Jewish Leaders Offended by RalphMesser's Ceremony
Jewish Leaders Offended by Ralph Messer's Ceremony -
His Claims Hotly Contested
|Â Â Â We truly dislike having to post a message like this but we feel a greater need to address the position of the Messianic Israel Alliance in relation to the recent actions of Ralph Messer of Simchat Torah Beit Midrash Congregation in Denver, Colorado. Untold numbers of people have now seen or read about the occasion. Several Messianic Jewish organizations have condemned his actions and claimed that he is part of a "fringe" movement - and they have accused us of being in agreement with Messer and his Torah teachings. In an Internet video that has gone viral, "Rabbi" Ralph Messer wraps an Atlanta based pastor named Eddie Long in a Torah Scroll, and then has him lifted up in an elaborate ceremony. (See http://roshpinaproject.com/tag/bishop-eddie-long/)
Â Â Â The Jewish community is offended by Messer's methods and a public outcry has begun that is reaching to the ends of the earth. Fox News and major Newspapers have picked up on it: (See http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/02/02/jewish-leaders-offended-by-ga-preachers-ceremony/) (Also see http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/nationnow/2012/02/pastor-eddie-long-king.htmlÂ .)
Â Â Â We understand that Messer stated, after the fact, that he was not actually declaring Eddie Long to be a king, but was instead declaring his restoration in Messiah. We agree that sinners need to be restored and applaud sincere efforts to help restore Mr. Long, if he is truly repentant. But, knowing how dear Torah scrolls are to Jewish people, we feel that Messer's actions were not sensitive to their feelings, and in addition, many of his claims during the "anointing" service were audacious, inaccurate, and unfounded. Various refutations of Messer's assertions can now be found on the Internet. For example, see http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-wil-gafney-phd/a-biblical-scholar-rebuts-claims-eddie-long-coronation-video_b_1249602.html
Â Â Â As for the MIA and Messer, when we were forming the Alliance in 1999, we invited him to speak at some of our early conferences. As a pastor, Messer offered to help us. Being a fledgling organization, we were happy to receive an offer of help. But, in our opinion, he soon began to try to take over the MIA. When it became apparent that we were not going to yield to his ways, he left and took whoever he could with him. We have not had a relationship with Ralph Messer since 2002. Nonetheless, we pray that the Holy One of Israel will continue to watch over Ralph and help him to truly walk in His way.
Â Â Â In making this post, we do not want to stand in judgment of Ralph Messer as a man, but weÂ absolutely do want to make itÂ known that the MIA does not endorse his actions, or agree with his errant teachings.
Angus and Batya Wootten
Messianic Israel AllianceÂ Â