Friday, August 25, 2006

Hating Jews for Jesus and the Psychological Reasons Behind It

Lynn Harris, who judging by her column's name is a rabbi's wife, goes into her reasons for hating Jews for Jesus.

The usual confusion between lying and disagreement is there. I've commented on that several times, so search the archives if that interests you.
Then there's the matter of the built-in mind-bender: I'm sorry, no, we cannot be both Jews and "for" Jesus. The "for Jesus" part—that would make us Christians. And it's indescribably offensive to be told that to become truly "fulfilled" or "completed" Jews, we must, in effect, leave Judaism behind. In fact, the Jew/Jesus thing can be seen as an outright lie. The missionaries might move a step or two down the hate scale if they'd quit playing Jewish music and using the star of David and just say, "Hi there! Before you get on the subway, we'd like you to become a Christian."

Lynn Harris goes on:
Even with a more honest approach, there'd still be the matter of Christians converting Jews—historically, an extremely uncomfortable maneuver. "There's more than one way to wipe out a people, and poison, like gas, comes in many forms," writes Burston. "Sometimes it looks like a leaflet. Sometimes it looks like the Internet. Sometimes it looks like a smile."

Way to poison the well. Sort of hard to discuss anything when someone is accusing a group of furthering genocide, regardless of the merits of the claim.

Harris continues to go on about a Christian grandmother who would discuss Jesus with her.

And then she closes:
I do not forgive or feel bad for Jews for Jesus the way I do my grandmother. For one thing, if you'd pressed her about nomenclature, she'd probably have said, "Well yes, accepting Jesus would make you Christian." No confusion—that is, duplicity—there. When it comes to Jews for Jesus, what I'd like to be able to say is something like, "How our sympathies shift when we get to know the people about whom we make assumptions!" But it's not nearly that simple. My own intimacy with their cause makes me both understand and resent them more.

Duplicity confused with disagreement. But I wonder if that's what's going on.

Preaching the good news of the Messiah isn't the problem. Lynn Harris and others repeatedly say that if someone said "become a Christian" they would be OK with that.

Maybe what the problem is that affirming the Jewishness of Jesus and following Jesus makes the message pertinent. And when the message is pertinent then you'll see negative reactions to the message.

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