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Jews for Jesus Responds to Evangelical Church in Germany’s (EKD)
Renunciation of Jewish Evangelism
Nov. 21, 2016. At their annual synod, the EKD, a group of Lutheran, Reformed and United churches that comprise the liberal wing of Protestantism in Germany, passed a resolution renouncing its mission to convert Jews to Christianity. They wrote, “All efforts to convert Jews contradict our commitment to the faithfulness of God and the election of Israel…”
Aaron Lewin, a Jewish believer in Jesus and the Berlin director of Jews for Jesus, commented,
“The words of the Apostle Paul seem to have escaped the drafters of the EKD resolution. Paul, one of the most fervent advocates of the enduring election of Israel, said, ‘God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be!’ (Romans 11:1). The New Testament records that whenever Paul ministered in a new city, he first brought the gospel to his fellow Jews. That is not the action of one who believes Jews don’t need to be saved (Romans 10:1). That’s why we are committed to making Jesus known to Jews and everyone else here in Germany who don’t know our Messiah.”
This resolution comes as the 500th anniversary of the Reformation is being celebrated. According to Religion News Service (RNS): “The move to renounce the Judenmission was part of the EKD’s drive to deal with this embarrassing strain of antisemitism in their history so the Reformation anniversary could focus on Luther’s other legacies.”
International Director of Jews for Jesus, David Brickner, commented, “It is disheartening that in this special year of celebration, an even more virulent form of antisemitism than Martin Luther’s ‘The Jews and Their Lies’ is being perpetrated. If Jesus is Messiah and Savior of the world, and as Jesus said in John 14:6, ‘No one comes to the Father but by me.’ then withholding that message from Jewish people is a grossly misplaced way of showing love.”
A definitive consultation advocating for Jewish evangelism called the Berlin Declaration on the Uniqueness of Christ and Jewish Evangelism in Europe Today, was circulated in Germany and throughout Europe in 2008. Among the signatories were German theologians, Dr. Eckhard Schnabel, distinguished professor of New Testament, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Dr. Bernhold Schwarz, department head in Systematic Theology at the Free Theological College of Glessen and Dr. Rolf Hille, evangelical theologian and pastor of the Württemberg Church.
Jews for Jesus is a direct-approach evangelical organization with branches in 13 countries and 18 cities.