Recently a well-respected Christian organization wrote a very hurtful article about the Hebrew Roots Movement. I took offense as I consider myself a part of the Hebrew Roots Movement. Most people know that I call myself a Torah Observant Christian. These are both just names that people, like myself, identify as, so that other like minded people know who we are. We are not trying to create division in the body with these names, but rather use them to reach out to others who may feel all alone in their Christian walk.
We are believers in the one true God, the creator of heaven and earth. We are believers in Yeshua(Jesus) as the Messiah and Savior of the world. Just like all true Christians. The difference is we have been called by God, Yehovah, to walk out our faith differently than most main stream Christians. Do we think that some how by walking out our faith in this different way we are better than other Christians? No, that is ridiculous. Do we want to share the joy of what we have experienced in our walk with God with others? Yes, and sometimes our enthusiasm is misread as judgement or some how demanding of others. But we are just believers who want to obey God and do what He asks of us. Below,I hope to share a little bit more of why we walk out our faith the way we do, and why I personally choose this walk.
I want to begin by sharing a few verses that I hope help you, my readers, understand where I am coming from.
17Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfill them. 18For I tell you truly, until heaven and earth pass away, not a single jot, not a stroke of a pen, will disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.
19So then, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do likewise will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
In this first passage, Yeshua is teaching us that the law of God does not change, and it is to be obeyed until He returns for us. This is a key passage for Torah observant believers. We believe that God wants us to look at His law in the Old Testament,and, as best is possible, apply it to our daily lives. We recognize this is not what saves us, and we also realize we cannot obey the law perfectly. But no one ever could, and the law never saved anyone ever.
21“Believe Me, woman,” Jesus replied, “a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22You worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23But a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father is seeking such as these to worship Him. 24God is Spirit, and His worshipers must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”
2 Corinthians 3:7-18
7Now if the ministry of death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at the face of Moses because of its fleeting glory, 8will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? 9For if the ministry of condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry of righteousness! 10Indeed, what was once glorious has no glory now in comparison to the glory that surpasses it. 11For if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which endures!
14But their minds were closed. For to this day the same veil remains at the reading of the old covenant. It has not been lifted, because only in Christ can it be removed. 15And even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into His image with intensifying glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
These verses are very valuable to a Torah Observant Christian. They are a reminder to us that if we are seeking Yehovah God with all our heart and desire to obey Him, He will lead us to truth and clarity in how to walk closely with Him. It also gives us peace that our brothers and sisters in Christ that do not walk out their faith exactly like us, are still in covenant with us. We are one body and united in Christ.
23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
8 If, however, you are fulfilling the [i]royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. 9 But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the [j]law as transgressors. 10 For whoever keeps the whole [k]law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. 11 For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not commit murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the [l]law. 12 So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. 13 For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy [m]triumphs over judgment.
These verses are a constant reminder to me personally that even if I see a brother or sister who does not see and understand scripture and walk in it the same as me we are still united. Mercy and compassion are what bind us through Yeshua Messiah.
Recently, my dear friend whom I am extremely like minded with, and I disagreed about how to observe one of the feasts of Yehovah as described in Leviticus 23. As she and I lovingly disagreed and discussed our views neither of us changed our stance on the issue at hand. This was a great lesson for both of us. A great reminder to us both that everyday no matter how hard we try we still sin and fail at being truly Christ like.
For me and my friend we both, like all true Christians desire to obey God and show Him our love because we want to please Him. We want our lives to bring glory to His Name. We want to be Holy as He is Holy. We are both fully aware, just as the apostles, including Paul, were, that we will not be perfected until our Messiah and King returns. But until that day comes we want to do our very best to walk as close to our Lord as we possibly can.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for instruction, for conviction, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work.
So, in conclusion, I was saddened by the article I read warning that Hebrew Roots People are to be avoided and discouraged. I am so glad to be a part of the Hebrew Roots Movement. A movement, I believe is a fulfillment of prophecy. I see myself as a part of the unified body of Christ. Not separate, not divisive, not judging, but rather a fellow traveler on the journey of life. Walking out my faith in fear and trembling, as I hope and pray all believers are.
1Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, 2make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. 3Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 5Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
12So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
14Do all things without grumbling or disputing; 15so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, 16holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain. 17But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all. 18You too, I urge you,rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me.