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Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

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Question 17.5:
What sort of deceptive terminology do missionaries use?

Answer:

First and foremost, groups such as these often usurp Jewish terminology and practices. On the surface, the claim is that they do this because they are "completed Jews". For example:

Why do they do this? Recall that such groups consider both the Tanach and the Christian Gospel as the word of G-d. In the Christian Gospel, I Corinthians 9:20, it says: "To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from G-d's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I have become weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some." [New International Version]

In other words, they’re trying to sell Christianity in the guise of Judaism.

Christians believe that through faith in Jesus a person is saved. The Christian has the perspective that this is such a singularly important thing, above all and any other thing in life--or, for that matter, in death--that any regard or concern for others (which is a fundamental part of his commitment to and love for G-d) that he persuade others to at the very least Hence, there is a strong emphasis to save people by bringing others to Christianity. For many of them, messianic synagogues are the answer. This allows, in their words, "Jews to become Christians while still remaining Jews and cherishing their Jewish ancestry. Swedish Americans cherish their Swedish ancestry. Chinese Americans treasure their Chinese ancestry. Hebrew Americans ought to cherish their Hebrew ancestry and remain strongly Jewish.". Missionaries proclaim, "I am a Jew. I go to synagogue. I invite you to my synagogue. It meets on Friday evening." They then make those to attend those "synagogues" feel right at home. But recall their mission statements: their goal is to bring the Jew to Christianity.

Note that it is not just Jews that feel the practices of these groups are deceptive. The following are some quotes from a FAQ on such groups by Yad Lachim (http://www.yadlachim.org/messianic/messianic.htm):


The FAQ is a collection of documents that is an attempt to answer questions that are continually asked on the soc.culture.jewish family of newsgroups. It was written by cooperating laypeople from the various Judaic movements. You should not make any assumption as to accuracy and/or authoritativeness of the answers provided herein. In all cases, it is always best to consult a competent authority--your local rabbi is a good place to start.

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