Does Good Mitigate Evil?
Following is a letter received from a reverend. I wish to share it with you, and offer my response, already sent to him:
Reverend: Hello! I was very disturbed by the article "Conversion claims more Jews", and statements such as "...Christianity, is the epitome of what God abhors". "Christian proselytizers are funded with millions".
I am a Christian clergyman who serves as a "Peace" representative. We have many programs, one is 'fighting Anti Semitism, another is feeding immigrants and poor Jewish people in Jerusalem [we give out almost 3 tons of food a day] We also go into seniors homes and repair whatever needs to be done, without absolutely NO agenda to PROSELYTIZE whatsoever. We also try to teach the Christian Church, who accuse us of being Old Testament Christians, about the Jewish roots of 'Christianity'. We hold the so called 'Messianic groups at arms length. We feel we owe the Jewish people a lot because they gave us the Bible. We have love for Israel and send out teaching letters to those who sign up - all in support of the Jewish community. We stand with Israel.
So-called Christianity has a bad record of Anti Semitism and we endeavor to build a bridge between the Jewish Community and the Christian Community. We have no hidden agendas.
Rabbis come to our conferences and share wonderful messages. Please do not lump all 'Christians' together.
I personally take groups of people to Synagogues to experience the wonderful services. So your article really alarmed me and I did unsubscribe from Mesora. It hurt a lot because I have many, many, many Jewish friends who trust me. And I trust them.
Thank you for allowing me to sound off. You are still loved regardless of your views. Not every Christian is the same. Not every Christian has a hidden agenda. I have told Jewish young people that they should be going to the synagogue.
Blessings and Shalom! Rev. xxxxxxxxx
Mesora: Reverend, if you do not partake in the missionary work, then you are correct, our criticism does not apply to you. But, I would also like to see you denounce missionaries, not just "keep them at arm's length." However, when we use Jewish criteria to determine what is "idolatrous", please do not counter with the good you do. Although you do much good, and this is praiseworthy, this in no way mitigates whether a certain doctrine or Christian practice violates G-d's Biblical commands, such as making statues of man: “And guard your souls greatly, for you did not see any form on the day that G-d spoke to you in Horeb from amidst flames. Lest you act destructively, and make for yourself a statue, the form of any design, the form of male or female.” (Deut., 4:15,16) There are so many statues of Jesus, a direct violation. G-d also said, “Listen Israel, G-d is our G-d, G-d is One.” (Deut. 6:4) yet, Christianity somehow turns One, into a Trinity.
Rabbi Reuven Mann taught me, in Deuteronomy 10:17 we read, “For G-d your G-d He is the G-d of all judges, and the master of all masters, the G-d who is great, powerful, and awesome, that does not recognize faces, and does not take bribes.” The commentator Sforno writes, “He does not take bribes: (this means) He does not remove at all the punishment for a sin because of the merit of a positive command performed by the sinner, as the Rabbis said, ‘a good deed does not extinguish a sin’. And all this teaches that you shall not trust – having done a sin – that you will be saved by any merit, from any punishment…except by complete repentance.”
Our Rabbis teach that G-d does not take our good actions as a
ransom for our wrong. Man cannot cover up his evil, with a subsequent good. The
only solution is that man recognizes his shortcomings, regrets them, and
removes himself from such practices…forever. This is true repentance, the only
way that G-d forgives evil.
You do much good, and that is applauded, but issues must remain separate, and all deifications of man, statue creation/worship, and false doctrines will be taught to our readers as the violations they are, as per G-d's Torah.
We don't believe in Jesus and we completely deny all of the godly qualities Christianity suggests of him. We deem him a false prophet. I am sure this violates your doctrines, and you teach this grave “error” of ours to your congregants. Well, we are doing the same, so I am confused why it is permissible for a Christian to expose Jewish error, but not for us to expose the fallacy in Christian doctrines.
Why are you up-in-arms against our teachings, when you do the same?
Rabbi Moshe Ben-Chaim