In my recent article titled “We can’t ignore History. It Matters Relationally”, I made an effort to educate Christians about the sensitivities surrounding relationships with Orthodox Jews. We have worked with these precious people for over 15 years. I see so many offenses taking place against them and it increases the negativity attached to Yeshua’s name. In my zealousness to bring awareness to this need in the body of the Messiah, I spoke slanderous things about “many of” the Messianic Jews.
My statements against the Messianic community were unnecessary and inappropriate. It is HaYovel’s purpose to gather and unify, not to separate and divide. We are here to strengthen Jewish identity. It is not our place to speak on an issue that is “within the family” of the Jewish people. HaYovel will continue to be a platform for Christians to declare to Zion, “Your God reigns!” To the Messianic community: it was wrong of me to speak evil of you, please accept this public apology. You are certainly welcome to visit us for a glass of Jeremiah 31:5 on the Mount of Blessing!
Because of this, I have edited my article. Please see the revised version here:
We can’t ignore history. It matters relationally.
In recent years, Christians and Jews have reached unparalleled heights in their relationship with one another. Seeing the miraculous hand of God at work in Israel has provoked Christians to actively join in the fulfillment of Israel’s prophesied restoration. In this miraculous break from historical patterns, many Christians are partnering with Jews, unconditionally loving, serving, and defending them and their rights to their God-given, ancestral homeland.
Early this month the foundations of this relationship were shaken. Rabbi Tuly Weisz, who has been an outspoken advocate for cooperation between Christians and Jews, put it this way: “It is entirely damaging to everything I and others in the religious community, who love Christian Zionists, have been working toward. It sets us back 10 years. [It]…shatters the faith of people like me, who had hoped we were making a difference in Jewish-Christian relations.”
What was the cause of this shaking? A popular Israeli television network signed a contract with a Christian group, enabling them to air content in Hebrew with the intent to proselytize Jews.
I think it is very important for us Christians, who greatly value our relationships, to take the reaction of Orthodox Jews seriously and ask ourselves, “Why are they responding this way?”
As Christians who recognize the importance of having a relationship with God’s chosen people, we need to try to put ourselves in their shoes. Imagine if someone did the absolute worst, harmful and devastating thing you can think of to you and your loved ones. Imagine that this happened in every generation for two thousand years. Now imagine that this same people group openly came to your children to try and educate them about what they feel is the truth. At that point, freedom of speech, democracy, etc… doesn’t matter. It is insensitive, disrespectful, and causes even more damage to the already broken relationship.
Christians have horribly abused the Jewish people in the past, forfeiting their credibility to have any say so in what is right. I am a white boy from the southern United States. I have freedom of speech, but I choose to be overly respectful and sensitive to my African American brothers and sisters because I want to have a relationship with them and bring healing to the horrific wounds of the past. We can’t ignore history. It does matter relationally.
Horrible atrocities were committed in Jesus’ name. It is important for all of us who are called by His name to repent for the sins of our past, and to bring reparation to Yeshua’s name through unconditionally blessing, loving and supporting the Jewish people.
To summarize our position, we fully believe in the following principles:
A. The relationship between the nations and the Jewish people is a special treasure that should be guarded and held with utmost sensitivity. This relationship is mutually beneficial, allowing both parties to fulfill their God-given roles.
B. Christians should put an end to the vicious cycle of arrogance and disrespect towards the Jews by pressuring them to convert to Christianity. Both Jews and Christians should speak and act respectfully towards the other, not mocking or making light of belief systems or practices.
In accordance with these principles, and in light of the unbelievably horrific history of Christian abuse and violent actions towards Jews, we are very grateful to see that the leadership of GodTV recognizes that this relationship is sensitive and that they have removed videos with relationally damaging content. We endorse the removal of any content or channels that violates what we have outlined in section B.
Our prayer is that God will bless us, Christians and Jews, to work together towards our common goals, becoming a light to the rest of the world. It is exciting to see this very thing happening in our day!