WAR ON JEWISH EVANGELISM
you noticed, the gay community in this country [the USA] has done
a masterful public relations job. Within a few decades, the homosexual lifestyle
has been redefined from a deviation to a legitimate, acceptable
alternative. The gay
community has worked on several fronts to accomplish this,
from the legislative route to making their cause known in
the media to appealing to the popular culture. The fact that some hate-filled and violent people
have treated homosexuals shamefully has been used against
anyone who dares to say that homosexuality is a sin, no matter
Similarly, the face of abortion has changed
radically, largely due to public
relations and strategy. Those
who oppose abortion are said to oppose a woman's right to
chose. And again, the
fact that some hate-filled and violent people have bombed
abortion clinics has been used against anyone who dares to
say that abortion is a sin [murder, Sixth Commandment, just in case you're interested].
The radical shifts in how these things
are perceived color all levels of our society.
Some Christians wonder why more and more churches are
accepting behavior that the Bible rejects.
If the church is not the salt and light, if the church
is not invading the world system with the gospel, then the
opposite will occur. The
world system will invade the church.
What does this have to do with Jewish evangelism?
People's perceptions are subject to change. Some in leadership in the Jewish community have
learned very well from the above examples what public relations
can do. A smart public
relations job can take something that was once unacceptable
and make it appear acceptable.but it works the opposite way
around, too, so that something which ought to be acceptable,
like Jewish people preaching the gospel to other Jews, can
be made to appear unacceptable.
The fact that historically there has been violence
against Jewish people in the name of the gospel has been used
against those who dare to say that Jewish people need the
There are those who have worked both overtly
and subtly to demonize Jewish believers in Jesus and to make
the work of Jewish evangelism seem unacceptable, not only
in the world at large, but also in the church.
The ministry of preaching the gospel to
Jewish people is being called into question and we stand in
danger of losing some serious ground if God's people don't
sit up and take notice. Let me give you some examples.
Jewish leaders, in consultation with the
U.S. Catholic Bishops [very strange bedfellows, those two
groups], helped forge a major document saying that,
Jews for conversion to Christianity is no longer theologically
acceptable in the Catholic Church. ("Reflections on Covenant and Mission," August 12, 2002)
within the mainline Protestant community are also abandoning
Jewish evangelism. The
Christian Scholars Group on Christian-Jewish Relations, whose
members include Lutherans, Methodists, and Episcopalians
view of our conviction that Jews are in an eternal covenant
with God, we renounce missionary efforts directed at converting
Jews. ("A Sacred Obligation
Rethinking Christian Faith in Relation to Judaism and the
Jewish People," September 1, 2002)
Those who want to stop Jewish evangelism view these and other
examples among Catholics and mainline Protestants as successes. They are now employing various tactics to step
up their efforts in evangelical Christian circles as well.
Demonizing Jews who believe in Jesus
It starts with criticizing our motives, methodology and mores.
We are charged with, "failing the test of ethical evangelism,"
"speaking out of both sides of their [our] mouths,"
conducting a "shameless crusade to promote the absurd idea
that converting to Christianity is the most Jewish thing one
can do," "seeking out and exploiting Jews who are the least
knowledgeable of Judaism," "engaging in subterfuge and dishonesty"
and "exhibiting cult like tendencies."
(All the phrases in quote marks are actual excerpts
These false accusations have been effective in motivating some
of our Jewish people to fear us and keep us at arm's length. But we don't expect to have much of a reputation
in the Jewish community.
Historically, anyone who wanted to consider Jesus has
had to go against the flow.
For the most part, such accusations don't carry weight
with many in our evangelical family. Why? Brothers
and sisters in Christ know us too well. And if they have doubts, we can point to our
membership in evangelical churches and associations, to having
our staff educated in mainline denominations, to our books
being carried by Christian publishers and so on.
However, a more insidious strategy is chipping away
at the church.
Theologizing that Jews don't need Jesus to be saved
We now find ourselves under attack in the theological realm.
Groups like the American Jewish Committee's Interreligious
Affairs Department and B'nai B'rith's Anti-Defamation League
have full-time professionals lobbying Christian denominational
groups to back off on Jewish evangelism for theological reasons.
Their fingerprints are all over the official statements
on the subject.
They argue that God made one covenant for Jews and another for
Gentiles and that it's just not necessary for Jews to accept
Christ. This is sometimes called two-covenant theology.
Others who consider themselves in the evangelical camp
are now saying that Jews can be saved by Jesus without actually
knowing or believing in Him, or a variation on that idea.
Another front on the battle for Jewish evangelism regards well-meaning evangelicals who
just seem to lack discernment regarding which people and what
organizations to endorse.
Christian endorsements that hurt Jewish evangelism
Some well-known pastors
and Christian leaders have either endorsed those who oppose
Jewish evangelism or have carefully avoided endorsing anyone
who does engage in effective gospel outreach to Jewish people.
Some are flattered by the affirmation rabbis bestow
on them. Others fear that standing with those who believe
in Jewish evangelism might jeopardize their friendship with
these rabbis. Many
simply don't think through the implications or realize that
those they are endorsing oppose Jewish evangelism.
In any case, the cause of Christ among Jewish people
You can find examples of good Christians endorsing people who
oppose our efforts on the web site of Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein. As director of the International Fellowship
of Christians and Jews, Eckstein has diverted tens of millions
of dollars in mission giving to his non-missionary efforts.
Yet Lloyd Ogilvie, Gary Bauer, Jack Hayford, Jerry
Falwell, Pat Robertson and Pat Boone as well as the late Bill
Bright [founder of Campus Crusade for Christ International]
are all listed on his site with quotes that sing the rabbi's
praises. The quotes
may not reflect their knowledge of Ecktein's anti-evangelism
stance, or even portray their sentiments today, but they are
there just the same. Many lay Christians depend on such leaders to
help determine if a cause is "kosher."
No wonder evangelicals are duped into supporting Rabbi
Then there are those leaders who simply keep a safe distance
from those involved in Jewish evangelism.
For example, Billy Graham has refused to put in print
that appealing specifically to Jewish people with the gospel
message is a legitimate Christian endeavor.
His statement, "In my evangelistic efforts, I have
never felt called to sing out Jews as Jews." is interpreted
by some as disapproval of Jewish evangelism.
In fact, that comment, made almost thirty years ago, is still
quoted by Jewish community leaders as proof that Graham does
not approve of evangelistic ministry directed to Jewish people.
Overtures to evangelicals urging them to denounce us
The Cleveland Jewish Community Federation sent hundreds of letters
to churches asking pastors to,
discourage your fellowship from associating themselves with
"Jews for Jesus," and deny the group access to your facility.
The director of the Canadian Jewish Congress employed the same
strategy. He wrote
to about 800 pastors of evangelical churches in the greater
Toronto area saying,
of the mission of Jews for Jesus is a way for you to say,
"we support the right of each Jewish
man, woman and child to live their life as Jews, without being
targeted by those who would diminish their faith."
It would be nice to be able to say that all of the pastors who
got those letters came to our defense.
Some did, praise God, but most remained silent.
Some Christian leaders are standing with the Jewish leadership to publicly
Two recent examples from outside the U.S. are indicative
of what is happening right here.
B'nai B'rith Canada called on Dr. Charles McVety, president
of Canada Bible
to co-author an opinion piece in the Toronto
Star in which he condemned "the ongoing attempt by some
Christian groups to lure Jews away from the faith of their
ancestors." When the
head of our Toronto branch spoke with him, McVety said that
he knew of nothing we have done that was inappropriate-yet
on Canadian television and in print he has characterized our
evangelistic efforts as deceitful and unethical
[you sure this guy's a Christian, Mr. Brickner?]
In the United Kingdom,
it seems that the Chief Rabbi of Britain and the Jewish Board of Deputies
complained to the Archbishop of Cantebury (the head of the
Church of England) about our Behold Your God London street
evangelism campaign this past summer.
In response, the archbishop wrote to the head of our
London work that should he
be asked about our efforts, he would say ".that the campaign
by Jews for Jesus represented an approach to Christian witness
which neither he nor the wider Church of England
The battle is not over
The above are long-term strategies that have begun to erode
the average Christian's understanding
of the need for Jewish evangelism.
As Irish philosopher Edmund Burke said, "The only thing
necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
Friends, the silence is deafening.
I feel like support for our cause is slipping and that
many Christians are being quietly influenced by a smart public
relations job that opposes Jewish evangelism.
Fewer evangelical churches are opening their doors to our ministry
and it is affecting support for our missionaries and projects
all over. As I write,
our support from church missions giving and offerings is down
$371,130 from what it was last year at this time.
That is a sizeable amount for us and the shortfall
is not being made up any place else. That is why I need you to come alongside now
as we fight this battle.
This attack against our evangelical position requires us to
alert and mobilize the evangelical troops into action. I am hoping that God will use friends like you
to help turn things around for us.
You have been a friend of Jews for Jesus because you
know us, because you know what we do, because you know by
God's grace we are able to be effective in preaching the gospel
to Jews and Gentiles around the world [and this letter was
directed to me, editor at UNITYINCHRIST.COM, as well as their
many other loyal Christian supporters].
I need you to share your confidence in us with your
I want to ask you to start with the pastor of your home church. Perhaps it has been a while since you have had
a presentation from Jews for Jesus in your church. Maybe we have never been to your church before.
Would you help introduce us to your church, open the
door for us to minister to the congregation? We have several programs that will be a blessing
to your church friends and family, but we need the opportunity
to be heard. I think
we can win the friendship of pastors and Christians who love
Jesus and love my Jewish people if they can just meet us and
hear our heart. You
can use the enclose response slip to introduce us to your
church or other Christian friends.
[This letter is being reproduced in it's
entirety, by permission. I will reproduce a copy of the slip
on the last page, which you can mail in. I will provide the email address of Jews for
Jesus as well, so you can electronically send them the information
you would normally fill out on the response slip.
Thankfully, our support from individuals is not down from last
year, but neither has it gone up at all.
This is the first year since I have been executive
director that our support has not increased from one year
to the next. That, combined with the fact that our church
missions giving and offerings are way down, has made for a
lot of belt-tightening around here.
We have halted all purchases of replacement equipment
and we have postponed any salary increases until we see where
we stand at the end of the year.
It is my duty to ask for your help at this time to meet some
of the shortfall we have experienced this year.
I hope that I will be able to give the salary increases
that our staff has earned, but I can't do it unless we see
an increase in our level of support by about $87,336 per month.
We also have about half a dozen new missionaries waiting
to begin their training in January.
Each is working hard to raise support, but if we add
them all to our training class, overall our expenses will
increase by approximately #30,000 each month. Then there is the equipment that needs updating
or replacing-vehicles that have traveled more miles than I
care to think, computers which should have been upgraded but
have just limped along. I
think you get the picture [sort of like my equipment, car,
etc. I know where he's
coming from--we evangelists that are really of Jesus, Yeshua,
aren't in this thing for the money, that's for sure, or we'd
have left for something better a long time ago!].
I know that some are already giving all they can to support
us, and if that is you, I want to say a great big "TODAH!" Thank you for your love and faithfulness to
the Lord Jesus. Please
don't feel any pressure to give more than what the Lord has
already told you to give.
Yet I imagine there are some who might prayerfully be able to
increase their support in the coming year.
I have been told by David Stone, our chief administrator,
that if those who have been giving could increase their support
by just 10% that would do it. For example, if each friend who has been giving
#10 a month could give one extra dollar each month and so
on, that would enable us to give those salary increases, add
those new missionaries and continue to stand tall in the battle
we are facing. While some will not be able to do that, others
may be able and willing to do more than that. Whatever you feel you can afford would be greatly
appreciated at this time.
As we enter this season of Thanksgiving I am grateful to God
for His many blessings to us in Jews for Jesus.
I also want to thank you for caring, for taking the
time to read this letter, and for standing by us in this time
of need. As a way of saying thank you, in response to
a donation of $30 or more I would like to send you a brand
new copy of our brand new Liberated Wailing Wall album, "Behold
Your God." This recording of Jewish gospel music will stir
your soul and lift your eyes to see that the fields are indeed
white unto harvest. I
hope you will enjoy listening to it as much as I do.
(Please check the appropriate box on the response slip.)
I don't want you to think for one minute that our detractors
are winning. I may
feel overwhelmed at times, but I am excited about all that
God has been doing and hopeful for great things in the future.
I believe this battle could actually turn into "a victory
parade" if it mobilizes friends like you to help us.
I believe God can turn the tide of this opposition.
We may be getting a bit bruised right now, but like
Paul, I can say, "we are hard-pressed on every side but not
crushed." I know it
is God's intention to bless us in the work of Jewish evangelism
and to prosper the work of our hands.
The task of reaching my Jewish peole with the good
news is ultimately His work, so we cannot fail.
Thank you for your love and friendship.
Jewish brother in Jesus,
by permission of David Brickner and Jews for Jesus] [Following page, response form] [print up and mail the forms below to: Jews for Jesus, 60 Haight
Street, San Francisco,
CA 94102. Email: click on, Jews4Jesus@aol.com
Here are some Christian friends I would like to
introduce to Jews for Jesus:
Please contact my church:
phone ( )____________________________________
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