An Anglican Shofar?

When I was a youth pastor, my church occasionally hosted an “ecumenical” worship service that moved around the Twin Cities in an attempt to unite Christians in worship.  (Truth be told, the monthly service was dominated by Pentecostals who danced, sang, and spoke in glossolalia.)  The Minnesota population of Messianic Jews is pretty darn small, and most of them came to this worship. 

One Sunday night, when we hosted the worship, I brought the youth group and we sat in the balcony.  Our kids were intrigued by the scarf-twirling dancers and the tongues, and they entered into the singing readily.

But then a rabbi-looking guy (who turned out to be a Messianic Jewish pastor) took to the middle of the stage and blew a shofar into the microphone.  At that point a girl from our group (whom I did not know) abruptly got up and ran from the sanctuary, followed out by a boy from our group.  When he came back in, he explained that the girl was his girlfriend, that she was Jewish, and that he had brought her to church that night for the first time.  She left because she had taken great offense to the blowing of the shofar.  She explained to him that it’s very holy — it’s only supposed to be blown on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, not just any old time there’s a break in the worship music.  She was in the parking lot, sitting in the boy’s car, crying.

He drove her home and, as you might guess, she never again accompanied him to church.

It was with that in mind that I read in The Revealer that the breakaway conservative Anglican Church of North America blew a shofar to announce their divorce from the the Episcopal Church.  Money quote:

as these Anglicans create something new — a church actually founded on
its rejection of queers, a movement opposed to the marriage of two men
growing out of a denomination built on a divorce — they declare
themselves part of something very, very old, as if Joshua’s men blew
their horns outside Jericho because they foresaw Bishop Gene Robinson
several thousand years down the road.

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  • Related: Some may be interested in the letter of John Chane, Bishop of Washington, about this matter, posted here:

  • Wow. That is a great example of ecclesiastical misappropriation. I have long been “weirded out” by quasi-Jewish elements seeminly “slapped into” Pentecostal worship led by self-proclaimed Messianic Jews who happen to be Gentiles.

  • Paul Martin

    Embarassing, for them and us by association. Nothing tops exclusionism, except possibly exclusionism tied to ignorance. Maybe I got those two reversed.

  • Bronwyn BErry

    First, the weping girl was Biblically inaccurate. THe shofar was blown in Biblical time in times of trial , distress, worship , joy. THere are several scriptures which admonish the believer to blow the trumpet in Zion. Her tears were not shed from real knowledge of the Bible and traditions of Israel. Second, Messianic Jews do not lose their lineage because of their love of Jesus. On the contrary, one can argue that their acceptance of the MEssiah, Jesus, makes them the only real Jews according to the concerns of Yahweh, the GOd of Israel who commanded the acceptance of the Messiah. THird, ANglicans are being faithful to Jesus when they refuse to accept homosexuality as normal and follow Jesus’ teaching to abstain from sexual sin. THe rejection of homosexuality in the BIble is absolute. THe forgivness of Jesus and his ability to heal deliver and set fre are also absolute. THousands of former homosexuals have ben set free from the bondage of homosexuality by Jesus. GOod news! there is no pit too deep that Jesus will not rescue you from. Godsped to the Anglicans in their new province. May the LOrd increase their devotion and their numbers.

  • Even as these Anglicans create something new — a church actually founded on its rejection of queers, a movement opposed to the marriage of two men growing out of a denomination built on a divorce
    What a load of idiocy, this.
    I’m no defender of Anglicanism (I’m a Reformed Babdist), but this is stupid. ‘Tis the liberal Episcopals who are breaking away and creating something totally new – a denomination in which biblical definitions of sin and judgment (which directly affects the definitions of redemption and justification) are largely ignored. It is indeed these Anglicans’ biblical responsibility to break away from those who have refused to be corrected by God’s Word.
    The fact that the breakaway from biblical truth is illustrated by the acceptance of gay marriage and homosexuality as acceptable and good lifestyle does not mean it’s centered around that. It’s a symptom of the much wider problem – leaving the Scripture behind.

  • The anaology of the Shofar and the new province is just so much pure bunk! The gay bishop was just the final straw. The break is over authority of scripture as any objective individual knows and will admit.

  • The problem here is really that modern Judaism ignores Torah in favor of the traditions of men. Numbers 10 clearly states:
    “When convening the assembly, however, you shall blow without sounding an alarm. … Also in the day of your gladness and in your appointed feasts, and on the first days of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings , and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; and they shall be as a reminder of you before your God. I am the LORD your God.” (vv. 7, 10)
    Certainly, this is more than Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The Shofar is our heritage, our joy, amd yes, our duty to blow “when convening the assembly… in the day of your gladness and in your appointed feasts, and on the first days of your months.” And it is fully in keeping with the writings of the Prophets and even rabbinic interpretation that prayer and worship today are our offerings on the altar, at the very least until a Temple is back in place on Temple Mount.

  • I was amused by the comment from my fellow reform Babdist (love that term!) and agree with him completely. When the Episcopalian national convention was in Minneapolis (4 years ago? Five?), a local TV channel interviewed a female Episcopalian minister, all dolled up in her flowing robe and sash and related accessories. In regard to the election of Gene Robinson, the homosexual who left his wife and daughter in order to have an open live-in relationship with his “partner” (interesting word for a sinful relationship), she declared that “God is doing a marvelous new work in the church, and we’re on the cutting edge. Scripture needs to be rewritten in light of modern understandings.” My colleague is right…it’s the Anglicans who are leaving God, not the other way around.
    By the way, I deal with this subject in my new (gripping, if I may be so immodest) end-times novel. Check it out if you wish at
    Hale Meserow