“WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?”
By Messianic Rabbi Jack Zimmerman,
Congregation Beth Simchat HaMashiach,
Washington D.C. was all abuzz last week, and this time it wasn’t our elected officials causing a stir:
From across the nation, hundreds if not thousands of people (mostly Christians), came to the Capital to hold a 4 day Conference to lobby their Congressmen and Senators to support Israel. At a time when the Holy Land is threatened daily with rants from Iraq’s Ahmadinejad, bombs from Hamas, and just the other day, verbal threats from Hezbollah saying they now have the rocket capability to attack any and every Israeli city, the organization that wants congress to take action and stand behind Israel, is viewed as a welcome breath of fresh air by many.
And indeed, there’s much good to say about Christians United for Israel (CUFI). Led by San Antonio based Pastor John Hagee, the organization takes seriously God’s edict in Genesis 12, “I will bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel”. And for the past year if not more, Hagee has taken CUFI on the road to cities across America, holding events featuring Jewish songs, speeches about how great Israel and its people are, and giving out checks for Jewish causes all along the way.
The result has been that Jewish people have begun opening their hearts to these Gentile Christians, and for the first time in nearly 2000 years, Jews are fellowshipping with Gentiles and NOT seeing the goyim as the enemy, but also seeing they have a powerful national voice (Hagee) petitioning Congress to support the Jewish State. I will be the first one to declare how wonderful this is, and I thank God for this aspect of what CUFI is accomplishing.
However, what I’m trying to figure out is, why are most believers ignoring the larger picture?
Some months ago, when the CUFI road-show came to Phoenix, I attended the event. I was thrilled to hear Christians speaking up for the Holy Land, saying it should not be divided, that it was the responsibility of all to bless that nation as God instructed us to do. As a Jew who’d grown up in New York hearing a number of Gentiles I knew then call me a “Christ-killer”, it was a refreshing change to hear Gentiles apologizing to us for such comments, and replacing them with love.
And then came the videotape, and my heart sank.
Hagee showed a CUFI promotional video of a recent “Night to Honor Israel” event, featuring a pro-CUFI Orthodox Jewish Rabbi. The Rabbi said something to the effect of, “CUFI is a great organization; we can all be friends without our having to convert”.
After the tape, the auditorium erupted in enthusiastic applause.
Excuse me, am I missing something here?
On video for all to see, CUFI has given this Rabbi a platform to spread the message that Jewish people do not have to accept Jesus, and furthermore, that CUFI has no interest in them doing so.
Is everybody still applauding? Sorry, but I have a huge problem with this.
Nationwide, a message is now being promoted by Christians saying, “Hey, if you’re Jewish, don’t worry about the Jesus barrier that’s separated us—we don’t think you really need Jesus anyway, and we’ll show you a video of one of our Rabbi friends, just so we can prove it to you!
And despite this, everytime CUFI holds an event somewhere in the U.S., I hear Christians singing praises about how great it was. How can I say this tactfully….have you all gone mad?? Let me give you several reasons why I haven’t joined the pro-CUFI bandwagon:
#1-While I think it’s great that Jews and Gentiles are establishing major friendships for perhaps the first time since the first century, if it’s at the expense of a message being put forth that Jewish people don’t need Jesus, of what value is it?
Is everybody still applauding?
#2-Whether they know it or not, CUFI’s proclamations only make my job harder. When Christians send a message that Jewish people don’t have to accept Jesus, it makes messianic rabbis like me appear all the more as extremists when I suggest to those same Jewish people, that they do! I envision in the not too distant future speaking to a Jewish person about Jesus, and having them say to me, “Jack, haven’t you heard? Your own group of Jesus believers says we don’t need Him. You need to get on board with CUFI and get with the program; what’s wrong with you!”
Is everybody still applauding?
#3-CUFI defenders say that Jesus is mentioned at their events: “Pastors from the local area speak and make sure they declare their position in Messiah”.
While I’m certainly glad that local pastors make sure to declare their position in Messiah, I’m not sure if that’s any great revelation to the Jewish people attending. Jewish people already know that pastors believe in Jesus. Problem is, the combination of seeing pastors who say they believe in Jesus, and then showing a videotape where an Orthodox Rabbi says it isn’t necessary for Jewish people to do so, continues to send the exact same message that Jews have been thinking for years anyway—Christians need Jesus, (and the pastors obviously confirm this) and Jewish people don’t. (and the pro-CUFI Orthodox Rabbi obviously confirms that).
Is everybody still applauding?
#4-CUFI supporters claim that eventually, Jewish people will see their love and accept Jesus as a result. Really?
Between 90-95% of all Jewish people marry out of their faith. In such families, if the Christian spouse promotes Jesus, they many times lead the Jewish spouse to Jesus. However, if the Christian spouse does not promote Jesus to the Jewish spouse, the Jewish spouse does not accept Jesus, no matter how much love there is in the marriage! More likely, both partners end up embracing traditional Judaism.
So, in reality, what’s love got to do with it? Without the message of the need for Jesus included, absolutely nothing. To me, it’s silly to think that an organization telling Jews they don’t need Jesus but showing them love, will get these Jewish people to embrace Jesus. Think about this—if I love you and say that you don’t need Jesus, what motivation would you have to disobey the one who shows you so much love, turn your back on them, and accept Jesus in the process? It doesn’t happen in mixed marriages where both partners love each other more than CUFI ever could love them if Jesus isn’t part of the mix. The Jewish person simply doesn’t accept him; that’s just plain fact.
If you still don’t see the problem, maybe this will clarify things for you:
95% of all Jewish people are saved through Gentiles and the Church. After a recent CUFI event here in Phoenix, a Pastor had called a messianic friend of mine who was going to speak at his church on the subject of how their church congregation could share the good news with Jewish people. The pastor said, "sorry, but I have to cancel your speaking here. I went to the Night to Honor Israel Event, and have decided to adopt Hagee's methodology—I’m good friends with a local Rabbi, and I know it would upset him if I brought in someone who spoke about "converting" Jews, and I don't want to lose his friendship, so I'll have to say no".
Great. That’s just one more church whose congregants won’t learn how to keep Jewish people out of hell. If more Pastors follow suit as a result of going to a CUFI event, is that a good thing?
If you’re still applauding, I have one more question to ask you….why?
In closing, let me just say you don’t have to tell me how terrific it is that we have an organization that supports Israel and shows love. I know all this. Don’t spout to me about how great it is that for the first time in 1900 years, Jews and Gentiles are coming together in droves; Again, I know all this. And in that regard, I agree with you.
But at what cost, friend! If such a message comes with one that also steers Jewish people away from Jesus and the promise of heaven, is that okay with you?
What few people are seeing, is that the GREATEST ACT OF SPIRITUAL GENOCIDE is being committed right in front of our eyes. We’re all aware (I hope), that satan mimics what Jesus does, and this is yet another attempt by satan to stop Jewish people from getting saved. The Bible warns us about this. 2 Timothy 3:5 tells us of those who “have a form of godliness but deny its power; have nothing to do with them”.
I for one, will not have anything to do with anyone who denies the salvific power of Yeshua to the point of where they make it a point to say Jews don’t need to accept it. My own mother needs to be saved. I can only hope I get to her before John Hagee does. If you truly love the Jewish people, you will share the Good News of Yeshua with them at any cost. And if you want to see more Jewish people go to hell, just keep applauding.
Messianic Rabbi Jack Zimmerman
Mayim Hayim Ministries can no longer be a member of CUFI (Christians United for Israel) because we do not uphold to CUFI theology, which is the theology of pastor John Hagee. He will not "witness" Jesus (Yeshua) as the Messiah to the Jewish people for FEAR of offending them. Heaven help us Lord...Pastor Hagee's apostasy, and his teaching in parts of his new book: In Defense of Israel (2007), are heresies this ministry cannot overlook. The Scriptures clearly say: "Who is a liar but he that denies that Jesus is the Messiah? He is anti-messiah, that denies the Father and the Son." (1 John 2:22). Hagee has done just that in his book, he has denied that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah (the Christ) to my Jewish people.
Jews are no different than Gentiles when it comes to the Gospel Message of Yeshua Messiah. Hagee's point that the first century Jews could not be blamed for rejecting Jesus, because Jesus Himself "refused to be their Messiah" is so false it makes me ill. This is why his book is heretical! It directly contradicts all the fundamental in the New Testament, which declares with "perfect clarity" who Messiah was, and what He claimed to be. First off, Messiah Yeshua came for the Jews, His own people, but also to make a way for the Gentiles. He is that Light showing the way to God, the only way. What more can I say... We cannot uphold Hagee's ideas about not witnessing to our Jewish people because it's not what Yeshua would want for His followers to do with God's Word they know to be TRUE about who He is, He is the Messiah!!! As a Messianic minister and teacher of God's Word, it is my duty and calling to bring the Good News to Jewish people first...and then the non-Jew who need God.
Yeshua say, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through Me." --John 14:6
You see: Yeshua is the Way, the road made easy for ALL who love God and are called according to His purpose...
You see: Yeshua is the Door that stands OPEN, calling ALL of sinful mankind to enter and be healed...and this is to the Jew first.
You see: Yeshua is the Life, and He imparts His life to ALL who call upon God, because He is God and was from the very beginning...
Then if this be the case, and I fully know and believe that it is, then we best not judge who knows our Lord by what we SEE with our MORTAL eyes. We must know things by the SPIRIT OF GOD. What we need to do is preach the Truth in LOVE just like Messiah and His followers did. I know that the road is narrow ====, and I know that there are NOT many roads, only one, but I also know that Yeshua Messiah, our Great High Priest makes supplication, intercession and prayers for ALL who love God and are the called.
Yeshua prayed for His followers, and Rabbi Paul new it when he stated:
But then, has Israel stumbled that they should fall beyond repair? God forbid, may it never be: rather that through their fall, Salvation (Yeshua) has come unto the non-Jewish nations, and this was done to provoke Israel to jealousy. (Romans 11:11 AGI).
Are you provoking Israel to jealousy? I pray to God we are as a ministry.
Please read the following article, its a book review of In Defense of Israel by Richard Amiel McGough.
Rev. Barbara A. Di Gilio Th. D.
We welcome all your comments: firstname.lastname@example.org