The following are the complete comments of a congregational leader in Texas who wrote to Rick Chaimberlin, who publishes Petah Tikvah -- a wonderful quarterly magazine I recommend to everyone. I address both Rick and our unhappy brother, point-by-point. I present this for you to read, since there are certain congregational leaders who seem to take opposition with many of the same topics discussed in Fossilized Customs. Even leaders can have trouble understanding that we are not all serving in the same capacity. Dear brother Rick, (and congregational leader in Texas);
Lew: If a member of the Body is found to be practicing or teaching error, he is to be confronted by the offended person privately first, and if this fails it is to be brought before the elders. If this fails to correct the man's error, it is brought before the whole assembly of saints, so that his shame is before all (Mt. 18:15-17). If I am a false witness to some, then I am in good company; Shaul was thought to be one because he witnessed that Elohim raised up Messiah (1 Cor. 15:15) -- a very unpopular idea to the establishment. To the establishment, men who expose error have usually and understandably been labeled rebels, or worse. As Shaul stated at Philippians 1:15-18, he rejoiced in the fact that Messiah was announced, whether in pretense, envy, strife, or selfish ambition -- so in the spirit of this concept I will not speak against anyone who is working in the harvest and giving of themselves in Ya-hushua's service. In the criticisms below I find no circumstances which effect one's salvation before YHWH, regardless of which way one leans in belief. It would be my privilege to respond briefly to our brother's sincere concerns regarding what he finds offensive in my book Fossilized Customs, but I do not hope to win a debate at the expense of offending or shaming my brother:
congregational leader: In the Oct-Dec 2003 issue of Petah Tikvah, on page 4, you have footnote 2, which makes mention of "Fossilized Customs" by Lew White. Let me make you aware of the dangerous material contained within this book.
congregational leader: 1. Lew White does not believe in the Tri-unity of the Godhead. He believes it's pagan in origin and based on pagan sexual practices (p. 91-93). Lew: If a person were to only have contact with the Scriptures, without any outside teachings or influences, it would be highly unlikely for them to develop a belief in a "Trinity" on their own. Too many texts reveal that YHWH is one, not three. Exegesis (direct analysis or interpretation of Scripture) will often conflict with what a person has been taught or already believes as he brings them with him to the study -- prior beliefs must not be allowed to influence such analysis. When we approach Scripture with ideas we already believe and then hunt down the texts which support our belief, we find ourselves "proof-texting". In this case, if we read a text, the teaching we already believe is not directly being taught, but we can snatch or extract the necessary phrases in order to support our belief. This is not exegesis, but rather eisegesis. Eisegesis (analyzing from one's own ideas) is what we mostly see being done, where an explanation or analysis is based upon one's own ideas, which is often based on popular opinion. The "Trinity" entered the belief through what is called The Apostles' Creed, formulated as an integral part of the rite of baptism. A clearly divided and separate confession of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, corresponding to the Divine Persons invoked in the formula of baptism was imposed by Catholicism, and this dogma has persisted strongly to the present. This Creed developed from a primitive teaching (c. 390), and is referred to in a letter addressed to Siricius by the Council of Milan (Migne, P.L., XVI, 1213), which supplies the earliest known instance of the combination
Symbolum Apostolorum ("Creed of the Apostles"). Certainly any Idea that It actually originated with the 12 Apostles is a myth. The actual inception of the doctrine of the Trinity seems to be best explained as coming from the Nicene Creed, formulated under the Emperor Constantine in 325 AD. All we need to do is find a text in the Scriptures which teaches anything about YHWH being three distinct persons, and that belief in such a model is so paramount that our salvation hangs on it. He is neither trinity or "twin-ity", but if we would condemn one another over whether He is or isn't, we are operating outside the bounds of what Scripture teaches us -- especially about judging one another. What I am guilty of (hopefully) is not judging people, but rather beliefs which entered the faith from outside. Constantine was marvelously talented at modifying and formulating things that appealed to what everyone already believed. He did not emphasize Scripture as our model and guide for doctrine. Fossilized Customs is not the only book which has been written which teaches that YHWH is one. Sir Isaac Newton and Alexander Hislop were non-trinitarians. "In the unity of that one Only God of the Babylonians, there were three persons, and to symbolize that doctrine of the Trinity, they employed, as the discoveries of Layard prove, the equilateral triangle, just as it is well known the Romish Church does at this day. In both cases such a comparison is most degrading to the King Eternal, and is fitted utterly to pervert the minds of those who contemplate it, as if there was or could be any similitude between such a figure and Him Who hath said, 'To whom will you liken (Elohim), and what likeness will you compare unto Him?'" The Two Babylons, pgs. 16,17. congregational leader: 2. He does not believe in the tithe and states it is a social decision and not a biblical commandment (p. 89). Lew: Anyone who has read Fossilized Customs can see that it is Scriptural to tithe; the only controversy is who is to be the recipient of it. Yahushua was not supported by the tithe, but rather by those who were in the office of giving -- women of means (Luke 8:3, Mark 15:41) - it is important to support Yahushua's work in the world, by those who have the means. Miriam of Magdala was one of these women! The tithe is for the support of the widow, fatherless, lame, hungry, or any who are in temporary or permanent need of support. Giving to the poor is lending to YHWH (Proverbs 19:17, Ya'aqob 1:27, Acts 10:4). There are many examples in Fossilized Customs supporting the tithe, but I also cite several
Scriptures which expose how the sheep will be fleeced for gain (2 Cor. 2:17, 2 Kepha 2:3, Acts 20:32-35). We who labor in teaching are worthy of support, but only from those in the office of "helps" (1 Cor. 12:28). No where do we see any leader in Scripture teaching his students to give him 10% of their income. Certainly no Apostle ever took such plunder for personal use from any assembly they started. Performing a study of the phrase "ravenous wolves" might shed light on this subject better. If you have the means to support a leader who is working in the service of Yahushua's Body, PLEASE do so; but to call it the tithe is inappropriate. For this teaching, I am willing to be shamed for; but let Yahushua judge me. He is so much more forgiving than men are. Those who oppose this teaching may have much to lose financially, but it is so much more blessed to give than to receive. I know, because I must receive to do the work I do also. Without support, I would not be enabled to do the work I do. Another good word to study in this context is "nicolaitan" (no offense to my critic intended). congregational leader: 3. He believes ministers should not receive of tithes and offerings for their support. He believes ministers should get a job like everyone else and stop "bilking" the people out of their money. Lew: Did Kepha have a job? Andrew, Kepha, and Yohanan did quite a bit of fishing, and not for sport. Paul was a maker of tents, and he mourned for the occasions he was supported by assemblies when he needed to impose on them. He surely didn 't confuse this support with the tithe; he carried offerings of food to the saints in Yerushaliyim when there was a famine (1 Cor. 16:3, Romans 15:26,27). The poor were foremost on the minds of these men (Galatians 2:10). We are to be supported as elders in the Body, and this is to do the work of the workman; we must not become a burden on every person to the extent of taking 10% from everyone's wages. Those with the means will have it put on their heart to invest in our work, and by doing so share in the rewards. The Gentiles who reaped spiritually from the people of Elohim were encouraged to share materially with them (Romans 15:26,27). Our brother's word "offerings" above was never a topic I taught against in the book. I still feel that we who serve the Body should work in an auxiliary capacity to earn a living, since we are not Levites and exempt from having a livelihood. Each one of the Body is of the priesthood of Melckizedek, and we are the living stones of the Temple of YHWH.
congregational leader: 4. He does not believe in gathering on the Sabbath, or in fact, ever needing to gather as Believers. Lew: We worship YHWH by our obedience every day. Gathering on Shabbat (or after Shabbat, as we see done at Acts 20:7-12) is encouraged if possible in Fossilized Customs. But, we must study to see if it is required to assemble or not. Reading Exodus/Shemoth 16:29,30, we know we must not leave our "vicinity" on a Shabbat. Wherever 2 or more are gathered in Yahushua's Name, He is present. In the Sabbath assemblies 2000 years ago, a large amount of the attendees were Gentiles, so they could learn Torah. This has changed radically — there are no Gentiles attending synagogues, nor are the Christians reading the Torah in their assemblies. We are told to "observe" the Sabbath "in all your dwellings" (Lev. 23:3). This observance is primarily focused on resting - Sabbath was made for man's rest.
We are commanded to assemble 3 times in a year (males over 20). On a typical weekly Shabbat, those who study may do so in their homes today with their families, where the basic focus or center of our life and walk begins. The family dwelling is the center, and the family structure is the model for teaching our offspring. We do not live to assemble; but we are to live to teach our children the Torah of YHWH; it's no one else's responsibility. When we assemble as adults, it is for edification, and each one is to have a turn at teaching, prophesying, interpreting, revelations, singing, according to their gifts (1 Cor. 14:26). If we never gather together, the Voice of Ya-hushua cannot speak to the Body -- the Spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Yahushua. He is in us, and teaches us through one another -even the least of us. If we come together and only one speaks, then we have "gagged" Yahushua. Perhaps our brother misunderstood what I meant in the book; we are not "obliged" or commanded to assemble each and every Shabbat (as Catholicism has taught for centuries about their Sun-day worship services called the mass). If we choose to, we can sleep all day on Shabbat, and no wrong is done. Leaders who insist otherwise may have an agenda to push -- and their congregation should investigate what that may be. If a leader takes up a collection of money on the Sabbath, then they need to find where this behavior is seen in Scripture -- we should not be carrying money around at all on a Shabbat; even the beggars have to take this day off. What does this text mean: "Six days work is done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a set-
apart miqra. You do no work, it is a Sabbath to YHWH in all your dwellings."Please look up the Hebrew meaning of MIQRA, as it pertains to its root, QARA.
congregational leader: 5. He believes in the "Two House / Covenant" theory, whereas, all Gentiles Believers are descended from the lost 10 tribes of Israel. This is the "Ephraimite Error."
Lew: My error comes from Scriptural references which clearly contrast the terms "house of Israel" and "house of Yahudah", a division which developed after Dawid's conflict with Abshalom. The Yahudim are indeed among the Elect of YHWH, but there are "other sheep who are not of this fold". Please don't put me into a box by thinking I believe that England and America are the primary remnants of the 10 lost tribes. Amos 9:9 tells us "For look, I am commanding, and I shall sift the house of Israel among the Gentiles, as one sifts with a sieve, yet not a grain falls to the ground." Ya'aqob 1:1 is addressed "to the twelve tribes who are in the dispersion, Greetings!" YirmeYahu 31 speaks of this "Ephraimite Error": "For there shall be a day when the watchmen (Natsarim) cry on mount Ephraim, 'Arise, and let us go to Tsiyon, to YHWH our Elohim."
The "House of Yahudah" (southern kingdom), and the "House of Israel" (northern 10 tribes), are called "two sticks", and even "sisters". We need to understand the end-time prophecies of the "two sticks " being made into one again, declared at Ezekiel 37, but if a person chooses to think these are Jews being re-gathered to Jews, then they are missing out on the understanding of the secret of Elohim which is being revealedjust prior to the sounding of the 7th messenger (Rev. 10:7, Eph. 3:6). No harm done, but is this really an issue over which we have to become adversarial with one another? Shaul warned us to shun foolish controversies and genealogies - see 1 Tim. 1:4, and Titus 3:9. Something tells me this is not "foolish" at all, but prophetic fulfillment. But, I like knowing that the 12 gates into the New Yerushaliyim will be named for each of the 12 tribes, because Yahushua is finding each one of us -- and others also who are engrafting. The 12 tribes (Israel) are the priests to the nations. congregational leader: 6. He believes God has divorced Israel (p. 59) for her idolatry. Physical Israel no longer has a covenant with God unless they accept the New Covenant. Lew: Odd that you would bring this up! If you turn to YirmeYahu 3, you will read about the treachery which the northern "house" (Israel)
did after Dawid and Abshalom s conflict caused the division of the north and south. YHWH even says that the house of Yahudah did not return to Him from her backsliding even after witnessing what He had brought on the north (Israel was carried away!). He pleads with the house of Yahudah, telling her that her sister (Israel of the north) would not return to Him, "But she did not return. And her treacherous sister Yahudah saw it. And I saw that for all the causes for which backsliding Yisrael had committed adultery (idolatry), I had put her away and given her a certificate of DIVORCE; yet her treacherous sister Yahudah did not fear; but went and committed whor-ingtoo." YirmeYahu3:7,8. congregational leader: 7. He use of "Paleo Hebrew" is outlandish and ridiculous, as there are many uncertainties about original character meaning and pronunciation. He believes that using "Paleo Hebrew" for God and Yeshua is the "only" correct way of representing them. He says the use of God is pagan and the use of Jesus/Yeshua is incorrect. Lew: YHWH Elohim used palaeo-Hebrew to write the Torah in the stone tablets, so I stand on my choice of characters with Him. In fact, most of the prophets wrote in the archaic, primary Hebrew; it was only during the Babylonian Captivity that the Yahudim took the "Babylonian Hebrew" characters on -- Bel-shatstsar needed Daniel to read this "outlandish and ridiculous" script, because the Babylonians knew nothing of it. Mosheh, Abraham, Enoch, Dawid, Shlomoh -- these men could not read modern Hebrew; they used that "outlandish and ridiculous" palaeo-Hebrew script. The Great Scroll of Isaiah (YeshaYahu) is a copy of the original, and it is on display in the Shrine of the Book Museum in Yerushaii-yim -- the Name is preserved in its original 'outlandish and ridiculous" palaeo-Hebrew script, while the rest of the text is in modern Hebrew. The original is the Qodesh script, and must never be referred to in a profane or disrespectful manner. The letters (22) of both scripts have the same meanings and sounds (wtth some exceptions). The words mean the same things too. Alef is "ox", Beth is "house", and so on. Being a "living language", changes have occurred in the Hebrew tongue. But the script we call the palaeo-Hebrew was taught to Enoch by a messenger of YHWH (Book of Jubilees, source info). I have no axe to grind with the Aramaic whatsoever, but if we have to choose between them, I vote for the way my Father writes. We are babbling today, no doubt. Change is a form of corruption too. I can read both forms, both modern Babylonian/Aramaic as well as palaeo-Hebrew. I encourage everyone to draw closer to the original script, and for this I take a little heat once in a while. congregational leader: 8. His use of "Yahushua" is completely incorrect for representing Messiah.
Lew: Y'shua is fine with me, since it was written on Ya'aqob's ossuary in this way. But, it should not be dangerous to know that Y'shua is short for something, just as "Larry" is short for Lawrence. Yahshua is another fine rendering. Yeshua might be alright, as long as it isn't attempting to modify the vowel for the sound of the Name, YAH. We mustn't argue over words, but grow in understanding why we are using them. If a person wants to dig into it a little, the Greek texts at Acts 7 and Hebrews 4 will reveal the fact that "Joshua" and "Jesus" have the same underlying Greek letters, and so scholars have deduced that the two men actually have identical spellings in Hebrew. Greek is an intermediate language, and we know our Rabbi did not have a Greek name, nor did He ever hear "Jesus" on His eardrums. "Joshua" is spelled yod-hay-waw-shin-ayin. If you notice the spelling of "Yahudah", the first three letters also match this Name as well as the first three letters in YHWH, yod-hay-waw-hay. If the proper way to say yod-hay-waw-shin-ayin is not Ya-hushua, then I'm all ears to learn a better way. congregational leader: 9. His use of Ha-Shatan is an incorrect use of the Hebrew language.
Lew: Shatan is word #7853, spelled shin-tet-nun, and means adversary or opponent. The prefix "ha" is simply an article equivalent to our word, 'the'. Is this something to get our hackles up over? Used as a pronoun, it is sometimes mistaken to be the same thing as a name; but in these cases it is merely a designation for a being who has, in fact, had his original name blotted out. The name this being had prior to its rebellion is easily researched; it is Azazel, meaning power of Elohim. Like us, this being has to go through time, so he doesn t exist in all time like YHWH does. If the word were spelled shin-tau-nun, it would mean "to urinate". They sound the same -- so that may be poetic justice. Now we 're having fun! congregational leader: 10. Throughout his book he has nothing good to say about anyone or anything, as he believes he is the only one who has the correct understanding. Lew: I didn t realize that the book was not only depressing, but also taken to be a monument to conceit as well. Please accept my apology if it was taken that way. But, I recall stating that
I merely gathered facts from many sources, and put them together -- not to judge people, but rather customs which had unsavory origins. Sure, most of the investigation is a major bummer, but trashing nonsense and doctrines against the Truth are difficult to present with a gleeful outcome. The wonderful news is, lots of people can investigate on their own to find out if what I've uncovered is true or not. Then they can gain the understanding and see how it feels to have eaten the "red pill" (analogy to Matrix). "With much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief." Eccl. 1:18. I will pray for you, brother, to be granted wisdom in greater measure, and I hold no bitterness against you for your position. In the future, you will find that using Scripture to correct and rebuke error will work much better than personal feelings and popular opinions (justa friendly tip). "Preach the Word. . ." 2 Tim. 4:2.
congregational leader: 11. The entire book is incoherent and rambles endlessly back and forth between subjects and concepts. The book has no set order, theme, or consistent message.
Lew: The tapestry I chose to unravel is connected to many disciplines of knowledge, and what you said about the "rambling" back and forth is quite true -- but it is also true of the writings of brother Shaul. Reading FC is not for entertainment. Many who have read it tell me they begin to see more and more with their 2nd and 3rd reading. If it doesn't make sense to you, then read it again, and again, until the consistent message appears to you. Below, our brother rightly describes the contents of FC, calling them "abhorrent". I could not agree more. The deceptions that have been perpetrated upon all mankind are described more concisely by the messenger's words recorded by brother Yohanan:
"Babel the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a haunt for every unclean spirit, and a haunt for every unclean and hated bird, because all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her whoring, and the sovereigns of the earth have committed whoring with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the power of her riotous living." Rev. 18:2,3. If my worst sin is writing the book Fossilized Customs, exposing the deceptions and showing the Truth, then I am indeed relieved. The trouble is, I think I'm guilty of much worse -- I was doomed at one time without knowledge of Yahushua, and His love for me, and all His chosen ones.
As I reflect back to when I could not understand Scripture, I could have been guilty of having the same opinion of it, as you said of FC: "The entire book is incoherent and rambles endlessly back and forth between subjects and concepts. The book has no set order, theme, or consistent message".
congregational leader: Rick, as a result of these things, I feel it is inappropriate to be promoting a man with such deviate and un-scriptural ideas. I think it would be in proper order to print a retraction in your next issue and warn people against this man and his book. I have had to deal with this book numerous times, as a number of people have been led astray by it's abhorent contents. Feel free to use any of this e-mail in either direct or indirect quote.
Lew: (I concur, Rick; circulate this in any way you like.)
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