We have had, on occasion, those who come into our Congregation with the intent to be contentious and attempt to cause division by proselytizing our congregants. Our desire in publishing these Points of Order is NOT to turn people away at the door simply because they may disagree with us on any of these points. It is simply to clarify to those who come to our Congregation with the intent to cause division in any of these Points that they are published. Such divisiveness will not be tolerated.
Rabbi Shaul (Apostle Paul) in Titus 3:10 tells us, "10 Reject a factious man after a first and second warning, 11 knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned."
No doubt, there are points of belief and practice that we may disagree with in the Messianic Movement alone, not including those of Christendom and Judaism, yet, we can still find fellowship together as brethren. If our intent is to be divisive when we fellowship with the brethren, then that is unacceptable behavior and we should be shunned.
For example, though I disagree with the Church at large on their position on the Torah in the lives of believers, I would not go to their congregations and cause division by attempting to proselytize their members to my point of view. Neither would I try to impose my practice upon the believers in that congregation. When I go into the Church, I fellowship with the brethren there and focus on the commonality of the faith we all hold to and can generally agree with. It is in that spirit that we would hope that those who join with us during our services would likewise observe.
We welcome all who would join with us to worship the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and put aside their personal preferences and differences as we join together in the commonality of our mutual faith in Him.
"Hine ma tov umanaim, Shevet achim gam yachad" ("Behold how good and how pleasant it is, for brethren to dwell together in Unity").
Points of Order
1. THE HOLY NAME: We are NOT a Sacred Name fellowship. At Beth Yeshua our custom is not to pronounce the Name aloud. Instead of pronouncing the personal Name of God, we choose to use other Names and titles as circumlocutions. The reading or aloud mention of "YHVH" (Yod-Hey-Vav-Hey) is to be spoken as "the I AM" in English or as "Hashem" (the Name) in Hebrew. "Adonai", "Lord", "the Most High", or "Avinu (Our Father)" may also be substituted as referring to the Holy Name. Even Yeshua our Messiah did this when He said to say "Avinu (Our Father)." Therefore, we ask that you please refrain from speaking the personal Name of God aloud during times of corporate worship. If it is your personal conviction that the Name should be pronounced aloud, but are willing to refrain from doing so within our congregation, then you are certainly welcome to worship, fellowship and learn with us.
We have a Topical Study on the Sacred Name with both .mp3 audio and PowerPoint presentation that you may listen to covering the subject in great deal. To go to the Sacred Name Series site, Click Here.
Recently I communicated with a dear and learned friend Rabbi Dr. John Fischer about the "Name" and he responded, "We still cannot be certain how to pronounce the name. So we don't...like most of the religious Jewish community."
Articles on the Sacred Name
Hebrew4Christians Divine Names Theology?
Tim Hegg's Torah Resource site: The Sacred Name A Study in Three Parts
Here's an article written by Dr. Daniel Botkin, who DOES believe in using the Sacred Name, regarding the subject: Linguistic Superstition And
The Sacred Name Only Movement.
Finally, an admonishment to Sacred Name adherents who seek to proselytize among our members: Not Just Another Church.
2. TWO HOUSE: - "Two House" or "Ephraim and Judah" teaching as it is known is not approved: It is our experience that this emphasis in groups causes division and confusion within the Messianic movement. "Two-House" groups teach that Jewish Believers are of the House of Judah and that non-Jewish Believers are of the House of Ephraim, and that these are separate groups with separate prophecies and separate promises from God. We do NOT teach this in any way, shape, or form. We believe that such a perspective re-erects the middle wall of partition between Jew and non-Jew (Ephesians 2:14) and, as such, is totally unscriptural to focus on, even if there might be some sort of technical difference. We also do not believe that the taking down of the middle wall of partition means we should all live like Gentiles.
Article on the Two House
Tim Hegg's Torah Resource site has an article on the Two House doctrine: Two House Theory: Three Fatal Flaws
3. LUNAR SABBATH: We are not a Lunar Sabbath congregation. "Lunar Shabbat" groups teach that the current calendar in use by modern Judaism is totally wrong, and that we must figure each new month by sighting the New Moon in the sky, and that each month the "days of the Sabbath count" (the numbering of the days of the week) start over. This results in having most months begin with shortened weeks and having two Shabbats within a couple of days of each other. Historically, there is NO evidence that Israel ever observed such a practice.
4. "ORTHODOX MESSIANIC" groups (they go by many names) teach that you must keep the commandments in order to be saved, and not just the commandments in the Scripture, but the traditional rules as coined by Judaism since the Temple was destroyed... essentially, they teach that we must keep Orthodox Judaism, but with the addition of Yeshua. We do NOT teach this in any way, shape, or form. Some of the traditions are right and good, and in keeping with the commandments. Others are not. The deciding factor relative to observing traditions is expressed in Mark 7:1-13. Simply put, if a tradition invalidates the Word of God it must not be observed. Does this mean that Yeshua was against tradition? No! He observed many of the traditions of His day, including Channukah (John 10:22), which is not a Biblically ordained observance. He also observed the tradition of coming up to the bimah to read from the Word of God (Luke 4:16-21).
How do we know which ones to keep or do away with? Only by studying to show ourselves approved of God can we rightly divide the word of truth and discover how God calls us to live.
5. MESSIAH'S NAME: The name of our Messiah was and is Yeshua or Y'shua (not Yah-shua) meaning both "salvation" and "Yah who is salvation" in Hebrew. According to good Hebrew scholarship, none less than Danny ben Gigi, the term "Yahshua" is not correct Hebrew pronunciation.
6. NAME AS AUTHORITY: The idea of "name" in Hebrew is that of "authority" without referring to the sound of the syllables. Use of a name means use of the authority behind the name. Therefore, it is more important to know by what authority something is done, rather than the spoken syllables. When Messiah said He came in His Father's Name, He was referring to the Father's Authority, not the syllables of the Holy Name.
7. THE TORAH: The Torah may refer to either the Five Books of Moses, the entire Tanakh (Hebrew Scriptures) or the whole Bible, depending on usage. The Torah in our usage never refers to the Talmud or parts. We do not consider the Talmud, the Mishnah, or any other commentary on the Scriptures (Jewish or Christian) as the Word of God. The Torah is given for our protection, not for our perfection. We do not judge the practice of minor, ambiguous or unlearned parts of Torah, nor do we practice in the Diaspora those parts of Torah which require residence in the land, a theocratic civil government and/or a consecrated Temple on the Mount Moriah.
8. THE TALIT: The traditional Tallit (white with dark stripes) may be worn by men. In our congregation, women may not wear a man's Tallit since the Torah forbids the genders from wearing clothing of the opposite gender (Devarim - Deuteronomy 22:5). Women may wear female Tallits (with pastel colors) or veils with tzit-tzit to observe the mitzvah of wearing fringes on the corners of their garments.
9. THE KIPPAH: The kippah is a traditional male garment. Because of this, women may not wear them. Though not required to be worn by males, it has come to be associated with a Jewish identity and expression of worship.
10. WOMEN IN TEACHING AUTHORITY OVER MEN: Based upon Rabbi Shaul's injunction in 1 Timothy 2:11-15, the leadership of Beth Yeshua believe that it is inappropriate for a woman to be in teaching authority over men. For an excellent article on this, read Tim Hegg's The Role of Women in the Messianic Assembly.