Christian Zionist Agenda Exposed by NAR Apostle Don Finto at Rick Perry Event, and Few Noticed
Rachel Tabachnick printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Tue Aug 16, 2011 at 03:26:47 PM EST
Apostle Don Finto, joined by Messianic Rabbi Marty Waldman, delivered the Israel prayer at Rick Perry's August 6 prayer rally; not John Hagee.  Finto is a leading figure in an international effort to encourage evangelicals to support Messianics and their ministries to evangelize Jews. (Messianic is the term for Jews who convert to Christianity but retain their Jewish identity.)  Finto did not change his message for Perry's religio-political event, but  prayed for Jews of Israel and the world to convert. The belief that the conversion of Jews is the trigger that will bring about the return of Jesus is part of the end times narrative being popularized by the apostles of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR).
Finto's message at Rick Perry's prayer rally was unambiguous, particularly if viewed in the context of his work over the last decade.  Below is a video of part of his appearance at The Response.

If You're Not Jewish, Why Does This Matter?

Why should you care about proselytizing of Jews in Israel and elsewhere?  First, the partnership of right-wing Christian Zionist activists with Israeli and American Jewish leaders is based on the premise that the Christian Zionist half of the partnership is not using the relationship to proselytize. With the collusion of Jewish leaders who want political and financial support of Christian Zionists, extensive campaigns have been conducted to convince American Jews and Israelis that there are no strings attached. This partnership is now impacting the political landscape in Israel and the U.S. in numerous ways.

Since the partnership between Jewish leaders and right-wing Christian Zionists is contingent on the latter not proselytizing, then what has happened that a prayer rally kicking off a presidential campaign is willing to openly expose the underlying agenda in front of a national audience?  Did they think the press wouldn't notice? That's not an unreasonable conclusion, because there has been almost no mention of this in mainstream news.

The most serious threat to Jews and Judaism in this proselytizing effort is not the obvious problem of Jews converting to Christianity. Don Finto and the apostles claim this is happening in record numbers, but there is a more pressing issue.  The NAR's proselytizing network is teaching millions of Christians that Jews are spiritually dead and Judaism is a rebellion against God, a reversal of progress that had been made in interfaith dialogue and acceptance since the Holocaust.  

While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli politicians claim that Israel is being delegitimized by liberals, his Christian Zionist partners are systematically delegitimizing Judaism and teaching millions worldwide that it's not acceptable for Jews to continue to be Jews.

This attack on Judaism is not at first apparent because these Christian Zionists are blowing shofars, wearing tallitot (prayer shawls), singing in Hebrew, holding Holocaust remembrances, and celebrating Christianized versions of Jewish holidays.  But they are appropriating these symbols and practices as part of their brand of evangelicalism, while their attacks on Rabbinic Judaism become increasingly hostile.

Don Finto authored a popular and widely distributed Christian Zionist book in 2001.  In it, he quotes Apostle Dan Juster, head of an international network of Messianic congregations and ministries.

"I have become convinced that Rabbinic Judaism is a more severe departure from biblical faith than I had ever realized in my early days of Jewish recovery...The atmosphere of New Testament carried on the spirit of the Hebrew Scriptures pervasively and profoundly.  The essence of Rabbinism is a severe departure, replacing revelation with human reason...We who are Jewish are biblical New Covenant Jews, not Rabbinic Jews!"

Your People Shall Be My People

Photobucket This Don Finto book is the classic text on supporting Messianics, befriending Jews, and gaining access to Jewish communities for the purpose of leading them to Yeshua (Jesus in Hebrew).  The name of the book is Your People Shall Be My People: How Israel, the Jews, and the Christian Church Will Come Together in the Last Days.  

The book lays out both the reasons and the instructions for supporting Messianic communities and ministries and for proselytizing Jews. It has been distributed internationally, including through the largest single Christian Zionist event, the Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem, co-founded and co-chaired by Robert Stearns. (Stearns served as one of John Hagee's CUFI directors and was also in attendance as Rick Perry's prayer rally.)

The advice in this book, as well as the tutoring of Messianics, has enabled Christian Zionists to become quite savvy in their approach to Jews. Glenn Beck is notorious for his anti-Semitic conspiracy theories including the promotion of writings by Elizabeth Dilling and Eustace Mullins.  Even Beck has been able to sanitize himself by approaching Jewish leaders in a way that exactly parallels the guidelines spelled out in Your People Shall Be My People. In what could be described as perverse irony, Beck keynoted John Hagee's CUFI summit and will lead a rally in Israel on August 24, advertised with the name "Restoring Courage."

It is clear in from the media of Don Finto and other NAR apostles that a prerequisite for peace on earth is eradicating Rabbinic Judaism. Stated another way, in this narrative the obstacle to a glorious "Kingdom on earth" - free of sickness, death, destruction, and misery - is Jews who refuse to convert.

This is a narrative that should be troubling to Jewish leadership, but the elimination of Judaism is wrapped in messages of love and devotion and repeated use of the bible verse Ruth 1:16, "Your people shall be my people..."  

To understand those who dedicate their careers to proselytizing Jews, it important to recognize that they see this as saving Jews from eternal damnation.  A little "tough love" and deception is okay when saving someone's life.  Jews are often impressed by the sincerity and tears of Christian Zionists at events, but these are manifestations of their belief that after hundreds of years, Jews are finally embracing their end times destiny or "God's purpose for Israel."  The tears of joy are real.

The Response and The Call

Rick Perry's prayer rally was patterned after The Call, which is the name of a series of  large venue, all-day prayer events. The Call is led by Lou Engle, one of the best known of the NAR apostles.  Perry's event was organized by leaders of The Call and of the associated International House of Prayer (IHOP), founded by Mike Bickle.  Bickle also led a large part of the program at Rick Perry's prayer rally. (Read more about Mike Bickle's "Israel Mandate" in a previous article under the heading The Apostles Obsession with Jews and Israel.

The Call is better known for it's vitriol against gay rights and abortion, but a third major emphasis of The Call is partnering with Messianics in proselytizing Jews in order to bring about the "spiritual rebirth" of Israel, which they see as a necessary prerequisite to the events of the end times and the millennial "Kingdom" on earth. Likewise, Rick Perry's prayer event featured three specific areas of prayer: against the "shedding of innocent blood" which means abortion; against sexual immorality, which means homosexuality; and to bless Israel, which means supporting the conversion of Jews in any way possible.

In 2008, Lou Engle and Mike Bickle led The Call Jerusalem, which included a number of the same figures who were on the stage at Rick Perry's event - from the singers and band to Don Finto.  The Call Jerusalem was held simultaneously with the Global Day of Prayer, another project initiated by NAR apostles, and was televised by God TV.

Lou Engle states that the physical restoration of Israel in 1948 may have been the result of the fasting and faith-healing revivals of the late 1940s.  These lead to what is called the Latter Rain Movement, a forerunner of the NAR.  A purpose for The Call events is the "spiritual restoration" of Israel, meaning  the conversion of Jews to evangelical Christianity.  (John Hagee also frequently uses this terminology although the meaning does not seem to be apparent to Jewish audiences.)

The combined The Call Jerusalem and Global Day of Prayer event was advertised as part of the celebration of Israel's 60th anniversary and as a way to "bless Israel."  It was one of a series of events held in May, 2008, as seen in promotional literature of Revive Israel, the ministry of Messianic Apostle Asher Intrater.  

A two- minute video clip of the coverage of the event helps to explain why proselytizing Jews, particularly in Israel, is a top priority for the apostles.  Note that the "tearing down of walls" and the reconciliation between Jews and Gentiles means between "Jewish believers" or Jewish converts to Christianity and Gentiles.  It is not about acceptance of Jews as Jews.

A second video of the event shows Don Finto. This video is poor quality, but it shows Apostles Don Finto, Mike Bickle, Asher Intrater, Dan Juster, Lou Engle, and others on the stage. (There are numerous other videos of the event online.)  Misty Edwards, who was also a soloist at Perry's rally, is singing in the beginning of the video.  At about 2:23, Don Finto takes a microphone and starts chanting with Edwards. At about 3:39, Mike Bickle explains that God TV and others provided about a million dollars of equipment to Bickle's Kansas City IHOP, so that affiliated prayer rooms around the world can watch live.  

I will be writing more about the extensive network of support the NAR apostles are providing to Messianic ministries and why this is so important to the movement. This is an international effort in which leading apostles have organized training, education, and publicity to encourage churches and individuals to finance Messianic ministries in Israel, South America, Russia and Eastern Europe, and the U.S.

[10/19/11: Also see Bruce Wilson's article "IHOP Head Mike Bickle Predicts Coming Prison Camps for Jews.]

"The essence of Rabbinism is a severe departure, replacing revelation with human reason..."

Wow, they sound like Deists!

But what is amazing to me is that most of the Jewish people I've known in my life were well above average in intelligence, and, whether observant or not, they were not superstitious nor prone to magical thinking. (Maybe the ultra-orthodox are, but I've never known any of them.)

So how are they so gullible when it comes to these NAR apostles that are so obviously trying to convert them to fundamentalist Christianity???

by phatkhat on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 12:54:57 AM EST
and simply not true even if you approve of that development.  "Reason replacing revelation" is not the essence of Rabbinic Judaism - see my long-winded post below.

Re ""The essence of Rabbinism is a severe departure, replacing revelation with human reason..."

Where reason does become important in Judaism, to the point of replacing revelation and certainly on an equal footing with it, is characteristic of a much later phase in the development of Judaism.  The Reform movement in which I was raised was Judaism's response to the Enlightment.  I think everyone here knows that Dominionism and all authoritarian religion has been at war with the Enlightenment ever since it happened.  That's also the motive behind their continuing falsification of American history when they promulgate the lie that America was founded as a "Christian nation."  

by Raksha on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 03:24:16 AM EST

can be packed into a few short lines, but since we're dealing with Christian Zionism as an aspect of Dominionism and a thinly-disguised vehicle for Christian anti-Semitism, I really shouldn't be surprised (and I'm not).

"I have become convinced that Rabbinic Judaism is a more severe departure from biblical faith than I had ever realized in my early days of Jewish recovery...The atmosphere of New Testament carried on the spirit of the Hebrew Scriptures pervasively and profoundly.  The essence of Rabbinism is a severe departure, replacing revelation with human reason...We who are Jewish are biblical New Covenant Jews, not Rabbinic Jews!"

A few considerations off the top of my head: What he's calling "biblical faith," also known as "biblical Judaism" or "Old Testament Judaism," DOES NOT EXIST and never has existed at any time in history.  It's purely a fabrication of evangelical Christianity.  All forms of modern Judaism are variants of Rabbinic Judaism, aka Pharisaic Judaism.  That goes for the three major denominations--Reform, Conservative and (especially) Orthodox Judaism--as well as their more recent offshoots such as the Jewish Renewal Movement, which the Christian Reconstructionists would no doubt consider a horrendous New Age heresy if they even knew it exists.  We Jews are quite capable of handling our own spiritual regeneration whenever it becomes necessary, and we have never asked the Inquisitors of any era for their permission or approval.

The hostility of Christian orthodoxy towards Rabbinic Judaism and its foundational work, the Talmud, is not new by a long way.  It had its roots in a power struggle in the early church between the original disciples of Jesus--all of whom considered themselves Jews--and the apostle Paul, who had great success in converting gentiles who had never been Jews to the new religion.  A controversy arose (barely glossed over in Acts of the Apostles) over whether or not a convert to Christianity had to first be circumcised in accordance with Jewish law, and whether they had to follow the dietary laws.  This led to some horrendously anti-Pharisaic statements on the part of Paul and his followers, which over time became the foundation of Christian anti-Semitism as the political situation became more polarized after the revolt of 70 C.E. and the destruction of the Temple.

But all of that (and a lot more!) is real history, not the revisionist history aggressively proclaimed by the Dominionists in an effort to drown out the truth and eradicate it.  Their proselytizing efforts can only succeed with Jews who have had no Jewish education AT ALL, who may have Jewish ancestry but are functionally illiterate in even the basics of Jewish religion and history.

Re "The essence of Rabbinism is a severe departure, replacing revelation with human reason..."

That's a huge distortion and falsification right there.  The "reason vs. revelation" controversy has nothing to do with the essence of Rabbinic Judaism.  It dates from the Enlightenment of the 18th century, maybe somewhat earlier but not much.  The rabbis of the Talmud and their spiritual descendants were ALL believers in revelation.  They believed, absolutely and with perfect faith, that God had made a Covenant with their ancestors at Mount Sinai which was binding upon them and their descendants forever.  They were willing to sacrifice their lives for the Covenant if it came down to that, and as Christianity increased in political power many of them were called upon to do just that--or else they had martyrdom forced on them, willing or not.

The Orthodox believe that the oral Torah (i.e. the Talmud) was given to Moses at Mount Sinai along with the written Torah, and it was continuously elaborated to adapt the written Torah to changing conditions.  It was passed "from mouth to ear" for centuries before it finally became too much for anyone to memorize, so eventually it was written down.

I'm sorry I spent so much time belaboring the obvious.  I really hadn't intended to do that when I started typing this note.  But I have been asked questions like this by Christian fundamentalists on various interfaith debate boards:  "If it comes down to a conflict between the Torah and the Talmud, which one do you follow?  What is your final authority?"  For some reason fundamentalist Christians place an inordinate importance on Final Authorities.  They never like my answer, "My own reason and conscience, of course" but that's another post.

To answer the question in somewhat the spirit it's asked, though:  There is not and cannot be any conflict between the Torah and the Talmud in traditional Judaism, since the oral Torah is an elaboration of the written Torah.  It's inconceivable that there could ever be any inherent conflict, although there are endless differences of opinion as to the interpretation of a given text.  These differences of opinion are themselves preserved in the Talmud and are considered controversies "for the sake of Heaven."  The question itself is a falsification and a distortion.  It's one more attempt to impose an extreme Christian dualism on the unitive spirit of Judaism.

--Linda aka Raksha

by Raksha on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 01:16:39 AM EST

in case you're not aware of it already.  According to this article in the Israeli paper Ha'aretz, Glenn Beck is going to be in Jerusalem next week teaching the Jews how to be Jewish and the Israelis how to be Zionists, because after all--what the bleep do we know? r-glenn-beck-1.379475

As you can see, the article is called "Not Jewish Enough For Glenn Beck."  Can anyone tell me who is sponsoring this event and if there is any connection to the NAR?  I know there have been many similar articles on TTA, but Glenn Beck is even more overt than most in his barely-disguised anti-Semitism.  An excerpt from the article:

"Twice in less than a year, the Anti-Defamation League has scathingly denounced statements by Beck. In February, ADL national director Abraham Foxman condemned as "highly offensive and outrageous" a radio broadcast in which Beck compared Reform Judaism to "radicalized Islam," characterizing Reform rabbis as "generally political in nature" rather than religious. "Glenn Beck's comparison of Reform Judaism to radical Islam demonstrates his bigoted ignorance," Foxman said."

I have to wonder what Glenn Beck hopes to accomplish peddling this kind of bilge in Jerusalem.  Does he expect to have a sympathetic audience?


by Raksha on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 09:49:57 PM EST

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