Yes, I WILL say what I want to say. We all have that freedom. Which means if I say something wrong you have the freedom to show me where I'm wrong. The very reason I have amassed the knowledge I have is because I've been debating for... maybe a year or two shy of how long you've been on this earth. And in that time, while you were still learning your ABCs (no offense) I was studying the differences between Hebrew and Greek and realizing there were errors in translation. I was also debating pastors and people who had gone through seminary. And when people disagree with me I have to research to understand where they're coming from and whether or not their ideas are correct or not. In other words, I've spent roughly your entire life, cradle to now, trying to remove the errors in my religious and spiritual thinking. So what I say isn't about you or your thinking. It's about me and mine. Just like you are representing yourself and your own beliefs.
You are a young man. You may not want to hear that but it's true. But this is a blessing! I envy you. YOU HAVE MORE TIME. That is what's important. I don't want to make myself sound old because I'm not old. I'm in the middle and loving life everyday. It's a blessing. But it's also a blessing to have a 25 year old body. Man... And if it ever feels like I'm going hard on you... I'm not. You are our future. Your potential will shape the world going forward. So I want your path in life to be better than mine. You don't need to make all my same mistakes. I made them so you don't have to. All you have to do is listen and avoid where I and others of my generation went wrong. I'm extremely happy now and life is good but I would love for your life, at 41, to be even better.
When I was your age, yes, I too thought I was a Hebrew Israelite. It was one of the ideas I listened to and gave credibility to based on the curses of Deuteronomy. However... while I started to believe this based on the curses I didn't actually mentally require ALL the curses to be true. Without realizing it, I was actually cherry picking the bible to support a conclusion that I WANTED/DESIRED to be true. This is why there are so many denominations of Christianity; literally thousands. And the bible is good for that. Whatever you want it to say, because it says so many things, you can manipulate it to say what you want. It truly is a sword.
And then when people said that Hebrews fled from Yisrael into northern Africa where they were called the falashas I said "cool, that makes sense" but conflated that with the slave trade mainly in the WESTERN coast of the CONTINENT. In other words, the chances of Europeans snatching ONLY Hebrews who had gone south into Africa when our history tells us that we could not communicate with each other on the slave ships because we spoke so many different languages, the chances of that are astronomically bad. One would have to assume that the falashas were already in a captured/enslaved/indentured state. So then at what point did that happen? While they were still in the north?
And then who were they having sex with? If you are a student of the bible you know that lineage goes through the father. Israelite men often took wives from other nations. So you cannot judge such a thing based on color. If a Hebrew woman has children by a gentile those children are then gentiles. The only way they stay Israelites is if the gentile converts to the Israelite religion. And so the Hebrew Israelite thinking doesn't consider conversion to the religion and how conversion made people Israelites. Not only were we born in foreign lands, and with mixed blood, what happened to all the natural Africans who didn't convert to Judaism at any point? None of them were indentured servants? None of them were just African?
When you study a thing, you have to be aware of your own biases. If you go looking for something to be true you'll probably find that and be satisfied. But that doesn't mean it's actually true. The reason we say science is knowledge isn't because it literally means knowledge but rather it's all about the methods used to separate knowledge from belief. For every scientific theory out there there are people trying to prove it wrong. When you try to prove yourself wrong you might just do so just as easily as you thought you were proving yourself right. If it's "knowledge" then it is falsifiable. If you have something that no one can prove wrong, then that is a BELIEF.
And I'm telling you. When I was your age I made a lot of mistakes because the cornerstone of my thinking was that the bible had to be 100% correct. And then somehow, as a believer, who had all this biblical knowledge... somehow that transferred to me being mostly correct and it made me arrogant to a degree. I became stiff necked and close minded. I became stubborn, thinking that I knew what I knew. But the problem was that I had gotten locked into my own perspective.
And then I met a woman who was new to being an Israelite but very intelligent and full of wisdom. Not only was she new to being an Israelites but really even a Christian. There was comparison between us. I simply had mountains of "biblical knowledge" compared to her mole hill. And at first everything was cool because we believed the same thing. But after we were already married she started exploring a non-messianic sect and then became convinced they were right. This caused great division between us and eventually it led to other questions she had as well; questions that every woman should have.
It was the confrontation over the bible's inherent sexism and misogyny that I really couldn't defend. I wanted to because I wanted to defend the bible but I could not defend the morality of the things the Israelites did and how they treated women. When you're a man you don't necessarily have to think about it. Because its like a white person experiencing white privilege. That's not even something they have to notice. It's just there. And it is easy to think God put you, as a man, in charge because this obviously benefits you. Hell... you could even have multiple wives which was also a mistake I may have somewhat pursued at one time. And why did I think that was okay? Because the bible said so and I had not taken enough consideration how a woman would feel.
So there I was... all this knowledge... but my perspective was worse than someone who was relatively new to the bible. And so I started to realize one of the greatest fallacies on earth. How there is more morality in secular thought than in the bible; that the bible wasn't the leader in morality, but a follower lagging behind. Men today, still look back to ancient times for how to treat women and its often backwards and creates a lot of hurt and misery. If you want to be happy you have to embrace all that society can be, not what it was. What it was was horrible and miserable. People simply adapted to it because they had to.
Once I stopped trying to defend the bible I realized how much I was trying to defend myself and this identity that I had built up for myself as a zealot; as someone who was passionate about the word of God. At the same time I started seeing other people who had studied the bible to a higher level, also getting to the point that they were putting it down and becoming free. And that's when you learn so much more about a lot of things from a new perspective. Your own. Completely unfiltered and uninfluenced by your attempts to be someone else or subscribe to something you are "supposed to" subscribe to or what you were raised on.
Sometimes you have to really go back to square one and ask yourself "who am I". Are you the you that you believe is defined by the bible? What if it didn't exist? Who would you be then? The hardest thing in life is to hit reset and completely change your way of thinking. I'm not asking you to do that. I may have been you in the past. I'm simply saying there's more out there. I hope someday you will see. Until then... don't take me challenging your ideas as me challenging your personally. I don't personally know you. You are probably a great guy, and a true man in the making. You have to separate your knowledge and beliefs from your identity. I'm not attacking you. I have no interest in attacking you. I have no reason at all to be against you in any way. I love and respect you as my fellow human. But I'm going to challenge IDEAS I disagree with, not because they're your ideas, but because they are simply ideas and ALL ideas need and deserve to be challenged and tested.
THAT... is the only way to know the truth.