Getting Specific: Engaging {Black} Hebrew Israelites Pt. 1

By: Cam Triggs

Here is an example of {Black} Hebrew Israelites presumably debating a Christian. They are debating the extent of the law in a person's life. 

The "apparent" nail in the coffin is the quoting of Romans 3:31 which states:

"Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law." - Romans 3:31 (ESV)

From this verse, it would appear that the ceremonial laws of the Old Covenant are still binding on believers. HOWEVER, if you read the context of Romans 3, a solid biblical answer would be provided:

"Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since God is one-who  will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith." - Romans 3:27-30 (ESV)
 

So what is the law mentioned in verse 31? The law of works? The law of Moses? NO! The law of faith! The law of faith in Christ (Romans 10:4). We love according to justification by faith alone but a faith that is never alone.  In other words, faith produces good works. Good works will never produce justification. In the same letter, Paul states:

"But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code." - Romans 7:6 (ESV)

How do we keep this law? Let Paul speak for himself again in Romans 13:

"Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, 'You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,' and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' Love does no wrong to a neighbor; herefore love is the fulfilling of the law."- Romans 13:8-10 (ESV)

This new moral code is exemplified in Romans 12 and additional handling of laws is expressed in Romans 14.

And by the way, how did keeping the law of Moses work for Israelites? Again, in the SAME letter Paul writes in Romans 9:

"What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone." - Romans 9:30-32 (ESV)

Lessons learned here:

  1. Stick with YOUR Bible! Pull it up. Read four verses above and four verses after to establish grammatical and canonical context. Turn to additional passages within the book. Remember when dealing with cults, they often borrow and pervert Christian truth. That's the bad news. Good news? We have home field advantage; the Bible. Let's practice at home so we may put up a good fight.
  2. Develop a biblical theology that can answer weightier questions of hermeneutics. Study good biblical theologies that present the redemptive story of God.
  3. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom and discernment on how to engage those who disagree. There is great wisdom needed as to when to answer a person according to their responses or giving no response at all.


Recommended Reading:
40 Questions about Interpreting the Bible by Robert Plummer

40 Questions about Christians and Biblical Law by Thomas Schreiner

 

Also, check out Jude 3's Interview on Hebrew Israelites:


Cam Triggs loves Jesus. God saved Cam from wrath, sin, death, and Satan in 2005. He began studies at University of Central Florida as a Religious Studies major & continued his education at Reformed Theological Seminary where he earned a Masters of Arts in Theological Studies. During his time at RTS, Cam was privileged to study under the apologist John Frame. In the future,  he looks forward to further study in the areas of philosophy, theology, and African American studies. He now enjoys loving God & loving students at Shiloh Church. More importantly, he is married to his beautiful best friend Tymara Triggs and the proud father of Cameron Triggs II. Stay connected with him atcamtriggs.com