I don’t know if I would classify as an objective observer in regards to the Jewish faith. For even while I am not Jewish, I have been described as one who has a Jewish nefesh (soul). However, the last few days have lent itself to observation and cataloging of thoughts as it relates to the Jewish people and their relationship with God … much less the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Over the last week I have sat through a plethora of seminars and sessions presented from a not as yet Jewish believer perspective. Topics have ranged from what happens when we die to how can we address God in pray to the true name of God. I have heard speakers promise hope without Jesus and watched as the Jewish people in attendance grasped at the false fruit that was being offered. It was if they were spiritually and desperately hoping that they were being offered a light of truth and not being left stranded on a railroad track as the train approaches.
What has been of particular interest to me is that the preponderence of the speakers were Orthodox while the majority of the Jewish attendees were Conservative at best and Reform in the majority. It was almost as if those in attendance hoped that by attending a lecture from an Orthodox rabbi that they could be excused for the Reform practices.
Reform to Secular Judaism is not the exception in American Jewish life but it is quickly becoming the standard. Tablet Magazine recently reported that 1 out of 6 American Jews are unaffiliated with any congregation/synagogue (and 20% of Israeli Jews would classify themselves as Atheists). In fact, one of the sessions led by a “Reform” rabbi advocated a genderless God who is “God” to everyone. In other words, it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you believe something … except of course in the truth of Messiah Jesus.
And what are we as churches and Christians doing to reach out to the secular and marginally religious? What are we saying and showing with our lives that would draw those who are longing for meaning and spiritual purpose to the only hope possible … the Gospel Message of Jesus the Messiah? There are thousands of Lisa Schiffman’s (please read her book Generation J for insight into the average Jewish-American life) who need to know that meaning is possible through Jesus, life can have purpose through Jesus, and that eternity actually is real through Jesus.
What are we doing…? First, we must pray. Second, we must share the truth of Jesus. Third, we must pray again. Where are you on the list?