When I came back to Washington from Montana, I had to get my old job back. While I was gone, one of the ladies I worked with cried because she had a thing for me. I got all dressed up and went to meet my boss face to face. When it was over, I had my job back.
But because I was under much conviction concerning the 4th Commandment, I called him afterwards and told him that I could not come back unless I could have the Sabbath off. Surprisingly, he agreed.
Under the circumstances, it felt like God was definitely showing me favor. Who quits their job, gets it back, turns around and says ‘I won’t come back unless I get what I want’, and it work out in their favor?
No longer a Christian.
One thing about being a follower of Christ who really takes it serious is, its not easy to find others who have the same passion. You won’t find many who share your convictions on sanctification and holy living. The average Christians you’ll run into are pretty lax about their faith and barely seem to show any difference between themselves and their secular counterparts.
I believed in living out my whole Bible. Both halves were relevant and applicable. Today’s Christian in the West puts emphasis only on the second half. The central figure is Jesus but when you take your whole Bible into account, its not so much about him but about what he lived by.
When I began to see Jesus for who the Bible says he was/is and what he lived by, there was a disconnect between that and the Jesus Christianity presents to us. The bible itself, tells you that Christianity is an offshoot of Judaism but today’s Western form of Faith is so much divorced from its Judaic roots as I’ve stated before.
I came to understand through studying that the Law was not done away with as commonly taught. Nowhere does the Bible say that unless you isolate verses and misinterpret them. I was coming to this understanding before leaving Kansas and much more so after my return.
In the Faith, there is a term and doctrine called “Sola Scriptura“. In Christianity, this seems to primarily pertain to the New Testament but what they fail to understand is that wherever the word “scripture” is mentioned in the New Testament, it is in reference to no book in the NT at all. They miss the mark there and on other points.
I came to the conclusion that though I believed in Christ and his divine nature, I could no longer in good conscience consider myself a Christian in light of what one understands a contemporary Christian to be. To symbolize that, I traded my cross and bought a star of David pendant; wearing it publicly and proudly.
The symbolism of the Star.
As a believer seeking sanctification, I was aware of what I shouldn’t see, touch, or say. I knew what different things the 6-pointed star stood for in cultism. And because it means different things in different circles, I decided for myself that a symbol has no power other than what I ascribe to it.
When I wore it, it meant I was going against the Christian beliefs of family on both my mother’s and father’s side. I was standing in opposition to what is culturally part of one aspect of African American heritage. I was openly rejecting Protestantism. It was a big deal and I knew I wasn’t going back to my prior beliefs.
Yom Kippor and God’s timing.
Now that I was getting older and wiser, I was settling more into my Faith and really living by my convictions. I think this was a point in my life where I started to realize my self worth and didn’t need women to fill my void. I began to understand that I needed to focus on my life and learn to say “no” to women.
I said before in my Post: My De/Conversion Story 1: The house I grew up in. that I didn’t grow up in the Church. But I came across a passage in the Old Testament that commanded that I assemble with other believers. This was an aspect of my faith that was missing. It convicted me. Before, it was optional; now it was an obligation. And I was happy to oblige because in the Faith obedience is love.
I knew I couldn’t fit in with mainstream denominations. I needed something more in line with my beliefs. So, one night I went online looking for something along the lines of a synagogue where they believed in the Messiah.
I ended up finding a Messianic congregation. I found out who the rabbi was and called him. I admit I had my guards up at first but we ended up talking for almost two hours. I decided I’d go and check it out.
How can you be a disciple of a Jewish rabbi and not be a student and observer of the Torah and Tanakh? This point just goes over the average Christian’s head.Goal’d Rusher
When I arrived there on Shabbot, I was greeted by the rabbi. He welcomed me and I talked with some of the other believers there. I felt comfortable there. The service was different. People were dressed up and I didn’t know why. Little did I know, it was their Yom kippor service.
That was the first time that I legitimately felt that I was in the right place at the right time. I thought to myself that I was on the right track. Everything that I was coming to understand about the Bible and my reformed beliefs were converging on that holy day.
I decided to keep going to this congregation because it had three qualities that I couldn’t find in one place anywhere else:
- They had something most would recognize as a potluck but in this persuasion its called Nosh. It was nothing but kosher food. Which was fine because I had already made a decision to stop eating pork and shellfish according to the Law.
- They had a class where they taught Biblical Hebrew. I learned how to read it and write it. I found it to be very easy to learn.
- The most important reason I stayed is because I learned something that I didn’t know, every weekend.
I always found myself disappointed when going to a regular Christian services. The teaching was always so basic even when they thought they sounded deep. Or they had to overcompensate with entertainment and the experience to make up for what they lacked in actual theological substance.
I made changes.
Basically, my conviction was that in order to live a Christ-like life, I’d at least need to live by what he lived by; that being the Torah. I needed to take my Faith from a western Christian perspective and rightfully place it back in its eastern Hebraic context. I stopped calling the Son, Jesus Christ and began calling him by his traditional name and title: Yeshua HaMashiach.
Assuming that Yeshua was a real person, historically he was a Jewish rabbi who made Jewish disciples. How can you be a disciple of a Jewish rabbi and not be a student and observer of the Torah and Tanakh? This point just goes over the average Christian’s head.
I began keeping the Sabbath as commandment, I stopped eating pork, shellfish, and whatever else I knew not to eat. I had a shofar that I blew on holy convocations, a talit that I wore to congregation and used in my time of devotion, and tzit tzits that I wore openly at work and in public. I still listened to my Christian music but also invested in Messianic worship music.
Contending for the Faith.
Because I knew my mom was very devout in her Faith, I had to share with her my newfound understanding. She didn’t grasp it at first but today, I claim responsibility for her change over to a more historically accurate form of Faith where even she observes the dietary laws of the Torah and refers to God as, Abba.
I disputed with Christians online concerning Protestantism’s departure from the “faith once delivered to the saints”. To this very day, my posts remain among the highest viewed on a particular site’s sub-forum topic. Disputing these things with Christians is light-work when you know that most of them are First(Old) Testament illiterate. Biblical illiteracy is a wide-spread pandemic in mainstream Christianity.
If a Christian tells you they know their Bible, they’re likely coming from a New Testament frame of mind. If a Christian tells you that Jesus did away with the Law, trust me, they don’t really know their Bible.
I used to get banned a lot from Christian sites. What’s even more remarkable is, I was getting banned from sites and groups even when I was a proclaiming Christian. I was always more free-thinking. I wasn’t bound by the rigidness of “systematic theologies”.
Later influences in my Faith.
I can say with 100% assuredness that I didn’t know anything about the Hebrew Roots Movement, Messianic Judaism/Christianity, or the Black Hebrew Israelites. I didn’t know any of these terms until maybe 2014 or so. None of these had an influence in my initial conversion away from contemporary Christianity.
I can also say something about my Faith walk that I always boasted in and its that I knew the Bible for myself. What I believed and what I learned was from personal study until I came to this particular congregation and began watching programs more in line with my beliefs. Some of the programs that I watched were:
- 119 Ministries
- A Rood Awakening
- Kehilat Melech Yisrael
- Beth Yeshua
- Nehemia’s Wall
- Biblical Foundations Academy International
- Wisdom in Torah Ministries
…..and a few others.
What about you?
Have you ever crossed over from one form of Faith to another? Did you at some point switch religions altogether? What was that like?
I know others are interested in your perspective besides me so, post your comments, subscribe, and share. Looking forward to it. Much thanks.