Jewish Believers Dis-Invited” from Dialogue with John Hagee

Jews for Jesus Los Angeles branch leader Tuvya Zaretsky reports:

“I recently received an announcement regarding a program on Tuesday, June 13, featuring pastor John Hagee of the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas. It was advertised as a meeting to educate Christians about the ‘biblical mandate to bless and support Israel.’ Co-sponsors included Christians United for Israel (CUFI) and the Israel-Christian Nexus (ICN), a pro-Israel lobby convened by Jewish leaders seeking partnership with evangelicals to support the state of Israel. The meeting, featuring a dialogue with Pastor John Hagee was to be hosted by Pastor Che Ahn and Harvest Rock Church at the Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena.

“I contacted Patricia Johnson, the public relations representative to the Christian Community for the Israel-Christian Nexus, by e-mail, to get more information about the meeting. I wanted to find out if the Christian public would be able to ask Pastor Hagee if there is a place for Jesus in his view of the biblical mandate to bless Israel and the Jewish people.

“I received a gracious phone call from Patricia Johnson expressing personal respect for the Jewish people and for Jewish believers. She affirmed her personal love for the Jewish people and believes, without a doubt, that they need Jesus. However, that was not the main purpose for her call. She was apologetic as she explained that the e-mailed invitation had been circulated beyond the ICN’s intended circle. In other words, she didn’t know how I got it, but the organizers had not intended for Jews for Jesus to be invited. She explained that the ICN organizers had received more responses than they could accommodate. That seemed a bit of a stretch, since my memory of the Ambassador Auditorium is that it seats thousands.

“Patricia had to tell me that the Jewish partners of the ICN have set a ground rule for their partnership with evangelicals. They would cooperate, so long as the Christians did not invite the involvement of Jewish believers in Jesus. In reply, I offered that for evangelicals to accept such a ground rule was unchristian, wrong and an injury to Jewish believers.

“I pointed out that I am being excluded from the ICN sponsored meeting with Pastor Hagee strictly because I am Jewish. Christians from any other ethnic group are welcome. Only Jewish Christians have been excluded. That is discrimination.

“Perhaps intending to demonstrate the group’s fair-mindedness, Patricia mentioned that some of the Christians involved in the ICN are also involved with movements like ‘Road to Jerusalem.’ Sadly, such a rationalization comes off as patronizing at best. In my opinion, it is more productive to work toward understanding minority sensitivities than is trying to explain to them why a discriminatory system is acceptable.

“Jews for Jesus was able to register our corporate purpose as Jews for Jesus, openly within the free and democratic government of Israel. It is ironic that the Christians of the ICN have been manipulated into excluding Jewish brothers and sisters in Christ as a necessary cost for showing their support of Israel.

“Somehow, these Christians do not realize that, if they want to bless Israel, they must extend that blessing to ALL of Israel—including those within the body of Messiah, and those who still need to be introduced to Him.”

Tuvya Zaretsky
Jews for Jesus
Los Angeles, CA

If You Live in the Dallas Fort/Worth Area, Read On

(Otherwise scroll down to WE’VE GOT NEW BROADSIDE TRACTS…)

You have a fantastic opportunity to attend Michael Brown’s seminar “Countering the Countermissionaries: Refuting Objections to and Revealing the Messiahship of Jesus.” For a PDF with all the details, go here.

We’ve Got New Broadside Tracts…

Our staff wrote, 30, count ’em, 30 new broadsides for this summer’s campaign in New York! That doesn’t mean we are discarding some of our tried and true titles, but we did want to have quite a few that no one in New York has seen before. Broadsides are invitations to interact with the gospel, and they often use popular icons as a jumping-off point for a message about Jesus. You can download “Superman Returns” written with the release of a summer blockbuster in mind.

To read it go here. (PDF download).

To print and distribute it, go here. (PDF download)

(You have permission to distribute our broadsides if you share our belief in Jesus and will not alter or cover any of the text or copyright information.)

Behold Your God New York Has Already Begun!

Whereas the entire group of campaigns begins in July, our “ultra-Orthodox” campaign started early. As mentioned in David Brickner’s article above, 80,000 Hassidic homes have received the DVD of the Jesus Film. You can view the special website for this campaign here.

Earlier this month, Stephen Katz, spokesperson for the Hassidic outreach reported,

“Late Thursday night, a few of us went to Chasidic (same as Hassidic or Hasidic) neighborhoods to explore and try to engage folks in conversation. The streets were full with worshipers coming home from Shavuos (Feast of Weeks) services. They were on the way home to eat a meal, before the men would return to synagogue for all night Bible study, (the tradition for this holiday).

“The next day we went to another Chasidic neighborhood, intent on talking to people about Jesus. It was a mixed bag. On one hand we were discouraged, but on the other hand we saw some glimmers of hope that it is possible to reach this insulated community.

“We have more things to try and we will continue to experiment. This evangelistic endeavor is unlike anything we’ve done before and it feels like the stories we’ve read of missionaries going to completely different cultures in South America, Africa or Papua New Guinea. In a sense, we are still ‘learning the language.'”

PLEASE PRAY THAT GOD GIVES US ALL THE NECESSARY FAITH AND COURAGE TO BRING THE GOSPEL TO THE ULTRA-ORTHODOX.

A FINAL BRIGHT NOTE: “The day after our two outings we got a phone call from a 28-year-old Chasid who had just watched the Days of Moshiach DVD. He met with one of our team on Sunday to begin talking about it. The timing of this seemed uncanny and as a gift from the Lord. He’s telling us to press on! And we ask you to please press on with us in prayer.”

Starting next month, there will be DAILY UPDATES ON BEHOLD YOUR GOD—you’ll find them on the front page of our website.

Check back daily starting July 1 to see our tracts and facts of the day, as well as reflections on the happenings and a daily Scripture and prayer for our final Behold Your God campaign taking place in and around New York.

We Had More Responses to David Brickner’s Question in the June Newsletter Than We Can Ever Remember Receiving in the Past Ten Years!

Thanks to the many who wrote in response to David Brickner’s invitation to send an alternate response to the question his friend (also named David) asked concerning what he would “get” if he gave up Judaism to become a Christian.

We had many very articulate responses explaining the gospel in great detail. We are really privileged to have a readership that is so biblically literate.

There were a few answers that were brief enough to fit into a conversation and that seemed to address the attitude of David’s friend. We thought you might be interested to see some of them.

For the many more that were not published, it does not mean that we don’t agree with your thoughts, or that the unbelieving David does not need to know the truths that you exposited.

“It’s not about what you get. It’s about what God gets when you believe in His Messiah—all the glory.”

—Wendy Dietrich

“You get to know who Yeshua really is.”

—Wendy Pettus

“‘You’ll get a chance to be humiliated, a chance to be despised, a chance to suffer—a chance to die.’ (With credit to Amy Carmichael and Elizabeth Elliot for the ‘a chance to die’ phrase.) Such an answer might at least have provoked further discussion. So often Jesus seemed to make it difficult for people to follow him. He seemed to have no patience with casual, shallow followers. We really are called to follow him to the cross—and, thank goodness, beyond the cross.”

—Julia Petrides

“As I was reading your article ‘What You Get’ it was right about the time that I got to ‘O.K., David…If I do what you are asking, if I give up Judaism and become a Christian, then what do I get in return?’ that instantaneously the Holy Spirit gave me His response: ‘You get to suffer for Christ!’ I mean, please believe me, that’s what He gave me before I even read the rest: ‘How would you have answered that question?’

And of course what I would have included with that ‘Word from God’ would have been more of God’s Word from the Holy Scriptures:

‘Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’ (Matthew 5:10-12 KJV)”

—Bruce

“Perhaps one could answer, ‘You get Someone that Judaism can never offer you: Jesus of Nazareth, who claimed to be the Messiah. If He was not, then you have no need to be concerned. If He was, and there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that He was, then you have need to be concerned.'”

—John Roberts