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It’s about Jesus, plain and simple…

October 25, 2009

There is a trial going on right now in Beersheva, Israel. The Hebrew-Christians who are suing the Chief Rabbi, Yehuda Deri, would like the world (especially the Christian world) to think that the lawsuit is about freedom of religion and equal treatment under the law, but nothing could be farther from the truth. According to a Hebrew-Christian blog post and its article which appears to be attributed to CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network), a thousand “ultra-Orthodox” protesters showed up on Christmas eve in 2005 at this innocent little messianic congregation in Beersheva and began to wreak mayhem and chaos, destroying everything in sight and beating people up. arad-out02

Much like the big fish stories my uncle used to tell, the event just seems to continue to grow with each re-telling. The first time I heard the story it was dozens of Chassidim, then it was hundreds and now it’s nearly a thousand. That’s not the only detail that seems to have become embellished over time, but I digress…

When first one comes across this story, one is inclined to gasp with horror at the audacity of these “ultra-Orthodox” protestors, supposedly driven by hatred – “what a chillul Hashem!” we shout in horror. Upon further investigation, however, one finds that the congregants bear an equal or perhaps even greater burden in the escalation of the events that day, and that the protestors only became violent when they were themselves attacked.

Howard-and-Randi-Bass

Howard and Randi Bass

At some point the police entered the scene and did what the Israeli police do – they took the situation into their own hands and decided to handle it their own way. Howard Bass, the congregation’s Pastor, claims that this is mistreatment of messianics. I have news for you Mr. Bass, this IS equal treatment, we’ve all felt that way – from my friend who was attacked by her landlord and then arrested because she tried to defend herself to the terror victim whose car was impounded as evidence in the crime and then charged for storage fees. This is not America, Mr. Bass, and things don’t always work the way Americans expect them to – welcome to Israel. You want equal treatment? You’ve already got it.

But since this post isn’t about bashing Israel or the Israeli police force who certainly have enough on their plate to warrant at least a drop of understanding, I’ll get to the point. Mr. Bass makes it sound like his lawsuit is about freedom of religion and equal treatment under the law. He even says so in the article: “We had a right to do what we were doing, which was to assemble together to worship our God, and what they were did was illegal,” Bass said.

But, as often the case, Mr. Bass unwittingly exposes the real motivation behind the lawsuit at the end of the article: “It’s not against Israel. It’s not against the Jewish people. It’s not to be taken by anybody to use it that way, but we do want the truth of Yeshua to be brought forward,” Bass said.

Pastor Bass is using this lawsuit, in keeping with everything he does to try to gain favor for his cause and ultimately to gain converts to his brand of Christianity. No, they’re not asking for equal treatment, they’re asking for special treatment and the lawsuit isn’t about freedom of religion or equal rights, it’s about spreading Christianity, plain and simple.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Ro Yeger permalink
    October 25, 2009 4:00 pm

    “According to a Hebrew-Christian blog post and its article which appears to be attributed to CBN”

    can you possibly include a link to this blog?

  2. Becca permalink
    November 2, 2009 1:40 am

    I found this to be very interesting and when Bass said that its only bout Yeshuas truth i found that to be absurd. It is against the Jewish people as well.

  3. Sara permalink
    November 2, 2009 12:53 pm

    Describes yet again how christianity uses all it can to force their way into the Jews lives and countinues to try and find a way to catch all the fish swimming in this israeli fish bowl.

  4. Dana permalink
    November 2, 2009 2:50 pm

    I completely agree with your statement that the ultimate, core conflict cannot possibly be labeled as a “freedom of religion” issue. Putting aside for a moment that Ultra-Orthodox Jews too have been confronted with protestors at one of their organized functions in the past, their actions in this situation were not rooted in malice, nor did they intend on utilizing or resorting to physical or violent action to rely their feelings. One could ironically argue that these Jews had a right to voice their opinion just as the Missionaries were doing. Only when someone throws the first punch does it become a game of “well she said, he said,” or worse- “Well she started it! She instigated first.” From there, just as you parallel your thesis with the fish story, the facts become mere distortions of the actual truth, and the story is molded into something new. The overarching importance in this story is to approach is holistically; This means emphasizing that the facts are not necessarily the facts, and that these Ultra-Orthodox Jews intended no harm. They solely were expressing their beliefs just as the Missionaries were. This, again is the hypocrisy of the argument the Christians use that the Ultra-Orthodox are ignoring their freedom of speech and religion, etc. Let’s understand this conflict. Feelings overpowered ration. A mere protest became a constitutional atrocity. I beg everyone to scrutinize the situation through a critical lens.

  5. Sarah Stone permalink
    December 9, 2009 12:17 am

    Should we allow Christians to have freedom of religion in out Jewish state? If the meaning under all this chaos is to spread Jesus then why should we permit it at all?

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