I guess that some think that John the Baptist founded Jews for Jesus. But he was martyred in 29 A.D. and we weren’t founded till 32 A.D. Seriously, I think some people bring up my denomination in a feeble attempt to play to the prejudices of those who wrongly believe that one can’t be a Baptist and a Jew. I was born a Jew and I will die a Jew. But my kind of Jewishness goes beyond rabbinic religion (which most Jews ignore). Jewish is the kind of person I am. Baptist is my affiliation. I am not ashamed of either.
Besides, if the Baptists founded Jews for Jesus, then we should be on the budget of some Baptist denomination. But the truth is that Jews for Jesus is too big for one denomination to support. We need 17 million dollars next year and no one group can afford that much. Most of our support comes from wonderful individuals of various denominational or non-denominational backgrounds. If people really want to know the story of how Jews for Jesus was founded, it is well told in a book by Ruth Tucker titled Not Ashamed, published by Multnomah Press. But basically, I realized that most evangelistic efforts among the Jews were carried out by well-meaning but easily ignored Christians. I studied the approaches of the Prophets and Apostles and realized the missing dimension was confrontation. By nature, most Christians are too polite and politically correct so that their proclamation is but a whisper when a shout is more appropriate.
I expect that some people will continue to say that Jews for Jesus is deceptive, or that we were founded by Baptists, or put some other label on us because those who can’t accept the message try to discredit the messenger. Those who want to put us in an evil light will do so anyhow. Fortunately, Jesus is the true Light. As long as He shines in and through us, as long as we can proclaim His goodness to others, I am content.
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