Monday, January 12, 2015

Difficult Passages in the Bible

Photo Credit: Mikhail Pavstyuk
One of the biggest moral difficulties in the Bible is the supposed God-endorsed genocides of Amalek, Canaan, and Midian. These passages grate against our consciences as they seemingly paint a picture of a wrathful and unjust God. We echo the cries of Abraham: “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?”

Most of us are content to leave these passages alone. They are like those dark parts of our history that we have doomed to never see the light of day. We have some vague notion of the common explanations for these passages and we accept those explanations or simply have faith that there is an explanation. Why should I bother myself in trying to figure it out? My faith is just fine as it is—what profit could I gain from such an inquiry other than to prove to myself that the Bible is indeed true?

Monday, January 5, 2015

More Than A Label -- Why I am Committed to the Messianic Movement

Photo Credit: Allison McDonald
My last post kicked up quite a firestorm, proving far more popular than I had imagined. Now that I've got that rant out, I want to take a step back. When we constantly hear about and observe the various problems of the Messianic movement, the temptation is to throw in the towel. With all the infighting and various crazy doctrines that permeate the movement, many simply choose to disassociate themselves from the Messianic identity and community. They continue in Torah and Messiah, but they do it solo.

One of the reasons I come out so strong against "pagan root" theories, is because that is one of the areas where my family has felt the sting of judgment and betrayal. Like all of us, I too have been hurt by the movement. Sometimes that hurt comes out in my writing.

Yet, I have hope. And I pray that in everything I say and do, the hope outshines the hurt.

Friday, January 2, 2015

The Pagan Roots of "Pagan Root" Theories

Photo Credit: Kaley Dykstra
Every time I see a post on Facebook about how such and such actually comes from paganism, I cringe. What I see in these types of posts is a huge "holier than thou" wall that stands in the way of unity and understanding. I see commandments taught by men, the "appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body" (Col. 2:23). Instead of helping us grow closer to our Creator and Redeemer, these theories distract us by making us feel righteous and holy without the hard work of actually molding our character into the image of Messiah.

Let me explain why I do not accept "pagan root" theories as legitimate or Biblical.