US Navy Tells Messianic Jewish Chaplain He Must Wear Cross


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usn.jpgObservant Jews have applauded the Navy’s decision regarding Michael Hiles, a Messianic Jew who applied to serve as a chaplain in the U.S. Navy.

Hiles was approved by the Navy to serve as a chaplain. However, when he showed up for training he was told to wear a cross on his insignia instead of the Luchos that all Jewish chaplains wear, due to indecision on the Naval board as to the correct insignia.

Hiles protested to commanders that as a Messianic Jew, he should be given the Jewish insignia. He asked that the Navy reconsider. He was told was told that the decision came from the senior Chaplain Command and nothing at that time could be done.

He was given the choice to wear the cross on his insignia, or leave the Navy. Hiles chose to leave.

The decision requiring Messianic Jews to wear the cross was made officially on November 26, 2008 by the President of the Navy Uniform Board, Vice Admiral M. E. Ferguson U.S. Navy Deputy Chief of Naval Operations.


  1. The “Messianic Jews” are nothing but a fraud, perpetrated by the evangelical issionary groups on the jewish communnity to confuse the ignorant into coverting from Judaism to Chritianity.

    Fraud, is Fraud, is Fraud–no matter what the label.

    Thank G-D, the navy is not cooperating with this deception!

  2. I agree 100% with the decision of the Navy Uniform Board. The Messianic movement is way too extreme in their beliefs and the Navy was right to not allow their representative to be labeled as a Jewish Chaplin.

  3. #4 simple answer…. they are Jewish people with the non Jewish mentality and belief that JC is the Messiah and will be coming back some day. The response by #3 could be correct and that the missionary Christians are the force beyond their movement. I for one as a non frum Jew finds this movement to be highly offensive.

  4. Virtually all Americans agree that the definition that to be a Christian, you believe in you know who,and by definition, a Jew doesn’t (unless he’s converted to Christianity, in which case he isn’t a Jew anymore – by their definitions). There’s no real hiddush in the matter.

    To say otherwise would result in a “racial” definition of Jewishness under which a frum (by military standards, probably never more the conservadox with a few exceptions) Jew descended from a ger would be considered a christian, and a christian who has Jewish ancestors (as many do) would be considered a Jew. Unless you’re a Nazi, that’s ridiculous.

  5. #4, “Messianic Jews” are Christians, usually Baptists, who pretend to be Jews in order to missionise. They believe everything that all Xians believe; many of them don’t even have Jewish mothers. The name, which implies that they’re normal Jews who just happen to believe that You-Know-Who was moshiach, is a fraud.

  6. “#4 simple answer…. they are Jewish people…”

    the vast majority are crastins who hold that crastianity is an outgrowth of Judiasm, and that their main guy is the Jewish Messiah. they use that belief to call themselves Jews, though they are crastns, in order to more effectively missionize.

    there are some Jews who have joined them.

  7. #10 I think that your answer although well intended is not completely correct. Sadly many if not most of the “Messianic Jews” are of Jewish mothers and have found this alternate view of who the Messiah is and will be… to be acceptable. Whether their mistaken views are fueled by genuine Christians and their desire to convert Jews to be Christians …well you could be correct .. I simply don’t know. In either case as I said before I find the whole movement to be offensive and could also agree with those who have called them frauds.

  8. As a ger who passed through the so-called messianic movement on his way from xianity to Judaism, I could add alot to this particular discussion. For now, suffice it to say that these messianics are difficult to categorize since they don’t have a set of common standards beyond a general adherence to xian theology. In my experience with the movement, though, most participants are goyim who have some kind of interest in things Jewish. Of course, they really don’t like people like me; people going the “other way” disrupt the work they are trying to do.

  9. We have always said they are not Jews they are xians. As much as “Messys” want to be us they can never be us. My honest opinion is that Messys are just a branch of Xianity. Simple.

  10. I don’t think the Navy’s point was to identify him as not Jewish, all they were doing was catering to their costumers; a Jewish serviceman doesn’t want a Messianic whatever as his chaplain.

  11. #1- very true! I’ve had many conversations with him, but I’m not sure if he had anything to do with this, as he’s Air Force, not Navy.

    And just for the record, this is already the policy of the U.S. Army and Air Force.

  12. Bravo!

    This is truth in advertising. Jews-for-Yashky are not selling Judaism, so they should not have a Jewish symbol on their uniforms.

    Understand that a LOT of people find religion when serving in the armed forces. And many secular Jews are not sure what to do – so messianic Xians do a lot of harm by preying on the ignorant Jewish soldier who looks for spiritual guidance.

    This single act certainly has saved Jewish neshamas. The Chaplain’s office of the United States Armed Forces has therefore saved the world.

    Yasher Koach!

  13. These “Messianics” should be banned, as in truth, they are not there to serve as a religion or any genuine population of believers. They are an organization that serves as another tactic of the church to harass Jews to believe in idolatry.

    Having removed a family from such a group, thank heavene, I have seen firsthand how their many members with Jewish surnames are not at all Jewish, suchas the Rabbi Vinnie Goldstein, I had the “privilege” of meeting.

    They are deceptive and prey on unlearned Jews by telling them that yushka was a meaningful Jewish philosopher and that they can believe in yushka and still be 100 per cent Jewish. Further along the line, the prey, in a large celebratory meeting, are told to accept yushka in the way of avodah zora. The peer pressure is immense.

    Again, this group is not a religion as much as it is a missionary group to steer Jews the wrong way. They refer to their efforts as “winning souls”.

    They should not have a chaplain status in the armed forces.

  14. Forget that they’re wrong about moshiach. That might be overlooked. But even those few that are actually jewish are davening to a human being. Nothing jewish about that.

  15. In regard to the so called “messianic jews” issue and our Jewish identity, the problem is not their theology, which is entirely xstian in nature, the essential issue or argument with the so called “Messianic Jews”, is their abuse of Jewish identity. This abuse of our Jewish identity is historically without precedent. Only recognized Jewish authorities have the right to determine the parameters of Jewish identity, not the evangelical xstians. Though there is some debate amongst Jewish “denominations” regarding the question “Who is a Jew?” There is no debate concerning who a Jew is not. Definitely a Jew is not a convert to another specifically recognized theological belief-system. The often organized efforts of fundamentalist and evangelical xstian groups to support not only the targeting of Jews for proselytizing, but also the redefining of Jewish identity through such groups as “Messianic Jews” it is perceived as a desperate intent in blurring the lines between Judaism and xtianity. It is also perceived as blatant intent in targeting jews for conversion. The bottom line is that we as Jews have the sole authority to decide who is a Jew and most definitely WHO IS NOT A JEW. Obviously a believer in j.c. as the messiah is absolutely not a Jew and the xtian definition of “messianic jews” as believers in this man-god is indisputable a sole xtian tenet. Please, do not insult my intelligence!

  16. This guy had no intention of being a chaplain to the chr*stians in the navy. His intention was to rope in secularized Jews and cause them (with or without their knowledge, mostlikely without) to fall into avodah zara. Frankly, its despicable and I’m dancing over the fact that the guy left.

    Now if only we could get a good rabbi (a real one) in there who could convince these young men and women to do Tshuva…