Sunday, May 28, 2017

Coherence Week 1 Notes


Working with people always presents challenges.  Just look at Congress today – you have a Senate that feels Government is the solution to our woes (i.e., the “Left”) whereas you have a House of Representatives that feels the Private Sector is the salvation of the nation (i.e., “the Right”).  While they are all Americans, no resolution is coming any time soon because these groups disagree on the fundamentals and each is convinced the other is nuts.

Ministry is often that way too: philosophies differ, theologies differ, visions differ, cultures differ – and tempers flare and things don’t get done.  How can a group of people, even if they are all believers in Messiah, come together to reach goal if the cant agree on the goal itself or the means to achieve that goal?  They can’t –  just look at what Paul had to endure in Galatia - and it generates disharmony in the (local) body as a result.

Enter Coherence.  Our 4 week Coherence series is designed to give you a crash course in all that is Ben David.  In this first week you will learn: who we are, what we believe, what our vision and goals are and how we want to achieve these goals.  We are keeping a “spiritual eye” out for those who want to identify with our ministry – and become leaders in that ministry – to partner with us and spread the Gospel of Messiah Yeshua.

One of the main things we wanted you to walk away with from our first class is this – how you approach the Scriptures is one of the strongest factors that will qualify (or disqualify) you from leadership.  If you read the scripture like Harold Camping, and start seeing numerical codes in the Bible – we don’t really think you have a place in our leadership.  If you read the Bible like Dominic Crossain, and start denying the Yeshua was resurrected – don’t come asking to preach at this congregation.

Many disagreements about Scripture emerge from what I like to call “pet verses.”  We fall in love with a verse that supports a particular teaching and we make it a universal for all time.  But when we study the entirety of Scripture – all 66 books – we may find that the context of that verse is not what we thought.

For example, take circumcision.  In the days of Abraham it was called a sign of the covenant (Genesis 17:11) and Moses was almost destroyed for not following this command (Exodus 4:24-26).  The Messiah Himself was circumcised on the 8th day (Luke 2:21) in accordance with the Scriptures (Leviticus 12:3).  We see some early Messianic believers claiming, understandably perhaps, that circumcision was necessary for one to be part of the faith community (Acts 15:1).  Yet it turns out that was not true – God was moving in a different direction.  Otherwise how can we explain why Titus was not circumcised (Galatians 2:3) and why Paul warned against Gentiles becoming circumcised (1 Corinthians 7:18) –yet he endorsed Timothy to be circumcised (Acts 16:3).  Blindly quoting Genesis 17:11 or Galatians 5:15 just doesn't cut it – these snippets don’t convey the main point God is making about circumcision.  Seek understanding, not “pet verses.”

In the case of Paul and those who insisted all believers must be circumcised, I can’t see that they got along very well in ministry together.  They had different visions, different ministry trajectories and different theologies.  Things are sometimes no different here at Ben David - thus we want to make sure we have the same goals and that we use the same tools to get there (i.e., the Scriptures).

May God bless you and guide you as you seek Him to find your role in ministry.

Download the Week 1 Notes (PDF format) here.


Weekly Scripture Reading



May 27 / Sivan 2, 5777

Parashah: Bamidbar ("In the Wilderness")

— Torah:
(Bamidbar) Numbers 1:1 – 4:20

— Haftarah:
Hosea 2:1-22

In the evening count Omer 47

This week's Parashah begins the fourth book of Moshe and has the same title as the book itself. The title of the book, in Hebrew, comes from the fourth word from its opening phrase, "Vaidaber YHVH el-Moshe bamidbar" (And Yehovah spoke to Moshe in the wilderness). Bamidbar, the wilderness, designates the place of the varied happenings in the book. The current English title, “Numbers,” is derived from the Septuagint - the Greek translation done before the Common Era - and was named as such based on the numerous censuses of the Israelites...

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