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Did Those Six Million Jews Die for You?

Auschwitz entrance

The Entrance to Auschwitz

By now the controversy surrounding the Jews for Jesus video “That Jew Died for You” has simmered down. Still the strong negative reaction by the Jewish community to the JFJ evangelistic effort remains a stain on Jewish-Christian relations.

At the release of the video prior to Holocaust Remembrance Day, a Jews for Jesus press release, explained the video seeks “to help redefine the conversation and reshape views of Jesus and His relationship to the Holocaust.”

The intentions of JFJ in the production of this video were honorable and aimed to initiate conversation among Jewish people regarding Christianity’s relationship to the murder of six million Jews under the evil Nazi regime.

David Brickner, Executive Director of  JFJ offered his public commentary on the video, “The horrors of the Holocaust and the 6 million who died has gnawed at the consciousness of Jews for over 60 years. We want Jewish people to understand that the sufferings inflicted at the hands of the Nazi’s were in no way based on the teachings of Jesus (underlining mine). In fact, he suffered and died on our behalf to show us the love of God.”

Oddly, the majority of Jewish people do not think the teachings of Jesus are responsible for the horrors of the Holocaust. Rather, the Jewish community is  more concerned with the antisemitic attitudes of  Eastern European Christians prior to and during World War II that helped fuel the racist ideology behind the  Holocaust. (more…)

Which Jesus Should You Believe In?

The book that has pushed the most hot buttons with Christians this year is Pastor Rob Bell’s work Love Wins. It’s not surprising a book that questions the existence of hell and hedges on whether all people go to heaven would make the front cover of Time Magazine.

Crazy Christians Getting in the Way of Jesus

In the initial chapter Bell puts forth the question: When it comes to accepting Jesus, which Jesus do we invite into our lives?  The author puts this important question in his own distinct way,  “. . . think about the many who know about Christians only from what they’ve seen on television and so assume that Jesus is antiscience, antigay, standing out on the sidewalk with his bullhorn, telling people that they’re going to burn forever” (Love Wins, pg. 8).

I think Bell makes a good point.

Here’s why.  I am a NY Yankee fan – the most hated team in baseball, especially by Boston Red Sox fans.  And the feelings are mutual. Yet if you were to become a Yankee fan based on what a Red Sox fan claims about the Bronx Bombers, you’d never consider wearing a dark blue baseball cap with a NY insignia on the front.

I’ve known the NY team since the days of Mantle, Berra and Whitey Ford.  I can tell you a lot about the great achievements of the team.  In addition, I also have a lot of respect for many past Red Sox teams and players.

Let’s face it. You’ll never become a fan of the Yankees by speaking to a fan of the LA Dodgers, Anaheim Angels or Boston Red Sox. Instead,  I’d tell you to interview real Yankee fans.  Go to a Yankee game at Yankee Stadium. Read the history of the team.  Learn about the Yankees from people who love the team and not from people who wear the NY caps to be stylish or pretend they’re Yankees fans immediately after they win the World Series.

I’d tell you the same thing about Jesus. Speak to people who truly know Him and have walked with Him for a good portion of their lives to truly learn about Christ. (more…)

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