Why So Many Mature Voices From the Hebrew Roots Movement are Heading Back to the Church – Lessons from The Cross and the Switchblade

HRM churchIt’s no secret that I believe the Hebrew Roots Movement is dying, and a lot of folks are starting to see it. Too much anger, too much division – and yet, what did we expect to happen?

People came in to this movement and were told that Christianity had “lied about everything.” Christians had “everything wrong,” and their holidays were “full of pagan child sacrifice rituals.” That was the party line. Oh, and the Jews couldn’t be trusted to know anything because they were too rebellious to accept Yeshua as Messiah. That left only us, there in the middle, as the “faithful witnesses.”

Is it any wonder why some people can’t hold a conversation about the flaws in this movement without saying something like, “Well, the Jews and the Christians are worse!”? That’s like scolding one kid and having them point out the faults of another. As parents, we don’t fall for that obvious diversion.

We, the Hebrew Roots Movement, were a bunch of people who felt wronged and lied to and were angry about it. In our passion, or passionate rage, we tried to preach to friends and relatives—who of course didn’t believe us. We saw lies everywhere and in everything—to the point where some of us were tempted to throw baby Jesus out with the bath water. We were willing to turn so vehemently on our heritage because we were either sincerely angry about the lies we had been told, or we desired to have special insider knowledge. Our new pastors and teachers wrote online articles and uploaded videos, and just like our former pastors, they quoted from books we ourselves hadn’t read. But we felt that the people who wrote these articles and produced these videos had to be telling the truth, and furthermore, they had to have done their due diligence.

We no longer believed that Christians could be credited with any sound scholarship, but if someone was on the outside – where we were – we gave them a pass on proving their claims. We wanted and needed them to be right. Maybe we were so desirous to have allies that we were predisposed to believe absolutely anything. That was a dangerous and convenient assumption, and it resulted in a lot of angry and desperate Hebrews who mourned their relatives remaining in “Babylonian idolatry.”

So what happened? Angry people were made teachers before they were over their anger phase. Now, instead of being enriched and exhorted by mature teachers who have passed through that initial stage and tempered it with wisdom, we have teachers who encourage anger and division.

With the advent of social media, anyone can teach and produce videos without the usual local controls that keep immature and even unknowledgeable believers out of traditional teaching positions. Some of these started out bashing Christians and then turned on Jews. When they ran out of material, lo and behold, they started devouring people within the movement. This should not surprise us.

We have others who make the mistake that Jews warn clearly against: they get into Kabbalistic works like the Zohar before they have spent forty hardcore years studying the Tanakh. Personally, I don’t even peek at stuff like that.

Some people came in to the Hebrew Roots Movement simply following the knowledge train: they needed something new to tickle their ears. As Christians, they were bored; then someone taught them something interesting and new. They came in high on the exhilaration of being a remnant “in the know,” but that feeling never lasts. And when the anti-missionaries came and offered them even more knowledge, all too often they could not resist; off they went to deny Yeshua as Messiah.

Here’s the problem: unlike Christianity and Judaism, we are a movement largely without a safety net in place for new people. Most folks have no chance at a local congregation; they have nowhere to be nurtured and loved through those difficult first few years. As a result, we cannot help but become a movement of radically individualized people who operate as islands on social media. No support, no accountability, no guidance, and oftentimes no real growth of anything except anger and resentment.

A lot of your kinder and more mature voices are heading back into the churches. Why? Well, it isn’t to celebrate Christmas and Easter! It’s because they are coming to understand that we were never supposed to be individuals but instead a community—even when we disagree. We are supposed to love one another and cherish one another and be a family; we forgot that in our zeal to convert everyone around us like we were rogue Spanish Inquisitors. We forgot that our eyes were opened supernaturally and that we have to allow the same thing to happen to others: not despising God’s timing and patience.

I have found that I love teaching children for a specific reason: I am relieved of the burden of teaching doctrine to them. I just give them the tools that will allow them to make sense of the historical context of their Bibles. Wherever they are in their understanding, context will serve them well. Not having to convert people to the way I see things is an incredible burden removed from my shoulders; it keeps me from having to lord authority over people the way the Gentiles do. And let’s face it; we still do that because we were Gentiles for way too long. As I like to say it, “We’ve got too much Egypt in us.”

I don’t think this movement was ever meant to survive because we lack the infrastructure that all believers need in order to mature. We need real people that we can see, touch, and feel standing beside us. Only the rarest of individuals can thrive without that; we weren’t designed to operate in this faith alone. I think this movement was some sort of awkward intermediary sifting phase leading to…?

In David Wilkerson’s book, The Cross and the Switchblade (which I highly recommend for adults and teens), the author recounts the real-life story of the miracles he saw when God called him out of his cushy pastoral position in a Pennsylvania country town and into the unspeakable horrors of the gang-filled streets of New York. Wilkerson learned that while the Holy Spirit can change any heart, the lack of real, constant personal contact after conversion was often a recipe for disaster – sometimes even leading to death.

Many Hebrew Roots folks have come to see that a nurturing local congregation is not optional but is instead an absolute necessity. They are coming to find that even where there are disagreements over doctrine, the need for unity outweighs the desire for uniformity. Unity, and a willingness to accept and respect others, is something we have lost along the way in this movement. Though it did not begin this way, we have come to a crisis point.

Maybe the Church is the next great mission field: not for the purpose of converting people who are already believers but of being there for people whose eyes are being opened—by God and not by guile, trickery, indoctrination, hounding, or manipulation. Maybe the mature people who are going back with a balanced message will catch these believers before they end up ruined by the social media mess that has destroyed so many thus far. I have to say that I hope that is the case. What I know is this: This social media congregation is not working except in isolated cases by people who have either been very diligent and cautious – or who have been extremely lucky – to avoid the insanity. In truth, we have even more denominations than Christianity because each individual has their own private list of what constitutes a real believer and a real heretic. We have crazier arguments, often crazier beliefs, and we’ve made it some kind of twisted virtue to have a religion that is more anti-Christian and anti-Judaism than it is pro-Messiah and pro-Torah. This is a recipe for disaster!

I see people going back to Sunday churches, and I don’t try and stop them. I honestly think they might be hearing very loudly from the Holy Spirit. I am going to take the advice of Gamaliel the Elder in Acts 5:

“So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!”

image_pdfimage_print

91 Comments


  1. I am sadly disappointed with this revelation. I only came to the knowledge of Torah observance 2 years ago. This walk has been a blessing to me. I have seen much of the nonsense posts through fb but I have made the choice not to become involved with unnecessary doctrine that neither saves no edifies the brethren. It is a shame that so many have become confused. My prayer is that we could come together in one mind and walk in the light that was so graciously bestowed upon us.

    Reply

    1. Fortunately Torah and Yeshua are not dependant on the Hebrew Roots movement 🙂 so your time has not been wasted. We lean what we can where we can and just keep on keeping on – we don’t need a movement to keep going where God leads us

      Reply

      1. We have been Torah pursuant for decades. We mentor people a few at a time in small home fellowships. Like you Tyler we have stayed away from doctrine and stuck with Torah study according to an annual cycle on Shabbat. We have never gotten into HR or Messianic teachings and have stayed on the fringes of both movements because we always have new people in tow that have been damaged by the church and don’t need more of the same treatment by so called “enlightened” new teachers. I know we can’t be the only ones. I understand going back to the church for fellowship and worship. I’m involved with a church bible study not because I believe the doctrine but I always learn something and am able to inject a Torah perspective that causes people to wonder and ask questions. How will they ever know this stuff if no one respectfully presents it to them? I’m so sad for this mess I can’t even verbalize how I feel. But Avinu knows what He’s doing and I’m confident that even if this generation is destined to die in the wilderness of self seeking, self satisfying, self aggrandizing, self indulgent bitterness, He is quite able to raise up the next generation just like He did before.

        Reply

      2. “Fortunately Torah and Yeshua are not dependant on the Hebrew Roots movement”

        AMEN!!

        Reply

      3. The Hebrew Roots movement may be dying but Torah Observance is vastly growing! Like Tyler said, it doesn’t take a movement labeled by men to keep God’s Will going forward! HalleluYAH!

        Reply

        1. exactly! Glad you caught the point I was trying to make – I am not afraid of this movement dying. It isn’t a destination, or our salvation. We have to trust in God’s plan through Yeshua 🙂

          Reply

    2. Susan, we need more like you in the body of Messiah! Stay the course and continue to walk honorably. Continue to focus on what truly matters and sidestep the pits others are digging along the road for the brethren. Shalom to you and your family!

      Reply

  2. Tyler, thanks for sharing the frustrations if this so called movement. I would like to point out that FB is not the face of this movement. Most teachers know of great congregations they have visited and that there are a few stable voices out there.

    Social Media is not where I get a sense about “anything” . I refer to FB as FakeBook as it is not sitting down with a brother who is broken and praying with him….clicking a sad face is just not the same. Thank Yah the great commission is not to go into all of FB and get liked for your Whimsically masterful bashing of those who do not know what you know.

    I do use FB and do my whimsical muses too. What would be better would be to meet with those in your town who are feeding the hungry. Attend national day if prayer with Christians. Be light and salt and get others to ask about who you are and GENTLY open dialogue that draws them to the light…not knocks them over the head with our Torah Scroll. I can NOT see Abraham doing what we do today. I see him with an open tent sharing about the wonderful works of our Father offering them a cheeseburger in peace. Ugh…there is that musing again. =)

    Reply

    1. There are great congregations – I agree, but most communities don’t have them and so we have people whose only outlet is social media and many are being poisoned. That being said, I got kicked out of the only Messianic congregation I ever had because the leader, who called himself a “real Jew” called me a “cowboy Messianic” for refusing to follow dark moon calendar and then he and his wife facebook blocked me lol.

      Reply

      1. Follow the dark moon calendar?? That seems to be the real problem. People don’t seem to realize that each person has an understanding of these things that does have some pretty decent scriptural support. If I ever verbally slap another believer because he/she follows a calendar based on the first sliver, as opposed to the non-visible moon, well let Him openly rebuke me for my error. We all have been blessed with YHVH delivering us from a life that was filled with many deceptions. Is that not enough for us to show our thankfulness to Him, by showering our love upon others? All of these controversial matters will be resolved only when Messiah returns, not before. At least that is my viewpoint. I fellowship as often as possible with a small home group that is full of the love of YHVH Elohim. There is virtually nothing seen of the kinds of strife you speak of here. I have certainly witnessed such on Facebook, and have been the target of some pretty ridiculous demands that I see “their” way or I am in sin. These things will resolve. I was always on the outside of Christianity, even while I was attending the churches of Christendom. I had questions that go back to the day I was saved, about 45 years ago. These questions were based on what I was reading in scripture, while watching the opposite being taught from the many pulpits I sat in front of. My coming to an understanding of scripture that was very much in line with the HR movement, was something that was a process that began the day I believed. I had many conversations with many pastors, and saw the laissez faire attitude that was destroying the church from within. Each time I had these chats, I was more committed to finding people that shared my viewpoints. When I decided I could no longer lie to myself, and saw that, regardless of how many I knew followed the 1st day of the week model, I had to submit to Him and become obedient. It was only after I had done this that I really became aware of what has been termed the HR movement. As soon as I demonstrated obedience to Him in this one matter, He opened the word up to me such as He had never done before. The people I have met since becoming Torah pursuant have been such a blessing in my life, I would never do anything to threaten those relationships. Going back to Christendom’s pews is not the answer. The real answer as I see it is to just hold one’s tongue and worship Him in Truth and in Love, show kindness to your fellow believers, regardless of the minor differences that may exist between you. Father will fix all that in due time. Shalom to you all.

        Reply

      2. Unfortunately, there are people out there who feel the need to “teach” and have not been called by the Almighty. They want to be the one in charge instead of decreasing and the messiah increasing they want to increase and the messiah decrease. But as Korah was judge so to will they be. We must always keep focused on the Almighty and He will always lead us and keep us in the way. If we don’t have a pure heart we will be purged.

        Reply

  3. Tyler, from reading this, it seems to me that you are a person still hurt. The mocking video “James the Just” also reveals the inner condition of the heart. I’m sorry that the rejection you have experienced from a “real Jew” pained you to the point of spurning the Truth of God’s revealed word found in the Torah, that same body of Scripture that the man after God’s own heart called a delight, the light, declared that all who walk in it are blessed. Mainstream Chrsitians don’t like to be judged by the murderous and extorting behavior of the church leaders of the past, but find no problem judging some Torah observant leaders because of your perceptions of their self righteousness? Truth is not dependent upon the actions of the Pope and abusive reformers, nor is it dependent upon the actions of messianic leaders. This insert we are not to compare ourselves among ourselves. Truth is dependent solely upon the Scriptures, the Word of God.

    Maturity in the faith is defined as achieving the whole measure and stature of Christ (Eph 4:13; cf Col 1:28). Since Christ was the Word of God in the flesh, and walked out the Torah in perfection and in complete trusting faith toward God, achieving the whole measure and stature of Christ is to live as he lived. Returning to a church that disregards the commandments and Law of God is then the exact opposite of Scriptural maturity.

    Reply

    1. Whoa – who said I have given up Torah? You have made a lot of assumptions here that have absolutely nothing to do with what I have written. This isn’t the first time I have written an article like this, been talking about this phenomenon for a year now. I am a teacher of Ancient Near Eastern and First Century Context – my whole goal is to help people understand the Torah better. Heck, I teach Torah from that vantage to kids. Your response makes no sense to me and I am really not sure what prompted it. I am talking about the majority of people who are in the HR movement who have no congregation and who have absolutely no place to gather and grow with an in-person congregation. Your comment is really off base in a number of ways and personally judgmental and assuming much that has to be inferred. No one who knows me is shocked by this post, which has nothing to do with the video over the weekend. And the “real Jew” situation happened in 2012, so evidently it didn’t scar me.

      Reply

    2. In addition, I never said I was personally going back, but a lot of folks are, people who have been walking in Torah for decades and are going back in order to have community.

      Reply

    3. WHOAAAAA, WHOAAA, WHOAAA ! ! !
      HOLD THAT HORSE, WITH BIT AND BRIDLE, David ! ! !
      YOU, Obviously, DON’T have a CLUE about Tyler and her BELIEFS and WHAT she TEACHES.
      WHERE ON EARTH DID YOU DEDUCE SUCH NONSENSE?!?!?!
      I can’t even begin to understand your frame of reference?!
      WHERE and HOW did you get started on this RANT?!?!
      Surely NOT from what you just read.
      IF in FACT you even READ what Tyler wrote?!?!

      Reply

      1. Shirley Anne, you may know Tyler personally and I bet she is a wonderful person to know…but most people coming across this post do not know her. It very much reads as one who seems in favor of Hebrew Roots dying and that mature and loving people who want to do good works and have fellowship better return to Sunday churches.
        This is the type of post my Christian friends (that claim the Law has been nailed to the tree and is dead) would use to show me the error of my ways and how the “enlightened” people returned to Sunday church.
        It’s a very negative article. Tyler, you talk about the back-biting in the movement yet this article is doing Exactly that! You slander the Hebrew Roots believers and condemn our faith to death!
        You have had several people post replies and point out the way the article comes across yet just react that you don’t know how they could have gotten that out of your article. We wouldn’t take all this time to comment if we didn’t feel this way. Please prayerfully consider that this article is doing more harm than good. Perhaps you can encourage peace, love, lonsuffering and forgiveness as we learn our way in this new Way.

        Reply

        1. Since I said I have not returned, your point does not bear much weight. In fact, I gave you a lot of the benefit of the doubt in the last comment, but now I am seeing you come across as slanderous and assuming and accusing. Hebrew Roots is not my faith, nor anyone else’s. Your comments come across as borerline idolatrous, placing this movement above Yeshua and Torah itself. This is a movement, not the destination, not the goal.

          Reply

  4. Interesting conclusions Tyler. Being somewhat on the outside of these groups I still can see Elohims hand shaking things. Getting people back to Torah and his foundation that was laid. For me at least folks going back into the church & the doctrines that are taught there would be contrary to what they hold dear now. The first time they try and “share” with others I don’t think it will be received well. Even if it did with the individuals should the leaders find out it might not go over well.

    “Fortunately Torah and Yeshua are not dependant on the Hebrew Roots movement 🙂 so your time has not been wasted. We lean what we can where we can and just keep on keeping on – we don’t need a movement to keep going where God leads us.” This is so very true, along with any other groups but people inherently want to belong and indentify, to connect with others. What happens when they do go back into the denominations they left and their friends and relatives that cut themselves off from them leap for joy that their prayers have been answered and the lost one has come home only to find that they still believe in all of the Torah and Sabbath, Feast days, etc? These are only my thoughts on the matter because at this point many are discouraged.

    Reply

    1. Understood, and yet I know people who have been successfully doing this for some time. Parents may leap for joy, however they soon find out that their loved ones are still keeping the law and then they have quite a paradigm to overcome 🙂 What do I do with this person who isn’t rejecting their Christian brothers and sisters and still clings to the Law? As for me, I want to stay at home, and yet I hope to someday live near enough to a synagogue where I can go on Feasts do do the Machzor prayers 🙂

      Reply

      1. I love this: “…this person who isn’t rejecting their Christian brothers and sisters and still clings to the Law.” 🙂

        Reply

  5. A person surely needs to be strong in their walk in regards to Torah and His feasts to go back to their churches, I have seen too many leave this walk behind simply because they were not strong enough in His ways and get drawn back to things they have left behind. Those that are strong enough and do so I believe enrich their lives by being in a community of those that love God and His Son as well as enriching the lives of those that see they no longer carry around that ‘Torah hammer’. Being one who never thought being in a fellowship/church was of any importance I firmly stand on the opposite ground knowing that being in a fellowship, a community, is exactly where He wants us, me, to be. We are stronger together than apart. I have watched this movement come up and like many are watching it implode upon itself, what will be left is anyone’s guess. Yet at the same time I am watching something coming from that ruined pile of failed ministries and congregations. Is that part of the remnant, part of the bride? only time will tell.

    Reply

  6. Thanks for your insight, Tyler.

    Even though you and I may be different in our communication styles, I find your views and writing style very refreshing.

    Since my family and I have left the church, it has been very enlightening, but also very lonely. I can sympathize with those who are starving for fellowship and who only have FB to have “fellowship,” yet at the same time, I believe it would be detrimental to have them sucked back into the church mess, if you know what I mean. Oftentimes, those who feel they are “called to evangelize” the church cave into the pressure and conform, which isn’t good either.

    Anyways, thanks for letting me put in my thoughts. All the best ….

    Reply

  7. GOD is good and HIS mercy endures forever,,,blessed be the name YAHOVAH

    Reply

    1. going back to churches? NO WAY! Tyler R. thinks this to be an good idea? NO WAY!
      I can understand it, but that doesnt mean, it is good.

      To Yay: amn & amn 🙂

      Once we have been coming out for a reason, going back would for sure not be the right thing to do. What we have learned, meanwhile absence, isn’t been taught there, still not, though it’s restoration time. Only for that reason I personally would “go back” to teach if I have the gift to do that. Our own failures and misbehaviors will die, when our flesh dies. Repentance is the Alef Tav also for to start new, but going back to the flesh pots is like going back to Mitzrayim. As it is on a national level it is on a personal level too. Only the Ruach ha Qodesh can fill what we are missing. Chazak chazak v’nitchazak! be strong be strong and let us summon our strength. shalom alechem to you all.

      Reply

      1. I think you meant to respond to David 🙂

        I don’t think it is a bad idea, if that is where God is calling someone and I do know some very seasoned believers who are doing amazing things there. Many wonderful things going on in churches that are not happening much with Torah believers – getting involved with the poor and oppressed and all that. I know people going back just so that they can have a part in those good works again 🙂

        God works in strange ways and sometimes I wonder… will more people be called back in order to be there for a massive awakening? I just don’t know. I keep trying to remember that we only keep like 8% more of the Torah than most Christians do. There are churches that are revolting, but there are also churches which are deeply committed to righteousness, churches that I think will fall right into like with the Sabbaths and Feasts once it is revealed to them.

        Reply

        1. Excellent point on the 8%. Can you show me how you arrived at the number? It sounds right and would help me a lot I’m my discussions with the leadership at my local Calvary Chapel.

          Toda Raba,

          John

          Reply

        2. I had to laugh at your 8% comment. It must be a very important 8% because after starting to keep Shabbot my spiritual life blossomed.
          You did make me think about which churches might be ready to make the jump to keeping Sabbath, I think it will be a real time of change for many Sunday Christian churches.
          Certainly individuals are going to get the message or not one at a time; if one of those individuals is the pastor or head pastor then they will probably start with a separate service on Saturday, and go from there.
          I would not think that many pre-tribulation rapture people would be open to keeping the Sabbath but I know several that do. We will have to see what the Lord will do when the book comes out that will start the change-over.
          Hopefully, that will allow the Messianic churches to grow large enough to have some local missionary outreach programs of their own to involve those who seek to be more involved.
          Enjoyed your writings, it is my first exposure. Keep up the good writing.

          Reply

  8. Tyler,

    When you start off saying you believe the HR movement is dying, then couple it with a statement about people leaving Christianity because it “has everything wrong,” and then go on to praise “the mature” for returning to the church, I think my comprehension of your point was understandable.

    I am glad to hear that you’re not returning to lawlessness. An edit of your original may be helpful.

    Reply

    1. I took a poll on my facebook page and everyone who responded didn’t see how on earth you came to that conclusion. I asked them because I wanted to make sure I wasn’t giving the wrong impression and even the people who disagreed with me didn’t see how you came to that conclusion.

      I didn’t praise the mature for going back to the church, I commented that many mature and seasoned believers were going back. For the record, all those verses about lawlessness were spoken to Torah keepers who were not taking care of the poor, widows, orphans and oppressed – and frankly the Christian Church does a much better job of that than we do.

      Reply

      1. Thank you for clarifying the “lawlessness.” This is so needed.

        “Fine feelings, new insights, greater interest in ‘religion’ mean nothing unless they make our actual behavior better; just as in an illness ‘feeling better’ is not much good if the thermometer shows that your temperature is still going up.”
        C.S. Lewis

        I think, in the movement, our temperature is definitely still going up.

        Reply

        1. I love that guy, he really had a way of cutting through the garbage to say what needed to be said.

          Reply

  9. Thank you for sharing this post. I totally get where you’re coming from, and have noticed the same phenomenon, over and over again, and not only on social media. We moved out of the city a few years ago and now don’t have any congregation near us and the only HR home fellowship nearby is consumed by Christian and Jew-bashing, and it’s painful to observe. I fear they are also departing from Yeshua. We have been part of a home-group like that before and it was destructive. I have left a number of Facebook groups because of the cruelty and animosity displayed in discussions. So currently our best times of fellowship are with Christian friends who meet from time to time in a home nearby. They are all aware of our beliefs and there has been no animosity towards us.

    Reply

    1. Brad is one of the few people whose stuff I will approve without vetting it. His character speaks for itself even when I disagree with him on minutae I find no fault him him personally 🙂

      Reply

  10. My family and I have been on this Walk for about 1 1/2 years now. We attend a Shabbat keeping fellowship, and we have continued to go to the Sunday fellowship that we have been a part of for 25 years. However, it is becoming more and more challenging to go there on Sundays because it grieves us (and at times angers) to hear that the Law is a burden and no one can keep it! We are trying our best to live out Torah in front of everyone and to do so without being pushy. It’s just disheartening when we continue to see the blank stares and occasionally are at the receiving end of mocking tones and accusations of acting “Jewish” (which is not an insult to us, it is just the way it is said to us). Also, it is hard (at least for me) not to take those sermon bites personally b/c I know the pastor knows where my family and I stand.
    It saddened me to hear you say that HR is dying. I will also say that, praise Yah, I have for the most part been able to sift through the crazy while on this walk! The teachers that I have come across seem stable, and if/when I came across one that was questionable, the Holy Spirit let me know that I should probably not listen to them any longer.
    My family and I have been HUGELY blessed to have a great support group of like-minded believers/keepers of Torah! But like I said, for those of us still in the Sunday church scene – it is NOT easy!

    Reply

  11. I agree. He’s a great guy, with a gentle demeanor. Here’s a great quote from his article: “I have become convinced that the majority of the increased knowledge prophesied by Daniel of the last days, comes from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and not from the tree of life. Are we breathing life unto the faithful, or are we all sending such a mixed bag of messages that they are choking and gasping for air?”

    Reply

  12. I saw the post on FB and read your blog post this morning but didn’t have time to respond, also I didn’t want to leave a comment on FB. I love this post! There are two messianic congregations about 30-40 minutes from me, I visited one and it was great but the timing just isn’t right. After 10 years of full time/non stop ministry, last year the church I was pastoring closed down and I was tired, burned out, and hurting. I didn’t attend any church for some months and then felt a hunger to fellowship with other believers. I visited some churched but it just wasn’t a right fit. I ended up visiting a Baptist church about 30 minutes away from me and I’ve been attending ever since the first visit several months ago. I was torn because I wanted to keep visiting the messianic congregation but I also like this church. One Sunday morning we were singing, the words were “where you go I go, I will follow you”. There was such a weight on my heart and I realized that this is where God wants me, am I willing to follow and obey Him? Here’s the thing though, it’s just for a season. I couldn’t help but giggle at the fact that God has me in a Baptist church—not because of the denomination or the doctrines but because of the humility and compassion of the leaders and the members. It’s where I am being restored and healed. Do I test all things? Yes, and I have been learning a lot–especially about discipleship. It’s just for a season, so I’m choosing to be joyful in this season that God has me in.

    PS-I am still Torah observing and don’t plan on changing that. Who knows, maybe this is training for the future. Oh, and there have been several times when God has humbled me and shut me up–through the pastors teachings and through the people’s kindness. LOL, I have certainly been knocked off my high and holy horse.

    Reply

  13. In our Shabbat group I have been asked to teach about the Torah, not by my choice, but the way God has directed me into it.

    Most of the people that I speak to were in the Christian churches and they want more in their walk with the Lord. They want meat, not water.

    I have learned a lot from Tyler and Tyler being in WIT Talmadim.

    I am not a pastor or leader, just a someone telling people more about the Torah and I have seen many change their lives and lifestyle following the commandments that they can not because they have to. But because they are so grateful for what Yeshua our Messiah has done for them, they do not see doing the commandments burdensome as they were indoctrinated in the Christian church they came from.

    It is very easy to point the finger at the church since many of the Hebrew Roots, Messianic and Torah Observant people came from the church setting.
    Very, very few come into the Hebrew Roots, Messianic and Torah Observant from the streets.

    I am always telling those in our Shabbat group that I speak about the Torah to, to not forget where they came from and to never blame or be angry with your past, whether it is through your suffering before you became a believer or you came out of the church. God had used your life circumstances to get you to this point, to be closer to him. I try not to place labels in a negative sense with Christianity. Christians in the churches are still our brothers and sisters. I tell our Shabbat group that we are all in the “Body of Messiah” and if we tear down or lacerate one another, then we are tearing down the body of Messiah.

    The reason I personally like to use the label body of Messiah is because no denomination can ever take the glory, only Messiah can in whom ever comes into the kingdom.

    I want to be that good and faithful servant that did the things Messiah instructed us to do as his true body, feed the poor, the widows and orphans. I think many denominations including Messianic, Hebrew Roots, Torah Observant and the next buzz word to describe Old Covenant followers forget that when we stand before Yeshua he will not be too happy with our actions in not supporting his body and lacerating his body member because we feel our part is more important than another.

    I may not be the smartest Torah speaker to those who listen to me at the Shabbat group, but, I do want honour my brothers and sisters whether they are in the Christian churches or in the Messianic Hebrew Roots, Torah Observant and not shame them.

    When I see those in the body of Messiah lacerating one another, rebuking and publicly shaming one another, it breaks my heart to see that honour is not given, love is held back and pride settles in.

    My Yehovah forgive our judgements towards our brothers and sisters in doing so, we tear his son’s body over pride.

    Reply

    1. Your testimony is bringing tears to my eyes, may our great King bless you in your work!

      Reply

    2. Beautiful testimony, Brother. Brought tears to my eyes!
      Tears of Joy, in fact, that there are folks out there
      DOING the weightier matters.
      Laura Densmore speaks of these ~ LOVE <3 ~

      Reply

    3. Mario, bless your heart, brother! Thanks.

      Reply

  14. Very good read!! I have to agree. I came to Torah knowledge about 8 years ago and boy was angry. I was saved in 1981 and been tied into church all those years. Fortunately PAPA got me tied in with a great congregation and a great teacher. I did my fare share of bashing but because the Torah was taught, bashing began to fall off. When I hear bashing of any body today it makes my toe nails curl. I feel that Hashem is raising up a remnant that are really going to walk the Torah out. I believe that when others see us living the Torah and not beating people in the face with it that’s what will draw. Great days are ahead and what a joy that we get to! Shalom y’all!

    Reply

  15. I disagree that Hebrew Roots understanding is going away. More people are coming out of the church than going back into it.

    We are close to the end whether that is tomorrow or 100 years from now. Moses prophesied that there would come a time when people would return to keeping the Torah in their scattered places and that this time would occur just before the ingathering.

    Deu 30:1 “And when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the LORD your God has driven you,
    Deu 30:2 and return to the LORD your God, you and your children, and obey his voice in all that I command you today, with all your heart and with all your soul,
    Deu 30:3 then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you, and he will gather you again from all the peoples where the LORD your God has scattered you.

    Although the number of people included in the remnant at the start of the Great Tribulation will be small, it most certainly will be bigger than it is now. The ingathering, the Great Tribulation and people beginning to be Torah observant to the best of their ability are intertwined.

    Further, it is necessary for YHVH’s people to see the effect of being without His government. It is necessary for us to see the anger, the nastiness, the division and so forth in order for us to cry out for His return and the implementation of His government on the earth. THIS is what we are seeing. The bad stuff among us is the LORD’s gift to us so that we can see what it means to be without Him. If we will view it as such and deepen our Torah walk and being to cry for His return, He will gather us.

    Returning to the Church may be for some who do not have a heart for righteousness. Let them go back. We all know that turning back makes us not fit for the Kingdom.

    Reply

    1. Kim, that is a bit unfair, if you knew the people who were going back – these are people in HR for decades who simply want to be in fellowship with other believers and who want to be involved in the good works of the church. These people I am talking about are very mature and very committed to righteousness, we have to be careful about judging others.

      Reply

      1. I understand the problems in the Hebrew Roots community all too well as I have been persecuted repeatedly by numerous people. BUT… returning to the Church is a mistake for everyone no matter who it is.

        You called me unfair and said not to judge. Yet, the LORD tells us throughout the scriptures that we are to point the errors that people walk in. Walking this path is not about what is “fair”. It is about what is “just”. We must do justice to the LORD as well as each other. Returning to false teachings means to do injustice to the LORD. And that is what concerns me.

        If people are headed back from where they came from, then they are headed back to where false teachers teach to not keep the Torah. That is part of the test, right?

        Deu_8:2 And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.

        You also said these are “angry people [who] were made teachers before they were over their anger phase, and instead of having mature teachers who had passed through that initial stage we have teachers who are encouraging that anger and division instead of tempering it with wisdom. They started out bashing Christians and then often turned on Jews and then when they ran out of material, lo and behold, they started devouring people within the movement. This should not surprise us.”

        I, too, was surprised to see the nastiness among Roots people. They should be the happiest people on earth but they are not. However, their unhappiness has nothing to do with my walk not with it being the right thing to continue on the path and continue keeping the commandments. It is the wrong thing to return to the Church with Christmas and Easter and all of that anti-Torah teaching that is in Christian doctrine. It does not matter that they are not returning to keep Christmas and Easter. They will be in the midst of that. I cannot and will not condone that.

        The unhappy people in the movement are just unhappy people. They’re going to be unhappy no matter where they are.

        It does not matter how mature they are chronologically or spiritually or how long they have been in the Roots movement. It doesn’t matter if they are famous Roots teachers or not, if they are going BACKWARDS, they are doing the wrong thing.

        Yeshua said not to listen to false prophets (Deut 13). What is a false prophet? Anyone who teaches others by speaking or by example not to walk according to the commandments. Does the Church teach people to walk in the commandments? No. Just the opposite.

        And what does the LORD say to do with those who lead people astray (as those who are returning to the Church will surely do)?

        Deu 13:4 Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.
        Deu 13:5 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.
        Deu 13:6 If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;
        Deu 13:7 Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth;
        Deu 13:8 Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:
        Deu 13:9 But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.

        Fair? Those are not my words, they are the LORD’s. People returning to the Church are setting the worst possible example. I judge from God’s own word, not my personal Torah. It is worse for Roots people to turn back to the place they came from than for them to keep going alone. We just learned this concept from the Torah Portion “Korah”.

        Korah wanted to lead the people back to Egypt after usurping Aaron’s office. The LORD was not going to let those people go back to Egypt. If He didn’t want them turning back, why should we be any less adamant about those who turn back to Egypt (Church) today?

        So why are our people returning to the Church? For the fellowship you say? For the love and nurturing they can get from a Church congregation? Really? First, just let me tell you that before I was 14, our church had already split twice. I was abused in the “loving” church we went to and that continued in all the churches I attended from Ohio to Alabama to New Hampshire. Churches are no more likely to be conflict free than any place else, including the Hebrew Roots Movement. So that a straw man excuse. I am not buying that excuse.

        This walk is a lonely one because Mat_7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. This walk is intended to be lonely so that it drives us into the LORD’s embrace. So, are these people going back because they got to close to Yah’s fire and didn’t like getting their flesh burned off?

        Apparently for all their preaching “straight out of the gate”, they still have not found the strait gate and narrow way and they have not set their faces like flint. Isa_50:7 For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.

        Most certainly this walk for some people is very difficult, but our walk ultimately is our testimony about YHVH’s grace that helps us to overcome. Their return to the Church is a testimony that it is not possible to walk the Torah walk which will reinforce Church doctrine that it is not possible to walk according to the commandments. That’s a great testimony, right?

        I know I have just spoken tough words, but they are not without feeling and understanding, Tyler. But there is no human life that is long enough for me to condone someone doing the wrong thing. I must try to pull them back – even if a little harshly – so that they don’t get themselves killed by walking in front of that truck that’s coming fast down the highway of life. So, I’m not being unfair or unloving. I am crying out to these people the warnings they need to hear.

        Reply

        1. Tyler, your article does come across as someone who seems hurt and angry at the HR movement. Yes, I have at times been very lonely in this walk but so have many before us in Torah! We are called to be separate. I have tried to witness at a small Sunday fellowship for the past few months but it’s fruitless. Though they display love, it’s grounded in false beliefs and a fairy tale faith. There is no fellowship for me there. They are blind and deaf to the Truth. I didn’t come to knowledge by any man teaching me but by Hashem in prayer and study. They will come to Truth the same way if they desire it.
          Tyler, you say HR is dying and that the mature believers are returning to Sunday churches for fellowship and good works. It’s far from dying! More and more are having their eyes opened everyday. And who is stopping us from feeding the hungry and caring for the widow and orphan? Honestly, you sound more on the side of wanting it dead. There is love in the movement. But there is also a deceiver who goes about trying to see who he can devour. And who would he most like to devour but those who know the truth. We must be on guard for his deceptions and lies and not fall back and desire “Egypt” but go forward…even if alone. Have we suffered more loneliness, abuse or misunderstanding than Yeshua? I think not. Don’t be one to tear us down further by condemning our faith to be doomed.

          Reply

          1. Well, I think you are reading things into it that are not there. I am far from angry – I still minister to the HRM. And not all people have your experience with going back to the church – it is important to understand that every situation is different. Perhaps you are simply not called to do it, or do it yet 🙂 I teach kids now, but at one point, even though I was called to it, it was a disaster! This was written one or two years ago and I have to say that what I initially saw has been confirmed – teachers within the movement lament about it behind closed doors. There is a growing split – there are people who are sick of the drama who have largely moved outside of the movement who still believe Yeshua and Torah but recognise that the movement is increasingly taken over by young, hostile, teachers who did not do their due diligence and lead in rashness, anger, and without self-control.

            It is a mischaracterization to say, if you are saying it, that all mature believers are going back. I never claimed that. Some are, increasing numbers are, but not all are. Not likely I would write an article calling myself immature because I have not gone back – oh wait, yeah, I actually do take note of my immaturity a lot. I do not see the Church as Egypt – I think that is a very popular notion fronted by some teachers to the point where it is no longer questioned, and that is a mistake – the HRM has become as deeply rooted in unquestionable claims as the mainstream churches ever were. We need to rethink out contempt for, and fear of the mainstream church. We need to question what we have been taught.

            Throughout history, teachers and preachers have sounded warnings – people don’t like to hear them. I spend every day on my social media wall teaching people in the HRM, and anyone else who will listen, to do the weighter matters of Torah, and to learn to love and grow good fruit. I teach people how to stay firm with Yeshua instead of falling for the anti-missionaries who do their hunting within the HRM and MJ. Sometimes I warn, but mostly I teach practical ways of becoming like Yeshua. Be very careful about judging me and my ministry based on this article. It no more tells you the whole story of my walk than these comments teach me about yours. Shalom.


      2. Your comment that we have to be careful about judging others does not fly. Everything in the scriptures has to do with making a judgment about something. We are called to make judgments – righteous judgments. It is righteous to stand with the LORD and His commands. It is not righteous to turn away from the the commandments by returning to the place that teaches people to not keep the commandments.

        There are few Hebrew Roots believers to fellowship with and even fewer who can continue long term in a congregation without problems. It is necessary for us, though, to continue on this path even when it gets lonely. The LORD knew this would happen in the end of days which is why we now have phones, Skype, Facebook, etc. We can find other like-minded believers for fellowship. It is not necessary to go backwards in our walk to get fellowship.

        Reply

        1. No one that I know is leaving the path – I never even suggested such a thing. No one is talking about Hebraic thinking” disappearing. I never mentioned it in my blog anywhere – going into churches to reach people there, people who still know how to love, isn’t going backwards at all. I look at it as trying to catch them before this movement destroys them entirely. There is almost no love in HR.

          Reply

          1. I very much agree with that: no love!!!
            We all know the two greatest commandments. So what is Torah in one word? LOVE
            Are HR people really showing their Love to others?
            This is an area that really needs attention when an HR person evicerates a little old church lady over the word Christian. This particular little old church lady was committed to Shabbat and keeping the Moedim with our family until this one particular HR person had a pointed discussion with her over the word Christian. The lack of Love in this movement does not grow the body but tears it down. How will these HR people fair in judgment when they claim to keep Torah but fail to Love anyone else except their close knit fellowship.
            This needs to be addressed specifically from the top down, with the HR teachers that are instructing others not to mix with Christians who have been labeled Essau (and I won’t name names but they’re all around and even on this particular board). How are people in the HR movement ever going to be a LIGHT to others if they can’t even keep the Torah in one word and show LOVE?


          2. Sadly, the ones who are walking in love are also those who have learned humility and wisdom and are slower to speak. Sadly. there are no leaders in this movement – they have been substituted with teachers, who were never meant to be leaders because we are frankly too academic to relate to real people. Even if there were leaders, who in this movement would follow them? We are like the Nation at the time of the judges, “And in those days Israel had no king and each man did what seemed best to him.” That was bad enough in those days, when people were still community oriented and were predisposed to follow a leader, but now with individualism, we put those early Israelites to shame with our rebellious behavior. Truly, I have found HR to be far more rebellious in their “keeping” or Torah, in that they will only do it how they personally want to do it, than in the “non-keeping’ in the Churches, where they at least gather together and allow there to be leaders and do unite in order to get the weightier matters of the Kingdom done, they do try and fulfill the Great Commission and they do care for the least of these.

            As a teachers, I do try, but honestly as a woman I can only do so much. And the men who are preaching this message are being tossed aside in favor of the ones tickling ears with words of “You are walking on the right track and those Jews and Christians are rebellious pagans.” People eat it up, they love to hear how awesome they are. Those people are always going to be the loudest because they know no bounds of decency, no respect for others, and they presume that they have a prophetic calling that gives them the right to say whatever they want whenever they want – when really it is no calling but instead a complete lack of self-control wrapped in a cloak of self-righteousness.

            It is grotesquely depressing.


    2. “Returning to the Church may be for some who do not have a heart for righteousness. Let them go back. We all know that turning back makes us not fit for the Kingdom.”

      What is your definition of proof that someone has a “heart for righteousness”?

      I’d also like to know (sincerely) where in God’s Word it says that turning back to Christian fellowship makes us unfit for the Kingdom of God?

      I hope you’ll take the time to respond 🙂

      Reply

  16. I can understand very well what you wrote Tyler! I have been “teaching” Torah for the last 5 years, to a small group of people in our town. I was not called to teach, but felt the need, as there were no teachers of Torah in our town. I have led a small home group of up to 45-50 and once I saw the light of Torah, we dropped pretty quick to 12 to 15. I have shared many things I have learned, but am telling the people that I am not their teacher! Only the Ruach HaKodesh can teach Truth. I can share some insights, but it has to be the Ruach that draws them to the Father. I really don’t want the title of teacher, as it brings some harsher judgment as a leader, and I am just a man. I have made many mistakes in the first year or two, as you said. I was lied to and had seen some truth that wasn’t so much truth but a mixing of some truths, which I shared and that sent a few to the exit door. I wanted to follow scripture, that says “Moshe has them who preach him in every city, every Shabbat…” so I jumped. My zeal has left some casualties in the wake and I am saddened by it. I did the best I could with the information I had at the time. I am 5 years in now, and it has been a long 5 years, filled with learning and understanding, that we are all on a path and each is in a different stage of growth! I am but a child. 5 years old. That can make for a lot of zeal, but not a lot of maturity. I am much more mellow now, and really need a great congregation to fellowship with, but for now, we are still coming together to break bread, share the cup and fellowship in the Word of Torah. I must also say, that none of us are going to walk out Torah in perfection. The Word says that all our righteousness is as “filthy menstrual cloth”. Thanks for a great article! Blessings and Shalom!

    Reply

  17. I agree with what you said. As I see it the main problem with the Hebraic Roots/Messianic movement is they have lost what is really important in the teaching process. Their focus for the most part (not all I never mean all but enough of them do this) Torah Torah Torah which quite frankly shouldn’t really be the focus.

    The focus should be Yeshua and him crucified and raised from the dead and our responsibility to The Father, Yeshua and each other because of this redemptive work. The goal of Torah and the prophets is the lead us to Messiah Go read the epistles. The entire focus of the apostles is exactly that. They use torah not as the end all but as proof and in support of what they were saying about the saving work of Yeshua.

    If the focus of any congregation who claims Yeshua (Jesus) as savior is not about His supremacy over all things then the leadership needs to step back and evaluate their teachings.

    This is why the Hebraic roots movement will die. Perhaps argueing about the meaning of each and every letter or word in torah interest some but it is not what the Father intended at all and quite frankly bores to tears some of the adults and ALL of the children. Teaching isn’t presenting Torah factoids to prove how smart you are, it is teaching how Yeshua is proven throughout the scripture from Genesis 1:1 to the end of Revelation and what our response should be.

    Is your congregation teaching Yeshua and HIm Crucified?

    Reply

    1. Couldn’t agree with you more Daniel!
      But it’s way more “comfortable” to talk about the meaning of each and every letter, than to pick up your cross and follow Him.

      Reply

  18. Hmm…this makes me wonder if this isn’t all Abba’s plan. Get some of His out and shake off some of what the nations have rubbed off on us and then send some back to teach?

    Maybe. I believe we’re to be bringing up our kids in truth so they can do better than we are.

    Praying for wisdom and strength to do that.

    Reply

  19. I found this article interesting. However I do not fit into any of the categories you stated for becoming Torah pursuant. I was a new ager for many years, and had become disillusioned. Only after coming into the church and reading the Bible for myself did I realize how deceived I had been by the new age movement and all it’s beautiful lies. I finally felt like I was home. I was happy to be part of a church family, I had been in less than a year, so I definitely was not bored. I was not angry with the church, nor was I looking for “insider” knowledge. It just was a matter of remembering how terribly deceived I had been and that I never wanted to embrace lies again. I didn’t go looking for it, that truth found me, and I had to make a choice. I either was going to say well, that’s not what my church believes or I was going to let the Scriptures be my authority. I went from being seen as an on fire baby Christian who was admired because I was pressing in so much to being looked upon with pity and even in some cases some shunning because I was now seen as someone who went off the rails and had fallen from grace.
    I was hurt, it was painful and lonely…but I understand that those people were taught to have fear of the feasts (which is where the journey started for me, as it was already a Sabbath keeping church).
    I’m not angry, I don’t fault them, but I pray that they will not reject the truth indefinitely.
    I have seen some of what you have mentioned. And I feel very blessed that I never got into a group that preached bashing and anger. They did point out the error and countered it.
    We all go through that phase of being a bit graceless in sharing the truth and having it be not that well received.

    I can say I am in full agreement that just subsisting on internet fellowship is very hard. I’ve been in that position for years. And I can say it has certainly been better than nothing, but I praise YHVH that I have found a fellowship that is just an hour a way. Pretty amazing considering that I live in a rural area. I’m very thankful to have in person fellowship.

    I personally do not like to ascribe to the label of Messianic, or HR because just like “Christianity” that can mean a lot of different things…many in that have label Paul a false teacher and then end up denying Yeshua as Messiah, which is very sad.

    One of the things that does become obnoxious is the arguing over which calendar, the names, Wednesday vs. Thursday vs. Friday. I just don’t see these as things to divide over, we are all doing the best that we can in just trying to be obedient. I’m also really not a fan of making a laundry list of words pagan and therefore taboo to say and insisting on speaking Hebrew words. I really do believe that Yehovah is far more concerned that we be humble and meek and to love righteousness and mercy and walk even as His Son walked, and in His character and likeness. How much we know isn’t going to help us without that.

    Thanks for a thought provoking post.

    Reply

  20. Thanks for sharing. I just happened upon this article on FB. I rarely comment on anything but felt I had to share our story. I have been a disciple for 38 years. I don’t know if that makes me mature or not. We discovered Sabbath and Torah 10 years ago left all the “horrible pagans” and were very alone. We visited some groups, congregations,home meetings, and even had one in our home for a while. Nothing has ever felt right. Perhaps it is us,not them. After being relatively alone for a few years and only having fellowship once or twice a year during the feasts, we were dying inside and we were too proud to admit it. Our oldest son broke away and began to attend church and was born again and filled with the spirit and now serves on staff at the church. We have begun to attend with him and are pleasantly surprised at how open the people are to learning. We have demonstrated a Sabbath meal and Passover and they loved it. We are planning a trip to Israel this Fall. My husbands 4th and my 2nd.
    I
    My prayer is that we as believers would be so full of the love of our Father and that Love,mercy,grace, and peace would the order of the day. Shalom

    Reply

  21. Just need to point out that Hebrew Roots and Messianic Judaism are NOT the same thing. In it’s original and true form, Hebrew Roots is Replacement Theology 2.0 Instead of bringing people into the commonwealth of Israel, to accept walking in the path of Yeshua, HR suggests that people in its movement are from the lost tribes of Israel and then encourages the need to identify as such with props and exterior transformation–just another religious experience. Our spiritual birth, our heavenly existence begins with our immersion, not our DNA, and in this act there is no Jew or Gentile/Christian. We are one in Messiah, belonging to the commonwealth of Israel–His kids at His table. Paul, a Messianic Jew, vehemently fought against this need to be(come) the TRIBES of Israel. He forsook everything in his service (love) of Messiah. His devotion was to Yeshua, the Messiah (God in physical form), as stated in Romans 1:1-4, “Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God 2) which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, 3) concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, 4) and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” If we do not center on Messiah, approach everything in humility through Messiah as reborn citizens of the commonwealth of Israel, we are following a different Gospel. (Ephesians 2:11-18)

    Reply

    1. Correction, SOME of HR is replacement theology – however I ran an informal poll on my fb wall one day and only 5 out of 100 people believed that they are all the lost tribes of Israel. I certainly don’t believe it, nor do any of my co-teachers at Wisdom in Torah. I barely know anyone who believes it, although I do hear the accusation a lot. I find that accusations generally are exaggerated, especially on the internet.

      Reply

  22. After walking a Messianic faith – God-fearers who put their faith in Yeshua – for over 25 years, teaching and training all of our children who are now all faithful adults with Scripture, we would not return to the church (as some may be led by the Spirit to do), but into the synagogues as was done in the First Century. We have a calling to make the Jew envious. We have lived in podunk nowhere for 19 years and have walked alone only with the Word and the Spirit and though it has been very lonely, we made our faith our own. When we had opportunity, we attended Messianic synagogues because there is so much richness with the Jew who has come to know Messiah in all his fullness (and Torah). The HR FB church (as you defined it well) doesn’t offer much except a constant harping on Torah, Torah, Torah and lots of judgment. Though Torah is the outline for our lifestyle, it is the image of Messiah Yeshua into which we are to be transformed. Rarely do I hear that coming from anywhere anymore or the whole concept of repentance and victory over sin in our lives (inclusive of lashon hara, gossip, beating the sheep, arrogance, ignorance, etc.). That is the joyous message of salvation and though we need to grow in our faith and KNOWLEDGE of the Messiah Yeshua, there really has been a ‘missing of the boat’ in terms of walking a faith life in the Spirit of Torah (loving God and others). You couldn’t be MORE right that the immature are given too much platform with a lack of serious Biblical scholarship and Sha’ul warns Timothy that young un’s can become arrogant and they do. Over the years we have endured much ridicule from HR people and I hope you are right that it is fizzeling out; I also hope that as it does, people return to Yeshua, walk in faith by the Spirit and grow. And yes, we have seen, known, and heard of many over the years denying Yeshua, denying his deity, etc. which is so heart wrenching because without him, we are nothing.

    Reply

    1. We hope one of these days to move close to a synagogue where we can do the Feast liturgies, I think as you said it is absolutely a matter of going where we are called to be and that looks different for everyone – how awful if we all went to the same place 😉

      Reply

  23. Baruch HaShem, I’m in a Messianic Jewish Shul, with
    Rabbi Yehezqel, @ Kehilat Melech Yisra’el.
    We have unity, b/c we have a leader that is anointed and therefore qualified for the job <3
    Sure, we're not all on the same page, but that is to be expected! It's a learning curve and as we're seeking depth, the Ruach gives understanding!
    We have a significant outreach programme, hence fulfilling Mat. 23:23.
    Abba Father, I thank you for your immeasurable Love and compassion, and I want to make an open declaration of my gratitude. My lips will never stop praising you!
    For bringing me out of a deep dark pit!
    HalleluYAH <3 <3 <3

    Reply

    1. I have attended a MJS for several years. Recently issues have risen over it getting to “Christian” mentioning we should not say the name Jesus and some even saying we should not say God as that is possibly pagan. Although the majority of those coming in are Christian, some want to wash their hands of anything Christian and only uphold everything Jewish. I’m a bit worried that some may even feel Christians are following another Messiah. I totally get the going back to a Sunday church for wanting to feel like I belong. I don’t feel love at this congregation. I see more legalism than love. I have had more heartache and sadness trying to find my identity. There are some HR that I follow that are loving, not condemning. I think any where you go you will find strife, but the division is huge. When we are supposed to be coming together as one new man, I see it only as God doing it..because without him it isn’t happening.

      Reply

      1. there absolutely are some wonderful folks in MJ and HR, you are so right, and you are also right that there are others preaching that the Jesus who saved us was a false Messiah and that any miracles were simply “allowed” by God but not from Him. I sure don’t buy it. I also don’t get the not being willing to say Jesus and God – if we don’t then who the heck is going to know what we are talking about?

        Reply

        1. Yes!! As a family, we are really just wanting to follow what Yeshua/Jesus told us to do. The “identity crisis” is real. Trying to go where God wants us to, we need a community and sound teachers. We need a place that we feel comfortable to be ourselves. Not feel like I need to become Jewish, or be on edge if I say Church instead of Synagogue. Is there a place where people can actually learn the whole bible in context, without fear of judgement or condemnation? Or legalism? Maybe that is one reason social media is a popular place to research and study.

          Reply

          1. Trying to do Torah on social media is like visiting the cantina at Mos Eisley “you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy” 😉 If you can possibly get judged over something silly – you will. Today, for example, while posting about the irrational reasons people have for judging a teaching to be false, a stranger messaged me to set me straight about why we shouldn’t listen to false teachers, by quoting from her favorite prophet – Ellen G White /facepalm.


  24. Lots of sad truth here Tyler, thanks for sharing your experience!

    YHVH is after those seeking Him and His righteousness. Our example is in the twelve disciples. They stayed in Temple and their own groups speaking the Truth until they were persecuted, murdered, and run off. Even Shaul began to only speak to those who would listen at some point and while he remained Torah obedient, in his newfound relationship with Yeshua the Messiah, he did so in love and with compassion for the lost and confused, including those in the synagogues.

    The Body of Messiah has many parts each performing a different purpose according to the Spirit’s calling and purpose. I expect today some who are Torah obedient, just as Yeshua and His disciples were their entire lives: 1) will be called to stay in their Roman based congregations, 2) while others might leave them, gain understanding of the whole Bible apart from it, then return to patiently and lovingly share their discovery of the Truth by action not criticism or judgmentalism, then finally, 3) there will be those who are content with their newfound direct relationship with Elohim via their personal relationship with Yeshua and Torah obedience and possibly fellowship with a small group of like-minded faithful. These are but a few examples of YHVH working in each of the whole Bible enlightened, Torah obedient.

    Torah obedience (as in the The Word alone NOT according to any commentary, whether Jewish rabbinic or Christian pastoral) is living as Yeshua lived with the benefit of faith by His grace via relationship with Him. This means with some it was truth in their face but with those hungry and thirsty for The Truth, always sharing it in love.

    It is of no value to be mired in labels (Jew, Christian, Hebrew Roots, Messianic, etc.) as these lend to division. Those with a relationship with Yeshua and honestly seeking to live as He lived (Torah obedient) according to the Scriptures, not as some rabbi, priest, or pastor says, will find it and be content in it wherever YHVH may lead us.

    We make others jealous by having someone (Yeshua the Messiah) in a way they thought or wished they had (a genuine, faithful relationship based on Torah obedience). Now we all must go where we are led, being a positive influence while continuing to live in Truth via Torah obedience and never in paganism (this doesn’t require criticism, only enlightenment and practice by example). Those truly seeking The Truth will eventually find it, and how blessed will we be if it is because of our example! May YHVH bless each us who know the whole Bible truth to live it as a loving example not as a hammer.

    Reply

    1. PS – Perhaps the label itself is losing some strength due to the multitude of views of those pursuing the practice of the 12 apostles (and Paul) which has been almost entirely neglected for the Roman-based, pagan-influenced church. However, I do not in any way see the truth of relationship with Yeshua combined with living Torah obediently as He exemplified as dying. (I understand you are only addressing the labeled group here.)

      Reply

  25. This is an excellent and insightful article, TDR.I will repost it to my ministry’s Facebook Page, with your permission.

    Reply

    1. of course brother, I am honored

      Reply

  26. Great stuff.

    I recommend highly reading FFOZ’s book ‘God Fearers’ – it ties in a lot with what I read in the Torah about non Jewish believers, the humility we should have and our role. I spoke to Rico about some of these things when he was in Australia recently, and this book crystallized it. I wish all new HR peeps would read it straight off the bat! Should be compulsory reading of the historical context of the first century believers. I’m also reading Joseph Rabinowitz’ biography and a book on The Book of Acts Diaspora Context which are fantastic.

    Reply

  27. Christy your story sounds a lot like mine. I was ready to leave our church a lot sooner than when we eventually left. Can’t imagine we will ever go back.

    Reply

  28. My personal response is I never really left. I never left my friends who are in the church. But they never woke up either. And I never left my Messianic friends, but they could not wake up to the fullness of Messiah’s teaching either. For many of them it was enough to take on an iconoclastic holier denomination. Which of course was strictly window dressing. My disturbing faith was not welcome in that arena either. It didnt matter that I sinned as much as I did, though that became an excuse. It didnt matter that I had lots of places to grow in, though that too was pointed out. What mattered is that I was growing and maturing. What mattered is that I had a lot of pain and anguish to release while I grew. To them that was acceptable in a child, but not in a grown man. They had no room for growing people at all.
    Let me be the first to acknowledge that growing adults are difficult. Far more difficult than growing children. The anxieties are bigger, the anguish is bigger… every emotion is far bigger. And the emotions last far longer. You are dealing with an emotionally stilted person who is finally finding themselves. And everything is magnified much bigger. At least it is in my case. Can you imagine a love forlorn anguish in a 5 year old magnified by 1000, and lasting not hours or days. Indeed not months, but years. An emotion with many sources, many complex interactions, many core defining realities that never resolved. You might be justified in thinking that person would suicide. I suppose many in a similar situation have done so. But my core personal story started with holding G-d’s hand through it all. And I never let go.
    For me and others with their own stories; hopefully less painful and not as long lived; there is some hope in moving around a bit. Light has a way of penetrating darkness even when it is only momentary. You can do some good that way. But for the most part all you will find is people hiding from themselves and hiding from G-d because of their sin.
    Some people found Hebrew Roots as a distraction. Some with other motivations that this article has mentioned. But the truth is the only thing that makes any of it Holy is the thing that makes us Holy. There is no knowledge, no feeling, no expression of truth that matters except Holiness. And that Holiness isnt found in things. Things are not Holy in and of themselves, they only convey it as G-d commands them to convey it. The story is always about making a Holy people. There is never a Holy Temple, or Holy anything apart from the people. Traditions likewise are not holy, nor are words in a book or words on a scroll. The only Holy words are the ones that live in our hearts, inform our daily lives, and become part of our conversation with Holy G-d. And for that you dont need a denomination. But it is comforting to surround yourself with people who are able to embrace that same reality. The return to the churches by mature Hebrew Roots people is a sign of their growth to maturity in faith. They have something to teach.

    Reply

  29. Well there ya go. When I was divinely made aware of the HRM, I thought it was the greatest thing since pierced Matzah. But I didn’t adopt the “movement” thing, and I never stopped attending my dead church. However, I do not have the same committment to the mainstream church that I once did — studying my roots has spoiled me for that. In a fascinating turn of events, being freed by Torah – I really began thinking for myself and stepped out of my denominational box and now attend a completely different denomination which gives me great joy (though they are still mainstream and I simply cannot bring myself to “do Christmas and Easter” again.) Why do we have to call ourselves a “movement” or anything at all? I consider myself a truth-seeker, working out my salvation, walking in Torah to the best of my ability, and finding fellowship in a Christian church setting where I can join with others to serve our community (like the 6,000 lbs. of food we just collected and donated to the city Rescue Mission). I can never give up the Feasts and Shabbats etc. and I shall continue to study Torah, yet I can continue in a God-honoring church. It doesn’t have to be either/or.

    Reply

    1. I am hearing your sentiments a lot! I personally don’t think it has to be “either/or” – I think the entire key is “have we stopped considering the people in church our brothers and sisters in Messiah” and sadly, too many have, if social media is any sort of valid sampling. Certainly, there is no prohibition in the Torah on gathering on a Sunday! We all have some things wrong, and more and more people are seeing that – I guess we have to “just keep swimming” 😉

      Reply

  30. “Why are so many mature voices in the HR movement heading back to church?” …..I have no idea how they do it! I’ve been to several mainstream Christian churches after coming to Torah and to be honest, it is painful to sit through the services and listen to God’s word getting butchered. For that reason I can only handle Christian sermons in small doses. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s easier to reach Christians outside the mainstream church than it is from inside the mainstream church; Most churches have unspoken rules, if you go around sharing anything contrary to what the Pastor preaches (especially things they perceive to be “Jewish”), you are quickly silenced and ousted as a dissenter. Speaking from experience.

    With regards to the conclusion of the article, I think that is a pretty harsh indictment of the HR movement, to which I would disagree. The movement, like any movement is going through a maturing process. We are being corporately refined. Truthfully, I’ve seen much worse drama and in-fighting within mainstream Christianity than I ever have in Hebrew Roots. Just scroll through some of the popular christian forums and you’ll be shocked at some of the nasty things you’ll come across. Drama isn’t exclusive to HR….It’s a human problem, regardless of denomination.

    Reply

    1. I came out of the church – and I know about the drama, but as a teacher in this movement, I see the unspoken rules here as well. I have also been brutally attacked for teaching contrary to certain well-loved doctrines within the movement. I have been ousted from HR congregations just for teaching, privately on my own website and social media pages, things contrary to what the group believes. It is the same everywhere.

      As a teacher within the movement, a person who talks with other teachers a lot, and some of the bigger names – I am not alone in this appraisal of the movement. Frankly, I don’t talk about what the Christians are doing because I am not a part of that – we have to clean up our own yard before we talk about “them.” Truly, they aren’t as far from Torah as we say they are.

      I had someone tell me a week or so ago that Christians need to stop feeding the poor and building hospitals and orphanages until they start keeping all of Torah – I was astounded. But the Sabbaths and the Feasts are pretty lightweight – they are easy commandments, fun and joyous – and yet we still don’t observe them because I watch “Torah observant” people online during the Feast days slandering and fighting with the brethren. So I wouldn’t be shocked, I have seen it and I was even part of it once – but as we are the ones saying how much more obedient we are, the onus is upon us to clean up out act before even casting a glance at Christians. Seems as though whenever I write something like this, about our movement, the reaction is all too often, “But the Christians are worse…” As a parent, I don’t let my kids get away with that. It’s simply diverting attention away from their own behavior. These are the days of awe, we really need to be looking at ourselves and no one else – as we are the only ones we can personally change.

      Reply

      1. Amen. Excellent, common sense comments Tyler.

        The Assembly (qahal/ekklesia/Israel – the true Faithful of YHVH) may identify variously as Christian/Catholic/Anglican/Messianic/Hebrew Roots/Yeshua Followers/Baptist/Presbyterian/etc., although not all (perhaps even not most) of the people using these labels are part of the Assembly. Regardless of the labels used by people, this spiritual journey by the true faithful is a process called sanctification. It is not possible to become sanctified without keeping His teachings (commandments). We do this because we love Him, not bc He did it for us as a substitute, but as an example.

        Keeping Torah (YHVH’s teachings) is NOT legalism. Legalism is making and keeping the burdensome traditions of men whether they come from Judaism or Romanism (my word for most modern Christian denominations from Catholicism to Protestantism). Both of these groups believe they alone have the authority to change the teachings by adding to or taking away from them; they do not. Deuteronomy 4:2 and 12:32.

        ALL commandments (teachings) must be viewed consistent with loving Elohim and loving people. If our application of any commandment is not furthering one of these or is burdensome, then we are misunderstanding.

        Reply

      2. The Truth is that we need to take responsibility for not studying scripture ourselves. It’s easy to blame Christianity and everybody else and that’s exactly what the enemy wants! Keep people in anger and immaturity by playing the blame game. I can say this because I was one of them!

        But you know who grows? Those who confess their sins and lack of studying scripture. Those who are taking responsibility for not being like the Bereans of old. These are the people who will grow in true Truth. Not just the head knowledge, but also the intended heart of the Father behind every SINGLE command.

        When we point fingers at others we are simply declaring: I am immature and haven’t taken responsibility for my actions. I am still a victim who needs to blame others because of my immaturity and anger. I am still chained to lies!

        For it’s the walking out of Torah in Spirit AND Truth that the Father is looking for.

        Reply

  31. When we came out of the church system, I wasn’t even aware of a “movement” 😃 I saw in Scripture: Those who went out from amongst “us” (Torah observant believers) were never really part of us – 1 John 2:19. We later learned about this thing called Hebrew roots and was so ecstatic with joy! Wow. That lasted about 5 minutes when I realized the complete disunity, pride, fighting and frustration operating. I was devastated about what I saw. I never wanted to be part of a movement. Seeking the King has always been my focus. Yahuah is faithful! If our motives are pure and we truly keep on seeking HIM above all else – HE will keep on leading us in TRUTH.

    Although I don’t agree with everything you say Tyler, I do respect and honor your search and study for Truth like the Bereans of Acts. We learn so much from you. I’m excited about the teachers who worships the Father in spirit AND truth – because I believe THAT is His will. Much love in Messiah! Shalom

    Reply

    1. If it makes you feel any better, I don’t agree with everything I have ever written either 😉 and I am glad you don’t agree with everything No one should check their brains at the door. We’re all just doing our best – wish more people were gracious enough to realize that. 🙂

      Reply

  32. Thank you for writing this Tyler. So glad I read this. I have recently been rethinking so much about the HR movement and the hypocrisy that resides within it. “Where is the fruit”? Fruit is not what Feast we observe, moon we proclaim, sunrise we adhere, vowel we pronounce, tassle we display, beard we trim, headcover we wear, lamb we consume, sukkah we reside, etc. Fruit is character development! Read Galatians 5:22-23. After being in a Torah pursuant faith for 25 years, I truly believe that many people in this movement are in it to mask pain in their lives. It becomes a form of rebellion against organized religion. HR is inundated with teachers that have no business behind a pulpit much less leading a small bible study. Many of these teachers are fanning the flames of anger and hostility against a religious system they feel is the epitome of deception and evil. We have to think deep on why we are in this movement because I do believe many are in this HR/Messianic movement for the wrong reasons and they do not love Yahshua according to His grace but according to their own prideful knowledge. We would be wise to impress Matthew 25:31-46 upon our minds.

    Reply

    1. I have only been in it a couple of years. Arrogance abounds, constantly debating their way is right. I am leary to meet new people, for fear of criticism and disdain if I do one thing different. Knowledge sure does puff up, it was easier to be around ignorant people. May Yehovah help us to be humble.

      Reply

      1. Sadly true, but do not be wary of or leave Truth bc men remain flawed. These people need to learn to filter their newfound knowledge of the whole Bible with Yeshua’s (Jesus’) words about applying all commandments:

        “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “‘You SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40

        Reply

Leave a Reply to Wanda Samuelson Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *