Rabbi Tovia Singer, anti-missionary man, to speak at Beth Yeshurun later this month – Jewish Herald-Voice

Posted By on July 18, 2021

At some point, there was a parting of the ways. Two identities formed: Judaism and Christianity. Some scholars date it to the fourth century. Others date it earlier.

But at some point, people began asking: To what group do I belong? Who is in? Who is out? Through texts, doctrines and practices, the rabbis and early church leaders defined differences that marked the boundaries between Judaism and Christianity.

From its conception, the Christian faith has defined Jews explicitly as the religious Other, said Rabbi Tovia Singer. It has committed itself to converting Jews.

Rabbi Singer is a counter-missionary. Hes the founder and director of Outreach Judaism, an international organization dedicated to countering the efforts of fundamentalist Christian groups and cults which specifically target Jews for conversion. He is the author of the book, Lets Get Biblical: Why Doesnt Judaism Accept the Christian Messiah? He is a frequent guest on television and radio shows.

Rabbi Singer will speak on The Battle for the Jewish Soul: Are the Missionaries Winning? on Friday, July 23, at 6 p.m., in the Barg Sanctuary at Congregation Beth Yeshurun, and on Sunday, July 25, at 7:30 p.m., at the Techniplex Conference Center, 4810 Techniplex Dr., in Stafford.

Nobody uses terms like convert to Christianity anymore, Rabbi Singer told the JHV. They use terms like messianic Jew or completed Jew. Even the term, Hebrew Christian, is out of vogue.

The messianic community seeks to blur the distinction between Judaism and Christianity. They do this in order to lure Jews who would otherwise resist a straight-forward Christian message. Theyve done this successfully by appropriating Jewish symbols and rituals in order to convince people they dont have to abandon the Jewish faith in order to believe in Jesus.

Rabbi Singer emphasizes that its important for people to know that most Christians dont engage in the practice of missionizing or actively attempting to convert the Jewish people.

For instance, the Roman Catholic Church and the mainline Christian denominations are generally not involved in specifically proselytizing Jews. Were speaking about evangelical Christians, who are uniquely committed to seeing the Jewish people come to the cross. They sponsor groups like Jews for Jesus. They spend millions of dollars annually to missionize the Jews. They believe in order for Jesus to make his second coming, the Jews must convert to Christianity.

No denomination of Judaism considers messianic Jews to be a form of Judaism. One major reason: Messianic Jews believe the entire Christian Bible to be sacred scripture.

All messianic Jews believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, which includes the New Testament. There is no theological distinction between what they believe and a Southern Baptist church down the street believes. Their leaders are trained at the Moody Bible Institute and the Dallas Theological Seminary. They are simply Christian, although they may light candles on Friday night and may not celebrate Christmas.

Why is the mission of getting Jews to convert central to messianic Jews?

Three reasons, answered Rabbi Singer.

The Christian Bible prioritizes conversion of the Jews.

Second is eschatological: Only the mass conversion of the Jews will trigger the second coming of Jesus. The Jews play a critical role in this.

Third, the Jewish rejection of Jesus is problematic for the church and always has been. Its the conversion of Jews to Christianity that lends credence to the church, rather than the conversion of the gentile.

The interest on the part of Jews is related to their education. If you dont have a Jewish education, youre more [susceptible] to their message. When you strip anyone of knowledge of their faith and all they know about is Holocaust and culture, then if they are spiritually hungry and seek G-d, either we can provide spiritual answers or they will. The success of Jews for Jesus represents the unpaid bills of the Jewish people.

Rabbi Singers strategy for dealing with missionaries involves education.

The work of my organization is to provide information so that Jewish communities understand the dangers they face. It is important to know who is preying on the community. Education that teaches Jewish values is like spiritually inoculating our sons and daughters, said Rabbi Singer.

The most important thing I do is get to people before they encounter organizations like Jews For Jesus. Im happy so many Jews see my lectures, watch my videos and read my books so they never turn to these groups. Preventative measures, spiritual and physical, are always easier than trying to intervene after the fact.

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Rabbi Tovia Singer, anti-missionary man, to speak at Beth Yeshurun later this month - Jewish Herald-Voice

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