We should come together and work with other denominations towards the greater good.
When I was 13 years old, Evangelical Protestants, or as they like to call themselves, “Nondenominational Christians” were caught up in the Satanic Panic, and horribly mistreated me and my fellow Goths, harassing us, and persecuting us. Because of this I developed an extreme dislike of Protestants, and especially of groups such as Calvary Chapel, and Potter’s House. I still believe that groups like those are the antichrists.
However, several years back, my girlfriend and I were out feeding the homeless, and one of the leaders of Calvary Chapel approached my girlfriend, and asked if they could join us in feeding the homeless. My girlfriend accepted the offer, and the next week a large congregation from Calvary Chapel came out and feed the homeless. That week at my Catholic church the Gospel reading was:
John said, “Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”Mark 9:38-40
Jesus answered, “Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us.”
God was telling me something. He was telling me that regardless to how bad Calvary Chapel may have treated me and my people in the past, if Calvary Chapel wanted to help feed the homeless, to help live out the Corporal Works of Mercy, and actually do as Christ taught; that I was not to shun them, but to accept their help and work with them, for if they were willing to actually do as Christ taught, then working with them could only lead to good, to more Works of Mercy being accomplished, and to a reduction of prejudice hatred between their people and mine, and a growing of brotherly love; who knows, maybe I could even influence them in correcting their practices which I find objectionable and antichrist. The Almighty was reminding me that to hate my brother and spite them at the cost of doing less help for the needy, was in fact me choosing to be antichrist, and I had to stop that.
So for the next year, every weekend Calvary Chapel helped me feed the homeless, and Pasture Paul and his congregation became good friends with me—who would have thought this possible?
A year ago I joined a group of Messianics, the core of that group having recently left another Messianic group which I had never heard of, called Ahavah. There seemed to have been some major bad blood between them, but I cannot judge Ahavah, as I have never been there and know nothing about them.
This past summer the group I had joined began planning a music festival for the Spring Feasts. However, right after Sukkot, there was a large skism within our congregation resulting in a few of the leaders leaving the group and taking their families with them. One of those leaders instantly starting a rival ministry, in the same small town, meeting at the same time, offering the same things through the same channels, and not listing our congregation in their list of, “Like minded congregations.”
I instantly got the feeling that something like this must have been what happened between our congregation and Ahavah. This felt unacceptable, we should not be divided! Prescott Arizona is such a small town, we should not have three or four small Messianic communities dividing this already small flock, and telling each other, “Oh, don’t go to this other group, don’t associate with them, they have issues.” Creating that kind of needless division and mistrust of other believers was unacceptable. It went in the face of Mark 9:38-40, and the 1st Epistle (Letter) of John warning against becoming antichrist.
So I wrote to the remaining leader of the Messianic congregation I was part of, and I suggested,
“If due to all of this [skism breaking up our congregation], arranging that festival would be too hard for [our congregation], perhaps you could team up with Ahavah, and [the other leader new] ministry, and jointly sponsor the event. You know me, I don’t like the concept of divided bodies.”
My suggestion came too late, he informed me that the music festival had already been cancelled. I lamented this, as this would have been a great opportunity for all of the Messianics in the area, maybe even in the region, to get together, interact, become friends, and even attract new people who weren’t following Torah yet. To lose the ability to do all that, all because people were needlessly dividing over little issues, and unwilling to work with one another—that was just tragic.
Within Protestantism this must happen all of the time, and that is why there are currently over 30,000 Christian denominations in the world. That is a lot of division over petty things. So no wonder there is so much hatred and fighting in this world, if Christians are that divided amongst themselves. How can they expect to cry out in one accord to the heavens in praise and in one accord to the world proclaiming the Gospel (good news of Christ’s redemption), when they are so divided?
That is why we must attempt to be one body, working with each other, in brotherly love, with Christ as our head, truly doing His will in harmony; we must become one holy catholic (universal) church. That is why I promote Ecumenism, we must be one body in Christ united.
We however must also not, in the name of Ecumenism or being universal (catholic), compromise on the teachings of The Scripture. In Matthew 5:17-19 Yeshua said,
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law (Torah) or the Prophets (Nevi’im); I have not come to abolish them but to bring them to fullness. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law (Torah) until everything is ended. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”Matthew 5:17-19
Therefore we mustn’t do as the Catholic Church has done in the past, and accept pagan practices in our faith, or try to set aside any of the Torah laws; but we must try to come together, in unison, and show our fellow man the importance of living as Yeshua did, and doing as YHVH commands.
As Acts 15:19-21 states,
“It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.”Acts 15:19-21
Those who don’t currently follow the laws (Torah), don’t have to already be following the laws for us to come together with them, as one body, and worship YHVH and honour Yeshua together. For in the course of coming together and studying the Tanakh and Brit HaDasha together, we will all learn what the Scriptures say, and better fulfill them. We all started learning somewhere, they will learn His teachings and ways in time.
So let us come together, in Ecumenism, in love of brother, and work together as one united Havdalah flame shining our light, which is the light of Christ, our Paschal candle, Yeshua HaMeshiach, onto the world, igniting it, and setting the world on fire.