Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Proselytizing - Purpose of countermissionaries


I am completely misunderstood. As a countermissionary, people think that it's my goal in life to make people miserable, to persecute poor Christians living in our country and to tell people what they should believe. Nothing could be further from the truth. People think that a countermissionary's raison d'être is to destroy freedom of religion and to create within Israel a state similar to that of the Muslim countries that surround us, where no one has any freedom to believe anything other than those beliefs held by the thugs who hold power. Again, wrong. Some people think I hate Christians. Wrong also.

Believe it or not, the purpose of a countermissionary is ultimately to improve Jewish-Christian relations. As it says in Robert Frost's poem, "Mending Wall," good fences make good neighbors. By teaching Jews why we are not Christians and by teaching Christians to respect our boundaries, we improve relations between the two faiths. Blurring the lines between the two faiths doesn't serve to bridge the gap caused by fear and misunderstanding; it weakens Judaism and causes Christians to have less respect for the Jewish people. Breaking down the walls breaks down the distinctiveness and the different callings of each faith system, and only fosters more hatred and fear.

The purpose of the countermissionary is to strengthen the Jewish people and to teach Christians that we have reasons for choosing to reject their faith. When they can understand and accept this, we can progress to a level of rejecting their faith without rejecting them as people, and the two peoples can live side-by-side in mutual respect and understanding, agreeing to disagree.

WHEN WE say that it should be illegal to proselytize in Israel, we are not saying that a Christian doesn't have the right to believe as he wishes or even to worship God as he sees fit. What we are saying is that a Jew has the right to live in the Jewish state in freedom, without needing to worry about being harassed by someone trying to convince him that his faith is not good enough, that he needs to accept Christianity's concept of God to be able to even have a relationship with God in the first place, or that his child will be convinced to abandon the faith of his forefathers.[...]

1 comment :

  1. the Monsey TzadikJuly 7, 2009 at 9:30 PM

    ...as it says in Robert Frost's poem, "Mending Wall," good fences make good neighbors.

    I always thought on the person described in Mending Wall as sort of Scrooge, never share, never smile and always complaining.

    I am surprised to see the author of the article uses the character in poem as something to admire.

    In any case, the reason that religion is flourishing in the United States is that we do not have a state religion, all the religions need to compete in the market place.

    The author of the article should learn how to convince "searching" Jews that her religion is better than other religions


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