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    Jewish leaders angry over Chosen People Ministries' Messianic outpost


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    Jewish leaders angry over Chosen People Ministries' Messianic outpost

    Post  Arik on Sun Nov 07, 2010 3:32 pm

    Jewish leaders angry over Chosen People Ministries' Messianic outpost

    BY Ben Chapman and Elizabeth Lazarowitz


    Plans by a group that melds Judaism with evangelical Christian beliefs to open a new religious center in heavily Orthodox Jewish Flatbush has some residents hopping mad.

    Chosen People Ministries, which calls itself a Messianic Jewish organization, purchased a former Jewish funeral home on Coney Island Ave. for $2.1 million earlier this year.

    By the spring, the 11,000-square-foot building and its 150-seat sanctuary will host Jewish-style Christian worship services and a theological training program linked to a Christian evangelical seminary.

    Local Jewish leaders and residents fear the center would give the group a stronghold from which it could proselytize in the Orthodox community.

    "We wouldn't put up a booth in Vatican City and try to convert the Christians to our religion," said Eli Horowitz, a schoolteacher who lives near the future site of the Brooklyn Messianic Center. "I find it offensive."

    The Manhattan-based group already has a small outpost in the neighborhood, where it mainly serves the area's Russian Jews.

    Chosen People president Mitch Glaser said it plans to hold English language classes and drug and alcohol abuse counseling at the new location, and will add English-language services to its current Russian ones.

    He denied, though, that the group was looking to convert Orthodox Jews in particular.

    "It's not Crown Heights. It's not Borough Park. It's not even the heart of Midwood. ... It just happened that this was a good spot for us," Glaser said. "Do I want our fellow Jewish people to have an opportunity to learn about [Jesus] and even believe he's the Messiah? I would say, unequivocally, yes."

    For some in the neighborhood, that is precisely the issue.

    "Peace, love and all that, but these people are here to convert us," said Delavar Omidfar, 23, a student who lives near the center's future site. "They're going to target the weak and try and make inroads. It's distasteful."

    Some Jewish leaders said they take particular issue with the group because it is what Glaser calls "a very Jewish version" of evangelical Christianity.

    "It's Christianity with a Jewish veneer. We have a problem with that because that's actively deceitful," said Jewish activist and Flatbush resident Michael Verschleisser, who lives in Flatbush. "There's a lot that they want to do with that place, but ultimately the goal is evangelism."

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    Re: Jewish leaders angry over Chosen People Ministries' Messianic outpost

    Post  Yehudah on Sun Nov 07, 2010 7:15 pm


    ...trying to actualize my potential!

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