So what’s George Bush up to these days? I know you’re wondering. He’s up to converting the Jews, that’s what. Sarah Posner explains at Mother Jones.
Next week, former President George W. Bush is scheduled to keynote a fundraiser in Irving, Texas, for the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute, a group that trains people in the United States, Israel, and around the world to convince Jews to accept Jesus as the Messiah. The organization’s goal: to “restore” Israel and the Jews and bring about the second coming of Christ.
I have to wonder how one goes about “training” people to convince other people to accept Jesus as the Messiah. I do. I wonder because training seems like a secular sort of activity, in the sense that it needs to be tethered to reality at some point in order to do the job. Training means teaching people how to do something the right way. I wonder how one goes about training people to convince other people of bullshit. I know it happens, I know people do it, I just wonder how it works – if there’s ever any wink-wink nudge-nudge “this is the best way to fool people” type of thing.
Based in Dallas, the MJBI claims that it acts like the Apostle Paul in helping to “educate Christians in their role to provoke the Jewish people to jealousy and thus save some of them (Romans 11:11-14).” It has Bible schools in 12 countries, an online school of “Messianic theology,” and programs to train Messianic rabbis and pastors. Its logos feature a star of David and a menorah, and its website promotes the weekly Torah portion, a “Yiddish Mama’s Kitchen,” and links to purchase Judaica and books, such as Christ in the Old Testament. The nonprofit organization brought in approximately $1.2 million in revenue in 2011, the last year for which records are available.
At the November 14 event, which will be held at the Irving Convention Center, Bush will discuss his White House experiences, according to promotional materials. Bush, the group says, will “share his passion for setting people free.” Last year, Glenn Beck was the star of the group’s fundraiser, which was held at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
That’s Bush’s idea of setting people free? Yikes.
Maybe that’s because he’s an addict. Is that it? He found Jesus helpful in getting free of addiction to alcohol, so he sees Jesus as setting people free in general? But one problem with that would be that not everyone is an addict.
At last year’s MJBI fundraiser, Beck received a “Defender of Israel” award. During Beck’s time as host of his Fox News program (which ended in 2011), hundreds of Jewish leaders denounced his on-air rhetoric as anti-Semitic—particularly his repeated invocation of Nazis and the Holocaust to demonize political adversaries and his accusation that George Soros is a “puppet master” who collaborated with the Nazis. “One of the reasons why I love Israel so much is I’m a guy who’s for the underdog,” Beck told the audience. “I’m a Mormon, which is kind of the Jew of the Christian world.”
Robert Morris, pastor of Gateway Church in Dallas, which Beck attends, introduced Beck as a “prophet” at the event. Morris told the crowd that his church has supported MJBI because “when we do this, the Bible tells us, it’s going to change the whole world. That it’s going to hasten the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, and it’s going to bring about worldwide revival.”
That’s where it gets dangerous.