Baptist bus driving in Jewish area sparks complaints
Tom Cantor, as we reported last month here, is rapidly becoming public enemy number one for the anti-missionary/anti-messianic networks. Ironically this article in the Jewishpress.com utilizes the ancient anti-Semitic canard of a rich Jew seeking to influence public opinion and implies wrong-doing of some sort or a degree of nefarious behaviour.
The missionary effort is being financed by Tom Cantor, who was born into a Jewish family and who is the president of a medical products company in southern California. He said he spends more than $4 million a year to push his concept in the United States and elsewhere. The $1 million summer blitz focuses on Jewish areas in Baltimore as well as in other major East Coast cities.
The author of this hysterical piece Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu gets his facts wrong when he quotes a claim by Arthur C. Abramson “even the most liberal rabbi would reject the notion of a “Jewish Christian.”” Yet this claim evaporates under the facts, for example liberal Rabbi Dan Cohn-Sherbok’s position in his books Messianic Judaism and Voices of Messianic Judaism: Confronting Critical Issues Facing a Maturing Movement there is also another liberal rabbi Carol Harris-Shapiro who wrote Messianic Judaism: A Rabbi’s Journey Through Religious Change in America.
The article seeks to stigmatize the very notion of religious freedom expressed by an attempt, as old as religion itself, to convince others of the correctness and truth of said religious belief.
Ben-Gedalyahu also homes-in on the modest dress of these Baptist girls and attempts to paint it as an attempt to confuse. If the author knew conservative Baptists at all he would know modest dress was a part of that sub-culture too, however he prefers to sling whatever mud he can find and hope something sticks.
The Baptist girls approach them in modest clothing, giving the impression that they may be Orthodox Jews, although Lou Rossi, a pastor of church helping the campaign told the Sun he does not think the women are trying to deceive anyone.
However inconsistent claims and factual deficiency is an essential part of the anti-Missionary narrative. The Baltimore Jewish community is claimed to be cohesive and the missionary invasion, of ten Baptist girls, is such a threat to that! However such cohesiveness is marred by assimilation, so the community is not as cohesive as was claimed then!
The Jewish community in Baltimore is highly cohesive and includes one of the highest percentages of orthodox Jews in the country. It also suffers from the same crisis of assimilation that threatens every other Jewish community in the Diaspora.
The ten Baptist girls come from a church that has missionaries all over the world. They can hardly be claimed to be targeting the Jewish community. Yet the level of sensitivity and hysteria is evident, even a Baptist bus driving through the Jewish area is cause for complaint.
touring Jewish neighborhoods with a van marked “Granite Baptist Church” is a cause of complaints from Jewish residents.
Ruth Guggenheim of Jews for Judaism stated the obvious as if it were some kind of profound hidden truth. “This is no different than the Jehovah’s Witnesses coming to your door.” Nor is it any different from political parties or TV adverts or Jews for Judaism trying to get us to consider their ideology or products!