Nazarene Space


International Nazarene Beit Din
Rules Not Guilty on Charges against Lew White
December 5th 2010


“Bob Field and many others that work on [his] team" have brought the following charges against Lew White:

1.) SELLING THE WORD FOR PROFIT
Exo 18:21; Lev 25:35; Eze 18:4-13; Eze 22:12-16; Joh 2:14-16

2.) BREAKING THE SABBATH
Exo 20:8-10; Deut 5:12-14

3.) PROMOTION OF IDOLS, INCENSE, DRUG PARAPHERNALIA & ROCK MUSIC
Idols: Exo 20:4-6; Deut 4:23-25; Deut 7:26; 1 John 5:21

Incense and Pharmakeia: Exo 30:9; Num 16:35,40; Gal 5:19
-20; Rev 9:21, Rev 21:8; Rev 22:15

Rock Music: No direct Torah Command against it, but many
Scriptures collectively condemn everything rock music
involves.

4.) USING EVIL MEANS FOR GOOD
Deut 23:18; Mal 2:17; 2Co 6:14; Jam 3:11

The International Nazarene Beit Din has examined in depth the case which this
accuser(s) have brought against Lew White. We have also examined in depth Lew
White's defense. The International Nazarene Beit Din makes the following conclusions:

First of all the Nazarene halacha requires that a matter with which a person is
charged with be a "sin" (Mt. 18:15) and sin is defined as "transgression of the
Torah" (1Jn. 3:4).

Secondly by Nazarene halacha, in order to have standing to bring a charge
against another, one must be the victim of their sin (Mt. 18:15).

On the charge of "SELLING THE WORD FOR PROFIT":

The Beit Din finds no Torah command anywhere, including the passages given by
the accuser, which forbid the selling of Scriptures or Scriptural teachings for
a profit. The accuser has failed to demonstrate that the Torah forbids "selling
the word for profit". The passages cited by the accuser (Exo 18:21; Lev 25:35;
Eze 18:4-13; Eze 22:12-16; Joh 2:14-16) do not state that one may not sell the
word for a profit.

But what if one shall say:

Buy the truth, and sell it not;
also wisdom, instruction and understanding.
(Prov. 23:23)

This passage is often quoted to "prove" that Bibles and theological books,
tapes, DVDs etc. should be given away for free and never sold.

The passage does not specify any given type of truth. If we interpret it to mean
that we should not sell Bibles and theological books, it would also forbid
selling books containing any other truth. Books on
mathematics, physics and truthful history would also be covered. Yet those who
wrongly interpret the passage do not say that Math teachers should work for
free.

So what does the passage mean? The passage is saying that "truth" should be
treated as a commodity that we are only in the market to
buy (obtain) and never in the market to sell (let go of).

In fact Scripture tells us plainly that those who labor in the Word as "worthy
of their hire". Teachers of Scripture truth are NOT slaves, they are as entitled
to be paid for their time, effort, labor, service and productions as anyone
else.

But again what if one shall say:

or nothing you have received,
for nothing you will give.
(Mt. 10:8)

Sadly for years this passage has been quoted out of context and misused by many
to "prove" that those in the ministry should not receive community support for
our efforts.

In fact the verse in question is, in context, saying exactly the opposite of
what these people represent it as saying.

Actually, Yeshua in the next few verses following this statement instructs his
talmidim to request and subsist on community support:

Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor lesser coin in your belts. Pack not for
the journey, either two coats, or sandals, or a staff, for the laborer is worthy
of his food. And into whatever city or town you will enter, enquire who in it is
honorable, and there abide until you go out from there."
(Mt. 10:9-11)

Some light on this text may be acquired by examining a statement by Josephus
concerning the first century Essene sect of Judaism:

...and if any of their sect come from other places,
what they have lies open for them, just as if it were their own;
and they go into such as they never knew before,
as if they had been ever so long acquainted with them.
For which reason they carry nothing with them
when they travel into remote parts,
though still they take their weapons with them, for fear
of thieves. Accordingly
there is, in every city where they live,
one appointed particularly to take care of strangers,
and provide garments and other necessaries for them.
(Josephus; Wars 2:8:4)

Yeshua's talmidim had for the most part, come from an Essene back ground. It
would appear that they were therefore able to travel within Essene circles from
town to town without having to carry additional supplies.

Yeshua felt that his twelve were entitled to be supported by the community.
Yeshua drives the point home saying "the laborer is worthy of his food." A
saying which Paul later cites to prove that "those who labor in the word and its
teaching" are worthy of "double honor" which in context seems to indicate that
they have the right, like any other laborer, to expect to be paid for their work
in the ministry. In fact he even quoted this statement by Yeshua (Mt. 10:10) to
support the point:

Those elders who conduct themselves well
should be esteemed worthy of double honor,
especially those who labor in the word and
in teaching, For the Scripture says that
`you should not muzzle the ox, while threshing,' (Deut. 25:4)
and `the laborer is worthy of his wage." (Mt. 10:10)
(1Tim. 5:17-18)

Paul also expands on this thought in 1Cor. 9:6-14:

Also, I only, and Bar Nabba, have we not the power not to work?
Who is this who labors in the service (ministry) by the
expanse of his nefesh?
Or who is he who plants a vineyard and from its fruit does not eat?
Or who is he who tends the flock and from the milk of his
flock does not eat?
Do I say these [things] as a son of man?
Behold, the Torah also said these [things]. For it is
written in the Torah of Moshe,
`You shall not muzzle the ox that threshes.' (Deut. 25:4)
It is a concern to Eloah about oxen? But, it is known
that because of us he said [it] and because of us it was written, because it is
a need [that] the plowman plow unto hope and he who threshes, unto the hope of
the harvest. If we have sown spiritual [things] among you, is it a great [thing]
if we reap
[things] of the flesh from you? … those who labor [in]
the Beit Kodesh [the Temple] are sustained from the Beit Kodesh and those who
labor for the alter have a portion with the alter?
So also, our Adon commanded that those who are proclaiming his goodnews should
live from his goodnews."
(1Cor. 9:6-14)

Certainly the context of Yeshua's statement "for nothing you have received, for
nothing you will give." (Mt. 10:8) was that of a society in which all things
were held in common and each person's needs were taken care of by that community
(Mt. 10:9-11 and Acts 2:44 & 4:32) but we do not live in such a society, and so
citing Mt. 10:8 to those in the ministry today, is akin to asking us to make
bricks without straw.

To the contrary Paul quotes the verse shortly afterward (10:10) to reach a
principle by which those who are proclaiming his goodnews
should be supported for doing so, just as those who labor in the Temple and for
the alter are supported for doing so. In other words, Paul draws a midrash from
the fact that Levites and Priests received tithes and offerings to teach a
principle that "those who labor in the word and teach" should be supported with
tithes and offerings.

The International Nazarene Beit Din finds that "selling the Word for profit" is
not a transgression of the Torah, and therefore not a "sin". This charge is
therefore dismissed.

On the charge of "BREAKING THE SABBATH" the International Nazarene Beit Din
finds that the fact that Lew White's business partner insists on working on the
Sabbath in a business which Lew does not have controlling interest in, does not
constitute "breaking the sabbath". Moreover the accuser(s) have not shown that,
had Lew White broken the Sabbath" that they are in any way victims of that sin,
and therefore they would be without standing to bring such a charge. A charge
of breaking the sabbath would normally originate from the leadership through the
Beit Din itself.

On the charge of "PROMOTION OF IDOLS" the accuser(s) have cited only passages
against idolatry itself, not the promotion of idols. However the Beit Din will
acknowledge

that Deut. 13 would also forbid the promotion of Torah transgression. The
accuser(s) however have failed to show that Lew White has promoted any act of
idolatry. Moreover accusers have failed to show that had Lew White been guilty
on this charge, that accuser(s) would have had status as victims of this sin,
thus they would not have had standing to bring the charge. A charge of
promoting idols would normally originate from the leadership through the Beit
Din itself.

On the charge of "PROMOTION OF... INCENSE" accusers cite Exo 30:9; Num 16:35,40.
These passages only forbid the offering of strange incense before YHWH in the
Temple.

The accuser(s) have failed to show that the Torah makes a general prohibition
against the promotion of incense in general.

On the charge of PROMOTION OF... DRUG PARAPHERNALIA accusers found themselves
unable to cite any Torah passage to support this charge and so switched this
charge in their body to "Pharmakeia". The word
"Pharmakeia" is a Greek word not found in the Torah. Instead accusers cited
passages from the Ketuvim Netzarm which in their Greek translations, condemn
"Pharmakeia" (Gal 5:19-20; Rev 9:21, Rev 21:8; Rev 22:15). Where the Greek has
PHARMAKEIA in these verses the Aramaic has various forms of CHARASHUTA
"sorcery". "Pharmakeia"
refers to forms of sorcery that involved the use of drugs (potions). There is
some question as to whether the Aramaic CHARSHUTA has this same connotation. In
any case neither Paul nor Yochanan could create new Torah, so they could only
have refereed back to a practice forbidden by Torah. This would therefore
reference the following from the Torah:

10: There shall not be found among you any one that
maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire,
or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an
enchanter, or a witch,
11: Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits,
or a wizard, or a necromancer.
12: For all that do these things are an abomination unto
the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy
God doth drive them out from before thee.
(Deut. 18:10-12 KJV)

one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire,
or that useth divination,
or an observer of times,
or an enchanter,
or a witch,
Or a charmer,
or a consulter with familiar spirits,
or a wizard,
or a necromancer.

One that uses divination, literally "divines divination"

KOSEM K'SAMIM

"Observer of times" M'ONEN from the Hebrew word for "cloud" refers to one who
reads the future in the shapes of clouds.

"Enchanter" NAWCHASH from Hebrew: NAWCHAWSH meaning

"serpent". One who performs "magic" through consulting the Serpent HA-SATAN.

"Witch" KASHAF (also in Ex. 22:18) one whose "spells" were the result of prayers
articulated to false gods.

"Charmer" KHOVER one who cast spells by tying magic knots.

"Consulter with familiar spirits" SHAUL OV one who asks questions of the python.

"Wizards" YIDONI literally "knower" always used to refers to followers of false
gods.

"necromancer" DORESH HA-M'TIM literally "interrogator of the dead".

In the end the Beit Din concludes that the Torah transgression referenced in the
word "Pharmikia" is an act of sorcery, with the use of drugs or potions being
just part of that sorcery.

We find that the accuser(s) have failed to show that Lew White has promoted any
act of sorcery as forbidden by the Torah. We also find that the accuser(s) have
failed to show that even had Lew White been guilty of "Pharmikia" that they
would have the victim status needed to bring the charge themselves.

On the charge of "PROMOTION OF... ROCK MUSIC" accusers themselves have admitted
that there is "[n]o direct Torah Command against it." We find the blanket
statement "many Scriptures collectively condemn everything rock music involves"
to be to far reaching and without merit.

On the charge of "USING EVIL MEANS FOR GOOD" we find that this charge stands or
falls upon the other charges.

In conclusion we the International Nazarene Beit Din find Lew White NOT GUILTY
on all charges brought by “Bob Field and many others that work on [his] team"

Further more we find that “Bob Field and many others that work on [his] team" have failed to show that they even have the victim status required in order for them to bring charges against Lew White in the first place.

Finally we find “Bob Field and many others that work on [his] team" guilty of Lashon HaRa (Wicked Speech) and Motzi Shem Ra (Slander).

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Replies to This Discussion

Thank you for looking James. I wasn't aware that he addressed the issue elsewhere. I live not far from Mr.White. Perhaps I'll visit the institute sometime. : )
The Beit Din had to be asked by someone to hear the case that was the time for questions about the Din period and if folks were not directly involved then it is not their concern this was not directed at you, Ya'akov, but at others that have made comments that have a history of stirring trouble and being disrespectful towards those in leadership positions.


Ya'akov ben Shalom said:
"As far as the questions about the Beit Din that should have addressed before they were asked to mediate not after they hand down a ruling that you don't like. If you have that big a problem with the Beit din then I ask why are you on this site since they are the ruling body for this site?"

The Beit Din didn't make a public statement that they were going to hear the case did they? I've not found anything that says they did. That sort of limits any ability to question anything. Also, the Beit Din is not above being questioned on an issue. I didn't say I don't like their ruling either. I merely feel that they overlooked some aspects that should have been addressed by THEM with Mr.White. This website allows a wide variety of voices, most NOT in union with the Beit Din, so your question is null.
The Beit Din took Mr. Fields open accusation as an invitation to review the case, and the Av Beit Din (Rabbi Miller) used the traditional power of that office to bring the matter before the Beit Din.



Rav Josh Mayo said:
The Beit Din had to be asked by someone to hear the case that was the time for questions about the Din period and if folks were not directly involved then it is not their concern this was not directed at you, Ya'akov, but at others that have made comments that have a history of stirring trouble and being disrespectful towards those in leadership positions.


Ya'akov ben Shalom said:
"As far as the questions about the Beit Din that should have addressed before they were asked to mediate not after they hand down a ruling that you don't like. If you have that big a problem with the Beit din then I ask why are you on this site since they are the ruling body for this site?"

The Beit Din didn't make a public statement that they were going to hear the case did they? I've not found anything that says they did. That sort of limits any ability to question anything. Also, the Beit Din is not above being questioned on an issue. I didn't say I don't like their ruling either. I merely feel that they overlooked some aspects that should have been addressed by THEM with Mr.White. This website allows a wide variety of voices, most NOT in union with the Beit Din, so your question is null.
So often in this movement we hear people speak about the Matthew 18 process, yet so few really understand how this process works.

The process involved is outlined in Matthew 18:15-20 and is suggested by Matt. 18:6f.

The Matthew 18 process is nothing new, it was a restatement and a clarification of the Deut. 19:15 process (as Mt. 18:16 quotes Deut. 19:15). It is a description of how a Beit Din functions.

STEP 1 “And if your brother sins against you, go and reprove him between you and him alone, and if he will hear you, you have won your brother.” (Mt. 18:15).

Two important elements here. First in order to bring a case, you yourself must be a victim of the offense yourself. Secondly you must approach him PRIVATELY about the matter, and finally, if he repents the case is dropped there. Also the matter must be an actual “sin” i.e. a violation of Torah, not just something that they did that you did not like.

STEP 2 “But if he will not hear you, take to yourself one witness or two that at the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.” (Mt. 18:16)

The next step is to approach him privately with the witnesses. Torah requires that a matter must be verified by two or more witnesses (Deut. 19:15). In this step you are establishing to the “brother who sins against you” that you have the Torah required witnesses to bring the matter to a Beit Din. These must be valid “witnesses” according to Torah. They must be upstanding Torah observant individuals themselves in good standing with the community, and they must have ACTUALLY WITNESSED all elements of the sin take place.

This does not mean, as some practice it, to bring two more people that agree with the first person that something the “target” did was a sin, they must be witnesses of all elements of the sin itself as it transpired.

It is not always possible to escalate a case to STEP 2 because oftentimes there are not two or more Torah observant witnesses.

STEP 3 “And if he will not hear them, speak to him in the assembly” (Mt. 18:17a)

This is NOT a license to commit Lashon HaRa. The Assembly here is NOT the Assembly of Israel. In context the “Assembly” here is the Beit Din “the judges who serve in those days” (Deut. 19:17) who have the power to “bind” and “loose” (Mt. 18:18) which are terms used in Hebrew and Aramaic to refer to halachic ruling allowing or forbidding activities.

STEP 4 “but if he neglects to hear in the Assembly, let him be to you as a Goy or a transgressor” (Mt. 18:17)

The Assembly/Beit Din does not immediately disfellowship even if they find a man guilty. The Beit Din passes a judgment, and if the alleged sinner refuses to accept that judgment then he is to be disfellowshipped.

Verse 19-20 is poorly understood, notice it says “again…” meaning it is repeating and elaborating, not adding a whole new idea. “if two of you [witnesses] will agree on earth as touching any thing that they [the Assembly] will ask, it will be for them [the Assembly] of my Father which is in heaven. For in any place where two or three [witnesses] will assemble [come before the Beit Din] in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

This tells us the two witnesses must agree.



לגשר said:
I don't think the witnesses necessarily have to have seen him do anything. The witnesses are to "witness" that the erson bringing the charge has been once and now in front of "witnesses" is going again to confront the offense.


James Trimm said:
Well based on Mesiah's teaching, what you should do is take this accusation to Lew privately one on one. Then if Lew denies it one on one, you take two or more witnesses that saw Lew alter the photos to him privately. Then if he still denies it, then you could bring the case to the Beit Din, if there are such witnesses. Otherwise this accusation should not be discussed publicly at all.



Ya'akov ben Shalom said:
Well Mr.White has the opportunity to address that issue openly here. The photos displayed on the website are clearly at variance from one another. His response would certainly help clarify why. And the deception I mentioned had nothing to do with the store, but the photograph issue which would have been misleading. I don't have anything personal against him, but would like to know his side regarding the photos. And I honestly don't see how a complete examination of the case was done by the Beit Din without looking at that piece of the puzzle so to speak. All it really takes is an explanation from Mr.White on the topic of the photos and I ask for it openly here now so that no one can later accuse me of lashon hara against him since I have no reason to do so.
So what do you do with a rape victim who has no witnesses? Toss out any physical evidence for lack of eye-witnesses? (This question is not connected to Mr.White. This is just a FYI question.)
The Torah system favors false acquittals to false convictions. Here in Texas we are now exonerating many men who were wrongly convicted of rape and only now being proved innocent by DNA evidence.

The difference between rape and consensual sex is consent. There is no real evidence for or against consent. (While tearing etc. may be a sign of non-consent, it can also be evidence of vigorous consensual sex.)

By Torah the lack of consent is indicated by the woman screaming for help, thus drawing witnesses. But by Torah, a sin that was not witnesses by two or more witnesses can only be judged by YHWH, with one exception. A man can accuse his wife of adultery without witnesses, then a special ritual is conducted to determine her guilt or innocence.




Ya'akov ben Shalom said:
So what do you do with a rape victim who has no witnesses? Toss out any physical evidence for lack of eye-witnesses? (This question is not connected to Mr.White. This is just a FYI question.)
Sounds a bit sexist to me.

How can a woman attract attention during a rape if she's gagged? under threat of death if she screams? not in proximity to other people who could hear? She deserves justice as much as a man claiming his wife is an adulterer (which under the rules cited could be an outright lie told by an unrighteous male, and literally destroy a good woman's reputation.)

I don't know. Something about this bothers me. It sounds amazingly like Sharia Law.
Let's see what Scripture has to say about proper judging:

"1 There was a man living in Babylon whose name was Joakim. 2He married the daughter of Hilkiah, named Susanna, a very beautiful woman and one who feared the Lord. 3Her parents were righteous, and had trained their daughter according to the law of Moses. 4Joakim was very rich, and had a fine garden adjoining his house; the Jews used to come to him because he was the most honoured of them all.

5 That year two elders from the people were appointed as judges. Concerning them the Lord had said: ‘Wickedness came forth from Babylon, from elders who were judges, who were supposed to govern the people.’ 6These men were frequently at Joakim’s house, and all who had a case to be tried came to them there.

7 When the people left at noon, Susanna would go into her husband’s garden to walk. 8Every day the two elders used to see her, going in and walking about, and they began to lust for her. 9They suppressed their consciences and turned away their eyes from looking to Heaven or remembering their duty to administer justice. 10Both were overwhelmed with passion for her, but they did not tell each other of their distress, 11for they were ashamed to disclose their lustful desire to seduce her. 12Day after day they watched eagerly to see her.

13 One day they said to each other, ‘Let us go home, for it is time for lunch.’ So they both left and parted from each other. 14But turning back, they met again; and when each pressed the other for the reason, they confessed their lust. Then together they arranged for a time when they could find her alone.
15 Once, while they were watching for an opportune day, she went in as before with only two maids, and wished to bathe in the garden, for it was a hot day. 16No one was there except the two elders, who had hidden themselves and were watching her. 17She said to her maids, ‘Bring me olive oil and ointments, and shut the garden doors so that I can bathe.’ 18They did as she told them: they shut the doors of the garden and went out by the side doors to bring what they had been commanded; they did not see the elders, because they were hiding.

19 When the maids had gone out, the two elders got up and ran to her. 20They said, ‘Look, the garden doors are shut, and no one can see us. We are burning with desire for you; so give your consent, and lie with us. 21If you refuse, we will testify against you that a young man was with you, and this was why you sent your maids away.’

22 Susanna groaned and said, ‘I am completely trapped. For if I do this, it will mean death for me; if I do not, I cannot escape your hands. 23I choose not to do it; I will fall into your hands, rather than sin in the sight of the Lord.’

24 Then Susanna cried out with a loud voice, and the two elders shouted against her. 25And one of them ran and opened the garden doors. 26When the people in the house heard the shouting in the garden, they rushed in at the side door to see what had happened to her. 27And when the elders told their story, the servants felt very much ashamed, for nothing like this had ever been said about Susanna.
28 The next day, when the people gathered at the house of her husband Joakim, the two elders came, full of their wicked plot to have Susanna put to death. In the presence of the people they said, 29‘Send for Susanna daughter of Hilkiah, the wife of Joakim.’ 30So they sent for her. And she came with her parents, her children, and all her relatives.

31 Now Susanna was a woman of great refinement and beautiful in appearance. 32As she was veiled, the scoundrels ordered her to be unveiled, so that they might feast their eyes on her beauty. 33Those who were with her and all who saw her were weeping.

34 Then the two elders stood up before the people and laid their hands on her head. 35Through her tears she looked up towards Heaven, for her heart trusted in the Lord. 36The elders said, ‘While we were walking in the garden alone, this woman came in with two maids, shut the garden doors, and dismissed the maids. 37Then a young man, who was hiding there, came to her and lay with her. 38We were in a corner of the garden, and when we saw this wickedness we ran to them. 39Although we saw them embracing, we could not hold the man, because he was stronger than we are, and he opened the doors and got away. 40We did, however, seize this woman and asked who the young man was, 41but she would not tell us. These things we testify.’

Because they were elders of the people and judges, the assembly believed them and condemned her to death.

42 Then Susanna cried out with a loud voice, and said, ‘O eternal God, you know what is secret and are aware of all things before they come to be; 43you know that these men have given false evidence against me. And now I am to die, though I have done none of the wicked things that they have charged against me!’

44 The Lord heard her cry. 45Just as she was being led off to execution, God stirred up the holy spirit of a young lad named Daniel, 46and he shouted with a loud voice, ‘I want no part in shedding this woman’s blood!’
47 All the people turned to him and asked, ‘What is this you are saying?’ 48Taking his stand among them he said, ‘Are you such fools, O Israelites, as to condemn a daughter of Israel without examination and without learning the facts? 49Return to court, for these men have given false evidence against her.’

50 So all the people hurried back. And the rest of the* elders said to him, ‘Come, sit among us and inform us, for God has given you the standing of an elder.’ 51Daniel said to them, ‘Separate them far from each other, and I will examine them.’

52 When they were separated from each other, he summoned one of them and said to him, ‘You old relic of wicked days, your sins have now come home, which you have committed in the past, 53pronouncing unjust judgements, condemning the innocent and acquitting the guilty, though the Lord said, “You shall not put an innocent and righteous person to death.” 54Now then, if you really saw this woman, tell me this: Under what tree did you see them being intimate with each other?’ He answered, ‘Under a mastic tree.’* 55And Daniel said, ‘Very well! This lie has cost you your head, for the angel of God has received the sentence from God and will immediately cut* you in two.’

56 Then, putting him to one side, he ordered them to bring the other. And he said to him, ‘You offspring of Canaan and not of Judah, beauty has beguiled you and lust has perverted your heart. 57This is how you have been treating the daughters of Israel, and they were intimate with you through fear; but a daughter of Judah would not tolerate your wickedness. 58Now then, tell me: Under what tree did you catch them being intimate with each other?’ He answered, ‘Under an evergreen oak.’* 59Daniel said to him, ‘Very well! This lie has cost you also your head, for the angel of God is waiting with his sword to split* you in two, so as to destroy you both.’

60 Then the whole assembly raised a great shout and blessed God, who saves those who hope in him. 61And they took action against the two elders, because out of their own mouths Daniel had convicted them of bearing false witness; they did to them as they had wickedly planned to do to their neighbour. 62Acting in accordance with the law of Moses, they put them to death. Thus innocent blood was spared that day.

63 Hilkiah and his wife praised God for their daughter Susanna, and so did her husband Joakim and all her relatives, because she was found innocent of a shameful deed. 64And from that day onwards Daniel had a great reputation among the people."
Your problem is not with me, it with the Torah.

Rape is a particularly sticky problem. Too often in our system in the USA in the past a woman could just say that a man raped her and he was going to jail. Talk about putting an awesome power in someone's hands. Now these men are getting freed on DNA evidence, many after serving ten or twenty years in prison.



Ya'akov ben Shalom said:
Sounds a bit sexist to me.

How can a woman attract attention during a rape if she's gagged? under threat of death if she screams? not in proximity to other people who could hear? She deserves justice as much as a man claiming his wife is an adulterer (which under the rules cited could be an outright lie told by an unrighteous male, and literally destroy a good woman's reputation.)

I don't know. Something about this bothers me.
Perhaps my problem is really in how to apply Torah correctly and with an eye to justice. I don't have an issue with you personally James.
Yep, here we almost had a false conviction even with two witnesses until Daniel wisely examined them and uncovered them as false witnesses.



Anayahu Priel (Andrew P) Carlson said:
Let's see what Scripture has to say about proper judging:

"1 There was a man living in Babylon whose name was Joakim. 2He married the daughter of Hilkiah, named Susanna, a very beautiful woman and one who feared the Lord. 3Her parents were righteous, and had trained their daughter according to the law of Moses. 4Joakim was very rich, and had a fine garden adjoining his house; the Jews used to come to him because he was the most honoured of them all.

5 That year two elders from the people were appointed as judges. Concerning them the Lord had said: ‘Wickedness came forth from Babylon, from elders who were judges, who were supposed to govern the people.’ 6These men were frequently at Joakim’s house, and all who had a case to be tried came to them there.

7 When the people left at noon, Susanna would go into her husband’s garden to walk. 8Every day the two elders used to see her, going in and walking about, and they began to lust for her. 9They suppressed their consciences and turned away their eyes from looking to Heaven or remembering their duty to administer justice. 10Both were overwhelmed with passion for her, but they did not tell each other of their distress, 11for they were ashamed to disclose their lustful desire to seduce her. 12Day after day they watched eagerly to see her.

13 One day they said to each other, ‘Let us go home, for it is time for lunch.’ So they both left and parted from each other. 14But turning back, they met again; and when each pressed the other for the reason, they confessed their lust. Then together they arranged for a time when they could find her alone.
15 Once, while they were watching for an opportune day, she went in as before with only two maids, and wished to bathe in the garden, for it was a hot day. 16No one was there except the two elders, who had hidden themselves and were watching her. 17She said to her maids, ‘Bring me olive oil and ointments, and shut the garden doors so that I can bathe.’ 18They did as she told them: they shut the doors of the garden and went out by the side doors to bring what they had been commanded; they did not see the elders, because they were hiding.

19 When the maids had gone out, the two elders got up and ran to her. 20They said, ‘Look, the garden doors are shut, and no one can see us. We are burning with desire for you; so give your consent, and lie with us. 21If you refuse, we will testify against you that a young man was with you, and this was why you sent your maids away.’

22 Susanna groaned and said, ‘I am completely trapped. For if I do this, it will mean death for me; if I do not, I cannot escape your hands. 23I choose not to do it; I will fall into your hands, rather than sin in the sight of the Lord.’

24 Then Susanna cried out with a loud voice, and the two elders shouted against her. 25And one of them ran and opened the garden doors. 26When the people in the house heard the shouting in the garden, they rushed in at the side door to see what had happened to her. 27And when the elders told their story, the servants felt very much ashamed, for nothing like this had ever been said about Susanna.
28 The next day, when the people gathered at the house of her husband Joakim, the two elders came, full of their wicked plot to have Susanna put to death. In the presence of the people they said, 29‘Send for Susanna daughter of Hilkiah, the wife of Joakim.’ 30So they sent for her. And she came with her parents, her children, and all her relatives.

31 Now Susanna was a woman of great refinement and beautiful in appearance. 32As she was veiled, the scoundrels ordered her to be unveiled, so that they might feast their eyes on her beauty. 33Those who were with her and all who saw her were weeping.

34 Then the two elders stood up before the people and laid their hands on her head. 35Through her tears she looked up towards Heaven, for her heart trusted in the Lord. 36The elders said, ‘While we were walking in the garden alone, this woman came in with two maids, shut the garden doors, and dismissed the maids. 37Then a young man, who was hiding there, came to her and lay with her. 38We were in a corner of the garden, and when we saw this wickedness we ran to them. 39Although we saw them embracing, we could not hold the man, because he was stronger than we are, and he opened the doors and got away. 40We did, however, seize this woman and asked who the young man was, 41but she would not tell us. These things we testify.’

Because they were elders of the people and judges, the assembly believed them and condemned her to death.

42 Then Susanna cried out with a loud voice, and said, ‘O eternal God, you know what is secret and are aware of all things before they come to be; 43you know that these men have given false evidence against me. And now I am to die, though I have done none of the wicked things that they have charged against me!’

44 The Lord heard her cry. 45Just as she was being led off to execution, God stirred up the holy spirit of a young lad named Daniel, 46and he shouted with a loud voice, ‘I want no part in shedding this woman’s blood!’
47 All the people turned to him and asked, ‘What is this you are saying?’ 48Taking his stand among them he said, ‘Are you such fools, O Israelites, as to condemn a daughter of Israel without examination and without learning the facts? 49Return to court, for these men have given false evidence against her.’

50 So all the people hurried back. And the rest of the* elders said to him, ‘Come, sit among us and inform us, for God has given you the standing of an elder.’ 51Daniel said to them, ‘Separate them far from each other, and I will examine them.’

52 When they were separated from each other, he summoned one of them and said to him, ‘You old relic of wicked days, your sins have now come home, which you have committed in the past, 53pronouncing unjust judgements, condemning the innocent and acquitting the guilty, though the Lord said, “You shall not put an innocent and righteous person to death.” 54Now then, if you really saw this woman, tell me this: Under what tree did you see them being intimate with each other?’ He answered, ‘Under a mastic tree.’* 55And Daniel said, ‘Very well! This lie has cost you your head, for the angel of God has received the sentence from God and will immediately cut* you in two.’

56 Then, putting him to one side, he ordered them to bring the other. And he said to him, ‘You offspring of Canaan and not of Judah, beauty has beguiled you and lust has perverted your heart. 57This is how you have been treating the daughters of Israel, and they were intimate with you through fear; but a daughter of Judah would not tolerate your wickedness. 58Now then, tell me: Under what tree did you catch them being intimate with each other?’ He answered, ‘Under an evergreen oak.’* 59Daniel said to him, ‘Very well! This lie has cost you also your head, for the angel of God is waiting with his sword to split* you in two, so as to destroy you both.’

60 Then the whole assembly raised a great shout and blessed God, who saves those who hope in him. 61And they took action against the two elders, because out of their own mouths Daniel had convicted them of bearing false witness; they did to them as they had wickedly planned to do to their neighbour. 62Acting in accordance with the law of Moses, they put them to death. Thus innocent blood was spared that day.

63 Hilkiah and his wife praised God for their daughter Susanna, and so did her husband Joakim and all her relatives, because she was found innocent of a shameful deed. 64And from that day onwards Daniel had a great reputation among the people."
No I see it as going a second time and saying "look, I have the witnesses right here, if we go to court on this you will lose, lets settle this out of court.



לגשר said:
STEP 2 “But if he will not hear you, take to yourself one witness or two that at the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.” (Mt. 18:16)

This step is a repeat of STEP 1 due to the fact that the accused would not listen in STEP 1. The witnesses are there to hear the accusation made a second time.



James Trimm said:
So often in this movement we hear people speak about the Matthew 18 process, yet so few really understand how this process works.

The process involved is outlined in Matthew 18:15-20 and is suggested by Matt. 18:6f.

The Matthew 18 process is nothing new, it was a restatement and a clarification of the Deut. 19:15 process (as Mt. 18:16 quotes Deut. 19:15). It is a description of how a Beit Din functions.

STEP 1 “And if your brother sins against you, go and reprove him between you and him alone, and if he will hear you, you have won your brother.” (Mt. 18:15).

Two important elements here. First in order to bring a case, you yourself must be a victim of the offense yourself. Secondly you must approach him PRIVATELY about the matter, and finally, if he repents the case is dropped there. Also the matter must be an actual “sin” i.e. a violation of Torah, not just something that they did that you did not like.

STEP 2 “But if he will not hear you, take to yourself one witness or two that at the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.” (Mt. 18:16)

The next step is to approach him privately with the witnesses. Torah requires that a matter must be verified by two or more witnesses (Deut. 19:15). In this step you are establishing to the “brother who sins against you” that you have the Torah required witnesses to bring the matter to a Beit Din. These must be valid “witnesses” according to Torah. They must be upstanding Torah observant individuals themselves in good standing with the community, and they must have ACTUALLY WITNESSED all elements of the sin take place.

This does not mean, as some practice it, to bring two more people that agree with the first person that something the “target” did was a sin, they must be witnesses of all elements of the sin itself as it transpired.

It is not always possible to escalate a case to STEP 2 because oftentimes there are not two or more Torah observant witnesses.

STEP 3 “And if he will not hear them, speak to him in the assembly” (Mt. 18:17a)

This is NOT a license to commit Lashon HaRa. The Assembly here is NOT the Assembly of Israel. In context the “Assembly” here is the Beit Din “the judges who serve in those days” (Deut. 19:17) who have the power to “bind” and “loose” (Mt. 18:18) which are terms used in Hebrew and Aramaic to refer to halachic ruling allowing or forbidding activities.

STEP 4 “but if he neglects to hear in the Assembly, let him be to you as a Goy or a transgressor” (Mt. 18:17)

The Assembly/Beit Din does not immediately disfellowship even if they find a man guilty. The Beit Din passes a judgment, and if the alleged sinner refuses to accept that judgment then he is to be disfellowshipped.

Verse 19-20 is poorly understood, notice it says “again…” meaning it is repeating and elaborating, not adding a whole new idea. “if two of you [witnesses] will agree on earth as touching any thing that they [the Assembly] will ask, it will be for them [the Assembly] of my Father which is in heaven. For in any place where two or three [witnesses] will assemble [come before the Beit Din] in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

This tells us the two witnesses must agree.



לגשר said:
I don't think the witnesses necessarily have to have seen him do anything. The witnesses are to "witness" that the erson bringing the charge has been once and now in front of "witnesses" is going again to confront the offense.


James Trimm said:
Well based on Mesiah's teaching, what you should do is take this accusation to Lew privately one on one. Then if Lew denies it one on one, you take two or more witnesses that saw Lew alter the photos to him privately. Then if he still denies it, then you could bring the case to the Beit Din, if there are such witnesses. Otherwise this accusation should not be discussed publicly at all.



Ya'akov ben Shalom said:
Well Mr.White has the opportunity to address that issue openly here. The photos displayed on the website are clearly at variance from one another. His response would certainly help clarify why. And the deception I mentioned had nothing to do with the store, but the photograph issue which would have been misleading. I don't have anything personal against him, but would like to know his side regarding the photos. And I honestly don't see how a complete examination of the case was done by the Beit Din without looking at that piece of the puzzle so to speak. All it really takes is an explanation from Mr.White on the topic of the photos and I ask for it openly here now so that no one can later accuse me of lashon hara against him since I have no reason to do so.

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