Because of the content of many of my articles I am quite often asked if I am a member of the Hebrew Roots movement. My answer is normally, “No, but I am a believer who is interested in the proper context of the Scripture.” Some continue, most don’t, “Well, do you believe that the proper context is based in understanding Hebrew?” To this I normally answer, yes. Then someone will say, “That is what the Hebrew Roots movement is all about.” This is where I generally say, “No, it isn’t.” Mostly people just throw up there hands and walk away.
Back in the early 1970’s Paul Newman played Judge Roy Bean in a movie by the same name. In it the narrator correctly observed, “There is nothing worse than a ‘reformed’ anything.” This brings me to the point of this article.
The Hebrew Roots movement has been a dynamic force in recent years. It is wonderful that people are learning the inaccuracies and outright deception incorporated into the “corporate” church. This is wonderful and refreshing. But there is a troubling trend that I see happening in the movement and that is that many people in the movement have no tolerance for “corporate” Christians. In other words; “there is nothing worse than a reformed Christian.” (Messianic believer)
Maybe this, in and of itself, doesn’t sound like a big criticism, but it is. Instead of trying to use the knowledge of where they were in their walk as a “believer” to help others see the truth they oftentimes resort to name calling, condemnation and even vitriol in addressing “Christians”. Why can’t they remember back to the “approach” that helped them see the truth in the Scriptures? Why, instead of being empathetic and understanding, so many in the movement resort to wagging their fingers in peoples faces and condemning others for their stupidity. I don’t know about you but you will not convince me of anything by yelling or wagging your finger in my face except you have real emotional issues that require immediate psychiatric help.
But, this is what I have come to understand. When people within the movement begin their attack of Christians it has nothing to do with that Christian but rather they are angry at themselves for having been duped by the corporate church and they are really shouting, wagging their finger and even cursing themselves for being stupid (their word not mine) enough to believe the deception of the modern corporate church. You could not train a good class of dogs if you shouted, cursed and threatened them instead of showing love, empathy and firmness. But first, you have to know more than the dog in order to teach a dog. So, if you will treat a dog with kindness, love and affection, why won’t you treat a fellow human being, that you ostensibly care about, with love and want the best for, in the same manner as a dog?
Until leaders in the Hebrew Roots movement train and teach their membership how to treat Christians and non-Christians with love, respect, empathy and most of all, simple everyday respect, your “movement” will be doomed to failure. Wake up folks, the movement has already been co-opted. Go to 10 Hebrew Roots websites and see how much and what is for sale, i.e. Hebrew candles, tallits from Israel, olive oil from Israel (Texas has a huge and growing olive oil industry I’ll buy Texas, thank you), dirt from Israel (thank you very much, I have enough dirt around my house to last a lifetime) and you can even buy a square foot of land in Israel. Oh, really, I have size 14 feet. I can’t stand on a square foot of land without automatically trespassing on my neighbor’s land. What am I going to do with a square foot of land? Plant a potted plant?
No matter how good and righteous your message, if you will not treat others with temperance and respect, no one is going to listen to you except some sicko who likes to be abused. You don’t win people’s hearts by shouting the loudest and treating them with disrespect. If you genuinely believe that Yeshua was the Messiah then can you not believe as He tried to teach us? Mat.19:19 Honor thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
Mat. 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
Mar. 12:31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
Luk. 10:27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.
You say that you observe Torah but what about Leviticus 19:18? You see, I think that this is clue and the cure all rolled into one. Maybe you need to love yourself a little more so you can actually forgive yourself for being duped. Once you can do that, maybe, just maybe, you can learn to love that brother, sister, mother, father, cousin, friend or neighbor enough to teach them the love of YHWH that we see in John 3:16: “For Elohim so loved the world that He gave His only brought-forth Son, so that everyone who believes in Him should not perish but possess everlasting life. (ISR 1998 Scriptures)
You see, it doesn’t say that Jesus (Yeshua) for so loved the world but that Elohim so loved the world.
Do you remember where and when you realized you had been fooled? What was said, or what happened to get you to realize that you had been fooled? For me it was 40 years ago this past January when I started studying Semitic languages. I realized that the translators of the Scriptures had no knowledge of the customs of the people nor the idioms of the language. It has taken these forty years to begin filling in blanks. It is with fondness that I remember some of the people who have helped me along the way.
So, to answer my question in the title, is the Hebrew Roots movement Doomed To Fail?? If it cannot learn compassion, empathy and love, genuine love for their neighbor, yes, it will fail, die out, dry up and blow away. But you know what? I know many of the people within the movement and I have the sincerest hope that love and understanding will win out. It has to, we don’t have much time left to get the message out.
And יהוה spoke to Mosheh, saying,
“Speak to Aharon and his sons, saying, ‘This is how you bless the children of Yisra’ĕl. Say to them: “יהוה bless you and guard you;
יהוה make His face shine upon you, and show favour to you;
יהוה lift up His face upon you, and give you peace.” Numbers 6:22-26 (ISR 1998 Scriptures)