Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Support- yes; Missionizing- no


Over two weeks ago, a rabbinic ban was placed on the controversial Knesset Christian Allies Caucus Women's Council Summit. According to the Summit's organizers, the goals of the summit are:
To bring to the attention of the people of Israel the unqualified support Christians have given, and continue to give, to Jewish aspirations in the Land of Israel.

To provide Christian and Israeli leaders with a Knesset forum where they can meet face-to-face, and so enhance communication and co-operation between them.

To reach out to all Christians in order to mobilize support for Israel

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That sounds all good and nice but many of the organizers of the Summit see it as a good opportunity to spread the "Word" in Israel. The co-chairwoman of the summit, Kay Arthur of Precept Ministries, is on record for having proclaimed on 60 Minutes that, "The Jews need conversion." The moderator of the event sees Jews for Jesus as a future participant.
So what should the Jewish reaction to Evangelical support of Israel be? Can we accept support, help and love while forbidding missionization? Won't that make us a look like users? Three months ago, Evangelical radio host Jannet Parshall expressed concern that Israel's position would essentially be "We'll take your aid, your support and your tourist dollars, but we won't take your Jesus." Parshall eventually withdrew from the conference because she found that its anti-missionary policy was unacceptable.
We Jews are again caught between a rock and a hard place- or in this case Katyushas and "Kosher Christians" ready to spread the "Word". We are faced with the physical threat of Arab missiles and bombs while at the same time, an equal threat of sprirital destruction. With hundreds of missionaries proliferating throughout the Land and converting at-risk Jews, can we risk giving strength and legitimacy to these spiritual terrorists? On the other hand, can we reject the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews coming to the rescue with a NIS 6.5 million donation to Sderot?
My answer to Evangelical supporters of Israel is thank you very much, your help is very appreciated. If you are motivated by your faith to help the Jewish People, then thanks. However, if you hide behind a garb of friendship and seek to love us to death, I say to you: "I am a Jew. I have my own faith just as you have yours. I do not need any Christian deity to make me complete or saved. My Judaism is kosher without any salvation from you. I have a Torah and a religion and I demand that you respect it just as you would expect that I would respect yous."
If you come to trick me by telling me, as many missionaries do, that I can be Jewish and Christian at the same time, then I answer with the Prophet Elijah's words: 'How long will you hesitate between two beliefs? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.' In other words, either you are a Christian or a Jew; you can't be both. If you, Evangelical Zionist, wish to help Israel, help us physically. In matters of religion, over 4000 years of Jewish survival and continuity shows that we can more that handle ourselves.

7 comments:

Michael said...

Bravo, Bar Kochba! Very well summarized.

Personally, I think that "We'll take your aid, your support and your tourist dollars, but we won't take your Jesus," should be our policy. After all, the "aid, support, and tourist dollars" are genuine expressions of friendship. We want it, we like it, we appreciate it and the people it comes from.

As for Jesus, well, like you said, In matters of religion, over 4000 years of Jewish survival and continuity shows that we can more that handle ourselves.

On my blog, I have a small section of links to Christian Zionists. I've found that they're interesting to talk to, truly do support Israel and it's people, and, when confronted with someone who simply doesn't want to to be "missionized," actually do take "No" for an answer.

It's important for us, as Jews, to remember that there is no such thing as a monolithic "Evangelical" community, though, just as "the Jewish community" isn't monolithic. Evangelicals have their divisions and schisms, too, and it's up to us to find, recognize, and welcome those who would support us without missionizing.

WomanHonorThyself said...

Michael is right on target!..great stuff Bar.:)

Elmer's Brother said...

yes very well said michael...as a Christian who supports Israel and the Jewish people I believe that if someone were to say that's not for me than I must respect that person's wishes.

Brooke said...

Very nice.

I am also a Christian who supports Israel. I am full of my own faults, but never would I 'evangelize' someone to death. You cannot browbeat someone into a faith.

Besides, we all know who likes to evangelize folks to death... Usually at the end of a knife or bomb belt.

FLORIAN said...

I'm pretty much in agreement with all who are here. My heart says I wish Jews (whom I love more than any other group of people--honestly) would accept their Messiah, but it's not my job to evangelize either. Jews and Christians are allies, not enemies.


disclaimer: For those who are offended that I proclaim Yeshua to be the Messiah, I'm sorry. But it's not the first time I've offended somebody.

Bar Kochba said...

Author's note:
The belief that J.C, is the Moshiach has no place in Judaism since he had no qualifications of the Moshiach and fulfilled none of the requirements. For a Jew to accept him as the Son of G-d is blasphemous and idolatry. More info can be found on the jewish view of J.C. and Christianity at www.jewsforjudaism.com and www.jdstone.org

Disclaimer: For those who are offended that I declare Hashem to be One and Indivisible without any "Sons" or intermediaries, I'm sorry. But it's not the first time that I've offended anyone.

Always On Watch Two said...

Interesting post.

IMO, cramming any faith down another's throat is not the way to honor one's God.

BTW, I am an evangelical Christian who supports Israel. But I'm the ask-me-and-I'll-tell-you variety.