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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Evangelical-Messianic Crossover (as if there was ever a difference)

Posted by Ellen W. Horowitz


Is it worth the cost?
Evangelical Christians must think attorney Calev Myers of Yehuda Raveh is the new Messiah. While we were cleaning for Pesach, he was searching for loopholes and was able to overturn the Law of Return so that it now applies to believers in Jesus who have Jewish fathers and who feign Judaism (did I get that right?).
http://www.israeltoday.co.il/default.aspx?tabid=178&nid=15802

And then he delivered a graduation gift of a 13,500 foot five-story building in West Jerusalem to a "Christ-centered university".
http://www.seuniversity.edu/news/stories/200804250428.php#more

And he performed an even greater miracle by doing all of this with nary a peep from our rabbis, counter-missionary organizations or the rest of the Torah observant community, as our mouths were full of matzah and our tongues were drenched with wine.

Commencement speaker Myers “focused more on the need he sees for further action to spread knowledge of Jesus. Southeastern graduates can help Israeli believers in Jesus by educating their congregations, praying for Israel and aligning themselves with Messianic Jewish congregations…He urged Jewish believers from around the world to relocate to Israel, as his family did when he was 18. ‘We believe the day is coming, friends, when Jesus once again will reveal himself to Israel, to the Jewish people,’ he said.”
http://www.theledger.com/article/20080427/news/804270448&tc=yahoo

Meanwhile one rabbi, Shmuely Boteach, was busy reading the New Testament, on Pesach, in preparation for his great debate with Christian clergy…
(excerpts)
“Either the night before Passover, or the Seder night itself, is the time Christians believe to have been Jesus' Last Supper. So, as I sat on Pessah rereading the New Testament in preparation for an upcoming debate in the UK on whether belief in Jesus is compatible with Judaism…
…I have written many articles arguing that it is time for the world Jewish community to reclaim the Jewish Jesus by understanding his original mission and his great love for his people…”

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1208870505182&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
But if Shmuely tries to "reclaim the Jewish Jesus" then he has already lost the debate for his people...(And who asked Shmuely to represent us anyway?)

I did some reading on Pesach, too, and came across this timely article…
What Onkelos says is that if, for example, a Jew decides to embrace Christianity then he may not eat the korban Pesach… Onkelos is really telling us a great chiddush. The apostate may not join the rest of the Jewish people in performing a mitzva… So why is the meshumad excluded from the mitzva of Pessach? The Sefer Hachinuch explains this. He writes (in mitzva number 13) that the Pesach commemorates not only our deliverance but also our becoming the people of the Torah. A person who abandons the Torah really can have nothing to do with the Pesach. The Chinuch says that this idea is so obvious that it can be placed with those mitzvot, which are simple common sense.
http://www.yhol.org.il/features/fischman/parsha/bo65.htm

Back in the days of common sense (1989), it seems that Supreme Court Justice Menachem Elon ruled that:
''…the Jewish people has decided during the 2,000 years of its history'' that Messianic Jews ''do not belong to the Jewish nation and have no right to force themselves on it. Those who believe in Jesus are, in fact, Christians.''
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=950DEFDB1439F934A15751C1A96F948260

The apple sometimes falls very far from the tree. As it was Justice Elon’s son, Benny, who - perhaps inadvertently - opened up the missionary gates of hell when he was Tourism Minister. However, it does seem that MK Rabbi Benny Elon and the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus made some lame attempt to separate the evangelicals from the messianics, but at the same time they were stupidly promoting a “Judeo-Christian” union. And truth be told, “Messianics” are “Evangelicals”, but the evangelicals kept that one largely under wraps (out of “respect” for our Jewish sensitivities).
http://www.israelprayer.com/articles/Beersheva%20Lawsuit%20.html

At any rate, according to a survey taken by the Messianic Times, 71% of the 200,000 Messianic Jews living in the United States “would move to Israel if Messianic Jews were allowed aliyah”, the “Law of Return” guaranteed to all Jews by the State of Israel. And now it seems they can - albeit as Christians. Confused?!

Allow me to take you on a whirlwind Messianic Mystery Tour so we can better understand how lines, wires, faith and “best friends” crossed and got twisted (and they said that there would be “no string attached”)…

Messiah-like messianic attorney Calev Myers pulled off another slick trick when he got Pat Roberston's Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) to give him significant air time and cyberspace for his very slanted spin of the Ariel pre- Purim blast which severely wounded a Messianic Christian Pastor’s son:
“..the Messianic community in Israel are the victims of ongoing vicious propaganda against the community - especially in the ultra-religious media," Meyers said. "The ongoing vicious propaganda that comes against families like this and against the Messianic Jewish community lays the basis for radical events or attacks like this against the community and that's what we're really trying to fight," he said...,, 'We're not giving up and we're going to continue to build the Kingdom of God in Israel, even in the face of this kind of aggression."
http://www.cbn.com/CBNnews/344905.aspx
[Note: Benny Elon gave Pat Robertson a special Zionist award back in 2004].
CBN is currently directed by Michael Little who sits on the Executive board of Pastor Hagee’s CUFI (Christians United for Israel).

Meanwhile Stephen Strang of Charisma Magazine, who is a CUFI regional director and publisher of Hagee’s books ,has also come out with very strong statements condemning the Ariel explosion and implying that the Orthodox community is behind the blast. Without any suspects or arrests, these charges amount to a blood libel, and they were also given coverage on CBN (and what’s interesting to note is Strang correctly considers “messianic” Jews to be Evangelical Christians –whereas the “messianic” community considers themselves to be Jews who believe in Jesus):

"Civilized people of all types should not tolerate this type of violence, but especially when it's violence against evangelicals in Israel especially when evangelicals are among the few friends Israel has - some would say the only friends Israel has... I am outraged about this attack. Israel is a democracy that guarantees everyone's freedom of religion. However, some of the anti-missionaries have been so vicious that now it has escalated to violence. Israel cannot allow this type of violence...But there are also ultra-Orthodox groups like Yad L'Achim, who are responsible for constantly harassing Christian believers in Israel ..."
http://www.cbn.com/CBNnews/355790.aspx

That very same Stephen Strang a director of CUFI (and Hagee's publisher) also signed the recent World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) statement which promotes conversion efforts directed at Jews by the messianic community.
http://www.churchtimes.co.uk/content.asp?id=54600
[note: Rabbi Riskin is appearing a UN prayer banquet with Hagee, Strang, CBN’s Little, and Jew for Jesus, Jay Sekulow - Pat Robertson’s main man- to celebrate Israel's 60th anniversary]
http://www.spcm.org/Journal/spip.php?breve11010

Evangelical James Hutchins (also a CUFI director) is one of the directors of the Cyrus Fund. Hutchins graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary with a Doctor of Missionary (Multi/Cross-Cultural Studies). His dissertation was entitled, "A Case for Messianic Judaism." Although the Cyrus Fund websites don’t admit it, it does seem some missionaries affiliated with the Cyrus Fund are teaching the Gospel to Bnai Anusim via messianic churches - and getting those "converts" ready for aliyah.
http://www.tjci.org/projects/CyrusFund.htm
http://www.livingwordmissions.net/

And speaking of bringing home “lost “Jews, Hagee’s right hand man, David Brog, raves about the Exobus Project in his book, Standing with Israel. But others detect a problem…

Not long ago, I attended a Christians for Israel program at a large church in Brampton. Rev. Willem Glashouwer gushed as he described how Christian volunteers for the Exobus Project “shared the love of Jesus” with homebound Jews.
Paul Wilbur, a “Hebrew Christian” recording artist, exulted as he described how “one of my dear friends is in Haifa today, to establish a Russian-speaking congregation to receive these immigrants.”
They’re clothing these immigrants with a ministry called “Tests of Mercy” and they’re bringing them into the salvation knowledge of Yeshua, he said.
“In Odessa in the Ukraine, three years ago in just three days we saw over 30,000 Jewish people come to know Jesus! They’re getting on the Christians for Israel buses and coming back to the land of Israel. The word of G-d says, ‘How can they believe unless someone preaches, and how can he preach unless he is sent?’ We can’t send ourselves, but you can send us,” he pleaded.
Leading “messianic rabbis” were also featured guests on a Christians for Israel cruise. The magazine, Christians for Israel Today included a full-page ad for the “Hebrew Christian” missionary program to honor the 50th anniversary of Israel that took place in Orlando.
http://www.israelsdestiny.com/Double-Edged_Evangelical_Embrace.cfm

By the way, the above excerpt was taken from Pastor Kenneth Rawson’s site and Pastor Rawson is a real Christian friend!
http://www.israelsdestiny.com/

According to John Hagee Ministries, philo-Semitic Pastor Hagee does witness to Jews one on one. Below is an excerpt from an email dated February 28, 2007:

Yes, the Jews are God's chosen people, BUT THEY ARE NOT SAVED UNLESS THEY BELIEVE AND ACCEPT JESUS AS THEIR LORD AND SAVIOR… The same need for the Jews to receive Christ as Savior exists as the need for the gentiles. Pastor believes that witnessing Jesus to the Jewish people ONE ON ONE is the most effective way instead of targeting them as a group or nation. Keep in mind that God has 'blinded the eyes' of the Jews and hardened their hearts for having denied Christ. Also, there has been a history of persecution against the Jewish people in the name of Christianity. For this reason Pastor believes that one on one witnessing is more effective than targeting the nation as a whole.
God bless you.
Sincerely,
Edward Martinez
John Hagee Ministries

Now Penina Taylor, the Director of Jews for Judaism Jerusalem Branch will tell you that for every 1000 Jews who are brought to Christianity (G-d forbid), 999 of them got there through personal friends and one on one witnessing.

I ask you, is that sports facility and pool pictured above (the John Hagee building in Ariel) really worth the assault on our faith?

Batya notes that the Kinneret dropped by 6 cm. over Pesach and she asks, “Will There Be Water To Fill The Pool?”
http://shilohmusings.blogspot.com/2008/04/will-there-be-water-to-fill-pool.html

The Shema spells it out pretty clearly…
“…Take care lest your heart be lured away, and you turn astray and worship alien gods and bow down to them. For then the L-rd's wrath will flare up against you, and He will close the heavens so that there will be no rain and the earth will not yield its produce, and you will swiftly perish from the good land which the L-rd gives you…”

Now some of you are going to tell me, “do not provoke the Gentile”. So I asked my Rav. And he told me that there is nothing more provocative than attempts to try and take a Jew away from his or her faith.

9 comments:

lazerbeams said...

B"H
Ellen, you've done a magnificent peace of research here that's critical to the future of Am Yisrael in Eretz Yisrael. The whole notion of xtian Zionists is a Trojan Horse with foot and mouth disease. To be a Zionist, one must first be a true lover of Zion, "Ki MiTzion Tetze Torah." One cannot undermine the soul of Zion - Torah - and be a Zionist. The missionairies and their contaminated money are much more dangerous than the Hamas. With blessings for a healthy summer and bsorot tovot, LB

ellen said...

Rabbi Brody,
I am really humbled by your kind comments about my research. Thank you.

I find it very difficult to be one of the few dissenting voices
on this matter, and I am honored to have you join me in expressing great concern. Our very essense as a people is at stake.

I also feel that this threat is ultimately more dangerous than Hamas, because the trouble we are having on our external borders is indicative of internal breaches and our failure to hold halachic and ethical lines. And, unfortunately, money is a big factor in this whole mess

We desperately need to repair the fences around the Torah, and I hope that our rabbis will take the lead in re-establishing redlines and guidelines for the Jewish people to hold by during these days of confusion. I also hope that we can challenge the Knesset and the courts to establish and uphold counter-missionary legislation.

I just heard from Rabbi BenZion Kravitz, the Director of Jews for Judaism. And he requested that I emphasize that "messianc Jews" proclaim their belief that Jesus is the “Jewish Messiah” while they intentionally white-wash that they also believe Jesus is God incarnate and part of the Trinity.

This belief is out of the pale of Judaism.

Anonymous said...

This is a fantastic piece. In addition to the points directly made, it serves to remind us that challenges face us in every direction. We simply cannot contend with them without HKBH.

It should also be remembered that the "messianic" movement is funded by the evangelical money-machine which waits in the wings for our destruction.

Yasher koach,
HaSefaradi

Anonymous said...

This is a much-needed post. But let us not also forget the Chabad messianics who are similarly deceptive about similar beliefs, whom are much larger in their numbers and whose errant beliefs are much more accepted among the remaining Jewish community.

MAOZ said...

Ellen, thank you so much for all your efforts on this issue.

And thank you, Batya, for putting Ellen's posts here.

Eshet Chayil -- really -- both of you!

Yasher Ko'ach

ellen said...

Thank you (the last three talbalks) for the great comments. Your words really give me strength to continue investigationg this very distressing issue.

the Chabad issue needs to be kept separate from the Christian issue -but it does need to be addressed.
Later (let me get through this mess first!)

Anonymous said...

Ellen,

Your raise some interesting points, but as a friend I would advise caution. When you name a specific person in your blogs, such as Hagee or Myers, and then say that "these people are more dangerous than Hamas", you could easily be sued for slander and even indicted for incitement to violence. Ever since the Ortiz ordeal, the Israeli police have been investigating and questioning various people from the Orthodox community in light of similar statements.

You may want to use less agressive wording.

MBY

ellen said...

Hi MBY (my anonymous "friend"?),

I don't think my blog or my actual quote should be of concern. What is of concern is when I am misquoted. You attribute the following to me:

"these people are more dangerous than Hamas"

But those are your words. My response to a talkback is as follows:

"I also feel that this threat is ultimately more dangerous than Hamas, because the trouble we are having on our external borders is indicative of internal breaches and our failure to hold halachic and ethical lines."

I don't detect any aggression, slander, or incitement in the actual quote. On the contrary. It is a call for Jewish law and order.

thanks for your "concern".

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