15 Comments

Jews for Jesus founder Moishe Rosen dead at 78


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Moishe Rosen, founder of the controversial group Jews for Jesus, has died after a long battle with prostate cancer. He was 78.

In a press release, Jews for Jesus says Rosen was raised in an Orthodox Jewish family, but converted to Christianity at the age of 21 when he became convinced that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah.

In 1973, he founded the organization whose mission statement is “to make the Messiahship of Jesus an unavoidable issue to our Jewish people worldwide.”

Those evangelistic efforts have been denounced by Jewish groups and by some churches as well.

In a posthumous letter on the Jews for Jesus website, Rosen says:

“Within Judaism today, there is no salvation because Christ has no place within Judaism.” (Tampa Bay news)

Take note of his concerns within his posthumous letter posted at the website;

He being dead still speaks. (Hebrews 11:4)

Dear friends,

If you are reading this, it means that I have gone on to my reward. As I write this, I can only think of what the Scriptures say and that is, “Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, neither have they entered into the heart of man the things that God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9) Well, I have a big curiosity and by now, I know.

I don’t suppose that I will be writing you any new material, but there are a few articles in the works that might still come through.

As I go, I feel that I have left a number of things undone. I think everyone must feel that way. There were words of appreciation that I looked for an occasion to express, but they didn’t come. There were words of regret that I would have expressed to others. And there were words of encouragement that I had for all who were believers.

I’d like to encourage you to stay with Jews for Jesus. I was the Executive Director until 1996. Many things have changed. Some of them definitely for the better and others that I can’t say were for the worse, but things that I would not have thought to do. Nevertheless the core of what Jews for Jesus stands for is still central.

As I go, one of the things that concerns me deeply is how much misunderstanding there is among believers. I never thought I would live to see the day when those who know the Lord and are born again were supporting the efforts of rabbis who, frankly, not only don’t know Christ, but don’t want to know Him.

To be an honest ministry, it can only come from the Holy Spirit; and the Holy Spirit can only indwell those who have the new birth and are born again. Therefore, I would urge you to think very seriously before you support any “ministry” that involves Jewish people and doesn’t actually bring the gospel to the Jews.

Likewise, I am concerned over something else that I never thought that I would see or hear and that is, Jews who have become believers in Jesus and have important positions in ministry yet feel that their primary purpose is to promote Jewishness and Judaism to the Jews.

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15 comments on “Jews for Jesus founder Moishe Rosen dead at 78

  1. Praise God that Jews for Jesus has been controversial for (apparently) all the right reasons. It’s so good to hear the leader of an organization like this express these concerns.

    I never thought I would live to see the day when those who know the Lord and are born again were supporting the efforts of rabbis who, frankly, not only don’t know Christ, but don’t want to know Him… I would urge you to think very seriously before you support any “ministry” that involves Jewish people and doesn’t actually bring the gospel to the Jews.

    On Tuesday night I attended a CUFI-sponsored event. I thought it was going to be one of those large events where thousands of flag-waving fanatics would be in attendance, but it was more of a regional informational meeting with probably less than 100 in attendance. After the regional rep spread his propaganda for more than an hour, an unbelieving Jewish leader was called up to share for a little while. He was quite clear that he doesn’t believe in Jesus, but he emphasized the common ground between Jewish Zionists and Christian Zionists, much to the delight of the crowd.

    As sad as this was, it got worse when he proceeded to define what a “righteous Christian” is: one who [1] does what is right regarding the nation of Israel and the Jewish people [2] rejects “replacement theology,” and [3] believes that all the promises God gave to Abraham apply today to his physical descendants, the Jewish race. Unbelievably, this definition of a “righteous Christian” received applause from the crowd, even though it was implied that all Christians who fail to meet these three criteria are unrighteous; not to mention that it’s impossible to be a genuine Christ follower without being righteous, and that our righteousness has everything to do with Jesus and His work on the cross.

    I pray that Jews for Jesus, under its present and future leadership, will never back down from the stance expressed by Moishe Rosen in his posthumous letter.

    • Adam, thank you soooo much for sharing your thoughts after visiting a CUFI meeting. I truly appreciate it.

      What you observed collaborates Moishe Rosen’s grave concerns:

      After the regional rep spread his propaganda for more than an hour, an unbelieving Jewish leader was called up to share for a little while. He was quite clear that he doesn’t believe in Jesus, but he emphasized the common ground between Jewish Zionists and Christian Zionists, much to the delight of the crowd.

      Most people don’t even realize that David Brog, CUFI’s executive director, is not a born again believer, but an unbelieving Jew.

      As sad as this was, it got worse when he proceeded to define what a “righteous Christian” is: one who [1] does what is right regarding the nation of Israel and the Jewish people [2] rejects “replacement theology,” and [3] believes that all the promises God gave to Abraham apply today to his physical descendants, the Jewish race. Unbelievably, this definition of a “righteous Christian” received applause from the crowd, even though it was implied that all Christians who fail to meet these three criteria are unrighteous..

      That agrees with Hagee’s false teaching which says if you do not actively support modern day Israel you will end up in hell:

      “It is important to be right on the Israel question when you consider that being wrong brings you under the curse of God and headed for eternal, everlasting fire with the devil and his angels. Israel is not a “take it or leave it” subject. It is a life and death matter-eternal life!” (see John Hagee teaches “another” Gospel)

    • You’re welcome, PJ. I also have a post up now describing what we were taught that night in more detail:

      http://kloposmasm.wordpress.com/2010/05/23/a-night-to-honor-israel-and-to-dishonor-jesus-and-his-church/

      Thanks for the reminder about David Brog being an unbelieving Jew. I know Charisma Magazine even allows him to write articles for their “Stand With Israel” section. I wonder what major decisions fall under his purview in his responsibilities with CUFI. Perhaps he decides where the money goes? I just can’t imagine the amount of compromise (apostasy, really) that goes on in that organization…

  2. yes, thanks Adam – I was hoping you would share. I too hope that many take on board what Moishe Rosen said. As I get older more and more I find myself also saying – “I never thought I would see the day……”.

    on a completely different note have you pj seen this powerful video

  3. Just wanted to add that David Brickner, the current leader of Jews For Jesus, holds to the same dispensatonal theology as Darby and Scofield.  The quote below is from Stephen Sizer’a book … 

    Zion’s Christian Soldiers
    The Bible, Israel and the Church
    by Stephen Sizer
    Page 43 

    “David Brickner affirms the novel position first propounded by J.N. Darby, that the Jews remain ‘God’s chosen people’, while the church is merely ‘a parenthesis’ to God’s future plans for the Jews. These authors and organizations believe Jewish people somehow continue to enjoy a special covenant relationship with God apart from through Jesus Christ.”

    ***

    On a different note … Jan, the video is very edifying … Do you know where part 2 can be found?

    • Hi Cathy
      it’s from Peacemakers Ministries and part 2 isn’t up yet – i’ll keep an eye out for it..

  4. As the other article quotes, dispensationalism and replacement theology are not the ONLY theological positions on the Hebrew people. Many non-dispenationalists such as Reggie Kelley and the late Art Katz understand from Scripture that there is a church grafted in to the root of Christ IN ADDITION TO natural branches of ethnic Hebrews, that we are one spiritually in Christ, but that this does not nullify the covenant with Abraham which will be fulfilled in a Kingdom reign of Christ on earth.

  5. To Cathy, David Brickner may or may not be a dispensationalist, I don’t know, but I wouldn’t take Stephen Sizer’s writings as reliable unless he quotes authoritative references. I have never associated Jews for Jesus with dispensationalism, and I know several missionaries with them. Generally, dispensationalist theology is not linked to Jewish outreach – as evidenced by Hagee and his ilk.

    • I wouldn’t take Stephen Sizer’s writings as reliable unless he quotes authoritative references.

      Have you found him not honest or reliable in presenting facts?

  6. PJ, Sizer is a very controversial figure – his writings are strongly opposed to Christian Zionism, but he’s also been described as harboring anti-Israel and even anti-semitic views (charges he denies). He seems to view all Christian Zionists as dispensationalists, which is not the case. Many people accuse him of bias and misrepresentation.

    I did a quick google and came up with a couple of links:

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2004/may/22.67.html – article by Brickner which mentions dispensationalism and implies that Brickner doesn’t agree with it.

    http://largebluefootballs.blogspot.com/2008/10/why-does-stephen-sizer-misrepresent.html – blog accusing Sizer of misrepresenting the views of a Jews for Jesus worker.

    So I’d suggest that any claims Sizer makes should be independently verified. My personal experience indicates that this particular claim is unlikely to be true.

    Let me just add something that’s a bit more nuanced. Brickner may well believe that the Jews remain “God’s chosen people” (that’s a common view that numerous people including myself hold – but we don’t understand it to mean that Jewish people will be automatically saved), but that doesn’t necessarily imply that he also takes the dispensationalist position that the church is a “parenthesis”. Perhaps Sizer has made the mistake of assuming that the first requires the second.

    • he’s also been described as harboring anti-Israel and even anti-semitic views

      Tony, i have read those type of accusations from a few bible teachers (dispensationalist) but don’t find them to be true at all. Stephen Sizer, from my personal observation, has a great love for lost Jews. His desire, again from my observation, is to see them come to Christ.

      Those who have tossed out terms like anti-semitic or anti Israel, when describing him, base it on the fact he does not hold one ethnic group (in the middle east) above another. In other words his love and concern is just as strong toward lost Palestinians as lost Jews. As is mine.

      What he also seeks to make known to many Christians in the West is the plight of Palestinian Christians.

      One thing i’d like to address:

      Let me just add something that’s a bit more nuanced. Brickner may well believe that the Jews remain “God’s chosen people” (that’s a common view that numerous people including myself hold – but we don’t understand it to mean that Jewish people will be automatically saved)

      God’s chosen people since the new covenant replaced the old, are those who are in the Son–those in Christ–the Elect:

      “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy” 1 Peter 2:9,10

      God’s chosen people are those who accept Christ as Lord and Savior;

      “He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful” Rev.17:14

  7. Here’s some documentation …

    Google David Brickner’s book “Future Hope” and look for the version where you can read parts of the book online. Go to Chapter 4 (page 31) entitled “The Center Of The Universe”. On the next page, page 32, David Brickner writes about “God’s Promises To Israel”. His teaching is clearly dispensational. (I couldn’t get link to work otherwise I would have posted it.)

    Below is a quote from a post by Stephen Sizer entitled “Weird and Wacky Theology 2: Will the Jewish Temple Be Rebuilt?” November 5, 2008.

    “David Brickner, revives J.N. Darby’s eccentric dispensational scheme, suggesting the last two thousand years history of the Church is merely ‘a parenthesis’ to God’s future plans for the Jews, who remain his ‘chosen people’. (see Future Hope, p. 18, 130; J. N. Darby, ‘The Character of Office in The Present Dispensation’ Collected Writings., Eccl. I, Vol. I, p. 94).

    Also from Sizer’s post …

    The idea that the Temple must be rebuilt was popularised by Moishe Rosen. He writes, “…at some point in these stressful days, the ancient Jewish Temple will be rebuilt on the holy Temple Mount in Jerusalem… Prophecy foretells the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple and the reinstitution of the sacrifices prescribed in the law of Moses. In a vision of the future Temple, Ezekiel received this word… Some way, somehow, the Temple will be rebuilt, in spite of the fact that two Arab shrines now stand on the only site on earth where this Temple may stand.” (Overture to Armageddon, by Moishe Rosen, p. 114).

    David Brickner, the present Director of Jews for Jesus also believes this (Future Hope, p. 18). Now before I go any further, let me make it plain, this article is not a criticism of Jews for Jesus. I have invited UK staff of Jews for Jesus to teach in our church and I continue to affirm their evangelistic work – I just don’t agree with the dispensational presuppositions of some of their leaders.

    For some reason this link does not go directly to Sizer’s post but it may help you get there …

    http://www.stephensizer.com/category/dispensationalism/page/2/

  8. Correction … the link does go directly to the post.

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