Jews for Jesus Rejected by Catholic Church?


#1

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 jfjcorr@jewsforjesus.org

www.jewsforjesus.org


#2

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.

You are correct in your statement, but not quite fully understood by you. There is more to just accepting the Lord Jesus in a personal way (spiritual way). As Catholics, we have a deeper relationship with Christ when we receive Him in the Eucharist–Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. It’s both the physical and spiritual. There is nothing more to that relationship when the God-Man is with us, not just in the spiritual sense.

So, we continue to have true fellowship and communion in God’s Spirit with our Catholic friends who know Jesus as Savior and Lord,

Do I understood this as being “selective”? Do you also have fellowship with Catholics who understand the relationship with Jesus in a different view with Evangelical Christians’ way of understanding “personal relationship with Jesus”? I cannot find in the Bible that the apostles say “you have to have a personal relationship with Jesus”. Again, for us Catholics, our personal realtionship starts at baptism and continues to grow in the sacraments of the Church. More fully is when the God-Man is with us when we receive him in the Eucharist. That’s the essence of the Passover sacrifice of Christ. That’s the fulfillment of His being “Emannuel.”

Pio


#3

Weeorphan,
The above attitude of SOME of the American bishops is out of line with the Church’s teaching. Unfortunately some American Catholics are either unaware of this fact or simply refuse to acknowledge it. The Jews and all non-Christians need to be evangelized. The Jews and all non-Christians need Jesus Christ. The Great Commission has not been annulled by our sophisticated ecumenicalism.

See the thread in this forum called DOMINUS IESUS.

While I am not familiar with the content of Jews for Jesus (i.e. whether or not it teaches things openly in opposition to Church teaching) I am all for the evangelization of Jews and find myself rooting for the J4J in these public debates.
God Bless :slight_smile:


#4

I am no great fan of Jews for Jesus, but if their complaint with the Catholic Church is that (in recent years) the Church has begun to soft-pedal Her message about the need for Christ when talking to Jews, then J for J will get no argument from me. Indeed, many important Hebrew Catholics like Rosalind Moss and Martin Barrack have expressed distress with the claims made by Cardinals Keeler and Kasper on the subject of the relation between the old and the new Israel. Fortunately, the Holy Spirit preserves the Church from error, so we can take comfort in the thought that a thousand years from now no one will remember the heresy of Keeler and Kasper, but the Catholic truth about salvation through Christ alone will still be revered.


#5

[right]JMJ + OBT[/right]
Would this organization be a Catholic “alternative” to Jews for Jesus?

Association of Hebrew Catholics

In the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

IC XC NIKA


#6

[quote=whosebob]Would this organization be a Catholic “alternative” to Jews for Jesus?

Association of Hebrew Catholics
[/quote]

Yes, as are Remnant of Isræl and Second Exodus.


#7

[quote=GrzeszDeL]so we can take comfort in the thought that a thousand years from now no one will remember the heresy of Keeler and Kasper, but the Catholic truth about salvation through Christ alone will still be revered.
[/quote]

Just as we can take comfort in the knowledge that Jews will still be around saying “Don’t believe a word of it.”


#8

Unbelief is comforting? You will have to forgive me if I find scant consolation in the perdurance of impiety. :frowning:

Besides, I am an inveterate optimist, so I am hopeful enough to think that, by the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the whole world will come together around the one altar to worship the one Lord in spirit and in truth. Holy Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death!

:amen:


#9

Weeorphan -

I find your original post a little confusing. Is it a letter that someone in J4J sent you? If so, do you know where the quotes from the Bishops come from, what document? I’m interested in reading the excerpts in context. Thanks!

  • JP

#10

Not to put words into Weeorphan’s mouth, but the quotes he cited come from Reflections on Covenant and Mission from the U.S. Conf. of Catholic Bishops. The claims made by the USCCB in this document were later taken up and expanded upon by Cardinal Kasper when he came to visit Boston College. I hope that helps.


#11

I may sound gruff here but Jews for Jesus is a sham. For one thing most of the people who are in this organization are neither Jews nor Christians. They pick and choose what they want out of both faiths causing the Jews to be offended and also it soils the the good name of Christianity. I have been on Jewish sites for a couple of years and enjoy the company of a dear Jewish friend. He knows his own faith and through the two years he exposed me to their side of what these jewsforjesus are doing. It is underhanded, full of deception and is grabbing many out of Judaism. One of the issues is that Jesus is not the son of God.

If I find the the link about the Church condemning this organization I will post it.

Blessings,
Shoshana


#12

[quote=Shoshana]I may sound gruff here but Jews for Jesus is a sham. For one thing most of the people who are in this organization are neither Jews nor Christians. They pick and choose what they want out of both faiths causing the Jews to be offended and also it soils the the good name of Christianity. I have been on Jewish sites for a couple of years and enjoy the company of a dear Jewish friend. He knows his own faith and through the two years he exposed me to their side of what these jewsforjesus are doing. It is underhanded, full of deception and is grabbing many out of Judaism. One of the issues is that Jesus is not the son of God.

If I find the the link about the Church condemning this organization I will post it.

Blessings,
Shoshana
[/quote]

Wow, talk about judging your neighbor!


#13

I have not yet found the condemnation of the Catholic of such a movement. But here are two links that may give you an idea of what is happening;

exjewsforjesus.org/aboutstory.html

exjewsforjesus.org/index.html


#14

Unbelief is comforting? You will have to forgive me if I find scant consolation in the perdurance of impiety.

You don’t find a conflict between your belief in Jesus and your acceptance of Allah and Mohammed as his final prophet? You find yourself able to follow the Magisterium and the Reverend Moon? I’m afraid that I’ve never heard about the lady in Guadalupe but I’m sure she’s very nice.

Complete lack of discernment must be a remarkable condition for somebody to live with so, indeed, it is no wonder that you find those of us, who find that there are lots and lots of things in the world that we don’t believe, very worrying. In the circumstances, of course, you have my complete forgiveness and it’s very sweet of you to mention it.

I really do think you’ll need to check with your fellow Catholics about those things that Good Catholics disbelieve and how to discern them – I’m sorry not to be able to offer to help you myself but I’m a Jewess and we have a different set of things we disbelieve.

Oh dear, perhaps you’ll then find yourself comforted by your new non-belief in the Hindu pantheon!

Still, it will be for the best in the long-run, I’m sure.


#15

Hi all!

I certainly don’t want to insult or offend anyone here but beliefs in Jesus/Yeshua as the Messiah, the “Son of God”, an avatar of God Incarnate and/or a “person” within a triune God, and/or in the very idea that God could/did become flesh, etc. are totally, utterly, and completely incompatible with traditional, normative (i.e. orthodox) Judaism, whether of the Rabbinic or Karaite variety. (Heck, even the Samaritans would agree with us on this one!) This circle can never be squared.

While many/most(?) so-called “Messianic Jews” may indeed be Jews (i.e. they were born of Jewish mothers or had an orthodox conversion before adopting their heretical beliefs), what they believe and practice is certainly not Judaism.

I have seen more than a few Christian (!) websites that purport to state what various “Ancient Rabbis” really said or really meant regarding the nature and/or identity of the Messiah. No Jewish Sage or rabbi worth his salt has ever made any favorable references to Jesus, the Trinity or the Incarnation no matter what any would-be missionaries-on-the-make or those with a king-size axe to grind would have you believe, mistranslations and misrepresentations (whether innocent or deliberate), and badly-taken-out-of-context quotes by would-be missionaries-on-the-make and those with an agenda, notwithstanding. Claims to the contrary are preposterous.

Rabbi Shraga Simmons’s article on “Jews for Jesus” is at aish.com/spirituality/philosophy/Jews_For_Jesus.asp.

jewsforjudaism.org/ is also a good site.

While I certainly believe in honest & friendly (always!) dialogue between Jews and Christians, I also believe that such dialogue must be based on a recognition that ours are two separate faiths; one can be one or the other but not both.

Be well!

ssv :wave:


#16

[quote=stillsmallvoice]Hi all!

I certainly don’t want to insult or offend anyone here but beliefs in Jesus/Yeshua as the Messiah, the “Son of God”, an avatar of God Incarnate and/or a “person” within a triune God, and/or in the very idea that God could/did become flesh, etc. are totally, utterly, and completely incompatible with traditional, normative (i.e. orthodox) Judaism, whether of the Rabbinic or Karaite variety. (Heck, even the Samaritans would agree with us on this one!) This circle can never be squared.

While many/most(?) so-called “Messianic Jews” may indeed be Jews (i.e. they were born of Jewish mothers or had an orthodox conversion before adopting their heretical beliefs), what they believe and practice is certainly not Judaism.

I have seen more than a few Christian (!) websites that purport to state what various “Ancient Rabbis” really said or really meant regarding the nature and/or identity of the Messiah. No Jewish Sage or rabbi worth his salt has ever made any favorable references to Jesus, the Trinity or the Incarnation no matter what any would-be missionaries-on-the-make or those with a king-size axe to grind would have you believe, mistranslations and misrepresentations (whether innocent or deliberate), and badly-taken-out-of-context quotes by would-be missionaries-on-the-make and those with an agenda, notwithstanding. Claims to the contrary are preposterous.

Rabbi Shraga Simmons’s article on “Jews for Jesus” is at aish.com/spirituality/philosophy/Jews_For_Jesus.asp.

jewsforjudaism.org/ is also a good site.

While I certainly believe in honest & friendly (always!) dialogue between Jews and Christians, I also believe that such dialogue must be based on a recognition that ours are two separate faiths; one can be one or the other but not both.

Be well!

ssv :wave:

[/quote]


Thank you ssv…


#17

[quote=Shoshana]I may sound gruff here but Jews for Jesus is a sham. For one thing most of the people who are in this organization are neither Jews nor Christians. They pick and choose what they want out of both faiths causing the Jews to be offended and also it soils the the good name of Christianity. I have been on Jewish sites for a couple of years and enjoy the company of a dear Jewish friend. He knows his own faith and through the two years he exposed me to their side of what these jewsforjesus are doing. It is underhanded, full of deception and is grabbing many out of Judaism. One of the issues is that Jesus is not the son of God.

If I find the the link about the Church condemning this organization I will post it.

Blessings,
Shoshana
[/quote]

jews for jesus, in my experience (which it seems you have no personal experience just hearsay from the internet) is a great organization. do i agree, theologically, with everything they say…no. but they are Christians. they do believe Jesus is the son of God. they believe He is the promised messiah and they have a heart to tell their jewish brothers and sisters about it. anyone who gives a presentation and 90% of the mission workers are (or were depending on how you view it) jewish raised. they have all become Christians (or fulfilled jews as they like to say). you might not agree with their methods (i.e. handing out tracts in public places, approaching strangers to share their faith with, entering into debates with jewish organizations, and praying for the fulfillment (conversion) of every jewish person to faith in their messiah), but that does not mean they aren’t Christian. i could find many, many sites by “ex-priests” that would say horrible things about the catholic church. i could find many, many sites by ex-muslims, or ex-anything that would have terrible things to say about their former religion or organization. they are not credible sites. go to the jews for jesus website to get info about them. talk to a member. get their newsletter. i have seen their presentations and there is such a spirit of love and urgency towards their jewish brethren that i wish other Christians had. i guess, get you facts straight before condemning such a great (although, i wish they were catholic, but i also wish the church hadn’t said to not evangelize jews and thus denying them the joy of knowing their messiah) organization.


#18

[quote=cabaret]Complete lack of discernment must be a remarkable condition for somebody to live with so, indeed, it is no wonder that you find those of us, who find that there are lots and lots of things in the world that we don’t believe, very worrying. In the circumstances, of course, you have my complete forgiveness and it’s very sweet of you to mention it.

I really do think you’ll need to check with your fellow Catholics about those things that Good Catholics disbelieve and how to discern them – I’m sorry not to be able to offer to help you myself but I’m a Jewess and we have a different set of things we disbelieve.

Oh dear, perhaps you’ll then find yourself comforted by your new non-belief in the Hindu pantheon!
[/quote]

:stuck_out_tongue:

:wink:


#19

[quote=bengal_fan]jews for jesus, in my experience (which it seems you have no personal experience just hearsay from the internet) is a great organization. do i agree, theologically, with everything they say…no. but they are Christians. they do believe Jesus is the son of God. they believe He is the promised messiah and they have a heart to tell their jewish brothers and sisters about it. anyone who gives a presentation and 90% of the mission workers are (or were depending on how you view it) jewish raised. they have all become Christians (or fulfilled jews as they like to say).
[/quote]

Indeed, I have no objection to J for J trying to convince Jews to recognize that Jesus is the Christ. My beef with them is not that they go too far, but rather that they do not go far enough.

I could find many, many sites by “ex-priests” that would say horrible things about the catholic church. i could find many, many sites by ex-muslims, or ex-anything that would have terrible things to say about their former religion or organization. they are not credible sites.

This is a good point. Every group has its own disgruntled "ex"s, and it is probably best not to trust everything such groups say.

I have seen their presentations and there is such a spirit of love and urgency towards their jewish brethren that i wish other Christians had. i guess, get you facts straight before condemning such a great (although, i wish they were catholic, but i also wish the church hadn’t said to not evangelize jews and thus denying them the joy of knowing their messiah) organization.

I could not agree more. As I said, I do not think much of J for J, but their evangelical fervor puts us to shame. Would that we Catholics showed one tenth of the entheusiasm for mission that Protestant evangelical groups like J for J exhibit. Likewise, I wish that prominent Catholic prelates (especially curial officials in the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity) would quit making pronouncements in public to encourage frank heresy.


#20

Greg,

umm, Do you and cabaret have a feud going on, cause i don’t see what illicited the response that you got?


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