The prospect of allowing non-believers to speak and teach in our fellowships and congregations of believers is what started us down the path of this article today. First, let’s define, for the sake of this article, the terms ‘non-believers’ and ‘believers’. ‘Believers’ are those, regardless of ethnicity, who have accepted Yeshua/Jesus of Nazareth as the Promised Messiah of Israel as prophesied in the Tanakh (Old Testament) and manifested and portrayed in the Apostolic Writings (New Testament). Conversely, ‘non-believers’, for purposes of this article, would be those that deny or reject the concept of Yeshua/Jesus of Nazareth as the Promised Messiah, regardless of ethnicity or background.
Allowing anyone to speak before the members within our fellowships and congregations is a responsibility and decision that should never be approached lightly. Allowing a non-believer to address our groups should be a rare decision made with even greater scrutiny and contemplation. For the record, in our personal interactions in the past with these individuals, we have found them, at least on the surface, to be people of integrity and good character, good people (as people go) . We feel certain that any of these folks would no doubt prove to be good neighbors, people it would be a privilege to call ‘friend’.
The heart of the matter here is actually not about these people per say, but rather our responsibility as leaders, members, and, most importantly, as believers in Messiah Yeshua. In the early portion of the 1st century 2nd temple era, the defining and dividing issue of the day was ‘Yeshua of Nazareth as the Promised Messiah of Israel’ and His preeminence, exclusivity and supremacy. The question we must ask ourselves in this camp is whether or not we have come back to that same point again.
The deeper issue is not the people themselves that we allow to come in and teach, but rather the failings, at times, of some of the leadership in our HR camp. We have failed, at times, to properly guard our portion of ‘the garden’, and with that failure we have allowed the spirit of anti-messiah to infiltrate the camp and pick-up off some of the weaker members of the flock. And, when that failure of the leadership shows itself in our congregations, each member of that flock has the personal responsibility to stand for Truth and Light and stand just as firmly against that which is false and brings darkness and death . We know and understand these non-believing individuals in question are not only good and honest and reputable people but they are also zealous for their beliefs and convictions. We in this camp should be just as zealous. But by allowing access to the flock to those that simply exhibit zeal for Israel and the written Torah, perhaps because they are jewish and have information that we desire, we have actually, if only passively, facilitated the diminishing of the preeminence, exclusivity and supremacy of Messiah Yeshua, The Living Word.
There are those in Israel that literally risk life and limb on a daily basis as they stand against the anti-missionary, anti-messiah forces in The Land. They risk all every day to uphold, defend and preach the supremacy of Yeshua, and are maligned, demeaned, beaten and have their very livelihoods, lives and families threatened because of their faith and their stance for The Truth of Yeshua. No, we are NOT advocating the unbelievers’ type of violent zeal to be employed for what we KNOW to be true, but why are we so many times willing to acquiesce in the face of what we know to be false? Is it that we do not want to be divisive? Are we fearful of being offensive? What’s The Word Say? Yeshua, by His very presence, was and is divisive. The convicting presence of the Ruach is always divisive. Yeshua said ‘I bring a sword’. How much more divisive could we be? We don’t go out everyday with the intention of being divisive and offensive, but Yeshua said to expect it. God has laid a stumbling stone, a rock of offense in Zion, a stone that is the chief corner and capstone. All who throw themselves upon it will live, but those on whom it falls will be crushed.’ By allowing ANYONE that openly rejects the truth of Yeshua as Messiah to minister to the flock, we, by our failure to stand for The One Who Is The Truth, have passively denied the truth concerning The One Who Is The Truth, and have failed as watchmen on our respective walls. This is not about any one person or group of people or ethnicity or religion. It’s about Yeshua and The Truth. It’s about whether we will stand for Truth or bow in acquiescence. Are we seeing once again Yeshua as the Dividing Line within the ‘hebrew camp’?
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth NOT is condemned already, because he hath NOT believed in the only begotten Son of God. (Joh 3:16-18) Shabbat Shalom and Shavuot Sameach.