Messianic Christians Thrive in Israel (so says CBN)
CBN (Pat Robertson's network, which is directed by CUFI executive board member Michael Little) has recently put out this glowing report on "messianic Jews" in Israel
The Jewish Cop and the Christian Missionary tie the knot
Some of you may recall my newsletter last year about a cute self proclaimed “missionary volunteer” for Christian Friends of Israel (CFI), who seduced a yasamnik and brought him to Jesus. Well, they were married in a messianic ceremony. The story behind this is intriguing…
Witnesses reported that some missionaries were indeed proselytizing and working the streets during the parade, but nobody imagined that Yassamniks for Yeshua would put in a rather aggressive appearance , too.
A mild-mannered gentleman was distributing flyers, warning of missionaries, when three yassamniks confronted him and got a little pushy. He noted that the one pictured in the middle was especially “zealous” in his reaction.
Enter CFI missionary Erin's site and scroll down, past all of those stunning wedding photos of the kallah, kisses, ketubah, kippa and tallis (there was no chupah, nor were the groom’s parents present), and you will see our cop baptized. Another lost Jewish soul, but it appears that we are left with one less brutal yasamnik to deal with - so you decide if it’s “good news” and if we should bless or curse this Judeo-Christian union.
"Messianic Judaism" has gone Hollywood Chic
Reuters reports: Glen Campbell's new home in Malibu probably resembles the residences of many other successful musicians in the wealthy beach resort. The Baptist-raised country star, who says he once confused "menorah" with "manure," displays a Jewish candelabrum on the mantel, and a Hebrew book sits on the coffee table...the Rhinestone Cowboy soon breaks into a plaintive cry, "Jeee-esus ... Help me find my special place."
For two decades, the Campbells have been adherents of Messianic Judaism, a religious movement whose members regard themselves as committed Jews but are rejected by mainstream Jewish denominations as following an essentially evangelical Christian theology.
"It's Jews who believe that Christ is the risen savior," Campbell said. "I think it will all come around to that."
However, friends of the ‘Mean Girls’ actress have doubts about her intention to fully convert to the religion and think she is just doing it for attention. The source added to Life and Style Weekly magazine: “Two years ago it was Kabbalah. Last year it was Alcoholics Anonymous. She was into ‘peace’ for a while. Whatever is of the moment, that’s Lindsay. But the one thing it does show is her commitment to Sam. She could be any religion and Lindsay would be open to it.”
I would like to make a distinction between being drawn to Jewish things and being drawn to Judaism. Many Rabbis and Jewish leaders have mistakenly confused the two ideas, praising Christians for what is being considered a move towards Torah and away from the pagan roots of Roman Christianity, without realizing that the attraction is only towards Jewish things and not Judaism...
Yechiel Eckstein must be doing something right (or wrong?) A new Crain's survey at ChicagoBusiness.com has the Founder and President of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) earning $832,753 in 2007 and lists him as the second highest paid non-profit executive in the Chicago area (doesn't he live in Jerusalem?). That's some raise, as Forbes Magazine had him raking in a paltry $381,517 at the end of 2004.
Depending on the climate, it appears Eckstein is either hot, cold, or lukewarm on the issue of attempts to evangelize his Jewish brethren. According to MinistryWatch.com, the official IFCJ policy on evangelizing is as follows: "IFCJ affirms the right and responsibility of evangelicals to share the Gospel. The organization neither endorses nor discourages such efforts".
Meanwhile Eckstein is running a series of radio commercials on Israeli stations, and even managed to get himself a major public relations plug in the form of a lengthy article in the JPost's "In Jerusalem" section. You need connections to get an article like that. Eckstein used to be a partners in the production of the Christian Edition of the Jerusalem Post, so I asked editor Gershom Gale if this was still the case. Gale responded, “No, Rabbi Eckstein and his IFCJ are no longer partners with The Jerusalem Post in the production of The Christian Edition, though the publication remains a natural friend and ally of his organization.”
It seems some Emunah women abandoned their good friend and ally after reading her criticism of Eckstein in the “In Jerusalem” article. They wrote two nasty letters to the editor in response. But they seemed to have forgotten that Fenton was the Chairperson of Emunah Jerusalem from 1996 -2001, and now serves as member of the boards of Emunah Jerusalem, Emunah Israel and World Emunah.
But what was really strange is that only a month ago Fenton addressed the missionary problem in a special seminar of Emunah Jerusalem and was joined by Penina Taylor, director of the Jerusalem branch of “Jews for Judaism”. The considerable audience of Emunah members present were impressed with the presentation, acknowledged the importance of the seminar and expressed the desire to help combat missionary activity in Israel. However, none of the signatories appearing on the letters to the editor were present at that seminar. Ya gotta wonder who put them up to it…
The Jerusalem Post is reporting that Jews and Christians are at odds over constructionon Mt. Zion:
"The construction work going on at the site raises the suspicion that someone is trying to Judaize a Catholic site and prevent freedom of religious expression."
Well someone tried to” Judeo-Christianize “ it too….
The following email warning was recently sent out by a Licensed Tour Guide from the Israeli Ministry of Tourism:
After I reported that his name had been removed as an endorser of the virulent messianic organization Maoz Israel, Pastor John Hagee and his wife have reappeared as supporters of the Tel Aviv based mission which aggressively and openly proselytizes in Israel.
Steven Strang, a prominent and problematic director of CUFI, who promotes messianic movements in Israel, gave an endorsement to last week’s mass prayer gathering that took place at Washington’s National Mall. “The Call” is the brainchild of the fiery and very animated Christian fundamentalist Lou Engle.
For those of you who can’t get enough of this strange fire and strange worship in Israel, I have created a virtual pilgrimage tour for you (with special thanks to YouTube). Enjoy the trip.