Friday, March 4, 2011

The Two "Messianic" Movements in Israel

Here is an enlightening view of how secular Israelis think: Decline and fall of Israel’s Messianic politics by Carlo Strenger in his Haaretz column March 4, 2011.

First thing you need to know is that he is not talking about Israeli believers in Yeshua when he speaks of "messianic" Israelis. He is referring to the religious right zealots who are not only persecuting our spiritual family, Israeli believers in Israel, but also leading the rebellion against the Israeli government in nationalistic settler movements.

This is why, when I wrote the article about the attempted murder of the Ortiz family by a religious-nationalist settler, Jack Teitel, I was critical of Mike Huckabee going on junkets into Israel paid for by the far right religious settlers. Huckabee didn't know there was a problem, and frankly that is a problem.

(See Huckabee Hobnobs with Hilltop Youth at Moskowitz’ Shepherd Hotel, scroll down in Part 3 of the Expose' article.)

John Hagee also. Hagee gives to organizations that are doing good works among Israelis, but the problem is that some of those organizations are also actively waging against the Israeli Body of Messiah.

For instance, in 2011 Hagee gave to a synagogue in northern Israel whose chief rabbi personally looked the local Messianic pastor in the eye and "told me clearly that he will do all he can to persecute me at every opportunity."

John Hagee should not be funding any rabbi or Israeli organization that says such things to the believers, and the ONLY way he can avoid doing so is to QUIT IGNORING the believers in Israel and start relying on them to help him navigate unknown waters. Will his pride of relationship with Israel let him do that? I have seen many big names go the same route - connecting with unsaved Israel while ignoring the existence of saved Israel - and each time they eventually fell, and fell hard.

We cannot dishonor the House of the Lord in a nation - even if it is Israel - and think that God will not correct the situation. The phrase, "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread" comes to mind. There is a spiritual protocol that some seem to think is exempted when it comes to Israel. Not so.

In Decline and fall of Israel’s Messianic politics, Strenger conveys how secular Israelis see the harm that is being done to Israel by the religious-nationalists:

There is not much difference in the radicalism of the extreme religious-nationalists Israelis and the Taliban. They both think they have a right to force their version of God on everyone else, and that everyone else is just a heathen/infidel whose life and opinion don't really matter. God offers every human being a choice, but extreme religious sects believe they have a right to force their beliefs.

Both extremes of Judaism and of Islam also manipulate Christian supporters - and this is so ironic. At the polar ends of belief about Israel among Christians there is a vulnerability to being manipulated by extremist sects of Judaism and extremists sects of Islam.

The Islamists manipulate Christians who do not have a revelation of God's continued purposes with Israel by portraying Israel as Goliath and the Palestinians as little David.

The extreme religious-nationalist Jews exploit the lack of understanding among Israel-supporting Christians about how His purposes in Israel are being fulfilled by His Body within Israel. The connection between the Church and Israel is supposed to be taking place between saved Christians and saved Jews. The stream of donations (and all forms of support) flowing from the U.S. and other nations into Israel is almost completely by-passing the BODY of the LORD in Israel.

Find your way back to balance Christians!

You need to understand that when the rabbis and anti-missionary group, Yad L'Achim met last week surrounding the Messianic congregation in Ashdod, the things they said amounted to declaring "Hunting Season Open" on Israel's Jewish believers in Yeshua.

Quoting an eye witness report: "The chief rabbi of Ashdod said that the Messianic Jews are like Hitler (no less) as a crowd of one thousand (the paper said) ultra-orthodox religious zealots flocked around the facility of a local Messianic congregation, yelling accusations of missionary activities there."

Newspapers reported: Chief Rabbi of Ashdod compares the Messianic Jews to Hitler The Messianic Jews are often accused of being worse than Hamas, a terrorist group sworn to Israel's demise.

A flier distributed in Ashdod to call people to the demonstrations read: "the goal of the Messianics is clear, they want to convert all of us Jews to Christianity and not leave any trace of the Jewish people. The Arabs want our Land, and they want our souls."

In the demonstration the Rabbi said, "The missionaries want a final solution to the Jews, in the name of the same cursed name that created Christianity (he meant Jesus). That is what Hitler wanted. We are sending out the cry: "Who is for God, come to me (he was quoting Exodus 32:26)."

Just to refresh your memory, verse 36 is Moses calling for people to come to his side and away from the worship of the golden calves, and then verse 37 is Moses telling them to take out their swords and begin to slay all the ones who did not respond to that call.

You can say you are non-violent all you want to, but if you say things like that you are inciting violence against the Messianic believers!

Let's get serious. If you are citing this verse, you are just calling for your followers to carry out the next verse in a way that doesn't come back to you and in a way where you don't get caught. This wink-wink-nod-nod game has been going on for a long time. It even was the defense that overturned the lawsuit brought by the Beer Sheva Messianic congregation when Yad L'Achim and Rabbi Deri sent a mob to disrupt the services several years ago.

This is also exactly what the case is with Jack Teitel, who has admitted that he worked with and took orders from Yad L'Achim. This is why they would rather say he is mentally unfit to stand trial, so the truth will never enter the public realm.

There is a growing Talibanesque religious zealotry growing in Israel. The secular writer of the article that prompted these posts from me only gets a fraction of how this will develop out. But there is no reason for Christians not to see these things clearly and begin to do the right thing - and to refrain from aiding and abetting those who target our spiritual brothers - Messianic Jews who follow Jesus - in Israel. This really has to stop.

In Israel there are two ways of understanding "Messianics". The first way is speaking of these extreme religious-nationalists who believe that no matter how many nations come against Israel, they are going to be the last men standing and then the Messianic age of Israel will begin. That is why they have no regard for how many Israelis might lose their lives if they are ever successful in blowing up the al-aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount. They regard the sinful Israelis as no more valuable than the Arabs they are fighting to remove from Israel.

If you read the book of Acts, you see exactly the roots of the anti-missionary persecution of Israel believers.

The second understanding of "Messianic" in Israel are the believers in Yeshua/Jesus. Galatians 4:29 says it all, "But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now."

Now we believe that MANY of those who are now enemies of the gospel in Israel are going to be saved
- just exactly like the apostle Paul was. He referred to himself as a premature birth - one born out of due time. He came early. I believe he knew by the Spirit that those who held views like him - those who "breathed out threats" against the believers as he did - were also going to be knocked off their high horse and see the blinding light of Yeshua when it happened.

Mostly the Israeli Messianic community does not talk clearly their religious persecutors. They do not share the extent of what goes on in because they are not sure the Christian community is able to hear the truth yet without losing a heart for the salvation of those same religious persecutors. They are afraid that we will not have the same heart for their brethren of the flesh that they do. It is a position that only mature, Christlike believers can honestly adopt because it taxes us greatly to love our enemies. To pray for and bless those that persecute us.

Are we spiritually mature enough? I know I have my challenges with it because I am straddling between trying to make known the true situation our believing brothers in Israel face, which means not pulling any punches about the serious threats against them, and making sure I convey at the same time that our hope is for the salvation of the persecutors.

But if we're still in the grips of denial about how the religious Jews are treating our spiritual family in Israel, and we seem to want to remain there, then I don't think we really are spiritually mature enough.

My prayer is that we want to hear the truth of the matter and to prove we are ready to stand in defense of our spiritual brothers, without hardening into hatred of their persecutors.

The day will come.


Anonymous said...

Wow, there's confirmation for you Donna:) I was just meditating on Acts 26:14 and surrounding verses where Saul met the risen Lord on the road and found out he'd been persecuting Jesus, and then got turned 180 degrees. No idea how, but I then immediately stumbled across your post:)) and thought reading it.. 'whoa, there's a lot of the Lord will be calling on a lot of these for His 144,000!'

peter said...

Thanks Donna, that's quite a wake up,

Eddie (The Missionary) said...

Bless You Donna!

Anonymous said...

Despite your passionate blog, you are in need of a reality check in regards to Israel and the Jewish people. The Jewish people recieved their public national revelation of G-d and His instructions as well as an eternal covenant that would never be changed at Mt. Sinai. No proper Jew that remains faithful to this covenant will ever accept yeshu as messiah or xtianity as anything but a false idolatrous religion. Xtians are the ones that need to realize that their religion is not wanted by Jews in Israel. The more they try to convert... the more opposition they will get. Jews want and love the Torah of G-d. I realize that because of your indoctrination that you will not be capable of accepting my words or posting this, but i will tell you anyway. Converting a Jew to your religion is worse than what nazis did. They only destroyed the bodies of Jews.... converting to your religion puts a Jewish soul in the position of being cut off from G-d by the breaking of the covenant they swore to keep at MT. Sinai that is eternal.

Donna Diorio, IsraelWatcher said...

It is funny, Mr. January Anonymous, that you tell me I am indoctrinated without recognizing how you are indoctrinated.

I'm a big believer in a thing called intellectual honesty and critical thinking. Ideas that mean you don't just spit out what anti-missionary seminars have taught you to say about those who believe in the Jewish Messiah, Yeshua, but you actually take an honest look at the true evidence and make an effort to evaluate it truly. When we are less than honest about looking at issues squarely and honestly without heaping what we want to believe about it on top suppressing all the true facts, then we are the ones who are standing up to our ears in self-deception.

There are something like one million Jews around the world who are followers of Yeshua. There are something like 15,000+ in Israel alone. I personally know a lot a Messianic Jews who follow Yeshua and not one of them is missing a soul.

In fact, when I look at the angry mobs of religious persecutors of Messianic Jews (in Israel because Israeli Messianics is my ministry focus) that's where I see Nazi behavior against Messianic Jews NOT BY them.

It is the religious anti-missionaries who are throwing rocks and firebombs, setting fires, slashing tires, threatening landlords, making death threats, pressuring bosses to fire, surrounding their houses in large numbers to curse and intimidate the neighbors, placing "wanted" posters all around town with their pictures on it. Oh, and let's not forget Jack Teitel's work with Yad L'Achim in placing a bomb in a Purim basket so a Messianic teenager could be blown to smitherens. So really, it is so intellectually dishonest for you to accuse the Messianic Jews of being worse than Nazis.

Let's talk about real reality and not some hyperbole of anti-missionary rhetoric, okay?

I KNOW the Messianic Jewish people you disdain and they are not cut off from God, but He has put His heart in them. They are not persecutors, they are the persecuted.

Jeremiah/Yirmeyahu 31:31-33: Behold, the days come, says the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Yisra'el, and with the house of Yehudah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Mitzrayim; which my covenant they broke, although I was a husband to them, says the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Yisra'el after those days, says the LORD: I will put my law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people: Jeremiah/Yirmeyahu 31:31-33

New Covenant apostle Sha'ul quoting Hebrews 8:8-10: "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Yisra'el. After those days," says the Lord; "I will put my laws into their mind, I will also write them on their heart. I will be to them a God, And they will be to me a people.

Katie said...

Thank You.I have friends who attend Hagee's church and will mention this to them and Prayerfully,Yeshua will open his eyes.Concerning Yeshua, January Anonymous,it is not a religion that true believers(of the heart) in Yeshua "offer" to natural Israel,but a person/relationship/life-not to take away from what they have, or who they are, or do it out of force, but out of love, for healing and wholeness,and we Gentiles,that Yeshua has touched, desire to know G-d as He has revealed Himself to them.It is a mutual love for the same G-d,the G-d of Israel.