Endless Journey Part 1

Posted: 07/21/2010 in Uncategorized

I’ve taken a break from my digital diary entries to do a little mental housekeeping. There has not been much in the way of my day to day activities, but my brain is working overtime. Re-tooling once again. This has been a running theme for my self much of the last year. If you have missed out on the details of the last year of my life, it was full of changes. Everything from where I live, to where I work, to what I believe. Some things remain the same, some things will change yet. There are a couple of things I have been working on since my last post, so I’m going to touch on them.

I am in the middle of a religious struggle in my mind. As many people, I struggle with what to believe. So many options, opinions, it is driving me crazy. Like another guy I ran across in the blogosphere, I am backing up a few steps, and rethinking where I am going. I think, in beginning a search for a religious theology I can comfortably align myself with, I will start here.

Mat 22:36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

The words of Jesus, a.k.a Yeshua. These commandments, I think, should be agreed by all who believe in Jesus to be true. Seems, thats where most the agreement ends. Have you ever thought about how many denominations there are? Catholics, Methodists… wait a second. After a quick search on Wikipedia, Seems there are roughly 38,000 of them. What a list!! Want to check it out? Click here to see quite a list.

Now I have been to a handful, and there are great people in them. I tend to think, these guys sure seem nice. They give to the poor, love their neighbors, love God!! However, when you get down to the nuts and bolts of things, many of the differing schools of thoughts believe that they are the “right” way to go. Some, believe they are the only way to go, and to take any other path will lead to destruction. Sounds a bit harsh, and it is I suppose. So, which one is right? Is it possible all 38,000 are wrong?

Questions like that have driven me to re-think what I believe in, a process that started about a year ago. I started by wondering just what was Jesus like? What were his day to day actions? How did he practice his faith? If we are supposed to model ourselves after him, what did Jesus really do?

This is when I started really looking into things Jewish. Things like Judaism, and Messianic Judaism. I think most are familiar with Judaism, perhaps not, but I am willing to bet far less are familiar with Messianic Judaism. Hence the name, Messianic Judaism (MJ) is a movement that mixes Judaism with Christianity. This is a crude description, but it serves the purpose for brevity. In studying these two faiths, I hoped to get a better handle on what Jesus was like. After all, he was a Jewish guy, living in Israel, taught in synagogues, and died for our sins. I learned about the Jewish things he did, keeping festivals, observing Passover, reading the Torah portions, things that I really didn’t understand from going to a traditional church.

Jesus kept the Law. This is where MJ separates its self from Christianity. Worshipers in the Messianic Jewish Movement (MJM) observe the the Law, celebrating the feasts, observing appointed times, eating kosher, keeping the Sabbath (Observed on Saturday, not Sunday) and things like that. Christian thinking, says that when Jesus died on the cross, he freed us from that Law. From my extensive studying the past year, I can tell you I have serious doubts about that. There is WAY to much information to pack into one post, and there are other places to go, who put that information together way better than I ever could.

To complicate things, there are many different denominations in the MJM just as there is in Christianity. These differing theologies vary widely, and there are some major divisions here as well. Just when I thought I was getting closer to the truth I was looking for, I find myself again having to do some choosing. Not a bad thing, you see, I have learned a great deal about the Bible, the Jewish people, the history of the church, the people who started it, there are too many different gems I have uncovered to list them all. Still, I think I am getting closer, but it takes an open mind.

I suppose, no matter how one goes about their journey, starting with those words of Jesus in Matthew is a good starting point. Without those two commandments, nothing else even matters. After all, Jesus himself listed them as the greatest. So I start there. Personally, to love the Lord with all my heart, means I should be searching for his truths. And, loving my neighbor as myself, means just that. So I am really working on being nice to everyone, loving the guy living next door, not getting mad at the elderly lady driving slow in front of me. I am starting there, and moving foreword.

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Comments
  1. Rainey says:

    Your really over thinking this. Your relationship with God has nothing to do with who you may align yourself with nor what you will choose to believe. Get away from the internet and get into the bible. You cant find God faster than that. The reason there are so many different variations of religions pertaining to the bible is because they all found God in different ways, ways that worked for them. This does not mean it will work for you. No one can help you with your relationship with God. Heres an example, how would your relationship with dad evolve if you never talked to him or listened to him, only listened to me talk about who he is and explained his personality? God isn’t just out yonder somewhere waiting for devastating moments in our lives to help us. He wants to be as much as a part of out daily moments as you are with your kids. So, start talking to him about everything and start listening and soon you will start hearing. You will need time alone to pray and meditate (listen), then when you get used to hearing him you will hear him speak no matter where you are. My point is, like any relationship you have with anyone, you can get a hold of them different ways. By phone, e-mail, letter, or going to their home. But like any relationship, if you don’t try to talk to them, your relationship will fizzle away. It starts in your heart and in your mind.

    • Mike says:

      Ha! Thats a Jewish way of thinking! LOL! Perhaps I should clarify a few things. My journey is not as much in “search” of the Lord, as it is a search for theological comfort. Looking back at my post, I can see how it is a bit vague, but I did put it in there:

      I think, in beginning a search for a religious theology I can comfortably align myself with, I will start here.

      I see my relationship with God and my search for theology as two circles that overlap each other. They are not independent of themselves, sharing many aspects, unique in others. Now that I think about it, maybe it started at Garden Park. I started attending Bible studies there, and started having long conversations with Pastor Ray about various topics. After fielding many of my theological inquiries, he gave me a book called Systematic Theology by Alva Huffer (I Still have it.) It serves as an unofficial statement of faith for the COG of the Abrahamic Faith, for which Gardem park is a part of. It amswered some of my questions, but brought out more. I know, I know, read the Bible to get answers. True enough brother, so why do churches have ‘Statements of Faith’ to begin with? Why are books on theology written if all the answers are in the Bible? The Catholics run a person through a whole theological “obstacle course”, much of which has nothing to do actual scripture. Most every church I have been in has something similar to Statements of Faith, declaring how they interpret the Bible, and if you want to serve in any capacity there, you had better agree with said interpretations. I am not trying to over-complicate this, I am trying to simplify it.

      Look back to the environment Jesus lived in. The Jewish people had a statement of faith too, the Bible (Less the New Testament.) Their whole culture revolved around scripture. The “Law” describes how to live, social structure, civil structure, and a Justice system. No need for a ‘Constitution’ or a ‘Bill of rights.’ The Rabbis doubled as Judges in the Justice system, and referred to scripture to render rulings. That “Old Law” provided a complete instructions for a way of living for a nation. A nice blue print if you ask me. It wasn’t a “Curse” that they needed to be freed from by the blood of Jesus. I don’t see where Jesus dying for our sins equates with that blueprint being flushed down the toilet. So that perfect blueprint = sin? Sounds weird to me. But I have been wrong before.

      As far as letting my internet activites somehow misguide me, let me tell you it has enhanced my relationship with God. I have a normal reading I do everyday. Right now, I am reading 1 Corinthians, and Isaiah. I love it. I hit the blogosphere to stoke the flames in my brain, to bounce ideas off other people. They render their opinions, complete with excerpts from scripture, which makes me crack my Bible open, again, to read their excerpts in context. I actually read more, because I am looking for responses to their arguments. Perhaps you might check a few out, and Judge for yourself. What better things to argue about than the things of God? It keeps us passionate, and focused on God instead of ESPN or other things!!

      This is a new blog that just started. Click on James

      This is a guy that I don’t necessarily agree with on some things, but hes smart, and a good guy none the less. Click on Derek

      This guys site is cool, and has weekly “Brachas” where he has links to all kinds of like minded material, and some funny stuff too. Click on Judah

      Thats all for now. Believe me, I like arguing about this stuff, so load up, and hit me with your best stuff LOL!!! Later Bro

  2. samantha says:

    Yeah this is a cool site good posts

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