I’ve seen the issue titled above come up time after time, from anxious family members and friends of precious believers who have been sucked into the Hebrew Roots Movement, and from heresy hunters who use fear every bit as much as those they strive to refute as they try to retrieve the deceived back into Biblical Christianity.
Here’s how I see it:
The HRM draws both believers and unbelievers into its web. The Enemy accomplishes keeping the unbeliever away from the Gospel, and he keeps the believer from a fruitful relationship with God in Christ as he keeps them from bringing the Lost to Christ – they are far too busy ‘setting themselves apart’ via Law-keeping and trying to get other believers to be Torah observant for a variety of reasons.
Those in the Conditional Security camp may cringe when I say this, but one of the big ‘hooks’ that those in Law-keeping sects use to get folks into Law-keeping and keep them there is that if you don’t keep the Law, you’re in willful rebellion against God by not keeping His commandments and you are either
- not really saved, or
- will lose your salvation.
Conditional Security types who believe that one in Christ can somehow lose their salvation open the door to that very subtle deception and unwittingly feed into it.
I firmly believe that believers who get hoodwinked into Law-keeping sects do not lose their salvation, but are neutralized in the Body – sterilized if you will – and will not ‘reproduce’, bringing the Lost into the Body. Their fruit is mixed, which makes evaluating what they believe on the core issues of the faith important.
I say their fruit is mixed because I’ve interacted with Torah folk who are, up front anyway, loving and joyful. When you begin to consistently disagree with them regarding believers’ relationship to the Law, however, they become impatient, critical, and controlling. Their intentions may initially be noble, but the flesh takes over and bears its fruit, produced by the Law under which they’ve placed themselves. We then begin to see things like idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, and envy. A few of you Torah folk balking at the idolatry and sorcery charges? Check out where some of your doctrines come from.
There are some from the HRM who convert to Judaism outright. And there arises a real sticky wicket: Are we in a position to judge the heart regarding the salvation/eternal security of one who goes so far as to do something as drastic as that?
Here’s a question worth considering: Are they, by their actions carried out under deception, rejecting the True Christ Jesus in/from/through Whom, in the past, they may have been saved and received eternal life, or are they rejecting the Enemy’s portrayal of a false Messiah cleverly crafted and spun in Law-keeping sects’ doctrines?
If they were truly saved in their past, what will happen to them?
See – I’m thinking we preach the Gospel regardless – to bring the deceived back to have Christ – the REAL Christ - be of full effect again in their lives, and if they were never saved to begin with, to bring them to Christ for the first time!
That’s the beauty of the Gospel: The Gospel corrects error and brings LIFE, so no matter the ailment, the Gospel is the Cure!
Are we seeing Torah folks’ lives from the perspective of God, Who sees not only where they are, but where they’ve been and where they’re going? A deeply deceived person will believe and do really dumb stuff. I’m of the mind and heart to preach the Gospel full preach and let God work out who is saved and who is not – with the understanding that I have but a snapshot of most people’s lives - especially on the internet!
So let this be an exhortation/encouragement for those of you who interact with friends and loved ones who are in the Hebrew Roots Movement and other false belief systems. Don’t take the responsibility of sorting out ‘who’s saved and who isn’t’ on your own shoulders. It’s not your deal. Examine fruit? Absolutely. Call out error? You bet. Tell someone who may very well be saved but walking in error that they’re going to hell? No.
Instead, build them up in who they are in Christ; speak the simple Truths of the Gospel to them - lovingly and clearly to counter the falsehoods with which the Enemy seeks to muddy the waters as he drops the dirt of false doctrines into our streams of faith. If they’re already saved, the Gospel will correct the error they’re in if they’re willing. If they’re not already saved, communicating the Gospel to them will give them the opportunity to be reconciled to God in Christ.
Regardless, results are God’s business, not ours. We are called to speak Truth in Love, not to manipulate in order to get results.
Again, the Gospel corrects error and brings Life – think of how the Apostles dealt with error in the Apostolic writings. Sometimes they came at error head-on (absolutely appropriate on core issues), but mostly they just preached the Gospel of Grace and told believers who they are in Christ because of that Gospel (Who Jesus is, What He came to do, What that actually accomplished, and who believers are in Him). Some plant, some water, but God makes those seeds grow! If you’re not sure how to communicate the Gospel in an effective way, this is a good place to start, especially to those who are in Law-keeping sects: The Gospel
There are lots of good resources out there, many of which can be found here. I also encourage you to check out this site, as the author there has a really good way of relating the Gospel in real terms to real people living real lives. Be sure to check out the Testimonies Page here at JGIG, for accounts of how God has brought those folks out of the Hebrew Roots Movement.
All that to say: Our focus needs to be on the Gospel. Understand the Gospel and the errors in false teachings will become very obvious. Understand the Gospel and speak Grace and Truth into the lives of your friends and family members. If/when the Torah folk in your lives reject the Jesus/Yeshua we love, try not to take it personally; they’ve been deceived by teachers bringing them a different jesus/yeshua and a false gospel. Just love them well, pray, pray, pray, lift the emotion of it all Heavenward, giving it to God at His Throne of Grace, and leave the rest to Him.
Other articles of interest:
A clear presentation of the Gospel can be found HERE. For more resources regarding the Hebrew Roots/Messianic movements see the Post Index and the Articles Page. General study helps, discernment, and apologetics sites can be found HERE. Good, foundational studies with a special emphasis on Old Covenant/New Covenant Truths can be found HERE. Be sure to check out the Testimonies Page, as well. Make use of the tabs with drop-down menus found at the top of this site – there’s tons of info there, and it’s very navigable.
Filed under: "Law Keepers", Belief Sytems, Christianity, Discernment, Family Matters, Grace and Law, Hebraic Roots, Hebrew Roots Movement, Hebrews 10:26, Messianic Judaism, Religion, Teachable/Unteachable, Torah, Uncategorized Tagged: | "Law Keepers", Christianity, Discernment, Family Matters, Grace and Law, Hebraic Roots, Hebrew Roots Movement, Religion, Teachable/Unteachable, Torah