The documentary Survivor Stories features a concentration camp survivor who converted to Christianity. On further inquiry, I learned why the conversions have not been to Catholicism. Read on and weep with me for our ‘politically correct’ Church, more interested in the Jewish mainstream than in befriending Christ.
Shalom Mr. xxxxxx,
The first thing I want to say is that we praise God for putting you in a church where you find the finest and fullest proclamation of His truth. No one in Jews for Jesus will ever criticize you for being a devoted Catholic. We are pleased to work jointly with many Catholics, as we do with any who love the Lord Jesus and have put their trust in Him for their salvation. We have been to numerous fellowships, community groups and home Bible studies comprised of Catholics who have a personal relationship with Jesus. We often present “Christ in the Passover,” a sermonic demonstration that illustrates how the Jewish feast foreshadows the coming of Christ and fits beautifully with the Eucharist.
We have not found, however, the same spirit of acceptance within the Roman Catholic Church proper. Part of the problem has to do with the doctrines of the Catholic Church, and part of it has to do with Jews for Jesus. While Jews for Jesus stresses unity always above differences within the Body of Christ, we generally do not feel welcome in the regular Mass of the Catholic Church. Let me explain.
Many years ago the Catholic authorities in the United States came out with a statement against Jews for Jesus, saying that we are an offense to the cause of ecumenism and that the Jewish religion can stand on its own–in other words, that Jews don’t need Christ. From that point on, we have never given a presentation in a Catholic church, though as I said we do have many Catholic friends. More recently, on August 12, 2002, the Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops came out with the statement that “(evangelistic) campaigns that target Jews for conversion to Christianity are no longer theologically acceptable in the Catholic Church.” So you see, it isn’t a question of Jews for Jesus accepting the Catholic Church; the Catholic Church does not accept Jews for Jesus. Not only do they disagree with you that we should become Catholic, they don’t even think we should be Christian.
While we like to be wanted, our primary motivation is to please God by bringing His message to the Jewish people. If I may paraphrase the first verse of Isaiah 62, we might say, “For the sake of the Jewish people, we will tell them the gospel even when it’s uncomfortable; for their sake they may have to get mad at us in the process of finding the Messiah.” If there is truly only one way to the Father as Jesus stated, it’s dangerous and unfair for us to reinforce the false sense of eternal security in those who think Jesus was merely a “prophet” or a “good teacher.”
The only true fellowship that Christians should be having is around the Person of Jesus, honoring Him and giving Him the full place that He is due. So, we continue to have true fellowship and communion in God’s Spirit with our Catholic friends who know Jesus as Savior and Lord, while the adoption of certain decrees and edicts that have come down from various popes through the centuries prevent us from enjoying some of the same organizational relationships we have found with some other denominations.
I hope you can understand our point of view in this regard.
My e-mail address is email@example.com