“I’ve been listening to ‘X, Y, and Z’ and they have some really good arguments for the ‘B’ Calendar and I am really thinking about going by that one. Have you heard the arguments?”
“Yes I have and like I’ve said on many occasions, people have really compelling reasons for keeping all of the ‘A, B and C’ calendars and each one is associated with some well known names, although I’d never keep a calendar just because someone else was keeping one. I haven’t listened to any teachings from the main guys who promote the calendar we keep for years now, and the guy who promotes the calendar you are looking at I’ve listened to a few times. Everyone has some really great arguments and every calendar has it’s downside. In my first book, I even suggested that people keep the calendar that the last Sanhedrin calculated until they get things figured out for themselves. So if you’ve searched it out and want to keep that calendar, then do it. You know I don’t care – but Passover at my house is going to be on the ‘A’ Calendar and you are still invited. 🙂 ”
My friend chuckled at me.
I laughed back, “Well, you know me, it’s not like I am going to try to talk you out of it – because I cannot prove or disprove the ‘A’ or ‘B’ calendar, and even though I can disprove the ‘C’ calendar, everyone knows that it isn’t right but since the other two calendars cannot be proven, a lot of people keep it for the sake of unity. I have no problem with that. In fact, I respect it. So we keep the Feasts as well as we can here in exile, that’s all we can do.”
Now, if you’ve read The Bridge, you know what calendar my family keeps (it helped me to explain some things), but I’m not going to post it here because in the whole grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter what calendar Tyler Dawn Rosenquist and her family keeps any more than it matters what calendar Michael Rood or Andrew Gabriel Roth keeps, because we are nobodies – we cannot legitimize or illegitimize the calendar they were keeping in the days of Moses, nor can we prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt. Truth is, it is human nature to want to associate that which we do and do not like with personalities so that we can either promote or disparage it – but what does this do? It simply creates division and unnecessary wedges between people. It transforms a conscience issue into an ego issue. “My calendar has to be right and yours has to be wrong because….” Even if we like someone, their calendar may end up being dead wrong, and even if we hate someone, their calendar might end up being right!
If I were to share what calendar I keep, there are folks who would disregard and disrespect the other things I teach – and that is a plain fact. So I don’t mention it anymore, because what I am trying to teach is more important than a calendar that none of us can prove. I am trying to teach about the relationship we have with God, a relationship in which calendars and pronunciations are side issues.
Although I used to type out the Name pronunciation a lot, I don’t do it anymore – I guess I stopped about eighteen months ago. I found that too many people, when they say it, weren’t saying it to honor our Creator, but to but a pronunciation on display. I was doing it too. Now, if you are in my house with me, you will hear it a lot because it’s my home and we all say it – not to make a point because, you know, who would we be trying to impress when we all say it that way? We say it because He is ever-present and I say it because frankly, He is always on my mind to some extent. But outside the house, and even on the Wednesday night teaching, I don’t say it very often. Again, saying the Name in certain ways has become associated with certain personalities and people divide into factions. I refuse to take part in an agenda. People make a big deal about proclaiming a pronunciation when the commandments are to praise, proclaim and bless the Name – the person, the reputation, the honor, the authority, etc. – of YHVH. We are not to make known a pronunciation, but His excellency, His faithfulness, His justice and righteousness. When we make it about a pronunciation, we detract from Who He is. I am all about proclaiming His Name and making His Name great – but I won’t waste my time promoting debatable things that only cause division. I guess a good way to explain it is in terms of Patron/Client relationships.
I have this friend Lisa who translated a bunch of my blogs into Spanish – something I couldn’t do on my own. She served as a patron for me, and I was her client, and so now when I post those blogs, I post her name in them with a thank you note and when people ask me about her, I say, “Oh my gosh that girl is a translating machine! I am in awe, and she is so generous with her time not only to my ministry but to others as well!” I am proclaiming the name of Lisa. In my latest book, I dedicated it to YHVH, to my teachers Rico, Ryan, and Daniel and to my editor Sarah Hawkes Valente (disclaimer, she edited this last book, King, Kingdom, Citizen, not The Bridge, which is why this book is so much better and polished!) – I am increasing their reputation (not by much, granted, because my audience is small lol) by publicly honoring them. In all these cases, I am not making the pronunciation of their names known, but I am promoting them personally. I am praising them publicly, not as gods, but I am ‘making their names great’ in a rather limited capacity. I am not increasing the fame of pronunciations, but of people, make sense?
Now, if you know me personally, then you know the answers to both of the questions I posted in the blog title. If you don’t know me, then I want you to get to know me by my fruit and not by how I am similar or dissimilar to you and how you do the debatable things. Here’s the deal – if I don’t know and can’t prove it beyond any shadow of a doubt, then I don’t have even the slightest reason to make someone feel like dirt, or less of a believer, for doing things differently. In other words, I absolutely care about whether you keep the Feasts, but I don’t care about the calendar you keep them on.
One more thing – another piece of ANE context for you in the midst of this. I was accused last week by a new believer of breaking the Torah by using the title ‘God” instead of YHVH and ‘Jesus’ when teaching Christians about Yeshua – supposedly I was calling on the name of false gods. But what does it mean to ‘call on the name’ of a god? Using a title is not the same as calling on the Name, and using a familiar name in order to introduce an unfamiliar Name is not the same as false worship. If I inserted the detestable name Ashtorteth into this scentence – “O ___________ please save me. Bless my crops, bring the rain, and fill my womb with children.” or “By the name of _____________ I swear that I will do such and such.” or “Bless ____________.” Well, that would be calling on the name of a false god, and that is what it means when their names are not to be found on our lips.
But if I were to say, “Ashtoreth is not a god at all, she is false and worthless,” then even though I said that name, her name would not be ‘on my lips’ because that phrase has specific connotations that go way beyond speaking a name. It means to invoke the name of a god in power and authority. If I couldn’t say that name at all, I couldn’t read the Bible aloud! The prophets would have been sinning, heck – Moses would have been sinning!
As for titles, God means Elohim and god means elohim. Really, Hebrew has no capitol letters and that whole thing is an English language tradition. Lord means Adonai, but it also has the same meaning as ba’al, which is also the name of a false god – for that matter, El is also the name of a false god. It’s like you can’t avoid it even when speaking of YHVH in simple Biblical language So we have to get off of these ideas that titles are bad. Every single title of God can and has been used for other gods, that I can think of – I mean, it isn’t like we can throw away the entire language because someone took a title of God and used it for a false god. Oh darn, someone called Marduk the creator so we can’t use that anymore…. NO! Come on guys. There is nothing wrong with titles. The Pope being called father doesn’t mean that we can’t call YHVH Father anymore.
And so, you know, I do use God and Lord a lot now. I use Master and Father and King – even though they are misused by others. I use them because He is the absolute embodiment of God, Lord, Creator, Master, Father and King. But 100% how to pronounce His Name? I can’t tell you that – and you can’t tell me either, even if you’ve heard it in a dream because I’ve heard ‘my way’ in dreams also and others have heard their pronunciations as well. YHVH speaks to us where we understand, like a Father leading His children into greater and greater truths. So yes, keep the Feasts and proclaim His Name – but make sure that you know what those things mean in context, and not just in how it sounds in English.