Ghost of Christianity Past
Rabbi Yehudah ben Shomeyr
Recently I was personally attacked for my video and blog entitled, “The Ghosts of Christmas Past,” because I admitted and acknowledged fond memories I have of my past ignorant involvement and participation in Christianities version of Christmas. The attacks had taken my words and meaning grossly out of context. I, unlike some can separate my blind and ignorant, well intended emotions from the pagan origins of what we fully know now as Christmas. The same can be said about Christianity itself which many of us came out of. It’s infected with paganism, and yet I still have fond memories of when I was a Christian; always will. Just because I have fond memories of when I was worshiping YHWH the best way I knew how at the time in sincerity and yet ignorance, doesn’t mean I agree with it or will return to revel in it.
Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
In our sincere ignorance regarding our past, G-d winkled at what we didn’t know, and therefore we genuinely felt the Presence and move of the Ruach of Elohim and we saw bonafide healings, salvations and deliverances that cannot be refuted or denied. We all had genuine personal relationship with YHWH and He taught us, touched us and we grew. No one can deny or refute this; and this all the while we were blinded by the paganism rife within Christianity. In HIS mercy He was patient with us and winked at our ignorance until our hearts were in such a place as we could accept the Truth, know better, repent and follow correctly. The grace and patience HE extended us, we MUST extend to Christians still in the blissful, ignorant dark where miracles still occur.
So will I renounce and repent of the day I bowed at the altar of a Christian church with my best childhood friend and asked who I knew then as Jesus to come into my heart and forgive me and save my soul? So will I renounce and repent of the times when I seen people, even that of my own family, truly healed from sickness and addictions and delivered from demons? Not on your life! Though most of Christianity is ignorant of Torah, at least it introduced us to Yeshua who then opened us up to the truth and blessing of Torah and Natsari Judaism. How quickly we forget where we came from and bite the hand that fed us up until we discovered the Truth of Torah. The Rabbis tell us that though the Nile river symbolized a pagan Egyptian deity and was to be cursed, it was Aaron that did it, for HaShem prohibited Moses from cursing that which kept him as a child in that basket.
Folks we need to stop being so ignorantly ungrateful, pagaphobic, critical and self righteous. Because of our sometimes venomous attitude toward Christianity, no wonder few want to follow us in Torah and I can’t say that I blame them. I know I don’t want their blood on my hands because of a bad attitude toward a corrupted faith that at the very least showed me Messiah which set me up to eventually find the Truth of Natsari Judaism and Torah.
Ghosts of Christmas Past for the Natsarim
Rabbi Yehudah ben Shomeyr
Why is it so hard for Christians to give up Christmas, a holiday not found in Holy Writ anywhere!? It was never divinely commanded by G-d to celebrate. So why do they cling so tenaciously to it?
I think what is difficult for Christians in regards to giving up Christmas is that they cannot separate memory and emotions attached to Christmas from the pagan factual aspects of the day. They feel that if they give up Christmas they have to renounce the fond memories of Christmas past. Not so. Though I know better today and have forever put Christmas and the cloaked paganism with it behind me forever, I will nonetheless always have fond memories of celebrating Christmas in innocent, well indented ignorance, because for me growing up, it was about Jesus and not about Santa Claus or Mithra, Tammuz or Saturnalia.
I think many Christians and those of us who have come out of Christianity into Torah Observant Messianic/Natsari Judaism secretly feel guilty for once enjoying Christmas and even now still having fond memories of it. Don’t! You have no reason to feel guilty for those feelings, because as I said it was in innocent well meaning ignorance. But now it is time to make new fond memories in full knowledge of the truth with the Feasts of Adonai found in Leviticus 23 and the Jewish Holidays commemorating moves of G-d among His People, such as Chanukah and Purim. Again, as I said before we need to separate memory and emotion from enlightenment and facts.
As an example, I could give up soda because although it tastes wonderful and makes me feel good it is not healthy or beneficial for me. So I begin to drink only healthy drinks such as water, juices and such. This doesn’t mean I will forget how pleasant soda was, nor will I feel guilty for at one time in my life enjoying it. A weak analogy I know, but all analogies have their flaws, but one can easily draw the necessarily similarities to the subject at hand.
I think if we, in witnessing to our family and friends who do celebrate Christmas, if we not only present the facts, but also address and admit the emotional and nostalgic attachment to it, it may help people more easily break away from it and embrace the truth.