You Call That 'Christian'?
by Matthew Coover
The English language consists of many words, so many in fact that it is doubtful that any one man's vocabulary is capable of containing them all. In this vast variety of letter combinations, some are bound to be favored and as well, some are bound to be abused. As we will soon see, at times, it can be the same word that received both aspects of treatment.
The Greek word "Christ", and it's fellow descriptive word, "Christian" are two such words. Though the root is but one word, a vast variety of individuals use these words to either describe what they consider as righteousness or to desecrate. While some take it to mean good, others take it to mean just the opposite, what one might call, a way of venting the frustration of the "old man". Then for others, the word is clearly something to be feared and avoided at all costs, something which one must have nothing to do with at any time. 'Tis a curious thing how one word is capable of claiming ownership to so many and at times, it seems, corrupted and perverted meanings.
At this time however, I do not intend to discuss all of the various above mentioned usages which so many apply to things of distaste disgust, surprise, or anger. Rather, I intend to bring to light a common misusage and/or corruption which abounds in all corners of our society; in the home, at school, in assembly, in many individual's everyday lives. Though it lies half covered with dust in these corners, so much so that many don't even realize it's existence, it is far from being inactive and dead. It is instead, full of life and vigor. It will most certainly be suprising if you do not encounter it a number of times throughout one day.
This misusage is clearly forbidden in Exodus chapter twenty verse seven. Chances are you are familiar with this verse, and it is for this reason that I wonder why so many ignore it, common and well known as it is. We read, "Thou shalt not take the name of Yahweh, thy Elohim in vain, for Yahweh shall not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain." The message is clear, and sure punishment is clear as well. Nonetheless, this command applies in another aspect, an aspect that is clearly overlooked by many people with possible good intentions, yet seeking to get off the easy way, the way in which it is not necessary for them to stand apart or come forth from those which they live among.
Do I hear questions? Are you wondering which area of so many poor soul's lives I am speaking? The answer and solution as well are simple and easily understood to the one who hath opened his mind that the divine revelation of the scriptures might be applied and expounded therein. This area of life is what so many all around us today are involved in and actively doing. It has to do with the tongue. It also pertains unto falsehood, for the two go hand in hand as the case with so many other sins. This abundant, widespread, soul damning sin is none other than calling that, "Of Yahshua", which is not.
I fear that I hear questions once more. Eyebrows are raising and so many can not yet comprehend in the least that of which I speak. O foolish people, are thy minds made of stone, or perhaps they are only weak and poor or sickly. Ah, but this is not the cause. The cause is none other than that which sendeth so many to the bottomless pit, the closed doors of the mind which allow not the things of the spiritual sort to enter in, while opening widely for all such as pertains unto the flesh, worldliness, and all carnality. Open thy mind unto the inspired words of Yahweh, forsaking and forgetting all such as distract the body and soul from such things as pertain unto the spiritual. Doing such, you will open your heart to the revelation and interpretation of the scriptures through the spirit of Yahweh. Hear and understand.
This nation, the 'Christian Nation' as it is called, is home to many individuals which take or adopt the name of 'Christian'. Their reasons are as many and diverse as the 'supposed' meanings of the word itself. For some, it is an escape route from judgment while for others it is something to make themselves feel good. Yet others view it as a sort of prestige, thinking that it will cause others to look up to them. The majority of individuals simply adopt this title because they claim they do not have anything against it, and because they believe that they will achieve the goal of eternal life by doing so, while a select few, a remnant to Yahweh's chosen, choose to accept this name because they believe in that which is known to them as the "Christ", in Hebrew, the Moshiach, or Annointed one. Thus it is plain to see that there are many so-called "Christians" out there today, and it is just as plain that we MUST be able to discern the wolves from the sheep, the answer to this being, "by their fruits ye shall know them".
It is high time that this chosen people of Yahweh, this peculiar people, that this remnant begin to examine the lives and actions of those claiming the faith which follows the teaching of Yahshua, the Messiah, their own lives included in this number. Just as many misuse the name of Yahshua when they label themselves "His Followers", it is misused far more often when used for labeling the actions of these followers (which most call 'Christians') true and false alike.
In the inspired scriptures we are commanded to be a peculiar people, set apart for our Elohim. This involves a dedication to this Elohim (mighty one), and a rejection of ALL wrong. This wrong includes all such that goes against the will of the creator. Let me see a show of hands. Who believes that your Elohim means what he says? I say "Your Elohim" because if he doesn't mean what he says, then he's NOT my Elohim. OK. Now let us see who believes that an Elohim who means what He says will punish those who do not heed His voice. The facts have been laid out before us in the scriptures and it's time we study them a little closer than we have been. If in fact, Yahweh is going to punish the disobedient, then ought we better be assured that we will not be included in their number. Remember, with such a great being such as Yahweh Elohim, "there is no shadow of turning", and with a great Elohim, there cometh either great blessings or great punishment.
Let us take a look at some of the practices of claiming "followers of the way" and see how Messiah-like some of them really are. It is possible that you may own some of them as your life practices. We will hope and pray that you do not. I will begin with what most of us might consider major issues and then proceed down to what some of us might call trivial little matters. However, if we are truthful with ourselves, we will see that all are as important as the others.
1. The keeping of the set-apart festivals of our Elohim. We live in an age of change. Everyone wants to do things different than those before them, and this area is no exception. Though Yahweh has plainly commanded us to keep his special days set apart, many fail to do so, despite the fact that they are repeatedly mentioned time and time again through the old and newer writings, and the apocrypha. If you are not keeping these feasts, it is downright disobedience to Yahweh.... and you call that "Following Messiah"?
2. The keeping of the clean and unclean food-laws. These food laws were set in place for mankind's own good, to keep him healthy and fit. But no. That is not good enough. We like our bacon for breakfast which comes from an animal that eats practically anything, and we couldn't give up our clams, oysters and shrimp which serve as the waste collectors and garbage disposal for the bottom of the ocean. Most interestingly enough, how comes we don't eat rats, worms, dogs and cats? It all has to do with something called self will. We don't want to listen to Yahweh. We want to do what we want to do even if it not treating our body as the temple of Yahweh... even if it will make us die 10 or more years sooner.... and you call that "Following Messiah"?
3. Deletion of inspired scripture, being the word of Yahweh itself. Throughout the ages the scriptures are slowly being deleted and removed from the minds of people through it's removal from the set apart book itself. First the Apocrypha was taken out, removing a major link between the older and newer writings. (See 3rd Quarter 2001 Issue of JITW) Today people think nothing of it because they've been told it is foolishness, uninspired, that it has no use or value. Oh how deceived the minds of men can become. 99% of those who deem these books as uninspired and non-scriptural have NEVER EVEN READ THEM! Now how can you base you opinion of Yahweh's word on that?! How can you even know what they are about? You can't, and at that rate, with that closed door of the mind, you will never allow Yahweh's Spirit to minister to your heart and make known unto you what IS inspired and what is not! Men can tell you anything, and they most certainly will. Today they are three fourths through removing the torah (books of guidance and instruction) and prophets, and they're already working on the new, first through corrupted translations, and secondly, lastly, through the complete removal of them from scripture in it's entirety! "Just Believe" is the slogan you hear everywhere. Are you going to go along with that? Are YOU going to label that as "Following Messiah"
4. "Thou shalt have not other elohims (mighty ones) before me" & "Thou shalt make unto thee no graven images." Then what are we doing? Our cars, our houses, our possessions. Are not many of us making an elohim (mighty one) out of these earthly things? Are not many of us making an elohim of self?! If it meant we had to give up all earthly conveniences and pleasures to be a follower of Yahshua, would we do it? Would we give up ourselves, our lives, in order to follow Him? This is what is needed. If we will be true to Yahshua, we must forsake all if need be; father, mother, family, self, house, car, money, and on the list goes. We must forget the earthly. We must DROP our fishing nets and go on to fish for men.
5. Remember the Shabbat (Sabbath) to keep it set apart. Oh well, that's "Sunday" now. Yahshua (the one whom most call "Jesus") changed that. He did? Then how comes he said "Shabbat was made for man...."? Are you saying that the same entity who said that also said the Sabbath is no longer the 7th day? Are you saying that now we rest the first day of the week before we even do any work? Are you calling THAT "Following Messiah" ?
6. Disrespect is rampant in our day. Children do not want to listen to their parents, and their parents do not want to listen to Yahweh. Is it any wonder that our society is in the mess it is in today? No. Not really. They call it their rights... children's rights, women's rights, men's rights, and yet everything they do is as wrong as wrong can get. They label it all as "Christian", supposedly meaning "Like as the Messiah would do". They do? Yes. Sad to say, they do.
7. Hate. It's something you see everywhere today. The whites hate the blacks and the blacks hate the whites. Yahweh's chosen people (the Yahudim) hate those grafted into Israel, being those who believe in Messiah, and believers in Messiah hate the Yahudim (Jews). Men hate women and women hate men. Young people hate old people and old people hate young people. There's no reason for it at all either. The just hate because they want to feel superior... they hate for no good reason at all, in plain words, without a cause. Yahshua told us that if we hate without a cause we are a murderer, and yet so many call it "Following Messiah". For you see, in each man's own carnal eyes, he is in the right and others are in the wrong. He is the righteous while others are the heathen. Do you call HATE "Following Yahshua"? Do you call murder "Following Yahshua"? If you do, he's a different Messiah than the one I know... a world different!
8. Thou shalt not commit adultery. This is what the scriptures tell us. This is what Yahweh says. OK. So what. Why not get back into real "life" now? Here's an illustration for you.
"So, how many boyfriends have you went through now since you parents allowed you to start dating?"
"Well, with a new one every weekend and 365 days in a year, it's a good many! Hah hah hah"
A week later: "So when are you getting married?"
"Oh, we're planning on 6 months from now, if it doesn't fall through sooner than that"
"I see. And you say you two bought a house?"
"When you moving in."
"Oh, 3 weeks or so."
"And when's the baby due?"
"The baby? Oh. He's due any time."
A year later so-and-so's in the process of getting a divorce and already seeing somebody else. That's many "Christians" for you... not any different from the rest of the world. It's adultery from start to finish.
And yet, we must understand that there are others in less fortunate situations. They are "real" "Followers Of Messiah" who have a mate that is not following Yahshua, and their mate keeps pushing for a divorce. Finally they have to accept this bad fate that has come upon them and resort to being single... for awhile. But they now have children and those children need a father or mother figure (whichever it is) and they just need someone to share their life with too. After all, it's not their fault that their ex-husband/wife wanted that divorce. What else could they do but consent. It wasn't doing them any favor by staying together. So... Yahweh "blesses" them (or is it tests them?) by sending along someone else with the same unfortunate situation, and these two would make the perfect match. They're sure of it, and they really do need a partner, plus they like each other. So..... another marriage takes place. Now what's wrong with that?
The answer is PLENTY. Yahweh says not to be unequally yoked, and if you are, that's the breeding ground for future divorce and it's your problem, your sin is upon your own head. Yahweh didn't make you do what you've done. You done it because you though you knew better than Yahweh. Even if you claim it's not your fault, Yahweh has nonetheless told you that it is a sin to commit adultery, and ordered His followers to NOT do as such. That is exactly what you're doing when you remarry after divorce, no matter what the situation may be. I'm sure to get alot of slack on this one, but the truth is the truth and nothing else. We have a bunch of "Christian heathens" out there today taking no regard for faithfulness, purity or Yahweh.... and they call it "Following Messiah". Do you?
9. Are we not commanded that it is a sin to steal? Yes, and thankfully must of us don't... we think. However, let us consider this matter thoughtfully for a second. Right now, at this moment, you may possibly be giving yourself the esteem which belongs to Yahweh, or you may be hiding or corrupting the truth of the inspired word in your teachings. You may be twisting the scriptures to fit your own ideas and wishes, and you may be teaching these falsehoods to others. In this process you are committing theft. You are stealing the glory from Yahweh Elohim, and you are at the same time stealing eternal life from youself and those whom you deceive. Are you calling this "Following the Messiah"? We pray you are not.
10. Covetousness is probably the most unnoticed and tolerated sin that there could be. The reason being in the fact that it is so easy to do, and so easy to go unnoticed by you and those around you. Covetousness is the want of things that are not yours own. It is the act of uncontentedness, the act of unthankfulness for the many blessings that the heavenly father provides to us. It is always wanting more and never having enough. It is unknowingly called "like unto Messiah Yahshua" by many people with good intentions, who do not teach against it and remove it from their lives. For this reason, it is one of the most numerous sins in many's lives and it is possibly the easiest step to take towards damnation from Yahweh.
You know, we have covered many points here. Some you may have been well aware of and other may have completely slipped your mind. Others, you may be unwilling to accept because you are content with the way you are doing things and do not want to put forth the effort necessary for change. However, if you refuse to accept any of the above as sin, along with a large list of others unlisted here, you are committing at least two serious sins against yourself and against Yahweh Elohim. These two are as follows:
1. You are bearing false witness by calling that which is wrong, 'right', by calling that which is evil, 'good'... in simple words, calling the darkness of Satan the light of Yahweh, thus attempting to portray Yahweh on the same level as the king of death and sorrow, being Satan himself.
2. You are using Yahweh's set apart name in a vain and false manner by mislabeling sin and trying to camouflage it under the cloak of righteousness. As we are told in Exodus, Yahweh WILL NOT hold them guiltless that continue in such.
In the opening of this subject it was stated that the most misused word in the English language was the word "Christian" or "Christ". Are you not forced to agree? With all the falsehood and sin which is hiding behind the veil, it is almost enough to make you want to separate oneself by discontinuing the usage of the term all together. Surprisingly enough, scripture commands that this is precisely what the set apart remnant is supposed to do. Upon doing some research, is may readily be found that the term "Christ" finds it's roots in pagan sun worship. Mankind has given himself over to the lusts of the flesh, and in turn, Yahweh has turned the corrupt creature of humanity over to worship the hosts of heaven; at times knowingly, at other times unknowingly. It is also no small wonder that many are hesitant to have anything to do with Yahweh, when we see the dark cloud of evil which surrounds that which portrays itself as righteousness. But in these last days, Yahweh is calling out a remnant who are taking the steps to "come out of babylon"... to come out of "Christianity", and worship the living Elohim through religion pure and undefiled in it's entirety.
It is for this reason that we do not call ourselves by the name of "Christian" at all. In reality, "Christ" was never the title of the Messiah. He was instead known as Yahshua, the Messiah, or annointed one. For this reason, if we are to be given a title, let it be instead, "followers of Yahshua HaMoshiach; followers of the way which leads to life."