This past week, I attended the thirtieth annual meeting of the North American Lausanne Consultation on Jewish Evangelism in Boca Raton, Florida. This group is part of a larger entity known as the the Lausanne Consultation on World Evangelism. Truthfully, I am not a big fan of much that is embraced by the larger body. There are grave concerns about the doctrinal positions and consequently the actions that result from these positions among many of the member groups and agencies. There are people who have questioned the wisdom of participating in the Lausanne Consultations in any way. These questions have been directed at some of us via social media in the most negative of terms, absent any direct personal contact, or any first hand knowledge of the reasons for our involvement.
A serious question needs to be asked. How can one hope to change the portrait on which false doctrine and its application is painted if a position of disengagement is taken by those in opposition? Here is one of those issues.
Complete ignorance of a correct understanding of the Abrahamic Covenant is at the core of two dangerous factions in the Church. Christian Zionism and Christian Palestinianism would appear to be polar opposites of each other. Both of these groups stem from poor knowledge of Scripture and its application. Some streams of Christian Zionism have hijacked the idealism of a biblical love for Israel and infused it with a support for Israel right or wrong. People like John Hagee are not even concerned about the salvation of Jewish people. Hagee teaches that Jews are saved oiutside of a personal faith in Jesus. The modern state of Israel is not a righteous nation. Most Jews living in Israel are not followers Yeshua, the King of their creation. This is also true of Christian Palestinianism. In an attempt to draw a moral equivalence with the actions of Dr. Martin Luther King, the violence of Palestinian terrorism has been intentionally swept under the rug and out of sight. This is done in an attempt to shift the blame for Palestinian plight onto Israel. The truth is that the dreadful deprivations caused by the predatory leadership of Arafat (now dead), Abbas, and Meshaal have led to this tragedy. What is known as the “occupation” started because the Palestinian leadership chose violent terrorism as their means of liberation.
Believers in Messiah Jesus must interpret the text of the Bible in the same way its first hearers did. Removing Scripture from its original historical and grammatical context has directly led to Satan’s manipulation of its core content in the hearts and minds of many who would call themselves Christians, but who in fact may have been deceived into believing they are.
Disengagement from dialog will not help. We must continue to speak the truth in love and confront error wherever it is found. More will be said about this in the future. But for now, know that confronting these things directly is one of the major purposes for Disciple Daily and the publishing of this three part series on the Abrahamic Covenant as the basis for Jewish identity. The earliest Church, understood this Covenant with all of it ramifications. It directly led to the evangelistic efforts of the disciples towards the “Jew first and also the Greeks (Nations).
Many thanks to Mottel Baleston for making this article available for posting. Mottel is one of the teaching elders at Beth Messiah Messianic Congregation in Livingston, New Jersey. He is also one of the founders of the Association of Messianic Congregations, a group of congregations dedicated to teaching the Bible and its application from the foundation of the original Jewish background.
The Abrahamic Covenant, Basis for Jewish Identity – Part 3
“For through you all the nations of the world will be blessed” – Gen 12:3
6. The Abrahamic Covenant is the legal basis for the sending of Messiah Yeshua. In the New Covenant narrative of the birth of Messiah Yeshua, His uncle Zechariah, serving as a Jewish Priest in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, declared that the birth of Yeshua was a fulfillment of the promise that was stated in the Abrahamic Covenant. It was through the descendant of Abraham, Yeshua, that the nations (Gentiles) were blessed with the ability to have sin atoned for and to enter the Kingdom of God. – Luke 1:67-73
7. While the Abrahamic Covenant serves to preserve the Nation of Israel, each individual Jewish person like every other human being remains as a sinner, in need of a redeemer (Isa. 59:1-2, 16, 20). The Abrahamic Covenant guarantees the continued physical survival and existence of the Jewish people as a nation corporately. The individuals mentioned in Isaiah 59:1-2 as being separated from the God of Israel were members of that covenant, but because of their individual sin, were in need of individual atonement. The method of that atonement is spelled out at the end of that chapter, in v. 20 where we read of the Redeemer’who is to come.
I’ll conclude with a true story. In a weekly exchange of “Letters to the Editor” I had with a local Jewish community leader, published over an 8 week stretch in a local newspaper, he challenged the right of our Congregation’s members to identity themselves as Jewish (70% of our members are Jewish) without the approval of area Rabbis. In response, I wrote: ”It wasn’t the Rabbis of our community who made us Jewish, it was the Lord God of Israel and our Jewish mothers, and I don’t recommend arguing with either of them!