Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Longest Hatred 14: Taking a stand Part II

By way of concluding this series, at least for the time being, it seems appropriate to reproduce a press statement issued earlier this year by the British Messianic Jewish Alliance. I played a very minor role in drafting the statement. The statement was published in just two Christian newspapers, the Baptist Times and the Church of England Newspaper. Unbelievably, one correspondent then wrote to the C of E Newspaper claiming there was no evidence of increased antisemitism in the UK!

An Appeal to the Leadership of the Churches from the British Messianic Jewish Alliance

It is with great concern that we witness the rapid growth of worldwide anti-Semitism, all too often these days in the guise of anti-Zionism.

We wish to express our concern that anti-Jewish sentiment is so frequently manifested in British society. We call upon the church to oppose it.

As Jews who are part of the church we are distressed to hear anti-Jewish attitudes expressed in the church and in the name of Christianity. We call upon our fellow believers from many nations to acknowledge that Jesus was a Jew, and to disavow all racism aimed at Jewish people both inside and outside the State of Israel.

We call upon the church to publicly affirm God's ongoing relationship with the Jewish people, and his determination to continue to work with them since he has not cast them away. Even more unthinkable [and insulting] would be the idea that a Covenant God should ditch his first choice in favour of another.

When we hear people in the churches suggesting that God's promises to us are null and void we are concerned, not just for what that says about us, but also for what it says about God, as if he were fickle. Our very existence on into the 21 st century speaks for itself. We are part of a large, diverse and vibrant Messianic Jewish movement that professes Yeshua [the name 'Jesus' in its Hebrew form] is Messiah, Saviour and LORD.


Strengthen us by defending us as your brothers and sisters in the faith.

Affirm us in the role we wish to play as Jews in the Body of Christ.

Recognise that it was through the Jews that the gospel came to all nations.

Stand by us, if you will, just as we stand by our fellow Jews today in the teeth of serious prejudice and threats.

Recognise and reject the politicisation of Christian theology regarding the Jewish people in order to promote a radically based anti-Zionist agenda.

These are the responses for which we look to you.


January 2007

5 comments:

adrian reynolds said...

Out of interest, James, would you then take the view that people who have a different hermeneutical position on paras 4&5 of the letter (which I guess would be the majority of the UK evangelical church) are therefore anti-semitic? That seems to the inference of the letter if I've read it right.

Richard said...

The British Church Newspaper also ran the BMJA press release.

Richard said...

I don't think paras 4&5 imply that those who take a different hermeneutical position are anti-semitic, just wrong! However some who take that view may very well be, but that is another matter altogether. The fact is that there have not been as many Jewish believers in Jesus in the land of Israel since the time of the Acts of the Apostles (between 10-15,000). This in itself should cause pause for thought.

James Mendelsohn said...

HI Adrian

Just reading your comments after a week away.

As Richard said, paras 4 and 5 certainly aren't meant to imply that all of those who take a different hermeneutical position are antisemitic... but I do believe that they are wrong.

Yo would probably be interested in Donald Robinson's work on these issues, which I blogged on at

http://largebluefootballs.blogspot.com/2007_05_01_archive.html

- a Sydney evangelical (and Moore College lecturer) who argues convincingly AGAINST the prevailing view that the church is the new Israel.

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