(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…
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….
“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