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.

Friday, July 23, 2010


I recently received an e-mail that gave me a chuckle. Here is the e-mail:

"Thank you for listing B'nai Avraham Messianic Fellowship of Hampton, VA on your website.

Note that we have become an independent congregation, with website of

We also no longer worship at Liberty Baptist church.

If you have questions about this change, please ask!

Mike Mitchell
member, BAMF ministry team"

Independent....not so much. First of all, it does not change the fact that B'nai Avraham was a church plant by the Liberty Baptist church. I am sure that I am not surprising anyone when I say that Baptist churches do not plant real synagogues. Second, their congregation is part of the Southern Baptist Messianic Fellowship. So, officially they are Southern Baptists. Again, not so independent. Just now grown-up enough to worship elsewhere, as practicing Southern Baptists, with no real connection to true Judaism.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Why Change A Name?

I find it interesting that over time, many Messianic congregations and ministries have changed their names to seem more Jewish and become more attractive to Jews. Here are a few of my favorites:

Original Name:
Hebrew Christian Alliance of America
Current Name:
Messianic Jewish Alliance of America (this is the largest Messianic congregational organization in the world)

Original Name:
American Board of Missions to the Jews
Current Name:
Chosen People Ministries (this is one of the biggest missionary groups trying to convert Jews around the world)

Original Name:
Emmanuel Presbyterian Hebrew Christian Congregation (Clarksville, MD)
Current Name:
Emmanuel Messianic Jewish Congregation

Original Name:
First Hebrew Christian Church (Chicago)
Current Name:
Adat Ha Tikvah

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Almost 50

What is almost 50? Almost 50 is the number of Messianic congregations and ministries that are affiliated with the Southern Baptist Messianic Fellowship (SBMF). Mind you, the SBMF does not even include all of the Southern Baptist Messianic congregations that currently exist!

But let's turn this over in our mind for a bit. Almost 50 organizations that present themselves as practicing Judaism when they are really practicing the Southern Baptist version of Christianity. Almost 50 groups that use Jewish symbols and prayers (many of which did not exist until long after Jesus death) to convince Jews to become Christians, in the guise of being a "Messianic Jew." Almost 50 outreaches to Jewish people claiming to practice "authentic Judaism" when their Judaism neither matches that of the current time nor of the time of Jesus.

Almost 50 organizations must involve a considerable investment of time and money. This is the part that baffles me. There are estimated to be around 13.5 Jews in the world yet the amount of money spent on converting Jews to Christianity is astronomical. To put it in perspective, Jews for Jesus, a group founded by a Baptist minister that runs independently from the Southern Baptist Convention, has roughly a $20 million annual budget. That is more than $1 for every Jew in the world! How much money must be spent for nearly 50 groups to be staffed and operational?

The Southern Baptist Convention's relationship with the Jewish people can best be summarized as "long on money, short on honesty."