Thursday, December 16, 2010

Responsibility for the Jewish Condition by Fred London

I wanted to share the following that I received from Fred London, a friend who is a Jewish believer in Jesus who was involved with the “Messianic Jewish Movement” in its early days but is now “on the outside”.
I always benefit from the perspective his experience gives, but most importantly I benefit from the way he insists we would see things through the truth of scripture.

Responsibility for the Jewish Condition

There is no question that for most of the last 2,000 years, the predominantly Gentile church has been primarily engaged in provocation rather than the Biblical mandate expressed by Paul to "provoke the Jews to a spiritual jealousy." Yes, to a significant degree, it has contributed to a hardening of Jewish hearts to the Gospel. Having said that, though, it may, and continuing to be, a valid negative influence upon Jewish openness to the Gospel, it is, ultimately, no excuse for their rejection of the Gospel. We are all "without excuse." It is Christ, Himself, who is a "rock of offense," a stone of stumbling." "For when you search for Me with all your heart, then you will find Me."

Moreover, it is also true that much of this rejection is due to a religious self-righteousness of which Paul speaks of in Romans 10:2-3 by the Orthodox Jewish community and ranging to a general indifference or humanism not unlike Gentile unbelievers by non-religious Jews. The bottom line has always been, and will forever be, "But, who do you say that I am?" That is the ultimate question, which demands the ultimate answer. That is the literal heart of the matter. Not unlike much of the "new and improved" Emergent Church, in my opinion, much of the Messianic Jewish Movement has also bought into the philosophy of "Maybe if they like us, they'll like our Jesus, too?" So there is plenty of culpability to go around.

I have been on the "inside" for many years and on the "outside" for many years. Although one can certainly draw from those experiences in deepening their understanding of the dynamics involved, they can only be validated by applying them to the truth of Scripture, which is "able to discern between soul and spirit." And, if rightly applied, is able to trump any soulish bias related to personal experience, something I always endeavor to apply in my own Biblically-related inquiries. Although I may not always hit the mark, I at least know where to aim, and therefore, in that regard, I myself am without excuse.

1 comment:

David C Brown said...

Interesting. We are all without excuse, but God is prepared to show mercy to all.

The Lord Jesus is the test for everyone.