To pray or not to pray in Jesus’ name -- that is the question now facing Christian evangelicals. Increasingly, Jewish activists demand that Jesus’ name go unmentioned in public prayers. They also insist that Christians not witness to Jews.
Some evangelicals are giving them what they want.
Dr. John Hagee, passionate “Israel-first” televangelist, has worked closely with the Jewish lobby to found Christians United for Israel (CUFI). CUFI's purpose is to unite every evangelical across the nation to "speak and act with one voice in support of Israel."
Hagee has hired as CUFI’s executive director, David Brog, a religiously (though not politically) conservative Jew. He is former chief of staff to Sen. Arlen Specter. Specter, a Jewish activist who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, is at the very hub of ADL/B'nai B'rith efforts to pass the federal "anti-hate" law. This Orwellian legislation would bring Canadian-style persecution of Christians to America. (See, "New Hate Bill: Obituary for Talk Radio")
At CUFI, the possibility of witnessing to Jews is non-existent. Speaking for Hagee, as well as himself, Brog says:
“All activities of CUFI are strictly non-conversionary. Christians who work with Jews in supporting Israel realize how sensitive we are in talking about conversion and talking about Jesus.
“So those who work with us tend not to talk about Jesus more, but talk about Jesus less. They realize it will interfere with what they are trying to do -- building a bridge to the Jewish community to ensure the survival of Judeo-Christian Civilization.” 1
Hagee and other "Israel first" evangelicals reflect a flourishing heresy: Jews have their own covenant with God and do not need Jesus for salvation.
Jesus taught the opposite. He said His name should be proclaimed to “to all nations.” (Matt. 28:19) The New Testament hardly exempts Jews from need of the gospel. Instead, it instructs Christians to witness “to the Jew first” and then to the Gentile (Romans 2:10).
But Hagee has agreed with anti-Christ Jews that he and evangelical members of CUFI will follow only Jewish “non-conversionary” policies. This excludes any possibility that the Holy Spirit might use such evangelicals to help save Jewish sinners.
This is a blatant sin against Jesus, His Holy Spirit, and, tragically, against Jews. The word “apostate” ("apostasis" in Greek) describes a backslidden Christian who, now loving the approval of man, stands apart from Jesus and the reproach of His name. The New Testament prophesies that in the latter days there will occur a great “falling away,” as former Christians deny Christ’s name to please unbelievers (2 Thess. 2:3). A recent poll shows 95 percent of evangelicals like Hagee are committed to never actively mention the name of Jesus, through witnessing or reproof, in their workplace. The great falling away prophesied by Scripture is now.
Two thousand years ago the Pharisees demanded that the apostles not “talk about Jesus.” The disciples refused and were thrown in prison and flogged. (Acts 4:3, 5:40)
In contrast Pastor Hagee gives the synagogue of Satan exactly what it demands. He promises not to mention the name of Jesus among them. As a result, evil Jewish leaders exalt him.
Hagee boasts that he received the ‘Humanitarian of the Year’ award from B’nai B’rith. "It was the first time in the history of San Antonio," his website crows, "that it has been given to a Gentile … Dr. Hagee has received numerous honors and accolades from national Jewish organizations for his unwavering support of Israel.”
Hagee should be ashamed of abandoning his Christian duty of moral criticism in love. Instead, he brags about his unquestioning support of one of the world's most boldly oppressive regimes. (See, "The Simple Explanation for Mid-East Strife")
But some Christians still deserve the name. Like their apostolic forbears, they now endure persecution from the Jews.
In high profile are Navy Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt and 68 Navy chaplains suing the Navy for forbidding their use of Jesus’ name in public prayers. Klingenschmitt has been court-martialed for praying in Jesus' name in front of the White House. He awaits sentencing.
His conviction is entirely a result of Jewish anti-Christian activism. Jewish activist Mikey Weinstein sued the Air Force Academy and was successful in banning public prayers in Jesus’ name. Rabbi Arnold Resnicoff, chief ethical consultant to the Air Force and Navy, played the predominant role in upholding Weinstein’s victory. Previously, Resnicoff had been instrumental in banning the use of Jesus' name in public prayers by Navy chaplains. (See, "Correction: Speech at Air Force Academy Not Free")
Why is the name of Jesus so hated by Jewish activists?
It’s an old story. In the book of Acts, the Pharisees forbade preaching in Jesus’ name because it focused blame on them for masterminding the crucifixion. Today, the physical and spiritual descendants of the Pharisees object for similar reasons: The name of Jesus stands for a real Person whose identity as Son of God and Israel’s Messiah they find threatening.
The name of Jesus, like our own names, refers to His identity. Our names represent our character and proven record. The name Jesus (Yeshua) signifies that He is the Creator of all things and Deliverer of those who trust in Him. He is also the great lover of mankind, enduring the most painful of deaths, crucifixion, so that all who trust in His name can be saved. (Acts 4:12)
This raises indicting questions of Jews: Why did your forefathers crucify Him? Why do you continue to reject Him and revive New Testament persecutions against His followers? (See, "ADL Sets Up 'Philly 11' Christians")
Jewish activists have no problem with Christian chaplains praying in the name of “God.” That word is non-specific, non-incriminating. “God” can be a universal world force, a cow or monkey, even ourselves.
Such Jews also don’t mind the use of “Jesus” as profanity, which levels Him to gutter language. Yet, when Jesus' name is spoken reverently in public prayer they protest loudly. Their “civil liberties,” they scream, are being violated!
Attempts to deprive Christ of His identity are satanic. Lucifer said, “I will make myself like unto the Most High” (Isaiah 14:14). He longed to deprive God of His unique identity and set himself up to be worshipped.
Jesus said the evil Jewish activists of His day (those whom evangelicals now call “God’s chosen people“) were the “synagogue of Satan” (Rev. 2:9). Think about it. Christ said the followers of the Pharisees were literally the “church of Satan” in this world. They still are. (See, "Who Are God's Chosen People?")
A Christian Jew, converted from Hassidic Judaism, explained to me how Orthodox Judaism wants to literally blot out Jesus’ name and memory. One way is by changing his name. Orthodox Jews in Israel commonly refer to Christ not by His Hebrew name, Yeshua, but as “Yeshu,” which means something very different.
“Ted,” my friend said, “Yeshu is not just an attempt to change Jesus’ Hebrew name, Yeshua. It actually is a Hebrew acronym standing for ‘Yemach Shemo UZichro’ meaning ‘May his name and memory be erased.’ It is a terrible curse utilized in the Talmud against anyone perceived as the enemy of Israel.”
In old guard Communist countries, a person judged politically incorrect is proclaimed a “non-person.” His accomplishments, good deeds, educational degrees -- his very identity -- no longer exist. This is what organized world Jewry now attempts to do to Jesus Christ and to the activism and testimony of Christians like Chaplain Klingenschmitt.
Yet Klingenschmitt, though court-martialed, is rejoicing this week because language that would allow chaplains to pray publicly in Jesus’ name has been included in the Defense Authorization Act. Free speech advocates have encountered stiff opposition in conference from long-time hate bill advocates Sen. Carl Levin (Jewish activist) and Sen. John Warner. But clearly, enormous Christian outrage and support by Christian leaders such as Dr. James Dobson and Dr. D. James Kennedy have paid off.
However, short term eruption of Christian protest is not the ultimate solution to the problem of escalating Jewish anti-Christianity.
What is desperately needed is public Christian reproof of evil Jewish leaders. Christian leaders must specifically hold up liberal Jewish activism to the public eye, ignoring the defensive accusations of "anti-Semitism."
Every day that passes in silence only emboldens the circling hyenas of Jewish anti-Christianity.
1 July 13, 2006, The Washington Times, "Christian group to advocate more support for Israel," by Julia Duin
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