Christians Unite for the Conversion of the Jews
Posted July 20, 2007
July 19, 2007
Some of the men will be wearing yarmulkes, and the women, all modestly dressed, will be dancing in the isles to the rhythmic sound of an Israeli musical beat. Shouts of "Shabbat shalom!" will be heard as participants joyfully great each other under colorful banners filled with Hebrew words and Stars of David. If this all sounds like an upcoming Zionist convention, think again. And although Jews who don't believe in Jesus are not invited, we are the subject of this entire symposium.
Are you Jewish and confused? That is what participants of the upcoming "Road to Jerusalem" conference are hoping for. Converted Jews --so called "Messianics" --and prominent gentile Christians are gathering in Virginia this coming weekend in order to unite their efforts to evangelize the world's unsaved Jews to Christianity.
At first glance, their banner headline "Bringing Peace & Reconciliation to Jews and Gentiles in Messiah" reads ecumenical enough. But the word "messiah" in this banner only means the Christian one, others need not apply. The folks attending this gathering are seeking to unite their efforts and target Jews for conversion.
Two of the speakers at the weekend conference which begins on July 20 call themselves "Rabbi," but as you would suspect, neither of them attended a rabbinical school and one of them isn't even Jewish. The other speakers at the conference are heavy hitters in the Christian Zionist world who are seeking to place "Messianic Jews first" in their effort to bring the Jews to the Cross.
The Messianic movement, whose churches and membership have grown exponentially over the past three decades, seek to blur the distinctions between Judaism and Christianity. They call Jesus "Yeshua," their churches "synagogues," and their ministers "rabbis" in order to lure vulnerable Jews who would otherwise reject a straightforward Christian message. To the horror of Jewish communities worldwide, it is an effort that has been enormously successful, and the cost in terms of Jewish souls is dear.
There were not many stellar moments in Jewish-Christian relations over the past month. Last week Pope Benedict XVI issued a directive authorizing the use of an archaic Latin prayer service which includes a prayer for the conversion of the Jews. But the Catholics aren't planning to do much more than ask Jesus for help in removing "the veil from the hearts of the Jews" and overcoming their "blindness." They are just going to talk to Jesus about it, nothing else. They're not planning any workshops on how to convert their accountants, and Catholic priests aren't preparing to dress up like Chasidic rabbis in order to witness to yeshiva boys. The Vatican is taking a few steps back in time and keeping it in the church.
These fundamentalist Protestants, on the other hand, are doers. Their plan is to talk to Jesus and then get out on the streets in major Jewish communities worldwide in an effort to convince the Chosen people that we chose the wrong religion.
The practitioners of Jewish evangelism are aggressive spiritual predators that will stop at nothing to harvest the Jews for the Cross. They may love our Jewish state, but they abhor our Jewish faith. And although they consider Judaism defective, they will freely borrow from our Jewish symbols and traditions in order to set us straight on their narrow path to fundamentalist Christianity.
As Jews work with Christians in our effort to strengthen Israel , we must make it clear to our evangelical friends that our new-found relationship can only flourish on a firm foundation of genuine mutual respect and understanding. The repeated Christian proclamation "We love the Jewish people" must include "and we respect your Jewish faith" in order for our two peoples to stand together for Zion 's sake.