1782Re: Jews for Jesus
- Sep 22, 2007Robert Nusom,
<< I am afraid that I have to agree with Mr. Tillman on this one. In
my opinion, Jews for Jesus or the "Messianic Jewish" movement or
whatever name they go by at any given moment is not about Judaism,
but Christianity. >>
I never said that Jews for Jesus represents the religion called
Judaism. I said that the organization represented Jews who believe in
<< It is a window dressing for Christianity that, whatever Christians
want to believe, still adheres to Paul's ridiculous assessment of the
Mosaic Law being a "curse". >>
You're off to a flying start, labeling Paul's view "ridiculous"
without first making sure you have understood it (on the dangers of
doing this, see the Jewish wise saying found in Proverbs 18:13).
Paul never said that the Mosaic Law was a curse. He said that those
who rely on their performance of the works required by the Law as
their basis for being right before God are under a curse (Gal. 3:10).
The Messiah, Paul said, redeemed us from this "curse of the Law"--
meaning, not that the Law is a curse, but that the Law pronounces a
curse on those who seek to justify themselves (Gal. 3:13).
<< There is no basis in the Hebrew Scriptures for such a
presumption. The Mosaic Law is a blessing, it is what sets the
Hebrew people aside as God's Priestly people. >>
Paul likewise affirmed that the Law is holy, righteous, and good
(Rom. 7:12). The problem is not with the Law, but with us. Paul is
absolutely clear on this point. It isn't the Law's fault that we
cannot be saved by Law-keeping.
<< Of course, there are many other aspects of the so-called "Jews for
Jesus" movement that make it absolutely incompatible with Judaism,
but the above is enough to establish it absolutely as abhorrent to
the Jewish faith. God taught the Jewish people that the law is
forever, not that it is a temporary thing. Jews, real Jews understand
The Law as a revelation of God and his holiness is forever. The Law
as the constitutive form of the covenant between God and his people
is not forever, because God's own prophets revealed his intention to
make a new covenant with them (Jer. 31:31-33). That is the
everlasting covenant (Jer. 32:40).
<< God also says that he is the God "I am", not the God "We are". >>
Well, God does say, in the Hebrew Scriptures, "Let us" and "one of
us" (Gen. 1:26; 3:22). Christians fully affirm that there is only one
God. We simply hold that God has revealed himself to be more complex
than a simple unitarian conception would indicate.
<< This is a subject for which I feel great passion. >>
I don't wish to discount your feelings, but passionate rejection of
something you don't understand adequately is problematic.
<< I have looked at the "Jews for Jesus" movement as well as those
who try to soften its image by calling themselves "Messianic Jews"
or "completed Jews". It is a movement steeped in dishonesty and
Sadly, the truth is that your criticisms are steeped in
misunderstanding and caricature.
<< it is financed by Christians, follows a dogma that is defined by
Christians and seeks to pervert cultural Jewish symbolism and
language into paganism. >>
This simply is not true. You are in effect saying that Christianity
is pagan. Even many Orthodox Jews would disagree with such a judgment.
<< The fault, though, is not in the Christians who try to "witness"
to God's chosen people or even in those unfortunate Jews who are
seduced to a belief system that is only marginally acceptable even
for Gentiles. The fault lies squarely on the shoulders of the
leadership of the so-called "reformed" or "conservative" Jewish
movements. These movements have rejected much of the law that God
gave Moses and in so doing choose not to teach their adherents from
the Tanach but almost exclusively from the Talmud and the Midrash.
Their adherents are told of the wonders of the Tanach, they are
taught that it is the word of God, but they are taught nothing of
what it says. Instead they are taught cute little Hebrew prayers and
how to light a candle or what to say at which event. They are given
exta-biblical accounts of stories from the Tanach without delving
into the scriptures at all. >>
I think our views of these non-Orthodox versions of Judaism are
pretty similar. I would agree that they have abandoned historic
elements of the religion of Judaism.
<< Interestingly, while I have seen many "Jews for Jesus" claim that
they were once Orthodox Jews, I have yet to see that claim actually
hold up. In truth it always turns out that maybe their parents were
Orthodox or more likely, their grandparents were. Perhaps they have
an aunt or an uncle who was, but they never were. >>
This is an interesting generalization. How many of these claims have
you investigated? Have you actually contacted Jews for Jesus to ask
them if they have members who were bona fide Orthodox Jews prior to
believing in Jesus?
<< When a Christian tries to show his "proof texts" to an Orthodox
Jew, he gets a patiently induced chuckle, followed by a real
explanation, in context, as to the meaning of the Scripture.
Usually, then the missionary moves on to easier victims. >>
I wonder how you know this.
For myself, I have offered some arguments on this discussion list in
favor of interpreting Isaiah 53 as referring to an individual
Israelite. If you think this view is easily refuted, feel free to
review and refute my arguments.
<< Sadly, it is rare that the missionary really listens to the Jew,
as I have. >>
I'm a little confused. Are you an Orthodox Jew? If not, why not?
In Christ's service,
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