Tag Archives: messianic

The MJAA Doesn’t Know if It’s Coming or Going

Next month, the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America will hold a regional conference in Grapevine, Texas (a small suburb of Fort Worth). Here’s a screenshot of part of the conference webpage:

MJAA incompetence

Unsurprisingly, the MJAA managed to grossly screw up one of the three Hebrew words it used. Surprisingly, though, the MJAA managed to screw up the English as well.

The cited verse, Isaiah 59:20, states that “a redeemer will come to Zion.” The excerpt on the website, though, is part of Romans 11:26 stating that the deliverer will come from Zion. In other words, the MJAA not only cited the wrong Bible verse, but also cited a verse with a contradictory meaning.

But hey, at least last year’s merchandise tables appear to have been fully stocked!

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“Cantor Peter Gordon” is a Convicted Brothel Operator

While many of my posts mock people in the Messianic movement, this one is dead serious.

MJTI (Messianic Jewish Theological Institute) recently began offering a two-year cantorial arts program. For $8400 plus a required internship and various administrative fees, you too can learn how to read Torah and perform other basic liturgical functions in the Messianic movement.

Let’s put aside the fact that the program is a blatant ripoff for now. Instead, let’s focus on Cantor Peter Gordon, one of the two instructors in the program. According to his biography:

Cantor Peter Gordon… has served Reform, Conservative, Reconstruction, and Traditional congregations throughout the United States. He came to faith and started serving Messianic Judaism as an adult and has served congregations in Las Vegas, Nevada and currently at Beth Emunah in Agoura Hills, California.

This is a surprising background for someone in the Messianic movement, no? Why did someone who sounds very involved with Judaism end up adopting Jesus as his savior?

Answer: Cantor Peter Gordon, formerly known as Cantor Joel Gordon, left organized Judaism in disgrace after he and his wife Alison Ginsberg pleaded guilty to running a prostitution ring in 2001.

The Awareness Center, a volunteer organization dedicated to fighting sexual abuse in Jewish communities, has collected a series of newspaper articles about Peter/Joel Gordon with all the grim details and photographic evidence that the two Gordons are in fact the same person. Oh, and Gordon worked with a couple Christian congregations in Nevada using the name “Peter Andrews” around 2010.

(For the record, a quick online search for some of the article headlines and for “Cantor Peter Gordon” confirms that the information on the site is correct.)

The articles collected at the Awareness Center further reveal that Gordon served “congregations throughout the United States” because he kept having to leave them—and this was well before the brothel allegations. For example:

At Temple Sinai in Atlanta, Rabbi Phil Kranz said of Gordon, “We knew there was a problem. He was given a few hours to pack and be out and he left in the dark of night.”

Given Peter/Joel Gordon’s history, I strongly suspect that he became a “Messianic Jew” simply because he needed a new group of people to exploit. And his super-brief incarnation as the openly Christian “Peter Andrews” raises additional questions.

If you are involved in the Messianic movement (especially with Beth Emunah or with MJTI), please be extremely careful in your interactions with Peter/Joel Gordon; don’t let his musical abilities lull you into complacency. And please do not hesitate to contact the proper authorities, including law enforcement, if something illegal or suspicious occurs. Whatever my feelings are about your movement, I sincerely do not want to see any of you exploited.

The Crazy Factor

Nicole Czarnecki, the person in this video, claims to be Jewish after she decided that her great-great-grandparents on her father’s side were crypto-Jews. As a “Messianic Jew,” she has uploaded numerous YouTube videos attacking “non-Messianic Jews,” including this recent video in which she explains that they actually worship the pagan gods described in Amos.

The video itself is rather boring, I admit, although you do get to hear her butcher the Hebrew names for Isaiah and Jonathan. I find the video interesting nonetheless because it illustrates the weird blend of philosemitism and antisemitism you find in some parts of the Messianic movement. She clearly dislikes Jews, yet desperately wants to be one.

Diving into Davening

Having grown slightly bored with the Shema, this Messianic worship leader decided to mix things up by pretending to perform the Birkat Kohanim at the same time. “If this doesn’t excite the congregation,” he thought, “I’ll try the Batusi next week.”

Edit: The Rosh Pina Project claims that the person in this video is not a Messianic Jew. However, according to his “NazareneSpace”profile, he self-identifies as one:

Do you consider yourself a:
Messianic Jew

No Solace in Saul

Sheol (שְׁאוֹל) is a place mentioned in the Tanakh as the destination of the dead. Shaul (שָׁאוּל) is the Hebrew name for Saul, the first Israelite king, as well as Paul the Apostle. Messianic congregations frequently use “Shaul” in place of “Paul” to make the New Testament seem more Jewish.

Note that the consonants for both words are the same in Hebrew. As you can imagine, this poses problems for Messianic congregations whose leaders can’t actually read Hebrew—for example, Yeshuat Yisrael, which put together this slide for one of the many PowerPoint sermons it offers on its website.

More About the Southern Baptist Convention

 

 Southern Baptist Messianic Fellowship

The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is still heavily involved in the Messianic Jewish movement—no surprise there, given that they remain dedicated to converting Jews to Christianity. Here’s a photo from an affiliated service held right before the 2011 SBC Annual Meeting in June:

“Ric Worshill, left, a police chaplain in Lindenhurst, Ill., and David Foster, a member of Beit Yuash Shem [sic] of Meridian, Miss., worship during the meeting of the Southern Baptist Messianic Fellowship at CrossPoinTempe Church in Tempe, Ariz. The services were held Saturday, June 11 prior to the start of the June 14-15 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Ariz.”

The Southern Baptist Messianic Fellowship, by the way, has a membership of just over thirty congregations and twenty ministries with names like “Tikvat L’Chaim” and “Congregation Adat Shalom.” And that’s not counting the congregations I mentioned earlier that are part of the SBC itself.

(Oh, and how funny is it that the SBC website misspelled “Yeshua?”)