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Ron Cantor explains "Messianic Judaism"

In the aftermath of the shocking news that the missionary GODTV station will be streaming evangelical poison into Israeli households in Hebrew, prominent religious Jews on social media jumped on their soapbox to express their outrage. After all, what self-respecting Jew doesn’t go crazy when he reads about such madness? This egregious chillul Hashem is yet another indication of how missionaries successfully infiltrated all facets of Israeli society. Outrage is the normal reaction of a self-respecting Jew.

In my personal opinion, all measures should be taken to stop this insanity, including aggressive boycotts to cripple greedy businessmen who sell out their people for profit. By all means, #BoycottHot. Whatever it takes.

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The most irritating aspect is that some of the most vocal people have been in bed with evangelicals for years. Some of them appeared on missionary television programs, including the infamous “Daystar TV” and “Zola Levitt Ministries”. These same individuals frequently interview the same types of theologically dangerous personalities on their own radio programs. The hypocrisy is astounding. Besides their appearances on the kinds of programs they now shriek about, many of these same religious Jews are at the forefront of today’s mind-boggling alliances between religious Jews and evangelical missionaries.

The recent GODTV fiasco presents us with an additional opportunity (besides the obvious need to have this missionary station removed from Israeli television) to draw attention to the great unseen enemy; those who’ve made inroads in Eretz Yisrael into religious communities via the sophisticated tactics of “relational evangelism”. This is after all, the favored approach of the smartest of them who’ve transcended the crude tactics of brazen street-missionaries.

GODTV is a menace, but it is merely one deadly tendril of hundreds of evangelical tendrils trying to spread the gospel to Jews in Israel. The reaction of certain hypocritical Jews to GODTV presents us with an additional opportunity (and an obligation!) to expose the culpability of these people when it comes to missionary lawlessness in Israel.

With this in mind, I’ve created a checklist (feel free to take the test) to determine if one’s outrage is contrived or authentic.While admittedly it doesn’t capture every nuance of the problem, I believe it is sufficient to determine one’s place in this fight.

Rule #1: If you have connections, friendships, or associations, with Tommy Waller’s “Hayovel ministry”, you have nothing to say to other Jews on this matter. You are in bed with the smiling missionary who uses “relational evangelism” to forge friendships with Jews.You are part of the problem. The same could be said for any number of likeminded organizations on the scene today (they pop up like weeds!).

Rule #2: If you are involved with one or more of the many online “Torah” teaching programs, the so called ‘yeshivas for the nations’ geared towards teaching Torah (in truth distorting it) to evangelical missionaries, you would do well to sever such associations before masquerading as a zealous prophet.

Rule # 3: If you’ve ever appeared on “Daystar television” or “Zola Levitt ministry”, yet you beat your breast about GODTV you would do well to look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself: “Are you serious? Why is this ministry different from all other ministries I’m involved with?”

Rule #4: If you participated in the interfaith tanach study sessions in Knesset with such personages as Dr. Jim Garlow or his wife Rosemary Schindler, (formerly of the messianic Skyline Church), Israel365’s Donna Jollay, or Tommy Waller and friends, etc. you should cull your friends list on social media before pretending to be a counter missionary expert.

Rule #5: If you’ve attended interfaith conferences, either live or on Zoom, marched with the ICEJ, taken selfies with representatives from “First Fruits of Zion” or “Texans for Israel” you might want to introspect before speaking on this matter.

Rule #6: If you’ve given guided tours to Doron Keidar of the missionary front group “Cry for Zion”, broken bread with street missionary Jakob Damkani, or made a l’chaim with Mike Huckabee, stop right now. You failed the test and #6 likely isn’t your first or last infraction.

Rule #7: If you’ve attended one of the annual ARISE business conferences hosted by messianic advocate Calev Myers, your views on these matters are irrelevant. You are like an obese couch potato who gives advice on how to stay fit. Have you praised CUFI’s messianic pastor Dumisani Washington for his pro-Israel activism, but ignored his messianic church? If so, you need to get off Facebook and do some research before continuing your purported advocacy.

Rule #8: Do you share articles, or even worse, write them for “Breaking Israel News” or similar media outlets? If the answer is yes, what credibility do you have? The staff may be comprised of bearded and kipah wearing Jews, but they cater to hardcore evangelicals committed to bringing the gospel to Jews.

Rule #9: Do you socialize with Jews who make interfaith enterprises their bread and wine? You might want to reconsider such friendships. We aren’t talking about reasonable halachic/hashkafic differences between Jews, which should never prevent Jews from having friendships with one another. This is serious business. The historically unprecedented and halachically aberrant behavior of these activists present a spiritual danger to Jews worldwide. Forget about metaphorical comparisons with Corona. This is a hot virus (pardon the pun. HOT is responsible for the GODTV fiasco.) We are speaking about the spiritual equivalent of Ebola.

Rule #10: Do you believe that all evangelical missionaries and organizations should be outed, condemned, and banned from Israel? That all interfaith relationships and alliances whether personal or business-related are prohibited by Torah?

The only correct answers for questions 1-9 are NO. Number ten requires a YES response. Get one wrong and you’ve failed. Shut your mouth or do teshuva. If you’ve answered correctly your voice is sorely needed. We are outnumbered. Slandered and libeled by our detractors because they hate facts. If your answers were incorrect but you’ve given your own histrionic geshrai over GODTV, then the nakedness of your hypocrisy is apparent. Your contrived righteousness about GODTV is a convenient strawman.

There is a dire need for Jews willing to step into the muck of this largely self-inflicted mess. Like the problems in Israel today with the Arabs, the real problem is the prevalence of foolish and weak Jews in leadership. The same can be said for their spiritual equivalent.

Ask yourself the following questions: Who let these missionaries in? We are an autonomous nation today. We don’t need anyone’s charity no matter how generous the donation.

Labor and Likud forged alliances with evangelicals many years ago. Today’s lunacy is the poison fruit of close to 50 years of collusion with evangelicals. In many ways Likud is obviously worse, since the classical left has always been in love with European socialists.

The easy answer is to place ALL the blame on the highest echelons of Jewish leadership. To be sure they deserve much of the blame. The more painful and honest answer takes into consideration that in recent years, some of the worst offenders are religious Jews who also pant after Brother Esau’s riches. Even more egregious is that more than a few Rabbis joined hands with the same evangelical church who wants what they have always wanted. The Likud alone was incapable of bringing and planting evangelicals into religious communities in the Shomron, Gush Etzion, Jerusalem and throughout the greater part of Israel.

I’ll conclude with a call to action for those willing to fight this scourge beyond the standard parve vague generalizations. Unpaid positions, if you will, are available for all who care. It certainly won’t make you popular. Your hair (if you have any) will either turn grey or fall out. Other symptoms also not entirely exclusive to Jews will soon follow.

Nevertheless, if you give a damn, Am Yisrael needs you. Today’s “relational evangelist” is the most dangerous foe of all. He’s got a wonderful smile, a firm handshake, and he’s the kind of guy you’d want to pound a beer or two with. That’s the problem. #MacabeesWanted

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Donny Fuchs made aliyah in 2006 from Long Island to the Negev, where he resides with his family. He has a keen passion for the flora and fauna of Israel and enjoys hiking the Negev desert. His religious perspective is deeply grounded in the Rambam's rational approach to Judaism.