An attack on Torah, the Jewish people, Judaism, and Messianic Judaism
Fox News - "Jewish leaders are criticizing a ceremony that involved a controversial megachurch leader being wrapped in a religious scroll and exalted as a "king" to the applause of his parishioners.
The video from a service last Sunday at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church shows Rabbi Ralph Messer, a Messianic preacher, instructing two men to slowly wrap Bishop Eddie Long in a large scroll that's purported to be the Torah.
"It doesn't matter where you go, how you try to attack him. He's sealed," Messer proclaims, before the scroll is opened to reveal a teary-eyed Long. Moments later, Long was seated in a plush chair, covered in a prayer shawl while holding the sacred scroll and lifted by four men.
"He now is raised up from a commoner to a kingship," Messer proclaims, as the men walk Long's seat around an adoring crowd.
Messianic Jews believe that Jesus Christ, or Yeshua, is the Messiah, putting them at odds with traditional Jewish theology. Most Jews consider the faith to be a form of evangelical Christianity.
Rabbi David Shiff of Congregation Beth Hallel, a Messianic Jewish synagogue in Roswell, condemned the actions in the video.
"Ralph Messer in no way represents Messianic Judaism," Shiff said. "He is not affiliated with any legitimate branch of Messianic Judaism. His actions in no way reflect the position of Messianic Judaism. I found the presentation to be repulsive and inappropriate."
The Torah is one of Judaism's most sacred objects and Jewish groups said the notion that it was used in a ceremony at the church was offensive.
About Ralph Messer:
From his website - "Internationally acclaimed Bible teacher, conference speaker, and Spirit-filled minister, Rabbi Ralph Messer is the President and Founder of Simchat Torah Beit Midrash® (STBM) - a congregation and school based in Colorado. With an Apostolic and Evangelistic anointing, Rabbi Messer actively teaches the Hebrew Roots of the Christian Faith, fulfilling the great commission to "...make disciples of all the nations" (Matthew 28:19)."
Please note his official Bio says nothing about being Jewish, nor where he graduated Yeshiva. His organization has all the tale-tell symptoms of a Charismatic Church playing at being Jewish. To establish the point note "With an Apostolic and Evangelistic anointing, Rabbi Messer", pointing solidly to Charismatic Christianity, not Messianic Judaism.
At least Eddie Long had the decency to issue an apology -
"In the wake of a loud outcry throughout the Jewish community, Bishop Eddie Long has apologized to the Anti-Defamation League for last Sunday's service at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church during which Rabbi Ralph Messer crowned him a king, reports the Atlanta Journal Constitution. "The ceremony was not my suggestion, nor was it my intent, to participate in any ritual that is offensive in any manner to the Jewish community,"
Long wrote in a letter sent to Bill Nigut, Southeast Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League.
I went to Ralph Messer's Congregation Simchat Torah Beit Midrash (http://www.torah.tv/) where they are talking about how anointed it was and how all this publicity is the enemy coming against this move of G-d. Nicole Martin, a pastor at Messer's synagogue, told their congregation that they should be proud of Messer for crowning Long:
"You'd be incredibly, incredibly proud of your rabbi," said Martin. "I'm so excited about what happened [at New Birth]. The spirit was so thick, so tangible." (source AJC see above).
UMJC Response - February 3, 2012:
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 (http://umjc.org/home-mainmenu-1/news-mainmenu-40/1-latest/746-umjc-mjaa-respond-to-messer-video).
Our response - February 4, 2012:
We in the Union of Conservative Messianic
Jewish Congregations / Union of Conservative Messianic Judaism and Congregation
Beth Ha'Mashiach stand with our Jewish people and condemn these actions as
neither Jewish nor following any Jewish teaching. Further more, these teachings
in no way reflect the teachings of our Messiah, Yeshua Ha'Nazaret who was a
fully Torah observant Jew and taught that the Torah would never pass away "Not
one Yod or Tittle will pass away until all is made Full", that is, made know,
properly taught (Matt 5:17-18).
This action however does serve as a valuable lesson if we will heed it. It is time for Messianic Judaism to stand-up, align ourselves with our people, our rabbis, our Torah and remove the cancer of those claiming to be practicing Messianic Judaism, but who in reality are churches, lead by Pastors, using Jewish symbols to teach Gentile Christian Theology.
We need to be part of the effort to have truly Jewish rabbi's for Messianic synagogues, trained in Yeshiva and teaching Judaism that recognizes Yeshua Ha'Nazaret as Messiah, in a Jewish context. We need to resist proselytization by churches of the Jewish People, drawing them to become Gentiles in order to recognize Yeshua as Messiah. We have lost 6 million to the Holocaust; we have lost many more to assimilation, it must stop now!
Let's heed the wake up call!
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