The term "Hebrew Roots" is used by various Messianic groups and Christian "Hebrew Roots" churches. It can mean a variety of things and each group does not define the term the same way. Some "Hebrew Roots" congregations, while seemingly well meaning, have within them latent antisemitism. I use the word latent because I do not think the antisemitism is intentional but nonetheless between the lines it is there.
For years now the main stream Messianic Jewish Movement has been fighting against "replacement theology" in Christianity. Replacement theology broadly defined is the idea that the Gentile Church has replaced Israel and the Jewish people as the people of God. This is a destructive theology because it misrepresents the intentions of God to save the world through our Messiah Yeshua and the responsibility of His Jewish followers to share the Jewish message of the Jewish Messiah with Israel and the nations.
In many cases, not all, "Hebrew Roots" proponents replace Israel in a different way. That is to say not that the Church replaces Israel but that all Gentiles are Jews through the tribe of Ephraim. It takes away the distinctiveness of the Jewish people which was given to us by God. God called Abraham out of the nations to make a new nation that would lead the way in understanding and following the Creator of the universe. All through the book of the prophet Isaiah, he calls the Jewish people to be a light to the nations -- not to convert them to Judaism but to show them the God of Israel. In attempting to take away Israel's distinctiveness, some Hebrew Roots teachers are leading people into latent antisemitism and teaching Gentiles to cleanse themselves from being a Gentile.
The Apostle Paul directly speaks to this in his first letter to the Corinthians : "Nevertheless, each one should retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him and to which God has called him. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches. Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts. Each one should remain in the situation which he was in when God called him (1 Corinthians 7:17-20).
In my experience in ministry many Jews and Gentiles misunderstand the word Gentile. It is not a curse word or something bad. It simply means "nations" and God's desire is to bring all people back to himself (what we call the "model of return"). In Revelation John writes concerning Yeshua, “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth" (Revelation 5:9-10, italics mine). Wow! Every tribe, language, people and nation. How could John recognize all of these different peoples and nations if they all looked the same and all came from one nation. Being from the nations (a Gentile) should be celebrated and honored not treated as a curse word or something to run away from. Yes, often the scriptures tell the Jewish people to not be like the Gentiles around them. But, what if those Gentiles turned to the God of Israel? This is not about Gentiles becoming Jews it is about the nations (Gentiles) turning to the one true God.
For me, the issue is identity. No one should be telling Jews to become Gentiles or Gentiles to become Jews. God didn't make a mistake when He birthed you in your particular family and with your particular background. When we mess with identity we mess with God’s design. All of us, Jews and Gentiles, were made in the image of God and our stories and the families we come from are a part of His plan and design.
In teaching the New Testament we should not use the term Hebrew roots because the whole message is Jewish. Not just the roots. The idea that the world needs a savior, a sacrifice for sin, and an anointed one (Messiah in Hebrew, Christ in Greek) is Jewish. When a Jewish person believes in Yeshua we remain Jewish. When Gentiles believe in Yeshua they remain Gentile. Together we form the body of Messiah, one olive tree (Romans 9-11) held together by the Messiah Himself. The tree is Jewish with both natural Jewish and grafted-in Gentile branches. Gentiles who believe that Yeshua is the Messiah are grafted into the commonwealth of Israel but do not become Jews. Jews who believe in Yeshua remain in Israel and maintain their Jewishness (for an amazing discussion on this see David H. Stern's book "Restoring the Jewishness of the Gospel").
The latent antisemitism is signaled when a Hebrew Roots group uses language like "uniting the two houses of Israel" and makes statements like "for two thousand years we have been taught that Israel is the Jewish people and that the Jewish people are Israel. This misunderstanding has crippled our ability to glean the scriptures." Friends, there is no misunderstanding. Israel is the Jewish people. The Jewish people are Israel. Gentiles are grafted into the commonwealth of Israel (Ephesians 2:11-16) without becoming Jews. They remain Gentiles.
According to the decision made by the original disciples of Yeshua at the Jerusalem council (Acts 15), Gentile observance of the Torah is different than that of their Jewish counterparts. In God’s eyes there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles. Both are only saved by faith in Yeshua. After salvation, the moment of accepting Yeshua, our lives look slightly different in terms of how we observe scripture. Yet, our stories are similar because we all fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) and we all need Yeshua to gain eternal life. Then, together, we fight for the whole world, all Jews and all Gentiles, to see the awesomeness of God and what He has accomplished for us in the death and resurrection of His son, Yeshua.
If you are a Jewish believer in Yeshua, don't give up your Jewishness. If you a Gentile believer in Yeshua, don't give up being a Gentile. Don't be fooled by the destructive teaching of some of these "Hebrew Roots" groups that want to confuse your identity and claim it is in search of the truth. Don't buy into the teachings of some "Hebrew Roots" groups because their production is beautiful and the presentation is pretty. Dig in. Search it out. Make sure the teachings are not trying to turn you into something God didn't create you to be. Don't buy into any theology that tries to take away the distinctiveness of the Jewish people or any people.
The truth is that God made you with an awesome plan for you. If you don't know who you are and you accept ideas that make you think you are something you are not, then you will accomplish nothing. Find your value in who you are! Your family background and your family heritage ought to be celebrated when you come face to face with the God of Israel. He doesn't make mistakes and He didn't make one with you!