Friday, May 27, 2016

Negotiating on converting the jews

All the high-minded theological talk about the necessity to convert / not convert the jews always seems to trade on an oddly out of date image of a jew. Very 'Fiddler on the Roof'.

You tell me that there's no need to convert the practicing orthodox with the big crazy beard and interesting rules about men and women riding the same bus, and fine, I'll at least hear you out. But pick out the orthodox, practicing, believing jews, and you're not picking out the lion's share. Tell me 'no, no, this means Jon Stewart too' and I'll laugh at you, and everyone else should too. The most tenable position for theologians to take would be a position that modern, politically motivated jews would reject furiously.

4 comments:

Son of Ya'Kov said...

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/relations-jews-docs/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_20151210_ebraismo-nostra-aetate_en.html#6._The_Church’s_mandate_to_evangelize_in_relation_to_Judaism


Quote"It is easy to understand that the so–called ‘mission to the Jews’ is a very delicate and sensitive matter for Jews because, in their eyes, it involves the very existence of the Jewish people. This question also proves to be awkward for Christians, because for them the universal salvific significance of Jesus Christ and consequently the universal mission of the Church are of fundamental importance. The Church is therefore obliged to view evangelisation to Jews, who believe in the one God, in a different manner from that to people of other religions and world views. In concrete terms this means that the Catholic Church neither conducts nor supports any specific institutional mission work directed towards Jews. While there is a principled rejection of an institutional Jewish mission, Christians are nonetheless called to bear witness to their faith in Jesus Christ also to Jews, although they should do so in a humble and sensitive manner, acknowledging that Jews are bearers of God’s Word, and particularly in view of the great tragedy of the Shoah.END

Oddly some people(liberals and useful idiot Radtrad and Radcons) read the part about "the Catholic Church neither conducts nor supports any specific institutional mission work directed towards Jews" and put all their emphasis on that to falsely claim the Church rejects sharing the Gospel with the Jews but ignore what I show above in bold that comes after.

Crude said...

It is easy to understand that the so–called ‘mission to the Jews’ is a very delicate and sensitive matter for Jews because, in their eyes, it involves the very existence of the Jewish people.

This is the exact line of thought which I'm saying doesn't hold up. Converting an irreligious/secular jew whose main expression of judaism is 'tries to buy matzo during passover' is off-limits, how? It's avoiding the elephant in the room of 'many jews are irreligious anyway'. But I'll bet you this line about being conversion-free applies to them too, presumably on the grounds that while they aren't jews now, maybe they'll become jews again one day. Alright, play that line, which I think fails. I'll go on - how about their non-jewish spouses? Or will those too fall under the limitation, on the grounds that they are or can be converts?

But if we're talking converts, all bets are off.

Son of Ya'Kov said...

Secular Jews like C&E Catholics have minimal cultural identity as Jews & at best might be Agnostic. If they are involved in Judaism in any way they are to the left of the Reformed and are what we call Reconstructionist Jews.

Orthodox Jews have some diversity. Modern Orthodox hold the place "Conservative" Jews occupied half a century ago & these days "Conservative" and "Reformed" have blurred the lines between them (since they both have Female Rabbis and some Cons accept gay marriage).

To the right of the Modern Orthodox there are the ultra-orthodox which comprise the anti-satate of Israel without the Messah Satmar Jews or the moderate Chasids(who see Israel as a place holder till the Messiah comes to make a real Jewish State) too pro-State of Israel Jews etc....

One common theme among all Jews is well...they all seem to feel threatened by Missionaries. Jews for Jesus & Messianic Jews and Hebrew Catholics are looked upon by even Atheist Jews as "Ex-Jews".

It is a strange thing & not really rationally consistent but that is the lay of the land.

As such the advice I have cited above from the Vatican still holds practical utility.

B. Prokop said...

Hmm... I have only once in my entire life consciously and with malice aforethought attempted to convert somebody, person to person and eyeball to eyeball. Victor Reppert would be well aware of this instance. My (secular Jewish***) college roommate was rapidly falling into drug addiction (this was in the early 70s), and it pained me to watch it happen. (Besides being roommates, we were the best of friends.) One evening, out of desperation I started in on some heavy duty evangelizing, which went on from dinner time to well past midnight, when (exhausted) I called it quits. My roommate remained "unconverted". But sitting silently in the corner the entire evening, without saying a single word the whole time, was another close friend and then atheist, Joe Sheffer. He left for the night, still without the slightest comment about the evening's events. But the very next day, he came up to me and said, "You convinced me. How do I get baptized?" I got him signed up for RCIA and next Easter he became a Catholic.

(Sometimes you to have to build the altar in one place so that God can send down the fire from Heaven onto another.)

Joe tragically died of food poisoning a few years later, and my roommate of a drug overdose not long afterwards.

*** His family was so secular that they had had their name changed to sound less "Jewish".