• What JGIG Is:

    Joyfully Growing In Grace engages in an examination of beliefs found in the Hebrew Roots Movement, Messianic Judaism, and Netzarim streams of thought and related sects.

    The term “Messianic” is generally understood to describe Jews who have come to believe in Yeshua/Jesus as their Messiah. Jews who are believers in Jesus/Yeshua typically call themselves Jewish/Hebrew Christians or simply, Christians.

    Many Christians meet folks who say they are ‘Messianic’ and assume that those folks are Jewish Christians. Most aren’t Jewish at all, but are Gentile Christians who have chosen to pursue Torah observance and have adopted the Messianic term, calling themselves Messianic Christians, adherents to Messianic Judaism, or simply, Messianics. Some will even try to avoid that label and say that they are followers of "The Way".

    These Gentiles (and to be fair, some Messianic Jews) preach Torah observance/pursuance for Christians, persuading many believers that the Christianity of the Bible is a false religion and that we must return to the faith of the first century sect of Judaism that they say Yeshua (Jesus Christ) embraced. According to them, once you become aware that you should be 'keeping' the edicts and regulations of Mosaic Covenant Law, if you do not, you are then in willful disobedience to God.

    It has been my observation that Christians who adopt the label of Messianic identify more with the tenets of Judaism than they do with the tenets of Christianity. Many reject the label of Christian altogether and some eventually even convert to Judaism.

    1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 says, "But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil."

    Joyfully Growing in Grace examines the methods, claims, and fruits of the Hebrew Roots Movement, Messianic Judaism, and Netzarim streams of thought and related, law-keeping sects.

    To borrow from a Forrest Gump quote, “Law ‘keepers’ are like a box of chocolates - ya never know what you’re gonna get!” The goal of JGIG is to be a resource to help those affected by the Torah pursuant movements to try and sort out what they’re dealing with. 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.

    Be sure to click on the many embedded links within the posts here - there's lots of additional and related information for you to access that way, as well.

    Welcome, and may God grant you wisdom and discernment as you consider all of these things.

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Hebrew Roots Movement – Humor Break

Discerning the errors of the Hebrew Roots Movement can be a heavy subject.  Let’s lighten things up a bit, shall we?  Following is a bit of satire my husband put together several months ago as I was in the thick of researching the HRM.  I found the following to be a fun read and thought it appropriate to post here on the heels of “Messin’ With the Word” . . . 

The Results Are In!

Dearest Wendy,
 
Great news!  The results are in!  Feel free to forward this to your mom’s forum friends.  Or not.
 
I’ve been in a bit of a quandary about those pesky Bible verses that just seem to keep popping up.  You know the ones.  They don’t quite mesh with our world view or our ability to give or receive love. And those verses where they encourage us to confess stuff or accept discipline!  Whew!  And then there’s that part about the “front” of the book not seeming to line up with the “back” of the book.  What is one supposed to do? It causes us to walk around with a dissonance in our hearts that just won’t go away.  So, “Huh”, I said to myself, “there must be an answer.  Surely my Creator would want me to ‘have life and have it the way that is most comfortable for me.’  I mean, what is right in my eyes never fails me, right?”

We all know how difficult some parts of the Bible can be.  So I’ve decided that instead of adapting my life to Scripture, or better still, letting the Holy Spirit lead my life, I’m just going to edit the Word as I see fit.  Well . . . therein lies a bigger issue!  What sort of marker is appropriate for the job?  Well, honey, your Dear Husband is on the job!  Did you know that Office Depot stocks TWENTY-FOUR BRANDS of markers??  That’s right!  Twenty-four!  Woo-hoo!

My initial choice was of course the “Mean Streak.”  Seemed fitting.  The problem was it comes in yellow and some other completely inappropriate colors.  I mean, come on, we’re looking for complete coverage!  (On a side note there is something appealing about yellow, for some reason.)  [Update: The Mean Streak does now come in black!]
 
So, to jump right to it…  the winner is, after hours and hours of testing (just kidding), the Sanford Sharpie Magnum in Black!  This puppy can cover!  And with its wide tip I can blot out entire paragraphs of scripture in just a couple of passes.  Don’t like the stuff about speaking in tongues?  Gone!  Can’t seem to reconcile the “women speaking in the congregation” stuff? Blammo!  Just can’t stand the Apostle Paul at all?  Toasted!!!  Best yet, I have seen this thing completely remove from my Bible all the references to the Blood of Jesus and living a life of faith in Him!  Pow!  Freedom!  Who knew it could be so easy?  Please keep in mind that this coverage doesn’t come cheap.  These bad boys run $3.29 a piece.  But guess what, the ink is toxic!  Perfect.
 
For those budget-minded blotters out there the choice-du-jour would of course have to go to the Eberhart Faber 3000 Chisel Point Permanent in Black.  Great editing at only  $.59 a piece!  Be warned – more strokes are needed, but when you’re on a roll what’s a few more passes? 
 
Honorable mention would have to go back to the Sharpie brand with their “Click-It” line of retractable markers.  A great little product that allows you to edit almost anywhere.  Please be advised that the tip is tiny compared to the winning choices so care will need to be taken to get full coverage.
 
I hope this has been helpful.  I am so excited to know that even though Jesus said that “His burden is light” and we should “take up our cross and follow Him” that with a mere swoosh I can do it the way I want to do it.  Yeah!  What peace.
 
One word of caution.  These are PERMANENT markers!  They seem to work best for some reason.  I just marked out some stuff and got carried away – I marked out something about “your sins are forgiven” and now I’m not sure what to do.  Oh, well.  No worries . . . 
 
Love,
Your Dear Husband

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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2 Responses

  1. What a sense of humor! I loved it! Irony is a favorite of mine. I will be chuckling for days, especially when I grab a marker :) As they say, the truth sometimes resounds in humor. Personally, I really appreciated the “light moment”. I would love to see more from “Your Dear Husband” :) Laughter is good for the soul :)

  2. I have read several of your entries on the HRM, and while I am a believer, I do not really define myself by denominational tags, I have come to be Torah Observant through mainly my own study of Scripture. And here are some of the questions I was asking, and had to satisfy with the Scripture says, and not with what people say about what Scripture says. For all word definitions, I have used the Strong’s dictionary/concordance, and not a definition heard somewhere else. I think we can agree that this is a main stream definition, and not a HRM definition….but what happens when Strong’s and HRM say the same thing?

    I do have to say that in studying to answer these questions, I have spent more time in the Word in the past 5 years than in the previous 30 years of sitting in various denominational and non-denominational services.

    If I may ask, by what/whose definition did Jesus live a sinless life? Would that have been by Torah or some other definition?

    If I am to imitate Paul as he imitated Christ, would that not mean walking in the good works *before ordained* after my salvation by grace through faith? Which as the Living Word of God Jesus walked out to the fullest, and then took every one of my shortcomings and paid the PENALTY for them. Does His payment mean that I should walk in my own definition of godliness (or my denomination’s definition) or should I look to what the Bible says from front to back to determine what my walk should look like? Just because I was saved, does this eliminate any responsibility in obedience after salvation on my part?

    What works is James referring to in James 2? Are these our own works, what seems right to us, or were these works already prescribed?

    17Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
    18Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
    19Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
    20But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
    21Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
    22Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
    23And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
    24Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
    25Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
    26For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

    Matthew 5 also seems quite clear to me in plain English

    16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
    17Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
    18For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
    19Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

    Destroy Strong’s definition (NOT a HRM coined definition by the way): 2647 kataluo kat-al-oo’-o from 2596 and 3089; to loosen down (disintegrate), i.e. (by implication) to demolish (literally or figuratively); specially (compare 2646) to halt for the night:–destroy, dissolve, be guest, lodge, come to nought, overthrow, throw down. see GREEK for 2596 see GREEK for 3089 see GREEK for 2646

    Fulfill Strong’s definition (also NOT a HRM definition): 4137 pleroo play-ro’-o from 4134; to make replete, i.e. (literally) to cram (a net), level up (a hollow), or (figuratively) to furnish (or imbue, diffuse, influence), satisfy, execute (an office), finish (a period or task), verify (or coincide with a prediction), etc.:–accomplish, X after, (be) complete, end, expire, fill (up), fulfil, (be, make) full (come), fully preach, perfect, supply. see GREEK for 4134

    Heaven and earth are still here, and all is not yet fulfilled, so I would rather not ignore or disregard Jesus’ own words on the matter. He also says “If you love me you will keep my commandments” If I believe John 1 to be true and God breathed, I believe that Jesus Himself is the very Word of God, and that He was intimately involved in all the commandments before His incarnation as well as what is in Scripture during and after His incarnation.

    Jeremiah 31 details what the new covenant would be.

    31Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
    32Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
    33But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
    34And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

    New (Strong’s Definition again): 2319 chadash khaw-dawsh’ from 2318; new:–fresh, new thing. see HEBREW for 02318

    2318 chadash khaw-dash’ a primitive root; to be new; causatively, to rebuild:–renew, repair.

    Law (Strong’s definition again): 8451 towrah to-raw’ or torah to-raw’; from 3384; a precept or statute, especially the Decalogue or Pentateuch:–law. see HEBREW for 03384

    3384 yarah yaw-raw’ or (2 Chr. 26:15) yara; yaw-raw’; a primitive root; properly, to flow as water (i.e. to rain); transitively, to lay or throw (especially an arrow, i.e. to shoot); figuratively, to point out (as if by aiming the finger), to teach:–(+) archer, cast, direct, inform, instruct, lay, shew, shoot, teach(-er,-ing), through.

    So the first place a ‘New’ covenant was mentioned was not in the Gospels, it was explained in pretty good detail all the way back in Jeremiah. The Biblical Feasts offer a very good picture of who Messiah is, and what His business is. What great object lessons to pass on to our children! We follow a Jewish Messiah, why is it that our daily walk does not look like His?

    He said the 2 main commands were to Love God, and your neighbor, and that on these 2 hang all the Law and Prophets….So if I want the extended version, and not just the purpose statement….I have to go back to the OT….The summary/outline is found in the 10 commandments with the first 3 having to do with loving God, the 4th having to do with loving both God and neighbor, and 5-10 having to do with loving one’s neighbor.

    What would a believer’s walk look like if ALL they had was a Bible and no preconceptions about Protestant, Catholic, Pentecostal, Jew, HRM, etc.?

    You are welcome to e-mail me with answers from Scripture (Genesis through Revelation just so we are clear on it) regarding these questions.

    Thank you for your time,
    D

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