- The Jewish Forward's recent "most read" article
worries that evangelicals might be stealing from the Jews. But it is Christians
who should really be worried.
- The article describes a Passover banquet
in Alabama where 1,300 Christians gathered for unleavened bread and bitter
herbs and donated more than $10,000 to the Jewish Federation. A local rabbi
complains, "It is a total taking over and arrogation to themselves
of the entire concept of the Seder. It's totally Christological."
- Evangelical Christians' support of Israel
is essential to the Jewish state. The powerful Conference of Presidents
of Major Jewish Organizations even publicly supports Rev. John Hagee-Israel-firster
extraordinaire; they recently wrote the NY Times to defend him as Israel's
"true friend". Binyamin Netanyahu-Israel's ninth prime minister,
an extremist who resigned as finance minister in 2005 to protest withdrawal
from Gaza-said Christian Zionists are Israel's best friends in the world!
In a recent poll, a whopping 82 percent of evangelicals agreed that Christians
are morally obligated to support the Jewish state. In his New Testament
letters, the apostle Paul repelled attempts by Jews to impose on the early
church the rites and legalisms of Old Testament law. He furiously rebuked
the apostle Peter for bending to Judaizing influences; he said Peter "stood
condemned." (Gal. 2:11) As evangelicals today fall even deeper into
this unbiblical love affair, they are increasingly eager to participate
in Jewish rites, own Jewish trinkets, and learn about Jewish culture.
- Who is really damaged by this Christian
appropriation? Jews are not becoming more Christian. Christians are becoming
more Jewish! Jews are not donating money for Christian evangelism or even
allowing it in their country)! It is Christians who finance a religion
dedicated to opposing their own. And their gift of millions of dollars
to Israel is flatly contrary to Scripture. Christians are instructed to
give their tithes and offerings to the "household of faith,"
i.e., many Christian charities and relief organizations that help further
the gospel message. (Gal. 6:10) Judaism and the state of Israel are emphatically
not of the household of faith. Israel's "anti-missionary law"
mandates a five-year prison sentence for any evangelical who gives to an
Israeli a "material inducement" (Bible tract or even a cup of
coffee) that might help persuade him to become a Christian!
- Christianity Today should be debating
the Alabama Passover, not the Jewish Forward. Christian pastors should
speak up about the Talmud's anti-Christ vitriol, persecution of Christians
by Israel, oppression of Christian evangelism by Jews in Israel and the
US-and gravely warn against the Judaization of the American church. We
should be asking, "Is this good for the church?" as the Forward
and others constantly debate what is good for the Jews. But we don't. These
debates never happen.
- The Seattle Times published an opinion
piece titled, "Passover seders are out of place in churches."
Very true. But it was written by Rabbi Mark Glickman, not a Christian pastor
as it should have been.
- In Ohio, Catholic high school students
took a field trip to a Jewish synagogue where the principal of religious
education told them: "Judaism is the base of all Christian religion.
It's good to know where you come from." That's interesting; I thought
Christ was the base of all Christian religion. The "debt" Christians
owe to Jews is increasingly taught by evangelicals wanting to stimulate
support of Israel and ride the wave of Hebrewness. This movement is so
intense the UK Guardian says, "From the mobilising might of CUFI and
televangelists, to Jerusalem marches and the 65 million copy-selling Left
Behind series, to be an American evangelical has become synonymous with
fanatically pro-Israel politics." And the only concerned people getting
any real air time about this areJews, the ones worried about compromising
and collaborating with possibly "anti-Semitic" Christians.
- It's deeply troubling that Jews, not
Christians, worry about the Judaization of the church. This demonstrates
the incredible deception of the evangelical community, which is so much
less wary than the Jewish community even though this alliance is currently
only a threat to Christians. Jews remain adamantly, consciously, and militantly
opposed to Christian evangelism and theology-leery even to accept evangelicals'
strong political and financial support. Meanwhile, evangelicals are so
blind to the theological enmity between themselves and Talmudic Judaism
that they rush headlong to support, defend, and now absorb Jewish identity
- In his Seattle opinion piece, Rabbi
Glickman makes a point that should shock many evangelicals. He says that
"to be perfectly honest - the Seder [ritual feast held on first and
second nights of eight-day passover] developed, in part, as an anti-Christian
polemic - a "slam" on the then-new and growing religion called
Christianity. Such religious critique is all but absent from contemporary
Seders, but the anti-Christian roots of the event are unmistakable. A church
Seder is thus a Christian event rooted in anti-Christianity." Basically-Christians
who participate in the Seder are participating in an event directed against
their own existence!
- Glickman's admission is astonishing
on many levels. First, it demonstrates Jews' safety and power in American
society, that a rabbi could publicly admit the anti-Christianity of a yearly
Jewish event. Second, it highlights a fact that Israel-first Christians
refuse to face: Judaism opposes the recognition of Christ as God incarnate,
Savior of mankind. For two millennia, it has been self-defined by opposing
the explosion of Christian faith. Christians today can't participate in
Judaism without opposing their own community and Lord. They can't support
Israel without supporting Israeli persecution of Christians and Christian
- Besides that, the Judaization of the
church corrupts and corrodes Christian theology. It's gotten so bad that
a bunch of evangelical leaders recently took out a big NY Times ad just
to remind people that Christians have to spread the faith (a major thing
Jesus told us to do) and to evangelize Jews along with everyone else. This
responded to a growing heresy that Jews have a separate covenant with God
and don't need faith in Christ or need Christian evangelism. The Times
ad expressed kindergarten Christianity-a basic element of our identity
that is subverted by our growing obsession with Jewish identity.
- Jews have long recognized that assimilation
into Gentile culture posed a greater threat to world Jewry than physical
persecution. It is long past time for Christians to recognize the threat
of losing their unique identity as followers of Jesus and His earth-shaking
message. St. Paul knew that the rites and observances of the Mosaic/rabbinic
law would entangle the infant church, drawing Christians into their spell
of legalism. He knew legalism would drive out the empowering liberating
New Testament message of justification by faith alone.
- How should believers respond to increasing
efforts to incorporate Judaic elements in Christian theology and worship? Such
"Judaizers" should be rebuked and repulsed, not embraced.