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.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Share A Visa?

While doing my research on the Messianic movement, I ran into an interesting older article in Mission Apostlica, a journal of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS). It described the co-operation between the Caspari Center, an Israeli Messianic organization created by the Church of Norway, and the LCMS. The article, titled "Messianic Judaism and Mission Opportunity" by David R. Schmitt, described a situation that appears to be of questionable legality. The quote which got my attention is:

"To do so, the Norwegian Church Ministry to Israel is offering the Missouri Synod use of one of the visas for NCMI congregational/ministry work in Israel. Such visas are not presently granted by Israel; hence, NCMI is offering the Missouri Synod an opportunity they would otherwise not be able to pursue."

Was this even legal? And even if legal, can we call this moral? Does legality or morality matter when evangelizing the Jews? Probably not.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Answers to a Pastor

A pastor asked Rabbi Gutman Locks about Jesus, asking questions that I typically get from Messianics who read my blog and website. I think his answer is very useful helpful for all who do not understand why Jesus is rejected by Judaism as the Messiah.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Chanukah and the Messianic Movement

As we come toward the end of Chanukah, I was thinking of an interesting connection between the events of Chanukah and the Messianic movement. Most people reading this blog are probably familiar about the story of Chanukah, in which the Jews defeated the Greeks to restore their freedom and lit the Menorah with oil that lasted for eight days. However, there is more to the Chanukah story.

You see, the Jews were actually fighting two battles. They were fighting the Greeks and also fighting the Hellenistic Jews. The Hellenistic Jews were Jews who adopted Greek belief and culture. They wanted the Jewish people to leave Judaism for the Greek religion and way of life. The Jews, led by the Hasmoneans (also known as the Maccabees), defeated both the Greeks and Hellenistic Jews, allowing Judaism to continue to exist in the Holy Land.

The Messianic movement is a modern day equivalent of the Hellenistic Jews. Messianic "Judaism" is an 1800's creation of the Church of England, which has since spread to many other Christian denominations. The movement involves many people who were born Jewish but who are now practicing Christianity. The Messianic movement seeks to convert other Jews to Christianity, dressing Christianity in "Jewish clothing." Today, the Jewish people are battling the Messianic movement just as the Hasmoneans battled the Hellenistic Jews, all in the name of preserving true Judaism.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Jews for Jesus Vs. Chosen People Ministries

Jews for Jesus is currently fighting Chosen People Ministries in a Canadian court. I find this ironic since Reverend Martin "Moishe" Rosen, the founder of Jews for Jesus, got his start on converting Jews with the American Board of Jewish Missions (the original name of Chosen People Ministries). However, since both have multi-million dollar budgets (Jews for Jesus brings in over $20 million a year), I am not surprised that they are fighting over access to supporters.

There are also a couple of interesting points about Jews for Jesus in this article. Jews for Jesus must approve all marriages of their missionaries and a divorce gets a missionary fired. Wow, talk about controlling a person.....

Monday, December 06, 2010

Coming Home, Part 3, Penina Taylor

Many Messianic groups like to talk about Jews who left Judaism to join their Christian movement. So, I am posting the stories about Jews who left Judaism, joined the Messianic movement and returned to true Judaism.

Penina Taylor is the head of Shomrei Emet Institute, a Jewish countermissionary organization. However, prior to coming back to true Judaism, she spent 17 years as a religious Christian. She was a counselor for the Billy Graham Crusade and graduated from Miami Christian college. She helped start a Messianic congregation with her family in Maryland. She and her family helped create the Association of Torah Observant Messianics. With further study, she realized that she had made a mistake and came back to true Judaism.

Penina recently wrote a book about her experiences. Here is a link to her biography on the book's website so you can learn more about her experience:

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Coming Home, Part 2: Jeff Neckonoff

The Messianic movement likes to present stories of Jews who joined their movement and accepted Jesus. So in response, I am posting the stories of Jews who joined the Messianic movement but later returned to true Judaism. Jeff Neckonoff spent 6 years is in the Messianic movement. He eventually realized his error and returned to true Judaism. Click on the link below for his story: