Thursday, February 2, 2012

No messing around with Jewish sancta!

As a Messianic Jew, I am appalled by the recent video depicting the abuse of a Torah scroll by a man named Ralph Messer at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church.  While this Huffington Post article rebuts and refutes the various actions taken in the video, I am saddened that already some in the media are mistakenly associating Mr. Messer with Messianic Judaism.

Fortunately, a diligent reporter for the Associated Press spoke to Rabbi David Shiff of Congregation Beth Hallel, a Messianic Jewish synagogue in Roswell, Georgia, who said. 
“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.”
Rabbi Shiff speaks for all of us.  Nevertheless, it is incumbent on us to raise our voices, not only for the sake of our community's reputation, but for the reputation of Messiah himself.

I want to call my fellow Messianic Jews to take a stand with me (and others listed below) in repudiating Messer's actions.  Consider pasting the following to your Facebook or twitter:
#MessianicJews #horrified by the actions of Ralph #Messer in desecrating a Torah scroll at #NewBirth church.

More links:

Joint statement from UMJC/MJAA: Response to Messer Video
Rosh Pina Project: Messer Crowns Eddie Long as King
Rabbi Derek Leman: Ralph Messer is not a Messianic Jewish Rabbi
Rabbi Joshua Brumbach: A King, a Torah, and ... Ralph Messer
Rabbi Dr. Michael Schiffman: A shonda
Rabbi Dr. Stuart Dauermann: The Messer Mess: Repudiating a Disgraceful Act
Ron Cantor: Rabbi Messer Crowns Eddie Long a King: A Messianic Response 
FFOZ: Messer and the Messianic Mess


Jon said...

There aren't many things that I feel we (as a movement) should speak out against.
However, this is so revolting that I think we are compelled to say something.
Beyond that, I don't think that "Bishop" Long and his problems need to be brought up in these discussions as they don't make this situation worse than it is. I appreciate your exclusion in this regard.

Jon said...

Further, I think this is a good (albeit unfortunate) opportunity for us (Messianic Judaism) as a movement to define who we are. We must speak out about who we are and what that means, what it looks like and what it doesn't look like.

Others can try to define us, and still others may choose to use the terminology that we use, but the difference (or devil) is in the details.

Authentic Messianic Judaism looks NOTHING like this.