reminds his friends in Philippi to remember the following:
Philippians 2:3-5 (CJB)
3 Do nothing out of rivalry or vanity;
but, in humility,
regard each other as better than yourselves —
4 look out for each other’s interests
and not just for your own.
5 Let your attitude toward one another be governed
by your being in union with the Messiah Yeshua:
In fact, when you put all of the above together, Rabbi Sha’ul’s command to the Romans hits the target right dab in the middle of the bull’s-eye:
Romans 12:3 (CJB)
3 For I am telling every single one of you,
through the grace that has been given to me,
not to have exaggerated ideas about your own importance.
Instead, develop a sober estimate of yourself
based on the standard which God has given to each of you,
That leads me to why I wrote this post. It is my hope and prayer that some will read it and truly remember what fearing the Creator of all things means! It is my hope that they will repent of their ἔχθρα echthra, ἔρις eris, θυμός thumos, and διχοστασία dichostasia just like King David did when he was faced with his own sins by Nathan. Sadly, most will probably NOT take the approach King David did and instead will take the approach Adam did: the Adam who not only blamed Eve for his sin, but blamed the Creator as well!
That being said, I get your feeds on Facebook daily. I get your private messages and your emails. I see the ugly things you write and share daily. Let me tell you what I really see . . . and what I don’t:
First, and foremost, I look on YOUR page . . .
I look at your Facebook page or blog to see if in all of your feuding, fighting, factionalism and anger if you post anything about
“loving your neighbor” or “loving your enemies”
Since it is the 2nd most important command, and a prerequisite for the being able to follow the most important command, I look to see if ANY of your posts show that you understand, venerate and trust the following in the text:
1 John 4:20-21 (CJB)
20 If anyone says,
“I love God,”
and hates his brother, he is a liar.
For if a person does not love his brother, whom he has seen,
then he cannot love God, whom he has not seen.
21 Yes, this is the command we have from him:
whoever loves God must love his brother too.
Not surprisingly, I don’t see a lot of posts about loving your neighbor from the feuding, fighting, factionalism and anger people. In fact, most times I am hard pressed to find a SINGLE post about the 2nd Most Important Command! Trust me, I go back months and still come up empty!
Most times, it is just plain ugliness!
I then go to the site you are posting from (either their blog or Facebook page) and I look for posts about
“loving your neighbor” or “loving your enemies”
Again, and not surprisingly, I don’t see a lot of posts about loving your neighbor from the feuding, fighting, factionalism and anger people that you are sharing on your page or blog.
I see posts about them bragging how Torah observant they are . . .
Torah DEFICIENT would be a more accurate term! After all, if ALL of the Torah and ALL of the Prophets are DEPENDENT on loving God and loving your neighbor – If these are the 2 MOST IMPORTANT COMMANDS, then one would think that a “Torah observant” person would write about them more than anything else, right? Observe this command more than anything else. You remember what Yeshua (Jesus) said:
Matthew 22:33-40 (CJB)
33 When the crowds heard how he taught, they were astounded;
34 but when the P’rushim learned that he had silenced the Tz’dukim,
they got together, 35 and one of them who was a Torah expert
asked a sh’eilah to trap him:
36 “Rabbi, which of the mitzvot in the Torah is the most important?”
37 He told him,
“‘You are to love Adonai your God
with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.’
38 This is the greatest and most important mitzvah.
39 And a second is similar to it,
‘You are to love your neighbor as yourself.’
40 All of the Torah and the Prophets are dependent on these two mitzvot.”
Sadly, that is NOT the case . . . EVER!
It is the same with the people who attack the attackers back. It gets just as ugly (and sometimes uglier) on their side. Name calling, arrogance, hate . . . just more feuding, fighting, factionalism and anger people thinking much too highly of themselves and also on their way to hell according to the text . . .
What I do NOT see in their counter-attacks are the “love your neighbor” verses . . .
I don’t see it in their feeds or on their pages. The 2nd most important command – conspicuously absent.
With both groups, as I check their posts for the last couple of months, I keep hoping to see that one post where they went out and fed the homeless, or helped an orphan, or helped a widow. I NEVER find these on their pages . . . All I can find is the “Christianity is pagan” and “Hebrew Roots is heresy” and the Messianic is a cult posts, memes and emails . . .
A lot of the counter attackers confuse Hebrew Roots, Messianic and 2-House lumping them all together which would be about like lumping Calvinists, Arminians, and Jehovah’s Witnesses together. That being said, dividing walls are erected – m’chitzah are built high ignoring the very sacrifice He made to tear them down!
I wrote this post in the hopes and many prayers that a few, (even 1,) going down this path will read our Creator’s Words and be convicted by the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) to shuv (turn) – to go from מְשֻׁבָה meshuvāh (apostasy – turning from God towards sin) and do תְּשׁוּבָה teshûvāh (return to Him from sin – repenting).
You see, the text tells us who God is . . . He is the merciful kind of God that loves us so much that, well, here is the text to tell you:
Ephesians 2:4-7 (CJB)
4 But God is so rich in mercy and loves us with such intense love
5 that, even when we were dead because of our acts of disobedience,
he brought us to life along with the Messiah
— it is by grace that you have been delivered.
6 That is, God raised us up with the Messiah Yeshua
and seated us with him in heaven,
7 in order to exhibit in the ages to come
how infinitely rich is his grace,
how great is his kindness toward us who are united with the Messiah Yeshua.
But even more than that, we are told that those that are counted among the feuding, fighting, factionalism and anger people do NOT know God because they do not know love:
1 John 4:7-8 (CJB)
7 Beloved friends, let us love one another;
because love is from God;
and everyone who loves has God as his Father and knows God.
8 Those who do not love, do not know God;
because God is love.
So for all of you feuding, fighting, factionalism and anger people that think or will find it necessary to try and correct me and turn your attack on me, don’t bother. Your pages and your posts testify against you. I ain’t fishing in that hole. I am not even interested in floating down that river.
I have spent the entire last year with my heart hurting more and more – day by day. It has been a battle to find the right thing to do. Part of me wants to “unfriend” you from my page or “block” you from my blog to protect my own heart – to protect myself from the anger my very human sides feels from time to time as I view your continual hate. The other part of me realizes from you own posts and the posts that you share, that my blog and my Facebook page may indeed be the only place you see anything about loving your neighbor . . . for that reason, and that reason alone, I have left everything as is.
I have said what I felt needed to be said. I have shared parts of the text that are rarely (if ever) shared by the feuding, fighting, factionalism and anger people. If this post applies to you, you are no longer ignorant of what you are doing and have a choice to make. My prayer is that your choice will be one that is honoring to Him that sacrificed so much, and that your choice will be one that promotes shalom (peace) between brothers and sisters – love between neighbors . . . a choice that makes the 2nd most important command full.