A Community of Diversity
Because Hebraic Christian Global Community is a culture of welcome and equality, it can also be a community of pluriformity. This is a revolutionary idea for most of traditional Christianity which has been characterized for centuries by demands for uniformity that have been reinforced by creedalism and enforced by demands for conformity to denominational polity.
The idea of pluriformity is, however, in perfect context with the first-century manifestation of Christian community. Based on teaching handed down from Hillel the Great through his leading disciple Gamaliel, the apostle Paul recognized, approved, and even encouraged great diversity in the demonstrations of faith that believers could authentically manifest. He passionately promoted this concept of pluriformity, concluding that in matters of faith and practice, every person should be “fully persuaded in his own mind” (Romans 14:5).
The concept of pluriformity simply suggests that every individual, family, and faith community must determine for itself what practices it should adopt and in what manner it should carry out its convictions. Varying degrees of expression regarding days and seasons, foods, and a host of other matters of everyday life are possible and fully legitimate for believers in Christ. It is the responsibility of each individual to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit to determine what God is requiring of the individual, the family, or the community.
In Hebraic Heritage Global Community, therefore, wide latitude for expression is not only permitted but also encouraged. Constituents have complete freedom to determine, by the leading of the Holy Spirit, the way in which they should walk with God. They have the liberty not to do what they feel is not incumbent upon them by their interpretation of the Word and will of God; at the same time, they also have the freedom to do what they feel is required of them by the Holy Spirit. Liberty and freedom are two-way streets: if one has the liberty not to do something (e.g., ceremonial practices from Torah principles), another must also have total freedom to do them if so convicted. No one has the right to require another to be bound by his own interpretations or convictions but must extend the grace and liberty that Christ has given to all.
This means that some members of the community will believe things that others will not believe and that some will engage in practices that others will not choose to fulfill. The determining factor must be the apostle’s rubric: “Let everyone be fully persuaded in his own mind.” A key methodological element that makes this kind of freedom possible is the determination to free the community from judgmentalism (which is almost always the product of legalism). Since all are servants of God, they recognize that it is only before God only they stand or fall (Romans 14:4).
This community of pluriformity has purposed to follow the Pauline dictum: “Therefore let us not judge one another any more. . . . let us pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.” (Romans 14:13, 19). Even the “weak in the faith” must be received with open arms, and judgment on their opinions and convictions must be withheld (Romans 14:1). Those who serve Christ in this way are “acceptable to God and approved by men” (Romans 14:18).