Every year in the month of Elul, in my hometown Orthodox synagogue, we were encouraged to begin examining our thoughts and attitudes in preparation for the month of Tishrei. It was kind of like getting in the mood for Yom Kippur, so that we could sincerely recite the Al Chet prayers – “For the sin that I have committed through…” Well, last night I repented for a long term sour attitude.
It’s well known that the majority of people in Messianic congregations in America are Gentile, but over the years I’ve witnessed several movements such as Hebrew Roots, Two House and others that have led many people astray. Others have noticed this too, including a Conservative Jewish friend who once wrote an article for a Jewish publication entitled “Who put the mess in Messianic?”
So I must admit I came to a place of mockery of some of these congregations and it’s been a rotten attitude of mine for several years – until last night.
I was invited to minister at a church in a small town in Georgia and afterwards, my hostess and I drove to her home in Dothan, Alabama. While driving, this young woman shared her journey from a traditional New Testament church to becoming a Messianic believer. She had sensed the L-rd directing her to read from the TANACH, the Old Testament, and when she discovered the Feasts of the L-rd in Leviticus 23, she asked her pastor about them. His reply was that these were no longer relevant – oy vey! Thank G-d she didn’t believe him, so she kept searching. Shortly afterwards, she was supposed to join in her church’s Easter egg hunt, but the night before she had a horrifying dream of a beast attacking a woman. When she saw the woman’s face, she was shocked to see it was her own! Then the L-rd spoke to her about repenting for the idolatry and paganism she’d experienced over the years. Her husband, stationed overseas in the US military, was actually going through a similar process at the same time! So this precious couple reached the conclusion that they should honor and keep the Feasts of the L-rd in their family!
As she shared her story, I was truly inspired and even provoked to jealousy with the level of purity with which this couple has embraced their Jewish Messiah and His roots. They have not even contemplated imitating or converting to Judaism as they are content to be who G-d created them to be and to gratefully walk in their callings as Messianic Gentiles.
I awoke in the night, deeply repentant for my negative attitude against Messianic Gentiles. The false teachings of the Hebrew Roots movement which have wreaked havoc in the Messianic world, contributed to my attitude. But now I’ve realized that people like this young couple have embraced the Hebrew roots of Yeshua, not to act like Jews, but only to know and love their Messiah more deeply and embrace His whole Word in both Testaments. I’m so grateful for their help in bringing me to this place of repentance and I pray that many more followers of Yeshua will also discover and embrace the Hebrew roots of Yeshua.
By the way this letter of repentance was born in a town called Dothan. Two significant things happened in Biblical Dothan, the home of Elisha who, when surrounded by his enemies, proclaimed, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Also Joseph found his brothers there and now after my repentance, I feel that I’ve found my brothers and sisters here in Dothan!