Every once in a while I get a message from a random user on Youtube who actually seems genuine enough to have a spiritual conversation with me. Or so it seems… Usually such messages start with a large introduction about themselves and how they were raised religious in church or in a family that celebrated some holidays. Their message usually ends with some sort of invitation for me to explain to them why I believe in God or more specifically why I am a Jew for Jesus. Here is the thing that always gets me going, when I challenge whatever world view they have, usually a western secular with Christian roots, the user always gets defensive or even offended. Now I personally am not trying purposely to offend or tiptoe over possibly offensive issues, it just seems like the basic gospel is unknown to the average American and when they finally hear it, they get a sour taste in their mouth.
Some interesting conversations have come about in the last week or so. I have been speaking to ethaneros1 on Youtube, he has revealed to me that he calls himself a Christian and Hates Jews because of their sin against Jesus. In many posts I have tried to reason with him that Jesus has called true believers to love their enemy and forgive. It is much easier to Judge than it is to forgive and ethaneros1 has taken it on himself to be the Judge of God and hate the Jewish people including those who have come to faith in Jesus. Today he called me a wolf in sheep’s clothing, good times.
Antisemitism has two extreme effects on Christians. Those who fall into anti-Semitic conspiracy theory will lose focus of who Jesus was and still is. They will forget that the Gospel is grace from God not earned status. They will self-elevate and become in their own eyes more righteous than all others, just like the Jewish pharisees. They will no longer trust God for the salvation of other sinners. Ironically, they are in fact condemning themselves and do not know the Gospel. Matthew 6:15: But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
The other extreme is in the way we bring Jewish people the Gospel. Because the word Antisemitism has become such an easy card to pull it has been used to mute the mouths of non-Jewish believers who have been told it is anti-Semitic to share their faith with the Jewish people. This is a lie and is in fact the most anti-Semitic thing a person can do. Withholding the Gospel is condemning a person to death, you will be considered like the unfaithful servant who buried his masters money while the other servants invested. This foolish servant was cast out by his master. Don’t let this word Anti-Semitism stop you from sharing good news.
There are a few organization that have popped up over the years that directly oppose the Gospel going to the Jewish people. They give negative connotation to the word “converted” and use historical failures of the Church to say to today’s missionaries to leave the Jews alone. Some of the people that represent this view are Rabbi Eli Cohen, Penina Tylor, Rabbi Bentzion Kravitz, and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach just to name a few. I have had conversations with several different people about some of the reasoning behind this view. I have come to the conclusion that it comes straight out of fear. fear that when a Jewish person becomes a Christian they are no longer Jewish, but that is not true. Perhaps in the judgmental eyes of the orthodox community who also say that conservative and reformed Jews aren’t Jewish. Yet, Jesus shows that His Judaism remains intact and the early Church in Jerusalem was Jewish and even continued to hold to the traditions and to kosher law although they were no longer required to under grace. Where did this fear come from? Well ever since exile the diaspora Jews have been clinging less to the laws of God and more to the tradition of Men. Jesus certainly dealt with the fear of the Rabbis when his disiples were eating grain on the Sabbath (Matthew 12:10; Mark 3:2, John 9:14–16)
So here is my theory about Jewish Identity for today. In Israel, the Jewish state, there is far less fear about losing your Jewishness in fact it is laughed at by those born in the country. However, many of the population that live in Israel where not born there. They are from other Jewish communities in countries like America, Canada, South Africa, Australia, Ethiopia, ECT. So in Israel there is a unspoken security to your Judaism and everywhere else there is a huge insecurity that causes people to lash out in fearful defense. So if someone is telling you “Your doing it wrong!” It is very likely that it is their own insecurity that they need to deal with. Jews come in all shapes and sizes and We as Jews need to trust God that He will bring us back to Himself and not to tradition. As far as God has revealed there is only one way back to Him which He Himself has made and that is through the Jewish Messiah Yeshua Jesus. He is the Jewish Messiah for both Jews and Non-Jews. So stop being defensive and ask God if this is true.
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