Saturday, August 12, 2006

College's Hiring of Jew for Jesus Irks Rabbis

A northwest suburban community college has hired an evangelical missionary to teach doctrines of Judaism and Christianity, irking local rabbis who fear the instructor's "subtle evangelism" will creep into the classroom.

Jhan Moskowitz, head of Chicago's chapter of Jews for Jesus, a missionary group that seeks to convert Jews to Christianity, will teach a one-time comparative religion class at Harper College in Palatine on Sept. 21.

College administrators say Moskowitz, 57, has assured them he will teach the basics, not preach the Gospel. To Moskowitz, his academic credentials are more relevant than his full-time job running the evangelical group.

"If I tell you I don't want to increase my sphere of influence in the lives of others in order to make what I believe clear to them, I'd be lying to you," he said. "But the classroom is not the venue in which I do that."

I know Jhan. He has a great depth of knowledge. Who better than a missionary to understand both sides and where they stand?
Rabbi Max Weiss of Beth Tikvah Congregation in Hoffman Estates said he was taken aback when, while flipping through the college catalog, he ran across the course description for "Basic Doctrines: Judaism and Christianity," which identifies Moskowitz.

"The Jews for Jesus organization often resorts to less than straight-forward or honest tactics to accomplish their goals," Weiss wrote in a letter addressed to the college president.

"I fear that this is exactly what he is doing with the class at Harper College," he said in an interview. "They have other people capable of teaching the class from a scholarly perspective."

How many times this summer have I heard the "I don't agree with them that you can be Jewish and for Jesus so they must be deceptive" line of reasoning?

I wonder what those tactics are. One wonders why they named the organization "Jews for Jesus", since the name is upfront with who they are for and what they are advocating. But let's not something as inconvenient as contrary facts stand in the way of a negative charge against Jews for Jesus.

But Jhan doesn't need my defending.
"To simply presume that someone will abuse their power over students because they happen to have a strong point of view is frankly unfair," he said.

Moskowitz said the rabbis have nothing to fear:

"I'm not preaching the Gospel. I'm teaching a class in history. I'm living the Gospel."

13 Comments:

Anonymous Moshe ben Avraham said...

Who better then a missionary to understand both sides? You are joking right? Do you expect me to believe that a missionary, whose job it is to convert other people to his beliefs in what ever means necessary, will teach a comparitive religion class objetively? I am in so much shock I have no repsonse to that. That's like saying murder is okay.

8/14/2006 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger Chad said...

I wonder if the objection would be there if it was anyone other than a Messianic Jew teaching the course? My guess is a resounding NO. If Rabbi Weiss were teaching the course, would we then be able to presume that he would subtly influence the students to believe in Judaism? This is a fine example of avoiding the issue of who Jesus is by attacking those who raise the issue.

8/14/2006 02:37:00 PM  
Blogger Chloe said...

Wow~ I enjoy reading your blog. Thanks for sharing : )

8/14/2006 02:39:00 PM  
Blogger geoffrobinson said...

Moshe,

Your problem is that you think his job is "by whatever means necessary."

Let me give you what I've experienced.

When I've gone out on the street with Jews for Jesus they have given me rules for ethical conduct. They don't want me handing out literature to minors. They don't want me to accept donations. They don't want me to accept something in exchange for someone else accepting literature. The gospel is free and not for sale.

Your shock may be due to the fact that you have demonized people you have a disagreement with. Jews for Jesus wants their people to handle themselves with honesty and integrity.

8/15/2006 09:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Moshe ben Avraham said...

LOL. HOnesty and integrety. I am not a crook. Sound like any president you know? Just because you say you conduct your campaigns honestly does not make it so.

Chad, want to know why a orthodox or reform rabbi would not be stopped from teaching such a class? Because THEY ARE NOT MISSIONAREIES! My G-d how clear does this have to be? I feel like I am dealing with three year olds that want to misbehave and no matter how much I reason with them they fail to see the error in thier behavior. Which is common for three year olds. Chad...grow up. Why hide behind the same thing over and over again. They attack the messenger not the message. Have you been paying attention. We have been attacking the message, and for an added bonus we attack the messenger as well.

Just curious...what you think of our Iranian president? He and i could become pen pals.

8/15/2006 11:41:00 AM  
Blogger geoffrobinson said...

Moshe,

Questioning the integrity of people you don't know with no information is silly. I have given you firsthand testimony of what I've seen. But that's discounted.

You claim to have reason. More reason in your pinky finger then most Christians.

So give me the logical reasoning which says that a missionary will lie and misrepresent the other side while teaching in the role as an academic.

You assume that Jhan is dishonest by his very job title. Then you fail to see why we can't get that the issue is that he shouldn't be allowed to teach.

Because you are using circular logic Moshe! Your premise is faulty. It's unproven.

8/15/2006 03:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Moshe ben Avraham said...

Good to see you got some punch to your words. The question isn't wheather he will lie in his teaching, I give jews for Jesus more credit then that [afterall you actually believe in the lies you preach; can't be lying that way :)] One does not always need personal information about somebody to draw conclusions. If somebody claims to be a Nazi, I would guess that he is anti-sematic. Is that a wrong conclusion to draw?

You want the logical reasoning? Every Jew for Jesus is obligated to spread the "gospel" of Jesus. What better place then the classroom? Afterall, are you not trying to save as many souls as possible? As for your first hand testimony...what about the thousands of Jews who have been exposed to your campaigns who claim that you are, no surprise, deceptive in what you claim jews for Jesus is. I think I will go with my fellow Jews on this one.

8/16/2006 12:26:00 PM  
Blogger Chad said...

Moshe:

You admonish me to grow up. Look in the mirror. In almost every comment you have posted on this and other blogs, you have consistently avoided mature, respectful dialogue in favor of hostile and hateful rhetoric. You lack credibility at this point, and if you want to be taken seriously then engage people respectfully and deal with the message. Apparently something that you're not being taught in whatever yeshiva you're studying at is that then you communicate primarily in ad hominem attacks instead of actual dialogue, *you* come across like the three-year old. There's really no point in engaging with you further until you change this.

8/16/2006 02:55:00 PM  
Blogger geoffrobinson said...

"afterall you actually believe in the lies you preach; can't be lying that way"

"As for your first hand testimony...what about the thousands of Jews who have been exposed to your campaigns who claim that you are, no surprise, deceptive in what you claim jews for Jesus is. I think I will go with my fellow Jews on this one."

1) Jews for Jesus actually believes what they preach according to you.

2) A bunch of people confuse disagreement with dishonesty. (a logical mistake btw) Their errors in reasoning doesn't give you evidence for anything.

1) and 2) don't match.

Oh, and Jhan has already said he wasn't going to abuse his position of authority. That was in the original article.

8/16/2006 07:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Moshe ben Avraham said...

For Chad. Yes at first I have been disrespectful. But if you bothered to notice I refrained from that in later comments. You guys just really piss me off, so I use strong language. But I feel I have not been too degrading towards robinson and crew. Take out a few of the rascists I ridiculed in the shout box, I feel chad's commments are inaccurate and and shows his frustrations because of the failure of the New York campaign. And I have brought up arguments with robinson that may not be the most intellectual, but I am not a rabbi or deeply knowledgable of Torah; so I do okay.

Chad as for the hostile and hateful rhetoric... Talking about sensitive and contoversial things is not always hostile or hateful. Yes, I have brought up many conflicting view points, but come on...this is a jews for Jesus website. A lot of times I use sarcasm to keep robinson on his toes. I like to see how he handles it.

Now onto more interesting matters. One and two do match if you bothered to think about it. One you believe in what you preach, but what if there are errors in the way you give the message? Yet, for some reason you cannot see it. Two when you are preaching a deceptive message what you believe is recieved by the listener and they will pick up the deception as well. Robinson oyu make the critical error of saying it does not matter how thousnads of Jews percieve the message. Thousands upon thousands of Jews are not confusing disagreement with dishonesty. You do not have the right to say the Jews do not feel this way. I know for a fact that Jews do feel this way. You make assumtions that will, in the end, destroy this organization. Jews do not want to hear your message, Jews know who funds you and what thier ultimate goals are, Jews do not believe in Jesus that know anything about Judaism.

As for Jhan. I will believe his statement when I see the the effect he has had on his students.

And yes I do come across as a three year old. It's a part of my nature. LOL

8/17/2006 11:42:00 AM  
Blogger Chad said...

This is the "failure" that Moshe ben Avraham refers to:

Last month, throughout the greater New York area, our campaigners handed out 1,872,800 broadside tracts. We received contact information from 11,718 people who want to hear more from us including 3,689 Jewish seekers and 2,712 Gentile seekers. We knocked on 9,430 doors and connected with 2,170 people in their homes. We also connected by telephone with 8,711 of the 25,790 people that we called. We sent 3,396 copies of the “Jesus for Jews“ testimony book free to seekers who requested them through our evangelistic ads and mailings, and prayed with 241 Jewish people and 261 Gentiles to receive Jesus as Messiah and Lord.

We measure our success by whether or not we succeeded in doing what the Lord has called us to do: to proclaim the Gospel, as Jesus commanded all believers in Him to do. In that sense, numbers are only an indicator as to how well we have done the job of proclamation.

8/18/2006 07:57:00 PM  
Blogger geoffrobinson said...

Chad,

I would have to raise a disagreement here. But it shows an error on Moshe's thinking.

God gives the increase. Was Isaiah a failure? "Keep on hearing but do not understand...Make the heart of this people dull..." (Isaiah 6)

Or what of the oh-so-successful prophet Jeremiah?

The biblical model is to relate the message as best as God gives you.

8/19/2006 08:03:00 AM  
Blogger Chad said...

Geoff:

You are correct in the examples you've cited. I certainly don't intend my previous post to be considered universal; it was meant to raise the point that God's standards of success are very different from man's.

8/19/2006 10:12:00 PM  

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