The research and study I’m currently doing will not only be posted here on our blog, but I plan to compile it into a booklet, too.
This is important because in our area of SoldiersGrove, WI, there are pockets of these groups. There’s a person who attends our mid-week Bible studies and who visits our church who got caught up in the movement and is concerned about the growing influence. These series of posts aren’t to just help them, but anyone else who has questions regarding some of the issues the H.R.M. raises. We’ll begin with the history of the modern-day movement before we move on to other topics related to it.
Without further delay, we answer the question What is the Hebrew Roots Movement?
What Is the Hebrew Roots Movement?
The Hebrew Roots Movement (H.R.M) is also referred to as Messianic Christianity (M.C.) and the Sacred Name Only Movement (S.N.O.). These groups are the ancient Judaizers of “Paul’s day.” These tares grew up alongside the wheat. Even a quick examination of their doctrine should quickly expose them as Law-observing heretics who know not Christ or his doctrine. Let us get a couple of definitions from various sources, which will also provide a brief history of the movement as we know it today.
Wikipedia – “Hebrew Roots is a movement that advocates the return and adherence to the first century walk of faith and obedience to the Torah by seeking a better understanding of the culture, history, and religio-political backdrop of that era which led to the core differences with both the Jewish, and later, the Christian communities…” Interestingly enough, we find that the movement as we know it (that is, by the name Hebrew Roots) actually began sometime in the early 20th century. We cite Wiki again: “Since the early 20th century, different religious organizations have been teaching a belief in Yeshua as mankind’s redeemer and savior from mans own sinful nature and lifestyle in keeping with the Torah, the Sabbath and the annual Feasts… These include Messianic Judaism (to a very limited degree) in 1916, the Sacred Name Movement (SNM) in 1937, and the Worldwide Church of God (WCG) in the 1930s, and, later, the Hebrew Roots Movement…” While the Wiki article does say the H.R.M. is not closely associated with the C.O.G., well-known founders of the H.R.M. had prior associations with the Church of God, which was undoubtedly an influence. These men are William Dankenbring (1964) and Dean Wheelock (1981); Joe Good (1978) and Brad Scott (1983) are also listed. What is surprising, is the term “Hebrew Roots” is trademarked by Dean and Susan Wheelock; after the trademark was obtained, Hebrew Roots magazine was on the presses in the Spring of 1998.
GotQuestions? – “The premise of the HebrewRoots movement is the belief that the Church has veered far from the true teachings and Hebrew concepts of the Bible. The movement maintains that Christianity has been indoctrinated with the culture and beliefs of Greek and Roman philosophy and that ultimately biblical Christianity, taught in churches today, has been corrupted with a pagan imitation of the New Testament gospels…The Hebrew Roots assemblies are often made up of a majority of Gentiles, including Gentile rabbis…Many have come to the conclusion that God has ‘called’ them to be Jewish and have accepted the theological position that the Torah (Old Testament law) is equally binding on Gentiles and Jews alike.”
These sources will serve as a backdrop for what we will get into for the remainder of this booklet. We will now look at Scripture and attempt to, once and for all, lay waste the claims of these certain false brethren and their leaven.
Also note that the “Got Questions?” article will be referenced later and will be exposed because, while it does–at the start–try and expose the movement’s errors, the author of the article later proceeds to excuse the movement and says that there are good things about it. Certainly, this is false.