Latino Pentecostals Onto The Dual Covenant Theology Plantation In A Major Way
Posted by Job on October 1, 2008
LOS ANGELES (AP) – When Randy Brown visited Hispanic Pentecostal congregations in Southern California, he was stunned by displays of Star-of-David flags, fervent prayers for peace in Israel and Hebrew words in their church names.
Brown, an executive with the American Jewish Committee, saw an opportunity to build Jewish-Latino relations and combat anti-Semitism among the immigrants, who generally have little exposure to Jews in their predominantly Roman Catholic native countries.
“I was amazed at the affinity these congregations have for Israel,” recalled Brown, director of interreligious affairs for the Los Angeles chapter of the Jewish advocacy group. “I wanted to take this to the next level.” (The next level, of course, is to deny the need to evangelize Jews. The level after that will be dual covenant theology. The level after that will be to deny Jesus Christ Himself.)
The Los Angeles office has since worked to forge new bonds: They recently took a group of Pentecostal Hispanic pastors to Israel, offered a course called “The Essence of Judaism” at a Southern California Pentecostal seminary, and invited Hispanic pastors and their families to Passover seders and Sukkot harvest celebrations. (A real course on “The Essence of Judaism” would teach how the current Judaism bears no resemblance to the Sinai religion of the Bible that pointed to Jesus Christ and was fulfilled in Jesus Christ, and it would also deal with the fact that Jews have resisted the gospel from the time that Jesus Christ began His ministry until today, and that this will continue until the day of the Lord.)
“We have many things in common,” said pastor Ramiro Lopez of the Iglesia Vida Abundante in San Bernardino. (No we don’t. You have no more in common with a Jew than you do a Jehovah’s Witness or a Mormon.) “Now I can understand Israel from more than a biblical perspective and I have more of a commitment to Israel.” (If you actually had a biblical perspective, you would know that Judaism is a false religion and to treat it as such.)
While Latino immigrants in the U.S. are mostly Catholic, evangelicals comprise a notable 15 percent of the population, according to a recent study by the Pew Hispanic Project and the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. Many are Pentecostal, one of the fastest-growing streams of world Christianity, known for spirit-filled worship and speaking in tongues.
A 2007 survey by the Anti-Defamation League found a higher-rate of anti-Semitic views among foreign-born Latinos than among U.S.-born Hispanics. Twenty-nine percent of Latinos born elsewhere harbor anti-Jewish views, while the rate for Hispanics born in the country — and for the U.S. population in general — was 15 percent, the study found.
The 2007 numbers are slightly lower than those in a 2005 survey, but Jewish leaders are worried all the same, especially as Latin Americans are expected to become 29 percent of the national population by 2050.
“Clearly, it was disturbing,” said Michael Salberg, director of international affairs for the New York-based Jewish civil rights group.
Latin American countries are overwhelmingly Roman Catholic and are steeped in a five-century-old tradition of a church that wields much influence. With the exception of Argentina, Jewish communities in Latin America are tiny and tend to keep a low profile.
By contrast, U.S. Jewish and Catholic leaders have held high-level interfaith talks for years. Several Catholic colleges in the country have centers for Jewish-Catholic understanding, and U.S. bishops heavily emphasize the Second Vatican Council teaching that Jews are not collectively responsible for the Crucifixion. That outlook influences not just Catholics, but also other Christians in the U.S. (What a lie. The Bible itself teaches that Jews are not collectively responsible for the crucifixion. It was Roman Catholic tradition that taught that lie, and the only ones who believed it were Roman Catholics who reject the Bible for the lies of the papacy. It is amazing how these ecumenical “Christian” newspapers are so willing to repeat the lies of Rome.)
Pastor Tony Solorzano, who heads the Iglesia Llamada Final, a 5,000-member congregation in Downey and Inglewood, said some Latinos simply need more education about Judaism to dispel stereotypes. Some consider Jews “Christ-killers.” (So you guys are going to replace one lie with another? Like that will help the Jews, or yourselves for that matter.)
“Not many think that way, but some have heard this,” Lopez said. “We tell them there’s a plan according to God’s will. We have to be grateful to the Jewish people because Jesus was Jewish.” (Jesus Christ wanted the Jews to accept them, and rejected and pronounced woe upon those who would not. Do you tell them that? Of course you don’t. If you will tell a Muslim or Hindu that he will go to the lake of fire without Jesus Christ but won’t tell a Jew the same, then the love of God is not in you because you disobey God’s commandments.)
Pentecostals, who interpret the Bible literally (literally but out of context), believe God promised the Jewish people the historic land of Israel. Many consider the modern state of Israel a fulfillment of biblical prophecy — and a precondition of the second coming of Jesus Christ. (If by setting the stage for the great tribulation, then yes.)
They often cite (out of context!) a passage from Genesis where God makes a covenant with Abraham that those who bless Abraham’s people will be blessed, those who curse his people will be cursed.
“I really believe that promise,” Lopez said. (If you understood what you believed, you would know that this promise was fulfilled already by the coming with the new covenant. The new covenant blesses you with salvation, forgiveness of sin, a clean conscience, and eternal life. But you want health, wealth, prosperity, fame, etc. under the old covenant. I bet that the book that Word of Faith prosperity Pentecostals hate the most is the Book of Hebrews.) “Every day we pray for Jerusalem with our hands to the east.” (Why not pray for Mecca and Medina in the same fashion? Seriously, what is the difference? Or why not try to convert the Muslims? Or for that matter the Jews?)
Jewish leaders are building on Pentecostal pro-Israel sentiment to dispel stereotypes between both groups. Many Jewish groups in recent years have accepted such support without questioning the theology behind it, which says that all people, including Jews, will ultimately accept Christ. (They didn’t challenge Christian teaching with the mainline denominationals either, at least not at first. It is only after the social, religious, and political relationships are felt that the attacks on Christianity start, and usually beginning with speaking of how wise the Jewish teachers were and their similarity in matters of ethics and values to Christianity.)
“It’s a new and emerging connection that didn’t exist with the Catholic Church,” said Salberg of the Anti-Defamation League.
Pentecostal congregations, often housed in storefronts filled with rows of folding chairs, have become fixtures in Latino neighborhoods across the United States, as well as Latin America. Pastors tend to be influential opinion-makers in their congregations and some, like Lopez, have radio programs or stations, expanding their reach.
At the Latin University of Theology in Torrance, which trains Pentecostal pastors, many of the students in Brown’s Spanish-language “Essence of Judaism” course hail from Latin American countries. He hopes they’ll return home with new knowledge about Jews and Judaism to change negative images and misperceptions. (Of course, the truth, that Judaism is a false religion just like Islam or Hinduism and that Jews are actively working to get Christians to deny the deity and Messiahship of Jesus Christ and the exclusivity of the gospel is almost certainly not taught there.)
Nationally, the American Jewish Committee has formed a Latino and Latin American Institute, and in 2001 convened the first Latino-Jewish Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., to discuss common policy concerns such as immigration. Along with the Los Angeles office, several local chapters of the nonprofit are reaching out to Latinos, according to Ken Bandler, the group’s national spokesman. (An article in the Jerusalem Post not long ago promoted the notion that the black – Jewish alliance is past its time, is now against the interests of both communities, and that Jews should seek to work with Hispanics instead.)
Pastor Richard Escobedo holds two sessions weekly to pray for Israel at his 500-member Centro Palabra de Fe church in Compton, where he has an Israeli flag on display, has held Passover seders and preaches that “love thy neighbor” includes Jews and others. Many Pentecostals wear Star of David pendants and other paraphernalia, he said. (The star of David is not a legitimate Jewish religious symbol, but a mystic symbol that may have origins in freemasonry and the Kabbalah that Jewish socialist and mostly atheist Zionists adopted for their POLITICAL movement in the 1800s … when it was adopted as the Jewish political symbol most Jews initially were opposed, but eventually acquiesced to it over time. That “One Night With The King”, that TBN oneness pentecostal movie, depicted the star of David as a Jewish symbol in Old Testament times was one of the biggest lies in a movie obviously designed to promote Zionism and not Jesus Christ, as a person coming from that movie would learn nothing about Jesus Christ but fully convinced that we should use nuclear weapons to wipe Iran off the map.)
Engaging with Jews, he said, “is opening our eyes to how Jesus himself was taught.”
Copyright 2008 Associated Press.