Are We Speaking Life or Death?
Something to consider, we should all be more mindful of how we refer to those who have not yet come to the same understanding as we. Too often in the Hebrew Roots movement those who do not see as we do are scorned, looked down upon, or ridiculed. The same is done to us by a vast majority. How can we be a light to the world evidencing the love of the Creator and the joy of living in obedience when we speak publicly how we tire of those who are ignorant (without knowledge--not the connotation often misunderstood to be stupid), or stupid, blind, or lost.
Yeshua says those who teach that one jot or tittle from the law has been removed will be least in the kingdom; it doesn’t say they will not be in the kingdom. We need to stop looking down on our brethren (for those who will be in the kingdom are our brethren and we are not the judges of who those people will be) because of their lack of understanding. Yes, we are to be as children in coming to the Father, but we are not be as children in our behavior towards those who differ or disagree with us, even if they are hostile towards us. There will always be the least, the greatest, and the defiant; how we speak to or about others should not be dictated by where we think that person falls.
Messiah is our example; He walked out the fullness of the Torah perfectly in obedience and therefore in love. He was often ridiculed yet he responded in love and with wisdom. He prayed for those who persecuted Him, He didn’t jump on the gossip train or start putting them down because He thought they were stupid. In His case, He knew their hearts; He knew their rebellion. No one today, outside of a revelation from the Father, has the same insight Messiah did. Did Messiah rebuke the Pharisees? Yes! In fact, He strongly rebuked them time and time again as they put their traditions above God’s and treated them as torah to be followed and obeyed, usurping the authority of the Word. He didn’t tear them down and call them names such as Messy-antics or idiots. He called them what they were, hypocrites for reading Torah to the people but then living and teaching something contrary.
Today we face similar circumstances born of misunderstanding and indoctrination of centuries of teaching. We need to stand up for the Word, but we do not need to ridicule those who have not received the same understanding as we regarding the Torah. Slander and unloving words are becoming more and more prevalent today, and many times from those who claim the name of the Creator whether it be those in Hebrew Roots, those who have left Hebrew Roots, Jews, or Christians. We claim to come and speak as examples of the Creator, but then we can be seen, and heard, putting down those of different beliefs.
We, at 119 Ministries, are no different than anyone else. We have been accused of belittling, insulting, or looking down upon others who believe differently than we do, most often in relation to some of our viral graphics. There is a difference between being offensive and someone taking offense. The Word, in its truth, is offensive to those of the world, but we should not go out of our way to offend. We strive not to put others down because of their beliefs, or ridicule them, calling them names. Some do take offense at some of our graphics as they have sarcasm regarding some of the concepts taught. We have been asked to remove such graphics and to only do graphics spreading the lovey-dovey ideals of God taught in mainstream Christianity. Our response is always the same, we have a wide-variety of graphics and messages targeted for a wide audience who come from all walks of life. Some graphics are stronger than others as some require a stronger message to grab their attention. Others are about the love of the Creator and how we are to love Him, through our obedience. Some graphics are designed to bring to light the truth of different passages of Scripture or the origin of some traditions.
We are a ministry established with the goal of bringing the whole Word of God to all of the nations. This is a very broad audience indeed, which means a wide range of methods or strategies need to be employed. The goal of our messages and graphics are never to insult or tear down another person, but only to share the light of truth. Some will always take offense, although no offense is ever intended. There is nothing we can do about that; taking offense is a personal decision (as covered in our teaching “It Was A Matter of Self-Offense”). Please know our goal is only to share the love of the Creator and to teach others His Word, how to love Him back through our obedience.
We need to come together as the body of Messiah, not tear ourselves apart because of differences in understandings, doctrines, or opinions. Whether a person is a believer in mainstream Christianity, a person of the Jewish faith, or something else, we are to show them the love of the Creator and be a light they are drawn to through our faith in Messiah, how we conduct ourselves, and how we speak. Out of the heart, the mouth speaks. Are you speaking life or death to those around you? Are you planting seeds or growing weeds?