Over the past ten months, I have been reading the Epistles. I read a chapter each day and re-read the chapter several times over the next few days as I meditate on the meaning of the text. I have been drawing closer to Jesus, because legalism will make you forget about him. It puts salvation and sanctification on the actions of the individual, in opposition to what the Bible says about those topics.
About 6 months after leaving Messianic Judaism, I was healed of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. A few months after that, I was healed the depression I had suffered for 6 years. I was a miserable person for most of the time I was involved in Messianic Judaism. I didn't realize how miserable other Messianic members were until after I had left.
It was difficult for me to go to synagogue services when I began experiencing symptoms of OCD. An elder was in charge of the service one Saturday as the rabbi was on vacation,. He told me to text this member if I had any struggles. So I did. I told him I couldn't sit through the service due to my health. He texted back, "Luke 9:62" This verse says:
Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
So I guess mental health problems over which one has no control makes them unfit for the Kingdom of God. Recently, a secular band added a picture filter to their Facebook page in celebration of of their best-selling album's release anniversary. Looking back, I probably would not have used the filter, but I had been up since 4am due to my job and I was exhausted.
Here is what a member of my former congregation sent me via Facebook messages:
Thought you were saved.
You have a baby!!!
What are you thinking???
I had actually meant to remove him as a friend a long time ago, but forgot to do so. I realize that people may disagree with me. My usual response is just to ignore it and move on. But bringing my child into it was uncalled for. I could see just how miserable Messianic Judaism had made him and told him so.
Here is my response:
Good to know you have the market cornered concerning salvation. Perhaps if you left the fake religion as I have and actually read the New Testament, you wouldn't be so miserable. I have been healed of almost everything since leaving behind Satan's deception.
This was probably not a good Christian response. I admit that much. But I know how much miserable I was when I was involved in Messianic Judaism and could see the same in this person. I have seen it in others. I follow several Christian Facebook groups and pages. One person, kept saying :"Yeshua" the Hebrew name for Jesus. He also said he was going to start a church for true believers who would not pay their pastors, ignoring 1 Corinthians 9:7 and 1 Timothy 5:17-18. All the while, this person claimed a sense of spiritual superiority.
Just a few days ago, someone was looking for help to start a Messianic synagogue. I wanted to reach out to them, but did not because they were a stranger. I wanted to tell them how badly they would damage their relationship with God while leading others into the same trap. Worse yet, legalism will send people to Hell!
Last week, my pastor said that religion is legalism. I will add to that and say that its the common element in all religions because they teach people to focus on themselves. In fact, Satan invented religion. In the Garden of Eden, Satan told that she would become a God herself is she ate from the Forbidden Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (Genesis 3:5). A lot of religions, such as Wicca and Mormonism, promise this very thing.
My pastor also said that when a religious person dies, "They will bust the fates of hell wide open!" There is no focus on the Savior. Theologian R. C. Sproul said:
There’s no love, joy, life, or passion. It’s a rote, mechanical form of law-keeping that we call externalism. The legalist focuses only on obeying bare rules, destroying the broader context of God’s love and redemption in which He gave His law in the first place.
Boy, is he right about their being no joy! Legalists focus on God's wrath rather than His mercy and plan for redemption through Jesus Christ.
If you are involved in Messianic Judaism, please get out immediately. Doing so will work wonders in your life.