Evangelicals assert their right to evangelise Jews

by
03 April 2008

by Bill Bowder

Messianic:A group of American Christians from the International Christian Embassy raise their hands as they blow trumpets while marching and praising Jerusalem during a Jerusalem March held during the Christian Feast of Tabernacles and the Jewish holiday of Succot, last September : REUTERS

Messianic:A group of American Christians from the International Christian Embassy raise their hands as they blow trumpets while marching and praising ...

THE World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) has reaffirmed its long-held belief that offering friendship and love to Jewish people is not enough: they must also be converted to Christianity. In a statement issued last week, the Alliance defended specialist ministries that were aimed specifically at the conversion of Jewish people.

The statement, signed by US and UK theologians, ministers, evangelists, and writers, said that the most loving and scriptural expression of friendship towards the Jewish people was “forthrightly to share the love of God in the person of Jesus Christ. . .

“We believe that it is only through Jesus that all people can receive eternal life. If Jesus is not the Messiah of the Jewish people, he cannot be the Saviour of the World,” says the statement. Among the 45 signatories are Dr Lon Allison, Billy Graham Center; Chuck Colson, Prison Fellowship; the Rt Revd David Evans, former Bishop of Peru; Mark Greene, London Institute of Contemporary Christianity; Dr R. T. Kendall, an evangelist; the Revd Hugh Palmer, All Souls’, Langham Place; and Gordon Showell-Rogers, European Evangelical Alliance.

They say that they do not want to offend Jewish people, and acknowledge that church history has been marred by anti-Semitic words and deeds. Furthermore, they say: “We deplore the use of deception or coercion in evangelism; however, we reject the notion that it is deceptive of followers of Jesus Christ who were born Jewish to continue to identify as Jews.”

Dr Geoff Tunnicliffe, the International director of WEA, described the purpose of the statement: “Increasingly, Jewish evangelism is being marginalised and even dismissed as irrelevant, inappropriate, unethical, or deceptive by some segments of the Church. It is our hope that it will be received in the spirit it is intended by the non-Evangelicals who see it: namely, that it is a statement of friendship and profound respect for the Jewish people.”

The Revd Joel Edwards, general secretary of the UK Evangelical Alliance, said that the statement was no more than a summary of what the Alliance believed. “Christians recognise their spiritual ancestry and pedigree, rooted in Judaism. That accounts for our value and respect for the Jewish people, as well as all other religions.

“But, at the same time, the Christian faith has always been premised on the idea of an invitation to the person of Jesus Christ. We recognise that this may have certain sensitivities for Jewish people. But at the same time, we believe the Christian faith, and its historic commitment to share Christ, is in no way incompatible with — and in fact is driven by — our deep respect for our Jewish brothers and sisters.

  “This is not about competing religions. It’s about an invitation to Christ, which may or may not be received or accepted.”

A spokesman for the British Board of Deputies said it would not be commenting on the statement.

Full text of the statement


The Gospel and the Jewish People - An Evangelical Statement

Mar 28, 2008

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 God in the person of Jesus Christ.
. We believe that it is only through Jesus that all people can receive eternal life. If Jesus is not the Messiah of the Jewish people, He cannot be the Savior of theWorld (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 encourage others to do the same, for we believe that salvation is only found in Jesus, the Messiah of Israel and Savior of the World. 

Due to space constraints, the following is a partial list of the evangelical Christian leaders who affirm the above statement.

Rev. Dr. Lon Allison-Director, Billy Graham Center
Dr. Mark Bailey-President, Dallas Theological Seminary
Joel Belz-Founder, World Magazine
Richard Bewes-OBE, former Rector, All Souls Church, Langham Place, London Lyndon Bowring-Executive Chairman, CARE
Doug Birdsall-Executive Chair, Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization
Dr. D. A. Carson-Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Dr. Paul Cedar-Chairman, Mission America Coalition
Dr. Yonggi Cho-Senior Pastor, Yoido Full Gospel Church, Seoul, Korea
Chuck Colson-Founder, Prison Fellowship
David Evans-Bishop, Church of England
Mark Greene-Executive Director, London Institute of Contemporary Christianity Stan Guthrie-Managing Editor, Special Projects, Christianity Today
Dr. David Harley-former General Director, OMF International
Dr. Harold Hoehner-Distinguished Professor of New Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary
Dr. Jim Holm-President, Mennonite Biblical Seminary
Dr. Kenneth Hutcherson-Senior Pastor, Antioch Bible Church
Dr.Walter C. Kaiser, Jr.-President Emeritus, Colman M.
Mockler Distinguished Professor of Old Testament, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
Joe Kapolyo-Minister, Edmonton Baptist Church
Dr. R. T. Kendall-President, R. T. Kendall Ministries
Dr. Jerry B. Jenkins-Owner, ChristianWriters Guild
Prof. A. N. S. Lane-London Bible College
Rev. Dr. John-Paul Lotz-Lecturer in Church History, London School of Theology
Steve Moore-President & CEO, The Mission Exchange (formerly EFMA)
Rev. Dr. Steve Motyer-Lecturer, London School of Theology
Dr. Marv Newell-Executive Director, Cross Global Link (formerly IFMA)
Hugh Palmer-Rector, All Souls Church, London
Dr. Raymond Pfister-Principal, Birmingham Christian College, Birmingham, England
Dr. Phil Roberts-President, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Dr. Haddon Robinson-President, Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary
John H. Rodgers, Th.D.-Bishop in the Anglican Mission in America
Russell Rook-Director, ALOVE, Salvation Army
John Seawright-Minister, Abbey Presbyterian Church, Monkstown, Ireland
Gordon Showell-Rogers-General Secretary, European Evangelical Alliance
Dr. Lon Solomon-Pastor, McLean Bible Church, McLean, VA
Stephen Strang-Publisher, Charisma Magazine
Matt Summerfield-Executive Director, Urban Saints
Dr. Vinson Synan-Dean Emeritus of Regent University
Dr. Geoff Tunnecliffe-International Director,World Evangelical Alliance
Clive Urquhart-Director, Kingdom Faith Ministries, Horsham, England
Phil S. Walker-Pastor, Ridgecrest Baptist Church, Madison, MS
Mike Wall-Executive Director All Nations Christian College, Ware, England
Mark Weeden-Pastor,Worthing Tabernacle
Chris Williams-Pastor, London Community Church

A spokesman for the British Board of Deputies said it would not be commenting on the statement.

Full text of the statement


The Gospel and the Jewish People - An Evangelical Statement

Mar 28, 2008

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 God in the person of Jesus Christ.
. We believe that it is only through Jesus that all people can receive eternal life. If Jesus is not the Messiah of the Jewish people, He cannot be the Savior of theWorld (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 encourage others to do the same, for we believe that salvation is only found in Jesus, the Messiah of Israel and Savior of the World. 

Due to space constraints, the following is a partial list of the evangelical Christian leaders who affirm the above statement.

Rev. Dr. Lon Allison-Director, Billy Graham Center
Dr. Mark Bailey-President, Dallas Theological Seminary
Joel Belz-Founder, World Magazine
Richard Bewes-OBE, former Rector, All Souls Church, Langham Place, London Lyndon Bowring-Executive Chairman, CARE
Doug Birdsall-Executive Chair, Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization
Dr. D. A. Carson-Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Dr. Paul Cedar-Chairman, Mission America Coalition
Dr. Yonggi Cho-Senior Pastor, Yoido Full Gospel Church, Seoul, Korea
Chuck Colson-Founder, Prison Fellowship
David Evans-Bishop, Church of England
Mark Greene-Executive Director, London Institute of Contemporary Christianity Stan Guthrie-Managing Editor, Special Projects, Christianity Today
Dr. David Harley-former General Director, OMF International
Dr. Harold Hoehner-Distinguished Professor of New Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary
Dr. Jim Holm-President, Mennonite Biblical Seminary
Dr. Kenneth Hutcherson-Senior Pastor, Antioch Bible Church
Dr.Walter C. Kaiser, Jr.-President Emeritus, Colman M.
Mockler Distinguished Professor of Old Testament, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
Joe Kapolyo-Minister, Edmonton Baptist Church
Dr. R. T. Kendall-President, R. T. Kendall Ministries
Dr. Jerry B. Jenkins-Owner, ChristianWriters Guild
Prof. A. N. S. Lane-London Bible College
Rev. Dr. John-Paul Lotz-Lecturer in Church History, London School of Theology
Steve Moore-President & CEO, The Mission Exchange (formerly EFMA)
Rev. Dr. Steve Motyer-Lecturer, London School of Theology
Dr. Marv Newell-Executive Director, Cross Global Link (formerly IFMA)
Hugh Palmer-Rector, All Souls Church, London
Dr. Raymond Pfister-Principal, Birmingham Christian College, Birmingham, England
Dr. Phil Roberts-President, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Dr. Haddon Robinson-President, Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary
John H. Rodgers, Th.D.-Bishop in the Anglican Mission in America
Russell Rook-Director, ALOVE, Salvation Army
John Seawright-Minister, Abbey Presbyterian Church, Monkstown, Ireland
Gordon Showell-Rogers-General Secretary, European Evangelical Alliance
Dr. Lon Solomon-Pastor, McLean Bible Church, McLean, VA
Stephen Strang-Publisher, Charisma Magazine
Matt Summerfield-Executive Director, Urban Saints
Dr. Vinson Synan-Dean Emeritus of Regent University
Dr. Geoff Tunnecliffe-International Director,World Evangelical Alliance
Clive Urquhart-Director, Kingdom Faith Ministries, Horsham, England
Phil S. Walker-Pastor, Ridgecrest Baptist Church, Madison, MS
Mike Wall-Executive Director All Nations Christian College, Ware, England
Mark Weeden-Pastor,Worthing Tabernacle
Chris Williams-Pastor, London Community Church

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