by Ceil RosenJust. So. Wrong. So wrong.
Background: This book was lent to me by a friend who thought it might be of interest to me as a Jew who has converted. What he probably didn't fully understand is that I abandoned my Jewish identity shortly after my Bar Mitzvah, and spent most of my adolescence and adult life as an agnostic. All of which probably serves to give me an unusual perspective on this handbook-like work co-written by the founder of Jews for Jesus and his wife. Without delving into every objection I had to this eminently objectionable work, I will, instead, cite two major points which, to my mind, are sufficient in justifying my contempt.
The first of these is the Rosens' extremist approach to evangelism. Although the Great Commission does, indeed, direct Christians to spread the word, the Rosens take the view that this should be the singular, primary purpose of every Christian life, and that it must, in addition, necessarily consist of an unbridled frontal assault. I disagree. The New Testament also states that each individual will possess different "spiritual gifts," and that evangelism is but one gift of many. In addition, the New Testament likens the collective body of Christians to a human body, stating that each member (i.e., each part or organ) has its unique role to serve and that, furthermore, no one member of that body should strive to emulate the function of any other. It is as if the Rosens are hands who insist that the eye, the elbow, and the navel all grasp. I am not necessarily opposed to evangelism — and I would stress that it can come in many forms, some more subtle than others — but I do not agree that all Christians are equally gifted with an ability to spread the word effectively or, indeed, usefully. Evangelism of a certain stripe, in fact, can do more harm than good. And this brings me to my second point.
The Rosens would, doubtless, deny my assertion that they are engaged in a hard-sell and are encouraging others to do likewise. Looking to my own experience, I did not come to my faith by being coddled, strong-armed, humiliated, out-witted, threatened, belittled, badgered, or hoodwinked. No church came knocking on my door and, indeed, if anyone had attempted to convert me according to the Rosens' program, I would have resisted with every fiber of my being. If anything, it would have delayed, perhaps permanently, any possibility of my conversion.
To take a couple specifics as examples, the Rosens suggest that we pray for our Jewish friends' health, and tell them that we are doing so; to pray for their happiness, and tell them that we're doing so; to pray for their success, and tell them that we're doing so; and then to pray for their conversion, but not breathe a word of it to them. Can not all truly good works, however, bear exposure to the light of day? What do we hide, if not those acts we are ashamed of? Or, to take another rather obvious example which is more to the point, they entitle one of their chapters: "Prayer: The Secret Weapon." Are we engaged in warfare here? Are we to equate the saving of a soul to the winning of a battle, a victory obtained by any means necessary?
In short, it is clear to me why Messianic Judaism, in general, and Jew for Jesus, in particular, has been the target of so much criticism, across the board. The rabidity with which they press their agenda is about as seemly as any other body of extremist propaganda you can name. And I say that as a committed Christian.
|Title||Witnessing to Jews|
|eBook format||Paperback, (torrent)|
|Publisher||Purple Pomegranate Productions|
|File size||1.3 Mb|
|Book rating||3.5 (5 votes)