Got Roots?

Peggy and I just returned from our first ever observance of the Feast of Tabernacles, AKA Feast of Booths or Sukkoth…eight days of living in tents among about a thousand fellow believers in Jesus celebrating the last of the annual Fall observances of the Jewish people. That the Facebook post drawing us there didn’t reveal the true nature of the event may have been a God-appointed design in that we learned about more than merely Hebraic customs. We experienced the Hebrew roots movement. It’s been a year of Jewish roots for us in traveling to Israel, celebrating Sukkoth in Oklahoma, and then hearing a prophetic word in our own church within days of returning home. What is God trying to tell us?

We very quickly got the message that many of our teachers at Sukkoth did not consider themselves Christians but preferred to identify as followers of Yeshua Messiah. They wanted a deeper walk than Christian churches seemed to offer them, and we admired their zeal. We also generally agreed with them about the shortcomings of many churches and the unfortunate Roman influences on modern Christianity. Yes…Sunday was a substitute sabbath, and yes…Easter was a pagan holiday, and no…there are no flying reindeer. The disconcerting aspect was that many of them exhibited varying degrees of disdain for real Christianity, for their fellow-followers of Yeshua Messiah Jesus, His body on earth for the last two millennia. They had an understanding of deficiencies, but jumped to the wrong solution. They decided what Christianity needed was a return to the Mosaic law including keeping the Saturday sabbath, following the dietary rules, and celebrating the holy days as requirements for worshipping the Lord.

Peggy and I love the Jewish heritage of Christianity and our Israel experience, so we fully support the heart of the people we met at Sukkoth. Nevertheless, the conflict between the gentile church and those who Paul called Judaizers was well-documented in the New Testament which settled once and for all that our heritage as Christians is through the faith of Abraham rather than the later legalism of Moses. The Hebrew roots movement may be coming to your church at any time. Embrace the knowledge of your roots, but be wary that you don’t try to become the root. For a balanced understanding, click here for a well-crafted explanation.