In this period of time, a lot of Christian churches are turning to their Hebrew roots and learning more about the Old Testament. They no longer hold Sunday worship service. Instead they now hold a Shabbat service and honor the fourth commandment: “Remember the day, Shabbat, to set it apart for God.” (Exodus 20:8 CJB) They are beginning to learn more about their Hebrew roots and what the New Testament means in light of the Old Testament.
Because of this these churches are being branded as “going by the wayside” to follow “false doctrine” with scriptures to back up the claims. Their accusers believe they are putting themselves under the law of Moses, which Jesus did away with. They are following Jews into Judaism, which will ultimately lead to unbelief in Jesus as the Messiah. These churches are the new cults invading Christianity.
Individuals who have left Christianity and now consider themselves a part of the Messianic movement are also branded as cult members. I participate in several Messianic/Hebraic Roots pages on Facebook. I read a lot of stories about family members believing their loved ones have joined a cult.
These loved ones have begun to follow the feast days the scriptures talks about, to keep the Sabbath, which God commands, and eat according to the dietary laws of the scriptures. They have shunned most Christian holidays such as Christmas, Easter, and Lent. For this they have joined a cult.
This story is similar to many people who had first joined the Christian faith also. When their family found out they no longer did things they use to do and now follow the Bible these people were believed to have joined a cult also.
If the truth can be told, joining a cult is the answer most people feel apply when someone stops doing what they normally do to join themselves with a group of people doing something else. It doesn’t really matter what type of group it is.
Today, I want to share some things on my heart concerning the Hebrew Roots movement being a cult.
What is a Cult?
What exactly is a cult? Here are a few definitions from dictionary.com of what is a cult:
- A particular system of religious worship, especially with reference to its rites and ceremonies.
- An instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, especially as manifested by a body of admires
- A group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.
- A religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader.
As you can see, the first definition basically tells us that any group of people involved in any type of religious activity is considered a cult. For example, if I followed Hindu and decided to follow Islam, then my Hindu brothers and sisters would say I joined a cult.
However, what most people define as a cult is the last definition. If someone doesn’t believe the way we believe then they are in a cult and we are not. For example, Jim Jones making all those who followed him drink poison and the Waco situation, which ended in a shoot out. This is what most people feel a cult is – the extremists.
What I want you to see if that we are all in some type of cult according to someone somewhere. Even if you don’t believe in any gods and somehow think we just magically appeared, you still belong to a cult according to the second and third definition. For example, if I joined a group who believed the earth can be saved by going green and recycling and everything I did revolved around that belief then someone might say I joined a cult.
It Really is OK
I said all this to say, stop getting bent out of shape for belonging to a cult. The disciples of Yeshua’s time were most likely considered a cult because they believed the Messiah had come, while the majority did not.
Unless you live alone in the back woods somewhere, you are most likely in a cult of some sort. Maybe you don’t like the word cult. That’s ok; we can use the word club. It’s really all the same to me.
My point is to just do what you believe is right according to the Holy Scriptures. In the end you and you alone will be standing in front of your creator to be judged for what you did while on earth.
I will talk more about the Hebrew Roots movement later. Until then, follow Yeshua (the living word of Yahweh) and his commandments.
Our Heavenly Father, who is in heaven,
Help us not to get caught up on other people’s views of us. Help us to follow you and your ways only. Teach us to walk in the spirit and the truth.
In Yeshua the Messiah’s name, Amen.