Is Standing Your Ground Destroying the Goal of God’s Word?

Make sure you read the blog before you accuse me of endorsing sin or anything, okay?

One of the great unspoken truths about families is that we forgo some of our “rights” to individuality when we become part of one. We stop doing what is unpleasing to those we love. Every Tuesday night out with the guys or gals might become one Tuesday a month with the guys or gals. Spending money on a fancy date night out often makes way for pizza and a movie in with the kids – at least until they are out of the house again.

We have to change when we become part of a larger community. The family teaches us that on a small scale. Some families won’t discuss politics when they are together to keep the peace – which was probably a wise thing this last election cycle. We recognize this restraint, this suppression of ego, as healthy and necessary for a measure of unity and comfort – love requires that we do not do to others what would be hateful to us.

Something I have noticed about the Hebrew Roots/Messianic movement (something I fight very much within myself) is the number of individuals who take the attitude that they will not be ruled over in anything, nor will they compromise on any issue. The local group has to keep my calendar, say the Name my way, believe all the same things that I believe (regardless of how little time I have been doing this or how little I actually study) or I will stay home or try and split the congregation to follow me – because there are seemingly no small issues that are worth bending on. Yet, we all bend for the sake of living in peace with our loved ones (or at least we should). There are too many people out there with the attitude that they will do exactly as they are doing until God Himself shows them differently. And I have said that in the past – to which I say now, “Wow, Tyler, really? I know you are trying to sound like you are just submitted to God but what you are really saying is that you are too proud to listen to anyone but God.”

Before anyone says, “What about Christians?” Well. What about them? Why does everything have to go back to what they are or are not doing wrong? I am tired of hearing people harp on mainstream Christians. We need to stop deflecting – our house is a mess, so let’s clean it up and if we do a good enough job then maybe someone might actually want to be like us instead of wanting to avoid the mess! When I get on Andrew’s back for not doing his Math homework, the last thing I want to hear is, “Well, Matt didn’t do his yesterday.” That’s what we sound like – deflecting tattletales who are just trying to shirk personal responsibility.

Right now, when I look at the online Body of Messiah, I see a field of cells – most of which are as far away from any other cells as possible. Frankly, it looks like someone blew a person up with a bomb. A few are clumped together here and there, but the clumps aren’t connected to the Head so much as they are connected to a few choice doctrines. I see preppers clumped together, sacred namers clumped together and then subdivided by the, I don’t even know how many theories about, pronunciation, people clumped together over this or that calendar (I think there are like five, next year there will probably be six) – clumps, clumps and more clumps over this or that thing that is not Torah or Yeshua. People who are sometimes only willing to be guided and ruled by those who do not challenge them, or who might cause them to look and ask, “Is this really something to be joined to/divided from other people over or is it a smokescreen hiding my unwillingness to be part of the universal Body that is supposed to be united in Messiah despite differences in all this other stuff?”

Before someone thinks I am picking on people – don’t miss the point. Let’s look at the ideal situation – even if there was a worldwide Sanhedrin populated only with believers in Yeshua so that we could all come together as one – would you accept that authority if they didn’t agree with you on everything? If they made a decision about how and when to say the Name or when to determine the beginning of the month? What doctrines are so important to you that you would refuse to celebrate the Feasts as one people? I have been thinking about this over the last year. I freely admit that, when I began seriously considering it, I felt my desire not to be ruled by anyone, my fears, rising inside me – largely because I have had terrible experiences with leadership abuse in my past. And yet, there is something larger than my own fears – the testimony of Yeshua. It’s in shambles because of our over-reaching modern hyper-individuality. And frankly, the leadership abuse only flourishes because we have no worldwide leadership to appeal to. Heck, no one sane would want to be in leadership of this group of unapologetic individualists? So we have no worldwide leadership because we won’t agree to be ruled and we are abused because there is no worldwide standard of leadership. What could go wrong?

We made a transition in my home a year ago. I stopped using our choice of the pronunciation of the Name, and we switched to the Hillel II calendar. I’ve been using HaShem, Adonai, Lord and God lately when I speak, and not because I hate the Name but because I detest the division that comes with speaking it. I feel like the Name is being defiled because no matter how I say it, someone out there will hear and crinkle their nose in distaste. I am not prepared to any longer be the cause of my God’s Name inspiring someone to crinkle their nose in distaste and disapproval. If they are going to disapprove of something – let it be a title! I am also done with the calendar divisions. I can prove through the extra-Biblical writings exactly which calendar will be re-instituted, but it doesn’t matter, because “my” calendar causes, again, people to think of the Feasts with distaste if I am not following theirs – which was exactly why the Hillel II calendar was created in the first place, to unite the Jews worldwide. The last Sanhedrin must have seen the potential for what I see on social media every day – the splintering of the Body.

I gave up some of my autonomy for the sake of being connected to the Head and unified to as many other cells as possible. I gave up autonomy, but not the actual commandments – simply gave up where I recognized that my opinions were a source of disunity that was all about me, me, and me under the auspices of being about Him. As I study Scriptural context more and more, I am seeing how my shallow reading of the Word was causing more division than it was curing. I am looking at the bigger picture of what the Body needs right now, and the Body needs less autonomy and more working together as a cohesive unit with everyone focused on their jobs. If that requires me not doing everything I want to do and being less comfortable, then that is a small price to pay – really, the only price is my ego and my really strong desire not to be a part of a family; or maybe the real price is simply giving up on the secret hope of being the one person in charge of the entire family as they bow to doing everything my way, as though my way is God’s way.

But God’s way is about restoring what was there in Creation – the entire Bible is about restoring relationship, not about instituting arbitrary rules and regulations. If you can’t see restoration as the ultimate goal of a Law, or a prophecy, or absolutely every verse of Scripture – if all you see are rigid standards to be imposed on behavior, then you have missed the point of the Word entirely. The Law is the milk, not the meat. The Law is what gets fed to babes in the faith, giving them a basic outer boundary of what constitutes decent behavior. Within those healthy boundaries we then are required, and guided by the Spirit, to not only be regulated on the outside, but to become transformed on the inside, to have our insides match our outward actions. I think a lot of folks harp on obedience to the Law because they see the Law as the meat of the Word, and have never allowed that Law to do its job – namely inspiring us to the greater works of the Torah, actually literally loving people even to the point of being willing to not always get out own way. Keeping a law in the flesh is easy, really easy. Being transformed into someone who no longer needs that external Law because it is so horoughly internalised as the bare minimum – that’s the tough part. I think as we get that, we will be able to compromise and come together for His sake, and forget about our sake.

I’ve been feeling this call since summer of 2014, a drawing together – but the cost to self and ego is high. Are we going to remain entitlement-minded, individualistic Americans bent on our rights and our freedom of speech or are we prepared to become the Body of Messiah and the Nation of Israel, where we relinquish our autonomy for the sake of His glorious witness in the world? Will they know we are His by our self-sacrificing love for one another and our humble servanthood, or will they not want Him because they see how cruel we are when opposed? Are we willing to be a part of a Kingdom? We were not raised to think that this sort of choice is beneficial, but our autonomy will be our ruin if we don’t make serious changes.

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18 Comments


  1. Thank you so much! I’ve been having a cumulative awakening of sorts to so much of what you wrote! Especially as you progress to talking about the ‘meat,’ etc. I just feel so comforted someone else is seeing these things. I feel like I’ve been in a type of mourning almost 2 years now for what I’m seeing, but trying to share it with those in leadership has left me mourning more.

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    1. My friend Ryan White of http://www.rootedintorah.com is working at expanding this concept into a huge teaching – you’ll want to see it. We were talking about this a few months ago and we came up with an interesting way of describing the difference between Torah as a fence and having Torah on the inside that I think people will really love. Ryan is a great teacher!

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  2. Another great one Tyler!!! Thank you for writing what so many of us feel <3 Praying for you sis!!!

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  3. This is SO true!! Thank you for your honest posts!

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  4. Amen Tyler! You are not alone in this thinking many want to be connected to one another on a deeper more spiritual level as well as a physical one also. And there is no restoration unless the physical and spiritual brought together. There are more people tired of the nonsense I pray than those creating it. May we all be about our Fathers work with joy and love in our hearts and a mindset that brings unity and compassion to those truly seeking His face.

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  5. I commend you. Firstly because the Hebraic understanding of the Name has nothing to do with how it is pronounced. The name has to do with one’s character. Why do you think males were not given their name until the eighth day at circumcision? Because by then their character traits would be shown.
    I can’t help think that many would read the Scriptures according to their biases. For instance. Some people may read John 14:23 as:

    Yeshua answered and said unto him. If a man loves me, he will keep my calendar and pronounce my name properly: and my Father will love him, and we will love him, and we will come to him, and make our abode with him.

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  6. thank you, Tyler; how do you always amaze me with (obvious) truths? Shalom.

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  7. I totally agree, Tyler, and the very reason I started saying Lord and God in a lot of my posts. The pronunciation and calendar police– oh my goodness, that makes us all look bad. No one is saying to unite in sin but to be sooo dogmatic and divisive over Hebrew pronunciations and calendars is just wrong, in my opinion, even if they are correct. All these things will be straightened out when the Messiah returns. HalleluYAH!

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  8. I’m know I will not be the popular one here, and that’s ok. I can live with that and love each of you in spite of that.

    I do not agree. Tyler you say this..

    ” I think a lot of folks harp on obedience to the Law because they see the Law as the meat of the Word, and have never allowed that Law to do its job – namely inspiring us to the greater works of the Torah, actually literally loving people even to the point of being willing to not always get out own way. Keeping a law in the flesh is easy, really easy. Being transformed into someone who no longer needs that external Law because it is so horoughly internalised as the bare minimum – that’s the tough part. I think as we get that, we will be able to compromise and come together for His sake, and forget about our sake.”

    Compromise on what exactly?

    I live in peace with my family who are Christians. I never point fingers at them or accuse them of being lawless. I don’t judge them or call them out. We live in peace. They do not agree, but we can agree to disagree. I meet them where they are without compromising. And they respect me for it.

    So I ask, compromise on what? Of course our walk changes as our walk grows. May it always be so. My Shabbat looks much different now then it did in the beginning. But compromise? This is life and death. There is no compromise, only growth. I don’t have to agree with my neighbor on how to say His name. What if I’m wrong? I don’t have to agree with a certain calendar. What if I’m wrong? These questions don’t lead to compromise, but rather more study. The only thing we need to agree on is covenant. Sabbath, circumcision, and Yeshua. The two commandments that embody all instruction is loving our Creator and loving our neighbor. I can do that without compromising.
    Torah is life and death. I believe Yah will bring you along this path of Torah at your own speed, and it will be different for many folks. Our understanding will be different based on what the Ruach is showing us. But so long as we are moving forward and not backward, that is the key. Always learning always growing. Always remaining humble enough to say hmmm, he has a point there. I’ve tried to do that with your recent blog. Still am. So I’m asking, what exactly are you suggesting we compromise on? It’s an honest question, not meant to cause division or strife, but to gain some understanding as to where you are coming from.

    Deut 32:
    45 When he had finished speaking all these words to all Isra’el,
    46 he said to them, “Take to heart all the words of my testimony against you today, so that you can use them in charging your children to be careful to obey all the words of this Torah.
    47 For this is not a trivial matter for you; on the contrary, it is your life! Through it you will live long in the land you are crossing the Yarden to possess.”

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    1. I thought I was clear in the blog, so your question is confusing me – I was talking about coming together as a worldwide Messianic Body with respect to calendar and the Name and such. There are people out there who won’t even consider folks who don’t say the Name to be walking in obedience with God and slander them. They consider different calendars as salvation issues. I specifically asked that, if there was a Messianic Sanhedrin, and it decided we would all keep calendar X, would someone put aside their calendar and compromise for the sake of unity. I never said a word about compromising on sin issues, in fact, my very first sentence was written to make it clear that wouldn’t be the case.

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      1. It wasn’t clear to me which is why I asked the question, for clarification. I apologize for the confusion. Thank you for responding. I get what you are saying now. I haven’t given the sacred names and calendar folks much attention in years. I use the name I’m comfortable with and use the Hillil calendar to stay in unity with Israel. Still looking for some clarification on the other post. I appreciate your response.

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        1. I apologise if I sounded irritated, check my other answer – been having problems with people thinking I am cross ever since my TIA’s last month. I am having trouble communicating mood – never used to have that problem before. Not exactly sure what I am doing wrong, but it is popping up with enough regularity that I know there is something different about how I am expressing myself now.

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  9. I apologize. One other question. You stated..

    ” Being transformed into someone who no longer needs that external Law because it is so horoughly internalised as the bare minimum – that’s the tough part. I think as we get that, we will be able to compromise and come together for His sake, and forget about our sake.”

    Someone who no longer needs the external law? I’m not understanding that statement. In my mind those are dangerous words, especially given the issues in the Hebrew Roots movement as you yourself has stated. Those issues being a lack of humility and arguments over names and calendars. Basically that statement in my mind says, if I feel I have learned enough, I can move past Torah, stop eating Kosher, and start tackling the weighted matters of Torah, like loving our neighbor. Please correct me if I’m misreading this. I am certainly open and welcome correction.

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    1. It means – that the law would be so deeply imbedded as the bare minimum requirement that we would naturally never come close to violating it. Nothing dangerous about them – the law teaches us how to curb our outward behavior until our character changes enough that even coming anywhere near violating those outer boundaries would be unthinkable. For example, I don’t need the “don’t eat pork” law anymore because I am revolted by the thought of it. I don’t think when I wake up, “Okay, I can’t eat pork, darnit.” It has ceased to be a law for me that I have to think about, it is way out there for me, I don’t have to be told. It’s engraved in my heart. At first, it wasn’t – I did it because I was told not to. Torah is our tutor when we need to be told not to do things for the sake of not doing things, but as we become conformed to His character and learn to love and hate what He loves and hates, they cease becoming regulations and become instead our cultural norms. Why didn’t you eat cats when you were a small child? Did you need a law on the books telling you not to do it? No, it was abhorrent to you because it was internalized, it is a part of you, intrinsic to your character through your culture which has manifested itself as an aspect of character. Hope that helps. I specifically, in the quote you gave there, called Torah the bare minimum – certainly wasn’t doing away with it. External law controls behavior only and doesn’t touch the heart, you can keep the Law without loving God one iota, and that is like living on milk – doing it all as a form of external righteousness. But to have it written on our hearts where we no longer keep it because we don’t want our hands slap and naturally living by it because our character has been transformed on the inside, that is the meat. That leads to true good works and manifests itself in the greater works of Torah.

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      1. Absolutely love this and am so happy I asked the question! I’m am truly sorry if I offended you by asking, that was not my intent. My intent for asking was truly for clarification, not to argue or confuse the issue. I asked publicly in case others had the same questions. Many blessings Tyler. Shalom.

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        1. No, not offended – sorry if it sounded that way. I had a few TIA’s (mini-strokes) last month and my mode of expression is not as polished as usual. I am having trouble with people thinking I am angry lately lol. I actually wrote this blog post a year ago for social media and found it and just tweaked it a bit for the blog or it would be even more confusing 😉

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