Sunday, May 18, 2008

Jews for Judaism explains Christian missionary tactics

Jersey Girl submitted the following:

According to Rabbi Michael Skobac, Education Director of the Toronto branch of Jews for Judaism, founding Director of the New York Branch of Jews for Judaism, as well as a consultant to the New York Jewish Community Relations Council Task Force on Missionaries and Cults from 1987 until moved to Toronto in 1991:

“Not all missionaries wear “Jews for Jesus” T-shirts, distribute religious tracts or wave the New Testament. Most evangelism is far more subtle. Many groups seeking to missionize Jews will insist that they have no such agenda, and instead they choose a more indirect route.

Two guiding principles drive their evangelism. Firstly, they assume that Jewish people resist the Christian message because Jews have been turned off as a result of 2,000 years of hostility by many of Jesus’ followers. If only these Evangelicals could get us to realize that “real” Christians love Jewish people, we’d find the Gospel irresistible.

Secondly, they sense that a great number of Jews have a very weak connection to Judaism, and that those who do affiliate with Judaism are expressing their culture or ethnicity, but possess little spiritual depth. They sense that many Jews may recite prayers out of a book during services, but will probably never speak to G-d in their own words once they leave the synagogue.

Deeply spiritual Christians feel that if Jewish people are exposed to their profoundly personal relationship with G-d, they will certainly, in the words of the New Testament, be “provoked to jealousy” and ultimately convert (Romans 11:11-15)".

For example, according to Rabbi Skobac:

Joe Dean, founder of an American Christian Zionist group has said:

“By standing with the Jewish people in love and support, we can provoke them to jealousy, as the apostle Paul said, so as to win them to Christ.

Not by cramming the Gospel down their throats, but by showing that our faith produces faithful works. I have told the Jewish agencies that we are not an evangelical group as such, and this is true. We are not actively trying to win Jews over to Christ—but by taking this stand, the Jewish people don’t run away from us, and we are able to witness to them indirectly,” he said.

Frank Eiklor, head of Shalom International, works tirelessly fighting anti-Semitism and drumming up support for Israel. He bristles at any suggestion that he has hidden agenda. Needless to say, fund-raising letters to his supporters tell another story:

“I want to see Christians wake up and stand up for the Jewish people. Only then will Jews be impressed and one day want Jesus as their Messiah! The key to Jewish hearts is unconditional love. More Jewish people are loving Jesus today than at any time in history, and we’re told that our ministry is a big reason for that happening,” he wrote.

Jan Willem van de Hoeven, of the Jerusalem-based International Christian Embassy, has insisted that converting Jews is anti-Christian.

“Jesus and the apostles didn’t seek to make their fellow Jews ‘Christians,’ but to make them ‘better Jews,’” he said.

In an interview with the New York Times, Mr. van de Hoeven explained that those Jews who are converted under his group’s influence “remained faithful to their roots and to Israel.” How does he square converting to Christianity with faithfulness to Judaism?

In Canada, Christians for Israel is one of about a half-dozen similar pro-Israel organizations. They seek to educate Christians about two vital issues. Firstly, the importance of the return of Jewish people to Israel is a major sign pointing to the “end times,” and secondly that Christians must oppose anti-Semitism around the world and work to support Israel and Jewish people everywhere materially and spiritually.

One of their major efforts has been to partner with Exodus Project to assist Jews in the Ukraine in immigrating to Israel. Is there an agenda behind their admirable projects? Their publication, Christians for Israel Today, constantly speaks about how these good works will “provoke the Jews to jealousy.”

For Jews, this is a troubling refrain, especially in light of its New Testament implications.

At a Christians for Israel program, Rev. Willem Glashouwer gushed as he described how Christian volunteers for the Exodus Project “shared the love of Jesus” with homebound Jews.

Paul Wilbur, a “Hebrew Christian” recording artist, exulted as he described how “one of my dear friends is in Haifa today, to establish a Russian-speaking congregation to receive these immigrants.”

They’re clothing these immigrants with a ministry called “Tests of Mercy” and they’re bringing them into the salvation knowledge of Yeshua, he said.

“In Odessa in the Ukraine, three years ago in just three days we saw over 30,000 Jewish people come to know Jesus! They’re getting on the Christians for Israel buses and coming back to the land of Israel. The word of G-d says, ‘How can they believe unless someone preaches, and how can he preach unless he is sent?’ We can’t send ourselves, but you can send us,” he pleaded.

Leading “messianic rabbis” were also featured guests on a Christians for Israel cruise. The magazine, Christians for Israel Today included a full-page ad for the “Hebrew Christian” missionary program to honor the 50th anniversary of Israel that took place in Orlando.

Rev. John Tweedie, Vice-President of Christians for Israel International assured me that his organization will no longer include “Hebrew Christian” leaders in their programs. Was this a principled decision based upon their opposition to such groups, or simply a tactical move to appease the Jewish community?

Should we be concerned about the motivations of Evangelicals who extend themselves on behalf of Israel and Jewish people? If we don’t place any stock in the multitude of Christian speculations about various apocalyptic developments, who cares if they believe that their support of Israel will hasten the Rapture or the Battle of Armageddon?

However, if we suspect that they are “making nice” in order to lubricate the conversion process, why should we play along?

Most Jews lack the vital knowledge to penetrate the Christian Zionists’ rhetoric and “unconditional love.” And as a result we are ALL at risk of being “provoked to jealousy” which will lead to their (or their grandchildren’s) possible conversion to Christianity.


  1. Can somebody please refer me to sources (not later Achronim)which illustrate Shobbos observance as a criterea for judging a conversion. I mean an example mentioned outside of apostacy.

  2. While no expert on the matter the biggest trick I see christian missionaries using on jews is the "jesus was a jew" and acceptance of jesus as the jewish messiah.

    Of course he wasn't the messiah but that's a lesser matter of concern.

    Christians ultimately want Jews to accept Jesus as G-d.

  3. Very good article about Jews and Judaism explains who the Christian people love the Christianity. So in Judaism express their ideas about the Jews and their families, accepting the Christian people. Can anyone help this matter.
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