That‘s not kosher chicken Mike Huckabee is eating with messianic missionary Jonathan Bernis.
Just over three months ago, Huckabee was the celebrated keynote speaker at the the ninth annual banquet of the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute (MJBI). His much publicized appearance at that MJBI dinner, alongside messianic musician Maurice Sklar, seems to indicate that there may be a serious chink in the armour of Israel's latest white knight.
MJBI is a deceptive and aggressive Christian missionary organization which exists for the sole purpose of converting Jews. The following is from MJBI’s about us page on their website:
The vision of the MJBI is to bring Jewish people into a personal relationship of faith with Yeshua the Messiah, knowing their acceptance will eventually mean life from the dead (Romans 11:15).
The MJBI equips leaders who will establish Messianic Jewish congregations and ministries in Jewish communities worldwide. Additionally, the MJBI seeks to equip the Church in its responsibility to take the Good News to the Jew first (Romans 1:16). Like Paul, the MJBI helps educate Christians in their role to provoke the Jewish people to jealousy and thus save some of them (Romans 11:11-14).
Jewish Israel has previously covered, several times, the activities of Christian "Rabbi" Jonathan Bernis. We've watched him interview a baptizing, proselytizing Pat Boone, encourage the spreading of the gospel to new olim, and exploit "American Idol" for missionary purposes. We've reported on his involvement in a scandal involving a Knesset member and documented his success in spreading "messianic Judaism" in Israel and elsewhere worldwide. Bernis is literally on the same page as Pastor John Hagee as far as endorsing the missionary organization, Maoz Israel.
Last week Maoz Israel's blogsite expressed "confusion" over Jewish Israel's praise for Jon Voight, our criticism of the Waller Family, and our silence on Mike Huckabee's visit. Jewish Israel hopes that this report will make things perfectly clear for Jew, Gentile and the "confused" alike.
We hope that Mr. Huckabee is equally keen on alleviating any confusion and clarifying mixed messages. Jewish Israel has written a respectful letter of concern to Mr. Huckabee and we hope to get a reply to the following questions:
In Jewish Israel’s letter, we also informed Mr. Huckabee of the activities of the messianic Christian Waller family, whom Mr. Huckabee performed with during his recent stay in Israel. Last month Jewish Israel reported that the Wallers’, a devout and truly nice family, who voluntarily assist with grape harvesting in Israel, have participated in an anti-Semitic film production and are supportive of messianic missionaries who actively proselytize and target Jews for conversion in Israel.
Surely Mr. Huckabee's PR staff must know that photo ops with Bernis and a high profile banquet with messianic missionary leaders could be problematic, and that it poses an uncomfortable challenge for those Jews who strive for an honest and respectful relationship with a man whose sights are set on the White House.
While Mr. Huckabee was in Israel, the music of messianic Maurice Sklar, who accompanied Huckabee to Israel, and the messianic Waller family hoedown, were broadcast on Huckabee's Fox News show and official website.
Obviously Mike Huckabee, a sensitive man, might remain oblivious to the feelings of the Jewish community on the "messianic" issue unless Jewish leadership takes the initiative and informs, educates and insists that the presidential hopeful use some wisdom and discretion.
Mr. Huckabee needs to be told in no uncertain terms that supporting Israel while simultaneously sanctioning missionary activity directed at Jews, is seen as an irreconcilable and conflicting agenda by many in the Jewish community, who would otherwise enthusiastically endorse his political aspirations.
Jews should raise an eyebrow at Mr. Huckabee's repeated harping on Christian television that Evangelical support surpasses Jewish support of Israel.
That may or may not be true, but we need to ask ourselves why is it that certain evangelicals love to say this? And why is it that the Jewish national camp embraces that possibility and writes off the larger part of its own people? This attitude exacerbates a rift within the Jewish community and sows disunity. It’s neither productive, nor healing. And we shouldn't be afraid to tell that to Mr. Huckabee.
The following is an excerpt from an interview with Mr. Huckabee earlier this month with CBN News White House Correspondent David Brody, a“Jewish Believer (a Jew who has given his life to Jesus Christ) ":
"One of the things that always strikes me is that it seems that many evangelicals are more supportive of Israel than some of the Jews that I know in America and I sometimes kid my Jewish friends and say, 'you know I think I sometimes love your homeland more than you do...so much of my own spiritual history and that of other evangelicals is rooted here'."
If we in the Jewish national camp in Israel put our hope and faith in a former Baptist minister for president, who is fond of flying the flag of "religious freedom" in Israel, and we don't draw the line, it could exact a cost to our very soul.
Mike Huckabee wears a number of hats. He speaks as a US presidential hopeful, patriot, entertainer, and devout evangelical. He also supports Zionist causes, upholds the Jewish right to the land of Israel and the Christian right to spread the gospel. He apparently wholeheartedly and actively endorses efforts for Jewish conversion.
Is evangelical Mike Huckabee "our best friend"? Until we get some clarification, Jewish Israel suggests the rule of the day should be "respect and suspect" – “kabdeihu ve’chashdeihu”. In any case, it's probably not a very good idea for Israeli Jews to put their faith in American princes.