January 2009 update

January 29, 2009

Posted by Ellen W. Horowitz

CONVERTED DEMOCRATICALLY Jews for Jesus is claiming 14 new Israeli converts for this month. And Israeli HOT Cable TV featured the head of the cult’s Israeli branch defending his activities as “democracy…freedom of expression, freedom of religion”, and “completely legal” in the State of Israel.

As Benny, the guest accommodation manager at Kibbutz Amiad – which was hosting Jews for Jesus - puts it, “We know how to take money, they know how to give money. It’s strictly business. It’s not as though Amiad is changing its religion.” ------------------------------

THE GAZA WAR THROUGH CHRISTIAN EYES The World Evangelical Alliance plays "neutral" The WEA - the largest evangelical body in the world released a neutral statement on the Gaza war: “The God who is near wants to bless the Jewish people but not at the expense of the Arab people and He wants to bless the Arab people but not at the expense of the Jewish people.” ------
The Messianic spin on the Gaza War The Messianic publication Israel Today is reporting that “In their nearly unified support for military action, Israeli Messianic leaders did not forget Jesus' command to also love Israel's enemies (Matthew 5:44). “Howard Bass, pastor of the Messianic Nachalat Yeshua congregation in Israel’s southern city of Beersheva, voiced his support for Israel’s campaign against Hamas Gaza, but qualified this by stating that, ‘… Israel continues to resist turning back to the God of Israel and His Messiah Yeshua, the Son of God, who alone gives peace, security, healing’. " ------

The North American Evangelical Lutheran Church is “not taking sides” (ha!) (Choice excerpts): "That is not about keeping Israel safe from suicide bombers," said Bishop James Justman, head of the East Central Synod of Wisconsin. "That is to crush the spirit of people who have been on the land for a long time. I'm not taking sides in general because it's such a big mess and reminds me of the sadness when there are so many layers of hatred and violence and bad things that have happened. But there are so many stories like that, but this one stands out to me. Here's this grizzled old guy still in his house … and he's surrounded by angry settlers." "But as I observed where the wall is and how it's being used, I would say now it's a strategic measure of apartheid." ------
Evangelists and Islamists join forces in “Humanitarian Aid” Efforts A friend from Texas, who has been busy organizing pro-Israel rallies, expressed shock that a “huge anti-Israel, Gaza solidarity fundraising event took place last weekend at the local Islamic center. Co-hosting the event was THE AMERICAN BIBLE SOCIETY”. She is searching for the “inflammatory ad” promoting the event which appeared in the local paper.

Meanwhile, I went online and discovered that The American Bible Society and Middle Eastern Bible Societies have joined together to Bring Humanitarian Aid for Gaza Conflict Victims. This humanitarian aid project is a joint effort between the American Bible Society (ABS), Palestinian Bible Society (PBS), the Bible Society in Israel (BSI), and the Arab-Israeli Bible Society (AIBS). And you can bet that very active proselytizing in Israel is a part of this venture.

In what I can only call “a proportional response”, the Arab Palestinian Christian Development Director of the societies felt the need "to express the love of Jesus Christ to both sides", and he recently visited a hospital in Beersheva “to offer prayers and words of blessing” to wounded Israeli soldiers. "In conjunction with PBS, BSI and AIBS, the American Bible Society will help to provide 100,000 Psalms Scripture portions in South Israel and 100,000 Scripture booklets in Arabic languages for Palestinians and Israelis." Under the circumstances, Israeli politician Effie Eitam may want to try and get that PR shot of him at the American Bible Society's Bible Library taken offline (that image is prominently displayed on several Bible Society related links) ------
Close Calls for Christians in Sderot Evangelical Earl Cox got knocked off his feet by a Kassam , and Yechiel Eckstein had a remarkable photo op with an incoming missile. It was also reported that Jordan Sekulow – son of Jay Sekulow of Jews for Jesus and ACLJ fame – had a close call with an incoming projectile ------------------------------
POMP AND uncomfortable CIRCUMSTANCES Warren Witnesses at Presidential InvocationEvangelical Pastor Rick Warren concluded the invocation at President Obama's inauguration in an exclusively evangelical way. He used the opportunity to "witness" to the many millions watching the ceremony: "I humbly ask this in the name of the one who changed my life, Yeshua, Isa, Jesus, Jesus (hay-SOOS), who taught us to pray, Our Father who art in heaven hallowed be thy name...." Some critics note that Warren turned the invocation into an explicitly Christian prayer, and that his reference to Jesus as Yeshua was a gesture towards so called "messianic Jews". Time Magazine notes that for the sixth straight presidential inauguration, rabbis would not have a place on the dais. Since 1985, only Evangelical Protestants have played a part in the presidential swearing-in ceremony.

On the other hand….

Did Lookstein Overlook Halacha? The JTA reports that The Rabbinical Coucil of America – charged a prominent member of violating its rules by participating in the National Prayer Service at the National Cathedral on the morning after Barack Obama's inauguration. “The long-standing policy of the Rabbinical Council of America, in accordance with Jewish law, is that participation in a prayer service held in the sanctuary of a church is prohibited," the RCA said in a statement. The RCA said that Rabbi Haskel Lookstein’s participation “was problematic both because the service was held in the sanctuary of a church, which Orthodox Jews are prohibited from entering, and because it was an interfaith prayer service, which the RCA discourages for fear that such participation could allow missionaries to legitimize their argument that Jews can indeed embrace Jesus.”

Rabbi Tzvi Hersch Weinreb, the executive vice president of the Orthodox Union sited the late Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik’s position that Orthodox rabbis “should not engage in theological debate or participate in interfaith services.”

But Rabbi Lookstein has responded in a letter to his colleagues at the RCA. An excerpt follows: “It is well known that many Chief Rabbis of England have gone into Westminster Abby when summoned there by the King or Queen, and many other great rabbis have done the same to represent our community. The Chief Rabbis of Israel have engaged in similar activities, and, most recently, the Chief Rabbi of Haifa, Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen was involved in similar activities. In fact, he attended the funeral of the late Pope, John Paul II.” Rabbis may be going to church, but do we really want Jesus in the Temple?... -----------------------------------------------------------

EXPLOITING JERUSALEM AND THE TEMPLE INSTITUTE Women on the Walls held a “prophetic summons” in Jerusalem in early January. The Promotion: O women, herald of good tidings, Say to Zion: “Accept from us the joyful announcement of the resurrection of Messiah! O Jerusalem, rejoice, and leap for joy! For you have seen the King, coming out of the tomb, and Behold, He comes now as the Fair Bridegroom!" Christine Darg of Exploits Ministries, Covenant Alliances and the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus, led the evangelic road show . Too bad Rabbi Glick, the director of the Temple Institute was caught on a feature video participating in a rather bizarre ceremony with Darg, who has at the bottom of her homepage: EXPLOITS DECLARES THE MESSAGE OF JESUS CHRIST TO A GLOBAL AUDIENCE THROUGH MINISTRY AND MEDIA, BASED ON THE PATTERN OF ACTS 1:8-'You shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.' Exploits Ministries online financial statements for the Year 2007 identify them as “ a missionary society with a Biblical mandate to take the Gospel to the Bible lands… “ with a …”commitment to take the Good News of Jesus Christ back to the Bible Lands where the Gospel began, to both Jew and Arab…” And then of course there are these choice audio and video quotes: “ Even though many people are afraid to share the gospel here, I tell you I have never had any problem...we were giving away beautiful posters to the Israeli soldiers at checkpoints ... The Russian Jews are the most open Jewish people group to the gospel on the face of the earth at this moment. The Russians today were begging us for New Testaments … "----Christine Darg ,Exploits Ministries, Covenant Alliances, in partnership with the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus “It’s heartbreaking…that Jewish souls will be lost to eternity unless they come to know him [Jesus] as their Jewish Messiah. As both Christians and Messianic believers we have a responsibility to correct what’s been done in the past….Today we can give back the Jewish people their own Jewish bible - one that explains in a Jewish context that Yeshua is the Messiah of Israel who loves them in a very special way. I encourage you to sponsor a chapter of the much needed bible so that you can show the love of Yeshua to the Jewish people here in Israel…” ---Peter Darg, Exploits Ministries and Covenant Alliances in partnership with the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus Perhaps Rabbi Glick was unaware that Christine and her husband Peter personally engage in activities which directly target Jews for conversion. But a few months back, I and a group of other concerned activists met with the Director of the International Department of the Temple Institute, Rabbi Chaim Richman, and discussed the missionary problem in Israel. At the time Rabbi Richman expressed outrage and assured us that the he was on top of the situation. Perhaps the Temple Institute got thrown off track by Christine and Peter Darg’s active partnership with www.christtheredeemer.com/files/israelbrochure.pdf+christtheredeemer.com+%2B+darg&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1"> Covenant Alliances, and the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus - who state as their policy “We at the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus as well, do not hide our refusal to cooperate with Christians active in missionary work amongst Jews”. (Benny Elon in the JPost). For more on Covenant Alliances and the Knesset Caucus read here and here. ------------------------

A WORD ABOUT “EVANGELICAL” What is an Evangelical? Are they more than just “Israel’s best friends”? An exclusive commentary at World Net Daily answers that for us. ----------------------------------

A WORD ABOUT THE VATICAN In this new era of Christian-Jewish reconciliation, this report just wouldn’t be complete without including mention of the Vatican’s recent activities. But words just don’t do these injustices justice. So a simple listing with links will have to suffice · The Pope reinstates Holocaust-denying bishop and Chief Rabbinate cuts ties . · Bishop Richard Williamson in his own perverted words (must watch video interview) · Cardinal Renato Martino, the head of the Vatican Council for Justice and Peace and a former Holy See envoy to the United Nations, compared Gaza to a "big concentration camp" · Pope Benedict recently restored the Tridentine rite - a prayer for the conversion of Jews - resulting in a boycott of a key Vatican event by the Chief Rabbi of Venice, who has accused Pope Benedict of wiping out 50 years of dialogue. · The Vatican continues its efforts to whitewash the record of Pope Pius Xll ("Hitler's Pope") so that they can proceed with the beautification process without Jewish sensitivities getting in the way. · Vatican negotiators in Israel reportedly appear eager to finalize negotiations on fiscal and property matters prior to the pope's upcoming visit to the Holy Land. It should be noted that there are www.isfsp.org/zion-news.html"> ongoing attempts by the Vatican to acquire property on the Diaspora Yeshiva Campus - including the Upper Room above The Traditional Tomb of King David.

What’s Rabbi Riskin gonna do? In light of all of these old/new tribulations with the Church, one wonders if Rabbi Riskin and his “Orthodox Jewish center to theologically dialogue with Christians” is still planning to co-host, with the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, a religious leaders mission to Israel this March. And will David Nekrutman, executive director of Riskin’s interfaith center continue to cooperate with and encourage Vatican efforts to rehabilitate Pope Pius Xll? -------------------------

Missionary alert: Aviad Cohen's singing Jesus in Jerusalem "The World's Most Kosher MC" turned Jesus freak (in the worst kind of way) has made aliyah . Heads up Ministry of Interior as this guy has got to go. He is one dangerous dude. But the Christian channels from CBN to TBN to GodTube just love him.You can read all about Aviad's messianic exploits on Jerusalem's Ben Yehuda Street.



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