This is part 7 of the 11 part series on the writer’s journey back to Judaism. For the other parts, read this.
Shabbat candles, Davidic Dance, we swirled around in our new lives of worshiping the Father, and yes, Yeshua of Nazareth as well. We saw no contradiction. He was one. We sang Shema with messianic siddurs, prayer books, and added messianic new testament significance to heighten the worship experience.
An experience it was! Everything was celebratory and highly spiritual. No mechitza, divider, in our services, hands held and free speech was also encouraged. My husband had learned the ropes, and we went off to begin our first messianic congregation. Being affiliated with the Southern Baptists helped open the door to finding a meeting place in the furnished basement of a church.
It was all going well until my husband started having pangs of conscience. He didn’t feel authentic. We were dressing up in prayer shawls and yarmulkes but were not truly trying to be Torah observant. He began to feel an emptiness inside.
He thought the answer was to leave the costume behind and go back to his Christian fundamentalist roots, in his old hometown, where he grew up. At least there he wasn’t playing dress up, he felt. Broken hearted on leaving the messianic worship behind, I followed his lead to Churchland.
Learning hymns, and eating squirrel at the finger food fellowship was quite an adjustment for me and my stomach. We still celebrated the “Feasts” but now added the Christian holidays as well. Our white tree with blue trim lasted many years, until it slowly moved to the more traditional Martin Luther, inspired evergreen.
Our pastor had left our church, and we went searching for a new one that was equally conservative, as we were as right wing Christian as a person could get without falling off the end of the spectrum. Pat Robertson seemed mild to us.
It was at this time we were introduced to a different kind of Hebrew Christianity. This form claimed to follow the Torah stricter. No Sunday worship, no Christmas trees, no squirrel. It was intense. Maybe this more “authentic messianic judaism” was what we were missing before. We had no home church at this point . . . why not start a new congregation for “Torah Observant” messianics right here in the deep south?!
The doors opened right away, we hung out our “shingle” and danced away once more. We were anti-church with their Sunday ways and were purists to the true Messianic way, combining Moses and Yeshua in a more forceful way that attracted people disenchanted with the church. We were to follow Torah and the New Testament.
Everything was going well until . . .
To Be Continued