What Should Be Our Involvement With Rabbinic Judaism?

Matthew 23:3, Whatever they tell you. First what is Moses’s seat as Yeshua uses the term? If Moses’s seat is what you seem to think it is and we have to do ALL that the rabbinic Jews tells us, then the disciples went against what the Jews and Yeshua told them to do when they disobeyed the Jews who told them to stop preaching Yeshua in Acts 5. Into other words, if we’re going to follow everything the rabbinic Jews tell us, then we must all become Yeshua-deniers. Are you a Yeshua denier? If so, this blog is not the place for you. If you’re not, then you’re not following ALL that the Jews say to do. Period. It’s really that simple. I’m trying to be kind and gracious here and speak the truth in love.

We need to make another point here as well. If Yeshua meant in Matthew 23:1–3 that we have to do everything the Jews tell us, then why did he spend the rest of that chapter pointing out all the things that do that are wrong and contrary to the Scriptures? In other words, to NOT do everything they tell you to do. Hmmmmm???!!! There must be more to this Moses’ seat thing than doing all that they tell you to do.

What Should Be Our Involvement With Rabbinic Judaism?

The discussion that follows is in response to the idea that because the Pharisees (and the modern rabbinic Jews who are their spiritual descendants) sit in Moses’ seat, we should do whatever they tell us to do including following their traditions and oral law. Some even have embraced the idea that following rabbinic Judaism is to walk a higher spiritual road (because they ostensibly understand and observe the Torah. What is the truth of the matter and what is Yeshua really saying in this passage? 

Admittedly, there is much we can learn from our Jewish brothers. If you have read my Torah study guides and commentaries and my hundreds of teachings, you would know that I draw heavily from the wisdom of the Jewish sages. My approach is very multi-faceted and my learning is very broad. In my mind, and in the mind of Yeshua and apostles (as we shall point out below) the sun does not rise and set on the Jewish sages. Moreover, the Judaism of today is not that of Yeshua’s era. It is true that the rabbinates of today are the direct descendants of the Pharisees of old, but their religion is as far removed from that of their predecessors as modern Christianity is from its originators. In fact, after A.D. 70, the religion of Judaism was virtually reinvented to accommodate the dual realities of the temple’s destruction and the cessation of the priesthood with the fall of the Sadduceean sect. To assume that what the modern Jews teach is an exact replica of the religion of the Pharisees of Yeshua’s day is very presumptive and ignores the facts of history.

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Why We Don’t Unquestioningly Follow Rabbinic Tradition

Matthew 15:2, Tradition of the elders. These were Jewish traditions or legal regulations not found in the Torah, may of which violated the letter and spirit of the Torah as Yeshua goes on to teach in the next few verses.

Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? (Matt 15:2)

Many folks coming to the Hebraic roots of the Christian faith stumble have the same question. They reason that, since the Christian church purports to be anti-Torah and since the Jewish Torah sages purport to be pro-Torah, we need to follow these Jewish elders and scholars, since, ostensibly, they have been faithful to the Torah for all these millennia and we can learn from them and need to follow their example. 

On the surface, this seems like a reasonable proposition. The problem is that as one digs below the surface veneer and gets to the truth of the matter, neither of these propositions is correct. In fact, the Jews have veered from the Torah as much as the Christians by their non-biblical traditions. In fact, Christians, in most cases, are better off than the Jews. Why is this? At least a solid Bible-believing Christian has received the basic gospel message of Yeshua the Messiah being the mankind’s Savior and Redeemer. A religious Jew probably has not. Moreover, Christians one the one hand while purporting that the Torah-law was “annulled”, “done away with”, “nailed to the cross” or “fulfilled” actually follow much of the Torah (which they call the moral law [e.g. don’t lie, steal, murder, commit adultery, covet, etc.). They just stumble over the dietary laws, the Sabbath and the biblical feasts and a few other minor Torah laws. These are the facts. 

Now let’s address the issue as to why a disciple of Yeshua cannot follow rabbinic tradition lock, stock and barrel, or hook, line and sinker, as they say. If you think that we are to do so, then please give me chapter and verse in Scripture that states that Yeshua or his apostles affirmed ALL of Jewish tradition? You can’t find one, for there are none. On the contrary, Yeshua told the Jewish leaders of his day, “By your traditions, you make of no effect the Word of Elohim” (Mark 7:6–13; Matt 15:3–9), and then in Matthew chapter five, he goes on to elaborate and condemn certain traditions of the elders that had in fact nullified the laws of Elohim. Moreover, Paul was a Pharisee of the Pharisees at the highest level and was trained by Gamaliel, the grandson of Hillel the Great, yet Paul counted the Jewish traditions all as dung (Phil 3:8). Does this bother you and go against your theology? If so, your problem is not with this author, but with Yeshua and Paul—with the Word of Elohim!

Moreover, the very Jewish leadership of the first century who purported, as some suggest, to have the truth that we need to follow, told the disciples to stop preaching the gospel in the name of Yeshua, which they refused to do (Acts 6:33–42). This begs the question: Why should we follow those who hated and still hate Yeshua to this day? 

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Addressing Rabbinic Jewish Arguments Against Yeshua’s Messiahship

The arguments that Orthodox Rabbinic Jewish scholars make attempting to disprove Yeshua’s divinity and Messiahship may appear clever and convincing on the surface, but upon closer examination they prove to be false and are easily refuted.

When one looks through the smoke and mirrors of human deceit, one will see that these Jewish antimissionary arguments are patently false and demonstrate a major degree of spiritual blindness. At the very least, they reveal a dishonesty and disingenuousness on the part of their proponents, and at the most, a gross lack of understanding of the Scriptures. This is because a spirit of blindness has fallen upon rabbinic Jews as the Bible states (Rom 11:25) 

To the naive, uninformed, misinformed and those who are either neophytes in their understanding of the Scriptures, or who have lost their first love of Yeshua and have fallen away from him spiritually, the antimessiah arguments of the rabbinic Jews seem compelling and convincing. Yet, upon careful examinations, all of their arguments have only a thin veneer of truth. Upon closer examination, it is easily proven that they do not line up with the WHOLE truth of the Bible, nor do they, in many cases, even line up with what their own pre-Christian Jewish sages taught and believed about the Messiah and the messianic prophecies of the Hebrew Scriptures. 

Sadly, I have found that these blind unbelieving Jewish guides prey upon weak or disillusioned Christians who don’t know their Scriptures. They are able to draw many lukewarm and deceived Christians into apostasy, even causing them to renounce their faith in Yeshua the Messiah, the Son of Elohim and who is Elohim incarnate (John 1:1, 14). This is tragic!

Below are some of the most common antimessiah arguments that rabbinic Jews make in order to disprove the validity of the gospel message and faith in Yeshua the Messiah. My answers are short and to the point. A whole article could be written answering each point. At the end of this brief study, I offer additional resources for those who want more information.

Rabbinic antimessiah statement: Elohim, the God of the Bible is one (Hebrew echad), not a Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Bible teaches the idea of monotheism, not polytheism as Christianity teaches in the doctrine of the trinity.

Response: The word echad in Hebrew means “a compound unity—or one thing that is comprised of several units that together make up the unified whole (like a bunch of grapes).” The hidden reality is that many rabbinic Jews believe that Elohim is composed of ten component parts as pictured by the mystical sephirotic tree.

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The Deity of Yeshua

The Preeminence and Deity of Yeshua

Phinehas, the grandson of Aaron the high priest, thrust a spear through Zimri the Israelite man and Cozbi the Midianite woman as they were bringing the curse of YHVH upon the nation of Israel by fornicating with each other within the camp of Israel. With the same righteous zeal as Phinehas, today’s righteous spiritual leaders must rise up and stand against secular philosophies that threaten to bring YHVH’s judgment upon redeemed Israel. In the face of evil in his day, David asked, “Who will rise up for me against the evildoers, or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?” (Ps 94:16) The present issue relates to the dangerous and damnable trend within the body of redeemed Israelites believers to question and even deny the deity of Yeshua.

You’ve all heard the Christian axiom, “In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, and in everything else, charity.” What are the essentials of our faith that we must unite in, and around which we must draw the line in the sand and defend that turf until death?

As one who has been walking in the Torah for more than 40 years, who has spent time fellowshipping and ministering in both traditional Sunday Christian as well as Sabbatarian churches, and then pastoring and teaching in pro-Torah/Hebrew roots congregation for many years, it has become clear to me which issues are essential, and which are not. Those biblical truths that are salvational in nature are the essentials. These are the hills on which we must plant the flag of truth and be willing to defend at all costs! What are these immutable essentials?

  • YHVH Elohim (in Hebrew a plural word) is the Sovereign of the universe and the God of the Bible. He is one (Heb. echad, i.e. a compound unity), yet the Bible reveals the Godhead is comprised of three spiritual entities: the Father, the Spirit and the Son.
  • The Bible is the Word of Elohim from Genesis to Revelation.
  • The Torah is for all believers for all time.
  • Yeshua the Messiah, the Word of Elohim, is Elohim and is the Son of Elohim who was manifested incarnate on this earth being born of the virgin Mary. 
  • Yeshua lived a sinless life, died on the cross as an atonement for the sins of man, was buried and resurrected on the third day where he is now at the right hand of Elohim, and at the same time is on the throne of Elohim as Elohim.
  • Salvation is by the grace of Elohim through faith in Yeshua the Son of Elohim. As a result of one’s salvation, one will love Yeshua by keeping his commandments or word (the Torah), which will produce in his life the fruits of righteousness as defined by the Torah.

These are the essentials of our faith on which there can be no compromise. To take a weakened position on any of these issues is to begin down a spiritually slippery slope that can only lead to eternal separation from YHVH Elohim! Leaders must be quick to lift up the spiritual sword of the Word of Elohim against those who teach otherwise. In this brief treatise, I will deal with the major issues raised by those who want to diminish or eliminate the deity status of Yeshua the Messiah.

“The Earth Did Quake”

When the life of Yeshua, the divine Light of Elohim that pierced the spiritual darkness of this world, was being poured out while he was hanging dying on the cross, the earth was plunged into darkness (Matt 27:47). After Yeshua yielded up his spirit and died, the veil in Continue reading


 

Addressing Rabbinic Jewish Arguments Against Yeshua’s Messiahship


The arguments that Orthodox Rabbinic Jewish scholars make attempting to disprove Yeshua’s divinity and Messiahship may appear clever and convincing on the surface, but upon closer examination they prove to be false and are easily refuted.

When one looks through the smoke and mirrors of human deceit, one will see that these Jewish antimissionary arguments are patently false and demonstrate a major degree of spiritual blindness. At the very least, they reveal a dishonesty and disingenuousness on the part of their proponents, and at the most, a gross lack of understanding of the Scriptures. This is because a spirit of blindness has fallen upon rabbinic Jews as the Bible states (Rom 11:25)

To the naive, uninformed, misinformed and those who are either neophytes in their understanding of the Scriptures, or who have lost their first love of Yeshua and have fallen away from him spiritually, the antimessiah arguments of the rabbinic Jews seem compelling and convincing. Yet, upon careful examinations, all of their arguments have only a thin veneer of truth. Upon closer examination, it is easily proven that they do not line up with the WHOLE truth of the Bible, nor do they, in many cases, even line up with what their own pre-Christian Jewish sages taught and believed about the Messiah and the messianic prophecies of the Hebrew Scriptures.

Sadly, I have found that these blind unbelieving Jewish guides prey upon weak or disillusioned Christians who don’t know their Scriptures. They are able to draw many lukewarm and deceived Christians into apostasy, even causing them to renounce their faith in Yeshua the Messiah, the Son of Elohim and who is Elohim incarnate (John 1:1, 14). This is tragic!

Below are some of the most common antimessiah arguments that rabbinic Jews make in order to disprove the validity of the gospel message and faith in Yeshua the Messiah. My answers are short and to the point. A whole article could be written answering each point.  At the end of this brief study, I offer additional resources for those who want more information.

Rabbinic antimessiah statement: Elohim, the God of the Bible is one (Hebrew echad), not a Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Bible teaches the idea of monotheism, not polytheism as Christianity teaches in the doctrine of the trinity.

Response: The word echad in Hebrew means “a compound unity—or one thing that is comprised of several units that together make up the unified whole (like a bunch of grapes).” The hidden reality is that many rabbinic Jews believe that Elohim is composed of ten component parts as pictured by the mystical sephirotic tree.

Rabbinic antimessiah statement: Countless times the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament or Tankah) declare: “I am HaShem (YHVH or the LORD) your God (Elohim), outside of me there is no other!” Everything you pray to other than him becomes a god or idol before HaShem (YHVH). HaShem forbids praying to anyone but Him!

Reponse: Actually, this isn’t a quote from the Torah, but from Isaiah. The Tanakh or OT actually teaches that there are two YHVH’s, not one—the Father and the Son. Moreover, Continue reading


 

Why Don’t We Follow Rabbinic Tradition?

Today, in the comments section of this blog, I received an excellent question that many people have who are returning to the Hebraic roots of our faith. It is this: Why don’t we follow rabbinic Jewish oral tradition that purports to help us to understand the Written Torah of Elohim? Here’s my answer:

This is an excellent question and thanks for giving me the opportunity to address this issue. Many folks coming to the Hebraic roots of the Christian faith stumble have the same question. They figure that, since the Christian church purports to be antiTorah and since the Jews purport to be proTorah, we need to follow the Jews, since, ostensibly, they have been faithful to the Torah for all these millennia and we can learn from them and need to follow their example. On the surface, this seems like a reasonable proposition. The problem is that as one digs below the surface veneer and gets to the truth of the matter, neither of these propositions is correct. In fact, the Jews have veered from the Torah as much as the Christians by their non-biblical traditions. Perhaps, in fact, the Christians are better off than the Jews. At least they have the basic gospel message, and they, while claiming to be antiTorah actually follow much of the Torah (which they call the moral law). They just stumble over the dietary laws, the Sabbath and the biblical feasts and a few other minor Torah laws. These are the facts.

Now to your question about why we don’t follow rabbinic tradition lock, stock and barrel, or hook, line and sinker, as they say. Please give me chapter and verse in Scripture that states that Yeshua affirmed ALL Jewish tradition? On the contrary, he told the Jewish leaders of his day, “By your traditions, you make of no effect the Word of Elohim” (Mark 7:6–13; Matt 15:3–9), and then in Matt 5 he goes on to elaborate and condemn certain traditions of the elders that had in fact done this. Moreover, Paul was a Pharisee of the Pharisees at the highest level and was trained by Gamaliel, the grandson of Hillel the Great, yet Paul counted it all as dung (Phil 3:8). Moreover, the Jewish leadership of the first century who purported, as you suggest, to have the truth that we need to follow, told the disciples to stop preaching the gospel in the name of Yeshua, which they refused to do (Acts 6:33–42). This begs the question: Why should we follow those who hate Yeshua? Moreover, Yeshua commanded us to call no man “rabbi” (Hebrew meaning: “my great one”) except himself (Matt 23:8), which the modern Jews do in complete contempt and defiance of Yeshua the Messiah. Go study the life of “Rabbi” Akiba, the father and inventor of modern rabbinic Judaism, and his hatred for the Christians and all the unbiblical laws and anti-Christian rabbinic laws he invented and incorporated into modern rabbinic Judaism that persist to this day just to spite the Christians and the gospel message. Moreover, Yeshua condemned the antecedents to the modern rabbinic Jews nine times in Matt 23 for their ungodly, unscriptural traditions. Moreover, Paul and the apostles were vigorously fighting the non-biblical Jewish oral law or tradition that states that a Gentile male can’t be saved or brought into covenants of Israel unless they are first circumcised. The Acts 15 council and the whole book of Galatians addresses this non-biblical heresy—one that the rabbinic Jews still uphold to this day. Paul shows the fallacy of this teaching in Romans 4 and Galatians. Should I go on?

This is what we have to do. Take off our theological glasses that cause us to view the Bible through this or that tradition of men (be it Christian or Jewish). I’m not against men’s tradition per se. In fact, sometimes they can be helpful in helping us to understand the more vague areas of Scripture. What I am against is anything that diminishes or contravenes the written truth or word of Elohim as expressed in his written words, and there is plenty of each in both Christian and Rabbinic tradition.

If I’m going to submit myself to rabbinic oral tradition, then I may as well go back to the Roman Catholic Church and subscribe to all of their traditions. At least they have the basic gospel message, which is more than the Rabbinic Jews have. I have more chances of coming to faith in Yeshua in the Catholic Church, at least, than in Rabbinic Judaism.

Now there are some Jewish oral traditions that are very helpful, such as the various elements of the Passover seder that are above and beyond the four basic requirements specified in the Torah. In Yeshua’s last supper, for example, several of the things he did were pure Jewish tradition. They all pointed to him, even though the Jews of the day didn’t realize these specific traditions pertaining to the seder were prophetic and pointed to the Messiah. Bottom line? If a Jewish oral tradition doesn’t violate Scripture, points us to Messiah and helps us to grow in our faith and to fulfill better the commands of Elohim and in the process brings us into a closer walk with Elohim and Yeshua, then consider incorporating it into your life. If not, dispense with it.

As we go through life, every day we have to make judgments about what is right and wrong, true and false, and what we should or should not do. Every day, we’re using our skills of discernment to make judgments between good and evil, and then deciding what to think and do. It’s called “eating the fish and spitting out the bones.” We make these decisions based on our values, ethics and beliefs. When it comes to religious tradition, we must do the same by using the word of Elohim as the sole determining factor. Yeshua called this judging righteously (John 7:24). The problem is that most people don’t know the word of Elohim that well, so they rely on the traditions of men as a crutch to help them in this process. This is not only dangerous (you might end up believing an error), but it is wrong and can lead to apostasy! It’s time to roll up our sleeves and find out what the word of Elohim says. This is what will judge us in the last days at Yeshua’s second coming (e.g. Matt 5:19), and NOT the traditions of men, be they Christian or Jewish.

In conclusion, I have a lot of respect for the Jewish sages. I have studied them and have their writings in my library, and at times have quoted them extensively. The same is true of some of our esteemed Christian scholars and theologians. But as I get older and more mature in the word of Elohim, I find myself relying less and less on what men have to say about the Scriptures and more and more on the Scriptures themselves as led by the Spirit of Elohim who will lead us into all truth, as Yeshua said. Let’s all grow up and become those who feed on the meat of YHVH’s word instead of the milk as Paul told the Corinthians.


 

Pagan Influences in Judaism and Christianity Prophesied and Denounced

Isaiah 26: 27:6–8:13 and 29:22–23, YHVH Speaks Out Against Assimilation With the World

The prophet Isaiah wrote his rebukes of Ephraim (the Northern Kingdom, 27:6–28:6) and of Judah (the Southern Kingdom, 28:7–13) during the time period after the fall of the Northern Kingdom to Assyria in 721–723 B.C. and before the fall of the Southern Kingdom to Babylon in 586 B.C.

Isaiah 27:9, Groves/asherim and sun images /pillars. In this passage, Isaiah denounces the people of Ephraim for their worship of pagan deities. If Isaiah were alive today, what pagan practices within the Christian church would rankle his ire?

Isaiah 28:7, The priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink … wine … they err in vision, they stumble in judgment. Here the prophet is addressing Judah. In Scripture, when wine causes spiritual degradation what is the cause of this? (Read Revelation 14:8; 17:2; 18:3.) Wine is the stuff of spiritual harlotry. What does YHVH plead with his people to do in this regard? (Read Rev 18:4.)

Through the lips of his prophets, YHVH not only bring words of rebuke and judgment to his people, but also words of encouragement. Isaiah speaks of a time when not only will YHVH discipline his people for their idolatrous ways, but he will bring them back from exile and restore them as a people to worship him (instead of pagan deities) in their own land. In this regard, study the following passages: Isaiah 27:12–13; 28:5–6; 29:22–23. Have these prophecies yet been fulfilled with regard to both houses of Israel (Ephraim and Judah)?

What are some examples of humanist or pagan influences that persist in the modern Christian church (Ephraim) and in Rabbinic Judaism (Judah), which could lead to YHVH’s judgment? Here are a few examples to ponder:

Rabbinic Judaism and Humanism

Rabbinic Judaism went humanist at Yavneh after the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70 when rabbinical authority replaced the Levitical authority. It was there, under the influences of such rabbis as Akiba, that Judaism rejected divine authority and established the rabbinical system. Some say this was necessary to insure the survival of Judaism in the wake of the destruction of the Temple and removal of Jews from Jerusalem and environs by the Romans after A.D. 135. But this reason does not explain why or how so many Jewish traditions supplanted the truth of the Bible before this time. Yeshua makes reference to this in Matthew 15:1–9. Rabbinic authority often supplanted the Word of Elohim. “The Jewish Encyclopedia” defines ‘Rabbinical Authority’ as ‘The power or right of deciding the Law, in dubious cases, or of interpreting, modifying, or amplifying, and occasionally of abrogating it, as vested in the Rabbis as its teachers and expounders’” (Rabbi Akiba’s Messiah, Daniel Gruber, p. 82, emphasis added). Some examples of this are as follow:

  • The concept of the “Oral Torah/Law” came into being sometime in the second-century A.D. as being on a par with or greater than the Written Torah (Gruber, pp. 60, 76–77). This led to the traditions of the elders, which were eventually codified in the Mishnah and Talmud.
  • YHVH is subject to rabbinic halachic (legal) rulings (Ibid., pp. 76–77).
  • There are many rabbinic decrees and rulings that supplant biblical law. This was especially the case after the destruction of the Temple when the Jewish religious leaders practically reinvented their religion (Ibid., p. 78). Examples of this are:
  • Alternative means of atonement (the shedding of blood is no longer necessary; atonement is achieved through prayer [tefilim], charitable deeds [mitzvot] and charitable giving [tzedakah]) along with other activities such as study of the Torah, being circumcised and giving to the Jewish “rabbis” (Ibid.).
  • In Matthew 23 (along with Matt 15:3–9 and Mark 7:7–13), Yeshua rebukes the Jewish leaders of his day for replacing YHVH’s Torah with man-made traditions.
  • The Jewish leaders or sages are allowed to make pronouncements from Moses’ Seat or by beit din (rabbinic) ruling (called takanot and ma’asim) that totally annulled the Torah (Gruber, pp. 80–81; The Hebrew Yeshua Versus the Greek Jesus, Nehemiah Gordon, pp. 47–53). Later these rulings were codified into the Talmud (Gordon, p. 52).
  • The sages have the right to change and control the calendar. The modern rabbinic or traditional Hebrew calendar dates to A.D. 360. For example, many times, according to the rabbinic calendar Rosh Chodesh (the new moon) does not fall on the actual day the new moon is sighted, and Yom Teruah (the Day of the Shofar Blowing ), which Torah states must fall on the first day of the seventh month (i.e., the rosh chodesh of that month), does not actually occur on rosh chodesh.
  • One month on the Jewish calendar is named after a pagan deity (Tammuz) when the Torah specifically states that Israelites are not to take the name of pagan deities on their lips.
  • Rabbinic law allows a divorced and remarried woman to remarry her first husband, something Torah forbids (Gruber, p. 81).
  • The Jewish sages instituted the laws of postponement, which says that YHVH’s feasts cannot fall on certain days, and therefore have to be postponed.
  • The sages teach that baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), a leavening agent, is permissible to eat during the Days of Unleavened Bread when Torah demands that we abstain from all bread containing leavening agents.
  • The wearing of all white tzitzits (fringes) have replaced the Torah law that says they must have a blue thread.
  • Torah says that Israelite lineage is determined by one’s father. Modern rabbinic law says that it is determined by one’s mother.
  • The ineffable name doctrine, which states that using the Hebrew names of Elohim (e.g., YHVH) are prohibited, even though Scripture commands that we use them and not forget them.
  • Singing and playing of musical instruments is prohibited under rabbinic law at religious services (Sabbath and appointed times), yet the Torah commands that the shofar be blown on these days, and the Psalms speak of it occurring, and the biblical record states that music and singing were a big part of the Levitical priesthood system in the Temple (Jewish Book of Why, Alfred J. Kolatch, p. 143).
  • The shofar is never blown on the Sabbath, even when the Day of Shofar Blowing falls on a Sabbath, even though Torah commands us to do it (Kolatch, p. 228).
  • The anti-missionary movement within Judaism is the outgrowth of humanist philosophy, for it attempts to destroy the deity of Yeshua and rejects the authority and divine inspiration of the Renewed Covenant Scriptures.

Christianity and Humanism

Christianity is not to be outdone by rabbinic Judaism when it comes to replacing the Word of Elohim with the traditions of men. To the degree that Christianity has rejected Torah, replacing it with men’s traditions, is the degree that it is a humanistic religion. Christianity is becoming more humanistic all the time. That is why modern-day “prophets” like Francis Schaeffer attempted to warn the church about the perils of secular humanism. Here are some areas where the modern church has succumbed to the influences of the philosophy of secular humanism:

  • The Catholic Church makes pronouncements ex cathedra (from the chair of papal authority) to establish doctrines and traditions that are contrary to Scripture.
  • The establishment of pagan-based Christian holidays that have replaced YHVH’s biblical feasts. This is a form of interfaithism and syncretism with other pagan religions.
  • Sunday replaced the Sabbath as a day of formal gatherings and worship (more syncretism with pagan religions)
  • Other examples of syncretism with idolatrous pagan concepts: steeples on churches, Christmas trees, Santa Claus, Easter hams and bunnies, 40 days of Lent, Mardi Gras.
  • Humanistic Christian doctrines include the concept of law versus grace, dispensational/dual covenant theology, and Old versus New Testament, which originated from the pagan (Greek) concept of dualism.
  • Seeker sensitive churches; becoming like the world to win the world to Christ (adopting the world’s dress and hair styles, music, entertainment, etc.).
  • The positivization of the gospel message; that is, a de-emphasis on sin, judgment and repentance.
  • Preaching a social gospel: sermons are often pop-psychology messages to build up one’s self-esteem.
  • Changes in terminologies: biblical terms give way to “politically correct,” “seeker sensitive” terms: e.g., the heathens are now called “the unchurched,” forgiveness replaces repentance, puppet shows/skits and dramas replace hard preaching, sin is called “wrong thoughts.”
  • The Word of Faith movement: health and wealth (prosperity) teaching (heavy emphasis on materialism and gratification of the lust of the flesh for enjoyment in the here and now.
  • Christian (Charismatic) “divination” or “witchcraft” occurs where Christians take the legitimate gifts (especially the gift of prophecy) of the Spirit of Elohim, and a) use them to control or manipulate other people for unrighteous purposes, b) operate in counterfeit gifts of the Spirit (either out of their psyches or souls—i.e., their mind, will and emotions, or under demonic influence) to control, manipulate or subvert others for unrighteous purposes, or c) attempt to ascertain the future through means other than direct revelation of the Spirit of Elohim, as he wills to make the future known to human vessels (1 Cor 12:11).
  • Idolatry of formulas, programs and methodologies that are unbiblical (e.g., saying Sinners Prayer to be saved, the Four Spiritual Laws, give-to-get, the obtaining of Christian degrees, labels and accolades of men is the key to spiritual success and giftedness.