Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Missionary Vaccine

In Israel and the United States, missionary attempts on Jews are reaching a fever-pitch. Evangelical Christians are using every technique they possess, including converting the elderly in nursing homes, in order to lure Jews to the Cross. Scandalously, missionaries are preparing to inaugurate a new Christian Russian-language TV network will be inaugurated next month in Israel. This station is aimed at the Russian Jewish public, many of whom are painfully ignorant of their Jewish heritage following decades of Soviet oppression, as well as content aimed at children.

Incredibly, many young Jews are tragically falling for this Messianic deception, trading their heritage for a pot of lentils. Why is it that unprecedented numbers of Jews are crossing a line that their grandparents would have never dared to cross, whereas in previous generations, despite oppression and force, few Jews accepted the Christian faith? Even under the harshest conditions, which could almost complete disappear upon baptism, most Jews clung tightly to their faith. Forced conversionist sermons, decreed by the Church to be held in synagogues on shabbat, had little effect on Jews. What went wrong?

The answer is simple: today's generation of Jews prefers a strong, passionate Christianity to a watered-down, diluted Judaism. Most Jews have no exposure to authentic Jewish practice and belief, and have at best memories of bubbeh and zaideh, or resentment at being forced to attend afternoon school or "temple". An entire generation of Jews has grown up simply having no idea what Judaism is- and they have no idea what Judaism is not. To understand why the "Judaism" of the "temple rabbis" has no appeal to young people, one need only read this interview. The empty, vapid cultural Judaism has nothing to offer, complete with all its trappings of "bar mitzvah", trying to be accepted, and "Christmukkah".

It is essential to comprehend what Judaism is not before learning what it is. Judaism is not a culture, and eating gefilte fish or watching Fiddler on the Roof will not keep Jews Jewish. Cultural Judaism is a dead-end which leads to the travesties of trying to incorporate Jewish rituals at mixed-marriages, or of lighting the Chanukiyah next to the Christmas tree. Judaism is not secular Israeli nationalism, and Jews unfounded in Jewish concepts and ideals will find it increasingly difficult to accept the idea of a Jewish state. Not rooted in Jewish thought, many young Jews in the Diaspora are becoming uncomfortable with the Zionist dream. The secularization of Judaism, through "culture" as well as Zionism unfounded in Torah, is a goat-path to nowhere, a nihilistic road to assimilation and intermarriage. The millions of Jews who gave up their lives throughout history screaming the Shemah did not die for kugel or knishes.

Judaism is a covenant with G-d, established when G-d appeared before the entire nation of Israel at Sinai and presented them with His Torah. It has been, and continues to be, the way of life for the religious Jew. It is an all-encompassing system that pertains to all aspects of life, infusing them with G-dliness and holiness. When a Jew is committed to his G-d and his Torah, missionary arguments with fall on deaf ears. A Jew has no need for an intermediary between him and G-d because he knows that by keeping the mitzvot, he creates a personal relationship with G-d. He has no need for foreign waters from impure wells because he drink from the Torah, the source of living waters. Only by returning to the faith of our forefathers will our children be immune to conversion attempts.

To any Jew who is considering converting to the Messianic religious, I ask you: say Shemah, lay tefillin, keep kosher and observe Shabbat. Learn Torah with a rabbi or a study-partner. Immerse yourselves in the healing waters of the Torah and drink deeply from it. Experience true Jewish spirituality. This is the best and most sure vaccine against missionaries.

6 comments:

samuel said...

Accurate. Good post.

Dan - Israeli Uncensored News said...

You're right about passionate Christianity. And in many respects, Christians are more religious than Jews. The corrupt religious establishment don't want to finance efficient outreach programs because they would bring forward maverick rabbis.

tal@israel said...

to accept christianity for jews means to assimilate and then it means for us to dissapear as nation. i am regular secular jew, but i respect traditions and my roots...

Marshall Art said...

Hello again, Avi,

I noticed this site while checking back to see if you've responded to a comment of mine at one of your other blogs. I take it that "moshiach" is perhaps the same as "messiah"? Yes? No?

In any case, you seem to be passionate in your defense of your faith against what you perceive to be "incessant attacks" and "trickery" in the spread of the Gospel to Jews. Let me state that I stand with you against such tactics as they are decidedly unChristian. There is no Scriptural support for deception in preaching the Word.

However, I do have some issues with that passion of yours. It comes dangerously close to a parallel the vitriol of muslims in their disparaging of BOTH of our faiths.

I would imagine the following isn't a new slant for you, but the teachings of Jesus Christ isn't a new, different or disparate religion or faith, but rather the natural progression of the faith; what the Law was supposed to mean, how it was supposed to be applied in our every day lives, etc.

And if Jesus ISN'T the Messiah, what is the Messiah to look like, how is He to manifest in our midst and what will be his purpose, both for Jew and Gentile?

I'll be frank with you: I hope everyone, including you, comes to Christ. But I don't believe that God will forget His convenant with His people. How that'll work out exactly I'm not prepared to say. I certainly don't have knowledge enough of orthodox Judaism to understand the argument against Christian claims from that perspective. (Perhaps you could suggest a tome with what you consider to be bulletproof arguments that would help me with that understanding.)

But for now, I'll just reiterate that the average Christian does not see a Jew coming to Christ as having forsaken anything. Nor do we entertain thoughts of eradicating anyone who might try to "convert" us away from Christ. On that score, you need to freakin' grow up.

Anonymous said...

"The Truth About Moshiach"
Born in Beit Lechem ..Micah 5:2
490 years after the decree to "build again the temple" Dan.9:25 time turned. C.E.
the stone the builders refused is become the cornerstone Ps. 118:22
he is still being rejected by you.
"Shema Israel, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai ECHAD!" you can't have ECHAD unless you first have a plurality. "Let us make man in OUR image."
His is "Beit tephilla col Ha Amim" a house of prayer for all people.
Isaiah 56:7
Messiah is the essence of Pesach.
"Behold the lamb of G-d which taketh away the sin of the world"
Isaiah 53
Baruch haba B'shem Adonai.
Shalom, Evan.

David said...

It is true that Jews do not need to convert to Christianity, but it would be good for them to open their eyes and minds to ways of looking at G-d. In fact, as Baba Sali and others have predicted Moshiach has already arrived this year. Each person needs to recognize Moshiach for himself. This may not be that easy, since he will appear as an ordinary man, still incognito, until most people acknowledge him. The way to recognize him is thru his words or the message that he brings - the message of peace, brotherhood and justice. See http://www.moshiachishere.org/