This poll is now closed.
A recent Gallup poll reported that, for the first time in history, a majority of Americans (53%) now think same-sex marriage should be legal. While a UCLA study this year determined that a mere 3.5% of Americans consider themselves gay or lesbian, Gallup found that more than half of Americans perceive the gay and lesbian population to be as much as 25 percent. According to Dr. Michael Brown’s new book A Queer Thing Happened to America, this major disparity in perception, as well as the phenomenal increase in sympathy toward Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual, and Transgender lifestyles (GLBT), is due to a stealth agenda that has infiltrated the entertainment industry, corporate America, our elementary schools, and especially our college campuses.
What do you think about the institutionalization and normalization of homosexuality in America?
- Believers need to become more active in fighting the homosexual agenda. (45%, 57 Votes)
- Homosexuals deserve civil rights, just like African-Americans and women. (2%, 3 Votes)
- Gay normalization is inevitable, and there’s nothing we can do to stop it. (0%, 0 Votes)
- I don’t like it, but I don’t think much about it. (0%, 0 Votes)
- It doesn’t affect me, so I don’t care. (0%, 0 Votes)
- It doesn’t matter at all—God will have His way in the end. (4%, 5 Votes)
- God hates homosexuals, and is going to judge our country for embracing them. (6%, 8 Votes)
- I need to actively reach out to homosexuals to share the truth of God with them. (40%, 51 Votes)
- We just need to love and accept homosexuals as they are—we’re all sinners. (3%, 3 Votes)
Total Voters: 127
Share your additional thoughts. Weigh in with your comments below.
When I was a boy, one of the only Jewish holidays my family celebrated was Chanukah (the other was Passover), but if you had told me that one day I would write an entire book about the Festival of Lights, I would have said you were a couple of candles short of a menorah! Now all these years later, I’m delighted about the newly released “Real Story of Chanukah,” because it truly puts the modern holiday in perspective by placing it against the backdrop of its factual history.
But what really excites me about the new book is that its message is so Messianic… not because it shows you Yeshua in the chanukiyyah, but because the real story of Chanukah is about being completely sold-out, zealous, crazy-on-fire—dedicated—to Adonai. I love this kind of message!
In The Real Story of Chanukah (which quotes at length from the apocryphal, yet historically reliable books of 1&2 Maccabees), we get to witness the struggles of a handful of average, everyday Jewish people during the intertestamental period. Against the overwhelming anti-Semitic and assimilating forces of their day, we see these valiant, devout few as they fight for the God and the Torah they love, in order to restore Israel to faithful fellowship with God. The story is just incredible—it’s vivid, moving, and, at times, almost beyond belief. And it’s within this context that I was able to unpack the Messianic message, illustrating how, according to the Scriptures, we too can and must be completely dedicated to the cause of Yeshua.
I believe that this is an important book, not just because it offers a unique perspective and insight regarding the holiday, but because the message of the story behind the holiday is an inspiring source of encouragement and exhortation… it’s Scripture put into action in peoples’ lives… it’s a commentary on the social issues of our day… it’s a warning for what we may be headed toward in the future.
If you already have a copy of the audio teaching upon which this book is based, I want to encourage you to pick up a copy of the book as well. The audio teaching covers the essential topics and story that is contained in the book, along with the emotion and dynamics that only come from a live presentation, but the book has considerably more material, and goes into detail that I wasn’t able to cover in the original teaching. In the book, I’m able to deal with other related topics that round out the entire discussion as it pertains to the issues raised by the holiday of Chanukah—and, believe me, there are quite a few.
I think my closing thoughts from The Real Story of Chanukah’s preface best sum up my reason for writing this book, and it reads as follows:
You may know next to nothing about the Feast of Dedication; you may love and cherish it as a meaningful time of year. My aim with this message is not to dash your view of Chanukah upon the rocks. Instead, my hope is that you will be stirred and inspired to abandon all that has doused your fire for God, and to be reignited with a burning passion for righteousness, holiness, and the zealous life for Adonai.
May the real story of Chanukah cause you to wholly commit yourself to God—to be restored to who He has made you to be—forsaking everything you hold dear, and even yourself… devoted and dedicated… to the death.
I think you’ll be challenged, exhorted, and inspired by The Real Story of Chanukah—the miraculous story you never knew…
Perfect Word conducted a survey asking about Yeshua-believers’ interaction with one another on three levels: congregationally, in small groups, and outside organized meeting environments (simple fellowship). The purpose of the survey was to determine the nature and character of interpersonal relationships within the Body of Messiah. 113 respondents (comprising 42 men and 71 women [almost 50% more]), of whom 27% are Jewish, participated in the survey.
Analysis of Survey Results
Not surprisingly, the highest level of interaction between believers as a whole takes place in the context that facilitates the lowest level of interpersonal relationships: congregational services. About 2/3 (60%) of all respondents reported service attendance at least weekly, which may, in and of itself, indicate only a moderate overall commitment even to such nominal interaction.
Conversely, at exactly the same rate, respondents reported the lowest level of interaction in the context that facilitates the highest level of relationship: simple fellowship. Again, almost 2/3 (60%) of all respondents have no fellowship with believers outside services or other meetings on a weekly basis. This, of course, is in stark contrast to the standard of daily fellowship as exemplified in Acts 2:46, especially considering that only 4% of all respondents claimed to participate in daily fellowship with believers outside their family.
Small group involvement, however, offers a glimmer of hope, and some potentially illuminating insights. While only a little more than 1/3 (38%) of respondents participate in a congregation-affiliated small group (such as a Bible Study or cell group), another 1/3 (32%) are involved in independent small groups, including 12% in independent home fellowships. All told, this accounts for almost 3/4 (70%) of the respondents. Though small-group type is diverse, the fact that more people are involved in small groups than in weekly congregational services could be an indicator that people desire closer, interpersonal interaction, and need only to be encouraged in it.
While interaction at each level (services, small groups, simple fellowship) may have some amount of influence on the others, factors such as marital status, children living at home, etc. also appear to play a part. Involvement in independent groups, as opposed to those congregationally-affiliated, do appear to have lower rates of simple fellowship. This speaks to the need for independents to overcome the negative aspects of their independent-minded tendencies. Clearly, congregational organizations continue to offer a convenient framework in which people can more easily find places in which to comfortably fit. Independents need to not necessarily be more organizationally-minded, but more mindful of the organism that is the Body of Messiah, and eschew any idea that it is beneficial to walk alone.
In conclusion, if the results of this survey even slightly resemble the character of the larger Body of Messiah, there is a significant vacuum of fellowship among us. We are a fragmented, disjointed Body, and if we have any hope of adequately shining the light of Yeshua, we must overcome this glaring shortcoming.
Almost 2/3 (60%) of all respondents attend weekly services or more; almost 3/4 (72%) attend at least monthly.
Women attend weekly services slightly more than men (39% to 31%), however, of respondents who said they attend services twice weekly, men attend more than twice as often as women (36% to 17%). More women than men attend services less than monthly (31% to 24%). Among women, unmarrieds attend congregational services the most (68%), while married women with and without young children attend at about the same rate (50% and 52%, respectively). Among men, marrieds with young children attend congregational services the most (73%), compared to 63% in the other two groups. Married men without young children attend services the least (37%).
Jewish and Gentile believers attend at-least-weekly services at about the same rate (35% and 37%, respectively), though Jewish believers had a slightly higher percentage of more-than-weekly attendance (29% to 22%). Gentile believers, compared to Jewish believers, had a higher rate of occasionally, rarely, or never attending services (7%, 11% and 12% to 6%, 6% and 10%, respectively).
1/3 (32%) of all respondents are involved in some kind of independent fellowship, separate from a congregational organization (20% in independent Bible Studies, 12% in an independent home fellowship).
Almost 3/4 (70%) of all respondents participate in a small group outside of family. Almost 1/2 (47%) are involved in some kind of small group Bible Study, while more than 1/2 (59%) are involved regularly in more than one small group.
Of respondents who attend services at least weekly, almost 2/3 (60%) are involved in a congregation-sponsored small group, while those who attended services less than weekly were more involved in an independent small group (44%). Nearly a quarter of congregational attenders are also involved in independent small groups.
Men are slightly more involved in small groups than women, both in groups connected with congregations (40% to 37%, respectively) and independent small groups (33% to 31%, respectively). Married men with young children are the most involved in congregational small groups (60%), whereas married men without young children and unmarrieds are considerably more involved in independent small groups (42% and 63%, respectively). Married men without young children have the highest rate of non-involvement in small groups (21%). Nominal percentages of married men have fellowship only with their family.
About 1/3 of all women are involved in congregational small groups. A third of married women without young children and a third of unmarried women are involved in independent small groups, compared to less than 1/4 of married women with young children. Married women with young children have family-only small-group-fellowship the most (22%).
Gentile believers are involved in congregational small groups at a slightly higher rate than Jewish believers (39% to 35%), but at more than seven percentage points higher for independent small group involvement (34% to 26%). Jewish believers, however, are significantly more involved in multiple small groups (68% to 56%), while Gentile believers tended toward Bible Studies over other small group types (37% to 29%).
Simple Fellowship Outside Organized Meetings
2/3 (60%) of all respondents have no fellowship with believers outside services or other meetings on a weekly basis; only 1/2 (52%) do so at least monthly, though nearly the same amount (44%) have fellowship even less frequently than that (25% “occasionally”; 14% “rarely”, 5% “never”).
Of respondents who attend services at least weekly, only 41% have fellowship at least weekly with other believers outside services; about 50% of those have fellowship more than twice a week. Only a little more than 1/4 (29%) of those attending services less than weekly have weekly fellowship or more. About the same percentage of respondents in both groups (53% and 51%, respectively) have fellowship outside of services on at least a monthly basis.
Women are considerably more involved in simple fellowship on a weekly basis or more (41% to 29%). Men and women are about even when it comes to nominal or no simple fellowship (40% and 38%, respectively). Unmarried women have simple fellowship the most (45%), while a little more than a third of marrieds do as well (39%). Married women without young children are the least involved in regular, simple fellowship at 42%.
A little more than 1/3 of unmarried men (38%) engage in simple fellowship on a more-than-weekly basis, while only a little more than a 1/4 of married men do so. About half of all men do not fellowship with other believers outside services and meetings.
Almost half of Jewish believers (45%) have more-than-weekly simple fellowship, compared with 1/3 of Gentile believers (33%). Three times as many Jewish believers meet daily with other believers (6% to 2%), while twice as many Gentile believers never have simple fellowship at all (6% to 3%). Overall, Gentile believers are more likely than Jewish believers to have fellowship on a less-than-monthly basis (46% to 39%).
Small Group – Simple Fellowship Connection
Of the 36% of respondents who report they have simple fellowship at least weekly, more than half (54%) are also involved a small group connected to a congregation; only 37% of the same group are involved in independent small groups. Of the 44% who occasionally, rarely or never have fellowship with other believers outside of services, it made little difference that they are involved in a congregational small group (35%), independent small group (25%) or no small group at all (31%).
According to our survey of 158 respondents, 43% favored a non-traditional celebration of Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks, citing the date as determined according to the Sadducean/Boethusian/Karaite reckoning, which always places Shavuot on the “Sunday” 50 days after the seventh-day Shabbat (Saturday) during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. However, though this option constituted the majority of the responses, an analysis of the full survey results reveals that this is not the majority opinion.
We are very excited to announce the release of the newly revised (and hopefully final!) edition of Behold the Lamb, a Scripture-based Haggadah for a modern, Messianic Passover memorial ‘avodah (Hebrew for “service”, “rite”, or “ceremony”).
The Passover experience facilitated by Behold the Lamb is an uncommon, untraditional departure from the usual Passover seder, set apart by its unique and unapologetic use of Scripture—approximately ninety percent of the Behold the Lamb Haggadah is nothing more than a compilation of relevant passages from the Word… and nothing tells a story better than Scripture!
In addition to the groundbreaking Haggadah, Behold the Lamb also includes a 20+ page supplementary section containing recipes for delicious homemade matzah, an introduction to our unconventional children’s crafts, and pages of brand new teaching material on Passover topics that we have never seen treated in any other publication, Messianic or otherwise.