Hello Fellow Seekers! Recently, I enjoyed sharing some strategies for developing a whole Bible tribe. I hope that many of you have committed to praying and working toward whole Bible fellowship with other believers.
In this article, I am going to share 5 things I hope you will want to avoid (or red flags to look for) as you develop or seek out a fellowship group. Ready? Here we go!
- NAME SHAME
I think most readers understand that The Father has a name. Christy has written about His Name and uses the tetragrammaton “YHWH” throughout her notes. A careful observer may notice that I use a slightly different tetragrammaton, “YHVH.” This is an area where Christy and I differ. But I hope you also notice something else. Christy and I respect each other, enjoy whole Bible fellowship, and get along just great! This is as it should be. Be wary of creating or becoming part of any tribe that shames members for not using the “correct” Name for The Father (or The Son, and Holy Spirit). In truth, this is a complicated issue with many scholars offering different opinions for valid reasons. As Christy often reminds us, The Father is the only one who has the privilege of being right all the time.
- CALENDAR RIGIDITY
If you have begun to celebrate the Biblical feast days of Leviticus 23, you may have noticed that some people celebrate these feasts on slightly different dates within a given season. This is because there are different calendars to choose from. I encourage Friends new to feasting to do a little research, choose a calendar, and start celebrating. I also encourage Friends to support their friends who have chosen different dates. This is once again, an area that The Father gets to be right about. I recommend that you do not create or join a tribe that is too rigid to accommodate calendar disagreement.
- CHURCH BASHING
Many seek to develop or find a whole Bible tribe out of disappointment with the local church. While it is okay to desire and cultivate deeper connections with whole Bible seekers, I think we need to be very careful with our words and attitudes towards the local church. Recall that most of us found our Savior there. Others will continue to find Him there, too, as The Body of Messiah is made up of many parts. If you are called to move on, then move on. But do it with lovingkindness. I recommend that you be careful not to develop or join a tribe that bashes the church.
- DOCTRINE PRESSURE
Most whole Bible readers deal with a wide range of emotions while working through what the Bible really says versus what we thought the Bible said. We must test the Word as we read and protect ourselves from falling into false doctrine. Avoid putting pressure on your tribe members to accept any particular doctrine, and instead allow The Holy Spirit to work through the reading of His Word in the lives of each tribe member, and here’s the kicker: At. Their. Own. Pace. See, it’s not that The Holy Spirit is going to teach everyone something different. It’s that He is going to teach everyone individually…in His own good time. That’s an amazing teacher, Friends! So don’t be pushy or get pushed around. The best Bible studies are the ones that leave us with more questions than answers.
- ALL TORAH AND NO YESHUA (Jesus)
And this is my one exception to #4. Torah (the first five books of the Bible) are the foundation of all scripture. Yeshua kept the Torah, and He said that He did not come to abolish it. Torah is critically important to understanding salvation. It teaches obedience and trains us in discipline, so that our lives may produce fruit for The Kingdom. However, RUN! –don’t walk– away from any group that does not agree/teach that salvation is by faith through the completed work of Yeshua (Jesus). The grace of YHVH. Period. Sadly, I have known individuals who have gotten so excited about keeping the Torah that they have actually denied Messiah Yeshua. We must guard ourselves against such false doctrine.
Number 5 is worth re-reading.
One strategy I use to keep Yeshua and His gift of salvation fresh in my mind is to read a chapter from one of the 4 gospels each day in addition to my regular Bible reading. The more I read about Yeshua, the more I see that He absolutely fulfilled the Torah…just as He said.
He kept it perfectly.
I try, but I cannot.
The gap in-between my best effort at obedience and the requirements set forth by a Holy God can only be filled by the blood of Yeshua.
The Torah does not save us.
Never lose sight of that, Friends!
Truly, this entire list is about being merciful. Be merciful to one another as you make your way to His Way. Yeshua taught that the merciful were blessed and would in return receive mercy Matthew 5:7. If you desire mercy, give it to your tribe. We all need merciful friends as we learn to walk this whole Bible path together.
I hope this list gives you a few things to think about as you move forward in the development of your own tribe, or as you seek one out. I cannot wait to hear your success stories!
Thank you for continuing to seek with me!