For anyone who is involved in countering the lies told by Messianics, here are some additional facts, and some background information, that may be of interest. If anyone has extra info, please do submit it!
Some Christian Evangelicals Now Posing As ‘MESSIANIC MUSLIMS’ As Well As ‘messianic jews’: Radical Missionary Approach Produces ‘Messianic Muslims’
“Thus, for instance, Churches might be called “messianic mosques” – and may be designed to look like Muslim places of worship, with worshippers being required to remove their footwear before entering.
“Worship services might be designed on the lines of Sufi zikr and sama sessions, with regular Christian Sufi orders in place. Certain Muslim festivals may be celebrated by Christians after being ****suitably adapted.***
“By thus presenting themselves as little different from Muslims in external appearance, Christian missionaries will find it easier to win Muslim friends, and, hopefully, converts.”
“Become like the Muslims to reach the Muslims. Be all things to all men, George suggests to potential Christian missionaries. Hence, George suggests, in their encounters with Muslims, Christian missionaries must insist that they alone are the true Muslims.
This, he says, promises to have an impact on potential converts. In order to further convince Muslims of their claims to true ‘Islamicity‘, Christian missionaries could formulate their own version of the Muslim Shahada.
“Christian missionaries, too, might adopt taqiya, concealing their faith when occasion demands, focussing more on what unites them with the Muslims rather than on what divides them, while at the same time trying to spread Christianity among the Muslims through subtle means. “
A May/June 2000 issue of Watchman’s Trumpet magazine explains what this new missiology really entails:
“Several international missions organizations, including Youth With a Mission (YWAM), are testing a new approach to missionary work in areas where Christianity is unwelcome. A March 24, 2000, Charisma News Service report said some missionaries are now making converts but are allowing them to “hold on to many of their traditional religious beliefs and practices” so as to refrain from offending others within their culture.”
The Charisma article in which Watchman’s Trumpet reports elaborates: “Messianic Muslims” who continue to read the Koran, visit the mosque and say their daily prayers but accept Christ as their Savior, are the products of the strategy, which is being tried in several countries, according to Youth With a Mission (YWAM), one of the organizations involved.
The so-called “C5 missionaries” whom Phil had met advocate that it is okay to affirm Muhammad as a genuine prophet of God; that Muslim background believers should attend the mosque perpetually; and that Christians should consider legally converting to Islam to win Muslims as Muslims.
More here: http://www.strategicnetwork.org/index.php?loc=kb&view=v&id=8769 ————————————————————————————————————
“messianic jews” are evangelical Protestants, so we evangelize them as Protestants Source: ‘How Catholics Can Evangelise Jews’ http://www.secondexodus.com/html/evangelization/evangelizingjews.htm
All Rabbis Identify Messianics As Non Jews:
The Central Conference of American Rabbis has stated:
“Anyone who claims that Jesus is their savior is no longer a Jew and is now an Apostate. Through that belief they have placed themselves outside the Jewish community, and outside of Judaism.
Whether the person defines himself as a Christian or as a ‘fulfilled Jew,‘ or ‘messianic jew,’ or any other designation is irrelevant; to us, they are EX Jews.”
And: ’ In acknowledging Jesus and the Christian Scriptures, these congregations are accepting many other theological concepts contrary to the Jewish belief system, including:
the devil and demonology
vicarious blood atonement
Messianic congregations are Christians portraying themselves as Jews,” said Rabbi Richard Margolis, the leader of Temple Beth Sholom in Melbourne and a member of the Jewish Federation board of Brevard.
In an e-mail, he added, “The issue is deceit. This is a deceptive missionary movement, organized and heavily funded by evangelical Christians whose sole purpose is to convert Jews to (fundamentalist) Christianity. There is nothing Jewish about any of this.
I have great respect for the authentic Christian tradition and maintain an ongoing program of interfaith activities in our community. But I cannot countenance couching fundamentalist Christianity in Jewish symbols.”
Countering A Common Messianic Claim:
The Messianic movement insists that since the original followers of Jesus were Jews, they are not engaging in a deception.
They maintain that Jews who embrace Jesus don’t cut themselves off from their heritage–on the contrary, they become ‘completed’ or ‘fulfilled’ Jews…!
However, it is misleading to suggest that Christianity is a legitimate Jewish option simply because Jesus’ first disciples were Jews. After all, those who built and worshipped the Golden Calf were also Jews.
Furthermore, the beliefs and practices of these original followers ultimately morphed when the movement was taken over in the 2nd century by non-Jews who were never part of the original movement.
They developed ideas about the nature of G-d and how to relate to Him and the concept of Messiah and sin that veered dramatically from Judaism. They finally canonized a different set of scriptures and became a completely different religion.
The United States may have been a British colony at one time. However, it would make no sense to tell people living in England today that they can be more British by becoming American citizens.
Ultimately, England and the United States had a parting of the ways. So, too, Judaism and Christianity once split into two different religions with very different belief systems.
It is absurd to suggest that one can become more Jewish by embracing Christianity and the Christian worship OF Jesus!
Messianic Groups Openly Admit They Target Jews For Conversion To Christianity:
Every major Christian evangelical denomination is now preaching the same message: we love the Jews, and therefore want them to become Christians! And they are putting their money where their mouth is: Over 300 million dollars annually to bankroll the “Messianic Jewish” conversionary campaign. Here are some examples:
“We are committed to the god-given Mandate of communicating the essential Gospel of Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah to the Jewish people…We owe it to Jesus, the King of Israel, and to every living Jewish person to present the Gospel to him or her.” –Assemblies of god “Jewish” Ministries
“As evangelical Christians, we want to express our genuine friendship and love for the Jewish people… It is out of our profound respect for Jewish people that we seek to share the good news of Jesus Christ with them, and encourage others to do the same, for we believe that salvation is only found in Jesus , the Messiah of Israel and Savior of the World.” – World Evangelical Alliance Source: New York Times ad, March 28, 2008 Whereas our evangelistic efforts have largely neglected the Jewish people, both at home and abroad, and there is evidence of a growing responsiveness among the Jewish people in some areas of our nation and our world; now, therefore…be it finally resolve, that we direct our energies and resources toward the proclamation of the gospel to the Jewish people. — Southern Baptist Convention Source: “Resolution o Jewish Evangelism” (June 1996)
However difficult it may be for some Jews to understand, Christian love constrains the church to share the Gospel of salvation with them. Martin Luther, in his last sermon, said concerning the attitude of Christians toward the Jewish people, ‘We want to treat them with Christian love and to pray for them, so that they might become converted and would receive the Lord.’…Therefore, the church should continue to share the Gospel with them for it is the only means by which they may be saved. –Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod “Excursis Regarding the Jews”
Messianics Within The Context Of Christianity:
For over 2000 years, some Christians have made it their life’s work to convert Jews. At times, these Missionaries have used torture, and other coercions, to achieve this – i.e. Spanish Inquisition. More recently, Christian Missionaries have been using a different strategy.
They have started using Jewish names, Hebrew songs, and even posing *as* Jews themselves. They now claim that the only ‘complete jew’ or ‘fulfilled jew’ is a Jew who worships Jesus and practises….yes, Christianity!
Thus we have the rise of the “messianic jews” – who are Christian Missionaries. Judaism respects the right of Christians to worship as they please. It, however, condemns those who try to impose Christianity on Jews through deceit or any other way.
“jews for jesus” This group was formed by Martin Meyer – an ordained Baptist Minister! All of the leaders and top staff members are evangelical Christians. This was the first Messianic group and is arguably one of the most well known and aggressive.
Arguments Against ‘jews for jesus’
“jews for jesus” maintains that a Jew can keep their religious identity, even after converting to Christianity. “jews for jesus” is appealing because it claims that its converts can believe in Jesus, partake in baptism, celebrate Christmas, and remain Jewish, all at the same time.
The group preaches a weird hybrid of Judaism and Christianity. The Torah itself argues against this idea of Judeo-Christian combination. While all Jews are considered members for life, a person who worships another god or idol is no longer considered Jewish (I Kings 18:21).
Worship of Jesus as the “lone son of god” is considered belief in a foreign god, and the convert would not be considered Jewish. Judaism does, however, always allow a converted Jew to return to the faith when they again accept the oneness of G-d.
” jews for jesus” claims that Jews must put faith in Jesus as their savior from sin. Original sin is an inherently Christian belief and, according to Judaism, “sin is an act, not a state of being” (Jews for Judaism). The Torah does not teach that humans are born with sin, but that individual repentance is necessary when a person strays from the commandments of G-d.
In other words, Jews do not believe that one person (namely, Jesus) is capable of repenting for all of humanity’s sins through his death. Likewise, Jews do not believe that one must pray to Jesus for G-d to hear. G-d, according to the Tanakh, can hear every individual’s prayer.
As it is written in Psalms 145:18, “G-d is near to all who call unto Him.” Christians feel that they must pray to Jesus in order for G-d to hear their words. The most important argument against “jews for jesus” is the fact that Jews do not believe that the messiah has arrived.
According to the Torah, the messiah must be a descendent of King David. Jews do not consider Jesus to be a direct descendent. More importantly, the messiah is supposed to bring peace to all humanity. As is stated in Isaiah 2:4: “And nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” Jesus’ coming did not bring about peace and, therefore, Jews cannot accept him as the messiah. In response, “jews for jesus” might refer to the ’second coming’ of Jesus.
The gospels predict that Jesus will ascend Earth again to fulfill his messianic prophecies. Of course, there is no mention of a ’second coming’ in the Torah. Therefore,”jews for jesus” is unable to use Jewish textual evidence to prove that Jesus is the messiah and will come again.”
Christian Responses To Messianics:
Many Messianic leaders are ordained clergy of various Christian denominations. A growing list of Christian denominations, such as the Southern Baptist Convention and the Assemblies of god movement, actively plant Messianic congregations as part of their efforts to evangelize the Jewish people.
At the present time, more than ten different Christian denominations count Messianic congregations as members of their denomination. Their theology, as reflected in their statements of faith, is solidly within the ambit of Evangelical Christianity.
They believe in the New Testament , salvation by grace through faith in Jesus alone, the divinity of Jesus whom they believe is Christ, and the Trinity.
Apart from Jewish terminology and cultural practices, believers of this school have a much closer affinity to Evangelical and Pentecostal Christianity than to any recognized branch of Judaism. They regard observance of the Sabbath and the Jewish dietary laws as entirely optional.
Many Evangelical and Pentecostal groups have welcomed the movement and have actively founded Messianic congregations, but many more liberal Christians have been more critical.
Some Christians, mostly liberal, feel that Messianic groups are guilty of false advertising. In 1997 , for example, the Board of Governors of the Long Island Council of Churches (New York) accused “jews for jesus” of “engaging in subterfuge and dishonesty,” and of “mixing religious symbols in ways that distort their essential meaning.”
Most Evangelicals reject the criticism and defend evangelism among Jews.
The Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington is an organization comprising leaders of liberal Christian, Jewish, and Muslim groups. In 1997, this organization released a strongly-worded condemnation of attempts to convert people from one religion to another. Particularly singled out for criticism was the “messianic jewish” movement. The statement read:
“We condemn proselytizing efforts which delegitimize the faith tradition of the person whose conversion is being sought. Such tactics go beyond the bounds of appropriate and ethically based religious outreach. Examples of such practices are those common among groups that have adopted the label of “messianic judaism” or “jews for jesus”.
These groups specifically target Jews for conversion to their version of Christianity, making claim that in accepting Jesus as the savior/messiah, a Jew ‘fulfills’ his/her faith. Furthermore, by celebrating Jewish festivals, worshipping on the Jewish Shabbat, appropriating Jewish symbols, rituals and prayers in their churches, and, sometimes, even calling their leaders ‘Rabbi’, they seek to win over, often by deception, many Jews who are sincerely looking for a path back to their ancestral heritage.
Deceptive proselytizing is practiced on the most vulnerable of populations – residents of hospitals and old age homes, confused youth, college students away from home. These proselytizing techniques are tantamount to coerced conversions and should be condemned.” (Summer, 1997, Washington, D.C., Interfaith Connector” Vol. 8, No. 2)