Month 8:25, Week 2:3 (Shleshi/Bikkurim), Year:Day 5937:232 AM|
Gregorian Calendar: Wednesday 27 November 2013
The Truth About Man-Made Festivals
Does It Matter?
Why is it that human beings persist in insisting that it doesn't matter what you do so long as you have a warm, loving feeling in your heart about it? The emet (truth) is that that 'warm, loving feeling in your heart' may not be as kosher or clean as you'd like to believe.
The Pregnant Girl
I am often reminded of the true story of a teen girl who got pregnant with a classmate while at High School. She was besides herself to know what to do as her boyfriend was not the least bit interested in settling down with her to raise a child. She had her whole life head of her and knew that a child would change everything - permanently. So she went to a teacher whom she liked for advice. The teacher was a very warm-hearted person who definitely cared about her pupils and wanted the best for them by she was not a believer. The teacher went through all the options with the teen and advised her to have an abortion. Yielding to her teacher's experience in years and trusting the teacher to have her well-being at heart, the girl decided to go ahead and have an abortion. The relief and gratitude she felt at having her teacher's support weighed heavily in her making that fateful decision.
Moral Judgments and Feelings
I use this illustration as a warning not to make moral judgments based on feelings alone. Our emotions do not have the perspective of Elohim (God), our consciences are not always trained up correctly in Yahweh's emet (truth) and when we make decisions where feelings predominate we not uncommonly end up making serious errors. Abortion is not only the murder of an innocent child but it is scientifically well known that the trauma of it harms the mother emotionally and physically. Love is not always convenient.
So it actually deeply saddened me when yesterday a friend of mine who has a real heart for people, has an active prayer ministry that has blessed me and others over the years, who is desperately ill and may well be dying, thought nothing of wishing her Messianic and Jewish friends a 'Happy Hanukkah' yesterday. For her, as for so many, it's not what you do that matters but how you feel in your heart. Sugar-coating error does not make the error go away. And there can be no doubt, based on what I know of her, that she truly wished peace, good will and joy for all her non-evangelical friends but thought acknowledging their false beliefs was a valid way of doing so.
The school teacher meant well for her pupil but she played 'God' in advising an immature teen to destroy her unborn child conceived out of wedlock. And there are many believers who mean well when they say 'anything goes' when it comes to religious observance provided you have a love for people. But that's playing 'God' too. Loving our fellow human being does not automatically mean you are loving Yahweh or even loving your fellow man in the long term! Loving Yahweh with all your heart by obeying His mitzvot (commandments) - which includes loving your neighbour as yourself - is what really matters because then we cannot easily fall into the temptation of playing 'God' when we make moral and religious decisions that aren't ours to make.
'Feel Good' is Not Necessarily Good
We need to be reminded - and often, it would seem - that Yahweh does not acknowledge the humanistic 'feel good' doctrine. We need to be reminded - and often - what Yahweh thought when the children of Israel built an idol - an Egyptian cow-god - and claimed they were doing so in honour of Yahweh and not for their own desires, even though it was actually their wicked 'feel good' desires that led the whole nation into apostacy and which nearly resulted in their extinction. Feelings are not emet (truth)! Only emet (truth) is emet (truth), and it is emet (truth) that defines whether feelings are good or bad no matter how warm of fuzzy we may feel. True feelings - kosher feelings - don't have to necessarrily feel good!
Divine Emotional Protocols
What do I mean by that? Sometimes we must feel bad in order to do what is right. Feeling good clearly doesn't always lead to right, does it? Guilt is not usually a pleasant feeling but if it prevents us from doing evil, who can deny that it is good?
Mind + Heart are Not Enough
The relationship between our minds and hearts is a complex one at the best of times which is why on their own they can be a deadly combination. It is for this reason that a third element, ruach (spirit), is absolutely needed for a life to be a truthful, contented and successful one. Not any old 'ruach' (spirit), mind you, but the Ruach Elohim (the Spirit of God). If our life is not directed by His Ruach (Spirit), if our mind is not filled with His Torah, and our hearts not filled with the luscious and delightful emotions that proceed from these two, then we can't not be deceived.
A Merry Apis?
Yesterday evening Talmudic Jews and their messianic imitators began celebrating the 8-day festival of Hanukkah. They are claiming Yahweh commanded its observance and that an alleged miracle of oil multiplcation actually happened. The emet (truth) is that Yahweh nowhere commanded its observance (it was originally a late Sukkot and then evolved into a semi-pagan winter solstice festival like Christmas), Yah'shua (Jesus) never observed it or countenanced it, and the Pharisaic rituals accompanying it are based on a lie and are blasphemous. Loving your neighbour - be he Jew or Messianic - does not include wishing them a 'Happy Hanukkah' (or a 'Merry Christmas' to a Christian) because in so doing you are lending your agreement to lies and devilish vows and bringing the curses of this modern day Golden Calf (or Nimrod idolatry) on your own head. You may think it is nothing of the sort but ask yourself if the children of Israel didn't actually have the same attitude at Sinai when they broke the Covenant and worshipped the idol Apis in the Name of Yahweh claiming they were doing 'good'? They certainly had a 'good' time - an orgy in fact. Did Yahweh just 'laugh it off'? Did He tell the Israelites not to worry about because He 'knew their hearts', they 'meant well?' so it was OK? You'll not find many Jews and Messianics wishing one another a 'Happy Apis or a 'Merry Golden Calf'.
Do Not Be Deceived
Do not be deceived or fall for one of the oldest devilish traps of them all - that outward things don't matter nearly as much as 'having a right heart': no, such behaviour is neither 'innocent' nor 'alright' because per definition you can't have a right heart observing something that points to the Enemy which Yahweh's Torah declares to be an abomination. Yahweh did not conceal His fury after the Golden Calf incident. You take the Davar Elohim (Word of God) casually at your own peril. Yahweh has told us what to celebrate and what not to.
The Intents of My Heart
I neither wish my Christian friends 'Merry Christmas' nor my Jewish and Messianic friends a 'Happy Hanukkah'. My not doing so doesn't mean that I don't love Christ or that I don't approve of the original Late Sukkot that became transformed into 'Hanukkah' or that I don't approve of my friends as human beings loved by the Creator. It means that I refuse to be associated with pagan Nimrod or fire worship. I don't care for Christmas trees, yule logs, Hanukkah bushes, dreidels or unscriptural 9-armed menorah's either. I care deeply for Messiah Yah'shua (Jesus), Christians, Messianics and Jews, and I care deeply for Yahweh's commanded moedim (appointments), but man-made religious traditions I have no time for and will not express approval for them or their gods in even a casual greeting. I refuse to "imitate the detestable ways of the nations" (Deut.18:9, NIV) no matter now much glitter, merriment and well-wishing is involved.
It is important in refusing to partake in pagan celebrations that we do not, however, sacrifice grace and loving-kindness in the process. Yahweh still loves the people who observe these festivals especially if they are ignorant of the emet (truth) of their pagan origins. We mustn't become like some groups who totally shun such people. We are to set an example of both maintaining Torah purity and the heart transformed by Yahweh's undeserved loving-kindness toward us. Politely (and firmly is they start pressuring you to imitate their ways) and kindly explain why you don't return the pagan greeting or simply bless them in Yah'shua's (Jesus) Name. There are many ways to show Yahweh's ahavah without compromising and the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) is not slow in guiding. So it is my prayer that those who are celebrating Hanukkah without really knowing why, or what its origins are, carefully study our website by clicking the logo below. Shalom!