Paul wrote this letter to Michael Freund:
I am writing in response to your column, “No way to treat our Christian friends.” I did not attend the event in question, and I am not affiliated with a religious organization. I write on behalf of the One at the center of the commotion, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Whose voice has not been heard in the hubbub, but Who is not mute and would have you to hear the better way. You are in contradiction to Him, yourself, Israel, and those supporting Israel, because you do not know Him or worship Him in spirit and truth. Let me tell you more. I will respond to specific portions of your letter and will supply you with links to the words God is speaking to Israel today.
“According to media reports, a committee appointed by Israel’s Chief Rabbinate has recommended barring participation by Jews in the parade, fearing that the event will be used to entice Israelis to betray their faith.”
I recognize that you are not in favor of this ruling, but you fail to mention that Israelis, by and large, do not have any faith. How can they betray what they do not have? The rabbis are talking about religion, not true faith. The two are very different, even antithetical. Religion is what men – who would like to think they are pleasing God – do when they have no faith. Most Israelis are not, obviously, of the “faith” of the rabbis, nor do they profess to have the faith of God. So the fear of the rabbis is not on the behalf of others, but of themselves. They do not want to lose influence or prestige. They want to be the only “game in town” for the voting constituency and powers that be.
You are trying to walk the middle road, appeasing the fears of the Jewish religious, while trying to encourage the religious Christian supporters of Israel. Trying to please men, you will ultimately please no one, not the religious factions or, most importantly, God Himself. Why not identify with Him and please Him instead? That way you can have it all:
“When a man’s ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him” (Proverbs 16:7 HNV).
Do you not recognize that the claims of these disparate parties are irreconcilable? The rabbis claim to have the authority of the Torah, and the Christians, the Son of God, Jesus Christ, or, in Hebrew, Yehoshua HaMashiach, according to the Torah. If Christ is the promised Messiah, then the rabbis should full well listen to His testimony. If He is not, then you should consider the testimony of God in the Tenach that it does not go well for Israel to make alliances with the heathen, mixing with them and their gods, and putting trust in men and their gods. But once again I must bring to your attention that Israel, today, is a heathen nation, no different than the US or other nations with regards to living in the will of God. They cannot lose something (faith) they do not have. So where do you turn? To God, Who has the answers, and is the Answer.
“Now, don’t get me wrong. The threat posed by missionary activity in Israel is real, and steps must be taken to curtail it. But to label all pro-Israel Christians as ‘missionaries’ is neither fair nor accurate.”
Are you following the teachings of the rabbis and the Law of God, Michael? If not, why are you not a threat to the Jewish religion? What about the rest of the Israelis, who do not buy into the rabbis’ religion? What about corruption of morals and aimlessness within Israeli society? Are there not serious problems, whose roots are spiritual? If people are not buying into the rabbis’ religion because it does not have the answers, why would you forbid someone else to speak? Isn’t the real threat to Israel your own internal disunity and lack of vision of what God would have you to do? Why are you afraid to hear what others have to say? Is your fear justified? Are Jews in America forced to go to churches? I have not heard of any such thing.
If I, as one in Christ, have things to say to Israel from their Messiah and God, does that make me wrong, or is the one who would not permit me to speak wrong?
“Sure, some would like to convert Jews, and they make little or no attempt to hide their agenda. But the vast majority simply wants to bless Israel because that is what they believe the Divine Will wants them to do.”
Do you know what the Divine Will is towards Israel? Are you writing His speeches? If you are not, and if you are not hearing them either, then why guess and impose on others your will? Is that not a dangerous profession? But we do hear His speech, and most definitely know His will. We know that He will have all Jews turn to Him and know Him, because He is their God. This conversion is a matter of heart, not of religion. They will see Him, and will know Who He is:
“And I will pour on the house of David, and on those living in Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of prayers. And they shall look on Me whom they have pierced; and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they shall be bitter over Him, like the bitterness over the first-born” (Zechariah 12:10 LITV).
God, Who came as the Messiah, Jesus Christ, is not a religion. He is Life. He has foretold through the prophets Israel’s falling away, and also their restoration in Him. Are you claiming that Israel is now restored, living in the holy faith and will of God as proclaimed in the Torah? If you are reasonable, which I think you are, then you must conclude that the conversion of Israel lies in the future. You would have to agree that this is not a bad thing, but a glorious promise of good. You should not, therefore, speak against the conversion of the Jews to their God.
“IN OTHER words, a little nuance can go a long way. Instead of lumping all Christian supporters of Israel together and classifying them as ‘missionaries in disguise,’ we should make sure to distinguish between those who truly and unreservedly love us and the small minority who surreptitiously seek to bring about our spiritual demise.”
This is indiscriminate, untrue, inflammatory hate speech. While there are liars and charlatans galore, called “Christian,” everywhere (yes, in Israel too), those who unreservedly love you will tell you the truth, even if you will kill them for it. What you call your “spiritual demise” may be Life Himself. That is the testimony of your own prophets, some of whom you killed for speaking the truth to you. Others suffered ostracism and imprisonment. Read the Tenach. I am not making this up. Israel chose her own life rather than the Life of God, according to His commandments and the revelations He gave His servants. Read the New Testament, and hear the testimony of your fellow Israelites about the Messiah. Thirty years ago God opened my eyes to see Him and I did this very thing. I have never joined a church or religious organization since. I am living proof that your fears are baseless, and your advice not wise.
“Next week, thousands of Bible-believing Christians from around the world will come to Jerusalem to show their solidarity with Israel, just as they have been doing for nearly three decades. Unfortunately, not everyone in the Jewish state appreciates this display of friendship, misconstruing it as part of a surreptitious campaign aimed at converting Jews.”
If any of those Christians (in Name, if not substance) coming to Israel believe what is in the Bible, it is because they have met Jesus Christ, the Savior of all men, and they cannot help but testify of how He redeems us from our sins, which the blood sacrifices of the temple and priesthood could not accomplish, being required in perpetuity (and those you do not even have now – have you ever wondered why?). If you call such testimony a “surreptitious campaign aimed at converting Jews,” then the problem is yours, not theirs, as you propose.
“But as I argue in the column below from the Jerusalem Post, not all pro-Israel Christians are missionaries, and it is both unfair and counterproductive to lump them all together as such. Surely, we must be on guard against missionaries, but we must also learn to differentiate between them and those who sincerely and genuinely support Israel.”
I will reiterate: Those who are your friends will tell you the truth. Hear the wisdom God has given us:
“Faithful are the wounds of a lover, and plentiful are the kisses of one hating” (Proverbs 27:6 LITV).
Those who bear Yehoshuah’s Name and don’t care to speak to Israelis about Him are phonies; they have nothing to offer and could not care less for Israel, notwithstanding their glib, oral support. Those who truly support you, and who will be there when the chips are down, are those who know the truth, and those who know the truth will tell it to you even if you hate them for telling it. Read from our Israel and the Jew section, Michael; it contains the truth.
Another thing: If you or the rabbis or any that fear “missionaries” were walking in the Truth, you would not have any fear at all. You would welcome, with open arms, the opportunity to speak to all those in error. You would do so for several very good reasons: One, those in error could be corrected, and converted to the Truth themselves. Two, if they are charlatans with no desire for the Truth, they will be exposed and sent fleeing before all those whom you wish to protect from lies. Darkness always does that when Light appears. Three, the undecided and ignorant can also hear the Truth, having that contrasted with the darkness of error, and they can then be converted from their unprofitable ways. It is a glorious occasion, not one to be rejected but embraced with all enthusiasm for the good that may come of it. That is our constant experience, which is also expressed throughout our site.
What an incredibly hideous spectacle unfolded before the world as humans, turned vicious, ravenous brute beasts, actively and passively, directly and indirectly, willingly and unwillingly, performed their unspeakable horrors on the Jewish people. We have seen what happened in this dimension: Out of the ashes of the departed, a nation was reborn on the earth of those left behind. But what happened to the Jews taken away in the Holocaust? Where did they go? What was their lot beyond the gas chambers, ovens, and graves?
We correspond with a professional peace advocate who thinks he is the answer to solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Gershon Baskin calls himself “The Negotiator” and claims to be responsible for the secret back channel between Israel and Hamas that traded kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit for over a thousand Muslim criminals and murderers held in Israeli jails. With peace like Baskin’s, who needs war?
A message to Israel - May, 2009.