6 Grievances With Fossilized Customs (book & web site)
Dear General Overseer,
Please post this in it's entirety so if we are caught putting words into each others' mouths, it will be apparent. Also, I'll post it and recommend it to be widely circulated on as many web sites as will have it, because "bad" publicity serves to accomplish more than "good" publicity does. You will remain un-named, so no slander (speech) or libel (written) damages will result. You will be referred to only by the title you've taken on yourself, "General Overseer."
I've watched so many self-appointed leaders get into squabbles with one another I knew it wouldn't be long before I was drawn into one. There are plenty of "leaders" out there who have a great deal of trouble with the tithing exposure provided in Fossilized Customs. Many people are now able to help those who really need help as a result. The wealthy can support us as they are led to do so, if the work we do is of Yahusha. If it is not of Yahusha, that support should be withheld.
The six grievances below, in my view, are not accurate portrayals of what is stated in the book Fossilized Customs because they omit the whole context of each topic as presented in the book. That's the problem with selectively quoting texts to fit a bias. The six grievances are briefly addressed below:
You wrote: (General Overseer):
Grievances with Fossilized Customs
Brother, your book teaches:
1. The eternal commandment of Circumcision has been done away with, in favor of water immersion (against Exodus 12:48, others).
quote the text in FC where I have stated that we are not to
circumcise our infant male children; this statement seems to
be saying I would be against male circumcision on the 8th day
- but I'm for it. For adult male
converts, Acts 15 clearly states that physical alteration is not
required, and so do the texts found at Romans 2:25-29, 1 Kor. 7:19,
Eph. 2:11-13, Kol. 2:11-13, Gal. 2:3,4, and notice carefully Gal.
“In Him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men, but with the circumcision done by Mashiak, having been buried with Him in (baptism) and raised with Him through your faith in the power of Yahuah Who raised Him from the dead.”
Publish this as widely as you like among the Body of Yahusha, and let everyone hear of it. This is not "Lew White's" teaching, but rather clear, literal Scripture. More details and Scriptural discussion on this topic can be found at: www.fossilizedcustoms.com/circumcision.html
2. The Torah of the Tithe is no more, and that any pastor who asks for financial support is evil (against Hebrews Seven, Malachi 3:10).
Lew's comment: It's not the tithe,
but who receives the
tithe (tenth part) that self-appointed leaders argue over on
this point - I never wrote anything against support for
the widow, fatherless, foreigner, or poor in our midst. When
we give to the poor, we lend to Yahuah (Prov. 19:17, 28:27, Ps.
112:9). The "food" to be brought to the Lewite priests for the
storehouse you've cited above is literally food,
not cash. That priesthood has passed away (Heb. 8), and
the storehouse itself is removed also. The
needy receiving the tithe is the real core of the problem for many,
since "leaders" want to receive widespread support from the assembly
they "command", plundering that which is due those in need.
Any reader can clearly see what's been going on; check out
Acts 4, Acts 20:29, and 1 Tim. 5:3-18, particularly verse 16).
There is no "rank" or position in the sense of fleshly hierarchy
among the Natsarim, but only working "parts" within the Body of
Yahusha, with a variety of diverse functions. 1 Kor 12:27-3:
Pastors are "shepherds" of the new sheep, and those who need to be fed with the bread of Torah; there can be any number of shepherds in a given group, not just one. The same is true of elders. If we are engaged in a highly specific work for a period of time, and we are supported to do this work by those in the position of "helping", then their means (wealth) will take care of that - but everyone doesn't send in 10% to one self-appointed leader, and rob the widow, fatherless, foreigner, and poor of the tithe intended for them to eat. Elders are entitled to a double-portion at the table (1 Tim. 5:17). Yahusha sends helps (financially) to support the tasks He is involved in. Yahusha hates the "nicolaitans," those who would "conquer the people", and put themselves above the assembly.
The "Devil's work" which you have described Fossilized Customs to be is not the work of "Lew White", but is a job which Yahusha has given to me. If I have performed this job in an imperfect way, it's only because I'm a flawed human.
3. That the 613 Commandments of the Torah of Moshe have been supplanted by the Ten Commandments (against Matthew 5:17-19). (Addressed in narrative below)
4. That there is no requirement to assemble on Shabath (against Acts 15:21).
Exactly where is the Torah command that we assemble each Shabath? Where is the Torah command to build a Temple (Hekal), or even a synagogue / house of study? In Capernaum, there were approximately 30,000 residents. Assuming there were 50% who were Alahim-fearing, how would these possibly fit into the one synagogue measuring approximately 15' x 20'? Those who attended any synagogue on Shabath did so to hear the Torah read primarily for two reasons: 1. They were studying to become teachers, or were teachers themselves. 2. They were formerly Gentiles, but were turning to Yahuah and learning how to walk. Yahuah instructed PARENTS to teach their children, not send them to a synagogue or another man to teach them. Examine yourself in your thoughts and actions concerning "nicolaitanism." Conquering the people with rules and regulations to reap admiration or economic plunder might be the wrong approach to take. No tithing was done on Shabath; even the beggars had to observe the day off from their begging. (We can deal with what tithing is in another Email). There is a Torah command concerning our activity on Shabath:
I'll stand by that Scripture, and further say that if anyone is within a Shabath distance, and wishes to attend a gathering of believers for any reason, then that's commendable. But, to order believers to attend an assembly on Shabath is inherently coming from human manipulation, and definitely not stipulated in Torah. To accuse me of promoting the Devil's work because I say these things in FC is a judgment that you've made of me, while I have lived peacefully with others who have different interpretations. I still respect the fact that people can disagree, but you might reconsider my view also, before calling it the Devil's work.
The Catholic organization promoted the weekly attendance order, and transgressions were treated as being "mortal sins."
This is not from the Torah of Yahuah, and ADDS to what He has declared for us to obey as Israel.
I have questions of my own:
Why not try to spend your time converting (unbelievers) to a belief in Yahusha?
Why come after Lew White, when other elders are attacking Paul, or abandoning the letter to the Hebrews? (Among many other things).
Are people sending you Emails and bringing up my name in them?
5. That there is no requirement for Scriptural accountability, following Yeshua’s death (against Ephesians 5:21, others). (I have no idea where this statement is derived from FC).
6. That the way the Body should operate, following Yeshua’s death, is for each and every man to “bury his mina,” and then to do what is right, in his own eyes (against Luke 19, others). (I have no idea where this statement is derived from FC).
General Overseer: If we are unable to gain your attention, and your willing compliance with His Torah, (name omitted) and I will be forced to let the newsgroup know. This will certainly cause panic and consternation among the people, and this is something that we do not want. However, according to Matthew Eighteen, this is the next step that we will be required to take, if you do not repent of teaching these contradictions to Torah.
You also asked me to take FC off of the market, and out of circulation:
General Overseer: May He send you repentance unto true spiritual Life, and may He send other means of financial support, to replace the money you will lose by making the right choice (and taking Fossilized Customs off of the market, and out of circulation).
Lew's comment: Please allow me to quote from MattithYahu 18:15-17:
"If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.' If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the assembly; and if he refuses to listen even to the assembly, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector."
This text is also pertinent:
"Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted." Gal 6:1
Another important text to keep in mind follows:
"Here there is no Greek or Yahudi, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Mashiak is all, and is in all. Therefore, as Alahim's chosen people, qodesh and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility , gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Master forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Mashiak rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Mashiak dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to Alahim. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Master Yahusha, giving thanks to Alahim the Father through Him." Kol 3:11-17
When you first began taking positions that were in opposition to Scripture, I gently corrected you using Scriptures that directly pertained to the topics. I never judged you, issued ultimatums, or threatened to expose you to a wide audience. I was literally bombarded with letters and Emails asking me how I could sit by silently as everyone watched you literally self-destruct, and not publicly correct you. As a minimal act, I posted what Scripture actually states on the non-necessity of penile surgical procedure, since that was the most common complaint I had been receiving. Your teaching of the post-Millennial return of Yahusha I completely ignored, because it's not a transgression - just not something I agree with. I'm not here to remove logs, or even splinters from others' eyes. I'm not an Answer Man, nor am I policing the whole world, and unhappy with what I don't agree with. Where there is a dispute, I remove the log I can control; me.
"Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Master and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other." 1 Thess 5:12-13
I admit we have differences, but we need to be the best examples we can be to the Body, as well as the world. We should be known for the love between us, not the continual nit-picking we engage in. If people are writing to you and mentioning my name, you should listen to them only if they are using Scripture. If they're quoting "Lew White", don't worry about it - my words will not last forever. But, if they quote Scripture on a specific topic, and they're not stretching a text to fit where it shouldn't, then slow down and take notice.
You need to get over the surgical thing you're on, and help the Torah of Yahuah be proclaimed. The idea of the "613" laws comes to us as counted by the Talmudic writers, and if the ceremonial laws and details are still in effect, then Yahusha's sacrifice means absolutely nothing. The enumeration of x-number of bulls, drink offerings, cutting the barley and taking it to the Kohen Gadol for waving, and so on,
being all part of the "613" laws, it will be very difficult to manage without an altar, an Ark, and an operating priesthood. When Yahusha said "It is finished", He referred to those ceremonial laws that had been held in a little pouch on the side of the Ark - not the Covenant inside the Ark. The Ark is gone, and never to be spoken of again (see below, YermeYahu 3).
Yahusha wisely recommended that we not take vows at all. For example, you and I can't possibly be Nazirites, since there are requirements that no one today could perform. Also, if either of us has taken an oath of "celibacy", this is against Torah and Paul's recommendations. It comes straight out of ascetism, practiced by Pagans (including Catholicism, and it's a huge problem for them). If I don't play golf, but I vow to give it up, what exactly am I really giving up? I'm not making fun, and I admit that I'm just too dense to understand some things. If I watch a DVD on a television, I'm possibly too "worldly" for some Natsarim for me to associate with them - judging another man's servant is one thing I really don't want to ever do. If you believe you're a Nazir, or that being celibate helps you, great; but I'd try to keep all that to myself if I were you. Being freaky isn't against Torah, nor is denying yourself the pleasure of being married to a foxy wife like I have. I praise Yahuah for giving me my wife. I'm all for the laws of niddah, eating clean animal flesh exclusively, and living in such a way that I would never be cut-off from Israel. I rest every Shabath; but the only "new moon day" I rest on is the one that occurs on the first day of the seventh moon. If you rest on every new moon day, that's your business; but please don't tell me to do that for Torah reasons, because it's adding to Yahuah's Torah. These are just some differences we may have, and I don't intend to be critical and certainly not hateful over them - to me they're foolish controversies like whether someone wants a chocolate shake or a strawberry one. This world is not ideal, but I'm not the dictator of it either.
"And I will give you pastors according to My heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. And it shall come to pass, when you have multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, says Yahuah, they shall say no more, 'the Ark of the Covenant of Yahuah: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more. At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of Yahuah; and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the Name of Yahuah, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart.
In those days the house of Yahudah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance to your fathers." YermeYahu/Jer 3:15-18
May Yahusha only judge us, and be merciful to us if we serve Him in any way that offends Him.
The pummeling is continuing, snatching phrases from my comments above and building a case against me. I forgive all attempts to demonize and defame me and the work Yahusha has put before me. As we forgive, we will be forgiven.
"Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." Matt 5:10-12
There is more background to this that needs to be explored. When a brother turns on another brother, it may not be his fault, or even a spiritual battle (I'm not discounting the spiritual attack for an instant, since the spiritual condition may cause the syndrome). One possible cause for this and other behavior seen in the General Overseer is The Jerusalem Syndrome, and here is some data collected on this from Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia: [BEGIN QUOTE]
The syndrome was first clinically described in the 1930's by Jerusalem psychiatrist Heinz Herman and pertains to behaviors exhibited by some visitors to Jerusalem. Whether or not these behaviors specifically arise from visiting Jerusalem is debated, as similar behaviors have been noted at other places of religious and historical importance such as Mecca and Rome (see Stendhal syndrome). It is known that cases of the syndrome had already been observed during the Middle Ages, since it was described in the itinerary of Felix Fabri and the biography of Margery Kempe. Other cases were described in the vast literature of visitors to Jerusalem during the 19th century.
The majority of Jerusalem Syndrome patients are harmless and are usually regarded with pity and/or amusement. The most significant exception occurred in August of 1969, when an Australian tourist, Michael Rohan, overwhelmed with a feeling of divine mission, set fire to the al-Aqsa Mosque. His act was followed by citywide rioting. These events helped form the premise of a movie called The Jerusalem Syndrome. Rohan was both delusional and religious, but he met none of the other supposed signs of the "syndrome".
Bar-El et al. suggested that at the approach of the year 2000, large numbers of otherwise normal visitors might be affected by a combination of their presence in Jerusalem and the religious significance of the millennium, causing a massive increase in the numbers of Jerusalem syndrome admissions to hospital. Despite a slight increase in tourist hospitalizations with the rise in total tourism to Jerusalem during the year 2000, the feared epidemic of Jerusalem syndrome never materialized.
The 'classic' Jerusalem syndrome, where a visit to Jerusalem seems to trigger an intense religious psychosis that resolves quickly or on departure, has been a subject of debate in the medical literature. Most of the discussion has centered on whether this definition of the Jerusalem syndrome is a distinct form of psychosis, or simply a re-expression of a previously existing psychotic illness that was not picked up by the medical authorities in Israel.
In response to this, Bar-El et al. classified the syndrome1 into three major types to reflect the different types of interactions between a visit to Jerusalem and unusual or psychosis-related thought processes. However Kalian and Witztum have objected that Bar-El et al. presented no evidence to justify the detailed typology and prognosis presented, and that the types in fact seem to be unrelated rather than different aspects of a syndrome.
Jerusalem syndrome imposed on a previous psychotic illness. This refers to individuals already diagnosed as having a psychotic illness before their visit to Jerusalem. They have typically gone to the city because of the influence of delusional religious ideas, often with a goal or mission in mind which they believe needs to be completed on arrival or during their stay. For example, an affected person may believe himself to be an important historical religious figure, or may be influenced by important religious ideas or concepts (such as causing the second coming of Christ).
Jerusalem syndrome superimposed on and complicated by idiosyncratic ideas. This does not necessarily take the form of mental illness, and may simply be a culturally anomalous obsession with the significance of Jerusalem, either as an individual, or as part of a small religious group with idiosyncratic spiritual beliefs.
Jerusalem syndrome as a discrete form, uncompounded by previous mental illness. This describes the best known type, whereby a previously mentally balanced person becomes psychotic after arriving in Jerusalem. The psychosis is characterized by an intense religious character and typically resolves to full recovery after a few weeks, or after being removed from the locality. It shares some features with the diagnostic category of a 'brief psychotic episode', although a distinct pattern of behaviors has been noted:
Bar-El et al. reported 42 such cases over a period of 13 years, but in no case were they able to actually confirm that the condition was temporary.
During a period of 13 years (1980-1993) for which admissions to the Kfar Paul Mental Health Centre in Jerusalem were analyzed, it was reported that 1200 tourists with severe, Jerusalem-themed mental problems were referred to this clinic. Of these, 470 were admitted to hospital. On average, 100 such tourists have been seen annually, 40 of them requiring admission to hospital. About 2 million tourists visit Jerusalem each year. [END QUOTE]
If these symptoms match the circumstances, then help is needed for the individual affected, and prayer.
IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING BEING IMMERSED INTO Yahusha'S NAME, SEE THIS LINK: CIRCUMCISION and IMMERSION
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Strawberry Islands Messianic Publishing, Louisville KY
The Torah is out there. I want to obey.
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Lew White Author's Page at Amazon.com