"With Orthodox Judaism, deep down inside," says Ray Sanders, the director of Christian Friends of Israel, "there's no love, there's no hope. There's no future." ---JPost Review of Waiting for Armageddon

Well, that rather dismal view of Torah Judaism sounds downright weird coming from folks who look forward to the end of the world and who use a vehicle of execution (the cross) as a symbol of their faith. But then again, CFI Directors Ray and Sharon Sanders openly admit that their inspiration came from “Hal Lindsey's apocalyptic bestseller, 'The Late Great Planet Earth,' which laid out a scenario for the end of the world according to a literal interpretation of Bible prophecies.”

We hate to poke a hole in the rapture bubble, but Torah observance and indeed the nation of Israel are very much alive and looking forward to a challenging, fruitful, and Jesus-free future.

But to be fair, none of the staff at Jewish Israel has seen the new documentary which has enjoyed two reviews in the Jerusalem Post (here and here ) and one in the New York Times. Any JI member who does view the documentary can submit their review to us. In the meantime, you can view the trailer.

We generally avoid dabbling in Christian eschatology and the whole Rapture/Armageddon scene, because this is a serious website. Of course, from time to time we have a little fun with evangelical end-times ideas, like when I penned A Jewish mother's guide to end times , which was published in the Jerusalem Post in the summer of 2007.

(Excerpt):
“…Some warn of global warming, and others of nuclear winter. Through it all, I hope and pray that my family will remain firmly planted on the ever-shifting Syrian-African rift. Armageddon is not on my mind - but redemption always is.

I believe the words of the prophets are true, but as a Jew I know that whereas good prophecies will be actualized, the bad ones can be overturned by human endeavors. I also know that battles can be fought in the heavens, rather than on earth.

I anticipate miracles, and yet I've got a few jerry cans of water and some extra blankets stored in the corner, just in case.

‘Bible Thumping’ is something I do two weeks before Pessah, when I clean my bookshelves in search of random crumbs. And ‘doomsday’ is what my youngest kid will face if he brings one more stray cat into this house.

'Tribulation' is what this mother went through two weeks ago as I tried to keep my children, goats, dogs, cats, chickens, birds and rabbits cool through an incredible heat wave. And ‘rapture’ is what I felt when the temperature broke, leaving me - and a stressed-out air conditioner – alone…”

When that article appeared in print, Malcolm Hedding the director of the International Christian Embassy, Jerusalem (ICEJ) went a bit ballistic and wrote a scathing response - peppered with allusions to apartheid and accusing me of prejudice. Among other things he stated, “She [Ellen Horowitz] is a prisoner of the past and will never accept the "new day" in Christian-Jewish relations.”

But ultimately Hedding’s “new day” is an “end day” for the Jew. Because while ICEJ and other “Christian Zionist” groups understandably downplay armaggedonish scenarios and purportedly reject “replacement theology”, they ultimately aspire to a time when the lines are so blurred that Jew and Gentile are no longer distinct, and all recognize their man-god. And it’s this quest for a “Judeo-Christian” theological fusion which poses a very real existential threat to Jewish continuity.

The new testament is full of this stuff:

“For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us.” (Ephesians 2:14)

“This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 3:6)

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)

[note: For those who are following developments with Rabbi Riskin, it’s worth mentioning that in Hedding’s 2007 response to me, he fiercely defends his dear friend the rabbi.]

Malcolm did not get the last word, as I sent a letter to the editor.

The Jerusalem Post which is a partner with ICEJ in the publication of the Christian Edition of the Jerusalem Post has been doing their utmost to promote and preserve the love affair between evangelicals and Israel.

While the JPost is obligated and does indeed report some of the news-worthy problems with the relationship, the editorial spin and oped pieces consistently appear to glorify the partnership, and rarely is the alliance critically examined.

But the messiah must be near and perhaps the editors have seen the light, as the recent pages of the JPost have been graced with virtually back to back reviews on a documentary which apparently does bother to provoke some questions that we Jews need to ask ourselves.

(Excerpts):

Self-fulfilling prophecies by David Alexander Nahmod – January 2
“Jerusalem's Rabbi Felix Rogin warns against taking the $75 million that Evangelicals donate to Israel every year. ‘It's dangerous money,’ the Rabbi says, pointing out that whoever controls the gold controls the land…”

For those of us who love Israel and want the nation to thrive, it's a profoundly sad spectacle to behold.

Bold, courageous and brutally honest, Waiting For Armageddon is food for thought for us all.


Good friends... but are they true friends? by Nathan Burstein – January 7
Not faced with an abundance of outside assistance, Israelis, he acknowledges, are faced with a complicated decision.
Nevertheless, he says, "it would be crazy to accept all kinds of help without looking at the deeper motives. I'm not saying not to accept help, but to pay attention and look at who it is who's giving it."

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Comment by Sharbano on January 14, 2010 at 9:06pm
I have heard some lectures by Rabbi Yossi Mizrachi and he seems to be making strides in this effort. He speaks of many successes but those he reaches are those who make the effort to Go and listen to him. I've also heard that Rabbi Singer has had a number of lectures in Jerusalem to counter missionary activity. It is those who aren't interested in attending these lectures that the missionaries are likely to target. How simple it is when a person can recite some words and claim a belief and as a result be in G-d's good graces. It would be helpful to see more Rabbis as these making similar efforts. I just couldn't help but gasp when I read 1 million Jews targeted.
Comment by Jewish Israel on January 14, 2010 at 6:48pm
Greater outreach efforts, public awareness campaigns, legislation and rabbinic guidelines seems to be the formula. Now what?
Comment by Sharbano on January 13, 2010 at 6:27pm
When I first read about this I assumed it was put out by the Armageddonites but from what I can gather it seems more to discredit Armageddonism. In the NY Times article, some displayed their enthusiasm at the prospect of devastation. In my own experience I saw this bear fruit. When I posted an article about Tikkun Olam I was presented with pasukim that related to a type of Armageddon event. I only assumed and wrote such, that Xtianity seems to be infatuated with a mindset of enjoying destruction. Needless to say the topic degenerated into a Nazi like remark. Some of the quotes in the NY Times seem to have confirmed my assumptions, at least among this type of Xtianity. These attitudes, which are of a deeply religious nature, are the ones that can be most problematic, especially for the Jewish community. It would be worthwhile to keep aware of what goes on in this group.

On another note, I became aware of a group, Sid Roth, that will be making a trip to Israel in the near future. They also have plans on targeting 1 Million Jews in the US for conversion. Their site claims an Orthodox Rabbi who follows Yeshu. It only refers to him as Rabbi Joseph. The story speaks of his wife and children, upon seeing a "vision" converting also.

I think it's becoming more and more necessary for a greater outreach to Jews before people like Sid Roth gets to them . I've been considering "targeting" these groups on their websites to confront their teachings but my time is limited for such an endeavor.

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