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"It is better to take refuge in Adonai than to trust in human beings; better to take refuge in Adonai than to put one's trust in princes." -Tehilah 118:8-9

We're in the FORWARD: Does that mean we're Jews now?

That's it. We've made it to the big time:

Messianic Jews Find Fertile Ground in the Bible Belt
Jewish Daily Forward June 13, 2007

Quotes of Note:
“There is a pragmatic, serious interest in that part of Christianity that continues to believe in proselytizing to promote messianic Judaism,” said Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League. “So they’ve come up with this gimmick: If you can establish that you can be both [Christian and Jewish], then why not accept Jesus and be Jewish?”

“You can’t be both,” Foxman added. “That’s nonsense.”
You can't be both for the Jewish people and against them, either, can you, Abe? I love the way Jewish organizations haul out Abe Foxman to comment on the nature of religious Jewish identity, as if he has any authority whatsoever to comment on matters of Jewish spirituality or identity. Foxman, the supporter of such radically Jewish ideas as gay rights, Marc Rich, and Israel's unilateral disengagement from Gush Katif, is as authoritative a source on Jewish identity as George Soros is on politics. Can any Jew take seriously the opinions of a man who claims to chair the fight against antisemitism while justifying Hamas's use of the Holocaust as a teaching tool, "to make it easier for the Israelis to recognize the suffering of the Palestinians"?

What's truly interesting about the article is how the Forward, a non-Messianic paper, allowed itself to become a forum for the continuing discussion on Messianic identity triggered by the publication of Mark Kinzer's Postmissionary Messianic Judaism thesis. Somehow, I can't help but marvel at the PR machine behind Kinzer-- whether it is housed in the Hashivenu quarters or in the UMJC as a whole, I do not know, but they will receive my applause nonetheless. I disagree with Kinzer's theories completely, but his marketing strategy is fantastic.
"We really feel that in order for messianic Judaism to be legitimate… we have to be deeply connected with the Jewish world and to see other forms of Judaism as having their value in the overall scheme of God’s purposes for the world," [Hashivenu board member Richard] Nichol said. He added, "That’s a little different than some people who would call themselves messianic Jews, who really view themselves as principally connected to the world of the church and somewhat more incidentally view themselves as somewhat Jewish."
Kudos to Nichol: He boiled down in a concise statement the Kinzer theory most reviewers have danced around for months. In doing so, he draws attention to an important point, one that is, perhaps, the crux of the issue at hand: In seeking to define a Messianic Jewish identity, Kinzer's crew literally bastardizes the current Messianic movement by putting Rabbinic Judaism at odds with Evangelical Christianity. In doing so, they take what is a Biblical identity and hand it over to the parentage of thousands of years of human doctrine that began with the Maccabees on one side and Constantine on the other. It is as if, to the Kinzer faction, Messianic Judaism is nothing more than a child who has grown up, learned of his adoption, and is now seeking out evidence of his parentage by placing inquiries of his identity into the hands of any distant relative he can find instead of returning to the Registrar's office and checking the books for facts.

"Postmissionary Messianic Judaism" is another fad that won't last very long. It's popularity, however, does raise some important points about Messianic identity, namely, where it is sourced, how it is identified and, subsequently, how it is allied and expressed. And if these are accepted as rhetorical questions, the Messianic community had better watch out, lest there be nothing left to argue about in the coming generation.

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posted by Shoshana @ 5:50 PM

And People Wonder Why I Shake My Head

"We Jews are a Biblical example of getting it wrong."

-Paul Liberman
Publisher, Messianic Times
Executive Director, International Messianic Jewish Alliance
Co-Founder, Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations
former Executive, Messianic Jewish Alliance of America
founder of 2 Messianic Congregations (Washington D.C. & San Diego, CA)
former Messianic Congregational Leader, Israel
former Chairman of the Messianic Action Committee, Israel
former Executive Director of the Joseph Project
author of The Fig Tree Blossoms

Quoted from the August 2007 fundraising newsletter issued by the IMJA

His was a contextual reference to Jewish pride. You heard me right: "Jewish Pride," a.k.a. the greatest oxymoron since "Muslim Intelligence." If Jews had any pride, let alone the right kind of pride-- in their G-d, in their identity, in their land-- they wouldn't be surrendering their homes to Muslim interlopers, let alone condescending to Christian supporters in monthly fundraiser mailings.

This is the second month in a row Paul Liberman has felt the need to praise Christians at Jewish expense. Since when did we become traitors to our own people? Since when did Yeshua say it was okay to down yourself in the name of dollars? All puns intended, that doesn't make any sense.

"And having chosen them, He called them to come to Him. And having called them, He gave them right standing with Himself. And having given them right standing, He gave them His glory." --Romans 8:30

We aren't in a position to bow down to anyone. Unfortunately, until we realize this truth and abide in it, we will forever be doomed to self-subjugation at the hands of the powers that seek to keep us powerless by the simple act of denying our rightful pride as servants of the Most High G-d.

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posted by Shoshana @ 6:36 PM