Rebuttal: Dangers of the Hebrew Roots Movement, Part 12

AiG: “There are real dangers in taking good intentions (learning more about the Hebrew backdrop of Christianity) too far. The HRM has created divisions in the body of Christ by labeling non-HRM believers as pagans or accusing them of engaging in pagan practices. They have set up a Christianity consisting of haves and have-nots (i.e., the haves who keep the law and the have-nots who do not).”

Me: Those in the HRM should not be doing this, and only a few are. However, you will see this to some extent in every denomination, so why single us out above the others? The problem is with individual believers in the movement, and not in the movement as a whole.

AiG: “Some of the people involved in this movement have slipped into believing and teaching a false gospel by promoting “works salvation” when they argue that believers must keep the Mosaic law. If salvation is by God’s grace received through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone, as the Bible clearly states (Romans 11:6Ephesians 2:8–9), then it cannot be based on works of the law, or else it would no longer be by grace. Certainly, Christians should do the good works God has set before them (Ephesians 2:10), but we are not saved by such efforts. We can only be saved on the basis of the complete and perfect atoning work of Jesus Christ.”

Me: I have never, ever met an HRM believer who believes in a works-based salvation. Labeling sin as sin in no way promotes a “works salvation.” It just calls attention to the fact that there is sin that we should do our best to abstain from.

AiG: “If you have been influenced by the Hebrew Roots Movement, I urge you to carefully read through the book of Galatians. Seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit as you read. Do not rely on my interpretation of its passages mentioned above or on the interpretation of various HRM teachers. Just carefully and prayerfully read through the letter to see what Paul told his readers. Look closely at the other passages discussed in this article.”

Me: Please follow the above advice whether you have been influenced by HRM or not. Galatians is a fantastic book and should be read by every believer (along with all of the other scriptures).

AiG: “Think about why none of the apostles ever instructed the Gentile believers to follow the Mosaic law when they had perfect opportunities to do so.”

Me: This is not true. Romans 3:31 says, “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.” In addition to that verse, I will explain why we don’t see others like it very often. It was already assumed that those entering covenant with the Father would abide by the terms of the covenant. Christianity is not a new religion, but if followed properly, it is the oldest in the book. Jesus came to clarify and fulfill, not abolish. Read His words on the matter, and remember that He is the living, breathing Torah and that we are called to follow His example: “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked” (I John 2:6). In addition, every single time the apostle Paul or any other other authors of the New Testament address sin in any capacity, they are reminding us of the Father’s Law or clarifying it. They aren’t making up new sins from scratch that apply to New Testament believers. And they aren’t saying, do these things or you’ll lose your salvation. No, they are simply describing sin and asking us to abstain. That’s precisely what the Torah does for us as well, only the Torah did it first. All authority to label sin is based on the fact that the Father did it first.

AiG: “Remember that the kingdom of God is not about food and drink, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). Recall the simplicity of the gospel, which is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Gentile (Romans 1:16). It is not about the works we might do for God, but what God has already done for us. The gospel message Paul received and delivered is this: “that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3–4, NKJV).”

Me: Please do remember the above-mentioned things. I agree wholeheartedly. But also please remember a few more simple truths:

God doesn’t change: Malachi 3:6

All of God’s commandments are righteous: Psalm 119:172

His righteousness is an everlasting righteousness: Psalm 119:142

Every one of His righteous judgments endureth forever: Psalm 119:160

The Law shall go forth from Zion in the last days: Micah 4:1-2

One Law applies to the natural-born Israelite and to the stranger that desires to live among them: Leviticus 24:22

The commandments were given for our good: Deuteronomy 10:12-13

The Law of the Lord is perfect, and it is the Law that converts the soul: Psalm 19:7

Even the pagan nations would realize that God’s Law is righteous: Deuteronomy 4:6-8

The Law is intended to be kept forever, and for our own good: Deuteronomy 5:29

The Law is life, and obedience brings blessing. Disobedience brings death and cursing: Deuteronomy 30:15-19. This is why the wages of sin is death. Death is the result of sin. Romans 6:32 James 1:15

The commandments are not difficult: Deuteronomy 30:11

Life is made more abundant by keeping the Law. It is the natural result: Leviticus 18:5

The Law is not bondage. Sin is bondage: John 8:32-34

Jesus came to fulfill the Law, not destroy it. Therefore, fulfilling it and destroying it cannot be two words for the same thing: Matthew 5:18

Even the New Testament apostles set out to establish the Law: Romans 3:31

We are to search the Old Testament scriptures to see if modern doctrines align: Acts 17:11

Paul never contradicted the Torah, by his own admission: Acts 26:22

Paul kept the Law, even to the extent of taking a vow in the temple outlined in Leviticus. It was slanderously reported that he did not keep it: Acts 21:24

The Law is holy, just, and good: Romans 7:12

Sin is transgression of the Law: I John 3:4

Even though Christ has earned our salvation for us, we aren’t supposed to keep transgressing the Law once we know better: Romans 6:2

Even back in Bible times, lawless people were misinterpreting Paul’s message of grace for licentiousness: 2 Peter 3:15-17

One response to “Rebuttal: Dangers of the Hebrew Roots Movement, Part 12

  1. Pingback: Concerns from the Book of Hebrews | Full Circle Homeschooling

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