Technically I dishonored Sukkot by doing so.
I was talking with one of those friends about a nearby family of Christians I knew that were not into keeping the Torah laws. His clear opinion was that they were damned.
This completely floored me and, as I was driving to my son's house in Moscow to celebrate my grandson's 1st birthday, I pondered his statement. This family was an exemplary Christian family. He basically condemned all Catholics, all Protestants and most of the people in Fox's Book of Martyrs in a single sentence.
From a Torah perspective he was right - and I knew I was condemned as well as was he.
As much as the church has gone pagan and forgotten the Torah, there has to be grace somewhere.
I think of this verse:
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Was I walking after the flesh when I crawled into my bed to enjoy a good nights sleep? Technically yes.
Am I therefore condemned?
I simply cannot accept a God with no grace for us. His death on the cross was certainly sufficient to pay the price of sin - but scripture makes no guarantee:
John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Scripture even says: Matthew 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Still, it breaks my heart to even think that all my fellow believers might be judged by the law as strictly as my friend interprets it.
I find my friend's perspective out of balance. If we have the Holy Spirit, we can obey the law at a higher level - from the heart and in Spirit, rather than from the letter.
My friend who condemned most of Christendom also says that he obeys Torah not to be saved but to honor God. Well said, but his statement of condemnation does not agree with this. Such an easy slope to slip on.
Romans 7:6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
At the same time, I do see the point of how the church has gone to an extreme of condoning pagan holidays and ignoring biblical ones. Christs true birthday (and celebrating birthdays is not really condoned by scripture anyway) actually most likely lies during Sukkot (The feast of Tabernacles) in the fall. Christmas falls on the pagan winter solstice and the birthday of Mithras - this is clearly provable from scripture. This happened over thousands of years but I think it is time the church repented of its sin.
Do we have to eat pork, shellfish, shrimp, crab, clams and ham on Christmas? Are tsi-tsis so bad? It is wrong to at least try to honor the Sabbath as scripture repeatedly says to do?
Lets stop condemning those that are trying to follow the Torah the best they can in an effort to please God.
Lets stop condemning those that fail to do so because they have been taught that grace trumps Torah.
Lets let God sort out who ends up where and simply love one another as Christ loved us - thus fulfilling the law concerning human relationships.
Lets hold to the Truth as we see it, yet extend grace to those that may disagree.
This feels right and balanced to me. I pray that I am correct.