Jews For Jesus

The following is a message from the founder of Jews For Jesus, Moishe (formerly Morris) Rosen. It outlines in no uncertain terms the agenda of this organisation. Mr Rosen wrote in The Jews for Jesus Newsletter (vol. 9:5737 [1977], pp. 1-2):

...In 1970, still under the same mission board, I came to San Francisco to do the work of an ordinary missionary again. This time, I was determined to pioneer a different strategy and to use unique tactics based on some of the insights that I had gained. ...Even when a witness is carried on lovingly, tactfully and sensitively, there is no way to tell the Jewish community about Jesus without risking the displeasure of the Jewish community leaders. I committed myself, and taught those who followed me in the work, that disapproval and rejection are a normal part of our ministry.

...The third problem I saw was the culture gap. In the early 1800's the general mission movement made many mistakes as it tried to impose a Western or American Christian culture on those who received Christ. As a result, a communications failure developed between the Christians and those to be evangelized. Slowly, this mistake in judgement began to be corrected. Mission leaders started recognizing that the basic principle of most effective missions was to win the people of a certain nation, tribe or culture pattern to Christ and then to train them and send them back to witness to their own people. Missionaries, instead of imposing their alien culture on the new Christians, learned to let them work within the framework of their own culture pattern. They no longer tried to make Western-type Christians out of the natives. However, this basic principle was neglected in the Jewish mission field. The missionaries expected Jews who came to Christ to start behaving like the Gentiles who came to Christ. It was as if somehow by eating pork we could prove that we were really Christians. What I recognized almost from the beginning was that we should heed Paul's example, to be as a Jew to those who are Jewish. We started using the elements of Jewish culture - Jewish melodies to sing praises to Jesus, Jewish holidays such as the Passover and the Day of Atonement - as occasions to show that Christ is the Lamb of God and that He is our atonement. Instead of retreating from Jewish culture, we valued our Jewish heritage more as we grew in Christ. In this way, other Jews could recognize that we had not abandoned the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and they could see that Christ was indeed the fulfillment of the Law. At the same time, it was of the utmost importance to us that we maintain a very strong tie with the church. We are not a separate sect. In order to serve with Jews for Jesus, one must be a member of good standing in a local church. We look on our ministry as being an arm of the church to reach into the Jewish community in a way that the church has never been able to do before.

Mr Rosen's claim to value "Jewish heritage more as we grew in Christ" contrasts dramatically with Paul's comment that he counted his Jewish heritage as "dung in order that I may gain Christ" (Philippians 3:8). Also significant in Rosen's comments is that even when Jewish-born Christians use "elements of Jewish culture" in their religious services they are "an arm of the church to reach into the Jewish community in a way the church has never been able to do before." They are, in other words, Christians by religious affiliation and allegiance. Their Jewish birth becomes a device to achieve the aspirations and goals of the church. They have no loyalty to the Jewish community outside of how it can benefit Christian missionary efforts.

Mr Rosen sees the knowlege of Hebrew, such as what you can obtain through this site, as a way of impressing a less knowlegeable potential Jewish convert ("one of the natives"). Therefore, educate yourself: become familiar with your Jewish culture. Become familiar with Mr Rosen's misrepresentations of the Jewish texts and how to answer it. Don't be one of the natives!

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