“O foolish Galatians..”- From Christianity to Judaism

(HT) This story reminded me of Barbara Richmond. For those who are not acquainted with her and her story, Barbara was a well know Christian author and lecturer who also ran a ministry in which she sent out letters titled The Jerusalem Report, a few times a week. She was respected by many other well known ministry’s.

Imagine the shock and disbelief when she suddenly denounced Christianity, denied Jesus was the Messiah, and embraced Orthodox Judaism!

I still recall the shock-waves which traveled across the ‘Christian’ Internet as the story broke. Many Christians were angry, upset, etc…but for the most part they were just devastated, wondering ‘how could this happen’?

Since then, I’ve found it does happen, and like in Barbara Richmond’s case it occurs due to becoming involved with The Hebrew Roots and/or Messianic movement(s). (see: The Hebew Roots Movement,-  To Embrace Hebrew Roots: Part I, – Messianic Cults: Former “Christians” Say Name of Jesus is “Pagan”)

Read of another case below…

A Christian’s journey to Judaism


At an East Galveston beach, Mari Barkhausen is waist-deep in the cool, brown water. After repeating Hebrew blessings, she is immersed once, twice. When she emerges from the water a third time, she is a Jew.

She hugs her rabbi, looking to the shoreline at her husband and two sons who are waiting for their mikveh, the ritual immersion for Jewish converts.

Barkhausen, 42, grew up on Presbyterian doctrine in South Texas. By her 30s, she and husband David were attending a Baptist church in College Station. In a class about the Old Testament—in Leviticus and Deuteronomy—she learned about Hebrew festivals.

In 2002, Barkhausen took a teaching job in League City. A fellow teacher invited her to the conservative Jewish synagogue Shaar Hashalom in Clear Lake.

“I was a Baptist; I wanted to witness to her,” she laughed. “I did, I really did.”

Back at church, she reflected on the Old Testament’s readings. If Jesus were alive today, she figured, he’d be in a Jewish synagogue.

So the Barkhausens began attending a Messianic synagogue — a “Jewified version of Christianity,” Barkhausen said. Beth Messiah was a happy medium—the family worshipped with Jews for Jesus and learned about Jewish culture.

Barkhausen and her husband taught bar mitzvah classes. Their son Mason operated the Jumbotron during services.

At home, Barkhausen prepared a Shabbat dinner on Fridays and downloaded Hebrew prayers. Her home smelled of fresh-baked challah bread and sauteed tilapia.

She replaced her Aztec calendar and Indian-Mexican pottery with a mezuzah. Her curio cabinet took on a Passover plate and a ram’s horn, known as a shofar. She put the shema, a Jewish prayer, near the front door.

The Barkhausens stopped eating pork, which meant cutting out some Mexican favorites..

The Barkhausens’ relatives struggled with the family’s new ways.

News that they would no longer celebrate Christmas and Easter caused hard feelings. Mason got into an argument with an aunt about not eating shellfish. Suggestions that Grandma’s curious ways might be long-forgotten Jewish practices were met with cynicism.

“My family thought I was going nuts,” Barkhausen said.

Meanwhile, Barkhausen e-mailed Federow. She planned to use her growing knowledge about Jewish culture to be a more effective Christian witness. The two went back and forth for six years.

And then, for about six months, Barkhausen began wrestling with God about Jesus and salvation.

She started to confide in Mason. One day, the two of them told each other they no longer believed Jesus was the son of God….

Read more here

“O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” – Galatians 3

11 comments on ““O foolish Galatians..”- From Christianity to Judaism

  1. PJ, what are we to make of a movement that draws more people away from Christ than to Christ?

    • Polycarp, it’s motivated and promoted by the spirit of anti-Christ. It has to be.

      In the past i’ve posted quite a lot on the dangers of the Hebrew Roots movement for just that reason. Two of my son’s, and their families, have been battling against this very thing in their church for well over a year. It was introduced by a teacher. Thankfully their pastor finally stepped in and put a stop to it. But not before at least 20-25 people got caught up in it: Its expected these folks will eventually leave the church and start up their own fellowship.

      It won’t surprise me to hear ‘down the road’ that some of them eventually walk away from Christ.

      What has surprised me, is that many who get caught up in this, are long-time Christians! These are not new converts. What does that mean?

      The only answer i can come up with is regardless of how long they’ve been Christians, they were never rooted and grounded in Christ.

  2. You might find this interesting: Rabbinate Confronted With 60 Missionary Converts

    The Chief Rabbinate has been given a list of more than 60 recent converts to Judaism who continue to believe in Jesus – and are active missionaries…..

    ” Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace.”

    • Thanks Lee…

      See, i don’t believe this is possible:

      The Chief Rabbinate has been given a list of more than 60 recent converts to Judaism who continue to believe in Jesus – and are active missionaries.

      One cannot follow Judaism and say they are believers in the Christ of the new covenant. Its no different then someone saying they follow Islam (or Hinduism, etc) and are Christians!

  3. PJ, we will pray for that group. I have noticed more than a few instances of the Hebrew Roots movement navigating it’s way in the hollers here.

    I stand against it, and will pray for those that do as well.

    Keep up the good fight, PJ.

    • Thanks Polycarp..i mean that.

      Please pray…

      Keep up the good fight, PJ.

      God bless you for the encouraging word.

  4. PJ,

    I want to mention two things:

    (1) Barbara Richmond was a dubious character from the start – she had a habit of telling fanciful stories that, when investigated, had no basis in fact.

    (2) People, sadly, stop believing in Jesus for all sorts of reasons, so it’s not really representative to focus on the messianic movement as if it’s the only place where this happens. I’ve spent my 25+ years as a believer in mainstream evangelical churches with no extreme views (and only moving church when I’ve relocated), and have noticed that there is a small percentage of people who lose their faith. I’ve no idea of the statistics, but I’d be surprised if the dropout rate in the messianic movement is worse than anywhere else. What I do know is that, since the modern messianic movement began in the 1960s, more Jewish people have come to faith in Jesus than at any time since the first century. So please take stories like this in context.

    • Barbara Richmond was a dubious character from the start – she had a habit of telling fanciful stories that, when investigated, had no basis in fact

      yes i knew about the prophecy concerning Israel & the 7 envelopes/letters

      If i recall correctly it began the unraveling, which led to other ministry leaders questioning her honesty and stand concerning Christ as Messiah.

      People, sadly, stop believing in Jesus for all sorts of reasons, so it’s not really representative to focus on the messianic movement as if it’s the only place where this happens.

      Of course they do. There is all types of heresies and false teachings out there today, but the hebrew roots movement is also one of those. As evident in the story above.

      We cannot ignore that.

      The need to shine the light on all, including the HR movement, is important and necessary.

  5. Ah yes, I remember the story of her meeting with an orthodox rabbi, who revealed that 40 more orthodox rabbis had been told by the Holy Spirit that Jesus was the Messiah – they were waiting for the right time to go public. Whatever happened to them?

    • Gordon, i don’t know.

      “If” im not mistaken it was proved it was a lie…

      There was so much back and forth over all that between Jerry Golden, Timothy Snodgrass, and others, its hard to recall!

      I ‘believe’ some Rabi stepped forward, one she may have mentioned by name, and discounted it.

  6. […] will be one of Messianic Judaism (or what Messianic Judaism is fast becoming, see exhibit 1 and exhibit A, exhibit B and exhibit C and exhibit D and many more!) and not Christianity hence the true […]

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