Monday, 18 January 2016
Seeing Judaism Anew: Christianity's Sacred Obligation,
Ed. Mary C. Boys, Rowman and Littlefield, 2002, page xvi
The seventh principle the CSG have identified is: Christians should not target Jews for conversion.
In view of our conviction that Jews are in an eternal covenant with G-d, we renounce missionary efforts directe at converting Jews. At the same time, we welcome opportunities for Jews and Christians to bear witness to their respective experiences of G-d's saving ways. Neither can properly claim to possess knowledge of G-d entirely or exclusively.
This one is bound to cause trouble. For a start, there are mission organisations who are substantially staffed and funded by Jews specifically reaching out with the gospel to Jews - this is not Christian evangelism, but Jewish evangelism, in-house.
Secondly, what do they mean by "conversion"? If conversion means that someone abandons their previous identity and becomes a Christian, then of course Jews should not be converted; they are and always will be Jews and assimilation into the Christian church is not faithful to the irrevocable gifts and calling of G-d.
Thirdly, would this principle require that anyone preaching the gospel needs to stop and clear the meeting of Jews before they can go ahead and speak? What about Jews who hear the gospel "by accident" as it were and in the sovereign grace of G-d recognise Yeshua? Particularly if this should happen during the welcomed bearing of witness about G-d's saving ways - the power of personal testimony is widely acknowledged and valued!