I wrote the following several years ago at the very last meeting I attended at a certain annual conference of Christian missions to the Jewish people. There are still many high-quality people in the organization in spite of the way this isolated quote might make things appear. Nonetheless, the attitude I decry in this piece is prevalent enough I withdrew my participation. I came across this in someone else’s blog and thought I would run it here. The value, I think, is in challenging the way some Christians and Hebrew Roots groups view Judaism:
Many in LCJE are still infected with anti-Judaism while at the same time being pro-Jewish. It is as if we imagine you can love Jews and oppose the religion that has preserved Jewish identity. It is Judaism that has held Jewish people together, even though many do not practice it. Judaism the religion is what led to the succession of Brit Milahs through the ages, entering Jewish boys into the covenant of God. It is Judaism that led Jews to marry other Jews and not assimilate into the surrounding cultures. It is Judaism that has caused Jewish people to remain distinct, keeping Sabbath and dietary law as God commanded in the Bible. Without Judaism there would clearly be no Jewish people.
Thus, when God tells us, “All Israel will be saved,” we should ask, “Who is Israel?” If our generation is the one that receives the promise, how will God define Israel? If it is a generation hundreds of years from now, how will God define Israel? The only answer consistent through history since the time Jesus wept over Jerusalem and Paul declared that all Israel would be saved is rabbinic Judaism.
Rabbinic Judaism is God’s ordained instrument to preserve Israel for the last days and God’s restoration. Seen in that light, rabbinic Judaism is not quite the enemy many have made it out to be. Ought we not to work with God and not against him? Should our methods encourage Jews to abandon the distinctives of rabbinic Judaism?
It was true then and it remains true.