So a very unnecessary debate has broken out on social media regarding spreading the gospel to the Jewish people. Basically the argument being made is that the act of sharing the gospel to Jews is an act of antisemitism. I’m not kidding, this is what folks are saying. What triggered this debate was an Article by The Daily Beast talking about how newly elected congressman Madison Cawthorn once shared the gospel with Jews and Muslims. Here is what the article says
Madison Cawthorn, the North Carolina Republican who will become the youngest member of Congress in history, has admitted he tried to convert Jews and Muslims to Christianity. In an interview with Jewish Insider, the 25-year-old, who came under fire for selfies he took at Hitler’s vacation retreat in Germany, claimed he had converted “several Muslims to Christ” and several “culturally Jewish people.” “If all you are is friends with other Christians, then how are you ever going to lead somebody to Christ?” Cawthorn said. “If you’re not wanting to lead somebody to Christ, then you’re probably not really a Christian.”
Claiming he has read through “just about every single religious work there is,” the Republican said that he converted a “young woman” from New York and someone “down in Atlanta” when he was in rehab after a car accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. “It was pretty incredible.” Cawthron added he has been unsuccessful in converting practicing Jews, but he has “switched a lot of, uh, you know, I guess, culturally Jewish people. But being a practicing Jew, like, people who are religious about it, they are very difficult. I’ve had a hard time connecting with them in that way.”
Obviously, the site tries to paint this as some radical strange thing, but there is nothing unusual about this at all. This would be the spark that launched this debate and it took an unusual turn.
So Bethany Mandel, who I respect, put out a couple of tweets responding to this story.
How? How in the world is sharing the gospel with Jews Anti-Semitic? The argument is that when you try to convert Jews to Christianity, you are trying to erase Judaism from the earth. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.
The argument I hear from even professed Christians is that since Jews are God’s chosen people, they have no need to be saved by Christ. Now, it is of course true that Jews are God’s chosen people.
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you; And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” –
Genesis 12:1-3 NASB
God made a covenant with the Jewish people and that covenant has not been broken, in fact, thanks to Jesus, the covenant has been extended to all those who believe in Him. Now, this does not mean they automatically received salvation. The Jewish people, like everyone else, are still sinful broken people.
For all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God – Romans 3:23
Even practicing Jews don’t believe they automatically receive salvation and eternal life. They constantly have to repent and do all sorts of things to get right with God. Now, thanks to the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, none of this is no longer necessary. In fact, it actually gets you no where.
Jesus * said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. –
And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” –
Acts 4:12 NASB
For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, –
1 Timothy 2:5
The Bible is very clear about this. There is no compromising or saying “oh, if you just believe that God exists, then you’ll go to heaven”. No, Jesus is the only way to salvation and eternal life, period. Don’t believe me, fine, but if you are a follower of Christ, you should very well believe that scripture is the ultimate source of authority.
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
– 2 Timothy 3:16-17
There is no adding our ideas to it, it is the infallible Word of God. The reason why I’m harping on that is because there are some professed Christians who don’t believe this and that Jews and Muslims don’t have to believe in Jesus to get to heaven. This is completely and utterly false. This is why I call this an unnecessary debate. If you believe in the ultimate authority of scripture, then you should already know what it says about this topic.
With all of that said, I do want to make this one insertion. If your goal, when talking to Jewish people, is to convert them, you’re coming at it from the wrong angle. Unlike gentiles, Jews don’t necessarily need to be converted. Let me explain. When talking to gentiles (anyone who isn’t Jewish) then they do need to be converted since they don’t believe in God. Jews, on the other hand, believe, worship, and are in covenant with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The issue with Jews is that, while they don’t need to be converted, they do need to be completed through Jesus Christ. This is why people like Madison Cawthorn share the Gospel with Jews and others as well. We are commanded by Christ in Matthew 28:19 to make disciples of all nations. Also, this doesn’t erase Jews from existence like people like to claim. There are many Jews who practice Judaism and believe that Jesus is the Messiah, and Son of God, and follow Him, just like Christians do. The first followers of Christ were all Jewish. So the idea that sharing the gospel with Jews is somehow antisemitic, is completely false on all levels.
Again, none of this should have to be said, especially if you believe in the infallibility of scripture. Unfortunately, we live in a time where folks in the church, increasingly don’t believe this and want to add their own ideas in effort to be more “inclusive”. This is why we must continue to fight back against this and stand firm in the faith.