Jews for Jesus
While Christianity is of course antithetical to Judaism, Christians practicing among themselves do not inherently disturb Jews in their Judaic practice. However, Jews for Jesus crosses the line and Christian support of those missionaries out to convert Jews is unacceptable. Therefore, I applaud Joshua Plank's response to those churches and pastors, asking their disengagement from Jews for Jesus. I reprint his fine arguments, from which all our readers will benefit. I ask all Rabbis to join me in signing this letter as we present it to Christian supporters of Jews for Jesus. –Rabbi Moshe Ben-Chaim
Author's Note: Christianity is a false and idolatrous religion which is prohibited to both Jew and non-Jew alike. Christian groups like "Jews for Jesus" commit intolerable acts by specifically and aggressively attempting to seduce Jews. "Jews for Jesus" regularly visit Christian churches to raise money for their missionary activities. I encourage the following letter to be distributed to churches that support "Jews for Jesus". I only ask that the text not be altered except to plug in the name of the church, the name of the missionary, and the date in the appropriate locations. I also encourage you to add your own name as a cosigner if you wish.
To the pastor(s) and members of [church name]:
It has come to my attention that you have invited [missionary name] of "Jews for Jesus", to speak at your church on [date]. I ask you to reconsider.
As you know, the Jews are a unique people. God selected them from all the peoples and gave them His Torah.
The Jews were slaves in Egypt. Then God sent His prophet, Moses, of whom it is written, "Never again has there arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses" (Deut. 34:10). He led them to Mount Sinai, where the entire nation witnessed events unlike any others in history. As it is written,
"Gather the people to Me and I shall let them hear My words, so that they shall learn to fear Me all the days that they live on the earth, and they shall teach their children." (Deut. 4:10)
“These words the Lord spoke to your entire assembly on the mountain, from amidst flames, cloud, and thick darkness, a great voice never to be repeated, and He wrote them on two stone tablets and gave them to me.” (Deut. 5:19)
"For ask now regarding the days past, which were before you, since the day that God created man on the earth, and from one end of heaven to the other: Has there ever been anything like this great thing, or has anything like it been heard? Has a people ever heard the voice of God speaking from amidst fire, as you have heard, and lived? Or has God ever miraculously come to take for Himself a nation from the midst of another nation, with trials, with signs, and with wonders, and with war, and with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with great awesome deeds, as all that the Lord your God did for you in Egypt in front of your eyes?" (Deut. 4:32-34)
The above verses are clear: No other nation has ever experienced such a national revelation. No other religion can even make such a claim. God designed the events of Sinai to serve as proof of the God-given nature of Judaism. As He said to Moses, "Behold, I come to you in a thick cloud, so that the people may hear when I speak to you, so that they may believe in you forever." (Exod. 19:9) The entire nation, approximately 2.5 million people, were his witnesses and have passed down this history to their children to this very day. Christianity also accepts this proof and the validity of the Jewish scriptures.
God says some very specific things about His Torah. For example,
The Torah is permanent.
"The things that are revealed belong to us and our children forever, to keep all the words of this Torah." (Deut. 29:28)
"It shall be an everlasting statute, for all your generations" (Lev. 23:31, Num. 15:15, etc.)
The Torah is not to be altered.
"All this word that I command you, you shall keep and do. You shall not add to it and you shall not subtract from it." (Deut. 13:1)
This same Torah warns the Jews against missionaries. See Deuteronomy 13:7-12,
"If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son, or your daughter, or your beloved wife, or your friend who is like your own soul will entice you secretly, saying: 'Let us go and serve other gods,' which you have not known, you, nor your fathers; of the gods of the peoples that are round about you, near to you, or far from you, from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth; you shall not consent to him, nor listen to him; neither shall your eye pity him, neither shall you spare him, neither shall you conceal him; but you shall surely kill him. Your hand shall be first upon him to kill him, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And you shall pelt him with stones and he shall die; because he sought to draw you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. And all Israel shall hear and fear, and shall not again do such an evil thing in your midst."
What does this have to do with Christianity? Does Christianity worship the God who brought the Jews out of Egypt or "other gods" which they have not known? To answer these questions, we must examine what the bible says about the God of the Jews.
The God of the Jews is the Creator, the First Cause of all that exists. See Genesis 1:1
God is One.
"Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord is One" (Deut. 6:4)
God is not like one flock of geese that contains many individuals, nor like one apple that can be divided into many parts. He is a unique One that cannot be divided and is not composed of any parts. As the prophet says, "'To whom will you liken Me? To what am I equal?' says the Holy One." (Isaiah 40:25)
God is not physical in any way. If God were physical then He would resemble other physical things (see Isaiah 40:25, above). The Torah teaches this in Deuteronomy 4:15, "But you shall greatly beware for your souls, for you did not see any image on the day that the Lord spoke to you at Horeb, from amidst the fire."
It has always been understood by the sages of Israel that the scriptures which speak of God in physical terms are only speaking metaphorically.
God is not a man.
"God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent" (Num. 23:19)
God does not change.
"For I am the Lord, I do not change" (Malachi 3:6)
Christianity is a new and different religion. Christians believe in a trinity, part of which became a man and died. This belief contradicts all that the scriptures teach concerning God. If one accepts the Hebrew bible, then one must agree that Christianity opposes the Jewish religion.
It is a great error to worship a false god, and also to entice Jews to do likewise. Such actions place one firmly in the camp of the enemies of Israel and of God. Some seek the physical destruction of the Jews, but those who wish to entice the Jews to idolatry commit an even greater sin, for they seek the destruction of their souls. I urge you to reconsider your actions, to retract your invitation to missionaries and withdraw your support from "Jews for Jesus".