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Cognitive dissonance, arrogance or just plain fear?

December 3, 2009

I have recently become the target of a virulent messianic blog.  I suppose I should feel honored – the most recent attack came from none other than David Ortiz, the messianic Pastor in Ariel, Israel.  Pastor Ortiz segued into celebrity last year when an unbalanced, hate-filled Jewish man sent him a purim basket with a bomb inside.  Unfortunately, David was not home and his son Ami opened the package and was nearly killed.

Most of us couldn’t fathom that the crime could be perpetrated by a Jew.  After all, Pastor Ortiz had already made a name for himself among the Arabs, having done some missionary work around Ramallah.  According to some reports, he had a fatwa (death decree) on his head.  One small terrorist group even jumped on the opportunity and claimed responsibility for the bombing! And despite the rhetoric being circulated by the Messianics, those of us who oppose their message, mission and even very presence in Israel were appalled by the notion that a person would act on their beliefs in such a violent way.

Messianics around Israel used this as a huge PR opportunity to get the Israeli media, and the public at large, to see them as the underdog – the victims.  Not just in this one incident, which they certainly were, but in every aspect of daily life.  And with the help of Calev Myers, an anti-orthodox, anti-Jewish messianic lawyer, they embarked on a campaign to make sure that people saw what they did and believed as innocent expressions of love while those of us who teach that what they proffer is false are labled hate-mongerers.

I even asked the guy who runs the blog why it is that when Christians tell Jews that their faith is insufficient, and that they are going to burn in hell for all eternity, they are sharing their faith in love, but when Jews tell other Jews that Christianity is not the truth – well, that’s hate-speech.  Come on, folks, play fair!

What’s worse is that Christians (and Messianics – same thing) have such a hard time wrapping their brains around the idea that someone could be a real Christian and then realize it was all a lie.  Pastor Ortiz does just that when he implies that since I rejected Christianity, I must never really have been a Christian in the first place.  I don’t know whether to chalk this up to cognitive dissonance (that a Christian can’t possibly accept that a real Christian would ever reject Jesus) or arrogance, plain and simple.

The bottom line is that I was not one of those Christians who had a hard time with things in the bible – I believed it all with all my heart and soul – for 17 years!  My goal was always, as it still is, to serve God in truth.  If you had asked the people who knew me – my teachers at Bible College, my pastors, my friends, etc., no one would have said, “yeah, we always knew she’d turn away.”  I was firm in my faith, my belief in Jesus.  I was responsible for hundreds of people becoming believing Christians. As Christians are wont to say, I had a heart knowledge as well as a head knowledge.

My Spiritual journey has always been one of seeking truth and that brought me to Judaism. Pastor Ortiz may not like where my search brought me, but that’s because to him its unfathomable that a person could have a true faith in Christianity and come to a place of rejecting it.

Is it that the cognitive dissonance is too great for Pastor Ortiz, or is it something bigger?  Maybe he’s afraid that my gentle, loving, peaceful style of trying to bring lost Jews back to the true faith they were created to express just might work.  (and blows the messianics’ accusations of hate-mongering right out of the water) After all, Pastor Ortiz did say in his article, “Hearing her audio tapes, it is evident that she has integrated and adopted many of the techniques that she learned in the believing world. She is highly well  spoken and charismatic. She has learned “700 Club”type of techniques through testimonies – she still uses many believing phrases like “relationship with God”, knowing the Word, etc.

One last word Pastor Ortiz – the concept of a “relationship with God” originated with Judaism!  And I am not in bad company in speaking of it;  See – The Chofetz Chaim, The Ramchal, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, Rebbetzin Heller (to name just a few).

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. wen permalink
    December 3, 2009 4:50 pm

    You are right Penina – it is arrogance on their part. You are doing great things and you are successful at it (just look at me:)…Keep up the good work! May Hashem bring all His Jewish children back close to Him and away from other religions….

  2. Isaac Kohn permalink
    December 3, 2009 9:21 pm

    Good Afternoon, Penina:

    You are doing a great job. Keep at it.

    I’m still e-mail debating with Oded Cohen (remember him?)

    Here is a man who knows almost zero about Judaism, tells me that he has no interest in knowing about it because Judaism is a fraud, etc etc. Yet he has no problem in trying to push ME to believe in Jesus. He wants ME to find out about his illusions and at the same time refuses to learn about Judaism.

    This is how they all work; pushing their beliefs and urging others to accept while refusing to even TRY to understand what Judaism is all about.

    It reminds me clearly of all the left-wing so-called liberals espousing the “freedom of speech and expression” yet refusing to allow this right to anyone who expresses contradictory views.

    By the way: Any idea how I can break him????

    Isaac

  3. Nicole permalink
    December 3, 2009 11:13 pm

    What you are doing is great – and you are right: it is plain arrogance that Christians cannot accept that we can have a right relationship with Hashem and serve him whilst been happy.

  4. Ro Yeger permalink
    December 6, 2009 2:41 pm

    I think it is unfortunate that once unbalanced jew can cause so many problems. I agree with your statement about the relatioship with god comes from judaism. I think it is interesting to note that their religion origionated from judaism as well…

  5. Sarah Stone permalink
    December 9, 2009 12:09 am

    I do not understand why you make an assumption that Jewish equals peaceful. There have been several times through history that Jews have used violence to maintain our Judaism. If during the era of hanuka the Maccabis did not fight a war to get idols out of the Beit Hamikdash then Judaism as we know it might not exist. Whats to say that we shouldn’t take a similar stand now, christianity within Jewish borders is counter to torah and therefor what is to say that we should not use physical means to get rid of it?

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