Loose change

In January God used a stick of dynamite to extrude me from life as I had known it for 8 years and thrust me into the world of unemployment. I was loosed. I was set loose. And once I was, I discovered I was loosely engaged in life. I was just going through the motions laid out for me by an elusive scheduler I never saw, but who controlled the hours of my days. Today I was reading chapter twenty of Called to Controversy, the story of Moishe Rosen the founder of Jews for Jesus. This is the chapter where Moishe is loosed from the American Baptist Mission for the Jews which he had been a part of since his Bible School days and thrust into the world of the hippie movement of the 1960’s. The year was 1970.

Three things lead to the loosening in Moishe’s life:

1. Sidney Lawrence, a Jewish keynote speaker at the biannual convention of the Fellowship of Christian testimonies to the Jews (FCTJ), was asked to speak about the image of the missionary in the Jewish community. He told those in attendance that they had no image. No one in the Jewish community saw Christians as a threat, instead they viewed the movement to convert Jews to Christ as narishkeit, foolishness. (p. 161)

2. His mother dying without the knowledge of Christ because he had promised not to talk about religion in his family to keep the peace.

3. An introduction to the hippie counterculture of the 1960’s.

Moishe began to see a need to change tactics to reach those he had been called to reach. He discovered that many young Jews were hippies and really wanted answers to the deep questions of life. Moishe was not going to reach them with the conventional methods of the Christian churches. That’s when he designed new materials which really reached the radicals and revolutionaries, but were unacceptable to the church leaders for whom he worked. Moishe was at a fork in the road. He tried pouring new wine into old wineskins, but it didn’t work. His bosses were not happy, in fact they began to believe he wanted to replace them. This made Moishe’s heart sick, but he had to pursue the course he was lead to pursue. He went to San Francisco to do just that.

Sometimes what has always worked is not working any longer. Sometimes we stay when we are supposed to go. Sylvia from http://www.sylvrpen.com reminded me of this wonderful verse from Hebrews 11:8

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.

She said I would never have left Ur (my hospital) and she was so right. I was too engrained and I wasn’t listening to the Holy Spirit bearing witness with my spirit that I was suffocating. I really understand this part of Moishe Rosen’s life and I am so ready to read how he worked out the transition.

Surrounded by such a cloud of witnesses,

Dawn

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4 comments on “Loose change

  1. Dawn, I was a teenager during the mid to late 60’s. And I remember the changes that were coming, and the opinions, fights, clashes in the church over it all. We as young people wanted the newer music, the upbeat, the new styles. The older generation was stuck in the red hymnbook in the pew. Older missionaries wanted to stay with their old methods. Younger “kids” were going with missions that were using methods that were out of the box, radical, creative, and “ungodly” to the older ones. I remember when the first of Christian comic books came out. Some felt it crossed a line, almost satanic and wouldn’t let them in their homes. Others saw it as a new tool to present the gospel to the growing unchurched young people.

    Now I’m the old one. I like that old dog-eared hymnbook and the old fashioned language of my old Bible that I memorized. I like looking presentable at church. I like order. I like things the way they were for me. But I accept change. Perhaps that is why I chose a church that almost seems radical at first glance. I needed balance, and this gave it to me. And I wouldn’t go back. I now embrace those I once thought would never enter a church, and I weep with ones who have walked paths I didn’t even know existed.

    Remember the old book that asked the question, What would Jesus do? He walked the dusty streets, sat in boats, hiked up mountains, walked through olive orchards, sat at wells, went fishing, and did all the things that people did back then. Paul tells us that he became all things to all men in order that he might win some.

    So must we all move out of our comfy zones. My friend who was an addict is taking me clothing shopping. I’m scared to death at what she will pick out for me. But hey. . . I’m going. I’m leaving Ur of the Chaldees, and who knows where it will take me and what I’ll be wearing when I come back!!!!!

  2. praise God! This is a wonderful testimony to God’s leading… you are ever so much more joyous and I am so blessed at how God has loosed you from those who chose to keep you under their harsh thumb. God is a kind task master and says take My yoke upon you …
    I will always wish to be under His yoke…There is peace and steadfast joy there.

    loved your reference to Moishe dear friend…

  3. God truly does know how to get to our hearts and to shape us and shift us around according to His purposes for our lives. So excited to watch the next chapters unfold for you.

  4. Hi Dawn,
    You know at least in part why I said how you wouldn’t have left your Ur without the bad events making you leave: He’d forced or practically forced me out of several Urs and a couple Egypts that way! It can look awful at the time, but in retrospect, we see the big blessings in the “loose change”! Thanks for sharing yours!

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