Lately, there has been high praise from many Jewish circles for Christian support for Israel. Some Jewish supporters call the Evangelical Christians "our best friends." I am often asked if Evangelical Christians really are our friends, or if they have a hidden
Rabbi Bentzion KravitzRabbi Bentzion Kravitz is the founder of Jews for Judaism International which is dedicated to promoting critical thinking and responding to cults and missionaries that target the Jewish community. He can be reached at la@jewsfor judaism.org.
Evangelicals are following a New Testament mandate to convert Jews.
There is irrefutable evidence that many Evangelicals who support Israel have implemented a new "soft-sell" approach to proselytizing Jews for conversion. In the words of Joe Dean, founder of an American Christian-Zionist organization:
"By standing with the Jewish people in love and support, we can provoke them to jealousy, as the apostle Paul said, 'so as to win them to Christ.' Not by cramming the gospel down their throats, but by showing that our faith produces faithful works. I have told the Jewish agencies that we are not an evangelical group as such, and this is true. We are not actively trying to win Jews to Christ - but by taking this stand, the Jewish people don't run away from us, and we are able to witness to them indirectly."
Jack Hayford, who serves as the co-chairman of the Israel-Christian Nexus, should be equally scrutinized. A comment of his at a May 25, 2007 Evangelical Prayer Banquet held in Beverly Hills revealed that he endorses the deceptive Jews for Jesus proselytizing argument that a Jew can be Christian and Jewish at the same time. No wonder hundreds of converted Jews have been attracted to Hayford's church and participate in a "Messianic" service specifically geared to them.
A recent email received from a spokesperson for one of the most prominent Christian Zionist groups, the John Hagee Ministries, states; "Keep in mind that God has 'blinded the eyes' of the Jews and hardened their hearts for having denied Christ. Also, there has been a history of persecution against the Jewish people in the name of Christianity. For this reason, Pastor [Hagee] believes that one-on-one witnessing is more effective than targeting the nation as a whole."
Recently, I heard an Israeli newspaper editor say that "the benefits of Evangelical Christian Zionists far outweigh the loss of a few Jews." This outrageous and naive attitude threatens our survival and rejects the very essence of Jewish tradition.
Evangelicals are following a New Testament mandate to convert Jews. Tragically, more than 300,000 have converted to a form of Evangelical Christianity that masquerades itself as "Messianic-Judaism." A recent news report claims that this includes 15,000 Israelis.
In light of this, it is disheartening to see many Jews who are so mesmerized by Evangelical offers of love and help that they forget, or choose to ignore, what the term
They forget what the term "evangelical" implies.
Rabbi Judah Loew, the Maharal of Prague (1525-1609), predicted these events when he wrote that in the last days of exile, the darkest moments would include a change in our enemies' tactics. They would turn from physically threatening our lives to making overtures of love that will entice us to assimilate and be one with them.
I am not advocating an outright rejection of Christian support for Israel. But if we're going to open our Zionist hearts to them, we better also open our Jewish eyes - and watch our Jewish backs - because many Evangelicals who claim to be our "knights in shining armor" are really a Trojan Horse.