Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Big Baptist Conspiracy: Jews for Jesus's Founder Gives an Interview

I keep hearing that Jews for Jesus is a front group for the Baptists. Given that structure of Baptist churches is congregational (i.e. each church is independent) with multiple associations, this must have been one heck of a trick.

So who better to ask than Moishe Rosen, founder of Jews for Jesus, who graciously answered some questions I posed to him.

Me: Could you please explain how the Baptists founded
Jews for Jesus?


Moishe: If they founded Jews for Jesus then we should be on the budget of some Baptist denomination. But the truth is that Jews for Jesus is too big for one denomination to support. We need 17 million dollars next year and no one group can afford that much.

Me: On a serious note, how did Jews for Jesus came to be?

Moishe: The story is well told in a book by Ruth Tucker, "Still Not Ashamed" published by Multnomah Press. But basically, I realized that most evangelistic efforts among the Jews was carried out by well meaning but easily ignored Christians. I studied the approaches of the Prophets and Apostles and realized the missing Dimension was confrontation. By nature most Christians are too polite and politically correct so that their proclamation is but a whisper when a shout is more appropriate.

Me: How did the conspiracy theory that Jews for Jesus is a front-group for Baptist churches come about?

Moishe: If it was started by a Baptist Denomination, why would it be a conspiracy? Some people who can't accept the message try to impugn the messenger. But if we were a Baptist group what would be wrong with that? Those who want to put us in an evil light will do so anyhow. When I look at the history of the Baptist Denominations I don't see anything which makes me to be ashamed.

Me: What do you make of conspiracy theories in general?

Moishe: The greatest conspiracy is between the Devil, the World, and the Flesh or human nature. But Jesus is the light that banishes that darkness.



As a side note, I have to include something Moishe wrote in his email before he started to answer my questions:
I guess that some think that John the Baptist founded Jews for Jesus. But he was martyred in 29 A.D. and we weren't founded till 32 A.D.

It's good to keep a sense of humor about conspiracy theories.

11 Comments:

Blogger Sultan Knish said...

theologically jews for jesus' actual beliefs are an exact duplicate of the baptist churches which back him, arguing that it's many rather than one that back him hardly discredits the basic reality that jews for jesus is indeed a front group

7/20/2006 08:38:00 PM  
Blogger geoffrobinson said...

If by "exact duplicate" you mean that many Baptists want to bring the gospel, which is derived from the Jewish Scriptures, the Jewish apostles, and the Jewish Messiah...then yes, there is agreement.

But even among Baptists, there are diverging views among all sorts of things.

So by "front group" you are conjuring up some sinister person behind the scenes, secretly making the real decisions.

Does that sort of conspiracy theory sound familiar?

7/21/2006 08:09:00 AM  
Blogger Rich said...

Knish,
And an exact duplicate of the Presbyterian churches, and Anglican churches, and Lutheran churches.

Yes, theologically this is not Orthodox Judaism. Sorry to say it, but the above mentioned churches are closer to what the Bible has to say on many things than is Orthodox Judaism.

Look, how do I know that you're not a front man for Reform Judaism secretly posing as an Orthodox Jew so you can deceive the Orthodox and convert them all to Reform?

7/22/2006 12:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Moshe ben Avraham said...

LOL for rich's comment. I know how reform Judaism works and believe me as much as I may disagree with thier beliefs I know they have never resorted to such tactics you have suggested. By the way...what prove or so called "evidence" do you have that lets you say the Lutheran church practices the Tenakh better then Orthodox Jews. Or is that an attempt at a low blow?

7/24/2006 03:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Moshe ben Avraham said...

Also
You look at Baptists history and have nothing to be ashmaed of. What about the Second Awakening. All those preachers convincing everyone they are going to hell. People were spiritual bankrupt after years of being scared to do something that was considered hell worthy. It could be as simple as not completing your work two minutes earlier. I consider that a black mark on US religious history. Much like the Calvinists in Sweden. At least that got disbanded there and became much milder.

7/25/2006 03:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Moshe ben Avraham said...

I meant Switzerland. LOl Brain fart. My grammer and spelling was not very good in my last post. Apologies.

7/25/2006 05:21:00 PM  
Blogger geoffrobinson said...

I have some severe problems with the Second Great Awakening, but I don't think we have the same problem.

Based on this comment and the comment you left on Rich's blog, it seems you have big problems with someone telling you that there is a hell and that you may end up going there.

Why is that a problem for you? Do you get mad at the gas light of your car for going off when you are about to run out of gas?

And I never said Baptists were perfect. First, Baptists follow a congregational model of church government. There is no overall hierarchy which directs everything at the local level. Secondly, I'm not a Baptist.

7/25/2006 06:39:00 PM  
Blogger Sultan Knish said...

these churches are closer to what the Bible has to say in the sense that they don't keep the laws of G-d and discard them altogether and are polytheists

so ummm yes

7/26/2006 03:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Moshe ben Avraham said...

LOL nice try again. I admit you guys are brilliant trying to play on people's emotions. Lets keep this on a logical level shall we? My issue is not that people tell me I am going to hell or that I am afraid to go there because neither is true. My issue is with the firey passion that they believe it. It can be quite difficult to get along with people that believe so strongly in such a thing. I had one Baptist friend on the net who said she struggled considering me a friend because she believed I was going to hell. My response: lol. Our friendship ended when I told her I support abortion and could care less what Christians do in thier spare time. Actually Christians can believe in hell all they want. My issue is when this becomes such a strong belief that it effects day to day relations. Bombing of abortion clinics, hangings, e-mails, letters, phone calls threatening people that hell is awaiting them for thier decisions. I hope you woud agree this is a problem.

7/26/2006 04:04:00 PM  
Blogger Rich said...

Moshe,

I didn't say the Lutheran church practices Tanach better than Orthodox Jews. You said Jews for Jesus beliefs are a duplicate of Baptist churches, and I said no they are shared among all Christian denominations. That's all I said.

As far as passions go, there are good passions and there are bad passions. What would you think of someone who moderately loved his wife? The Shema says love the Lord your God with all your heart. He didn't say love the Lord your God as much as you love the leftover tuna from yesterday.

You're equating passion about the spiritual condition of this world and people's eternal destinies with bombing abortion clinics. A reviewer in the San Francisco Chronicle commented on criticisms of the C. S. Lewis film about Narnia. I don't think the reviewer professes faith and it's not exactly a conservative newspaper. But his comment was, "If you can't tell the difference between Pat Robertson and C. S. Lewis, then you have rocks in your head."

And if you can't tell the difference between abortion clinic bombers and a sane person who believes in hell, then I would have to say that you also have rocks in your head.

But what I really think is that you have a lot of time on your hands to be ardently arguing against someone you don't believe existed and against beliefs that you don't understand or respect.

Sorry to have to say that.

7/26/2006 10:17:00 PM  
Blogger geoffrobinson said...

Sultan,

Please tell me how Christians define the Trinity. In other words, I'm trying to figure out if you even understand that which you reject and critique. Accurately telling me what I believe will help me understand what you don't understand and you may end up learning something.

7/26/2006 11:16:00 PM  

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