• 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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Headlong into Heresy

I have a confession to make.  The past month or so has been greatly frustrating for me in regard to standing up for the truth of the freedom that Christ purchased for us at the Cross.  The moderator at the mom’s digest I subscribe to has continued to allow for false teaching to be posted, while she has repeatedly denied the posting of  direct questioning of that false teaching.  Most recently a subtle reference to the practice of Kabbalah was permitted to be posted (4 known levels of meaning for each Hebrew letter – Go ahead . . . Google that phrase and see what comes up).  There is no mistaking the connection of the practice of mystical Judaism (rooted in the Occult) to what was allowed to be posted.

So here’s where I find myself in regard to my attitude:  Part of me is shocked.  Shocked that such obvious headlongerror is lapped up by not only by the moderator of the mom’s digest, but also by many in the Body of Christ today.  After the shock comes frustration.  Frustration that even when error is exposed, folks will still follow after false teaching and promote its propagation.  After the frustration comes the resignation.  Resignation that no matter how conclusively one can prove that specific teachings/doctrines are false, there are those who will still choose to remove their heads from their shoulders and willingly and purposefully march headlong into heresy.

So part of me feels like I’m banging my head against a brick wall (though I know that’s not true because God says that His Word does not return void), another part of me is just tired,smi20 and most of me is just grieved.  Grieved that so many are so willingly deceived, even when sound evidence is presented to them, including Scriptural, linguistic, and historical evidence . . . and they still insist on marching headlong into heresy.  Not only that, but then accusations of being hateful, divisive and/or unloving come from those that have placed themselves in the High Places.  Interesting.  (Did she just say High Places???)  Yes I did.  Those of you who are familiar with your Old Testament and adhere to the false teachings/doctrines to which I refer are there.  You either don’t know you are there or refuse to recognize where you are in light of all the “hidden knowledge” and “deeper meaning” you find there.

I do understand there is a spiritual component here . . . deep error, once accepted, tends to be spiritually binding and blinding.  Thus deepens my grief.  I can almost taste the frustration that Paul must have felt as he wrote, “You foolish Galatians!  Who has bewitched you?” (Galatians 3:1a)  An integral reading of all of Galatians should be sufficient to clear up the false teachings found in the Hebrew Roots Movement and related belief systems/sects.  Indeed, an integral reading of the whole of Scripture should do the same.  Remove the linguistic and historical acrobatics that the HRM and its related belief systems/sects engage in, and one lands squarely in he Gospel of Christ, the Gospel of Grace, not the Law of Moses.

So that’s why not much original content here at JGIG lately. I’m grieved and a little angry and my head hurts (and my heart). Those in the HRM and its related belief systems/sects are probably thinking, “She’s starting to see it!”  No.  I see even more clearly the errors of what you believe and where those errors come from.

I also understand that when the Gospel of Jesus Christ is proclaimed and defended, the Enemy is sure to show up. Recognizing the emotional components of this battle that are of the Enemy and also those that are of God, I choose to press in to Who God is and what His Word says.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. (Ephesians 6:10-20)

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (Ephesians 4:14-16)

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.  And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.  Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.  Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.  Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.  (Colossians 4:2-6)

When I can again speak with conversation that is full of grace, seasoned with salt, and not speak salt seasoned with grace, you’ll see original content here.

Grace and Peace,
JGIG

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Edited to add 8/23/13:  Grace has won in my heart, and I have written more, as you can see below =o).  I continue to pray for the women and the leadership at the mom’s digest above, that they may see the simple Truths of the Gospel in walk in the Freedom for which Christ has set us free .  Major W. Ian Thomas, in the introduction to Classic Christianity, writes this:

There are few things quite so boring as being religious, but there is nothing quite so exciting as being a Christian!

Most folks have never discovered the difference between the one and the other, so that there are those who sincerely try to live a life they do not have, substituting religion for God, Christianity for Christ, and their own noble endeavors for the energy, joy, and power of the Holy Spirit. In the absence of reality, they can only grasp at ritual, stubbornly defending the latter in the absence of the former, lest they be found with neither!

They are lamps without oil, cars without gas, and pens without ink, baffled at their own impotence in the absence of all that alone can make man functional; for man was so engineered by God that the presence of the Creator within the creature is indispensable to His humanity. Christ gave Himself for us to give Himself to us! His presence puts God back into the man! He came that we might have life—God’s life!

There are those who have a life they never live. They have come to Christ and thanked Him only for what He did, but do not live in the power of who He is. Between the Jesus who “was” and the Jesus who “will be” they live in a spiritual vacuum, trying with no little zeal to live for Christ a life that only He can live in and through them, perpetually begging for what in Him they already have!

Below are links to posts regarding Grace and Law and the Hebrew Roots Movement, and links to resources that preach the Gospel ‘full preach’ whish help to establish those in Christ in the Grace, Gift of Righteousness, and New Life they have in Christ.  Grace and Peace to you!

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Believers in the Hebrew Roots Movement:  Are They Lost?

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If you’re someone or know someone in the HRM or a related Law-keeping sect questioning what you believe, 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.  May God guide and bless you as you seek His Truth.

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11 Responses

  1. Dear JGIG,

    I almost have to go to work (since it is 8.14 a.m. over where I live) so at the moment I’ll just leave a short comment.
    I have been reading your blog for about half a year and have liked your posts. They were a tremendous help for me in my walk with the Lord. Thank you for writing them.
    Please keep on writing. I’ll pray for you.

    God bless you.
    Jacco Pippel.

  2. I just want to tell you how much I have appreciated your posts on this subject. Some very close family members have recently concluded that we too are to be Torah observant. They say it is something new God is doing in these days. It has been a very difficult time for me as I am the only one in the family now who has not reached this conclusion. I have been following your blog for a few months now and it has been a tremendous help and encouragement to me. Keep on!

  3. […] 13, 2009 by fortheloveoftruth reposted from the Joyfully Growing in Grace blog: https://joyfullygrowingingrace.wordpress.com/2009/02/12/headlong-into-heresy/ […]

  4. Thanks for expressing your timely thoughts. After my latest “run” in yet another Messianic forum, I find your statements perfectly voice what I experienced and what I feel at the moment. Sometimes, like today, it shows up as physical exhaustion. It reminds of what Daniel wrote:

    Dan 7:25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, ***and shall wear out the saints of the most High***, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

    What’s interesting is the phrase following: “and think to change times and laws” – which appears to be the reverse situation in HRM, as they try to reimplement according to their own wisdom, what was fulfilled through Christ.

    It still puzzles me that HRM believes God “hid”, or that “Hebraic” concepts were “stolen” from the “true first century ‘Hebraic’ believers”. Now, for such a time as this, God has given “special revelation” regarding Torah for a few “lost Jews” who recognize their “true” origins [shaking head].

    I am more than terrified, the longer I regard what is happening in the movement. After coming out 6 years ago, the heresy is getting deeper and more prevelant, even drifting rapidly into Christian venues albeit under different labels and varied concepts. All of it is still based in Talmudism/kabbalism [mystic and not of God], and “reinterpretion” God’s Word to fill a theological need. Lord have mercy …

    Thank you for your strong stand on the truth. Reading your blog is like an oasis in a scorched, arid, debilitating desert of HRM.

    In Christ,
    sheep wrecked
    http://fortheloveoftruth.wordpress.com/

  5. Hi Jacco, Jessica, and Sheep –

    Thanks so much guys for your comments. You have helped to remind me of the original vision for JGIG – that it would be a place where believers could find sound doctrine and a Scriptural perspective regarding some of the particulars of the Hebrew Roots Movement and related belief systems/sects.

    When I first became aware of the HRM (though I didn’t know it had a name at the time), I knew there were things that were not right that I couldn’t quite put my finger on . . . all I knew for sure was that Jesus and His finished work at the cross were not central to the belief system. That led me to research and get into the Word in a deeper way and identifying some of the errors in the HRM, which subsequently led to the posts here at JGIG.

    Interacting with HRM adherents at the mom’s digest has clouded that vision somewhat. I will try to keep the original vision for JGIG in focus and not let the issues at the mom’s forum influence the goals for JGIG.

    All of you have been very encouraging to me – and thanks for your prayers!

    Gratefully,
    Wendy at JGIG

  6. JGIG,
    I found your blog today and could completely relate to your feelings in this post. I have been feeling frustrated, grieved and just plain tired when I see all the compromises and outright heresy around me and yet people just refuse to see it. They just do not seem to care, or I am being “unloving” for pointing it out.
    Today the realization came to me that Jesus himself experienced this very same thing. Here He was, communicating Truth far more eloquently than I, far more lovingly than I, and far more frequently than I, and yet, even His own disciples often did not understand or believe Him at all. I wonder how frustrated and lonely He must have felt that these very friends, who saw so much and spent so much time at His feet, and LOVED Him, and yet still could not see the truth. And yet, how patient He was with them. He never backed down, just kept spreading the Word to whomever would listen. You are right that it never returns void.
    Well, just some thoughts to encourage you. You are a light in a dark world. Thank you for your hard work and it is appreciated.
    J

  7. Life is easier when you stop trying to take over God’s job of managing His people. Relax and enjoy. Trust that God is God, and “the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His” (@ Timothy 2:19).

  8. In this posting “headlong into heresy” describes exactly what I’m feeling and thinking. I use to go to a Baptist church which started a homeschool group that I was involved in. The group lasted 3 or 4 years. The last year a woman with Hebrew Roots beliefs started a home Bible study that many of the homeschool people started going to. It then changed into a home church. We never went to it because we are the type of people that check out things before believing new things. So we started looking on the internet to find out more about their beliefs and have been trying to reason with these people that are involved. This week has been especially hard. I am so frustrated with them. I’ve prayed and cried for them for several days that they would open their eyes and see the truth. Then I was angry for several days about churches not preparing their congregation to be able to discern false doctrine and how ignorant it is for people not to research before getting involved in groups with different beliefs. Now I am just tired, worn out, discouraged. Occasionally I go back to feeling horribly sad for them and then to being angry at their blindness. I struggle with keeping myself from saying things that would offend them. So far I’ve been able to but it is so hard not to tell them how I feel about their ignorance, putting it nicely. So I am exhausted emotionally and physically.

    • Hi Teresa,

      It’ll get better, I promise. Once you get over the initial shock that believers can be deceived by this particular set of teachings, you kind of reach an equilibrium where you can deal with that reality and with those around you who God puts in your path.

      One thing that I have learned that is key: Focus more on reinforcing the Gospel than on proving the HRM wrong. You will find that to be a faith-building experience in you – the preaching of the Good News – Who Jesus is, Why He came, What He did, How that changes our relationship with God and the Law. That is the one thing I am so thankful for through this whole experience; the depth of understanding how much God loves us and what He did to Redeem us. The Gospel has come alive for me as never before!

      So take heart. God knows. Be faithful to contend for the Gospel, pray pray pray, and leave the rest to God.

      Grace and peace,
      -JGIG

  9. I think a lot of the problem is with the so-called Jewish New Testament that many of the HRM folks read. It’s such a deceitful translation. So sad. I’ve lost friends because of the damnable heresies of the movement (which the Apostle Paul clearly warned us about). Keep up the fight of faith here. Thank you.

  10. Here are a few reviews of Stern’s bad translating for his so-called New Testament: http://www.amazon.com/Jewish-New-Testament-OE-David-Stern/product-reviews/9653590030/ref=cm_cr_pr_viewpnt_sr_1?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&filterBy=addOneStar

    These are just the tip of the iceberg. Stern, in his forward to the “New Testament,” refers to his readers as his fans. Ugh.

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