I’m discouraged by Jewish anti-missionaries

The Rosh Pina Project is a fantastic blog run by a two Messianic guys who, among other things, document anti-missionary abuses of Messianic Jews and Christians.

And I’m discouraged and stressed out when I read the nastiness that goes on in the Rosh Pina Project comments.

The comments on the Rosh Pina Project is an internet war zone of the worst kind:

Many unbelieving Jews, most of whom are anti-missionaries, battle it out with Messianics and Christians in a perpetually-burning theological slam down.

And while some of the “professional”, official anti-missionaries (e.g. Moshe Shulman) are usually civil, most of the ilk there are the amateur, unscholarly, I-hate-all-things-Jesus kind of folk, and their battles are the bare-knuckled, gloves off kind that the internet is famous for.

I can’t even call it debate; I love debate and reasoning, but most of what goes on is mockery; real hatred manifesting itself.

It gets nasty.

Examples:

Mocking Christianity as a pro-human sacrifice religion:

“Of course the irrationality of Xstians is forcefully strong if one stopped to consider that the religion is pro human sacrifice as per the pagan religions it is based on. I do think J was a virgin – maybe it was a virgin human sacrifice?”

Mocking Jesus as a fake godman, also ridiculing Messianic organization UMJC and Messianic leader Stuart Dauermann:

Stuart Dauermann’s attempts, and thus the UMJC”s attempts to misdirect and make issues out of who or what constitutes supercessionism really is inconsequential to the fact that at the end of the day, SD and his crew at the UMJC are still misdirected Jews who cling to the idea of JC/Yoshke as godman.

Ridiculing the idea that a Jew can follow Yeshua, coupled with a plea to “come home” (read: abandon Yeshua and convert to Judaism):

You actually can peer into the constant identity problem that Jews have with this messianic movement. Don’t you see how a “raw nerve” is touched in your very Neshama [soul] by this ridiculous attempt at trying to reconcile being a Jew and following jesus? Come home already.

Assertions that Jews who follow Yeshua are no longer Jews. Mentions various Messianic leaders by name.

Though of Semitic descent you may be, taking that step into JC’s territory takes you out of Judaism’s territory. Period. Yes people can blow steam out their ears and pontificate and rehash yet again every tired old saw that we have been subjected to again and again on not just this site but so many others (Boaz, Derek et al.).

Almost zero debate, virtually all comments degrade into little personal vendetta fights:

You sad sorry little person. Does your brain hurt from trying to balance that many contradictions at the same time? You know absolutely nothing about me, you pathetic little git. Is it so hard to fathom inside that “spirit filled” little intellect of yours that aside from the great bogey-men “anti-missionaries” that …believe it or not, most Jews really dislike you.

And that’s just a few samples from a single recent thread; the Rosh Pina folks regularly encounter far worse.

I feel bad for the Joe Weissman and Gev, the folks who run that site, who have to put up with that level of hate and insults. They mostly rise above the fray. Can’t say the same for everyone who comments there, Messianic or Jewish.

One good that comes out of Rosh Pina is this: I am reminded that Messianics must band together. On my own blog, I’m held back from posting critiques about the latest Messianic theology being pushed by the big Messianic organizations. I don’t care so much about smaller theological problems on the inside when there are outsiders who are openly hostile to the whole group. Why nit-pick brothers on the inside when those who hate you are tearing down all of us from the outside?

Messianic musician Ted Pearce mentioned that he loves anti-missionaries:

I LOVE Anti-missionaries! Rav Shaul (Paul) was anti-missionary.

I'm pretty libertarian about secular discussion groups or public social networks. If we want to be free to speak to people about why Yeshua IS the Messiah, then those who might say He isn't should have the freedom to express their position in an intellectual way also.

Either Yeshua was raised from the grave or we are the most miserable of men. Every person really should be 100% convinced before putting their trust in Him. As long they aren't violent, we have nothing to fear from those guys.

I have a hard time really loving anti-missionaries. How can you love people who are so openly hostile, mean-spirited, angry, demonizing you and your family, your whole faith in God, and trying to make you abandon your hope?

Man.

I’m distressed seeing the hostility.

15 comments:

  1. I am far more distressed about the personalized vitriol coming from "believers" toward other believers (the way R. Stuart Dauermann was attacked and demonized, for example, for his post on religious extremism), the vitriol being spewed toward not-yet-Yeshua-believing Jews, and the hatred toward the Orthodox Jews coming from some in the messianic, Hebrew Christian and Christian camps.

    If we are supposed to have the Spirit and others, "in the world" , are suppose to desire what we have and seek emulate our "godly walk", we are doing a very poor job of it. It's not "the world" or those who do not know Yeshua who are to be held to the higher standard of civility and love, but we are, that is those who count themselves among his disciples should conduct ourselves accordingly.

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  2. I completely understand how discouraging this kind of behavior can be, but we need to remember that it is an honor for us. I know that's easy to say, but Yeshua commanded us to love one another. This is also easy to say and sounds cliche at this point in history with everything we see around us - but it's no less true. I have to agree with Gene. We are the ones who are to demonstrate light and love - His light and love, no matter how we are treated. We are His disciples and emissaries. How can they know love, who don't know the Father? How can they see the Father unless we show Him to them? This is a command, and one that will become so much more important (and difficult) as the day grows more and more dark. In some ways, this mark of obedience, will eclipse all the others in that day.

    "If the world hates you, know that it hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own, but because you are not of the world, for I chose you out of the world, the world hates you. Remember what I told you. A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they have kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know Him who sent me... Whoever hates me hates my Father also." John 15:18-21,23

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  3. The point of polemic anti-missionaries, is to sap the spiritual life out of you.

    In doing so, they admit you have spiritual life!

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  4. Don't be discouraged Judah - the vitriol of the AMs' comments is testimony to the paucity of their arguments. We are on the winning side!

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  5. Wow, that was spooky. I thought I'd left a comment and then forgot about it.

    Signed,

    Another "James"

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  6. Judah....

    It is for this very reason that I don't like this kind of verbal attack on my blog.. It just isn't uplifting. There's enough in the world to drag us down. I don't want to add to it.

    be well my friend

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  7. Yes, it does alarm and destroy one's inner peace... for a while. The unkind words of paid professional hecklers and amateur haters are designed to do so to you. You know you do not need to take their error to heart.

    Just by being alive and a Jew who know Messiah Yeshua, you are the living, breathing refutation to everything they are saying. Let Jesus be the subject. Interested undecided Jews will read, and the contrast will be obvious.


    --Ken Thomas

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  8. Common Judah, be cool about it. We reply to them tit for tat and easily put them in their place.

    As Golda Meir used to say: Don't be so humble, you are not that great....We have seen some real wars on your blog and we all survived to tell about them....

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  9. many critics of Messianic Judaism think all Christians are missionaries employing aggressive techniques like some sleezy car salesman, and that Judaism does not prosletyse

    This may be true in some cases, but try visiting the city of Tiberias on the Galilee

    Here you can see tons of religious people giving out tracts in Hebrew and English often at cars stopped at trafic lights. They often don't accept a no either.

    Really anti-missionaries have a kind of spirit which a lot like antisemitism and hatred of Jews but intended at Christians and Jewish believers.

    Thankfully our Lord in heaven has the ability to change people of all kinds, look at Saul of Tarsus for instance.

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  10. "Really anti-missionaries have a kind of spirit which a lot like antisemitism and hatred of Jews but intended at Christians and Jewish believers."

    Jeff, what are you smoking making such a comparison?! You should be ashamed of yourself! Antisemities want Jews dead and physically removed from the planet just for being Jews (no matter what those Jews happen to believe), while antimissionaries simply do not want fellow Jews to convert to Christianity or any other religions they deem idolatrous. Antisemitism produced the likes of Hitler, Stalin, ben Laden and others who have sent countless innocent Jews and others to their deaths, and have reigned misery and destruction on whole nations. How many people have the Jewish antimissionaries slaughtered?

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  11. Judah:

    Good post. Fundamentalist Jews come in two stripes (as do fundamentalist Christians): (1) those who put practice of Judaism first and thus are ethical people and (2) those who (insecure?) put arguments defending their views and attacking all others first.

    I too have been shocked by the vitriol. I have heard from victims of the bullying in Israel. No one deserves that. The Jewish world has its own Fred Phelps and Westboro Baptist look-alikes.

    I liked what you said about how what we have in common overshadows the ways we differ.

    Derek Leman

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  12. "Fundamentalist Jews come in two stripes..."

    You mean "Orthodox". Down where I live some of the most active and aggressive anti-missionaries I've known were a reconstructionist (demonstrating with signs in front of MJ synagogues) and a conservative (sending spies to spy on MJs).

    EVERY faith expression comes in more than one stripe.

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  13. I hadn't intended to comment, but I think we should be clear that anyone can use bad methods or have bad motives. A Jewish person is no more or less immune to "spewing vitriol" than a Christian (or anyone else for that matter). It's not the faith or the peoplehood we claim but how we practice our faith that matters.

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  14. I agree wholeheartedly, we should bind together over what's most important, and the faith in Yeshua that holds us together in God's love. That is vital for us as believers.

    We will each have different ideas, as to how we should live out this faith, based on how we honestly understand God's revealed truths.

    We have to look beyond our pretty theological patterns, to find the deep, common bond in Moshiach.

    Not always easy, as we all know.

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  15. "sending spies to spy on MJs"

    That would be a good thing. Some may learn of the good MJ territory (and desire it), as Joshua and Caleb found the Promised Land to be good (and desired it).

    And there are good "anti-missionaries" just as there are bad ones. Paul started out as a bad one, then saw the Light and converted to be an anti-Helenism-missionary. Shouldn't we all be so? And anti- the Helenized concept of a Torah-breaking ~Jesus~ is integral with the saving faith of believers, isn't it?

    No wonder the Jews are anti-(modern)-Christianity -- how can they see the true first century Christianity of the Jewish Apostles? MJs just get the spill-over from 2 millennia of Catholic apostasy

    Yak

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Husband, dad, disciple of the Jewish Messiah Yeshua, technologist. Author of Chavah Messianic Radio, MessianicChords, and EtzMitzvot. @judahgabriel


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