A puzzling new term has been invented by the media: “Christian Rabbi.” If you’ve never heard of such a thing before, you’re in good company. (Prior to 3 days ago, I certainly had not.) While there is no such thing as a Christian Rabbi, it does fit when trying to describe an individual as confused and odd as Loren Jacobs.
Mr. Jacobs has been all over the news since he was invited to speak at a Michigan rally for political candidate Lena Epstein. Vice President Pence was also a guest, and it seems everyone involved now regrets it deeply.
During his remarks, Jacobs, who was supposed to be paying tribute to the Jewish victims from the Tree of Life shooting, went into a bizarre rant about Jesus. Mind you, his sole purpose for being there was to represent the Jewish community.
Here’s the thing: Jacobs is not a Rabbi, he is not a member of the Jewish community, and nobody in their right mind would consider him an authority on anything to do with Judaism.
To be considered a Rabbi, in any of the Jewish movements, it is mandatory that you attend a Jewish Seminary. The training, which last for 5 years, includes study of the Torah, Talmud, Mishnah, Jewish history, and Hebrew language, and usually includes studying in Israel for an extended period as well. Only then, after completing all of the above, can you be ordained as a Rabbi.
Jacobs has done none of these things. Instead, he chose to attend Moody Bible Institute—a Christian college—and then decided to form his own congregation, devoted to “Messianic” Judaism aka Jews for Jesus. Mrs. Jacobs, who is just as crazy as her husband, describes herself as a “fifth generation” enthusiast for the cause, per their website.
The Jewish community in Detroit, where they have lived since the 1980’s, wants nothing to do with them. Jacobs is not listed as member of the Michigan Board of Rabbis and is not recognized as such by any legitimate source. At one time, he was affiliated with the so-called Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations, but even they found him so offensive, that he was stripped of membership in 2003, due to an ethical violation.
Definitely, this is not a good guy, however you slice it. Why he was involved boggles the mind. The speech he gave, even more so. Whatever the intention, it has backfired big time.
If someone believes in Jesus as their Messiah, they are a Christian. That’s perfectly fine, nothing wrong with being a Christian, but you can’t believe in Jesus and be Jewish simultaneously. A child understands that. Loren Jacobs, who knows but chooses to ignore that very basic fact of life, should never be looked at as an authority figure. He is of low moral character, promotes teachings that are contrary to Judaism, and does not feel any shame in doing so.
He was never a Rabbi, he’s always been a kook, and going forward, he should be avoided like the plague he is. Lena Epstein, who is Jewish, should’ve known better. Either she didn’t care or didn’t know and that’s equally bad.
The Tree of Life victims, and everyone in the worldwide Jewish community who mourns for them, deserve more. I welcome prayers and support from the Christian community. I feel grateful to any Pastor that is publicly offering words of friendship and compassion. But I do not want a fake Rabbi spewing nonsense at such a vulnerable moment. It’s dangerous, hurtful, and unnecessary.
Loren Jacobs is the worst sort of fraud, who preys on people when they’re hurting the most, for this own gain. It’s absolutely repulsive. He can call himself a “Christian Rabbi” all he wants. The rest of us will call him what he is: a liar, a fraud, and an opportunist.