Another blogger wrote this really good article, and so I replied or commented to it, knowing that it probably would not be posted there. I understand. Most people only publish to be praised, not challenged; hence their personal names, and also witnessed in the content of allowed (moderated) comments. But the beauty of all this is that anyone can post elsewhere. The intriguing blog in reference here, is called:
My reply to this page:
I will not reiterate what other comments have stated (that the secular word “Christian” was a disparagement, not a compliment), but many minds do think alike, indeed. As with all proverbial leaven, there is surely much truth in the mix. There’s no doubt that people remain trapped in the products of their enculturation; religious pride, and ritual-tradition-keeping, being only small portions of that overall enculturation. But the tree is known by the visible fruit it bears.
My advice is to never take advice from people who are money-dependent; those who will do or say anything to keep the mammon flowing (Luke 16:13-15); those who too easily adopt the products of their culture (capitalism; monetization; money-service; debt; the car-cult, etc. today). The Holy Spirit humbles us even more than our state, just prior to our own Damascus Road experience. Thus, we do not magnify self; we/I must decrease. Who am I? It doesn’t matter! I avoid the stages of this life, but the egocentric crave them; attention hunger exposes them, though they cannot see it in themselves.
The single greatest sin possible within the human condition, is not what humans do to one another; it is to monetize YHVH (the Iscariot Paradox). Messiah Yeshua was deeply critical, and to the point of being hunted and crucified, for exposing organized religion (the dens of thieves) and especially their benefactors, the Pharisees (Matt 10:1-16; Acts 20:28-31), of whom came Saul, the chief of sinners and the least of the apostles, who was never relieved of his thorn.
We disciples of Messiah Yeshua, realize via the enlightenment of the Indwelling Holy Spirit, that the scriptures are not one book written by god (no need to parrot 2Ti 3 here; that was written long before the New Testament existed). We see all of scripture for what they are; how they came to us originally; who wrote them, or why and to whom (context). Disciples of Messiah Yeshua hear His voice only; that’s in the form of the Indwelling Holy Spirit (1 John), the same voice my brother Saul heard, during his Damascus Rd. experience. We all must have those!
Never forget who Saul was; an educated and upwardly mobile Pharisee and theologian (and with political ties); but also a hell-bound and evil man; a serial killer of the followers of The Way. Consequently, we see him more like we see ourselves; like he saw himself. Saul is my brother, not my Lord. The disciples of Messiah, from the First to (this) the Last Century, live sometimes in contrast to the average christianized (or Christian) individual.
We disciples of Messiah are red letters only; that is, we read all of scripture, and meditate on every word; however, we believe and know that Messiah Yeshua was/is YHVH-in-the-flesh; what exited His mouth is the only literal and literary God-speak, ever written (since the granite tablets of the 10-C’s). We obey His words faith-fully; His teachings; His lifestyle example, which is (among other reasons) the very reason that YHVH came onto Earth in human form, to begin with (if you want something done right, etc.)
Propitiation alone, made it possible for sin-capable beings, trapped in time, to receive (or harbor) a Holy Being, YHVH in Spirit form (the Indwelling Holy Spirit) to literally occupy us (Rom 8): Why? Because we have free will; volition is our superpower; it is why Narrow Way will be so narrow: The will of YHVH versus the ultimate outcome (John 3:1-21 vs. Matt 7:20-27).
Humans had the word of YHVH; the Tanakh, and yet, these very humans were far from YHVH, anyway; or perhaps because of it! This is why YHVH decided to make His earthly appearance where and when He did. Otherwise, YHVH would have done all this 7000 years ago, not just 2000. I went from being an Atheist to a Christian; the protestant evangelical westernized brand. I know all their doctrines and themes of justification: No need to parrot them to me here (I too was a pastor-teacher within the religion-business I once enabled).
Dedicate yourself to being a disciple of Messiah; abandon all organized religion; abandon your enculturation. We are to transcend blind enculturation; today, this amounts to transcending our own religious traditions and rituals, and religion serves itself, just as it always has. It means escaping the trappings of modernity, and living as Messiah would and did, and not anything like the masses around you. Discipleship is about abandoning one’s culture; christianity is about adopting the culture and then exploiting scripture to justify and rationalize it (inculturation). It is weekend religion, which stands in stark contrast to daily dying.
Once you are a disciple, and not merely a christianized capitalist (Antioch was a capitalistic urban blithe too), you will read the Messianic Scriptures, and the separate but culturally related Tanakh, as the Holy Spirit exposes to you, and not from the doctrinal academic productions indoctrinated by/for the organized religion-businesses: Catholic, Orthodox; Protestant (the COPs). You will genuinely fall in Love with our beaten brother, Saul; however, you will not construct any doctrine whatsoever from his fellowship letters (i.e. Pauline Christianity and bibliolatry), nor any others.
A variation to this perspective (but not my work):