I was obsessivly reading Anna's site, and ran across a link she had for a Torah Class, a free on-line repository for a 2005 class on the Torah. I clicked the first lesson...and got hooked. I'm up to lesson 29, and my belief system has taken a few direct hits...
The first is the whole clean/unclean food thing. I was brought up Lutheran, and...well, I've never been taught anything about what food is/is not "clean". I had *no* idea that man was created to be vegetarian (Gen. 1:29-30) In fact, animals weren't eaten until *after* the flood (Gen 9:3) (And, oh yeah - Noah took 7 pairs of clean animals and 2 pairs of unclean into the ark with him Gen 7:2-3) So....from the very beginning, there were some animals we just weren't supposed to consider food (pigs...:sigh: Bacon! Sausage! Pepperoni! Ham! :bigger sigh: And shrimp....:sigh:) Leviticus just laid out the law....it actually was laid out first in Genesis. (As were other things, but I'm not going *there* - it doesn't affect my family, so.....so not going there)
"But!" you say. "Jesus overturned that! We *can* eat anything we want now!" No, sorry.....He said Himself that "Don't think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete" (Matt. 5:17 - go on thru vs 20 for the full impact of this. There's more, too, that back this up....but I'm at work and can't get at my Bible to list it all)
The kids and I have discussed it, and are all in agreement - no more pork products or shellfish (those were the only 2 on the unclean list that we eat). So....I need to donate the 18 cans of Pork n Beans in my pantry - fortunately, Himself left the freezer door open all day Thursday, but the only things (the ONLY things) that thawed out were....seriously...the pork stuff. The sausage biscuits, the sausage patties, the bacon/egg/cheese croissants - all ruined. (They're going out with this week's trash - on Thursday) The chicken/beef/veggie products? Were all still frozen solid. :blink: If that's not a sign, then I don't know what is. :grin: I can get kosher hot dogs (and they're tasty!) at Thrall-mart, so the kids are all set. :bigger grin:
"Wait!" you say "Why are you taking *1* person's viewpoint on this? Especially since he's a Jew?" Well...I'm not. I read his arguement, looked it up myself, dug out another version, looked it up, went online and did some digging......oops. He's right. (I'll ignore the "Jew" part....I'll get into that later, when I've done more study on it. Suffice to say that *ALL* believers are now adopted into the Hebrew family....and, therefore, Jews by adoption. We don't have to keep the man-made dietary laws, and of course, the animal sacrifice was wiped out by Jesus's sacrifice. So, not a whole lotta changes to be made - at least, until I read more. :grin:)
We're going to try to keep the actual Sabbath, as well. There are no Messianic groups near us (and at $3/gallon, I can't travel every week), so we'll have to do it at home. No work, obviously - means no internet for me - and we're going to try to do a formal Bible Study. I have a copy of the Complete Jewish Bible (because it's a direct translation from Hebrew - English, instead of Hebrew-Greek-Latin-English) that has suggested readings, so we'll probably do that. We're still going to go to church on Sunday..at least, as long as we're led to. That might change - I'm just waiting to see how I'm led.
I've been fed up with easter/christmess celebrations for a bit, but hadn't really had the "push" to do anything about them until now. We've been discussing *those* as well....and, we won't be celebrating them anymore. If I am going to say I follow Christ, then I can't - in all conscience - participate in blatently pagan festivals. I've been calling it "Giftmas" for a while, now...and that's all it'll be from now on. A day to get together with family and exchange presents. easter? No longer will we join in a fertility festival - it'll be candy day. (Jesus was crucified on Passover...which usually has no actual relationship to when easter falls. Go figure. Also, He was born sometime in the Fall, because the sheep/shepards were still out in the fields. NOT December. :sigh:)
Besides, there are 7 Festivals laid out in the Bible - and the church only haphazardly acknowledges them - if at all. (Pentecost being a prime example - Pentecost was *Thursday* this year...but we celebrated it Sunday. And it wasn't even *mentioned* that it had actually already passed..and when I wished people a happy Pentecost on Thursday, it was like I was nuts. :sigh:) I've got some books in route from Amazon that explains the Festivals, so that we can start celebrating them ourselves. Hey - if *Jesus* celebrated them (*and* the apostles!), then we should too, right? (Besides...the first 4 festivals have all been fulfilled by Jesus - the 3 Spring ones (Passover/Unleavened Bread/Firstfruits), and the 1 Summer one (Pentecost/Feast of Weeks) - and they were fulfilled To The Day. There's 3 Fall Festivals (Rosh Hashanah/Feast of Trumpets, Yom Kippur, Sukkot/Tabernacles) left....we're in the end of the Gentile Summer here.......do the math!)
Am I going to force anyone else to change? Nope. The kids have agreed with me - and no, I didn't force them. I told them what I had read, went to the Bible, and we discussed it. I don't know if they really understand the whole christmess/easter thing....but we'll work on it. Since the gifts/chocolate isn't going away, I don't really think we'll have a problem...:grin: Yes, we'll be doing a tree (pagan! :gasp:), but...we'll probably go the route of others who've made this decision : white lights/red ornaments or white lights/blue ornaments. We're still thinking this out. (Hey - I just bought a 9' tree - I'm not ready to chuck it. :grin: Buying the ornaments....oh dear. eBay, here I come!) House lights...maybe. Up to the kids.
Getting out of the obligatory christmess program/easter singing will be fun.....explaining it to people isn't *that* hard, it's just sticking to my principles and not giving in when they beg.
So, that's the long and short of it. Some of it's new to me, some of it's been brewing a while. We'll still do the birthday thing - we keep it small and pretty much private, anyway, thanks to budget constraints - so the kids won't complain about *that*.