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author biography
Ellen W. Horowitz is a writer and artist living in the Golan Heights. Her articles are timely and insightful, offering piquant perspectives on spiritual, political and artistic matters.
Horowitz is a painter, columnist and author of The Oslo Years: A Mother’s Journal. She made aliyah from Cleveland in 1986.

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WEA launches huge campaign to `persuade` Jews to accept Jesus (ADL condemns move)
Filed under Anti-Semitism, Judaism, Christian Zionism, Opinion Editorials, Missionising, Christian Fundamentalism – on Monday, March 31, 2008 – By: Horowitz, Ellen W.

The statement below appeared in a full page ad in the NY Times (similar stuff appears in an article in Christianity Today and on the World Evangelical Alliance homepage). According to WEA, this statement on the Gospel and the Jewish people is part of an organized campaign and will appear in Christian magazines, as well as major secular newspapers throughout April and May.
 
Excerpt from an article in Christianity Today from last week:
 
Why Evangelize the Jews?
 
God’s chosen people need Jesus as much as we do.
 
My feeling is that this sudden and shocking resurgance of “persuasive” evangelism may be in part due to Pastor Hagee’s personal stance against open and targeted prostelytizing. But Hagee calls for something different – and in my opinion more dangerous and confusing. Hagee calls for a theological Judeo-Christian union. But meanwhile a good number of Hagee’s regional and executive directors members are indeed involved in calls for a Messianic Jewish restoration. And up until a few weeks ago Hagee and his wife appeared on the endorsement page of the very large and active Tel Aviv Messianic Ministry, MaozIsrael (he must be cleaning up his act before he arrives in Israel this week). But he didn’t cover his tracks too well, because Michael Little of CBN and Executive Board member of CUFI continues to endorse Maoz (Jack Hayford does, too).
 
NEW YORK TIMES ad:
 
THE GOSPEL AND THE JEWISH PEOPLE: AN EVANGELICAL STATEMENT
 
As evangelical Christians, we want to express our genuine friendship and love for the Jewish people. We sadly acknowledge that church history has been marred with anti-Semitic words and deeds; and that at times when the Jewish people were in great peril, the church did far less than it should have.
 
We pledge our commitment to be loving friends and to stand against such injustice in our generation At the same time, we want to be transparent in affirming that we believe the most loving and Scriptural expression of our friendship toward Jewish people, and to anyone we call friend, is to forthrightly share the love of G-d in the person of Jesus Christ.
 
We believe that it is only through Jesus that all people can receive eternal life. If Jesus in not the Messiah of the Jewish people, He cannot be the Savior of the World (Acts 4:12).
 
We recognize that it is good and right for those with specialized knowledge, history and skills to use these gifts to introduce individuals to the Messiah, and that includes those ministries specifically directed to the Jewish people (1 Corinthians 9:20-22). 
 
We deplore the use of deception or coercion in evangelism; however, we reject the notion that it is deceptive for followers of Jesus Christ who were born Jewish to continue to identify as Jews (Romans 11:1).
 
We want to make it clear that, as evangelical Christians, we do not wish to offend our Jewish friends by the above statements; but we are compelled by our faith and commitment to the Scriptures to stand by these principles. It is out of our profound respect for Jewish people that we seek to share the good news of Jesus Christ with them, and encouraging others to do the same, for we believe that salvation is only found in Jesus, the Messiah of Israel and Savior of the World.
 
====
 
ADL Press Release Ad Targeting Jews For Conversion ‘Offensive And Insulting’ New York, NY, March 28, 2008
 
… A statement by an Evangelical Christian group which defends targeting Jews for conversion by Christians who grew up as Jews, was labeled “offensive and insulting,” by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
 
Sponsored by the World Evangelical Alliance, “The Gospel and the Jewish People: An Evangelical Statement,” appeared as a full-page advertisement in the March 28 edition of The New York Times. ADL said the statement validates and defends those who converted from Judaism to Christianity for using their religious and cultural Jewish experience as tools to proselytize Jews, such asJews for Jesus and so-called “Messianic Jews.”
 
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, said in a statement:
 
The World Evangelical Alliance Statement defending the targeting of Jews for conversion is offensive and insulting to the Jewish people and brazenly dismisses Jewish self-definition. Instead of validating God’s irrevocable covenant with the Jewish people, and ongoing Jewish covenantal life, themes also found in their Scripture, this group of religious leaders does the opposite.
 
It is especially odious to defend the duplicitous proselytizing of Jews by groups such as Jews for Jesus and so-called “Messianic Jews.” While they claim to deplore the use of deception and coercion, they “reject the notion that it is deceptive for followers of Jesus Christ who were born Jewish to continue to identify as Jews,” thus turning the meaning of deception on its head.
 
ADL said the statement also stands in contradiction to Rev. Billy Graham who said: “I believe God has always had a special relationship with the Jewish people, as St. Paul suggests in the book of Romans. In my evangelistic efforts I have never felt called to single out the Jews as Jews…” In 2000, Graham defended Jews during the Southern Baptist Convention’s major effort to proselytize Jews, saying, “I normally defend my denomination. I’m loyal to it. But I have never targeted Muslims. I have never targeted Jews.”
 
The statement, signed by 44 Christian academics, clergy and journalists, states that “we recognize that it is good and right for those [Jews who converted to Christianity] with specialized knowledge, history and skills to use these gifts to introduce individuals to the Messiah, and that includes those ministries specifically directed to the Jewish people.”
 
The opinions and views articulated by the author do not necessarily reflect those of Israel e News.

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