Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Nazarite vow?

Hello friends, sorry so long without a post.

As you may or may not know I am on a sabbatical, which basically means I am supposed to rest, recharge the batteries, sharpen the saw, and get ready for our next adventure. Now I prefer charging in with little preparation and even less forethought, so this is a new one for me, and to be honest, I am not really digging it. But since I knew I would be not involved in ministry, or working for three months I decided to try something that has been on my mind for atleast six months.

When I was reading through the old testament I came across the vows of the nazarite and the rules regarding it, and was for some strange reason fascinated by it. Now in my weird mind I usually think of extreme and different things to do so this didn't seem all that unusual. But what was unusual is that it didn't go away. I started to do a little research on the vow, spoke to a good friend of mine who is a Jewish scholar, and wondered what it all meant for me.

Well I decided to use my sabbatical as a chance to try out this vow business. So at the beginning of this month I started a three month nazarite vow. What exactly does that mean? Well I will explain what it is meaning for me, but in my studies I have learned that you can't really do it anymore, as you cannot break the vow because the temple and sacrifices are no longer offered, so it would be for life. I also learned that there was disagreements as to how some of these ideas are to be lived out. And lastly, I am firmly committed to the idea of grace, and I reject a strict legalism, I guessed that this vow was a way for me to draw closer to God, and to my brothers and sisters, not a rule to make me more holy.

I cannot touch anything dead, or be too near it. Which would mean missing a funeral. In my understanding of how this would be lived out I have decided to be vegetarian for this three month period, as meat is dead animal, (tasty, delicious dead animal).

I am not to eat or drink anything from the grape vine. Which technically means no wine, grape juice, grapes, raisins or grape leaves. But I decided that the spirit of the vow would include no alcohol at all.

And lastly I am not to cut the hair on my head, which I have taken to mean my beard as well, but have decided (and this may be cheating a bit) that this does not include my neck.

So far I have not really learned anything from the vow. Well, except that I have been reminded of how bad a beard itches, and how much my wife hates them. I am hoping I may learn more, but maybe this is just a time of obedience, and that is the point. Or more likely, I am just a weird dude who came upon something freaky to try and it doesn't mean much more than that. Not sure, but I will post some pics as we go along so you can seem my grizzledness.

rev

16 comments:

David said...

You're too old for teenage fads.

Snap out of it, man.

Janet Woodlock said...

Well, in the OT you weren't supposed to plough in the sabbatical year...

Not sure that the poor will find any food amongst that which springs forth however!!!

The Rev said...

well I have some ideas as to how this time will help the poor in my neighborhood atleast, but I am not at liberty to discuss that yet. :)

rev

David said...

A good way to help the poor is to quickly drive through their neighbourhood in your bullet-proofed Mercedes dispensing crisp 100 dollar bills through a slightly ajar window.

Remember to keep the doors locked at all times, especially at red lights.

It doesn't matter if you've adopted the persona of a smelly tramp with a scruffy beard. They won't see you through the tinted glass anyway.

Remember, Rev, a current model Mercedes S-class is a good investment and offers better safety for family transport. Jesus wouldn't have you drive anything less.

Janet Woodlock said...

David, you're too old for teenage banter.

Snap out of it, man.

kat said...

John,

not a big blogger, but when i saw your name and read the stories i just had to give it a try.

you sound happy, and your life sound very interesting.

it would be great to catch up with an old HB MHS friend..

not sure if you remember... formaly known as Kathy V.. now at Quiksilver.. yes back from Hawaii and back in the old HB neighborhood..

The Rev said...

Kat,

I think yo might have me confused with someone else. I went to Notre Dame high school in Riverside, yes the IE where the dirt people live.

But I live in Long Beach now, so I am moving up in the world :)

If you would like to come up and have a coffee sometime, David can tell you that I don't bite.

rev

Matt said...

Hey Rev,

It's big Matt here from the old Dominance days, I'm training with big Dave now out east. I'v been reading the blog for a fair while now but never posted. Just thought I'd let you know that I've got the beard going again as well! We used to copy each other in the facial hair stakes back in the MMA class. Good to see old habits haven't ceased. I'm a dad now Juliette is 8 days old and perfect! Kate is doing really well as well.

All the best for getting hairy.

Matt C

Anonymous said...

To me, the Nazarite vows primarily resonate with the separation of the circumcision; and build the faithful discipline of putting down the carnal impulses in a similar fashion as 'fasting'. There are secondary vibrations, concerning issues of vanity and the spiritual foci of one's life in these symbolic practices, but they are overshadowed by the primary essence of the vow.

- Van Kiser

The Rev said...

thanks, that is what I was taken it as as well. I think I tend to appreciate the more extreme kinds of spiritual disciplines, fasting is my usual one.

rev

Gods_Rhema said...

Rev,

Once more you never cease to excite me with the passion displayed for the Jesus I adore.
Why not take on a OT law handed to Moses in the desert man...thats freakin awesome! Im studying the Torah in College and it rocks..
No Jesus = rebellion/blindness

Keep your eye in...look forward to the pics

Good to see your still hangin round David....go hard or your not going home

Wayne said...

Do you think Paul was taking part in the Nazarite Vow in Acts Ch 18:18 and 21:24-26.

Wayne

The Rev said...

yes I believe he was, and from what I have read most scholars believe that as well

rev

Wayne said...

I agree, most people can't believe that Paul was still offering sacrifices after the cross. But we see in Numbers Ch. 6 that several sacrifices were required during the Nazarite Vow. Temple sacrifice did not stop until 70 AD when the last Temple was destroyed and will not start again until the Ezekiel's Temple seen in Ez 40:38-41 and 46:1-12.

Wayne

Anonymous said...

You are no doubt done with your vow at this point, but wanted you to know, that I have myself taken a recent Nazirite vow, as well as many who are in our congregation... I would agree with your thoughts in General, and we to have had discussion on what the Scritpures say about Alcohol, The Neck Line, and even ear hair...(Which was worth the laugh for sure.) It is a time to draw close to the LORD for sure. I think there are more people than we know, being moved by the Spirit, that are taking a time to set themselves apart...not out of Pride or some Holier than now thing, but as a real humble approach to set ourselves apart from the world. (Interesting interpretation on the Dead - Meat thing....I will sit on that...)

Anonymous said...

i really think that it is cool that you tried it out. i am currently in a vow myself, i end it dec. 12th it has been the best (and worst) six months of my life.
i strongly suggest a whole lot of prayer during this SET APART time with your father. you should read more into what the vow means and why father wanted you to take this vow. when i took the vow i thought Father wanted me to learn that could go a few months with out brushing or cutting my hair... NOPE! i learned so much more than that and i am going to vow again right after this one is complete. i don't want to go back to what it used to be...
i hope all that made sense... i kind of got a little exited.
anyway... shalom!
hannah
shaylay_84@yahoo.com