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.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Being Christian

I often hear from Messianic leaders and congregational members who claim that Messianic "Judaism" is a real form of Judaism, ignoring its history as a creation of 19th century Christianity. But sometimes, Messianic leaders make clear statements that they are Christians.
In the Southern Baptist Messianic Fellowship (SBMF) March 6, 2009 Newsflash, SBMF President Ric Worshill wrote "If we, as Bible believing Christians, do not tell the Jewish people about their true Mashiach Yeshua (Messiah Jesus), then who will?"

Thank you for making my point that the Messianic movement is Christianity!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Before and After

One of the interesting aspects of the Messianic movement is how various missionaries often sanitize their history over time. For instance, let's look at Oded Cohen, a Jews for Jesus missionary in Israel. His current biography on the Jews for Jesus website says:

"Oded Cohen is an Israeli-born Jewish believer in Y'shua. His wife, Bimini, is Chinese. Neither, however, were believers in Jesus at the time they were married. Bimini was the first to come to faith, and Oded recalls that his reaction was, "Oh boy, what am I going to do now?" However, he was challenged to consider Jesus by some of the Jews for Jesus staff as well as by Bimini...."

However, his original introduction in the May 2002 Jews for Jesus newsletter stated:

"I was born and reared in Israel at a very secular kibbutz. Of course, we celebrated all the Jewish holidays. However, on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year, instead of fasting as it is commanded, we held a big barbeque. When we were able to get hold of a pig to roast, it was a major accomplishment....."

So what happened to the story of the pig roast on Yom Kippur? Why was it removed for his later biography? Perhaps it was removed because it showed his clear lack of respect for the Jewish faith.

Monday, January 17, 2011

All In For Jewish Conversion

It is amazing how many different Christian denominations will get together to convert the Jews to Christianity. As an example, let's look at Jim Sibley involvement in different conversion efforts run by an assortment of Christian groups. Jim Sibley is best known in the Jewish world for a ten year run as the head of Jewish Ministries for the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). At the present time, he teaches Jewish evangelism at the SBC's Criswell College.

Jim Sibley is also now on the board of The Church's Ministry among Jewish People-USA (CMJ). CMJ is the Church of England's attempt to convert the Jewish people. The Church of England is the church which invented Messianic Judaism, originally calling it "Hebrew-Christianity."

Further, he is currently the Editor-In-Chief and Publisher of Mishkan, a publication on the Messianic movement and converting the Jews to Christianity. Mishkan is published in conjuction with the Caspari Center, which is a Israeli-based Jewish evangelical center created by the Norwegian Church Ministry to Israel. The Norwegian Church Ministry to Israel is the evangelical arm of the Church of Norway, which is a Lutheran church.

These three Christian denominations (the Southern Baptist Convention, the Church of England and the Church of Norway) represent three totally different streams of Christianity. They have different leaders, different histories and even differing theologies. But, they will all get together to convert the Jewish people.
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Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Southern Baptist Messianics

There is an old joke that it is not called paranoia when others really are plotting against you. The Southern Baptist Convention has been extremely active in attempting to convert Jews to Christianity using the Messianic movement. Specifically, the Southern Baptist Messianic Fellowship is their evangelical branch to the Jewish people. Below is point 3 from the Southern Baptist Messianic Fellowship May 29, 2010 news update, documenting a major meeting between multiple Baptist and Messianic organizations to co-ordinate conversion of the Jewish people.

For sake of ease, let me review the acronyms that they use:

SBMF = Southern Baptist Messianic Fellowship

SBC = Southern Baptist Convention

NAMB = North American Mission Board, an umbrella body of the Southern Baptist Convention's evangelical outreaches to various groups

UMJC = Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations

SWTS = Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Below is the aforementioned point 3. This is their exact words:

#3. The SBMF Leadership Team And Several Members Meet With Other Messianic Ministries In A Meeting Sponsored And Funded By the North American Mission Board.

Meeting Title: “Consultation On “Messianic Congregational Planting”

On May 18th and 19th several of the SBMF Leadership Team, several Messianic ministers from outside the SBMF and several local SBMF ministry leaders met at the North American Mission Board offices in Alpharetta, Georgia. Brothers Mark Hobafcovich and Jorge Sedaca serve NAMB in the Church Planting Group. BrotherMark Hobafcovich approached SBMF President Mike Saffle and SBMF Vice-president Ric Worshill several months ago and proposed a plan to have several Messianic leaders come together, in prayer and fellowship, to build new partnerships and work together to start new congregations. This process started an interdenominational resource called the “Messianic Mission Network” and bring us together to serve the Kingdom with one mind, one heart and one spirit.

This was a peer-learning consultation. Selected leaders from the invitee list presented position papers on the subject and gave a message about their papers.

Expected Outcomes:

1. Sharing of models and strategies for Messianic Congregational Planting in North America

2. Utilize the findings to provide for a framework for implementing a Messianic congregation
planting strategy

3. Publish the findings through write-ups and white papers on extending the love of God through the sharing of the Gospel with the Jewish people in North America.

The guests in attendance from outside the SBMF were:

Anatoliy Odnoralov, SBC Church Planter Strategist, CO.

Ben Volman, Chosen People Ministries. (CAN)

Daniel Richard Muller, New Covenant Forum, Formerly from Jews for Jesus Toronto

Greg Dangar, Dangar Associates-Pro. Accountants

Murray Tilles, Light of Messiah Ministries. Atlanta, GA.
Rudy González, SWTS Prof. & Dean of the William R. Marshall Center for Theological Studies

Russ Resnik, President UMJC

Sam Nadler, Word of Messiah Ministry, NC. SBMF Affiliate and Minister Trainer

Yegor (Greg) Zhelezny, Joy of Freedom Publishing - Congregation Hope of Israel

SBMF Members

Mike Saffle, SBMF President

Ric Worshill, Illinois

Jay Isbell, Bessemer, AL.

Bruce Stokes, SBMF & UMJC Officer, CA.

Randall Clarke, Chatham, VA

Hal Garrett, Walnut Ridge, AR.

Bob McDonald, Lake Villa. IL.

John Denson, Detroit, MI.

Jeff Dumont, Byron, GA.

Robin David Rose, Dallas, TX.
Orlando Garcia, Cartersville, GA.
Gary M. Maxted, Woodstock, GA

Pastor Bill Ratliff, Woodstock, GA

Steve Kaplan, Atlanta, GA.

Jay Fielding, Marietta GA.

Mark Hobafcovich, Alpharetta, GA. NAMB Host & Urban Church Planting Consultant

Jorge Sedaca, Alpharetta, GA. NAMB Co-host & Church Planting Resource Development

Leroy A Fountain, Alpharetta, GA. NAMB Church Planting Consultant

Betsy Rogers, Alpharetta, GA. NAMB Ministry Assistant

Jason Kim, Alpharetta, GA. NAMB Metropolitan Missions Team, Coordinator and Regional Focus

The forum discussion was in reference to congregational planting techniques. Dr.Rudy González opened the discussion with an inspirational teaching about “To The Jew First”. We discussed several methods of ethnic missions work to the Jewish people group. The presentation papers will be available by download at a later date.

In a nutshell, the Southern Baptist Convention is targeting Jews for conversion in a co-ordinated campaign with multiple Messianic organizations. So why would anyone think that the Messianic movement is Jewish?