FOLLOW THE LAWGIVER, NOT MAN'S TRADITIONSTherefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day. (Colossians 2:16)
The third warning from the Apostle Paul is even more relevant today with a certain small percentage of Christians returning to the “living under the Law” by becoming part of the Hebrew Roots Movement and other Torah-centric streams of religion, which do not line up with Scripture at all. Some follow the tenets of the traditions of men and do things which are not prescribed in the Bible.
The traditions of men tells us to fast on certain days and then do not fast here but fast there. Then these tell us not to eat meat on certain days but eat fish on this day only and on. Some measure the length of hair, dresses and ban make up on women or even certain musical instruments. Are these done to prevent Christians from being themselves or even having “fun” at church? Maybe.
What it really could be is the human instinct to be in control, rather than obey the dictates of God while operating freely within His parameters. He HAS given us a huge measure of freedom. He has even given us the freedom to mess up and then make it right. However when it comes to His work, His Word and His Church, it is preferable that we NOT go extra-biblical or chasing after man-created doctrines of cheap grace.
Another thing to look out for is what Paul warned about in Galatians with the Judaizers. These were people who said they were following “The Way” (the name Christians were described before they were called “Christians” for the first time at Antioch). They claimed to believe and follow the Teachings of the Lord Jesus, but brought over all 613 Laws of the Old Testament with them and then tried to force born-again non-Jewish believers to follow the impossible.
There are new versions of the Judaizers today and the main one fall under the umbrella of the “Hebrew Roots” movement. The Hebrew Roots movement are really nice gentle folks, who have good intentions of obeying God to the max, yet choose to follow Torah (or the very Letter of ever dietary and other law, including the Ten Commandments). The problem with this is that no human being can ever, in all the history of humanity, keep every letter of every Law of God – all the time. Ever! So this is why God sent His Son – the Messiah Yeshua/Yahweh – to be the “propitiation” or satisfaction of the Obedience of Every Letter of all the Law, which He did at the Cross.
Anything other than trusting in the very fact that Jesus has paid it all and only HE can forgive our transgressions against the Holiness of God is virtually looking for judgment under the Law. What the Hebrew Roots movement, where I have a good friend deeply involved, is putting on themselves is a load which they cannot ever carry, while they lose the true meaning of Grace! With this burden comes anxiety, trepidation, fear and minutiae which prevents the authentic believer in Christ from resting in Him…His Truth…and the Joy His Salvation brings.
The Hebrew Roots movement is not the only philosophy of man which can divert us from the pure milk and honey of the Gospel, but at this time, it is one of the most popular ones drawing Christians out of churches into an almost ascetic lifestyle, that goes against Jesus’ Prayer for His followers in John 17:20-26. The Roots movement, it’s older cousin the Messianic Torah-centric UMJC and others affect conduct in attempting to fulfill an already fulfilled Law. Things like Mormonism etc are cults which have nothing to do with the Bible, the Gospel of Jesus or the Kingdom of Heaven.
The bottom line, in all these three warnings from the Apostle Paul to the Colossians, is – as it was then, it is now. We MUST be vigilant and be on the alert as Jesus warn us, because our adversary the devil roams around like a roaring lion, ready to devour us. He – the devil – uses strange and evil teachings and philosophies to distract us from the beauty and simplicity of the Gospel of Christ. Don’t let him – stay close to God. Read the Bible, it’s great for the soul (Max Mclean).