The American Family Association published a guide to Judaism by ‘Probe Ministries,’ which works “through balanced, biblically based scholarship, training people to love God by renewing their minds and equipping the Church to engage the world for Christ.” The post includes advice and encouragement for Christians looking to convert Jews to Christianity and claims that Jews and Christians “do not worship the same God.” While it comes as no surprise that the AFA would promote such a message, it might come as one to the “Judeo” part of the “Judeo-Christian” coalition the AFA is always talking about.
The fact that the AFA promotes such messages should come as no surprise, as the AFA’s The Response prayer rally, which they co-hosted with Texas Gov. Rick Perry, featured prayers for Jews to convert to Christianity. Moreover, the AFA’s chief spokesman Bryan Fischer contends that “non-Christian religions” do not have rights under the First Amendment, saying, “counterfeit religions, alternative religions to Christianity, have no First Amendment right to the free exercise of the religion.” But the post does make clear that despite “Israel’s failure and rejection of their Messiah,” eventually “there will be a time when Israel as a nation will turn to her Messiah”:
From our brief survey, then, it is clear that Judaism and Christianity differ significantly on major doctrines. The two do not worship the same God. They also differ in salvation theology. Judaism is works-oriented and rejects the atoning work of Christ and His divine nature. Christianity proclaims faith in the sacrificial work of Jesus on the cross. The New Testament teaches that without accepting Christ, even the sons and daughters of Abraham cannot inherit the hope of eternal life.
How do we share Christ with our Jewish neighbors? Before preaching the gospel, it would be wise to first build friendships with Jews and learn from them. Second, we should understand the Jewish perception of Christians and Christianity. For a Jewish person to become a Christian means to reject his or her heritage and distinctiveness; in other words, many equate it to becoming a gentile. This is difficult, for many harbor resentment for mistreatment by Christians and gentile nations.
After building trust, encourage them to read their own Scriptures. Many grow up reciting passages of the Old Testament but not studying the Old Testament or the messianic prophecies.
These passages and symbols reveal that Jesus is indeed the Messiah. Be sure to explain that not only must one acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah, but that one must put all one’s faith in His atoning work of sacrifice to be brought into a right relationship with God.
Israel was unable to obey God’s law because they depended on their strength to live the law. What was needed was a new heart and empowerment to live the law. This pledge provides this, and guarantees that there will be a time when Israel as a nation will turn to her Messiah.
Several aspects of these covenants have been fulfilled. Abraham’s descendants have become a nation. Christ was a descendant of David and fulfilled the old law making it possible for all men to know God. However, other promises are yet to be fulfilled. Israel doesn’t yet possess the promised land in peace, and a Davidic Kingdom hasn’t been established in Jerusalem.
Despite Israel’s failure and rejection of their Messiah, however, God is faithful, and He will fulfill His promises at the appointed time.