Monday, February 9, 2009

"What's Your Role"

There's a saying I remember from my youth; which goes something like this: 'A Jack of All Trades, and The Master of None'. This was the designation given to individuals that were adept in practically every area of some type of maintenance. They could work on electrical things, a car and some of anything you could name. However, their abilities were limited to fixing minor problems that didn't require in depth work.

Having a Jack of All Trades doing work for you brings the understanding they are only going to be able to do but so much and if more was required then someone else would perhaps need to be called; which has a better more detailed understanding of what needs to take place to resolve the situation.

The Body of Christ is set in similar fashion; there are those in the Body who are able to do a lot of different things and some times it's needful because of a lack of personnel. However, as the Lord provides there must be the establishing of Roles. It is without these roles the Body will begin to suffer needlessly.

Do you know your role in the Body? Are you fulfilling your role? Are you helping someone else to fulfill theirs?


Z said...

What a wonderful, wonderful picture.
You look just great, I.H.S.

I have to say that man to your left, the one right next to you, might look like one of the nicest men I've ever seen.. I don't know why; the others look like VERY Godly men, but that one stood out to me.

I wish you'd tell more about them!

I'm afraid my role in my church body is closing......and, if we go to a new church, I won't be getting nearly so involved as I've been the last 6 years, NO way. (famous last words)
But, I am getting the realization that church doesn't have to be the place where we're fulfilling our role......our role can be anywhere ; we just have to recognize it. And stay in Him.

I.H.S. said...

Z, as always thank you for your kind words.

"But, I am getting the realization that church doesn't have to be the place where we're fulfilling our role......our role can be anywhere ; we just have to recognize it. And stay in Him."

You are correct;our roles in the Body of Christ are much bigger than church building we attend when our roles are confined to the building then we have missed a great opportunity to say the least.

Yeah, I know about 'famous last words'.


Yehudi said...

What a nice way to frame this message. What are the different roles? How do I know which one is mine? I simply refuse to attend a Christian church, (no offense, my friend), for a number of reasons. I am a believer in Moshiach, however, and I believe that there must be a role for me. I'm just curious about where I might fit in.

I.H.S. said...

Yehudi, I believe the Lord directs us into our roles. I've said before that our roles in the Body of Christ goes way beyond the four walls we call church.

I tell people all the time there are so many people out in the world which understand exactly where you are coming from, and they would probably never get to know the true Messiah unless you spoke to them.

I would ask that you seek His Will and direction for you; I promise He has a special course already mapped out just for you.


I.H.S. said...

Oh, and I don't take offense.

There are some Christian Churches I would never go to either.

Yehudi said...

I think then, that my role would clearly be to fellow Jews who don't yet know that Yeshua is our Moshiach.

Perhaps you wouldn't mind sharing your first name so that I dont have to refer to you as IHS, which must mean, "I Hate Sushi." Mine is Daniel.

I.H.S. said...

I Love Sushi actually.

I.H.S. is an acronym for In His Service.


Yes, Daniel I would think that would be a part of it. I also think you would do great service with educating Christians in seeing the Christ from a Jewish perspective.

Z said...

If I can interject (HI!), I have to say that NOTHING is more inspiring to Christians than a Jew who shares his thoughts on Jesus being the Messiah. EVERYONE is blessed.

Daniel, I have to always hurts my feelings when I hear Messianic Jews say "I simply refuse" to go to a Christian church (I've also had it said more brutally to me and others). Makes me feel like I need a shower! and I KNOW YOU DO NOT MEAN IT THAT WAY, I REALLY do or I'd not have been this brutally honest. I SO wish we could all become ONE....that you wouldn't mind worshiping with us! I've enjoyed synagogue bat mitzvahs! Matter of fact, you had to see my German-born husband with a yamulka on his head! He actually picked up the bible...! (which he's not known to do except on Christmas Eve when he reads the Birth study in Luke). I SWEAR, last time we went to a bat mitzvah, there he was with the bible in his hand and I punched him in the arm and said "it takes a SYNAGOGUE for you to OPEN THE BIBLE?" We laughed our ...'s off. It was a wonderful time there, very joyous!

I feel like Jews don't want to go to anything CHRISTIAN because of the holocaust, by the many believe it was CHRISTIANS who did that horrid atrocity (well, I'm Armenian, and TRUST me, I have problems with Turks to this day, too!..)'s like God goes out of his way to keep that veil believer in Christ, no real believer, would have EVER done that..COULDN'T! Right?

And, yes, I.H.S. is right..I, myself, am looking for a new church after 6 years with one I thought was wonderful. But, it's the PEOPLE, not the CHURCH, which are sometimes a problem!

Well....I'll slink off now....
I hope Daniel's still speaking to me. You're both marvelous men, thanks.

Yehudi said...

Z, with Christopher's permission, I would really like to respond to what you wrote. I'll do that in the morning.

Z said...

D...I worried all evening (computer trouble forced me to shut it down; it just throw me off line for no reason from time to time and it's so frustrating I shut off early last night)...that I hurt you by what I said.
I did not mean that..I think you know that. It's not really aimed at you, I've heard these things for a while and I guess I felt safe with you, voicing my opinion, which was really REALLY selfish, in effect making you the brunt of it.
I love you, brother.
xxx Z
I'll be out after about 9am LA time until about 3pm LA time. If I don't respond ASAP, that's why.

Yehudi said...

No worries, Z. You didn't hurt my feelings at all. I have very thick skin, lol!

There are several very solid reasons why most Jewish believers will not attend a Christian church. I will briefly give an overview here.

First, the Roman Catholic church changed Shabbat (Sabbath) from Saturday to Sunday. See:
This is a HUGE, colossal sin commited by the catholics. Shabbat is the most holy day of the year and is mentioned over 70 times in the Tanakh, (the Christian Old Testament). From Adam and Eve all the way through Yeshua, through the early apostles, through all Jews today observe Shabbat from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. This cannot be compromised.

Second, the vast majority of Christians believe in 'Replacement Theology.' Replacement theology essentially teaches that the church has replaced Israel in God’s plan. Adherents of replacement theology believe the Jews are no longer God’s chosen people, and God does not have specific future plans for the nation of Israel. All the different views of the relationship between the church and Israel can be divided into two camps: either the Church is a continuation of Israel (replacement theology / covenant theology), or the Church is completely different and distinct from Israel (dispensationalism / premillennialism).

Replacement theology teaches that the Church is the replacement for Israel and that the many promises made to Israel in the Bible are fulfilled in the Christian Church, not in Israel. So, the prophecies in Scripture concerning the blessing and restoration of Israel to the Promised Land are "spiritualized" or “allegorized” into promises of God's blessing for the Church. Major problems exist with this view, such as the continuing existence of the Jewish people throughout the centuries and especially with the revival of the modern state of Israel. If Israel has been condemned by God, and there is no future for the Jewish nation, how do we explain the supernatural survival of the Jewish people over the past 2000 years despite the many attempts to destroy them? How do we explain why and how Israel reappeared as a nation in the 20th century after not existing for 1900 years? This evil belief system is not only contrary to scripture on a thousand levels, but has been the root of 99% of anti-semitism over the centuries. I'll cite a few examples from the founding 'church fathers.'

Martin Luther – 1543

On The Jews and Their Lies

What then shall we Christians do with this damned, rejected race of Jews? Since they live among us and we know about their lying and blasphemy and cursing, we can not tolerate them if we do not wish to share in their lies, curses, and blasphemy. In this way we cannot quench the inextinguishable fire of divine rage nor convert the Jews. We must prayerfully and reverentially practice a merciful severity. Perhaps we may save a few from the fire and flames [of hell]. We must not seek vengeance. They are surely being punished a thousand times more than we might wish them. Let me give you my honest advice.

First, their synagogues should be set on fire, and whatever does not burn up should be covered or spread over with dirt so that no one may ever be able to see a cinder or stone of it. And this ought to be done for the honor of God and of Christianity in order that God may see that we are Christians, and that we have not wittingly tolerated or approved of such public lying, cursing, and blaspheming of His Son and His Christians.

Secondly, their homes should likewise be broken down and destroyed. For they perpetrate the same things there that they do in their synagogues. For this reason they ought to be put under one roof or in a stable, like gypsies, in order that they may realize that they are not masters in our land, as they boast, but miserable captives, as they complain of incessantly before God with bitter wailing.

Thirdly, they should be deprived of their prayer-books and Talmuds in which such idolatry, lies, cursing, and blasphemy are taught.

Fourthly, their rabbis must be forbidden under threat of death to teach any more...

Fifthly, passport and traveling privileges should be absolutely forbidden to the Jews. For they have no business in the rural districts since they are not nobles, nor officials, nor merchants, nor the like. Let them stay at home...If you princes and nobles do not close the road legally to such exploiters, then some troop ought to ride against them, for they will learn from this pamphlet what the Jews are and how to handle them and that they ought not to be protected. You ought not, you cannot protect them, unless in the eyes of God you want to share all their abomination...

To sum up, dear princes and nobles who have Jews in your domains, if this advice of mine does not suit you, then find a better one so that you and we may all be free of this insufferable devilish burden - the Jews...

Let the government deal with them in this respect, as I have suggested. But whether the government acts or not, let everyone at least be guided by his own conscience and form for himself a definition or image of a Jew. When you lay eyes on or think of a Jew you must say to yourself: Alas, that mouth which I there behold has cursed and execrated and maligned every Saturday my dear Lord Jesus Christ, who has redeemed me with his precious blood; in addition, it prayed and pleaded before God that I, my wife and children, and all Christians might be stabbed to death and perish miserably. And he himself would gladly do this if he were able, in order to appropriate our goods...

Such a desperate, thoroughly evil, poisonous, and devilish lot are these Jews, who for these fourteen hundred years have been and still are our plague, our pestilence, and our misfortune.

I have read and heard many stories about the Jews which agree with this judgment of Christ, namely, how they have poisoned wells, made assassinations, kidnapped children, as related before. I have heard that one Jew sent another Jew, and this by means of a Christian, a pot of blood, together with a barrel of wine, in which when drunk empty, a dead Jew was found. There are many other similar stories. For their kidnapping of children they have often been burned at the stake or banished (as we already heard). I am well aware that they deny all of this. However, it all coincides with the judgment of Christ which declares that they are venomous, bitter, vindictive, tricky serpents, assassins, and children of the devil, who sting and work harm stealthily wherever they cannot do it openly. For this reason, I would like to see them where there are no Christians. The Turks and other heathen do not tolerate what we Christians endure from these venomous serpents and young to the devil, a Christian has no more bitter and galling foe than a Jew. There is no other to whom we accord as many benefactions and from whom we suffer as much as we do from these base children of the devil, this brood of vipers.

Translated by Martin H. Bertram, "On The Jews and Their Lies, Luther's Works, Volume 47"; Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1971.

Martin Luther - 1543

Of The Unknowable Name and The Generations of Christ

But your [God’s] judgment is right, justus es Dominie. Yes, so shall Jews, but no one else be punished, who held your word and miracles in contempt and ridiculed, insulted and damned it for such a long time without interruption, so that they will not fall, like other humans, heathens and all the others, into sin and death, not up in Hell, nor in the middle of Hell but in the pit of Hell, as one cannot fall deeper...

Even if they were punished in the most gruesome manner that the streets ran with their blood, that their dead would be counted, not in the hundred thousands, but in the millions, as happened under Vespasian in Jerusalem and for evil under Hadrian, still they must insist on being right even if after these 1,500 years they were in misery another 1,500 years, still God must be a liar and they must be correct. In sum, they are the devil’s children, damned to Hell...

The Jews too got what they deserved. They had been called and elected to be God’s mouth as Jeremiah says...Open your mouth wide and I will fill it; they however, kept tightly closed their muzzles, eyes, ears, nose, whole heart and all senses, so he polluted and squirted them so full that it oozes from them in all places and devil’s filth comes from them.

Yes, that tastes good to them, into their hearts, they smack their lips like swine. That is how they want it. Call more: ‘Crucify him, crucify him.’ Scream more: ‘His blood come upon us and our children.’ (Matthew 27:25) I mean it came and found you...

Perhaps, one of the merciful Saints among us Christians may think I am behaving too crude and disdainfully against the poor, miserable Jews in that I deal with them so sarcastically and insulting. But, good God, I am much too mild in insulting such devils…

John Calvin

A Response To Questions and Objections of a Certain Jew

Their [the Jews] rotten and unbending stiffneckedness deserves that they be oppressed unendingly and without measure or end and that they die in their misery without the pity of anyone.

Excerpt from "Ad Quaelstiones et Objecta Juaei Cuiusdam Responsio," by John Calvin; The Jew in Christian Theology, Gerhard Falk, McFarland and Company, Inc., Jefferson, NC and London, 1931.

Peter the Venerable – known as "the meekest of men, a model of Christian charity"

Yes, you Jews. I say, do I address you; you, who till this very day, deny the Son of God. How long, poor wretches, will ye not believe the truth? Truly I doubt whether a Jew can be really human… I lead out from its den a monstrous animal, and show it as a laughing stock in the amphitheater of the world, in the sight of all the people. I bring thee forward, thou Jew, thou brute beast, in the sight of all men.

St. Augustine (c. 354-430 A.D.), Confessions, 12.14

How hateful to me are the enemies of your Scripture! How I wish that you would slay them (the Jews) with your two-edged sword, so that there should be none to oppose your word! Gladly would I have them die to themselves and live to you!

John Chrysostom (344-407 A.D.) – One of the "greatest" of church fathers; known as "The Golden Mouthed." A missionary preacher famous for his sermons and addresses.

The synagogue is worse than a brothel…it is the den of scoundrels and the repair of wild beasts…the temple of demons devoted to idolatrous cults…the refuge of brigands and dabauchees, and the cavern of devils. It is a criminal assembly of Jews…a place of meeting for the assassins of Christ… a house worse than a drinking shop…a den of thieves, a house of ill fame, a dwelling of iniquity, the refuge of devils, a gulf and a abyss of perdition."…"I would say the same things about their souls… As for me, I hate the synagogue…I hate the Jews for the same reason.

Origen of Alexandria (185-254 A.D.) – A ecclesiastical writer and teacher who contributed to the early formation of Christian doctrines.

We may thus assert in utter confidence that the Jews will not return to their earlier situation, for they have committed the most abominable of crimes, in forming this conspiracy against the Savior of the human race…hence the city where Jesus suffered was necessarily destroyed, the Jewish nation was driven from its country, and another people was called by God to the blessed election.

Justin Martyr - Dialogue with Trypho (Between 138A.D. and 161 A.D.)

We too, would observe your circumcision of the flesh, your Sabbath days, and in a word, all you festivals, if we were not aware of the reason why they were imposed upon you, namely, because of your sins and the hardness of heart.

The custom of circumcising the flesh, handed down from Abraham, was given to you as a distinguishing mark, to set you off from other nations and from us Christians. The purpose of this was that you and only you might suffer the afflictions that are now justly yours; that only your land be desolated, and you cities ruined by fire, that the fruits of you land be eaten by strangers before your very eyes; that not one of you be permitted to enter your city of Jerusalem. Your circumcision of the flesh is the only mark by which you can certainly be distinguished from other men…as I stated before it was by reason of your sins and the sins of your fathers that, among other precepts, God imposed upon you the observence of the sabbath as a mark.

"Epistle of Barnabas" Chapter 4vs 6-7 (between 130A.D. and 138 A.D.)

Take heed to yourselves and be not like some piling up you sins and saying that the covenant is theirs as well as ours. It is ours, but they lost it completely just after Moses received it.

Ignatius Bishop of Antioch (98-117A.D.) – Epistle to the Magnesians

For if we are still practicing Judaism, we admit that we have not received God’s favor…it is wrong to talk about Jesus Christ and live like Jews. For Christianity did not believe in Judaism, but Judaism in Christianity.

Hitler cited these statements from the founding fathers of the Christian church to justify his agenda against the Jewish people. Do you see the horrific cognitions that the Christian church was founded upon? Do you see the folly of Ignatius' comment at the end? How ignorant to say, For Christianity did not believe in Judaism, but Judaism in Christianity. Which came first?

The final reason that I will touch on is the fact that if a Jew like myself walks into a Christian church and explains that I believe in 'Jesus' yet I continue to observe Shabbat and the other G-d - ordained holidays and festivals, remain Torah-observent and observe the dietary laws, (because that is the ETERNAL covenent between G-d and the Jewish people), I come under judgement. It is the common belief that the New Testament trumps the Old Testament since you are now under grace. I'm not here to bash Christianity, but that is erroneous thinking. G-d's word is eternal. His covenant with Israel is eternal, (He made that very clear! Read Leviticus 22:31-23:44. You'll notice that G-d says numerous times, "This is an eternal decree for your generaltions." It doesn't say,"Observe these decrees, festivals, and commandments until I send the Messiah. Then you'll be under grace and can discard these.") The wonderful people in the church would invite me to lunch after the service and expect me to eat pork chops with them. I say this from personal experience.

I didn't touch on the issue of idolatry. This is sufficient to give you a clear undestanding why a Jew isn't exactly comfortable in a Christian church. It is truly a foreign religion and doesn't resemble what G-d had intended at all, however He uses what's available to Him. The church has done many wonderful things and has certainly spread the knowledge of the Jewish Messiah to billions around the world and changed countless lives, but it leaves the observent Jew who loves G-d with all his heart, who loves His Torah in a very difficult position. No longer welcome in his synagogue because of his faith in Yeshua and completely out of place in a Christian church, he/she has few options.

Christopher, thank you for indulging me. Forgive me if I have maligned the church in any way. I simply wanted to state the facts from the Jewish perspective, b' love.

I.H.S. said...

Daniel, can you email me?

Z said...

Hello! Thanks for your comment...

I'll start by asking..."idolatry"? In the Catholic church..? WHERE?

Martin Luther was very hard on the Jews near the end of his life. He was a RABID believer, an ANGRY believer, passionate...could not believe anybody wouldn't want to slam Christ and would go to any end to stop it, and communities there DID, something a lot don't realize.... this was a horrid, over reaction of Luther's, Daniel. He was known to pass gas and belch in public, too, but most of what he said about scripture is spot on!! He was a crude and VERY excitable man...extremely passionate and a little nuts, I think!! But, NO excuses for his horrid tirades as an older man..NONE.

Reform theology is something I disagree with. AND, there are some Christians who say Israel must be protected only for their own personal gain, not for the sake of Israel! Not for THE SAKE OF THE PEOPLE GOD LOVES, and CHOSE! I will say it puzzles me that 85% or so of Israel is secular; I find that a terrible thing.

Well...I've felt very badly with my Jewish friends who are not believers....I've been to Seders where they prayed for only Jewish networking in business! I've been at businesses where the first question asked by Jewish employees about a new client was "Is he Jewish?" I felt really 'less than' somehow! Not in the club! So, we all have sensitivities....but, we're all tribal, aren't we!! I think so!

And I SO understand your point about the Old Testament, too. Actually, I'm a HUGE fan of the O.T. and always say "the New Testament without the Old is like the flesh without the bones!" (you may quote me..!!)

Love and big hugs to you and thanks, helps to understand but it still feels badly that you have those feelings. Mostly because I'd love to worship more with Jewish believers, I'm not taking it personally. anymore!

Yehudi said...

Z, you should look for a Messianic congregation in your area. I believe you would feel more comforatble there and have a richer, deeper experience. Not to worry, the majority of congregants in American Messianic congregations are gentiles that are looking to connect with the Jewish foundation of their faith.

The reason I won't attend a Christian church isn't personal. It's not that I'm sticking my nose up in the air. It's based soley on principles. I believe that G-d would not approve.

Z said...

Well, Yehudi. Sorry, I have to disagree on all you wrote. Especially about God not approving.
Thanks for the exchange, I appreciate hearing your thoughts very much. xxx

Yehudi said...

Z, it is simply because of the covenant that He made with the Jewish people. The covenant covers Shabbat and keeping it holy, the laws of kashrut, the holidays and festivals, and Torah-observance. If we found a congregation that met on Saturday, believed in Torah and upheld the holidays, I would attend. Unfortunately, Z, the Christian community doesn't recognize Shabbat and meets on Sunday instead. That's a deal-killer.

I really hope I didn't offend you, and if I did, please forgive me.

Papa Frank said...

Please remember, Daniel, that we serve God and not Shabbat. God made the Sabbath for man and not man for the Sabbath. The Sabbath is God's blessing of rest to man and not a "deal-killer" if one still honors the idea of intentionally setting aside a time to rest one's self and focus on our Father.

Z said...

I have this discussion with a beautiful Seventh Day Adventist friend, Pops and Daniel.

I feel like Pops feels....the important thing is that we celebrate HIM, worship HIM on a day and time that's put aside (tho we do's good to have a special time!)

Daniel, perhaps that Sabbath stipulation could be looked at as yet another 'law' we need not heed because He came to rid us of the laws?

I sounded offended, I'm sorry. Thanks, Daniel. xxxx

Yehudi said...

I definately agree with you in regards to non-Jews, however, observing Shabbat is part of the eternal covenant G-d made with the Jewish people. In fact, it is so important to G-d, He mentions it 96 times in the Tanakh, (OT). Exodus 20:8 and 20:10-11, "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." and v10-11, "but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it."

I agree that you should attend when you want, but if you were a Jew, under a covenant with G-d, I would say no, you are committed to Shabbat, as He commanded.

Please understand that it is not a 'LAW' that was done away with. If you ever have the chance, (Jason, when we move out there next year, we will have you guys over for Shabbat), it is a beautiful window of rest, family time, and fellowship with G-d out of the week. It is something that we look forward to all week long. It was G-d who established the timing, sundown Friday to sundown Saturday, and the catholics who changed it later on. Please understand that Yeshua didn't take that away. On the contrary.

Z said...

I understand...Thanks, Daniel, for taking the time.
My cousin is married to a Jewish girl from S. Africa and her parents have Shabbat every Friday night..their four daughters all brought dates by at least for a few minutes EVERY Friday night...
Well, I'm thinking (and probably this is DUMB!!! It won't be a first) that He didn't call it FRIDAY and SATURDAY and it's modern times which have, really? And maybe he meant KEEP ONE DAY aside!!!

See,'ll never get rid of me!! xxxx

Yehudi said...

LOL! Z, do you believe that Yeshua is G-d?

Z said...

If, by YESHUA, you mean Jesus, yes...I believe in the Trinity...God, the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost, as I was raised saying)...

why? NOW what did I SAY? (Smile)!! xxx

Yehudi said...

Z, if you believe that Yeshua is G-d, and He observed Shabbat on Saturday, don't you want to observe it as He did, (and instructed others to do)? Just curious...[smile]

Z said...

I DO observe it as He said, just not on Saturday. It's not like I DON'T worship him on Saturday, too!
It's that Sunday is the day society's put aside for SO LONG that I believe He'd honor that, too...
While I understand what you mean, and I have these discussions with my 7th Day Adventist friend, I can't imagine CHRIST is angry that we worship him on a day the modern world happens to call Sunday...a day which has been celebrated as His day for a thousand years or so by beautiful worship and rest.

"They goofed.." he'd say.. oh, well.
We've got a LOT wrong since He left, Yehudi. A LOT MUCH MORE IMPORTANT and FAR, FAR more than which DAY...

I DO see your point and maybe I'm a cop out, but ....!