For some time now I have been involved with various Noahide groups and discussion formats. People from all over the world with varied backgrounds and spiritual journeys are returning to the Creator and His original instructions to mankind.
I am currently working on a book telling my spiritual journey, but here is a little for those new to following my blog.
I spent 44 years of my life in some form of Christianity. I had been an associate pastor and a Messianic Christian teacher in a small congregation. In 2009 I came to the knowledge about One True God of Israel and left Christianity. My wife and I would spend the next 6+ years studying and preparing ourselves for Orthodox Jewish conversion.
It was only after we had put our house on the market to sell, so we could move and take our next step in the conversion process, that I had a thought inter into my mind while in prayer and meditation. I began reciting a phrase from the Psalms, I looked it up and found it in Psalms 62. It talked about my soul waiting on God alone and that God was my refuge, stronghold, salvation and more. A question I had never had before formed, “If God was already these things for me, then what would conversion add?”
After pondering the question for a while, several other thoughts entered in that caused me to take a very serious look at to why I was converting. When I was done praying about what had just happened, I went and had a talk with my wife. She and I concluded together that conversion was not what the Creator wanted for. We then began to take a serious look at the Noahide Laws that the rabbis have mentioned to us. We saw very clearly that this was to be our spiritual path.
Now after 3 years, I have come to the conclusion that my seeking for Jewish Conversion had wrong motives, I was still in a religious mind set and was seeking to be a Jew for religious reasons, I was trading one religion for another – this is not the reason to become a Jew – one must want to become one of the family and then learn what that family does in it’s service to the Creator; Judaism is not a religion, it is the family of Abraham through the Isaac linage. If I made conversion today, it would be for that reason.
Now to being a Noahide Fundamentalist:
I have a very different take on the Noahide Laws. I come to them from a spiritual path that began in Christianity then went through years of studying Orthodox Judaism, my path experience has taught me a lot. I can see and understand both sides of the fence, so to speak.
For the most part the 7 Noahide laws appear as a simple outline that the Sages of Israel have gleaned from around 3300 years of Torah study. But do not let their simplicity fool you. It is only the beginning.
1. Prohibition of idolatry
2. Prohibition of blasphemy
3. Prohibition of theft
4. Prohibition of murder
5. Prohibition of forbidden sexual relationships
6. Prohibition of eating meat taken from a live animal
7. Set up courts of justice
That is the basic 7, they do not stop there, these are only the categories in which all our other commands fall under. They touch every aspect of our life.
There are other commandments in Torah that are not commanded to those of the nations. They were given to Israel. Some of these commandments given to Israel, we are permitted to do and then there are others we are not.
The permitted commandments seemed to have become a trap for many. They spend so much energy and time on them. I think this time and energy is misplaced and should be on the learning and practice of the 7 Laws and their details.
I have come to the conclusion that my path has become one of what I would call a Noahide Fundamentalist. I see no need in spending time and energy on learning permitted commandments and not on the commanded ones.
These permitted areas of Torah create division and that is not what the Noahide life is about – we are not commanded to be separated from one another and the world outside our window. The only separation is found within the 7 instructions – we do not get involved with those areas but live a righteous life before the rest of the world, in what ever culture we are placed in. We are to be the face of the 7 Laws. A Noahide should not be a separatist, – I have had Noahides tell me they would not get my messages if I sent them on Sabbath – this is being religious and in my opinion violated one of our directives, not to form a new religion. We have Noahides fighting over diet and that too is wrong. We respect others choices but we do not tell people that we are more biblical because of our choice of foods or sacred times.
In my book, these permitted areas are leading many off the path, they are forming a new religion. Matter of fact in my own studies I have learned that the permitted commandments are not to be done with spiritual intent – if so they become added commandments and form a new religion.
I know myself, from all my experiences with Christianity and Judaism, I could not in truth be able to do a permitted commandment without spiritual intent. Thus I leave them alone. Those who are fighting to do these permitted commandments really do need to do a self assessment and be truthful to why they want to do them.
If your formed answer to the self assessment is that God commanded them – then you need to return to the study of the 7 Laws for the nations and learn about the separation of the laws given to the nations and the laws given to Israel.
Even within Judaism, certain permitted areas are not allowed for someone who has not become well learned and practiced with the commandments that person was given to by God to do. I feel the same principle needs to apply to the Noahides. Get the 7 down first and all their details. And please do not tell me that you just learned about the Laws and have just begun the path and now you want to dive into the permitted commandment. Stick with that which is commanded first. I have been on this path seriously for 3 years and I have not scratched the surface.
When an athletic team coach see the team making a lot of mistakes, the couch takes them back to the basics. We are not any different, straying from the basics can cause issues that just do not have to happen.
I am a basic 7 Laws guy, they changed my life, human and world view – I am the happiest I have ever been spiritually – at this time I do not need the permitted commandments for I have not yet mastered the basics yet. Person to person interaction everyday lets me know how much work on my self that is still yet to be done.
The deeper and weightier issues of our part of the Torah is not found in festivals, diets and other permitted commandments but in the commandments that impact personal everyday actions.
This blog is solely my opinion on the issue.
Terry W. Hayes
Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash