In Heaven As It Is On Earth?

Recently, fellow Messianic (& prolific) blogger Derek Leman posted an article highlighting what is typically known as “The Lord’s Prayer.” He details a few issues surrounding this prayer (the differences between Matthew’s record and Luke’s, the connection of disciples with the prayers of their rabbi, use of liturgy, etc.), and also introduces us to Vine of David’s upcoming DHE (Delitzsch Hebrew-English) Gospel translation, which I was fortunate enough to be on the review team (I intend on posting more about this resource soon).

At the beginning of his post, however, he links to Roman & Alaina, a messianic music group who have created melodies for the Avinu (the “Our Father”) in both Hebrew (based on the DHE) and English. As I listened to the sample of the English version I heard the following:

Our Father, Who is in Heaven
May we sanctify Your Name
Your Kingdom come
As Your will be done
In Heaven as it is on earth

Unfortunately, we see a problem immediately. The last line takes poetic license, and reverses the phrase from “On earth as it is in Heaven,” to become, “In Heaven as it is on earth.” I am definitely one for poetic license, but not when it reverses the sense of the text. So, now, rather than the will of the Almighty coming in perfection from His throne in Shammayim (“Heaven”) and bringing Ha’aretz (“the Earth”) into its submission, this top-down approach put forth by Yeshua has been turned on its head. In this version we see the will of Heaven submitting to that of Earth.

I see where they may have tried to work around this by changing a few of the conjunctions, but overall it has the same end result: the will of (perfect) Heaven being transformed into the image of what is done on (imperfect) Earth.

This goes against the entire mission and teaching of our Master. I would encourage Roman & Alaina to consider re-working the English version, even though they have probably sold many copies of their CD already, in order to maintain the integrity of the teachings of our Master

Faith Meets Technology: New iPhone “Confession” App

Confession App logo

It appears there has been a “marriage in heaven” between faith and technology. The Apple iPhone has a new “Confession” app, approved by the Roman Catholic church (this would probably akin to a hechsher in Judaism).

appshot1appshot2

It appears that this virtual experience will allow a penitent to completely bypass the clergy. I asked a Catholic friend of mine his thoughts about the app, and this was his response:

Well, I think that anything that encourages Catholics to open themselves to the Grace afforded by Reconciliation is a good thing. I’m really surprised by this though. But since the apps purpose isn’t to provide Reconciliation, but only encourage and guide one through the process… I do think it should be free.

Now, as for the Sacrament of Reconciliation itself, I have 2 thoughts.

I don’t think that absolution comes through Reconciliation, only the Father can truly forgive us.

I do, however, think confession is good for the soul and it helps us as humans to have a counselor to help us acknowledge our faults. The penance that comes after Reconciliation gives us the means to be mindful of the times we have fallen short.

Well spoken.

Read more here and here.

Application site is here.

Jewish Worship

I’ve owned the book Jewish Worship by Abraham Millgram for about a decade now, and cherish it as one of my most treasured discoveries. Although it is out of print, you can purchase a hard copy of it on Amazon. But I just stumbled across an online version of it that makes me soooo excited! Although not 100% of its 600+ pages are freely available, several chapters are. Here’s the link for anyone interested:

Jewish Worship by Abraham Millgram etext

Shabbat Shalom Conference ’08

Yesterday brought to an end First Fruits of Zion’s Shabbat Shalom Shavuot Conference in Hudson, Wisconsin. Today, we are driving back towards Arkansas pondering the events, teachings and new relationships with which we are bringing back with us. Thinking back over the events of the conference, probably the most significant factor of the conference for our family was being a part of the Beth Immanuel community. Shabbat was exceptionally nice, with the ability to have several homes a park and a playground within walking distance from the shul. During the conference we were able to spend time at the homes of Justin Johnson and his family, as well as Brian Tebbitt and his family. It was hard to leave these good friends. In regard to other aspects of the Beth Immanuel community, it was both very encouraging and very depressing to see how advanced their community has become. It was encouraging to see what Hashem is doing, but yet disheartening at the same time to realize the wide chasm between where we are as a community in relationship to Beth Immanuel and the long journey that was still ahead of us.

The theme of conference this year was “Shabbat Shalom.” And although there were lectures on the topic of Shabbat, from my point of view it could have just as easily been called the “Pray In The Spirit Extended Remix” conference. It seemed the primary focus of the conference was prayer and the introduction of the highly anticipated siddur project. And for all those who are anxiously awaiting the new siddur, here’s the scoop:

We were hoping to bring back the Shabbat siddur, but it is still incomplete. In defense of First Fruits, the main reason this has not been completed is because of their deep understanding of their responsibility of creating a resource such as this with excellence. (They compared it to trying to edit Shakespeare without it being obvious – a great analogy. I will explain more about this later.) We were, however, able to experience the first fruits of their labor in draft form in our day to day services during the conference. I plan on sharing more on this later, but need to cover my bases as to what is “shareable” or not. Keep your eyes peeled for more info on this in the next few days…