These are the days of Eli...too much information. Part II
by Brad Scott
So, here we are some six years later and things have not gotten much better. Since “too much information” Part 1 was originally posted, we can now add teachings that the commandments after Exodus 24:12 are not for non-Israelite believers, the earth is flat, the sun and moon are the same size, there was only one tree in the garden, the tabernacle is round but the earth is not, the garden of Eden is in the Philippines, David was a transgender, and it looks like Google® has now superceded the Scriptures and FaceBook® has replaced fellowship.
Before I pursue my latest rant, I would like to preface my remarks by proclaiming something very clear right here in the beginning that will probably be repeated several more times for affect. All venting about the true causes of confusion in our walk from this point forward include myself, as I have caught myself guilty of the same things. All right, now I feel much better already. The following comments are my own experiences, albeit, an extensive experience, not only in the good ole USA, but in dozens of countries as well. I make no claim of exclusiveness, however.
Perhaps the most oft quoted comment about the so-called Hebrew Roots movement (I call it a walk), is that it is filled with much confusion and division. I have often said that this walk of ours puts traditional Christianity and Judaism to shame in the division department. We are professionals at it, as we practice a lot and have become quite proficient. It is only logical, for we argue about all sixty six books, the Jews argue about thirty nine of them, and the Christians only twenty seven. We just have more fodder to choose from. None the less, this is very well known about us and keeps me from recommending Google® searches on the subject. Now at this time I am going to move into my serious mode.
I cannot count how many times I have heard a Hebrew Roots/Messianic teacher stand in the pulpit and proclaim that the subject they are teaching (pick any one of dozens of subjects) is the most important concept to be learned in Scripture, and if everyone understood or could see this, then there would be no confusion in the Hebrew Roots movement. What? Paaleazze! The major problem with this kind of statement is that hundreds, perhaps thousands, of biblical teachers say precisely the same thing every day about their particular area of expertise. The Bible is not about just ONE thing. Knowing His Word is a life long experience that incorporates many important concepts. Good biblical hermeneutics employs the meaning of individual words, idioms, customs, culture, history, literary genre, science, accentuation, the heavens above, the firmament below, a little math, and most important of all: the illumination of the Holy Spirit!
I have tried to do my best to never make self-aggrandizing, self promoting statements these days, but I know I have stated in the past that everything in the Scriptures point to the simple principle of a seed and the ancient meaning of Biblical words. Now, you see, that is my hammer and everything else is a nail. I have often heard that said from the pulpit but rarely practised. I wonder if some people get out much. Everybody is saying the same thing and making the same proclamations! There are a lot of claims that can be important. There are a lot of claims that can even be very important. But everybody’s claim cannot be the most important claim. Somebody is fibbing. I will just cut to the chase. The confusion in this walk of ours is not because YOU or I do not understand or YOU don’t get it! The confusion is because there are hundreds of Hebrew Roots and You Tube channel teachers all teaching contrary views on the same subjects. All claiming they are just presenting the truth. Hundreds of man-cave Bible detectives are claiming that they are right and all who disagree are wrong. Many of these same teachers more than subtly suggest that if you disagree with them, you are disagreeing with God! We (notice I said we), are responsible for the confusion and chaos in our walk and not the stubbornness or ignorance of the followers of this walk. I will say it again. It is the multitudes of teachers that are the problem. Too many of us use over-the-top language, lunging to grab our piece of the pie or 15 minutes of fame. We blast the public with hundreds of monologs every day. We rarely confer with each other or allow iron to sharpen iron. Rarely is an understatement for I could not find a word that actually means more rarely than rarely. How about non-existent! Most teachers in this movement, I dare call it so, have little to no accountability to anyone. Because we can, we are collectively bombarding the masses with contrary information in books, CD’s, DVD’s, MP3's, flash drives, YouTube® postings, podcasts, digital media, and the occasional live lectures at a rapid fire pace and then blaming the confusion on the receivers of that information. WE are the reason for the confusion!
Ezekiel 34:9-10“Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith YHVH ’Elohiym; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them.”
I have a personal little biblical phrase that I use to describe the disparity and mostly internet-driven confusion in our walk. I call it the "...and men began" principle. This phrase occurs in the opening chapters of Bere'shiyt several times and is always followed by chaos. This principle basically teaches that men always begin with the best of intentions and the most humble motivations. The resulting chaos and division of this new revelation usually begins with something like "I just want the truth" or "I am going to follow the truth no matter where it leads me". Geeee, nobody ever said that before! How about this pinnacle of humility: "I want to follow what the Scriptures say and not man-made traditions." It is usually stated that their particular issue or research is not a salvational one. So far, this sounds pretty noble and innocuous. But then the 10,000 hours of non-biased research begins as the anticipation of a YouTube® teaching becomes the passionate drive to finally release what the world has been sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for. As this "nobody ever thought of this before" revelation begins to penetrate the internet crowds, what began as a search for truth now starts to become a battering ram against all those who disagree. Disagreeing with them has now become disagreeing with YHVH Himself. If you disagree, then you are not receiving from the Ruach haQodesh, you are a poor researcher, not very scholarly, have fallen for man-made systems and at best, a false teacher. And then, next thing you know, it becomes a salvational issue. Your belief in your Creator is now at stake and our source of truth has shifted from the Scriptures to YouTube® and/or Facebook®.
This, if you will, is an open letter to all of us who teach, for I know what many of you are thinking. “Who died and made you boss?” I am not claiming any authority over anyone in this walk. I am merely speaking forth what I believe to be a major source of turmoil and confusion in our midst. Like our oldest ancestors, it would be so base and so easy to blame everyone else. I am pleading with all teachers that we seriously examine ourselves before the Father takes over Himself. We have an enormous responsibility in our walk. Countless spiritual lives are in our hands and we will stand before a Mighty God one day and give an account for that responsibility.
I can only account for myself, and so with all that is in me, if I have ever exalted myself or this ministry over our merciful Father and His kingdom, then I repent. If I have ever blatantly or subtly suggested that what I believe and teach is any more important or relevant than the teachings of my brothers and sisters, then I repent. If I have ever used over-the-top language or hyperbole to promote this ministry, then I repent. If I have ever implied that what I teach is what the whole Bible points to, then I repent!
James 3:1“My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.”
Shalom Alecheim! ◊