An Open Letter to the Southern
Requesting that They Stop Evangelizing the Jews
On March 17, 2003 YashaNet received an e-mail from a man wishing to have his "Messianic congregation" listed on our Messianic Congregations directory. In his e-mail he stated that, "We are a mission of the Southern Baptist Church." After asking for further clarification, part of his e-mail stated that "The SBC decided to target the jewish people for evangelism and hired "Rabbi H..." to partner messianic congregations with their churches." He further stated that "Rabbi H. .... was raised orthodox jewish and became a rabbi in their faith. Then he came to know Yeshua." What follows is our response to him stating the basic reasons why we would not permit his congregation to be listed on our directory.
Dear [name removed],
I assume by your statement, "The SBC decided to target the jewish people for evangelism", that you/they mean converting Jews to Christianity, as this has been the usual practice for centuries in many denominations. I must tell you that even though we believe strongly in Yeshua as Messiah and wish to see all Jews come to faith in Yeshua, we are 100%, UNEQUIVOCALLY OPPOSED to the conversion of Jews to Christianity for the following reasons:
1. Jews (rightfully) will have nothing to do with Christianity because:
2. Jews will have nothing to do with Messianic Judaism because:
I realize that we are coming down pretty hard on Christianity, but we have good reason. I have included/attached some articles with this e-mail as well as providing some links to some other important articles and studies that I think will help you understand why we are taking the position that we are. We here at YashaNet are followers of a form of Orthodox Judaism which believes in Yeshua as Messiah.
As for "Rabbi H...", I am very surprised and shocked that he is endorsing the SBC in this mission, especially coming from his background. If you carefully examine the Messianic Movement (I was in it for over ten years) you will find that most of the Jewish believers are from a secular or Reform background. You will find very few truly religious Jews that are from the Conservative and Orthodox branches of Judaism. The SBC and the Messianic Movement have been successful in gaining some converts (more now than ever before in history), however, their attempts to successfully reach the vast majority of Jews with the Gospel will be a COLOSSAL FAILURE if they continue on their present course and not return to the original faith, namely, Judaism. God did not establish a separate new religion called Christianity. That is man's invention.
If you wish to reach out to the Jews with the Gospel, I would encourage you and anyone else that is interested to completely separate yourselves from the SBC and any church affiliation and establish an independent congregation that is focused on a Torah observant lifestyle much like that of the Sect of the Nazarene's (Acts 24: 5) in the first century, or, associate yourselves with one of the mainstream Messianic organizations such as the UMJC or MJAA [at least as a starting point]. I have included a couple of articles about the Nazarene's that will explain what faith in Messiah was really like in the first century. It is unlike anything you have ever heard.
I would also strongly request that the SBC cease and desist all attempts to evangelize the Jews until they have the ability and solid understanding to think and act as Jews. Let me assure you, the SBC has no understanding of Judaism whatsoever. They are only causing more harm than good right now.
I have also included an article at the end of this e-mail that I would like you to read first. It is entitled "Why the Church Teaches that Jesus Christ is NOT the Messiah". This is a shocking, eye-opening article which I hope helps you to understand why the Jews are so opposed to Christianity and especially Messianic Judaism.
In light of all this, we must respectfully decline your request to be listed on our Messianic Directory as we are listing congregations that point people to a Hebraic understanding of Scripture and a Torah-based lifestyle, which, unfortunately, precludes anything "Christian."
I would strongly encourage you to share this e-mail and associated articles (and other articles on our website) with your congregation and the SBC. Please understand that my words are not intended to offend you or your friends, they are intended to make you carefully consider WHY you believe what you do.
Please feel free to write me, or any of us at YashaNet, about any questions you may have regarding these issues. I would also like to hear your thoughts about what I have said and about the articles below. I look forward to your reply.
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