Tuesday, July 18, 2006

You Mean, "Christians"?

Jews for Jesus have really stepped up their efforts in New York recently, if by efforts you mean "amount they're willing to pay to plaster their message all over subway stations." They must be doing something right, because I felt compelled to check out their web site just now, and I'm neither a Jew nor someone who believes in Jesus in the important ways. My favorite part of the site? A button near the top, alongside the usual "About Us" and "Resources" links that reads "Get Saved."

Salvation is just a click away, people. Hop to it. No more excuses. I'm sure they have PayPal and everything.

But really, per my headline here, how is it logistically possible to be a Jew for Jesus? The "statement of faith" on the site includes lines like the following:
We believe that Jesus the Messiah was eternally pre-existent and is co-equal with God the Father...

We believe that Jesus the Messiah died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice...

We believe that Jesus the Messiah will return personally in order to consummate the prophesied purposes concerning His kingdom.
So, couldn't the group change its name to "Former Jews for Jesus," or the much shorter and more convenient "Christians"?


Blogger Rich said...


I'm Jewish and I believe in Jesus. Jewish = part of the people descended from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It's an ethnic thing, a "people." Christian = follower of Jesus. All the first Christians were Jews. I'm not a former Jew, I am Jewish. BTW the Jews for Jesus site does use the term Christian quite a lot. Helpful article on that site: http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/issues/10_1/canitbe

7:48 AM  
Blogger MAW said...

I was raised in a very, very Catholic household, yet no longer practice any religion at all. I do feel a certain affinity with fellow Catholics (especially those who have fallen 'off the wagon'), but to argue that Catholicism is a race or an ‘ethnic thing’ seems a bit ludicrous since Catholics now populate the entire globe, not just Jerusalem.

Furthermore, if I suddenly accepted Mohammed as my personal savior I don't see how I can call myself a Catholic anymore.

So, sorry Rich - how is Judaism different?

9:03 AM  
Blogger Rich said...

Judaism is a religion. You have many, many Jews who don't profess to follow Judaism - Jewish atheists, Jewish agnostics, a a substantial movement of Jews who are Buddhists (known as JUBUs - several books exist on the subject). Specifically, it's the religion of the rabbis from 70 C.E. on, when Jewish faith was reconstructed following the destruction of the Temple.

Being Jewish like I said, is a matter of being part of a people, the people God made his covenants with.

So I am Jewish but dont' profess to follow modern Judaism. Some other Jews who believe in Jesus like to call their faith "messianic Judaism," I personally prefer not to use that term, myself.

6:58 PM  

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