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What "Real Christians" Believe about Jews

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judíos preguntas respuestas mashiaj hamashiaj fiestas jaguim shabat shabbat rezos plegaria Dios Just Say Know:
What "Real Christians" Believe about Jews

by Mark W. Sanders

Try this: Ask any fundamentalist Christian why his/her spiritual
forebears launched the Inquisition, the Crusades, or the Holocaust. 10 out of
10 will retort, "Those weren't real Christians. Real Christians love the Jews
and wouldn't do that." So, what then, do "real Christians" believe about
Jews? As a former fundamentalist minister, I know the answers intimately. I
spent years living by one imperative: Preach the Gospel (personal salvation
through faith in Christ) to the ends of the earth (to all people everywhere),
as outlined in Matthew 28:18. Through this enterprise, I believed that
Christians would eventually trigger the second coming of Christ, who could
not return to earth till all had heard the Gospel, till the last home and
hamlet had been reached. This is the ultimate responsibility of all real
Christians (Matthew 24:14).

Ask them. They will tell you. Otherwise, they are not truly "Bible
believing." Real Christians affirm that all non-believers are lost. Each must
repent or reject in response to hearing the Good News. Paul of Tarsus, who
wrote at least 13 of the 27 books of the New Testament, refined the focus,
saying "the gospel . . . is the power of God for the salvation of everyone
who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile." (Romans 1:16) Many
missions to Jews use this text to validate their outreach. For them, the
conversion of the Jew is the top priority in world evangelism. While all
souls are important, Jews are most important. Paul hints at a day when the
Jews will respond: "Israel has experienced a hardening in part (by rejecting
Christ) until the full number of Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will
be saved . . ." (Romans 11:26).

I myself used these passages in raising funds to evangelize Jewish souls (may
G-d forgive me). Real Christians have a love-hate relationship toward the
Jews. While believing the original Hebrew Scriptures to be the infallible and
inspired word of God, they also believe the New Testament to be equally,
though superceedingly, inspired. This includes Paul's words in which he calls
Jews "the enemies of the Gospel." But Paul explains that this had to happen
for God's acceptance to be extended to the Gentiles. Using an olive tree to
represent "the people of God," Paul says the natural, cultivated branches
(the Jews) were broken off so that wild branches (the Gentiles) could be
grafted in. He adds that Jews who come to faith in Christ can be regrafted
and thus there will be one reconstituted people of God (Romans 11:17-24). So,
real Christians believe that Jews and Gentiles should become one people, one
community of faith. Paul explains "the mystery of Christ . . . is that
through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members
together of one body, and sharing together in the promise in Christ Jesus"
(Ephesians 3:6).

Can you say a-s-s-i-m-i-l-a-t-i-o-n? Real Christians believe they have
replaced the Jews as the chosen people. Peter, one of Jesus' closest
disciples, wrote "you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people belonging to God" (I Peter 2:9). All of these terms were used
exclusively of ancient Israel. Look at Exodus 19:5, 6. The borrowing, the
redefining, and the conclusions are obvious -- and ominous, as we shall see.
Real Christians believe the Torah is null: "Christ is the mediator of a new
covenant that those who are called may receive the promised eternal
inheritance, now that he has died to set them free from the sins committed
under the first covenant" (Hebrews 9:15)

Real Christians regard observance of the Torah as an impossibly futile
exercise. The only value of the Torah is to teach us all that we couldn't
keep God's standard and thus needed a savior to rescue us from the penalty of
falling short of it. Lest you think these are harmless theological sound
bites, consider the applications of these views. To real Christians, the Jews
are currently in a state of spiritual blindness and rebellion and subject to
the wrath of God. (An unfortunate percentage believe the Holocaust was a
payback for the Jews' role in the crucifixion.) Jews do have value as the
former harbingers of God's justice and righteousness, but today they must be
absorbed into Christendom to find their real identity.

Star Trek fans will discern a Borg-like parallelism in this. (I shudder to
think how I contributed to it.) Over the last 20 years, a multi-million
dollar assimilation movement has evolved internationally to woo, win, entice,
beguile, or ensnare the secularized Jew, the unaffiliated Jew, the biblically
illiterate Jew, the disillusioned Jew. In my church of several thousand
members, we had some 600 Jews. I once observed that many of them were not
well-adjusted psychologically or emotionally. They had not found a secure
place amongst their own families and communities. However, amongst the
Christians, each could be a minor celebrity. A converted Jew was awarded
special significance; s/he was the fulfillment of the ultimate Christian
mitzvah. Looking back, I recall that not one of those 600 converts was from a
truly Orthodox Jewish home. Coincidence? While many fundamentalist Christian
leaders express contrition for the historical abuses of Jews, their baseline
objective has not shifted: Bring the Jews to faith in Christ by any and all

These include establishing messianic "shuls" with free Passover seders and
high holy day services, sponsoring massive literature mailings to Russian
immigrants in Israel, printing "Jewish New Testaments," holding high
visibility street and campus rallies to attract vulnerable Jewish youth, and
promoting special "Jewish" youth camps with an emphasis on messianic music
and Bible study. One leader I know raised money to put up billboards in
Orthodox neighborhoods saying only "Isaiah 53," then changing to read "Jesus"
after a few weeks.

They actually believe such activities will inspire a spiritual shift in Jew's
allegiance and affiliation. Southern California is home to high profile
evangelists who have raised millions of dollars to "improve"
Jewish/Christian/Israel relations, including Orange County's Chuck Smith of
Calvary Chapel and Paul and Jan Crouch of the Trinity Broadcasting Network.
This has involved grandiose philanthropy for Jewish and Israeli projects,
massive "Christian Zionist" tours to Israel, as well as carefully cultivated
meetings with Israel's top leaders. But from my own personal dealings with
these and other groups, I guarantee that all talk of "understanding, support,
and reconciliation towards the Jews" is a siren's song. All of these people
are unflinchingly committed to evangelize the Jews. Jesus warned of wolves in
sheep's clothing. Gucci couldn't have designed a better fit. There's a darker
side to this. I spoke with a wealthy, well-connected Newport Beach "real
Christian" who told me "the Jews of today are not Jews at all. They are
really Edomites, descended from Esau. They don't practice Judaism.

They practice Talmudism. The real Jews are the descendants of the Northern
Europeans, who originally were dispersed from ancient Israel by the Assyrians
and Babylonians." Not surprisingly, he also informed me that the Holocaust
was "a mega-myth, choreographed by those clever Edomite-Jews who are really
part of the subhuman mud races." While this man's views are not mainstream,
they are increasingly in popularity. Today's Jews are a spiritual anachronism
for real Christians. The fundamentalist theo-political agenda has no room for
pluralism or tolerant co-existence with people of divergent views. You are in
or out, saved or lost, redeemed or damned. All non-Christians are in darkness
and need a savior. All non-Christians must hear the message of salvation.

Belief in that imperative keeps the money flowing to fulfill the Great
Commission to reach all the world. This is a passionate point of no
compromise for all real Christians, who claim to be 40+ million strong in
America. When seen for what it is, however, their zeal includes the spiritual
extinction of today's Jews. How is that any different than the evils done 50,
500, or 1,000 years ago? As one who engaged in it in this generation, I
soberly submit, it's not. Perhaps the real Christians could love us a little
less and pursue justice a little more?

> Mark Sanders is a former Pentecostal, fundamentalist minister who engaged in
> missionary activity in Israel, working in kibbutzim and the Israeli public
> school system. In the process of mastering Hebrew, he began to see many
> serious inconsistencies and errors in the Christian Bible. His studies of
> Tanakh persuaded him to rethink & eventually resign from his Christian
> views of the Bible. Now an observant Jew, Mark is the Outreach Director of
> the Los Angeles office of Jews for Judaism.

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