Two steps forward, x steps back…

Jewschool reports that the World Evangelical Alliance has affirmed its mission to express its undying love for Jews by …attempting to convert them to Christianity.

“We deeply regret the all too frequent persecution of Jewish people in Jesus’ name,” the declaration begins.

“During the genocide of the Holocaust, when the Jewish people were in their greatest peril, most Christian believers were silent,” it continues.

“Many more today feel embarrassment and shame for the general failure to protest. As a result, there is an evident insecurity about relations with Jewish people. Also, there is a tendency to replace direct gospel outreach with Jewish-Christian dialogue,” the declaration adds.

In essence, they deeply regret that the drive to convert Jews through violence is, essentially, to try to convert Jews through non-violence. The really warped thing is that, at least what I gleaned from the comments, they seem to think they’re doing us a favor. Here’s a hint: you’re not. Ramping down the evangelism, period, is what ushered in a new age of Jewish-Christian relations, not evangelizing “out of love”.

No matter the evangelical’s complete lack of understanding of what Jewish scriptures means to Jews, we don’t need en masse “liberation” from the obligation of performing mitzvot and tikkun olam. Jews for whom Christianity holds more meaning will likely call you. Leave the rest of us, at the very least me, the hell alone.

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3 Responses

  1. One of my Christian acquaintances—who himself does not engage in this kind of behaviour—tried to explain other Christians who do it thus: “If I had a really beautiful gift, what kind of person would I be if I didn’t want to share it with you?”

    There’s really no good response to this other than “Thanks, but no thanks.” You’ll avail yourself nothing by going through Benzion Kravitz’s “Jews for Judaism” point-by-point refutation of Christian doctrine, and it’s incredibly insulting to other people nonetheless to tell them that their whole religion is fundamentally without merit. That’s exactly what Christian missionaries who try to convert Jews think, in a fundamental way, about Judaism—that it is incomplete, and that they can help you complete your personal Judaism—and shouldn’t reasonable people be above that kind of thing?

  2. Agreed – my fiancee’s family is Catholic and it would unquestionably be disrespectful to them to take that same approach. I mostly, more than anything, object to the arrogance there, that Christians understand the Jewish scriptures so much better than Jews that they know Judaism is incomplete.

  3. Agreed. There’s some really interesting post-Holocaust Christian literature (primarily, but not entirely, Catholic) that tries to formulate how to create a new Jewish/Christian relationship that isn’t based on dominance or evangelism. That’s the only way that the relationship will work. These people need to get out of my face.

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