Something strange is happening in London.
Especially in areas with large Jewish communities. Take 14 year old Rachel, whose family lives in a north London suburb. Last month, she opened the front door to find three Orthodox Jews standing there. Greeting her warmly, they explained they were from the Beth Shalom Synagogue, and were in her area, doing ‘outreach work’. Specifically, they wanted to learn how to make Synagogue ‘more relevant’ for teenagers.
Might Rachel spare them ten minutes of her time…?
Feeling perfectly safe, Rachel invited them in, and made some tea. And for the next forty minutes,she enjoyed a lively conversation with her fellow Jews, about religion, and life in London, and sundry other topics.
And then one of these Orthodox Jews asked Rachel what she thought about Hell. Which was kind of strange – since Rachel knew that in Jewish belief there is NO ‘hell’.
Baffled, she asked ‘Chaim’ to elaborate. Leaning forward with a look of great concern, Chaim asked Rachel if she was worried about her parents, and her six year old sister. After all, surely she didn’t want them to ’spend eternity in hell?’ Chaim then explained this was just what would happen – if Rachel’s family ‘failed to find Jesus’. So Rachel now found herself, bizarrely, with three Orthodox Jews who were preaching Christianity!
Uneasy, she asked Chaim which specific Jewish sect he represented.
‘Messianic’, came the beaming response, a ‘new group in which you can remain Jewish AND still know Jesus.’
And while this did not enlighten Rachel, her mother knew precisely what it meant when she arrived home ten minutes later and threw ‘Chaim’ and his friends out.
You see, these ‘orthodox jews’ were not Jews at all.
They were Christian missionaries.
Or, as they prefer to be known, ‘messianic jews’.
Confused? That’s what Messianics count upon.
The “messianic jewish” movement has been steadily expanding across North America over the past decade. Despite claiming to be ‘jewish’, it is a purely Christian movement.
It was founded by evangelical Christians, and it is funded 100% by evangelical Churches. In short, the Messianic movement is about as ‘jewish’ as a plate of pork chops.
It’s estimated that 95% of Messianics were never Jewish to start with.
To be clear: the Messianic movement is a very specific, evangelical Christian group. It does not represent all Christians.
Indeed, many Christian movements have publicly condemned Messianics, for the lies they tell.
But don’t dismiss Messianics as some fringe cult. While it may have started that way, Messianics are managing to convert thousands of naive young Jews every year from Judaism to Christianity. The most aggressive and infamous Messianic group is ‘jews4jesus’, but this is just one group among many.
What is it that Messianics want?
Simple. The same thing that Christianity, as a movement, has wanted for some 2000 years. Namely, for Jews to accept Jesus as ’son of god’, as ‘messiah’ and as ’saviour’.
And when all their previous efforts to convert Jews failed, American evangelists rebranded. Now they call their Churches ’synagogues’, they address their preachers as ‘rabbi’, and they themselves are not ‘Christians’ but rather ‘messianic jews’.
Their target audience? Naive young Jews, who fall for the line that Messianics represent a ‘new jewish group which recognises Jesus.’
And right now in the UK, USA, Canada, and Australia, Messianics are doing a hell of a lot more than just knocking on the doors of Jewish homes.
For they are also very busy convincing the entire non Jewish world that they, the Messianics, are in fact the ‘real jews’.
Rachel was lucky. The approach made to her was clumsy and pretty much destined to fail. But numerous young Jewish students away from home for the first time have been lured into embracing Christianity without even realising it.
Take Jonathan. He was away at University, in his first year, studying Politics. When a fellow student, Suzanne, befriended him, he was delighted. She was obviously Jewish – she was wearing a Magen David.
After a few weeks, Suzanne invited Jonathan to go with her to ’synagogue’. Not the one that most Jewish students at that University preferred but another, ‘more friendly’ synagogue. Jonathan said yes, and didn’t give it another thought.
And the following Friday night, he was impressed by the warm reception he got at this ‘temple’. Everyone was smiling. Welcoming. The synagogue looked like every other synagogue he’d ever attended. The ‘Rabbi’ was charismatic, and gave an interesting service. The kiddush was lovely. Jonathan went home feeling great.
And so when, a few weeks later, Suzanne and some of the other members of the temple suggested to Jonathan that he take a look at a ‘wonderful Hebrew scripture’, he shrugged and figured, ‘Where’s the harm?’.
Suzanne explained that the scripture was called the ‘Brit Chadasha’.
She gave Jonathan some photocopied pages; an ‘English translation’. He glanced through them. They were fairly interesting. Prettily written. Jonathan had never been very into religion – sure, he was Jewish, but he wasn’t ‘observant’.
But Suzanne was keen to discuss the scriptures and Jonathan soon found himself enjoying their chats. When the name ‘Yeshua’ came up, Jonathan didn’t make the connection. He liked this new form of “messianic judaism”.
The problem? ‘Brit Chadasha’ is Hebrew for New Testament.
Jonathan had been studying the Christian bible without even knowing it!
All choice had been taken away from him, as he’d been convinced that he was simply following an authentic Jewish text, as part of an authentic Jewish group.
He was not now a ‘messianic jew’. He was now on his way out of Judaism – because for a Jew to affirm belief in Jesus or any other human as ‘divine’ is blasphemy.
Now of course, people switch faiths. Christians become Jews. Jews become Christians. But they do it consciously.
Jonathan was troubled once he discovered that he’d been so thoroughly hoodwinked. And when he confronted his Messianic ‘friends’, their response was to turn on him and issue dire warnings about his ‘fate’ if he now ‘rejected jesus’.
Messianics are also busy in cyberspace. In debate forums that feature religion as a topic, they are busy representing ‘judaism’ and convincing millions of well meaning non Jews that ‘real jews DO embrace Jesus!’
Fortunately in some forums there are genuine Jews who are countering this deception. Even then, they come under attack from the Messianics who accuse the Jews of ‘discrimination’.
In other words: Jews are being told they have to accept a Christian evangelical group as part OF Judaism – or be guilty of ‘discrimination’!
And Messianics are also busy hijacking Jewish festivals. At Pesach, hundreds of thousands of Messianics celebrate ‘the real passover’, in which Jesus is the ’sacrificial lamb’. They have also inserted Jesus into other sacred Jewish rituals and festivals, in a way that is offensive in the extreme.
In short: Messianics are slowly but surely taking everything that Judaism holds as sacred, and Christianising it.
And in doing so, they are twisting both Judaism and Christianity.
In America, Jews are actively addressing this new threat from Christian missionaries, and have organised some great resources, primarily in the form of ‘Jews For Judaism’, which aims to counter, specifically but not exclusively, ‘jews4jesus’.
But here in the UK, while Messianics are becoming more proactive, the Jewish community remains silent. Recently, ‘jews4jesus’ yet again took to the streets and started bombarding the public with leaflets and books in central London.
Yet not a single Jewish newspaper so much as mentioned this.
And let’s all be crystal clear: these evangelists have one basic goal: they wish to eradicate us.
Oh sure – they’ll do it with smiles, and they’ll claim to ‘love’ us, but make no mistake.
The Messianic movement aims to convert as many Jews as humanly possible, to its own peculiar, confused brand of evangelical Christianity.
Only now, Messianics are that much cleverer. And if they have to steal our very identity in order to succeed, so be it.
Perhaps the most worrying comment comes from a 30-something Jewish man who, having battled Messianics in ‘real life’ and internet forums for several years now, concludes:
‘Within another ten years, nobody out there will even understand that these Messianics are not Jewish. For some bizarre reason, the world thinks that this group within Evangelical Christianity gets to REdefine Judaism, and just accepts whatever Messianics claim. Never mind that we genuine Jews are trying desperately to counter these evangelical lies. Nobody gives a damn.’