.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Another view of Christian Zionist attitudes towards Jews

Received via email:
I would like to contribute a personal view (from the Jewish side) of how Christians view Jews.

I grew up in Washington State and did my college work [in a small town] there. Although Seattle had about 10,000 Jews at the time and the town supported a small shul, for many of my classmates I was the first non-Christian they had ever known. These were sincere, believing Christians who took their faith seriously. They believed that "no man comes unto the Father but by me", which they took to mean that anyone who was not a Christian was condemned to Hell.

Before they met me, this had not bothered them much, because they had never needed to think about it. Once they knew me, they were forced to confront the consequences of this belief. Although I am very far from being a saint, I think I can claim that I am not that much worse than the average person. My friends did not find in me enough wickedness to merit damnation.

So they were stuck with a real dilemma - a tenet of their faith, damnation for non-Christians, contradicted their belief that a loving god could not condemn to eternal punishment anyone who was not clearly evil.

Most of my friends were good people whose faith added to their goodness. A few were basically unpleasant people whose faith put a veneer of niceness over the basic unpleasantness.

The ones who were basically nice people came to the conclusion that, since I was not that much worse than the average run of mankind, I would convert at some time in my life of my own free will. They were willing to leave this conversion until the time of my death, when Jesus came down in all his glory to give me one last chance. They put no pressure on me to convert - they felt that this could be safely left in god's hand. (A good friend of my mother's solved this dilemma a different way - she believed that "Lord", when used in prayer, referred to Jesus, so that my mother prayed to Jesus (and was saved) whether Mother knew it or not.)

The ones who were basically not-nice people came to the conclusion that I was out of luck. I was damned to eternal punishment.

Christian Zionists, by and large, appear to belong to the first school of thought. They are convinced that, in god's good time, Jews will accept Jesus as the messiah. But they know that god's time is not man's time and, until god himself moves, they will do the best they can for their beloved Jewish brothers.

I am willing to accept with gratitude (and I will try to return) the love and kindness they give.