When I was a kid our family used to like going to the Marigold Cafe. It was an Italian place that served big Italian sandwiches with spicy Italian sausage, red sauce, and Parmesan cheese on Italian bread, with a sweet cherry pepper or two on the side. We would go there for lunch frequently and we would always go for the sausage sandwich. Dad would have Coors and I would always go for a Coke. At night the place did a booming business and a lot of times you had to wait for a table. For dinner I would opt for the spaghetti and meatballs. They had good thick home made noodles and I would usually ask for the split–one meatball and one sausage instead of two of one or the other. The place was in North Denver on 44th and Tejon. It has been a long time since I ate there and it has long been out of business. The last time I was there it had bars on the windows and graffiti on the walls. It didn’t look like the kind of place to make a stop at.
Christians want to know more about Jewish history, culture, and tradition because this background information can be key to understanding some of the unfamiliar and difficult images referenced in both the Old and New Testament. A number of Hebrew roots ministries and studies have sprung up to meet this need. This is a good thing that I appreciate.
For Christians who want to learn more, the promise of greater understanding is more enticing than one of those big Italian sausage sandwiches with all the stuff that goes with it. The problem is that sometimes you may be expected to eat a few worms that abide between the bread slices. Now, thinking back, it seems like I always looked under the bread to see what was there before I dove in at the Marigold. Likewise, it would be prudent for a person to look out for a few things before giving themselves over to the bekon of the Hebrew roots movement:
- Beware of the teacher that says the Bible versions available to us are somehow not trustworthy. These dubious masters suggest that the Bible we have is corrupted and "paganized" and so does not give the reader a true picture of the original intended meaning. Furthermore, lucky for us who formerly lived in darkenss of understanding, these benevolent folk have done the work of rewriting or rediscovering the true intent of the original texts and are willing to share with us.
- Look out if they suggest that the law, particularly the feasts and celebrations, are for the present age and that Christians are to practice them today, just and the Jews today practice them.
- Watch out if there is a suggestion that Christians who do not hold their views are somehow not with it or just do not measure up.
There are two things to keep in mind always I think:
- When we believed, we were marked with a seal guaranteeing our inheritance and we have already been given every spiritual blessing Christ. You were chosen, so be carful to avoid exchanging grace for works. Start your study in Hebrew roots by reading Ephesians Chapter 1.
- Remember, Hebrew roots is an elective course and not required for graduation.