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Archive for the ‘Judaism’ Category

When you drop off the cliff into the depts of depravity and abject apostasy as Mr. Long has nothing is surprising anymore, except for the fact that ANYONE actually attends a “church” that he leads!

from The Atlanta Journal and Constitution:

“Bishop” Long Crowned King!

A ceremony held Sunday at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, in which Bishop Eddie Long was wrapped in a sacred Torah scroll and carried upon a throne, has the Internet abuzz and Jewish religious leaders offended and questioning its appropriateness.

“He’s a king. God has blessed him,” said Rabbi Ralph Messer before covering Long in a scroll “[that] may still have the dust of Auschwitz and Birkenau.” Messer referred to the Nazi extermination camps in Poland where millions of Jews were murdered during the Holocaust.

A Torah’s use in a ceremony ordaining Long as “a king” is  offensive to many Jews, said Bill Nigut, Southeast Regional Director of  the Anti-Defamation League.

The ceremony at Long’s Lithonia church, viewed more than 139,000 times on YouTube, “in no way represents any Jewish ritual that I’m familiar with,” Nigut said. “We do not proclaim individuals to be kings.”

Messer said his parchment, a handwritten copy of the holiest book within Judaism, was 312 years old. His mention of Auschwitz-Birkenau implied the scroll was one of those recovered from the death camps when they were liberated by the Allies toward the end of World War II.

It’s impossible to authenticate Messer’s claim without examining the texts up close, said Rabbi Joshua Heller of Congregation B’nai Torah in Sandy Springs. While rare, Torahs can be easily purchased, even on eBay, he said.

“There are a fair number of Torah scrolls that survived the war,” said Heller, adding roughly 1,500 were rescued from Czechoslovakia alone.

More disturbing was the use of this particular Torah in an inappropriate setting, experts on religion say.

“The connection of the Torah scroll to the Holocaust and then to Eddie Long is incomprehensible to me,” said David P. Gushee, a professor of Christian ethics at Mercer University. Gushee is a scholar of the Holocaust and has visited Auschwitz several times.

“What was the point? Was it to signal that Eddie Long was suffering persecution like the Jews at Auschwitz?” Gushee asked.

Messer’s son, Minister Russell Messer of Simchat Torah Beit Midrash in Parker, Colo., said his father purchased the parchment and relied on the word of its seller regarding its provenance. “It came through that generation of Europe,” the younger Messer said.

Russell Messer said that in the next two days, his father — who has no formal rabbinical training — plans to post on his organization’s website the full video of his sermon along with additional comments regarding Sunday’s service.

When asked for comment about the event, New Birth emailed a statement Thursday in which Ralph Messer said critics misunderstood his intent.

“My message was about restoring a man and to encourage his walk in the Lord,” Messer said. “It was not to make Bishop Eddie L. Long a king.”

The YouTube video indicates otherwise, Heller told the AJC.

“We wouldn’t wrap a Jewish person in a Torah scroll and declare him king,” he said. “As a Jew, I find that use of symbols very off-putting.”

The messenger is as controversial as the message, Jewish leaders say.

Ralph Messer, according to a biography on his organization’s website, is “pioneering a work to bring the ‘Good News’ of Yeshua (Jesus Christ) in the Torah to the ends of the Earth.” He is active in the Messianic Judaism movement, which fuses evangelical Christian beliefs with elements of Jewish tradition.

“The Jewish community does not associate itself with the Messianic congregations,” Heller said. “We don’t feel like this does due justice to either the Jewish or Christian community.”

Messer’s biography says he has ties with prominent evangelicals including the Rev. Kenneth Copeland of Lubbock, Texas, and Paula White, pastor of a charismatic mega-church based in Florida. It says he has made frequent appearances on the Trinity Broadcasting Network.

In his statement Thursday, Ralph Messer said Sunday’s presentation “was simply a way of bringing  honor to a man who had given his life to the Lord and had given so much  to his church, the Atlanta metro area and throughout the world.”

“Lifting him on the chair was to acknowledge and honor him,” he said, adding it is consistent with rituals performed at Jewish weddings and Bar mitzvahs.

One worshipper present at the service said it was “so much more than the video.”

“If you actually attended the service you would know that Bishop Long was not ordained or considered a king in the worldly sense,” said New Birth member De’Yolanda Lowery. “I do know that Bishop Long is truly a man of God.”

Russell Messer said that his father and Long “just got to know each other in the last six months.”

Long was appointed New Birth’s pastor in 1987 when the church had only 300 members. By its 10th anniversary, New Birth reported a membership of roughly 18,000, peaking at 25,000.

But in September 2010, Long was sued by four former church members who  alleged he used his influence, trips, gifts and jobs to coerce  them into sexual relationships. The suit was settled in May. The church’s attendance has declined since the sexual coercion lawsuit was filed.

The bishop may have taken comfort in Messer’s message.

“You can’t attack [Long],” Messer said Sunday. “He’s sealed. Wherever he turns, the power of God is there. … It’s not him, it’s the king in him.”

As Long sat behind him, perched on a throne under a spotlight, Messer chanted repeatedly, “It’s a new birth,” eliciting cheers from the congregation.

Mercer’s Gushee said the  service  may have been an attempt to shore up Long’s standing in his ministry.

“A lot of things could have been done to shore that up, but this  particularly bizarre ritual was deeply disturbing,” Gushee said. “One  problem with Messianic Judaism, in which leaders attempt to fuse Jewish  and Christian traditions and symbols, is that it can easily stray into  profound insensitivity.”

Jamal-Dominique Hopkins, associate professor of Biblical studies at  Interdenominational Theological Center, said that on viewing the video, “My first impression was, ‘Who is this individual who has the authority to make Bishop Long a king?’

“It’s something I’ve never seen or read within the  Judeo-Christian tradition,” Hopkins said. “There’s nothing within Scripture that  supports such a practice of this ceremony. It really just stands outside  of the Christian faith.”

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from Got Questions:

Replacement theology (also known as supersessionism) essentially teaches that the church has replaced Israel in God’s plan. Adherents of replacement theology believe the Jews are no longer God’s chosen people, and God does not have specific future plans for the nation of Israel. All the different views of the relationship between the church and Israel can be divided into two camps: either the church is a continuation of Israel (replacement/covenant theology), or the church is completely different and distinct from Israel (dispensationalism/premillennialism).

Replacement theology teaches that the church is the replacement for Israel and that the many promises made to Israel in the Bible are fulfilled in the Christian church, not in Israel. So, the prophecies in Scripture concerning the blessing and restoration of Israel to the Promised Land are “spiritualized” or “allegorized” into promises of God’s blessing for the church. Major problems exist with this view, such as the continuing existence of the Jewish people throughout the centuries and especially with the revival of the modern state of Israel. If Israel has been condemned by God, and there is no future for the Jewish nation, how do we explain the supernatural survival of the Jewish people over the past 2000 years despite the many attempts to destroy them? How do we explain why and how Israel reappeared as a nation in the 20th century after not existing for 1900 years?

The view that Israel and the church are different is clearly taught in the New Testament. Biblically speaking, the church is completely different and distinct from Israel, and the two are never to be confused or used interchangeably. We are taught from Scripture that the church is an entirely new creation that came into being on the day of Pentecost and will continue until it is taken to heaven at the rapture (Ephesians 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17). The church has no relationship to the curses and blessings for Israel. The covenants, promises, and warnings are valid only for Israel. Israel has been temporarily set aside in God’s program during these past 2000 years of dispersion.

After the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18), God will restore Israel as the primary focus of His plan. The first event at this time is the tribulation (Revelation chapters 6-19). The world will be judged for rejecting Christ, while Israel is prepared through the trials of the great tribulation for the second coming of the Messiah. Then, when Christ does return to the earth, at the end of the tribulation, Israel will be ready to receive Him. The remnant of Israel which survives the tribulation will be saved, and the Lord will establish His kingdom on this earth with Jerusalem as its capital. With Christ reigning as King, Israel will be the leading nation, and representatives from all nations will come to Jerusalem to honor and worship the King—Jesus Christ. The church will return with Christ and will reign with Him for a literal thousand years (Revelation 20:1-5).

Both the Old Testament and the New Testament support a premillennial/dispensational understanding of God’s plan for Israel. Even so, the strongest support for premillennialism is found in the clear teaching of Revelation 20:1-7, where it says six times that Christ’s kingdom will last 1000 years. After the tribulation the Lord will return and establish His kingdom with the nation of Israel, Christ will reign over the whole earth, and Israel will be the leader of the nations. The church will reign with Him for a literal thousand years. The church has not replaced Israel in God’s plan. While God may be focusing His attention primarily on the church in this dispensation of grace, God has not forgotten Israel and will one day restore Israel to His intended role as the nation He has chosen (Romans 11).

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from The Daily Mail:

A worker who claims she was the victim of a race-hate campaign by fundamentalist Muslims because of her Christian beliefs has launched a  landmark case against her former employers.

Nouhad Halawi, a saleswoman at Heathrow Airport’s World Duty Free shop, said she and other Christian staff were systematically harassed by Muslims.

She alleged the intimidation included:

  • Bullying a friend at the airport for wearing crosses.
  • Muslims telling her she would go to hell if she didn’t convert.
  • A Muslim colleague insisting she read the Koran. And;
  • That Jews were responsible for the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Mrs Halawi lost her job at the perfume counter in Terminal 3 in July after 13 years when she spoke out about bullying by a small group of ‘extremist’ Muslims at the airport.

The mother-of-two had been the subject of a complaint by an Islamic colleague but when she raised her own concerns as a Christian, she said she was the one who was dismissed.

Her case for unfair dismissal is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre, who believe it raises important legal issues over whether Muslims and Christians are treated differently by employers.

Mrs Halawi, 47, who came to Britain from Lebanon in 1977, said: ‘I have been sacked on the basis of unsubstantiated complaints.

‘There is now great fear amongst my former colleagues that the same could happen to them if one of the Muslims turns on them.

‘This is supposed to be a Christian country, but the law seems to be on the side of the Muslims.’

She says that she had always got on well with her Muslim colleagues,but  the atmosphere changed with a growing number of employees promoting ‘fundamentalist Islam’.

Mrs Halawi told the Sunday Telegraph: ‘One man brought in the Koran to work and insisted I read it and another brought in Islamic leaflets and handed them out to other employees.

‘They said that 9/11 served the Americans right and that they hated the West, but that they had come here because they want to convert people to Islam.

‘They say that Jesus is s***** and bullied a Christian friend of mine so much for wearing her crosses that she came to me crying.’

She claimed she became a targeted for the fundamentalists after she stood up for her friend who wants to be anonymous because she still works at the terminal.

In May, five of her Muslim colleagues complained to David Tunnicliffe, the trading manager at World Duty Free, accusing her of being anti-Islamic following a heated conversation in the store.

According to the Telegraph, her description of a Muslim colleague as an allawhi – ‘man of God’ in Arabic –  sparked a row when another worker overheard the remark and thought she said Alawi, which was his branch of Islam.

Following the complaints she was suspended but was not told on what  grounds until she met Mr Tunnicliffe in July.

Two days after the meeting she received a letter withdrawing her Heathrow security pass – needed to work at World Duty Free – because her comments were deemed ‘extremely inappropriate.’

Mrs Halawi, paid at World Duty Free on a freelance basis by cosmetic staff agency Caroline South Associates, was told that she would not be unable to continue working without her pass.

A petition signed by 28 colleagues, some of them Muslims, argued that she has been dismissed on the basis of ‘malicious lies.’

The Christian Legal Centre has instructed Paul Diamond, a leading human rights barrister, to represent Mrs Halawi in taking both Caroline South Associates and Autogrill Retail UK Limited, which trades as World Duty Free, to an employment tribunal.

A lawyer acting for CSA told the Sunday Telegraph: ‘The case is still pending so the company is not in a position to comment, but as far as the company is concerned she’s never been an employee and has never been dismissed.’

A World Duty Free spokesman said they were unable to comment because of  ‘ongoing legal proceedings’.

Last week, Jewish businessman Arieh Zucker complained that he has been repeatedly singled out for full-body scans by Muslim security staff at the airport.

The 41-year-old mortgage broker, from London, has accused them of ‘race hate’ and is threatening to sue for racial discrimination after being made to ‘feel like a criminal’ while being scanned.

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James 4:4

You adulterers and adulteresses, know you not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

And a thousand masses in reparation is not going to change that!

from Capital FM News:

Pope Benedict XVI has invited 300 religious leaders to a meeting in Assisi in Italy to repudiate “violence in the name of God” amid growing tensions fuelled by fundamentalists across the world.

The day of interreligious council, which will be held on Thursday in St. Francis of Assisi’s birthplace, is intended to be a “journey of reflection, dialogue and prayer for peace and justice in the world,” the Vatican said.

Over 50 Islamic representatives are expected to attend the talks from several countries, including Saudi Arabia and Iran.

They will be joined by Rabbis, Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs, a Zoroastrian, a Bahai and representatives of Taoism and Confucianism as well as of other traditional religions from Africa and America.

For the first time, four atheists will also attend the meeting, which is traditionally organised so as not to coincide with the Muslim day of prayer on Friday, the Jewish one on Saturday or the Christian one on Sunday.

However, the Imam from the Al-Azhar University in Cairo, a heavyweight authority on Sunnism, will not be coming, having fallen out with the pope after he urged Egypt to protect Christians from attacks by radical Islamists.

The meeting is being criticised by Catholic fundamentalists who are strongly against the idea of dialogue with other religions. French fundamentalist Regis de Cacqueray said 1,000 masses would be needed to be said in reparation.

The event marks the 25th anniversary of the first interreligious meeting in Assisi, organised by John Paul II in 1986 as a “day of prayer” inspired by the United Nation’s proclamation of an International Year of the Peace.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the then prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, chose not to attend because of concerns shared by traditionalists that it risked mixing religions into a vague common belief.

While guests attending this year’s encounter — the third in Assisi — will in principle follow a “common course”, those who wish to pray will do so separately, according to their beliefs, the Holy See has said.

Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, who helped organise the first Assisi day in 1986, said John Paul II had been careful to avoid mixing beliefs, and Benedict XVI was no different.

“Interreligious dialogue has spread” over the last 25 years, and the pope sees it “as a common, irrevocable heritage of Christian sensibility,” he said.

The pope’s main aim is for participants to agree to “a common commitment to reject the instrumentalism of religion and the use of violence in the name of God,” said a Vatican insider.

Number two of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Pier Luigi Celata, said the problems that particularly concern religions are immigration, cultural diversity, religious liberty and the defence of the family.

“These issues oblige faithful people from different religions to look for common solutions,” he said.

At the end of the day of talks, the main participants will renew their commitment to peace in the square in front of St. Francis’ Basilica.

A burning torch will be symbolically presented to the delegations in the hope that they will take the message back with them to their communities.

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from the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

Jews conversed with Muslims. Hindus laughed with Sikhs. They did this in the spirit of creating something positive from the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001.

On Sunday, before an interfaith ceremony  at the Decatur Hotel and Conference Center, hundreds of people stood in clusters of conversation in the lobby, bridging differences.

“There are so many things in common — the food, the culture,” Ebrahim Esmail, a Muslim living in Snellville,  told Dr. Bhagirath Majmudar, a Hindu living in Chamblee.

The interfaith service drew 500 people to the conference center ballroom, making it one of the largest of the metro Atlanta events marking the 10th anniversary of the terror bombings.

Looking out at the people of different faiths, many dressed in religious clothing, Shelley Rose of the Southeast chapter of the Anti-Defamation League, told the group: “I wish you all could stand up and see what you look like. This is an amazing group of people.”

Event organizers said the events of 9/11 ignited a profound change among metro Atlanta’s community of faith, spurring more efforts to reach across religious boundaries.

“We realized we were part of the problem,” said Jan Swanson, 69, a founding member of the Faith Alliance of Metro Atlanta who wore a peace sign necklace. “We changed.”

People said they hoped events like this would close the divisions that opened after the attacks.

Rev. Tessie Mandeville of Decatur said she carried a deep sadness for those who perished on 9/11 and their loved ones.  She also felt sorrow over the prejudice that grew from those events.

“No act of love is ever wasted,” said Mandeville, attired in her white clerical collar. “That’s why I’m here today.”

Beyond honoring the deceased, people said they wanted to unify the different faiths.  They felt events like this could help educate people about their common hopes.

“Learning about your neighbors is right,” said Gulbarg Singh Basi, 69, who wore a turban. “We are all creatures of the same creator. The boundaries are man-made.”

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from The Denver Post:

Some say it was fanatical faith that led to the 9/11 attacks on the U.S.

Denver’s religious leaders said on the 10th anniversary that the best hope for peace begins with the world’s faith traditions coming together.

In service of that ideal, representatives of the three Abrahamic faiths — Judaism, Islam and Christianity — gathered at St. John’s Cathedral Sunday to have “Conversations That Matter” and “A Multifaith Service of Remembrance Healing and Hope.”

“I don’t know that any of this accomplishes anything,” said participant Ann Kelly, “but it makes me feel better. More understanding can’t be a bad thing.”

In forums held all afternoon, people talked about difficult subjects, including what bothers them about their own religions.

They talked about their greatest fears about other religions. They learned some of what each faith’s sacred texts says about the other. They discussed ways for different groups to conduct respectful dialogue with each other.

To wrap up the forums, Jonny 5 of the Flobots, a Christian rapper brought up in a tiny Presbyterian congregation, hosted a final special event called “an interactive, interfaith performance/workshop.”

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I am currently reading Rob Bell’s book “Love Wins” that is referred to in this article and will be writing and posting a critque of the book at a later date.

But suffice it to say at this point that Rob Bell’s book is not scripturally based AT ALL! He bases all his premises on apostate Christian writings and on non-Christian writings. He also goes further to use the non-Christian Pharisaical Jewish Oral teaching & later Rabbinical Jewish Teaching, that is does not suffice to read scripture in the literal ie just the words on the page to understand the passage. They believe that the white space in between the words is where God left room for the Priests and the Scribes to find the “deeper” meaning sof the passage.

However this idea was nothing more than a humanistic attempt to allow the Priests, Scribes and later the Rabbi’s and Jewish Sages to introduce their own non-Biblical opinions on what they think the passage says. And the purpose of this practice was so the Priests and scribes could gain an advantage and control over the lay persons who could not read the ancient Hebrew language.

Yet again Rob Bell’s book proves why man is not supposed to base his knowledge of God on his feelings or heart. In our heart none of us want to believe that anyone would actually go to hell.  But it is not up to us and our feelings, it is up to what GOD SAYS IN HIS WORD. And it does say that many people will go to hell for eternity!

Jesus himself spoke not less than 18 times about Hell (Gehenna) and the word he uses describes it as a FINAL & eternal destination of those who reject Christ or are false Christians!

from msnbc:

A new book is spurring debate over the traditional view of hell as a place of eternal torment for damned souls

When Chad Holtz lost his old belief in hell, he also lost his job.

The pastor of a rural United Methodist church in North Carolina wrote a note on his Facebook page supporting a new book by Rob Bell, a prominent young evangelical pastor and critic of the traditional view of hell as a place of eternal torment for billions of damned souls.

Two days later, Holtz was told complaints from church members prompted his dismissal from Marrow’s Chapel in Henderson.

“I think justice comes and judgment will happen, but I don’t think that means an eternity of torment,” Holtz said. “But I can understand why people in my church aren’t ready to leave that behind. It’s something I’m still grappling with myself.”

The debate over Bell’s new book “Love Wins” has quickly spread across the evangelical precincts of the Internet, in part because of an eye-catching promotional video posted on YouTube.

Bell, the pastor of the 10,000-member Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Mich., lays out the premise of his book while the video cuts away to an artist’s hand mixing oil paints and pastels and applying them to a blank canvas.

He describes going to a Christian art show where one of the pieces featured a quote by Mohandas Gandhi. Someone attached a note saying: “Reality check: He’s in hell.” . . . .

read the full article here.

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