Some time ago, this was everywhere. It seemed like everyone who claimed connection to Jesus wore the catchy wristband to show their alignment and allegiance to Jesus. However, in typical fashion, I did not wear one. Something about the crowd mentality has always rubbed me against the grain.
At one of the companies I worked, the boss wanted us to wear a wristband for the purpose of building cohesion amongst us as workers and dedication to the company. The boss came around to all of us handing them out. In typical fashion, I did not take one. And, as far as I could tell, I was the only one not wearing one.
For both of these wristbands, they ran their course and soon fell out of popular fashion. Truthfully, that’s usually what happens to the crowd mentality — it fades.
Part of the reason I never wore one of those WWJD wristbands is because everybody under the sun has their own flavor of what Jesus would actually do in any given situation. To me it just added more to the confusion of what Jesus was really like and what He would actually do.
The mindset behind the WWJD wristband can, at least in my mind, become a form of personal situation ethics. It then becomes super easy to morph Jesus into the image we want Him to be.
Did Jesus, in all actuality, eat bacon? Did He pick and choose which commandments He felt were applicable to the time in which He lived? Did He just randomly come up with His own feasts and festivals?
And … here’s where I’m going with this —
Do you think Jesus ever intentionally chose not to go to Church/Synagogue? I’m speaking to both groups here: Christian and Messianic.
Allow me to answer that for you:
“And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.” Luke 4:16.
(Whenever I mention “synagogue” I’m referring to Hebraic/Messianic congregations, not Judaism.)
I can’t imagine little Yushi ever asking Joseph and Mary if He could lay out of Synagogue. Also I can’t imagine Yeshua, once grown, failing to go to Shabbat service either. What do you think?
I, rather, am inclined to think He purposed the day before to spend that day so He would be prepared go to Church/Synagogue. As a matter of fact, I doubt very much it ever crossed His mind to not go to Shabbat service. If you had asked Yeshua if He was going to be attending Shabbat service, He would of answered — OF COURSE. Actually, I’m sure it never dawned on anyone to ask Him that.
Why is it that attending Church or Synagogue has become a matter of choice rather than conviction? When did this happen? This is an issue within both Christianity and the Hebraic/Messianic movement.
Do you realize that there actually was, in the not too distant past, a time when the Christian church kept the Sabbath? Though they worshipped on Sunday, they still treated it like the
Biblical sabbath. It wasn’t a day for working, shopping, sports, eating out after service. It was a day set aside for honoring God. And in order to do that, they followed the Sabbath as their model.
But now, for the Christian church, Sunday has become pretty much just another day. If something comes up more “important,” interesting, or fun to do — Church gets easily dropped off the radar for that day.
And, it’s not much better with Hebraic/Messianic folks either. However, we have a couple more convenient things to help us decide to not go to the Shabbat service.
We can have our own in-home family Shabbat service.
We can get together with someone else that is Messianic and have our own Shabbat service.
We can watch a Hebraic/Messianic Shabbat service by one of our favorite teachers on the internet.
Are these viable alternatives to assembling with the Congregation? Is that really what Yeshua would do? Did (would) Yeshua ever do any of these? Come on, be honest with yourself.
Please understand I know not everyone has a Congregation within logical traveling distance. Therefore, a home Shabbat service or a Shabbat service with someone nearby is a great option.
But when that isn’t the case, why not gather with a congregation for the purpose of mutual fellowship? The truth is folks, the time may be shortly upon us when we are going to need each-and-every one of us. Our various “issues” won’t be as important as drawing strength from one another.
In the Christian realm, however, it’s somewhat easier to find a place of assembly that lines up with one’s personal theological leanings. You have (not necessarily all good): Baptist, Presbyterian, Reformed, Methodist, Congregationalist ….
By way of contrast though, our (Hebraic/Messianic) problems are unique to us. We come from so many varied backgrounds, theologically, that we are constantly searching for congregations that we “agree” with and want to attend. I do, in all honestly, understand that. It is a REAL issue.
So, one of the things we’ve come up with to remedy this is to split off into variegated slices of the proverbial pie and do our own thing. Can this be avoided? No. But, I do think a better alternative is to come together to worship on Shabbat while laying aside our individual preferences for the greater good.
Let me hasten to say that I’m not referring to Doctrine. And when I say Doctrine I’m referring to that which we will die for. Such as: the Deity of Yeshua; inspiration of Scripture; salvation by grace through faith; the blood atonement of Yeshua. Those doctrines, and others, we have to stand firm on. They are issues that a person’s eternity hangs upon.
Let me wrap this up …
It’s not my intention to lay out a list of qualifiers to help you sort through all of this. But, let me say it like this so you can catch the drift of where I’m going —
You say Potato and I say Patato. You say Tomato and I say Tamato.
Or said another way …
“For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?” (1 Corinthians 3:4).
As you can see, this isn’t a new issue unique to us.
We all have our favorite Messianic flavors/teachers/preferences. However, we shouldn’t allow ourselves to become so shortsighted that we make those more important than they need to be.
We can assemble ourselves together for the greater cause of Yeshua while laying aside our differences that, though import to us, aren’t of eternal consequence. If it’s not something worth dying for because of it’s eternal ramifications, we can lay it aside for a short gathering time on Shabbat (or Sunday) to fellowship and bring glory to Yeshua.
Now in light of all I’ve said, whether you agree with me in totality or not …
He’d show up for worship at Church/Synagogue — no excuses, period!
WSYD — What Should You Do? —
Maybe I could market a new wristband? (Show me the money!)
See you next Shabbat.