Skip to comments.A Jew defends evangelical Christians
Posted on 10/22/2002 10:37:22 PM PDT by Michael2001
Evangelical Christians believe it is necessary for a person to believe in Jesus Christ in order to be saved.
According to every liberal I know Christian, Jew or other Jews are supposed to find this theology offensive and frightening. According to liberals, the evangelicals' doctrine that no non-Christians can be saved is so awful that all other evangelical views must be held suspect even their unique support for Jews and Israel.
I would therefore like to announce, as a practicing, believing Jew, that I am in no way offended, let alone frightened, by evangelical Christians who believe that it is necessary to have faith in Jesus in order to be saved.
Why should Jews not be offended by this evangelical Christian belief?
First, since all non-Christians are unsaved, this doctrine is in no way anti-Jewish. It is pro-salvation, not anti-anybody. The evangelical view of who is not saved is applicable, by definition, to all non-Christians. There is, therefore, no reason whatsoever for a Jew to be personally offended. It is no more applicable to Jews than to Hindus. When most evangelicals single out Jews, it is only to support them and Israel, and to reaffirm Jewish chosenness. It takes paranoia, ignorance and ingratitude for a Jew to join the anti-evangelical critics.
Second, exclusive views of salvation are hardly unique to evangelical Christians. Liberals, of all people, should honor such exclusive views. Don't most liberals think that liberalism is the only way to save America (and don't most conservatives think that of conservatism)? If Christians are intolerant and offensive because they believe they have the only way to salvation in the next life, why aren't liberals intolerant and offensive because they believe they have the only way to salvation in this life? And if Christians must declare that all religions are equally valid paths to salvation, shouldn't liberals have to declare that all political and social doctrines are equally valid paths to America's salvation?
Third, all those who condemn evangelicals for their belief in the necessity of affirming Christ for salvation are doing exactly what they accuse these Christians of doing judging and condemning people solely for their beliefs. Here is the liberals' rule: Christians may not judge others by their religious beliefs, but liberals may judge Christians by their religious beliefs.
Fourth, one of Judaism's core teachings is that God judges all people by their behavior rather than by their faith alone, and that we are to judge people in the same way. I apply this teaching to evangelicals. I judge them not by their theology but by their behavior. I find that behavior often exemplary, and I regard them as America's best hope to stem the country's cultural and moral decline.
Fifth, insofar as offensiveness and tolerance are concerned, who do you think has it tougher a Jew living and working among evangelical Christians or a conservative living and working among strongly committed liberals? As one who is in the former situation, I can tell you that I receive only respect and tolerance. On the other hand, ask conservatives, not to mention evangelical Christians, in Hollywood how they feel. Most keep their views to themselves, so fearful are they of repercussions from the liberal majority.
Let's also compare the evangelicals to the "open" and "tolerant" Protestant Christian denominations as represented by the National Council of Churches. We find moral confusion, anti-Americanism and support for those who wish another Jewish genocide. True, just about everyone in the NCC believes that it is not necessary for anyone to affirm faith in Christ to be saved, and that I as a Jew can therefore attain salvation. But so what? Their doctrines that pertain to me, here and now, on Earth, not in the hereafter, are the doctrines that frighten me.
Evangelical Christians, almost alone, affirm that America has a divine mission, that this country has better values than Europe, that the United Nations is a moral wasteland, that God's law is higher than international laws devised in New York or The Hague, that secularism is wonderful for government but fatal for society, that Israel must be protected against those who wish to exterminate it, that the Jews have a divinely chosen role in history, and that America must remain a Judeo-Christian country.
If the only way a Christian can hold these precious beliefs is to maintain that faith in Jesus is the only way to salvation, here is one Jew who says: More power to you. Keep your faith strong.
I was astonished to hear a Jew say that. But then a few years later I became a regular listener to Rabbi Daniel Lapin in Seattle. I actually invited him to speak to my men's morning Bible study. He declined very graciously saying that he loves nothing better than to teach Scripture, but he was under pressure to finish his book and was too busy. He told me his working title for the book was An Orthodox Rabbi Makes the Case for Christianity. (It was published later under the title America's Real Wars.)
I am so thankful for the conservative Jews who don't see bogeymen when they look at evangelical Christians, their most natural allies. I hope what they have spreads.
I read your article at 2am EST and felt compelled to write to you in spite of how early it is. Everything I have by way of salvation, I owe to the Jews, because my savior, is a Jew and the Lord Jesus Christ has saved me from my sin. Thank you for what you wrote because it is true, evangelical Christians love Israel and we constantly support and pray for the peace of Jerusalem. God has given Israel to the Jews (not the Arabs or Palestinians) and it is theirs forever.
My prayer for you is that you too might come to a saving knowledge of Christ. You are intellectually honest, if you search the Old Testament prophecies regarding your messiah, you will find that Christ fulfilled them, to the tee. The good news is, He is risen and He is going to come again.
Humbly yours in Christ,
For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery--so that you will not be wise in your own estimation--that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, "THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB. THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM, WHEN I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS." From the standpoint of the gospel they [the Jews] are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God's choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. (Rom. 11:25-29)
Howz that again? Jews chosen for a divinely chosen role in history???
Who chose Jews for what? Please give your specific Biblical authority for that claim, and explain it. Thank You.
My dad was a Southern Evangelical and he always taught us that Jews were "God's chosen people." No Jewish people should be worried about true evangelicals.