Building A Torah Community

Does building a Hebrew Roots community mean moving to the country, shunning electricity, and growing beards like the stereotypical Amish?  Not necessarily, but it does mean association in close proximity with like-minded believers.  (Picture:  Amish Family wallpaper, widehdwalls.com)
Does building a Hebrew Roots community mean moving to the country, shunning electricity, and growing beards like the stereotypical Amish? Not necessarily, but it does mean association in close proximity with like-minded believers. (Picture: Amish Family wallpaper, widehdwalls.com)

Five hundred years ago, in the midst of the great Reformation that gave birth to the various sects of Protestant Christianity, like-minded believers began to seek out one another in the interest of living according to their understanding of God’s instructions from the Bible.  Many, if not most, of these sects found refuge in America, forming the communities we know as Puritan, Separatist (Pilgrim), Quaker, Mennonite, Moravian, Amish, and many others.  In the pre-modern world bereft of electricity, mass communications, and rapid transit, the communities these believers formed often took shape around existing communities where families and congregations began to take advantage of the new translations of the Bible in their native languages.  In time these communities attracted like-minded believers from near and far, bringing growth in population, wealth, and influence to such places as Geneva, Holland, New England, and Pennsylvania.

It would seem that a similar phenomenon is happening today.  The Lord is restoring to His people a Hebraic understanding of the Scriptures which has been obscured for many centuries.  This is the time anticipated by the Prophet Daniel, when many run to and fro and knowledge is increased (Daniel 12:4).  Like the Protestant Reformation, the Torah Awakening is creating a desire among Messianic and Hebrew Roots believers to establish communities where they can associate with like-minded people and live according to their understanding of the Scriptures.  Yet the very aspects which have facilitated the Torah Awakening in this post-modern age are the things that make it more difficult to establish communities.  Here in the West we are well-connected by social media and instantaneous communication which permit us to share ideas with fellow believers across continental distances.  This is a blessing, but it is not a community.  Often it is easier to connect with someone 1,000 miles away than to find fellow Torah-observant disciples of Yeshua in the same county.  When we do find these brethren relatively nearby, what are we to do?  Shall we buy land in common and live in the same house?  Shall we establish a business or a farm together and contribute to our common welfare?  What examples do we have from Scripture, and how has human history and recent experience shaped our understanding of these examples?

These are things we must understand if we are to come together as a nation.  As noted on this blog and elsewhere, this process begins in the local community.  But exactly how do we build these local communities? 

Fortunately, someone who has traveled this path of faith is willing to share his experience.  Zach Bauer of New2Torah recently released a video teaching in which he discusses the subject of a Torah-observant community.  He starts with the example of the community Yeshua’s disciples built according to the book of Acts (Acts 2:42-47, 4:32-37), examining this record in the context of Torah principles.  Along the way he shares some practical lessons on what to do and what not to do.  For those who are considering seriously how to associate more closely with like-minded Hebrew Roots believers, Zach’s teaching is an excellent starting point.

Click here to see Building a Torah Community.
Click here to see Building a Torah Community.

© Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog, 2014-2015.  Permission to use and/or duplicate original material on The Barking Fox Blog is granted, provided that full and clear credit is given to Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

It Is Often Said: “Two Thousand Years of Christianity Cannot be Wrong!”

The Prophet Hosea James Tissot
The Prophet Hosea
James Tissot

The Lord’s controversy with the House of Israel as proclaimed by the Prophet Hosea includes this charge:

I have written for him the great things of My law, but they were considered a strange thing.  (Hosea 8:12 NKJV)

What does He mean by this?  Very simply that the wise and powerful things the Lord explained in His Torah (Law) are things that His people chose to disregard.  Do His people still disregard His Torah?  Yes, and no.  There are many things from YHVH’s Torah which His people follow, and other things which they consider no longer applicable in one way or another.

But who are God’s people?  Let us consider for a moment that they are both Jews and Christians, people who claim allegiance to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  For centuries they have progressed down separate paths, clinging to what they each consider the fullness of the revelation of God.  Sadly, the things He has revealed to Christians are things that Jews consider abominable, and the things He has revealed to Jews are things Christians consider a burden.  How else are we to understand the Jewish rejection of Yeshua of Nazareth as Messiah, and the Christian rejection of the Torah which Yeshua proclaimed and taught by example?  It is a sad state of affairs when God’s people refuse even to talk with one another about the great things He has revealed to each so that all may be healed and strengthened.

This is something Tim Hegg addresses in his article, “It is Often Said, “Two Thousand Years of Christianity Cannot be Wrong!'”  This article first appeared on Torah Resource in 2006, and is contained in a series of booklets entitled It is Often Said, which is available from the Torah Resource online store at:

 http://store.torahresource.com/It_Is_Often_Said_Full_Set_p/iios480.htm.

Messianic Publications republished the article in 2011, and it is published again here by permission.

Tim’s focus is on the Christian objections to Torah.  As you will see, the Christian position for most of the history of the church has been far more accepting of the greater part of Torah than is commonly supposed.  In other words, the Torah of God is not such a strange thing after all once one understands what His Torah actually is.

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