Referenced Messianic Jewish Review Blog

The official blog of the Referenced Messianic Jewish Review. The Referenced Messianic Jewish Review studies the history, composition and theology of the Messianic Jewish movement.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Assemblies of God Ordains...Rabbis?

The irony of the title of this post is not so ironic when you realize that the Assemblies of God (part of the Pentecostal Christian movement) actually claim to ordain rabbis. Harold Picker is a convert to Christianity and an official Assemblies of God missionary to the Jewish people. According to his bio on the Beth Yachad Messianic Synagogue, where he serves as "rabbi" with his wife Joyce:

"Harlon and Joyce were commissioned by the Assemblies of God as U.S. Missionaries to the Jewish people in October of 2008. Harlon received his Full Ordination as a Messianic Jewish Rabbi with the Assemblies of God on April 22, 2008." (accessed on 6/27/10)

The Assemblies of God movement has been heavily involved in Messianic congregations since Temple Aron HaKodesh of Florida joined their movement in the early 1970s. Ordaining a person as a "rabbi" shows just how willing their movement is to mislead Jews to adopt Christianity.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Court Win, Part II!

As an update on my previous post, "Court Win!", here is a link to Yad L'achim's report on the ruling by the judge in their favor. It is very clear that the Messianic plaintiffs made numerous false and illogical accusations against Yad L'achim and the Chief Rabbi of Beersheva.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Christ For the Nations Missionizing Israel

I have previously written about how Maoz Israel is a mission of Christ for the Nations, a Texas-based evangelical Christian school.

However, Maoz Israel is not the only Israeli Messianic outreach that is tied to Christ for the Nations. Messianic evangelist Avi Mizrahi and his wife Chaya studied at Christ for the Nations from 1985-87. Following their Christian education, the couple began as full-time missionaries to the Jewish people in Israel. They run the Dugit Outreach Centre and Adonai Roi Congregation, aiming to bring Jews to Christianity through the Messianic movement.

Christ for the Nations obviously wants to bring Christianity to others. Unfortunately, the school and its graduates do not necessarily care about honesty in presenting themselves as Christians.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Court Win!

In an attempt to strike at the real Jews, the Messianics in Beersheva, Israel took the Chief Rabbi of Beersheva and the countermissionary organization Yad L'Achim to court. And the true Jews won! Moreover, the Messianics have to compensate each of the defendants and pay their legal fees. Here is an article from JewishIsrael on the topic:

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Targeting Children

As long as I have been doing countermissionary work, it is now fairly rare for me to see something that surprises me. False claims, misuse of the Bible, inventing history...I have seen these occur so many times that I am almost numb to them. But today I read something that cut through all the numbness.

Anatoliy Odnoralov is the epitome of every bad cliche about missionaries to the Jewish people. He is a Christian from the former Soviet Union, educated at the Ukraine Bible Seminary and Oklahoma Bible Institute, who works as a missionary for the Southern Baptist Convention targeting Jewish people for conversion. Despite lacking any connection to Judaism, he identified himself as a "Messianic Jew" to the immigrant Russian Jewish community. He operates the International Center of Hope in Denver, which offers free secular classes such as English as a second language as a way of bringing non-Christians immigrants into his influence. He and his wife admit to making friends of Jews specifically as a method of converting them to Christianity. All of this is sadly typical of the dishonesty of Christian missionaries to the Russian Jewish immigrant community.

But, Odnoralov does something which is less common (though certainly not unheard of) among missionaries. He specifically targets children for conversion and uses them as a way of converting their families. Odnoralov is quoted by the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention as saying, "We want to establish relationships with them. We also have a big youth group, and we have summer camps to attract kids who do not know Jesus. We see kids accept the Messiah, and they pass on the Good News to their friends and family members."

That quote stopped me dead in my tracks. They use a summer camp to specifically attract children for conversion. Not to help the children, not to give them enjoyment, but to get the children to accept Jesus. And, he hopes that these converted children will then convince their families and friends to believe in Jesus.

Dishonesty, deception and misrepresentation are bad enough when interacting with adults. Targeting children for conversion is completely immoral. And this guy is given money by the Southern Baptist Convention to engage in this unethical behavior. Truly, Odnoralov and the Southern Baptist Convention do not want to interact with the Russian Jewish immigrants in an honest and manner manner.