In an age when many clamour for, and even demand, respect, Steve Maltz urges us to look elsewhere

God is the most misunderstood Person in the Universe. Many claim to hear Him, see Him, feel Him, be guided by Him yet most of them are duped by imposters and substitutes. It is the deception of our age and it has left Him with a bad press, with many questionable and horrific acts committed in His Name. Even by ‘so-called’ Christians. Even by sincere Christians. Let us cut right to the chase.

"Therefore say to the Israelites, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: It is not for your sake, people of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone” . (Ezekiel 36:22)

God’s Name is very important to Him. We see a watered-down version of it in society where many clamour for undeserved ‘respect’ and are willing to commit acts of violence to obtain it. Let’s make it clear from the outset that God is the only Person in our World who deserves respect, the only Person Who’s Name is not to be profaned among the nations. Any act that is performed in His Name, whether by Christians or others, is going to be reckoned, judged and rewarded accordingly by Him. It is an aspect of His character that is generally ignored because of its implications. But sweeping it under the carpet does not lessen its power.

Terror struck Tel Aviv, Israel on the night of Wednesday June 8. Folks were minding their own business in a cafe when two Palestinian men dressed as Hasidic Jews opened fire. Four people were killed and several others were wounded. It is reminiscent of other recent terror attacks, such as the ones in Paris, France and Brussels, Belgium. When these two other attacks occurred, folks rushed to social media with words of support. The hashtags #JeSuisParis and #JeSuisBrussels became popular trends on Twitter. It was cool and fashionable for people to show how distraught they were over those senseless acts of violence. The senseless act of violence the Israelis suffered, however, didn’t catch on the same way. I couldn’t help but wonder why. Is it because these kind of attacks are so common over there? Or is there another reason behind it?

The UN – united in hatred against Israel ?

“Finally, there are some famous words you can find stamped on the bottom of a product,” said Lord Coe, in his speech at the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. “Words, that when you read them, you know mean high quality, mean skill, mean creativity. We have stamped those words on the Olympic and Paralympic Games of London 2012: ‘London 2012 – Made in Britain’.”

The Olympic and Paralympic Games were indeed made in Britain in 2012, but the Paralympic Games have their entire origin in Britain in the 1948 Olympiad, being the first organised athletic competition for the disabled in history. It was the brainchild of Dr Ludwig Guttmann of Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire, whose aim “was to create an elite sports competition for people with disabilities”. The 1948 Stoke Mandeville Games or ‘International Wheelchair Games’ might have been an amateurish attempt to rehabilitate our war-wounded, and limited to those with spinal injuries to the exclusion of congenital defects, but it was a start, and it was a British initiative.

An important and timely web presentation. CLICK HERE to see it.

Science keeps revealing how much we don't, perhaps can't, know. Yet humans seek closure, which should make religious pluralists of us all.

I was listening to a Christian radio show a while back before I was scheduled to go on, and one of the guests before me was talking about the organization he formed to fight back against powerful liberals in the United States and the ideologies they are spending billions of dollars to advance.

This man kept talking about how liberalism is a “threat” to Christianity, and how any number of liberal political ideologies are going to somehow damage the faith, though he wasn’t very specific as to how.

Similarly, I was watching a video the other day in which the Christian missionary called Islam “the greatest threat to Christianity today.” Really? A threat to what? Make Christianity untrue?

As a caveat, this post obviously doesn’t apply to every Messianic Jew who observes aspects of the Torah, but it may apply to some. It is based on some of my experiences as a two-parent Messianic Jew, and other two-parent Messianic Jews I know. This is a very anecdotal post, and I haven’t done any academic research, but hopefully it will resonate.

Now there is an observable difference between Messianic Jews and most people in the Jewish community. In the wider Jewish community, people are born into it, socialise within it, have Jewish family events and Shabbat every week, go to brisses, bar mitzvahs and Jewish weddings, and go to shul and participate in communal spiritual life. Basically, (and it sounds redundant but I’ll say it anyway), Jews can be Jewish.

The Messianic community however is rejected by the Jewish community, because of our faith in Jesus, which for most Jews puts us beyond the pale, so to speak. We’re part of a community that wants to be part of another community – namely the mainstream Jewish one. So in order to fit in, we adapt our theology to try to harmonise our faith with the practices of Judaism, to the greatest extent possible.

 This may sound like a ridiculous idea to some, perhaps even an idea contrary to basic Christian principles regarding ‘meeting together to fellowship’. After all, you may say, there’s a plethora of teaching on-line, why add to this overcrowded marketplace?

 Thinking differently has always been our watchword at Foundations. Consider first the situation we are faced with, then the solution we propose. We are facing an unprecedented situation:

  • A virus that preys mainly on the majority demographic of our conferences, for whom it can be deadly
  • A virus that can spread like wildfire despite all precautions made
  • A virus that is undetected in the first few days of infection, making it a silent disrupter

The Jews have been persecuted all through their history, and Hitler, using ‘Oberammergaa’, the ‘Passion Play’ drama that was popular in his time to stir non-Jews with the message the Jews killed Jesus, subsequently picked up the cross from where Constantine left off in 324 A.D. in the persecution of the Jews. As Rabbi S.H.