As I write, a dream I held in my heart for over fifteen years is soon to be fully realized. My dream… to write and publish a book which would help believers and church leaders know how to effectively deal with the Hebrew Roots Movement.
You might be thinking that is an unusual dream. Perhaps you have never even heard of the Hebrew Roots Movement. I was introduced to HRM, when a Pastor friend gave me a phone call. He invited me to come and assist a local church that was dealing with various Jewish Roots teachers. These men were teaching church members that God now expected them to keep the Law after they were saved. They gave lip service to the fact that believers were saved by grace, focusing most of their attention on the need to observe such things as the Jewish Feasts and the weekly Sabbath.
I spoke at that time largely from the book of Hebrews, making the case that the things of the Law were a “shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities” (Hebrews 10:1). It was at that time that I first conceived of the need of a book dealing exclusively with the Hebrew Roots Movement (HRM).
Almost five years later, I was invited back to the same church, this time to debate some of those same teachers who had continued to seek to influence church members. When I walked into the church sanctuary for the first of two days of debate, I saw many men wearing traditional Jewish head coverings and prayer shawls.
I must say that I was the only person in the room who was actually Jewish; none of the men wearing the head coverings and prayer shawls were Jewish by birth. For the next two days, I spent all my energy trying to persuade these teachers that they had departed from the faith, urging them to return to the biblical gospel.
So, what is this movement and what do they believe? Here is how the website Got Questions defines the Hebrew Roots Movement:
“The premise of the Hebrew Roots movement is the
belief that the Church has veered far from the true
teachings and Hebrew concepts of the Bible. The
movement maintains that Christianity has been
indoctrinated with the culture and beliefs of Greek and
Roman philosophy and that ultimately biblical Christianity,
taught in churches today, has been corrupted
with a pagan imitation of the New Testament Gospels”
(“What Is the Hebrew Roots Movement.”
While I entertained the idea of writing a book dealing with the HRM upon my first visit to that church, following the debate, I felt called by God to do it. But as is often the case, the busyness of life crept in and it would be several more years before I actually began the work on it. And I am now overjoyed to announce, I have completed the work on the book and it will be available next month! I feel like I have released a great burden.
There may be some who have not been directly involved by the Hebrew Roots teaching and have little interest in a work dealing with it. But this book, while specifically focused on the HRM and its teaching, really deals with the larger issue of legalism in general.
So, what is legalism? Legalism is “anything we believe we must do or perform in order to be right with God.” What legalism does is deny one of the most important truths of the New Testament…our complete dependence on God’s grace and reliance on the finished work of Christ. No act of obedience will make us more worthy to enter into the kingdom of God. In this respect, the Hebrew Roots Movement is like many others that have preceded it and will likely follow in the future. These movements stress the need for good conduct as the basis for entering the kingdom of God.
This book simply deals with one particular form of it but there are many different forms it takes. And so, this book will be meaningful for many different people, since the topic of avoiding legalism is relevant at all times. Those who have read an earlier release have testified to the fact that reading it helped them better grasp the gospel of the grace of God. Thus, they were better equipped to deal with legalism.
I am praying and asking the Father of glory to use this book as a powerful instrument to equip believers and leaders to defend the gospel, while also helping those desirous of learning about the Hebrew roots of the faith without falling into legalism.