Hagee, a blessing and a curse

By Ted Belman

The speech by Rev Hagee that I linked to yesterday under the title, Rev Hagee: “Appeasement is suicide on the installment plan”, attracted enormous interest and numerous heated comments. The Jews who commented either welcomed his support and that of his organization CUFI or railed against Evangelical Christians in general and Rev Hagee specifically for missionizing in Israel.

Those in favour know little about the missionizing that goes on in Israel or don’t care. Those against know a great deal about such activities and do care. That’s the divide.

Its imperative that those that embrace Rev Hagee and CUFI get up to speed so they have informed opinions.

The best source of authoritative information is Jewish Israel. It published in December of last year, Rabbi Grossman Battles Hagee Affiliated Missionaries, in which it went into great detail to describe the various actors involved with the intensive missionizing effort in Israel, including Rev Hagee. Yes I know that in his speech he disavowed efforts to convert Jews but did so only on behalf of CUFI, thus preserving the right to do it under a different banner. This article concludes as follows, (emphasis mine)

    Look at the path and read the “messianic” map. Even if a widely recognized and honored rabbi accepts humanitarian aid from the very best of evangelical pastors – with the finest intentions on all sides – it will nevertheless exact a cost in Jewish souls.

    It is inevitable that without stringent counter-missionary legislation and enforcement, accompanied by ethical accountability and rabbinic guidelines; dependency on evangelical philanthropy will entangle Israel in an intractable missionary web.

    Jewish Israel is fully aware that the Jewish philanthropic world is challenged at this time, and that turning to Christian aid is increasingly being considered as a viable, albeit complex, option. It is therefore obligatory that Jewish leaders, who do choose to engage in partnerships with devout evangelicals, admit to themselves and to their communities that they are by definition working with missionaries.

    It must be acknowledged and considered that encouraging fundamentalist Christian political, economic and humanitarian involvement in the Jewish state will exact a cost in the form spiritual destruction and apostasy – shmad.

    Furthermore, those Jews accepting Christian funding and assistance cannot expect or rely upon devout evangelicals to adhere to Jewish red lines in such a relationship. Sharing jesus is a Christian’s raison d’etre – especially for evangelical Christians. So, it is especially incumbent upon those members of the Jewish community who are embracing Christian support to rectify any consequential or “collateral” damage by calling for stringent counter missionary legislation and clear rabbinic guidelines – even at the risk of alienating “our best friends”.

I share this conclusion exactly.

Let me explain. Nowhere does it disavow Christian political support. In fact most Jews welcome it. The article focuses on the strings that will no doubt be attached, whether said or unsaid, when accepting financial support and pleads that “collateral” damage be defended against even at the risk of offending them. Note, it doesn’t suggest rejecting the money.

My position, often stated, is that the Christian support whether political or financial and Christian missionizing are mutually exclusive. The Christians support us (bless us) because Genesis 12:3 says ” I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse;”.
They will bless us regardless of whether we resist missionizing. They will also evangelize us regardless of our attemps to resist it. This has nothing to do with blessing us. From our point of view, ironically, it has more to do with cursing us.

Having said that it is not easy to draw such redlines when accepting financial support. Political support is something else. As Hagee says Christians and Jews and America and Israel have the same enemy and must fight it together.

All things considered, he is a blessing.

January 12, 2011 | 68 Comments »

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18 Comments / 68 Comments

  1. Any further comment to the effect that there is no such thing as Judeao Christian values will be deleted.

    Please consider this before deleting, Ted.

    Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik was the one who opposed the use of the term. He wrote why in his essay, “Confrontation”, which set forth guidelines 46 years ago which remain relevant today and still stand as the halacha on interfaith relations for the Modern Orthodox world.

    The renowned Talumdist opposed the term “Judeo-Christian” when it came to discussing matters of faith, religious doctrine, prayer and ritual, as “people confuse two concepts when they speak of a common tradition uniting two faith communities such as the Christian and the Judaic.”

    BUT when it came to describing the history and culture of Western civilization he readily acknowledged “a Judeo-Hellenistic-Christian tradition”:

    “As a matter of fact, our Western heritage was shaped by a combination
    of three factors, the classical, Judaic, and Christian, and we could
    readily speak of a Judeo-Hellenistic-Christian tradition within the
    framework of our Western civilization.”
    (see Soloveitchik’s essay, “Confrontation” )

    Maybe by acknowledging the Greco-Roman contribution to Western Civilization, and referring to “Judeo-Hellenistic-Christian” values it will add an element of truth. And then those who are Torah observant and uncomfortable with the J-C term, as well as those who are secular, can have some breathing room.

    Now that’s a bridge-builder!

  2. Arno P says:
    January 15, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    Who ever said that “there is no affirmation of faith through circumcision, no Shabbat, no Passover, no Yom Kippur, no kosher” for the Jews anymore. Not my bible. There was a division among Jews if the gentiles should follow these and a mutual decision was that they should not. But for sure all the Jews followed these traditions and should still follow regardless.

    See # 15!

  3. Who ever said that “there is no affirmation of faith through circumcision, no Shabbat, no Passover, no Yom Kippur, no kosher” for the Jews anymore. Not my bible. There was a division among Jews if the gentiles should follow these and a mutual decision was that they should not. But for sure all the Jews followed these traditions and should still follow regardless.

    As to the Judeo-Christian values, one should remember that Jesus said that “not one letter or one stroke of a letter will disappear from the Law”, but that in the two commandments “love your God and love your neighbor” all law is fulfilled, because love cannot hurt the other. This is the basis of the Judeo-Christian charity and respect for others. We do not follow your customs and traditions but for sure we follow the Law, not as a burden, but a joy.

    As to the good Christians and bad Christians it is good to remember that Christian faith is not a political or cultural issue although there are many sc. “Christian” countries. I would not trust someone just for the fact that he was baptized. But if he confesses his personal faith, there is already a big difference.

    For most Christians Jews have caused a lot of headaches throughout the centuries. Even Martin Luther was disillusioned after Jews rejected his “reformed Gospel”. And I am sure that many Christians reading the writing of some of the posters here are hard tested for their unconditional love towards the Jews. But it is good to remember that after the establishment of Israel, a major paradigm shift took place in the Christendom towards Jew. This was the watershed occasion that opened up the eyes of Christians to read the scriptures in a completely new light.

    So our love towards Israel and the Jews is not based on the good or bad things you do, nor if you understand us or not but on the fact that we understand that God has not forsaken his people and through Israel talks to the nations. And since God will take of his own people in His own way, we do not expect anything in return from the Jews. It would be nice, though, if you could see a wee bit of a difference in the attitudes of evangelical Christians and Muslims towards the Jews.

  4. You guys are beginning to sicken me. Its a good thing that Americans believe that their country was founded on Judeo-Christian values. Why do you persist on destroying this notion. Yoram Ettinger has written many an article on the influence the Torah hass had on the the US Constitution and the Declaration of indedendence..

    There are many values we share in common.

    Stop bashing Christianity on Israpundit. This is not a site to raise our differences. It is a site to advance the cause of Israel not to toute the superiority of Judaism over Christianity or vice versa.

    Bottom line is, you want to make the point that Christianity is an entirely diffferent religion from Judaism and it is. I want to make the point that what we have in common is the Torah though interpreted differently and a common enemy. We are allies in defense of israel.

    When fighting missionizing it is important to cite how we are totally different, the Christianity is not a continuation of Judaism but a misinterpretation of the Torah.

    But Israpundit wants to foster cooperation and unity in supporting Israel.

    Any further comment to the effect that there is no such thing as Judeao Christian values will be deleted.

  5. The common usage of Judeo-Xtian is fairly recent. According to Wikipedia.

    The earliest known use of the term “Judeo-Christian” (as “Judeo-christian”) dates to 1829 in the journal of Joseph Wolff,[5] and before that as “Judæo Christian” in a letter from Alexander M’Caul dated October 17, 1821.[6] The former appears in discussions of theories of the emergence of Christianity, and both are used with a different sense than the one common today. “Judeo-Christian” here referred to Jewish converts to Christianity.[7] The term “Jewish-Christian” had been used in this sense as early as 1785 in Richard Watson’s essay “The Teaching and Witness of the Holy Spirit”,[8] and “Jewish Christian” (as an adjective) as early as 1644 in William Rathband’s A Briefe Narration of Some Church Courses.[9] “Jewish–Christian” is used in 1841 to mean a combination of Jewish and Christian beliefs,[10] and by 1877 to mean a common Jewish–Christian culture, used in the phrase “the Jewish–Christian character of…traditions”.[11]

    As far as the founding of the US on Judeo-Xtian values here’s this

    The Mayflower Compact, in which the colony’s founders invoke “the name of God” and explain that their journey was taken, among other reasons, “for the glory of God and advancement of the Christian faith”[17]

    The current usage of the term is quite recent;

    The present meaning of “Judeo-Christian” was first clearly used in print on July 27, 1939, with the phrase “the Judaeo-Christian scheme of morals” in the New English Weekly.[12] The term gained much greater currency particularly in the political sphere from the 1920s and 1930s, promoted by Liberal groups which evolved into the National Conference of Christians and Jews, to fight antisemitism by expressing a more inclusive idea of the United States of America than the previously dominant rhetoric of the nation as a specifically Christian Protestant country;[13][14] By 1952 President Elect Dwight Eisenhower was speaking of the “Judeo-Christian concept” being the “deeply religious faith” on which “our sense of government…is founded.”[15]

    Now, if we look at the Declaration of Independence;

    an excerpt from the Declaration of Independence, which reads, “All men…are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness”

    If a person studies Torah there won’t be found a single instance of a person being given “rights” by a Creator. The Torah doesn’t deal with rights.

  6. Yamit you are entertaining, but sometimes you are full of more crap, than a constipated goose.

    Thanks friend!

    😉 I didn’t say that Fistel did. He’s not into Christians, I like Christians especially the broads. Never had a Jewish girlfriend till I moved to Israel. See I’m liberal if not ecumenical. 🙂

  7. Samuel Fistel says:

    The Judeo-christian heritage: Stop the big lie!

    There’s no such thing as Judeo-Christian

    There’s a term that has been getting a lot of mileage lately as moralists and fundamentalists and other moral crusaders, and it deserves a second look. That term is Judeo-Christian. More expressly, the Judeo-Christian ethic. This term is especially popular in arguing against gay marriage, abortion, and the decline of morality in America. It’s been used to describe American morals, American ethics, American philosophical beliefs and America’s heritage. The reality of the term though, is that these two are not even related. There’s no such thing. Not only are they non-related, they’re in opposition. Jews and Christians are so far apart that there really isn’t any common ground, not ethically, morally, philosophically, and especially not religiously.

    This is very important since those who use this term are doing so in an attempt to force others into their religious viewpoint, linking it back to some biblical precept. While it’s true that Christianity has its roots in Judaism, it’s also true that when the Apostle Paul created Christianity, he did so by restructuring the religion to such a degree that it was no longer compatible with Judaism. For that he was dogged by the Jerusalem church for most of his career, until he eventually returned to Rome and created what we now call the Catholic Church.

    Jews don’t recognize Paul as a Pharisee, and they don’t recognize the New Testament

    The most obvious difference between the two philosophies is the nature of Christ, but there are other, far more significant differences. The Bible, as we know it, is comprised of two sections, the New Testament and the Old Testament. The Jewish Bible, and the Christian Bible. They are both so different that Christians started calling them testaments: Old and New.

    Much of the Jewish tradition is based around the Torah, the Law—the Pentateuch, the first five books of what we call the Bible. There are 613 laws in the Torah, 365 Negative Laws 248 positive laws and according to Jewish tradition they are all just as relevant today as they were when they were handed down from Moses.

    The point here is a simple one. There is no such thing as Judeo-Christian, and those who use the term do so erroneously, thinking that they have the support of the Bible for their beliefs. The reality is, according to the Torah, the Jewish Law, they are so far off the mark that they cannot make any claim to Judaism at all. If they claim their Christian heritage, then they must do so on the basis that they are separate from Jewish theology. Their New Testament disavows the Jewish Testament rather ardently, and Paul went to great lengths to prove that the law was no longer relevant.

    So when people try to claim that our nation was built on a Judeo-Christian ethic, it’s not true. The only ethic ever acceptable to Christianity is Christianity. It has abandoned Judaism out of hand starting with Paul, Christianities creator. The only relationship Christianity has with Judaism now is Israel and Jerusalem, because they believe that’s where Jesus is coming back. Even at the heart of that though, they’re still waiting for a time prophesied in the book of Revelation when the Jews to convert and accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior, and abandon their own religion and heritage.

    The truth behind the phrase is this; in the minds of those who use the term, there is no such thing as Judeo-Christian, there is only Christian.

  8. Yamit 82
    So let me spell it out: with respect to Jew-hatred, Jews don’t see much difference between christians and muslims. There are a few decent christians, just as there are a few decent muslims, but since the good christians and muslims will not do anything to stop the bad christians and muslims from killing us Jews, we find it hard to have our hearts overflow with love for the supposed good guys who won’t do anything to stop their evil colleagues from killing us.

    Yamit you are entertaining, but sometimes you are full of more crap, than a constipated goose

  9. So let me spell it out: with respect to Jew-hatred, Jews don’t see much difference between christians and muslims. There are a few decent christians, just as there are a few decent muslims, but since the good christians and muslims will not do anything to stop the bad christians and muslims from killing us Jews, we find it hard to have our hearts overflow with love for the supposed good guys who won’t do anything to stop their evil colleagues from killing us.

    You will have to contend with the Jewish apologists who are saying let bygones be bygones, what’s past is past. We need all the help we can get and these Good Christians mean us no harm and who cares what their agenda might be? They love us and give generously of their money, Lot’s of money, lot’s of money. You have to be an idiot not to see that without them we are toast and anyway we have a common enemy the Muslims who want to kill us so take their help there isn’t anyone else, is there? We need to build BRIDGES of friendship and ecumenical harmony. Give them what they want don’t make waves we need them.

    The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lies became truth (George Orwell, 1984).”

  10. Don’t blame me, I’m christian:

    Christian zionists (and some other christians) tell us Jews that we should love, respect, and trust them. When we Jews point out that, from a Jewish perspective, the entire history of christianity, from its very conception, consisted of hating, murdering, torturing, robbing, and raping Jews, they tell us that “those were not real christians”, so ignore them and only listen to us.

    That is a strange idea. It seems to me that christian Europe recently exterminated six million Jews while christian America stood by, and the catholic pope nodded his silent approval. But now it turns out that they were not real christians after all.

    At the outset, the catholic hitler was elected by only 33% of the popular vote. Apparently, on that day, 33% of germans were not real christians, and 67% were. Then, during World War Two, none of the germans or other european christians were real christians. However, on the day that hitler committed suicide, all of the european christians suddenly transformed once again (via transubstantiation?) into real christians. None were ever excommunicated, and they were all buried with full honors in christian cemeteries (as opposed to us Jews, who were thrown into unmarked mass graves, as apparently befits Jews).

    So, for example, Adolf Eichmann was not a real christian during World War Two, but after Hitler’s death, he became a real christian again, and when the Israeli Jews hunted him down, it was they who were committing an international war crime by capturing an innocent once-again real christian.

    I’m glad to know this. Apparently, all christians have “evil twins”, and when it looks like they are doing bad things to Jews, it is actually their “evil twin” (who is not a real christian) who is impersonating them. And therefore, Jews have to forgive all christians for everything bad ever done to Jews, because real christians are always good, and the bad guys are not real christians. And if any Jew fails to recognize how really good the good christians really are, then he is just a dirty christ-killing devil after all.

    So let me spell it out: with respect to Jew-hatred, Jews don’t see much difference between christians and muslims. There are a few decent christians, just as there are a few decent muslims, but since the good christians and muslims will not do anything to stop the bad christians and muslims from killing us Jews, we find it hard to have our hearts overflow with love for the supposed good guys who won’t do anything to stop their evil colleagues from killing us.

  11. ron what was the topic of this thread? Who posted it? How many hits has it gotten as compared with almost any other. Sure beats Topics on the legal rights of Israel by dry academics that nobody reads or cares to read and even more nobody cares.

    BTW I would rather have a sincere practicing and believing Catholic like you at my right side than all those millions of Holy Rollers we catch on this site from time to time. I trust those who ask nothing and give support unconditionally for what ever their reasons.

    I have asked of you due to your sensitivity to avoid these discussions. They have been going on for the past 20 centuries and I am afraid they will continue in this and any forum where Jews and Christians are allowed to let loose. I think it’s a positive as at least some Jews here are willing and able to respond in kind. You won’t get to see that on many blogs mostly because most Jews are so ignorant they don’t know how. I like Catholics for that reason, most are as ignorant of Scriptures as the Jews. A more even playing-field.

    Forget this thread ron and comment on all the others.

  12. yamit82 says:
    January 14, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Uncle, just maybe I can get your attention.

    I believe this site was established for the support of the Sovereign Jewish Nation of Israel, an undivided Jerusalem and an undivided, one state of Israel.

    Why all the religious fighting and name calling.

    Never in my day have I seen or heard the vicious attacks on each other.

    I ask that if you visit this site leave your religion at home, this is not the place for it.

    When you bring your religion here you are implying Judaism is wrong and you are right and you want to convert them.

    Forget it.

    They have faith in G-d and the Torah and this is where it all began.

    Above all, remember this is a JEWISH SITE.

    I was fortunate to be brought up in a community of Catholics, Protestant and Jews and I never heard any name calling.

    I hung out with my Jewish and non-Catholic friends and we never discussed religion, we had respect for each other’s faith.

    My neighbor who was Jewish and I hung out with and in fact I rode shotgun with him delivering kosher meat for Jewish meat market and deli.

    I suggest if someone wants to discuss religion, cut them off and let’s keep it in the context of supporting Israel.

    Thank goodness the good nuns taught us not to try and convert anyone who has a faith in God/G-d.

  13. The Judeo-christian heritage: Stop the big lie!

    The biggest lie told by christians is that it arose directly out of Judaism, and became the true form of Judaism which HaShem had been aiming for all along. And by doing so, it made the Torah obsolete and no longer in force.

    Just look at what they are saying: HaShem plyed a trick on the stupid Jews by telling them to follow the Torah and promising them life, when he really was condemning them to death through “the Law”. G-d is not one; he is a three-in- one godhead. God can become man and vice-versa. God can die. The Jews killed god. There is no affirmation of faith through circumcision, no Shabbat, no Passover, no Yom Kippur, no kosher. In fact, there is no anything. Everything goes, so long as you accept the human sacrifice of the man-god for your sins.

    When I look at this claim, I just cannot believe it. If you had set out to build a reverse Judaism, an anti-Judaism, then it would be christianity. And yet these guys insist they are the “new, real jews”, and we are the cursed, obsolete old Jews.

    How did this happen? Historically, it is easy to see. When christianity started out, Jews and pagans alike pointed out everything I just did. But the christians bided their time until they took power with the emperor Constantine. Then they made christianity the official religion, outlawed paganism, and made the Jews outcasts. They burnt every book which pointed out how illogical christianity is, and burned every person at the stake who would say these things out loud.

    Then they ceaselessly pounded the big lie of the Judeo-christian continuum down our throats so that we were unable to consider any other possibility.

    But that was then, and this is now. Now, the trouble is that christians have so thoroughly brainwashed themselves, that they have become religious robots incapable of rational thought, and they will never stop coming at us with the man-god who died for your sins stuff.

  14. Bill Ford: Judaism received G-d’s law the Torah at Sinai where we believe according to our scriptures that every Jew some 3 million heard G-d speak In the 3300 years since that event no similar happening has occurred to any other people or religion. In those 3300 years no one has hever made a counter claim.

    The Torah is aware of its uniqueness and unabashedly offers this challenge to every Jew who has lived since Sinai:

    You might inquire about times long past, going back to the time God created man on earth [exploring] one end of the heavens to the other. See if anything as great as this has ever happened, or if the like has ever been heard. Has any nation ever heard God speaking out of fire, as you have, and still survived? (Deuteronomy 4:32–33)

    Since Judaism was born by a national revelation, We also maintain that the only way to rescind the compact derived from that encounter is for G-d to reassemble all of the Jewish people in one place and tell us that our covenants have been rescinded and transferred to a new One. Short of that we deem our covenants still intact and in-force. There is no rational or logical reason we should take your or Pauls word for it.

    Furthermore your Christian concept of what and who The Messiah is, is nothing like our conception or beliefs. There is no mention in any Text of the Tanach that mentions The messiah and certainly not of a concept of a savior. Jews believes based on the Jewish prophets of a messianic age. But Judaism is not predicated on any concept of any Messiah. He is an ideal even a speculation but we can live quite well as Jews without a Messiah, Our world is the one we live in and any concept of a hereafter in Judaism is speculative.

    You do know nothing about Judaism. Probably even less about Jews.

    “The Truth Will Set You Free”! “Salvation is from the Jews”!!

    “The woman said to him [Jesus], ‘Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain; and you say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for Salvation is from the Jews.'” (John 4:19-22)

  15. Bill Ford believes in this phoney and this baloney.

    Bill, you have no idea what Judaism or the Torah is about. The above linked video series will only tell you what Judaism cannot be about and why your beliefs and scriptures are pure fiction. Good luck on your new journey. After all. “The truth will set you free!”

    Shabbat Shalom to my fellow Jews and other believers in the truth here at Israpundit.

  16. Reads like the same thing the Pharisees said about Jesus two thousand years ago. What do they fear? Christianity follows Jesus a Jew and positions itself as a completeion of the prohecises. There is no conflict between the faiths. Our Old Testament is the Jewish Torah.

    Why hate a group that believes as you do that the Savior is coming again? Why hate a group because they believe this coming Jewish savior is named Jesus? We can not withstand such intolerance with Islam out to kill us all. Let each hear the truth and decide for himself. There is but one God and as a Christian I know it is the God of Abraham. Forever!!

  17. Parenthetically, Yamit82, you are right that the Jews have outlasted many empires…show me where in history, even in our own history, it says we did it all by ourselves every time!!!

    You are correct Jews by themselves seem to have had little effect on the historical outcomes but show me where aligning with any other people, nation,religious group or empire has brought anything good to the Jews except greater and more bitter tragedy?

    Shavuot (the Feast of Weeks) is known as the holiday marking the giving of the Torah, not the holiday marking the acceptance of the Torah.
    Giving the Torah was a one-time act, a ceremony. It isn’t a process; it was a miraculous event.

    Mt. Sinai was held over the heads of the nation during the giving of the Torah [in the legend in which Israel was offered a choice between the Torah or being buried under the mountain], because the Torah is not the result of evolution, during which all the right conditions were quietly and calmly prepared till the bodies were ready and eagerly awaiting it. It is always a revolution, meaning something coming in opposition to what the nation is ready for and consciously desires.

    But great is the distance from this new revelation to its acceptance. And apparently it, too, must pass through two stages: first the stage of being forced upon the people from above, and only afterwards, the stage of learning it from below, from inside.

    And if you want to know where we stand today on our journey through the desert, let it be told: we are standing before the golden calf.

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