The Hebrew Roots Movement

This is not an easy topic for me to write about.  It is not something I have looked forward to writing about, because, very close to the core of my personality is a great desire not to open myself up for arguments, anger, or rejection.

But I have to write about this, because, at the core of who I am, is a longing for all people everywhere to see Christ, to know Him, and to follow Him.

Being a Christian isn’t about confrontation, but it isn’t about nonconfrontation, either.  It’s about telling the Truth.

I want to be very careful when I talk about the Truth, because there is the perfect Truth of Christ, and then there is me, on my journey towards Him.  The words I say very often fall short of that perfect Truth.  That’s why, when it comes to something as serious as the Hebrew Roots Movement, I’m not going to use my own words.  This is far too serious a matter for me to try to guess at words God hasn’t given me.  Instead, I will repeat words God has given me, words I would trust my life, my death, and the eternity of my soul on: the Word of God.

I had heard a little about the Hebrew Roots Movement, but it wasn’t until I had very personal encounters that I began to explore and seek answers.  Suddenly, this wasn’t just a movement out there on the internet somewhere . . . it was a movement encroaching upon the church like a dark shadow, with people being invited to walk out of the love and safety net of Christ and into an abyss of legality and condemnation.

The Hebrew Roots Movement can be subtle or more open in its presentation, but the basic idea, when all the layers of reasoning are peeled away, is that Jesus saved us from our sin so that we could go back to the Law.  The Movement highly esteems Mosaic law and the Old Testament Jewish way of life.

The Movement, for example, follows Mosaic diet restrictions, appealing logically that science has proven pork, for example, is not good to consume, showing that God knew best all along.

The Movement believes in observing Old Testament Mosaic festivals as a way to worship Christ.

And the movement believes in following the Mosaic law, not because we are justified through the law–from the little I have observed, the movement assures its followers that they are justified only through Jesus Christ.  Therefore, the following of the Mosaic law is only like keeping a child inside the boundaries of a fence to protect him or her from the traffic oN the road.  The Mosaic law, would be the argument, is for our protection, because we have been grafted in to the family of God.

The tree of the family of God is Jewish, they say, and it is only logical that we have become Jews–or that we always were Jews, and we had simply wandered away–giving the message if you want to be a Christian, you are most likely a long-long Jew.

The Hebrew Roots Movement claims that when Jesus came to earth, He did not do away with the law.  The word “fulfill” does not mean to complete, but, more like to pay the penalty for those who broke the law.  To illustrate with something I can wrap my mind around, it would be like if a parent grounded a child for a week.  Another child came in and stayed inside for a week to fill up the punishment for breaking the rules, but did not change the rules themselves.  The child must once again follow all the rules.

The Hebrew Roots Movement, I have found, has been created by someone far more brilliant than me.  I don’t know how to refute it with my own words, because the arguments are clever and what I see as the “mosaic” (meaning artwork–I’d never realized this was spelled the same as Mosaic) of Truth and lies is so ingeniously bound up together, I simply don’t have the brains to sort it all out.

But, thanks be to our God and Savior Jesus Christ, I don’t have to.

There’s Galatians.

I beg you to read Galatians all the way through.  Here are a few riches of the Word’s glory.

Since one of the claims of the Hebrew Roots Movement is that the Bible is often improperly translated, I wanted to share from The Original Aramaic New Testament in Plain English–with Psalms & Proverbs by Reverend David Basucher, a man who believes the original New Testament was in Aramaic, not Greek.  This is therefore an excellent translation for people to read who believe modern translations from the Greek have become corrupted.

The English Standard Version is included after each Aramaic New Testament translation. Between these two translations is the same uncanny, cohesive accuracy as all translations true Christ followers have undertaken over the years.  Note that, in the Aramaic, Jesus is Yeshua.

I marvel how quickly you have been turned away from The Messiah, he who called you by his grace, unto another gospel Which does not exist, but there are some who trouble you and wish to change The Gospel of The Messiah.But even if we or an Angel from Heaven should evangelize you outside of that which we have evangelized you, we or he would be damned;Just as I said to you from the first and now again I say to you, that if anyone evangelizes you outside of what you have received, he shall be damned.  (Galatians 1:6-9, Aramaic NT)

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, bu there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you,let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:6-9, ESV)

Because we know that a man is not justified by works of The Written Law, but by the faith of Yeshua The Messiah, we also believe in Yeshua The Messiah, that we should be made right by the faith of The Messiah, and not by the works of The Written Law, because no one is made right by the works of The Written Law. But if when we seek to be made right by The Messiah, we are found to be sinners, is then Yeshua the Minister of sin? God forbid! For if I build those things again that I once destroyed, I have shown about myself that I violate The Covenant. For I by The Written Law have died to The Written Law that I might live unto God. And I have been crucified with The Messiah, and from then on I myself have not been living, but The Messiah is living in me, and this that I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of The Son of God, he who has loved us and has given himself for us. I do not reject the grace of God, for if righteousness is by The Written Law, The Messiah died for nothing.  (Galatians 2:16-21, Aramaic NT)

yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law,because by works of the law no one will be justified.

But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor. For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose. (Galatians 2:16-21, ESV)

This only I wish to know of you: Did you receive The Spirit by the works of The Written Law or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish that you began in The Spirit and now you finish in the flesh? (Galatians 3:2-3, Aramaic NT)

Let me ask you only this:Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? (Galatians 3:2-3, ESV)

But if the inheritance is by The Written Law, it would therefore not be from The Promise to Abraham, but God gave it to him by The Promise.

Why therefore is there The Written Law? It was added because of apostasy until The Seed would come to whom The Promise belonged, and The Written Law was given by Angels in the hand of a mediator. A mediator is not of one, but God is One. Is therefore The Written Law contrary to The Promise of God? God forbid! For if a law had been given which was able to give life, truly righteousness would have been by The Written Law. But the Scripture has shut all things up under sin, that The Promise by the faith of Yeshua The Messiah would be given to those who are believers.

3But until the faith would come, The Written Law had kept us while we were closed off to the faith that was going to be revealed. The Written Law was therefore a guide for us to The Messiah that we would be made right by faith. But when the faith came we were not under a guide. For you are all children of God by the faith of Yeshua The Messiah. (Galatians 3:18-26, Aramaic NT)

For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; butGod gave it to Abraham by a promise.

Why then the law?  It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary. Now an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one.

 Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

 Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. (Galatians 3:18-26, ESV)

Tell me, you who wish to be under The Written Law, do you not hear The Written Law? (Galatians 4:21, Aramaic NT)

Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law? (Galatians 4:31, ESV)

Stand therefore in that liberty with which The Messiah has set us free, and do not be yoked again in a yoke of bondage.  (Galatians 5:1, Aramaic NT)

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1, ESV)

But I say that you should be walking in The Spirit and the craving of the flesh you will never do. (Galatians 5:16, Aramaic NT)

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16, ESV)

And bear the burdens of one another, for in this way you fulfill the law of The Messiah. (Galatians 6:2, Aramaic NT)

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2, ESV)

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Published in: on November 20, 2011 at 2:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
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