For the purposes of the second half of this report, please keep in mind that the term “messianic” refers to those calling themselves “messianic Jews”, “Hebrew Christians”, or “Judeo-Christians”. While some of these people consider themselves “Jewish believers in Jesus”, they are indeed practicing Christians with an aggressive evangelizing agenda.
The Pharisees, especially, were obsessed with hygiene. They had a rule for everything from how to wash dishes to how to stay ceremonially clean after walking in the streets. That’s why they got upset when they saw that Jesus’ disciples didn’t follow the standard Jewish hand-washing ritual.
They asked Jesus: “‘Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with impure hands?’” You can almost hear their smug, nasal tone. Jesus’ reply was blunt. He called His inquisitors hypocrites; then He chastised them for “‘teaching as doctrines the precepts of men’” (Mark 7:5-7, NASB).
Also in April Strang lauched a campaign decrying persecution in Israel against messianic Jews, and appeared to implicate Orthodox Jews in a “terrorist attack against a Messianic Jewish family” …“there are also ultra-Orthodox groups like Yad L'Achim who are responsible for constantly harassing Christian believers in Israel… I hope you join me in writing letters of concern on behalf of Evangelical and Messianic believers in Israel and bombard Israeli officials from the Foreign Ministry, the Tourism Ministry, the Prime Minister's Office, and the Ministry of Justice” (5)
In May Charisma Magazine’s chose to mark Israel’s 60th anniversary by celebrating the messianic missionary community in Israel and hailing them as “brave Christians celebrating the love of Jesus in Israel” (see cover below)(6)
“However, some of the anti-missionaries have become so vicious that it appears they have resorted to violence...Messianic Judaism… is growing rapidly and is considered to be a threat by some Orthodox Jews. Harassment of all Christians in Israel is increasing, and Messianic believers are concerned that they may be facing a new round of persecution…we need to urge leaders in the Jewish community to express their outrage… My Israeli sources say the pattern is to let time pass and sweep the investigation under the rug because many Orthodox Jews despise all Christians, not only Messianic believers…”
Equally as hard-hit as the Jews by the unrest in Israel are Messianic believers. Many of them are unemployed. Ministers such as Ari Sorko-Ram are working to raise money for them from Christian believers through a Web site called www.istandwithisrael.com.
The problem is that a Web site with a similar name collects money from evangelicals for many worthwhile causes. But that group also funnels money to Orthodox groups that often oppress Messianic believers.
Ari Sorko-Ram is the son-in-law of Christ for the Nations co-founder Freda Lindsay. I met with him and his wife, Shira, when I was in Israel several years ago and know how valuable and important their ministry, Maoz Israel, is. I have personally supported this ministry financially, as I urge you to do by visiting their Web site. It's important for Christians to stand with our Messianic brothers and sisters at this time.
CBN even temporarily converts Christians to Jews for theatrical purposes: The poor Jew in this report: http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/385992.aspx is really the unabashed Christian in this report: http://www.cbn.com/CBNnews/336829.aspx
Robert Stearns: CUFI Regional Director
***I have a significant and distressing report on Hutchins, but when I checked the CUFI website on July 8, 2008, Hutchin’s name no longer appeared. I have received confirmation that James Hutchins is no longer a regional director of CUFI. My source was unable to say who "instigated the split".
Hutchins Is President of the Jerusalem Connection International. He graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary with a Doctor of Missionary (Multi/Cross-Cultural Studies). His dissertation was entitled, "A Case for Messianic Judaism." Jim sits on the board of the Cyrus Fund which is a project of the Jerusalem Connection. 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. Also six out of the seven board members of the Cyrus Foundation are either active evangelical missionaries or messianic Jews. Rabbi Kravitz of Jews for Judaism has more to say on Hutchin's proselytizing to Jews…
First and foremost, the situation demands that Israel set up an accountable system to monitor our relationship with Christian groups. Counter-missionary legislation must be enacted, and our rabbinic leaders need to issue immediate and clear halachic guidelines which enable and empower us to protect and preserve our Jewish heritage.
Under the circumstances, it would be wise for the Diaspora and Israeli Jewish community to distance itself from CUFI until Hagee can get his house in order. I know that's a difficult and tall order to fill - especially in light of the outstanding and supportive statements and gestures emanating from that Christian body
I met with Hagee confidant and friend Rabbi Arye Scheinberg fourweeks ago at the home of Rabbi Simcha HaCohen Kook. I understand Rabbi Scheinberg had requested the meeting with Rav Kook in order to better understand certain positions the rabbinate has been taking. A Representative from the Jerusalem City Council and the director of a counter-missionary group were among those present at the meeting. Rabbi Scheinberg acknowledged the wealth of evidence and problems with certain CUFI directors, and assured me that Pastor Hagee was well aware of the situation with at least one of his main directors and publishers. I was told that Strang was “out” and that other changes were forthcoming. But other than the sudden removal of Jim Hutchins from the CUFI Regional Director section of the website, I have no indication that any action has been taken as a result of that meeting.
(1) Haaretz, June 10, 2006 , Aliyah with a cat, a dog and Jesus