November 18, 2013, Phoenix, AZ

A Wave of Attacks Distorts the Mission and Message of Messianic Jewish Organizations

The November 14 appearance of former President George W. Bush at a fundraising event sponsored by the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute of Dallas, Texas triggered a firestorm of criticism—directed at both Bush and several organizations comprised of Jews who believe that Jesus is the promised Messiah of Israel and Savior of the world.  

This media frenzy began November 8th when Mother Jones ran a story that questioned the legitimacy of MJBI and other Messianic Jewish groups such as Jews for Jesus.

Mother Jones incorrectly reported that one of the goals of MJBI is to “bring about the second coming of Christ.” This is false. While Messianic Jews and roughly two billion Christians worldwide believe in the second coming, they do not believe any human effort can bring that about.

Other media outlets, particularly MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show and HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher followed suit—repeating and amplifying the same errors. As the story went viral, it prompted a tsunami of commentary on popular blogs and websites. Much of this commentary suggested that any efforts by Messianic Jews to share their faith and views with their fellow Jews are illegitimate, hateful and deplorable.

Messianic Jewish beliefs have been characterized by many of those covering this story as cultish and outside the mainstream of religious normalcy. 

Nevertheless, a cursory review of the doctrinal statements of MJBI, Jews for Jesus, the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America and other Messianic groups reveals they hold to standard evangelical doctrines regarding Yeshua (Jesus).

Jonathan Bernis, chairman of the board of MJBI noted: “The idea seems to be that it is somehow ‘intolerant’ for Jewish believers in Jesus to share their convictions with other Jews. The real intolerance is coming from those who apparently think that no Jewish person should ever be exposed to the claims of the most famous Jew who ever lived.”

Jonathan Bernis,
Chairman of the Board of MJBI

David Brickner,
Executive Director of Jews for Jesus

Paul Liberman,
President of the MJAA (Messianic Jewish Alliance of America)


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