|5 Idols Messianics
Still Worship Today
by Daniel Rendelman
Though Hebrew roots seekers shun anything that resembles paganism, there are idols galore in our congregations. Could you actually be worshiping something other than YHWH?
If we’re honest we’ll recognize we’ve got some major idol issues. Idols used to be made of wood and stone. Today our idols are ideas and actions. Don’t let these common messianic idols steal your worship and ruin your life.
Not Being Wrong
People who are attracted to the Hebrew roots movement often have a passion for truth. And that’s a good thing until being right is all we seem to care about. I’ve had to learn this lesson the hard way. Because of my desire to do things the “right way” I’ve often alienated myself from people who cared about me.
Being Torah observant should not cause us to also be rude and arrogant. No one cares if you know the 613 commandments if you are easily offended by differences. And just because you might be an expert in a certain subject, like calendars or kosher eating, doesn’t mean others want to hear what you’ve learned. We must reconsider how we share the truth with love. The right thing said the wrong way is absolutely wrong.
It’s much better to show people your faith than it is to make a fuss about theirs. Sinners are going to sin. We’ve got to be the light and not focus on being right at the expense of others.
Proverbs 11:12, “It’s stupid to say bad things about your neighbors. If you are sensible, you will keep quiet.”
If Christianity is Jewish then everyone who stays mainstream Christian must be wrong. Right? Wrong again.
Bashing the church doesn’t bring us closer to YHWH. And it certainly doesn’t help us love our neighbors. This is a really silly practice that should be avoided. We must not make our faith about who or what we are against. Hating those people who are still “in the church” is a dangerous idol. One of the seven deadly sins is to sow discord.
Now you might say you don’t hate the people in the church, but most Messianics are bitter towards those in traditional Christianity. I certainly was. I was so upset at Christians that I once put anti-Christmas tracts on cars parked at a Christmas musical. All this did was make people mad and cause them to litter the ground. (Not a good idea!)
Most of us started out “in the church” and wouldn’t know anything about the Bible if it wasn’t for those Sunday services we often disdain. Smash that idol and refuse to smash the church. Pray for those whose eye’s have not been opened. Share the truth gently and only when you’re asked.
Like 6:28, “Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you.”
Tradition can be an ally or an idol, depending upon its hold on your life. You’ve got an idol if you feel others must be involved in your traditions. You’ve got an ally if a practice is just a practice and not your focus. For example, the 15 step Seder is a man made tradition that isn’t sending anyone to heaven or hell. You can actually not have a Seder and still observe the Passover. Its just a tradition, and nothing more.
Biblical customs that help you experience your faith are beneficial, as long as you don’t force those practices on others. I have used traditions to help define my faith with my family. I’ve also stopped using those same traditions to keep my family from becoming militant. Balance is key.
This is a hard area of concern for Hebrew roots followers because we’ve left many popular traditions behind to simply develop new ones. We must be on guard to not repeat the sins of our past by allowing traditions to become an idol.
These are some questions I’ve had to ask myself lately… Is the traditional way of welcoming the Sabbath the best? Which traditional way is right? What if I mess up the timing or the wording? Is it wrong to not do anything and let the Sabbath begin without notice? Is my Sabbath observance helping me mature or dwarfing my spiritual growth? How can I know YHWH more with the Sabbath?
Never stop questioning your actions or motives. And don’t get stuck in a traditional routine.
Luke 6:28, “Thus you nullify the word of YHWH by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”
Conspiracies and Culprits
An idol takes time and attention away from the true faith. Conspiracy theories act like a spider’s web entrapping people for hours without end. Worse yet, our witness is damaged by our constant social media posts of some big bad plan to take over the world. This idol absolutely must be destroyed before our message will be taken seriously.
There’s nothing you can do about it, even if, the powers that be are orchestrating world wars, spraying us with chem trails, or manipulating the money markets.
Personally, I know two former Messianic believers who have denounced the Messiah and now believe in ancient aliens. Their fascination with conspiracies led them down a wild and crazy path.
Use your time wisely. Resist this snare of getting caught up with the latest internet buzz. Refuse the web of the web. Perhaps the greatest conspiracy is the enemy’s plan to keep believers preoccupied with his plans?
Isaiah 8:12, “Do not call conspiracy everything that these people call conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it.
The Hebrew Language
Oy vey we’ve got so much to learn!
The Hebrew language is a beautiful gift that helps us better understand the original meaning of the Bible. The restoration of the holy tongue is a prophecy coming true today. It can also become an idol. How?
Some people focus so strictly on proper Hebrew that they scoff at any slight mix up. Others have made the spelling or pronunciation of the name YHWH an issue of division. I’ll never forget how I was once corrected mid worship. What was my problem? A self-made Hebrew scholar stopped my song because I supposedly pronounced “hallelujah” incorrectly. (He said I needed to space out the syllables or I was saying it totally wrong!)
There are amazing insights found in the Hebrew language. Letters, numbers, and symbols all combine to often blow the mind. We can also discover so much that Hebrew can become addictive. Watch what you say, how you say it, and how you study it!
Hebrew is the language of heaven. Don’t spoil it with the stuff of earth.
1 Corinthians 13:13, “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”
Idols are all around. We must guard our heart so that our devotion is to YHWH and YHWH alone. The Messiah said we must worship in Spirit and in Truth. Prayerfully consider these and other areas that might be stealing your attention from YHWH. Consider the fruit of your actions… are you producing love, joy, and peace?