Following Jesus…Out of Christianity was originally presented as a talk given during a conference that took place over the biblical festival of Sukkot in 2009. The talk was recorded live at the historic Temple Sinai synagogue in Saint Francisville, Louisiana. The material is presently being expanded into a book by the same name and is scheduled to be released in the spring of 2017.
As the title suggests, it describes a spiritual journey away from rank and file Christianity as a result of truly following Jesus. Ross maintains that the story is not exclusively about his own spiritual quest, but rather that it describes a growing movement of people who now find themselves more comfortable in synagogues than churches.
Ross hopes that those who desire to follow Jesus, will take the time to watch the video or listen to the MP3 file and then share this with others who are seeking. It is believed that the points in this class will prove beneficial for anyone who has truly made a commitment to follow Jesus.
As he read and studied his Bible, Ross soon discovered a vast difference between the religion of Jesus and the religion about him (Christianity). Years ago he came up with three statements that helped him along the way. Since he came from a Christian background, he used his familiarity of the New Testament texts to find his way to the truth. He began to see that Jesus had been misrepresented by the Church. He realized that in order to truly follow him, he would need to return to the Bible that he read in order to sort it all out.
Ross still maintains the highest regard for the historical Jesus of Nazareth as one who believed in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and in the eternal validity of the Hebrew Bible, and who taught the people of his day to return to the true faith.
Below are the three statements that helped Ross find his way to the God of Jesus – a WAY that is clearly defined in the Bible that Jesus read.
I put my faith in the God of Jesus – commonly referred to as “the LORD,” but known by the designation YHVH in the Hebrew Bible, and referred to by Jesus of Nazareth in the New Testament by the Aramaic term Abba / father. This God is one, and beside him there is no other, neither in heaven nor on earth. He is the Ancient of Days, El Shaddai, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (Matthew 19:16ff; John 17:3; 20:17; I Corinthians 15:24; II Corinthians 11:31; Ephesians 1:3, 17; Colossians 1:3; I Peter 1:3; Acts 2:22: 10:38). I do NOT believe that the historical Jesus is or was the God of Abraham, Isaac or Jacob. Furthermore, I do not believe that he ever claimed such.
I put my faith in the Bible that Jesus read – commonly referred to as the “Old Testament,” but strictly and properly referred to as the Hebrew Bible or TaNaKh, an acronym formed by the first letters of three Hebrew words used to designate the three main parts of the Hebrew Bible (Torah – Law, Neviim – the Prophets, and Ketuvim – the Writings). (Matthew 5:17ff; Luke 16:16ff, 29; 24:25, 32, 44ff; John 1:45; 5:39, 46; Acts 13:15, 26ff; 15:21, 17:2, 24:14, 26:22; Romans 1:2; 7:12, 14, 22; 10:4; 15:4; 16:26; I Corinthians 15:3; Galatians 3:24; II Timothy 3:15)
I put my faith in the authentic teachings and mission of Jesus – to bring about the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth, to seek and save the lost sheep of the house of Israel (hitherto unaware of their true identity), and to do and teach the Torah of YHVH. (Matthew 5; 10:6; 15:24)
Jesus sought to bring about the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth – which is the goal and meaning of history. His followers would do well to take his yoke and learn from him.
An Upcoming Book – Cinematic Book Trailer
The goal is that the ideas expressed in this class will one day be presented in a book by the same title. The goal is to complete the book by Spring of 2017. Here is a short cinematic book trailer for Following Jesus…Out of Christianity.
The Original Lecture on YouTube
Here is the lecture. The video quality is not the best but the audio is fine.