Letter from Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr.
My exposure to Jews for Jesus goes back to 1973, and I have known their founder, Moishe Rosen, since the early 1960s. Sadly (to me), I cannot take a public stand in favor of every organization identifying itself with Jesus. But Jews for Jesus is #1 on my list of missions worthy of respect, trust and support.
For one thing, I respect Jews for Jesus as a thoughtful group of people. Don’t be fooled by their good humor. They certainly are fun and innovative. But they take seriously their responsibility to think things through with solid, credible answers for intelligent seekers.
I respect their humility. They have made themselves accountable to the highest standards of theological and financial governance. Our church donates money to Jews for Jesus with every confidence that it will be managed responsibly. If I have a question, I get an answer, not an evasion.
I respect the courage of Jews for Jesus. They love a challenge, because they know that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life for everyone everywhere. Maybe that is what makes some people mad. In a world of radical uncertainty, confident principles can be perceived as threatening. But then, didn’t the prophets of ancient Israel get the same reaction? The real motive for opposing certainty is a proud unwillingness to face the possibility of truth-claims.
If I had two lives to live, I would spend the first one fulfilling my present calling. Then in my second life I would apply for a position with Jews for Jesus. It would be a privilege to serve with them. But would they take a gentile like me? As I said, they have a sense of humor.
Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr.
First Presbyterian Church