10 Comments

Hebrew-Roots?


The message quoted below appears at Charisma under the titleChristians Rediscovering Passover

For Jews and Christians, the Passover season is a special time for reflection on the rich spiritual truths contained within this remarkable holiday. Indeed, we can all observe the command to remember the incredible Israelite deliverance from bondage in Egypt…

For Christians, the events of a momentous Passover some 15 centuries later have given added meaning to this holiday, so that the truths of the first are reinforced in the latter. Deliverance from Pharaoh’s taskmasters became freedom from slavery to sin. The blood of a lamb on the doorposts became a typology of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.

Yet the parallels between Pesach and Easter were lost for centuries to most Christians when the early church fathers deliberately severed our faith from its Jewish roots. In time, this hostility to Judaism produced vicious blood libels against Jews at Passover.

Today, however, multitudes of Christians are rediscovering our Hebraic roots. Indeed, Time magazine recently identified growing Christian interest in our faith’s Jewish heritage as one of the 10 top trends of our day.

Even respected Jewish scholars have started joining Christian theologians in rediscovering the “Jewishness” of Jesus and the Hebraic origins of Christianity. One notable expert in this regard is the late Prof. David Flusser of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, considered the leading Orthodox Jewish expert on the Second Temple era and Early Christianity…

Flusser placed Jesus within the Pharasaic tradition and viewed Him as among the great sages of his time, such as Hillel and Ben-Shammai. But Flusser concluded that the Galilean preacher went boldly beyond the classic Judaism of that day, for instance by proclaiming the advent of the kingdom of God and espousing a radical ethic of loving one’s enemy.

As a result of such groundbreaking scholarship, the Feast of Passover is one occasion when the lineage and cultural identity of Jesus as a “son of the covenant” now holds so much more meaning for Christians. In fact, nothing reattaches Christians to their Jewish roots faster than realizing the Last Supper was actually a Passover seder meal being led by a Jewish rabbi. (all emphasis mine)

What is wrong with this message appearing at a Christian website folks? Well for one thing the article, written by an ordained minister of the Gospel (David Parsons) appears to think it was wonderful (astounding!) that the late Prof. David Flusser viewed Jesus as “among the great sages of his time”….and that Jesus “went boldly beyond the classic Judaism of that day”. What he fails to say is the late prof. never came to faith in Jesus Christ, nor ever accepted Jesus as the Messiah. In other words, Prof. Flusser, a devout Orthodox Jew, went out into eternity lost. 

No, the author doesn’t mention this, instead he uses the example of this late Prof. to encourage his Christian readers to rediscover their “Hebrew-Roots”.  

As I commented at Charisma, the great need in Christianity today, isn’t “rediscovering” Hebrew-Roots, it’s REDISCOVERING our call to preach and teach The Gospel Message of Jesus Christ, so there are less Prof. Flusser’s. 

Forgive me if anger is detected in my words, but articles like this, posted at Christian websites, make me feel like biting through nails.

*Please see the newest post at ApologeticsIndex: (The) Hebrew Roots Movement

10 comments on “Hebrew-Roots?

  1. This is not so much a case of christians discovering their “Hebrew Roots” as it is the case of the newly enlightened folks forgetting that Christ is the root of our faith.

    • Amen, i agree.

      Within the teachings found within all Israelocentric movements, (Hebrew-Roots, Christian Zionism, etc) Jesus Christ takes a back seat; Waaaay back.

    • Christ is not only the root of our faith, but also the root of the faith of all the OT saints. While one can certainly see and worship Christ through and in the Passover, it appears more like all too many Christians are rather worshiping THE TRADITION OF THE PASSOVER which has become a CHRISTLESS PASSOVER. While tradition that glorifies Christ can be a good thing, tradition that simply glorifies cultural heritage is an abomination. We have all too much of that in our own culture without needing to borrow more of it from other cultures, including Hebrew culture. This same problem even occurs in Christian worship when such practices as the Eucharist take on a life of their own rather than focusing us continually on Christ as the Lord of the Eucharist. That which is not focused on Christ ends up being focused on flesh.

    • Amen George. Noticed Charisma has another article up this evening promoting Hebrew Roots. This one makes a bizarre claim;

      There has been a conspiracy! Whether earthly or in the spirit world, I don’t know. But this Sunday, at least in heaven, they will mark the greatest of all the Jewish Holidays…

      The author, who i’ve ‘crossed swords’ with a few times, claims this Sunday, Heaven will be celebrating the Jewish holiday known as ‘first-fruits’.

      Well, this was news to me. I can’t recall reading that Heaven kept the Jewish holiday/feast and/or festival days. (link)

      What i DID recall was the scripture which says,

      “So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ” – (Col 2:16-17)

  2. Angry? Well ok, be angry then! God was and God still is! Notice a couple things among several in these Scriptures from Acts 3 and 4:::>

    Acts 3:22 Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you.
    23 And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.’
    24 And all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who came after him, also proclaimed these days.
    25 You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’
    26 God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness.”

    Acts 4:1 And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them,
    2 greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.
    3 And they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening.

    God sent that Prophet Moses wrote about and Peter preached. Not saying you are on par with Moses, PJ, just saying you’re not the only one who got angry with the Jews!

    You will be destroyed if you disregard that Prophet God, that Prophet, Moses, Peter and many countless others have spoken about over the centuries and millenniums since Moses uttered then wrote those Words we read in Deuteronomy!

    Next, the irony is anyone writing about the Truth or speaking about Him will suffer a measure of “greatly annoyed” anger!

    Such is life in a world fallen from Grace!

    • Michael, it’s not the Jews which anger me. It’s those who are in essence “blocking the door” to salvation and (or) presenting “another way” besides through Jesus.

      The author of this article, David Parsons, who it states is “an ordained minister who serves as media director for the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem”, gives the impression that Christians “need” to connect with Hebrew Roots, using as an incentive the story of (the late) Prof. David Flusser of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Claiming this prof came to see (in his studies) Jesus was many things (a better then average rabbi, etc.) but leaves out the most important point, which was this prof died lost.

      I actually took the time to research this professor, and he never left his religion of being a ‘devout Orthodox Jew’–he never accepted Jesus as Son of God or Messiah. But to read the article, you’d believe that was ok…that it was enough that he even acknowledged Jesus. Frankly, in the mind of David Parsons, it probably was.

      I’ve read quite a bit about the ICEJ: what they believe, etc. They, and Parsons (their media director) are in the same category as Hagee and his CUFI org. They exist NOT to take the gospel to lost Jews in Israel (where their embassy is located) but instead to,

      – show concern for the Jewish people and the reborn State of Israel, by being a focus of comfort.

      – To be a centre where Christians can gain a biblical understanding of Israel, and learn to be rightly related to the nation.

      – To present to Christians a true understanding of what is taking place in the Land today so that world events may be interpreted in the light of God�s Word.

      – To remind and encourage Christians to pray for Jerusalem and the Land of Israel.

      – To stimulate Christian leaders, churches and organisations to become effective influences in their countries on behalf of the Jewish people.

      – To encourage Jewish people to return to their homeland.

      – To be a channel of fulfilment of Gods promise that one day Israel and her Arab neighbours will live in peace under the blessing of God, in the middle of the earth.

      – To begin or assist projects in Israel, including economic ventures, for the well being of all who live here.

      – To take part through these activities in preparing the way of the Lord and to anticipate His reign from Jerusalem. (ICEJ 1993: 5)

      Like CUFI, and other Christian Zionist groups and individuals they believe,

      The ICEJ explicitly distinguishes the Church from Israel, speaking of the former and latter rains, and, His beloved people, both Jew and Gentile (ICEJ, 1993: 15).

      Whereas the New Testament emphasises that Jesus Christ has made the two one, so that in Christ there is now neither Jew nor Gentile, the ICEJ insist on maintaining a distinction and superior status for those of Jewish ethnic descent, who remain, even apparently, apart from faith in Jesus Christ, the chosen people, His Jewish sons and daughters. (ICEJ 1993: 9).

      The ICEJ’s preoccupation with a futurist dispensational emphasis on Judaism is also evident from their reinterpretation of Christian mission:

      The ICEJ has disavowed evangelism among Jews, in part for pragmatic reasons, since this ensures the continued favour of the Israeli establishment, itself keen to have a compliant Christian Zionist presence to diffuse criticism of her policy toward Palestinians. A further reason arises from their dispensational theology. Evangelism is essentially unnecessary as the ICEJ believes that the Jewish nation, once restored to the Land of Israel, will collectively acknowledge their Messiah when he returns.

      When asked by a reporter from the Jerusalem Post whether the ICEJ was actually a covert missionary organisation working in Israel, van der Hoeven replied,

      “Not so. The Zionist Christians are different. Our objectives are not as you describe. We dont believe in conversion, we dont want to make the Jews into Christians… “

      link

      So, you can now see how this author wouldn’t think anything would be wrong with this named prof “finding good in Jesus” but still holding to the belief that Jesus wasn’t the Messiah.He and his org. believe Jews do not NEED to hear the gospel, nor come to salvation through Jesus Christ! He believes the lost Jews are already saved.

      This make me angry! CZ KEEP the gospel from Jews! One day these heretics will answer to God for blocking the door way to lost Jews.

  3. People investigate the Hebrew roots of their faith to understand who Jesus was and the times He lived in, to understand Him better. In so doing, amazing things are revealed through His word, and we begin to strip away the religious nonsense that surrounds the beautiful truth of the Word. For example, how does one get “3 days and 3 nights in the tomb” between Good Friday and Easter Sunday? It’s impossible! But when you investigate further, from a Hebrew mindset, you understand that Christ was not crucified on a Friday, but on a Wednesday. Why does it matter? Because if we believe in Good Friday and Easter Sunday (a tradition of men – just as the Pharisees invented their own rules apart from the Word) we profess that the Bible is not true and that our faith is nothing more than a religion of fairytales. The truth matters. Investigate the word for yourself with a mindset of those who wrote it. If you don’t, you run the risk of “twisting” the Word to your own destruction as the Apostle Peter warned. Please be a Berean and prove the Word; don’t just accept what you hear from the pulpit or see on your wall calendar. Shalom.

    • Scott, if one can just look into the subject in order to gain further understanding of the times and customs, etc etc, i think this is great. But the problem lies in most don’t seem to be capable of dong this. Thus, the Hebrew Roots movement, which is a very dangerous movement here in the US today.

      In recent days i have been involved in a discussion with a few people involved in the HR movement. It has only reinforced my belief of the dangers which surround this movement. Those who follow the teachings in this movement are modern-day Judiazers: intent upon leading Christians out from under the Spirit (and Grace) and back under the Law. As we read in Galatians chapter 3, Paul strongly condemned this.

      What Hebrew Roots adherents have in common is that they claim Christianity has moved too far away from its Jewish roots, that the Christian faith has been indoctrinated with the culture and beliefs of Greek and Roman philosophy, and that the Christian Church as a result has been corrupted with pagan concepts and practices (e.g. observing pagan holidays such as Christmas and Easter, while ignoring the Jewish feasts and festivals).

      They teach that Jesus’ death on the cross renewed the Mosaic Covenant (Old Testament), and that an understanding of the New Testament can only come through a Hebrew perspective. According to this movement, Christians must keep the Torah (be Torah-observant)….

      Many in the Hebrew Roots movement teach that there exist original Hebrew versions of the synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), and that these versions are superior to the Greek texts — a) because they include Hebrew idioms that are said to provide deeper insight, and b) because of claims that the Greek texts have been corrupted.

      Combined with its emphasis on the Torah as the foundational, fundamental teaching for the Christian Church, and the insistence that the New Testament can only be understood in light of the Old Testament, this belief directly attacks the reliability of the Bible as the standard of truth used by the Church.

      It therefore comes as no surprise that some factions within this movement go as far as to deny the doctrine of the Trinity, one of the essential teachings of the Christian faith.

      The Christian faith does, of course, have Jewish/Hebrew roots. But even a cursory reading of the New Testament, particularly of Paul’s letter to the Galatians, reveals that there are right ways and wrong ways to go about acknowledging those roots.

      It is no wonder that the most aberrant and heretical elements among adherents of the Hebrew Roots Movement attack the reliability of the New Testament, because the New Testament reveals their doctrines and practices to be false and un-biblical.

      But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter. — Romans 7:6

      Please see, Apologetics Index: Hebrew Roots at a Glance

      Which includes what i believe is a link to one of the best websites which explains, in depth, the dangers of this movement: Joyfully Growing in Grace

  4. Charisma is famous for wacky stories

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