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Friday, December 21, 2012

Jeffrey Goldberg worries about the decline of the Evangelical Church

Every time I read an article by an American Liberal Jew like Jeffrey Goldberg in which he expresses fear and worry over Israel's support by Evangelical Christians, I wonder why it is that none of my Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox Jewish friends in Metropolitan New York or Chicago or Miami shares Jeffrey's fears. What really underlies the fear American Jewish Liberals have from Evangelical Christians is the fear that they will 'try to [forcibly] convert us.' And while there was a real basis for that fear in Europe a few hundred years ago, and while there is a real basis for that an analogous fear in much of the Arab and Muslim worlds today (a fear that Goldberg and his friends largely ignore), I find it hard to envision Evangelical Christians trying - let alone succeeding - in converting any of my Orthodox Jewish friends in the US to their religion. Let alone forcibly. Maybe that's because my friends all have solid Jewish educations....

In any event, this time, Goldberg's excuse for worrying about Israel 'depending upon' Evangelical support is the supposed disintegration of the Evangelical Church (and I say supposed because the source is the New York Times, and we all know how much they love the church and how unbiased their coverage is, and besides, this is an op-ed). This is from the first link:
It is a source of great frustration, even pain, among liberal American Jews that Israel finds such stalwart support among American evangelical Protestants, with whom they share very little. It is, of course, a source of great comfort to Israeli politicians such as Benjamin Netanyahu and to his even more right-wing colleagues, that evangelical support for Israel is so strong. Evangelical support always struck me as a narrow reed on which to rest Israel's fortunes in America, and not only because many evangelicals, in my experience, have no love for Jews as autonomous people, but merely as vehicles for the Christian redemption. I also thought it was odd to build a strategy around evangelicals because evangelicals don't represent a majority of Americans.
I have three points to make. First, we (or at least the people with whom I hang in this country) rely only upon God. We don't rely on American Jewry or Bibi or Obama or even on Evangelical Christians.

Having said that, we Orthodox Jews are raised to believe that we must do our hishtadluth, and try to bring about our goals in natural ways before expecting God to help us. There are a heck of a lot more Evangelical Christians out there than there are Jews. If they want to support us, I'm happy to let them.

Third, we'd be happy to accept the support of American Jewry. Unfortunately, liberal American Jews have bought into the anti-Israel tripe of the hard Left. That's not going to change any time soon. Apologists like Goldberg continue to delude themselves that if only we would martyr ourselves upon the altar of a 'Palestinian state,' liberal American Jews would love us... if only we were lucky enough to live long enough to see it happen....

Oh, and by the way, I believe that the Church's problems described in the Times op-ed are cyclical, and that the day that a Reagan or Bush-type President replaces Obama (it should only happen speedily and in our times) the Church's decline will be reversed.

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At 4:36 AM, Blogger FSM_47 said...

Non-denominational Bible-based church near my house fills 5 parking lots on Sunday morning and has 4 services. It is all in the message.


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