Thursday, September 29, 2005

End Times are Near: Jews vs. Gentiles

The Jewish Anti-Defamation League doesn't appreciate the Southern Baptist Messianic Fellowship one bit.

This brings up a point that nobody wants to admit, but by definition, evangelical protestants CANT coexist with other religions. Most Southern Baptist Churches have mission statements that revolve around the concept of 'reaching people for Christ.' It's not a "you leave us alone and we'll leave you alone" sort of philosophy. Southern Baptists don't want to be free to practice their religion. They want to be free to take over everyone else's.

And I don't mean this as a rant against the Southern Baptist Church. If you think that you have the answer to the universe (besides #42), it's pretty reasonable, maybe even loving, to want to make other people have that answer too.

It's also pretty reasonable to leave other people alone to interact with God as they choose if you believe that by doing so you aren't damning them.

Baptist doctrines based on mangled readings of Revelations suggest that Jews A) are going to hell; or B) will have Jesus revealed to them in some new way and will be saved as God's chosen people sometime before that whole Lake of Fire thing happens. Some would argue that the messianic jew movement is a partial fulfillment of B.

With 22 years of Southern Baptist Churching under my belt, I think I stand in a reasonable place to comment upon the doctrines and the implications of those doctrines on a Southern Baptist's own terms. Part of what pushed me away from the SBC is that a true Southern Baptist can't really coexist with those of other religions, and even those of certain denominations of Christianity.

Sure, most Southern Baptists are encouraged to have friends who aren't Southern Baptist, with the hopes that you'll convert them someday, or that they'll 'see the love of Christ in your life, and want to find that love themselves.'

It's a big fiasco of semantics in that many SBC practices are, when removed from the context in which they are advocated, absolutely scary and cult-like. Placed in context, these same practices are mostly the good intentions of a group of people who are trying to love the world in the best way they know how, which is through the love of Jesus Christ.

That's not such a terrible thing, unless you're someone who has different ideas about your spirituality. Then it's frigging annoying.


Matz said...

I'm not a huge fan of Jews for Jesus either, although I doubt CNN will be reporting on that anytime soon.

Pepper said...

Matt - that's because you're against the idea of being ethnically or culturally Jewish. Now, I dislike Jews for Jesus too, but I'll grant them some validity to the idea that they are still genetically and possibly even culturally Jewish. You cannot deny that due to a combination of Jewish culture and forced segregration throughout history, the Jews are a distinct ethnicity. You can maintain an ethnicity while switching religions. That being said, I disagree with the teachings of Jews for Jesus and believe that their group's name is purposely misleading. I guess it just sounded better than "Bagel-Eating Christians."

Daniel S. said...

Any Jew that accepts you know who as you know what is immediately breaking Judaic law and has disavowed their Judaism.

Garrett said...

Yeah, but they're still a Jew.

Kyle said...

I'm not sure I have much to add, but just had to chime in.

Any idea of a special focus on Jews for evangelism is borne out of that premillenial dispensationalist "left behind" rapture bullshit.

Make no mistake that such Christians are supporting Israel politically as a means to an end: their support of Israel will actually be part of its destruction, and hence the second coming of Jesus. I'd just like to say that there are orthodox, historically savvy Christians who don't have anything to do with that stuff.

As a rabbi once pointed out to me, biblical Israel and Israelite religion ceased to exist in AD 70. The two offshoots are Christianity and Judaism.