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Odd. Strange. Unbelievable.

Posted by nancy_in_venice_ca SS24 z10 CA (My Page) on
Fri, Nov 8, 13 at 15:31

I was surprised to see that George W. Bush is helping out the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute in its attempts to bring about Armageddon. (No need to worry about global climate change, pollution, or environmental damage when the second coming is just around the corner.) His participation in the fund raising seems to reinforce the weird conversation between George Bush and Jacques Chirac before the Iraq invasion. Makes me wonder -- not in a good way -- what other actions he contemplated because of his extreme religious beliefs.

Next week, former President George W. Bush is scheduled to keynote a fundraiser in Irving, Texas, for the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute, a group that trains people in the United States, Israel, and around the world to convince Jews to accept Jesus as the Messiah. The organization's goal: to "restore" Israel and the Jews and bring about about the second coming of Christ.

Messianic Jews have long been controversial for Jews of all major denominations, who object to their proselytizing efforts and their message that salvation by Jesus is consistent with Jewish theology. [ . . . ]

Based in Dallas, the MJBI claims that it acts like the Apostle Paul in helping to "educate Christians in their role to provoke the Jewish people to jealousy and thus save some of them (Romans 11:11-14)." It has Bible schools in 12 countries, an online school of "Messianic theology," and programs to train Messianic rabbis and pastors. Its logos feature a star of David and a menorah, and its website promotes the weekly Torah portion, a "Yiddish Mama's Kitchen," and links to purchase Judaica and books, such as Christ in the Old Testament. The nonprofit organization brought in approximately $1.2 million in revenue in 2011, the last year for which records are available. [ . . . ]

The most expensive of the ticket packages, which range from $100 to $100,000, includes 20 invitations to a VIP reception and photo opportunity with Bush, 10 signed copies of Bush's book Decision Points, and passes to tour the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

And here's the incident as related by Jacques Chirac:

Gog, Magog, and George Bush

Jacques Chirac recounts that the American leader appealed to their "common faith" (Christianity) and told him: "Gog and Magog are at work in the Middle East.... The biblical prophecies are being fulfilled.... This confrontation is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people's enemies before a New Age begins."

This bizarre episode occurred while the White House was assembling its "coalition of the willing" to unleash the Iraq invasion. Chirac says he was boggled by Bush's call and "wondered how someone could be so superficial and fanatical in their beliefs."



Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Odd. Strange. Unbelievable.

I saw this news this morning and was stunned. I liked GW better when he sat in his bathtub and painted his feet. That was at least harmless--if kinky.


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RE: Odd. Strange. Unbelievable.

LOL Pidge.

Seems he wants to sell his books and give a hand with Armageddon since he try with Iraq wasn't successful.

Nancy, your article has been updated

Update (11/8/13): After this story published, the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute removed references to George W. Bush's scheduled appearance from its website. But Freddy Ford, a spokesman for the former president, told Mother Jones on Friday afternoon that Bush's plans "haven't changed," and he will appear at the event.

Here's some responses from the Jewish community:

"The Forward:

Who’s surprised that former President George W. Bush is speaking at the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute benefit? Not anyone who understands Christian Zionism, ‘Jews for Jesus,’ and the many links between them.

Christian Zionists are now the leading supporters of Israel’s settler fringe. They are showering the Israeli Right with money, tourists, and political lobbying. Why? Because they believe that the end is nigh, and in order for the apocalypse to unfold on schedule, the Jews need to be in the Land of Israel. All of it.

And, of course, if Jews living in Biblical Israel provoke war with Palestinians, Arabs, and much of the Western world ��" so be it. After all, this is the apocalypse we’re talking about. To make a rapture omelet, you’ve got to break some human eggs.

Well, many on the Jewish Right have asked, who cares? We don’t think the rapture is imminent, so it doesn’t matter what Christians United For Israel (CUFI), and a host of similar organizations, believe. We need the money, and as far as the prophecy of our imminent conversion and/or destruction… well, we’ll just wait and see about that.

Unfortunately, Christian Zionism is not the only method for bringing Christ back by way of the Jews. In fact, Christian Zionists overlap substantially with the heavily-funded efforts to convert Jews to Christianity ��" or, at least, to Messianic Judaism, which is basically Christianity with a Jewish shmeer.

To be clear, Messianic Judaism is a sham. Yes, there are some people who believe themselves to be Jewish believers in Jesus ��" sorry, Yeshua ��" and who wear kippas around the Christmas Tree. But this small group of eccentric believers is propped up by millions of religious-philanthropic dollars. They are a front. Uncle Baums.

Most of the people supporting the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute, for example, are evangelical Christians who have a religious obligation to evangelize to the Jews. Indeed, MJBI is the Hogwarts of this form of Christianity, an academy that trains thousands of people to go out and convert Jews.

And as we have seen many times over the last several years, the Venn diagram containing the Christian Right, Conservative Republicans, Christian Zionists, and Convert-the-Jews Evangelists is filled with overlaps. Glenn Beck leads a CUFI mission to Israel, then comes back and gets an award from MJBI. Rick Santorum runs a Christian Right campaign for president, then gets an award from MJBI.

And now Bush 43. Surely there was never any doubt that the born-again Bush was, himself, a member of the so-called Christian Right. His policies, his belief that he was Divinely ordained to be President (God apparently works through the Supreme Court, too), his emphasis on “faith-based” organizations domestically and internationally ��" all of these, save perhaps his highly un-Christian espousal of supply side economics, are part and parcel of his sincere, deeply-held evangelical Christian beliefs.

The Jewish Journal:

George W. Bush to Speak to Messianic Jewish Group: Why???
Posted by Rob Eshman

There are only three possible reasons why former President George W. Bush has agreed to be the keynote speaker at the annual fundraiser of Messianic Jewish Bible Institute.

1. He loves Jews so much he wants them to experience the joy of being Christian.

2. He really doesn’t like Jews, and what better way to show it than to do the one thing even his most ardent Jewish supporters find objectionable.

3. He really doesn’t pay attention to details. His people mentioned something about the Messiah and a big fat speaking fee, and he nodded without even looking up from his canvas

Since reporter Sarah Posner broke the story in Mother Jones, a small s@#*storm has kicked up over the President’s decision. Why are Jews upset?

Because the sole purpose of the Irving, TX-based Messianic Jewish Bible Institute is to convince Jews to accept Jesus as the Messiah. When Jews accept Jesus as the Messiah, they stop being Jews. This is something all Jews agree on��"it may be the only thing all Jews agree on. You could argue with that, but it’s just one of those things Jews believe. It’s what makes Jews Jews.

"'Jews for Jesus,' writes Rabbi David Wolpe, “makes as much sense as saying ‘Christians for Muhammad.’”

Mr. Bush, therefore, is helping to raise money to a group whose reason for being is to stop there from being Jews.

It sounds alarmist, but there it is. Success for the group Mr. Bush supports would mean no more Jews.

Of course, the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute doesn’t see things this way. It tells those it proselytizes that they can believe that Jesus is the Messiah and still be Jewish. The thing is, they know that not a single Jewish scholar, or text, or tradition, or belief, supports that claim. So, in order to do away with Judaism, they have to lie, and engage in subterfuge and double-speak. Mr. Bush, a straight-shooter, is speaking to some of the greatest snake oil salesmen in the great state of Texas.

Keep in mind: Jews have no problem with Christians believing in Jesus. Some of our best friends are Christians. Many Jews, like me, even like and admire Jesus, that fiery Nazarite, for his radicalism, his truth-telling, and his courage. Don’t forget, as Reza Aslan, the author of Zealot, said, “Jesus was a Jew, first and foremost, and that everything he said and did has to be understood solely within a Jewish context, that his teachings were simply a form of Judaism that then became what we now call Christianity. He was a fervent, zealous, law-abiding Jew.”

But where we simply part ways, where we remain Jews, is that we don’t believe the man was the Messiah.

For the Bill Mahers and (may his memory be a blessing) Christopher Hitchens out there, this is just a foolish fight between two sets of what Louis C.K. calls, “believies.”

But for Jews, it’s an important, defining distinction. There are many theological reasons why Jews reject Jesus as the Messiah (you can read them here), but I believe the real reason goes deeper than theology, than text.

For Jews there is no Father and Son, there is no Trinity: there is only Unity. One. That is a mindset with vast implications for how Jews see the world and behave in it. God is ineffable, certainly not a man, and God’s power lies precisely in that mystery. We are good with the biggest piece of the puzzle left unsolved��"that missing piece is the engine of our spiritual journey.

That’s why when we start believing in Jesus as God, we stop being Jewish-- not just in name, but deep down, in our souls.

According to its 2011 IRS filling, Messianic Jewish Bible Institute, the group Mr. Bush is supporting, spent $1.2 million convincing Jews around the world not to be Jews. Read through the filing and you’ll see how the group goes about doing this. It spent $69,000 in Ukraine, $79,000 in Russia, and a whopping $203,000 in Ethiopia (note to IRS��"that seems like an awful lot of money in an inexpensive place where there aren't many Jews left anyway). The group spent only $20,000 in Israel, and no expenditures are listed for the United States or Western Europe.

The Jews of the former Soviet Union, cut off from practicing their religion first by the Holocaust, then by the Communists, are among the least educated about Jewish belief and practice. Ethiopian Jews suffered under the Communist regime there as well. Messianic Jewish Bible Institute is piggybacking on a century of persecution to reach the low-hanging fruit of Jewish identity.

And now, they have a former American President to give them a boost.



And from Salon

George W. Bush to help group that converts Jews in effort to bring about second coming of Jesus Christ
The former president will be the keynote speaker at a fundraiser for the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute
According to a report from Sarah Posner in Mother Jones, George W. Bush is scheduled to give the keynote address at an upcoming fundraiser for the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute, an organization devoted to converting Jews to Christianity in order to bring about the second coming of Christ.

The Messianic Jewish Bible Institute has long been a controversial organization, especially among those in the Jewish community. When former Sen. Rick Santorum spoke at an event of theirs previously, Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League was quoted calling the decision “insensitive and offensive.” When Posner asked Rabbi David Saperstein, the director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, about Bush’s upcoming appearance Saperstein said, “It’s disappointing that [Bush] would give his stamp of approval to a group whose program is an express effort to convert Jews and not to accept the validity of the Jewish covenant.”

Bush will follow last year’s keynote speaker, Glenn Beck. According to promotional materials, Posner reports, Bush will speak on his experiences in the White House. Ticket packages will range from $100 to $100,000, the higher-end of which will include VIP passes to meet the former president as well as to receive signed copies of his book, “Decision Points.”

He doesn't need the Jewish vote any longer but his friends do.


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RE: Odd. Strange. Unbelievable.

No one can say the Bush family isn't... interesting in its own way...


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RE: Odd. Strange. Unbelievable.

What I don't understand is the rush toward the end of it all for some religions... can someone explain that?


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RE: Odd. Strange. Unbelievable.

Maybe this is what you want after all else (alcohol, drugs, standing before captive audiences) has failed. Misery loves company.


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RE: Odd. Strange. Unbelievable.

Gotta hope for all that Biblical prophesy fulfillment. Do we all go with Armageddon - or just the faithful, just, and righteous? Am I confusing this with the "Rapture"? Rhetorically musing.


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RE: Odd. Strange. Unbelievable.

Fundie's vary in their beliefs about the end times-which comes first in other words. Do the saintly get to leave(via the rapture) and the rest of us suffer the consequences of our unholy lives or does everyone suffer, or....and so on. I once knew a simple sort of woman who said she could not understand why people argued about Revelations. She had read this book and it was all laid out so simply-bless her heart she didn't know there were thousands of books and I did not disturb her tranquility of mind.
Anyway no matter what you believe, as a good Christian you are supposed to desire and pray for the Kingdom of Heaven no matter what it brings in the short term because eternal bliss is the end result-for some. As a good Christian you are supposed to do your best that the bliss is maximized for the greatest number by spreading the good word. I don't sense that this is a big deal for Catholics but it is key in fundamentalist Protestantism. According to the au courant certain things must happen before the events but they vary according to who wrote the book, still everyone agrees that Israel must exist as a nation. When nothing happened when Israel was created the nuancing started. Certain geographic borders must be the current idea.


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RE: Odd. Strange. Unbelievable.

Posted by patriciae Z7PNW (My Page) on
Sun, Nov 10, 13 at 18:37

Fundie's vary in their beliefs about the end times-which comes first in other words. Do the saintly get to leave(via the rapture) and the rest of us suffer the consequences of our unholy lives or does everyone suffer, or....and so on. I once knew a simple sort of woman who said she could not understand why people argued about Revelations.

*

As a "simple sort" of woman I hope she was not so ignorant as to refer to Revelation as "Revelations."


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RE: Odd. Strange. Unbelievable.

You are right Demi-it's been a long time since I read any of that stuff so I am a bit vague on the perfection of detail. But an extra s doesn't change the basic truth of what I said. While main stream religions pretty much ignore end-time scenarios, for the fringe fundi churches they fundamental(!) issues and no one agrees with anyone else as to what would happen and when since they do not agree on the meaning of the very symbolic language. They all get quite heated about it. The woman I knew was simple not in the sense of mentally impaired but uneducated and ignorant. For me, since I don't think it matters a hill of beans what she believed about it, I chose not to tell her there was more than one book on the subject.


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