Louisiana Messianic Communities

Congregation Beth Hallel

United Methodist Item

Messianic Jew: Methodists on wrong side of Israel issue
Russ Jones - OneNewsNow - 4/24/2012 7:55:00 AM

Some observers are alarmed that a mainline Protestant denomination appears close to adopting a policy of selective divestment concerning Israel during its annual meeting.

Leaders of the United Methodist Church will present to its delegates attending the denomination's General Conference -- beginning today in Tampa -- a proposal that objects to Israeli policies, such as "illegal settlements, segregated roads, checkpoints, and the separation wall." (See earlier story)

Joel Chernoff, CEO of the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America (MJAA), says selective divestment would place the denomination not only in direct opposition to the prophetic purposes of God for Israel, but also in opposition to biblical justice.

Joel Chernoff (MJAA)"There are obviously unjust weights and balances here," he tells OneNewsNow. "And the United Methodists are guilty of unjust weights -- and are very obviously guilty. Whether or not anybody wants to say it, it is true. And we as a community, the Messianic Jewish community, are beginning to stand up and to say what is true."

Chernoff notes that the United Methodist Church places a premium on justice, but ironically threatens to perpetrate an injustice. He says a decision to divest resources from Israel will do more to hurt the denomination than it would Israel.

"It is wrong biblically," Chernoff emphasizes. "God says I'm going to bless them that bless you, Abraham and your seed, and I'm going to curse them that curse you. You don't want to be on the wrong side of this issue."

Chernoff further states "our forefathers -- Peter, Paul, John, and the biblical prophets of Israel -- would be outraged to see people that call themselves followers of the Messiah Jesus advocating a policy that is so far out of sync with God's purposes and plans."

Divest-from-Israel campaigns were initiated by the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority to destroy Israel through its economy.

In 1977, Congress passed a law, which created the Office of Antiboycott Compliance within the Department of Commerce, in response to the Arab boycott of Israel. The law prohibits U.S. citizens from taking certain actions in support of an unsanctioned foreign boycott against a country that is friendly to the United States.

Long - Messer Incident 2/3/12

 MJAA/UMJC Statement-

Long/Messer Affair

On behalf of the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations (UMJC) and the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America (MJAA), we join our voices with the wider Jewish community in condemning the ritual orchestrated last Sunday by Ralph Messer at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta. Messer is not recognized by any major branch of Messianic Judaism and, under the standards of the UMJC and the MJAA, is not even considered part of our community, let alone a rabbi. He is operating entirely outside the mainstream Messianic Jewish community. Furthermore, his claim to be acting on behalf of the Jewish people is outrageous and without merit.

We condemn Messer’s flagrant disrespect of the sefer Torah in this ritual and his misrepresentation of Jewish tradition, an abuse which must stem either from ignorance or great presumptiveness. It is inappropriate and offensive to wrap a person with the sacred scroll, to describe the Torah mantel as “a foreskin,” to pronounce a man to be “king” in a ritual context, to employ a tallit in ways completely out of touch with the tradition to which it belongs, and above all, to do all these things, and more, claiming to represent the Jewish community.

Respect for the Torah is a central value within authentic Messianic Judaism. We assure the rest of the Jewish community that this ceremony would seem as bizarre and offensive within our congregations as it would within yours. An article at Ajc.com (the Atlanta Journal-Constitution website), quotes David P. Gushee, a professor of Christian ethics at Mercer University: “One problem with Messianic Judaism, in which leaders attempt to fuse Jewish and Christian traditions and symbols, is that it can easily stray into profound insensitivity.” While Professor Gushee’s characterization of our “attempt to fuse Jewish and Christian traditions and symbols” is simplistic, his description of the “one problem” is accurate. Responsible leaders within the Messianic Jewish community share his concern that our traditions be handled with sensitivity and deep respect. By his actions at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, Messer demonstrates that he is unworthy of any sort of leadership within our community and cannot claim to represent us in any way.

Howard Silverman, President

Russell Resnik, Executive Director

Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations

Paul Liberman, President

Joel Chernoff, General Secretary

Messianic Jewish Alliance of America

** Videos of the Long / Messer @ New Birth can be found on       You Tube. Also, the response from Messer just published 2/6 can be viewed as well.

Messianic responses can be seen on You Tube - from Rabbi Greg Hershberg - Maoz Israel -  

Errors found in the critical section of In Defense of Israel by John Hagee

by Dr. Michael L. Brown

Pastor John Hagee's new book, In Defense of Israel: The Bible's Mandate for Supporting the Jewish State (Lake Mary, Florida: Front Line, 2007), was publicized by announcements stating that the book would "shake Christian theology." The following positions are explicitly laid out in the book:

  • The Jewish people, as a whole, did not reject Jesus as Messiah.
  • Jesus did not come to earth to be the Messiah.
  • Jesus refused by word and deed to be the Messiah.
  • The Jews cannot be blamed for not accepting what was never offered.

In Defense of Israel

Statements like this must be evaluated in light of 1 John 2:22: "Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ [i.e., Messiah]. Such a man is the antichrist-he denies the Father and the Son." As commentator Stephen S. Smalley explained, "The true believer is the one who accepts the Christhood of Jesus, whereas those who deny his messianic identity declare themselves to be on the side of the antichrist" (Word Biblical Commentary).

What could possibly be the motivation for teaching such error? First, In Defense of Israel desires to dispel once and for all the notion that all Jews are Christ-killers, a terrible lie that has fueled anti-Semitism in the Church for more than 1,500 years. Second, the book wants to refute the false teaching of replacement theology, explaining that, "Replacement theologians have said that 'the covenant with Israel was broken because she would not accept Jesus Christ whom God sent.'" (See p. 132 of In Defense of Israel.) Tragically, in the attempt to fight against these serious errors, a more serious error has now been introduced. Yet some believers - and even leaders! - are buying into this error hook, line, and sinker, and some have begun to teach and preach it as well.

Since the publication of the book, Pastor Hagee issued some clarifying remarks, but the clarifications only complicate the issues and fail to renounce and remove the error.

Here are three fundamental statements that all believers should be able to affirm without hesitation:

  1. Jesus came to be the Messiah. This is the fundamental message of the New Testament, which is why we call him "Christ" (meaning, "Messiah"). And it is a fundamental message of the Scriptures that the Messiah had to suffer and die if he was one day to rule and reign (see, e.g., Luke 24:25-27, 44-47), a biblical truth that most of the Jewish people of Yeshua's day missed, a biblical truth that most Jews through the ages have continued to miss, and a biblical truth that In Defense of Israel has now fed into as well.

    In the clarifying statements that made since the publication of his book, it was explained that Jesus came to be the suffering Messiah but not the reigning Messiah - something, of course, that we all knew, and something that would hardly "shake Christian theology" - but these statements have simply introduced another nuance to the error, since nowhere in the New Testament is such a distinction made.

    In other words, God did not say to Israel, "It's fine that you rejected Jesus as Messiah because he did not come in the political way you expected. He had to die in order to be the Savior of the world, so you are not guilty." There is not a hint of such a message in the Scriptures, which simply proclaim him as the Messiah, period.

    That's why Jesus explicitly identified himself as the Messiah in the Gospels (see, e.g., Matt 16:16-17; Mark 14:61-62; Luke 7:20-23; John 4:25-26; 5:39, 45-47; 10:24-25) - not as the suffering Messiah, whom his people were supposed to reject so that he could die, as opposed to the reigning Messiah, whom they would one day receive, but simply as the Messiah - and that's why the Gospel authors frequently announced him as the Messiah (in Greek, the Christ; see, e.g., Luke 2:11, 26; John 1:41; 3:28; 11:27; 20:31). And that's why the apostles proclaimed him as the Messiah in Acts (see, e.g., Acts 2:31, 36; 3:18, 20; 4:26; 5:42; 8:5; 9:22; 17:2-3; 18:5, 28; 26:23).

    I would encourage you to look up every reference cited here. It is all quite simple, forthright, and easy to understand, and nowhere is any distinction made between the suffering and reigning Messiah. To repeat: Jesus is proclaimed as the Messiah of Israel, period, and because he is the Messiah of Israel, he is the Savior of the world.

  2. The Jewish people rejected their Messiah. Although all Jews are not Christ-killers (God forbid!), and although the entire Jewish nation did not play a role in the crucifixion of Jesus, God held the Jewish people in Jesus' day responsible for his death and, more significantly, he held them responsible for rejecting Jesus the Messiah after his resurrection. The New Testament witness is explicit and consistent on this.

    That's why the apostles preached to "the people of Israel" that they were guilty of rejecting the Messiah (Acts 2:22-23, 36; 3:13-15, 17, 19; 4:10-11; 5:30; 7:52; 13:27-28; see also John 1:12), and that's why Paul spoke of Israel's hardening, breaking off, stumbling, transgression, and rejection (see Rom 9:31; 10:3; 11:7, 11-12, 15, 20 - although with the full expectation of Israel's future redemption; see Rom 11:11-15, 25-26). Again, I encourage you to take a moment to look up these passages. They are striking in their force and consistency.

    Because of this rejection, severe judgment came on the Jewish people in the first century, as prophesied by Yeshua with tears (see Luke 19:41-44; see also Matt 23:29-37) and as taught in his parables (see, e.g., Matt 21:33-46; 22:1-14).

    As painful as this witness is, it cannot be rewritten, nor can anyone lessen Israel's guilt because it was God's will that Jesus died on the cross. To the contrary, just as it was God's will that Joseph be sold into Egyptian slavery and yet at the same time his brothers were guilty of sinning against him (Gen 44:16-45:5; 50:14-20), so also it was God's will that Yeshua die for our sins while at the same time the Jewish people, along with Herod and Pilate and the Romans, were guilty of having him crucified (see Acts 2:22-24; 4:27-28).

    It is scripturally impossible to claim that "the Jews cannot be blamed for not accepting what was never offered." A glorious offer was made and refused, and that's why Paul's heart was broken (see Rom 9:1-5).
  3. Jesus remains the Jewish Messiah, and there is no salvation for the Jewish people outside of faith in him. Although Pastor Hagee has consistently stated that he does not teach "dual covenant" theology, referring to the false concept that Jews can be saved outside of faith in Jesus, his new teaching certainly aids and abets that error. After all, if "The Jews Did Not Reject Jesus as Messiah" (as stated in bold print in his book), and if "Jesus refused by word and deed to be the Messiah" (be it the "reigning Messiah" or not), then, not only can it be said that "the Jews [in Jesus' day] cannot be blamed for not accepting what was never offered" but that the Jews in any day cannot be blamed for not accepting Yeshua.

This again is a fundamental denial of the Word of God, and although In Defense of Israel claims that the "message of the gospel was from Israel, not to Israel," Jesus, Peter, and Paul declared that the message of the gospel was to Israel first, and then from Israel to the nations (see Luke 24:47; Acts 1:8; 3:26; 13:32-39; Rom 1:16; in Paul's words to the Jewish leaders in Rome, it was "for the sake of the hope of Israel" that he was bound in chains; Acts 28:20).

To be sure, there are a number of other errors found in the critical section of In Defense of Israel (including the myth that there was a so-called cup of the Messiah, the alleged fourth cup of the Passover meal that Yeshua supposedly refused to drink), but this is not the place to address those concerns, and to focus on the smaller problems would detract from the larger picture.

In Him,
Michael L. Brown, Ph.D."