View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Sunday, August 29, 2004

More on "Jews for Jesus" 

Re: the post on Jews for Jesus gracing us with their presence in town for the next two weeks, I myself was honored with the following, charming comment:

Oh, so now Judaism is a religion. I thought it was a race. Or does it depend on whose ox you want to gore? All I hear from you is a thinly veiled racism, wrapped in hatred for Christianity. When in fact, American evangelicals, of all ethnicities, are the best friends Israel ever had. As to who's Jewish: who would Moses call a Hebrew. Dershowitz? Chomsky? You?

Threatened by Messianic ideology?

Grow up.

I do not know Scott's religion, his affilitation, his level of literacy or education, or even where he lives or works. But I assume that one person speaks for many, so here's my reply, posted in the comments, also emailed to him.

Charming. And well-reasoned.

Judaism is a religion, a culture. and a society. Judaism accepts converts; it cannot be a race, although Jewishness is inherited.

American Evangelicals aren't at issue here. Evangelicals by definition can't be a race, they comprise a religion. Evangelicals proclaim themselves as Christian, and any missionary activity on their part doesn't involve deceiving Jews into thinking that they can be Jewish and Christian.

Messianic "Judaism" is a dishonest attempt to convert Jews to Christianity while pretending not to do so. This is called "lying," and is generally frowned upon in polite society and civil discourse. As is name-calling, I might add.

You may have noticed, once you stopped hyperventilating, a set of links called the "Rocky Mountain Alliance." Most, but not all, of the members are Evangelical Christians. I'm happy to call them my friends.

I reject Christianity, I do not hate it. At least not when it is honest enough to go by that name.

Scott appears incapable of reasoned discussion, so why do I bother to respond? Because Scott may represent, or influence the views of others. Because this is an important and delicate enough times in Jewish life that it is critical we not be misunderstood. Evangelical Christianity has indeed evolved into a friend of Israel, and a friend of Jews. Messianic "Jews" are neither.

UPDATE: Here's a pretty good primer on the subject in today's Denver Post.

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