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Do They Worship Jews or Jesus?

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Zionist Jews are launching an organized assault upon a new Presbyterian divestment measure—and not surprisingly some Church members are siding with them…

By Richard Edmondson

Recently Israeli media published a report about a US Christian couple, Chad and Libby McJunkin, who, along with their ten children, converted to Orthodox Judaism. In doing so, they have adopted new names for themselves: instead of Chad and Libby, they now go by Shalom and Nechama, and they are even considering making “aliyah” to Israel.

I am glad the McJunkins have taken the step they have (although I do have some concerns for the McJunkin children, who apparently are being forced to adopt a new lifestyle not of their own choosing), for this is something I’ve been advocating a good while now: Christian Zionists should simply convert to Judaism.

Unlike other Christians, who worship Jesus, Christian Zionists worship Jews. Jesus is secondary, if he even figures into their thinking at all. So if their predominant object of worship, as a collective whole, is the Jewish people, then why not simply become a Jew? It makes enormous sense, especially when you consider that Judaism, stripped of all its trappings, basically is about self-worship. The theology of regarding oneself as “chosen” gives justification to a variety of crimes, including murder, land theft, and even genocide, for after all, if these things are being done by “chosen” ones, then they must have the approval of “God.”

This is the thinking of many Orthodox Jews, and it is also the thinking of Christian Zionists. In fact a quote from McJunkin sums it up rather well:

“When I came in to contact with people who told me about the Hebrew scriptures and I learned about the Torah, I realized there was a conflict between the Five Books of Moses and the New Testament,” McJunkin explained. “One was true and the other was totally false — and it’s obvious which one was false.”

In other words, McJunkin regards Old Testament narratives about conquest and genocide, and of God’s sanctioning such misconduct, to be more believable and worthwhile than the Gospel accounts of a man who came along and told Jews they should instead be loving, merciful and compassionate.

If McJunkin truly feels this way, then I say it is only right and natural for him to convert to Judaism. Moreover, it seems there is some financial incentive in it as well:

So far, the Jewish community has stepped up to help the McJunkins as they embark on their new path. People they had never met hosted their wedding, and others are contributing to a crowdsourced wedding shower fund to assist them in purchasing new dishes, housewares, appliances, Judaica, and kosher groceries.

“There is a simple mitzvah of showing love to a convert,” said Alexander Rapaport, executive director of the Masbia food kitchen network, who organized the online fund. In the last three days, 221 people have donated $9,335 toward a $20,000 goal.

No doubt about it, $9,300 would come in handy if you’re trying to raise ten kids. And all you have to do is wear a skull cap and say, “I support Israel.”

The reason I bring up the McJunkins’ story is that another divestment-from-Israel measure will be coming up when the Presbyterian Church holds its General Assembly later this month, and as per usual, Jews are planning to descend en masse upon the convention to badger, cajole, and hector the delegates into voting it down.

And also not surprisingly, as these things go, some within the church itself are siding with them. One such individual is Christopher Leighton, and it’s tempting to reach the conclusion that people of this nature would do well to simply follow the lead of the McJunkins.

Leighton is quoted in an article on the divestment measure by the JTA, in a story identifying him as “a Presbyterian minister who is the executive director of the Institute for Jewish and Christian Studies in Baltimore.”

The gist of it is Leighton is deeply concerned this year’s divestment measure will pass (the last one, two years ago, was narrowly defeated by a vote of 333-331), and I’m inclined to believe that ministers like him are one of the main inspirations of Americans dropping out of the church and adopting atheism.

Christian conservatives often like to complain about “moral relativism,” but what could be more ethically “relative” than grappling for some sort of means of justifying what Israel is doing to the Palestinians? I can’t think of any. Yet the problem, as Leighton sees it, is that many of the delegates who’ll be attending this year’s assembly just don’t understand the “complexities” of the Middle East.

“The vast majority of Presbyterians don’t know these issues or the historical religious complexity of the region,” he said. “What they’re bombarded with is ‘Palestinians are suffering terribly. If we don’t do something about it we become complicit in an injustice.’ The arguments put forth traffic in all kinds of stereotypes that require work to undo.”

“Stereotypes”—presumably such as Israel’s abuse of Palestinian child prisoners, or its continued settlement building in contravention of international law. Yes indeed, stereotypes of this nature certainly “require work to undo,” but rest assured, Leighton will get plenty of help from his Jewish allies.

According to the JTA, “Jewish communal officials” are working furiously to “head off” the divestment measure, and a letter opposing it, “signed by more than 1,500 rabbis, cantors and seminary students of all streams of Judaism,” will be presented at the assembly. There also seem to be murmurings of veiled “consequences” the Presbyterian Church may face should the General Assembly approve the measure:

Rabbi Noam Marans, the American Jewish Committee’s director of interreligious relations, said the combined damage of the study guide and the passage of divestment overtures would likely have consequences for Jewish-Presbyterian ties, although he did not want to outline them until the assembly had finished.

The word “consequences” is also used by Dexter Van Zile, an analyst with the pro-Zionist CAMERA group, which seeks to influence media reporting on Israel, and who is quoted also in the story:

“Let the General Assembly decide and the church live with the consequences,” Van Zile said. What consequences? Again, no elaboration. But Van Zile also expresses the view that passage of the measure will amount to “a punch in the nose to the Jewish community.”

The General Assembly will take place June 14-21 in Detroit, and there are at least five separate divestment measures up for consideration. Part of what has Israel supporters so upset is the publication, earlier this year, of Zionism Unsettled, a study guide compiled by the Church’s Israel/Palestine Mission Network which analyzes the roles of Zionism and Christian Zionism in “shaping attitudes and driving historical developments in the Middle East and around the world.”

“The publication of ‘Zionism Unsettled’ by the very voices backing divestment in the PC (U.S.A.) revealed an agenda that is not about church investments,” says Ethan Felson, of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. “These backers of divestment want to return their church to a place of retrograde anti-Jewish theology, hostility to mainstream Jews and, of course, a blind eye to the responsibility of Hamas and Hezbollah on the Israel-Palestinian conflict and the steps Israelis are forced to take to defend themselves.”

Or in other words, those who support an end to Israeli occupation are terrorist sympathizers, and that will include the Presbyterian Church if it passes the divestment measure. How’s that for Zionist intimidation? And of course, by default they’re also anti-Semites—naturally.

There will also be an effort to demonstrate to the Assembly delegates that “left-leaning and dovish Jews” also oppose divestment. In fact, this is being described as “a pillar of organized Jewish pushback” on the matter, and apparently here J Street is playing a critical role.

Rachel Lerner, J Street’s senior vice president for community relations, who has made the pro-Israel case to church groups in the past, said she had decided not to attend this year’s assembly because of the time commitment. She changed her mind, however, when she read “Zionism Unsettled.”

“It portrays Zionists as pathological and racist and scarred and unable to act in any normal way,” she said. “It ran contrary to everything I think Zionism stands for. I was personally offended by it. I think it says something about the movement, where divestment is coming from and who it is coming from in the church.”

The sad part is Lerner and her fellow Zionists will get plenty of help from inside the church. The JTA makes clear that Leighton isn’t the only one.

“The stakes are very high,” says Rev. Katharine Rhodes Henderson, who also opposes divestment from Israel. She adds that “divestment today may mean full-out BDS tomorrow, and that’s the decision that Presbyterians face.”

It is of course absurd, patently so, to believe that Jesus would have countenanced the infliction of violence, the building of massive walls to divide people, the ongoing subjugation and humiliation of an entire population, along with the assassination of its culture, that are part of day-to-day life for Palestinians under occupation.

Things are changing, however. Mindless, unequivocal support for Israel is becoming, shall we say, “retrograde,” and I profoundly wish that people of this backwards persuasion would simply go—do as the McJunkins did—and convert to Judaism.

For in remaining within the church they seem to be doing their utmost to poison the Body of Christ.

18 thoughts on “Do They Worship Jews or Jesus?

  1. Pingback: Do They Worship Jews or Jesus? | Uprootedpalestinians's Blog

  2. If Jews are a race and not a religion then converting to Judaism does not necessarily make you a Jew.
    I suppose if Christian Zionists did convert to Judaism somewhere in the fine print they would read they are not real Jews…

  3. Maybe the McJunkin’s should have read “My Farewell To Israel” – by Jack Bernstein before making this decision….sure is a real eye opener.

  4. inform cnn’s john king. married cnn’s dana bash (j) then converted to jew from r. cath.
    good for getting, keeping job.

  5. America,was settled by puritans and it was in England,the arch puritan christian puritan Oliver Cromwell,reinvited the jews to settle in England,since they were originaly thrown out by Edward the 1st’,they believed that the jews are of christs blood,’of cors now you have the descendents of these puritans,commonly known as the religious right,who also believe the 12 tribes of Israel must return to Jerusalem,so Christ can return and reclaim the earth and all true belivers of Christ will ascend to heaven and these people influence foriegn US polocies,the jewish lobby in America is quite powerful’,John Kerry can testify to that,’that is why he had to recant his aparthied anology of Israeli/Palistinian conflict..

  6. Christian zionists,are complete lunatics,they welcome the appocolypse,it would mean the return of Jesus Christ,’as much as respect the bible,its not a good idea to base your foriegn polocies by,these religious right people,forget their country was settled by people escaping religious dogma and war,’the late Christopher Hitchens always pointed out,that the founding fathers,were more of the renaissance and enlightment and were in fact free thinkers,who based their ideas on what the ancient Greeks called logos or reason,these secular ideas are what America was built on,’ just read the constitution,’it is far more secular than it is religious,’if their is a reference to God,’it is Deist idea of God,which is more Aristolian than it is biblical..

  7. This is a very good point. I agree. Most Christians should convert to Judaism. However, the problem begins with the word “should.” Moral thinking, much less acting, is not their strong suite. Prosperity theology is even more self centered than Judaism since there’s not even racial solidarity to restrain its Ann Randian solipsism… and “Jesus” is their “Get out of Jail free card,” serving a foundational function for the house of cards wherein all things are permitted, because all things are forgiven.

    All the “Christians” I grew up with quoted the Old Testament more than the new (except for the “Jesus saves,” slogans), and with good reason — The Sermon on the Mount is difficult to follow. Judaism is not. I mad a joke of it one time when asked to draw a picture of what I wanted to be when I grew up. I drew an Israeli blue Star of David and told the audience that when I was growing up, “I wanted to be Jewish.” Once I shrugged my shoulders and sighed in futile desperation, they finally got it and started laughing. But mainstream Christians who pride themselves on being successful in this world.. all, universally and without exception have Jew-envy and pervert and despise the essential aspects of Christian morality.

    Its not a new phenomenon at all though. Look at the Wikipedia article on British Israelism: “British Israelism (also called Anglo-Israelism) is a doctrine based on the hypothesis that people of Western European descent, particularly those in Great Britain, are the direct lineal descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. The doctrine often includes the tenet that the British Royal Family is directly descended from the line of King David.”

    Historical and prophetic thinking allows for exceptionalism. Moral thinking does not. Thats the basic difference.

  8. Well, you make some good points, but I think one thing you may be overlooking is that we live in a time of evil, in which all religions are being corrupted and whole nations are governed by psychopaths with no sense of morality. The founders of the great religions, including Jesus, foresaw that their spiritual movements would eventually become corrupted. And this has certainly happened to Christianity (more so in the West than in the East), but Christianity isn’t by any means the only one. My own sense is that we are headed toward a time of cleansing, or a “day of purification,” as it has been described, and that this isn’t such a bad thing. As one rather enlightened gentleman aptly put it just prior to his death a few years ago, “To me, it’s not a negative thing to know that there will be great changes. It’s not negative, it’s evolution. When you look at it as evolution, it’s time.”

  9. I think Christopher Hitchens may have had some respectable ideas back in the 80s/early 90s, but at some point made his deal with the devil. I suspect he may be paying the price for that now.

  10. Sir,Christopher Hitchens,was one of the greatest debators right onto his death,’a true Nietzsche’s lion,destroying all myths and untruths,’is only flaw was backing Bush,’he educated America on their true origins of the US constitution,’his book God is not Great,remains a important piece of work,’he proved the obsurdity of religious doctrine,’i think many people on this site,who voice ludicrous ideas on religion,should youtube Hitchens debates..

  11. For the religious people,i would recommend the works of Spinoza,’he is probably nearer the truth,when trying to understand who or what God is..

  12. true but he could not express his feelings properly until late in life when he suddenly discovered he was a jew; his mother must have been criminally secretive to her on about it

  13. religious people have faith– one certain faith — they are not shopping around like woody allen in one of his many forgettable movies.
    are you recommending spinoza because you have read him or because of the statements of others –including wikipedia–about his philosophy

  14. Israel is getting ready to welcome their MESSIAH. will the Protestant Zionists worship him too? Or is the Antichrist even too much for them?

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