Rabbi and his Disciples
Dancing on the Sea of Galillee
Jerusalem
Investing in the spiritual rebirth of the Jewish people

UPDATE -- Ancient Scrolls Tour

Daryl Fenton reports from Kalispell, Montana  |  August 6, 2014
 
Today marks "Day 8" of our teaching journey (see CMJ Touring with Hebrew Scrolls Exhibit below). Over three hundred people in four congregations saw the complete 16-scroll Tanakh (Old Testament/Hebrew Bible). Since this is the only such collection in the world that can be seen, most likely it is a once in a lifetime experience. These particular scribal copies date back to the 14th century, and each has its own story. Time and time again we hear, “I never understood how carefully God preserved his Word.”
 
See where we will be (on our calendar) and meet us as we travel the West Coast and finish the tour in Albuquerque, August 17th.

War in the Middle East

by Rt. Rev. J. H. Rodgers
 
Bishop John Rogers serves as a board member and as CMJ’s Theologian in Residence. He received his Th.D. from the University of Basel, Switzerland and has served as both professor and dean-president in US seminaries.
 
The present situation in the Middle East generally and [particularly] between Israel and the Hamas-led Palestinians of Gaza raises the question of war. When is it right? How must it be conducted? What must be its aim?

We need to define our terms. What is war? One definition is that war is an armed conflict between one nation and another or between sizable factions within the same nation. The various conflicts in the Middle East certainly qualify as war under that definition. What is unique in these conflicts is that where one of the members of the conflict is Muslim, the ultimate aim of the Muslim party is conquest, that is, to establish Sharia Law over both parties of the conflict or in extreme cases the utter obliteration of the non-Muslim party.

CMJ Touring with Hebrew Scrolls Exhibit

CMJ has the privilege of co-hosting a Mountain States and West Coast tour of a complete collection of ancient Tanakh (the Old Testament) scrolls. The series of exhibitions includes a lecture concerning the copying and preservation of the Hebrew scriptures down through the centuries. This collection, all 16 scrolls that make up the complete Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament), is the only such collection that can be viewed by the public.

Source of Lasting Peace

The Israeli cabinet met this morning to consider a cease-fire proposal by Egypt and voted to approve it. The leadership of Hamas also met and rejected the proposal, resuming rocket fire on Israel territories. Shortly thereafter, Israel resumed its attacks on Hamas sites.

It is a sadly familiar sequence of events. And it demonstrates how profoundly difficult it is for peace of any kind to be established once hatred has taken root. The situation seems hopeless to almost everyone. Almost everyone…

This last weekend was profoundly instructive as to the real source of peace. In God’s providence, the Elav Youth Conference was already scheduled in Haifa, Israel. It is a gathering of young Arab and Jewish disciples of Jesus.

They met, worshiped, and shared the love of God while all around them war and hatred was raging. Most touching was the spontaneous decision they made to wash each other’s feet. What a contrast—is this not obedience to what the Apostle John wrote in his letter? (1 John 4:7)

These young people have been reconciled to God and to each other through faith in Jesus/Issa/Yeshua the Messiah, who came to save each and all of them. They demonstrated to the hostile world around them, not how things must be…but how things can be when the Kingdom of God begins to be formed in the hearts and minds of the community of His disciples.
 

Muslim goes to Mecca - and finds Jesus!

Now he wants to help re-unite the sons of Abraham

 
Charles Gardner reports from CMJ-sponsored conference in Jerusalem, May 2014
 
A Turkish Muslim who made a pilgrimage to Mecca in a desperate attempt to get his life back on track returned as a Christian to the great astonishment of his family. Now a pastor, Ali Pektash has been addressing a [CMJ-sponsored] conference in Jerusalem called At the Crossroads, and sees it as part of his mission to help re-unite the sons of Abraham.

Ali, a Kurd, suffered from alcohol addiction when friends persuaded him to make Hajj (pilgrimage) to Islam’s holy city. It was in Saudi Arabia, where liquor is banned, and the religious ritual might cure him, they suggested.

When he got there, he cried out to God for help (if indeed He was there) and fell asleep.

The Visible from the Invisible

During March, General Motors and Ford produced dueling commercials about hard work and rewards. The GM commercial featured a prosperous executive and his new luxury Cadillac, proof of his success. Ford pushed back with a Focus ad featuring a prosperous 30 something woman whose small business worked to save the environment. It seemed a clear contrast in values, but appearances can deceive. Both campaigns focus on the experience and satisfaction of an individual. The world is viewed through the lens of personal preferences, and personal fulfillment. This consumerist view of reality permeates Western thinking. But it is not the only way to view the world.
 
The Witness of the Jews to God, a recently re-published book of essays about the Jewish people, illustrates a very different understanding of reality.  These essays (written forty years ago) describe reality through the lens of its creator. The place of the Jewish people in the world is one of those issues that is most sensitive to a human centered or a God centered perspective on reality.
 
No issue illustrates it more acutely than the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, a topic as current as yesterday’s headlines. The shift from a God-centered to a human-centered perspective dominates most current discussions of the issues surrounding Jewish people, Palestinian Arabs, and the Land.  Those reports and opinions, whether theological or secular, focus on the attributes, rights, and prophecies from the perspective of the consequences for Jewish or Arab people. The arguments presume, sometimes unwittingly, that humanistic concerns are most important. The reason for God (or theology) has far more to do with human rights and preferences than His intentions and will.

Statement of Faith

We affirm our belief in historic Christianity as revealed in the Scriptures and summarized in the three Creeds (the Apostles’, the Nicene, and the Athanasian) and the Thirty-Nine Articles. We recognize the need today for reaffirming the following beliefs:

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