By Christine Darg
This morning I dreaded looking at news headlines knowing in my heart that President Obama would have no doubt made another weak statement concerning terrorism in his Oval Office address last night, yet in the midst of much disappointing news, God had a gem waiting for me with this headline:
Groundbreaking Orthodox Rabbinic Statement on Christianity
“After nearly two millennia of mutual hostility and alienation, we Orthodox Rabbis who lead communities, institutions and seminaries in Israel, the United States and Europe recognize the historic opportunity now before us. We seek to do the will of our Father in Heaven by accepting the hand offered to us by our Christian brothers and sisters. Jews and Christians must work together as partners to address the moral challenges of our era…”
Oh, how I REJOICE!
My maternal grandmother, of blessed memory, asked the rabbi of her community in her day if she could bring the Sunday School class that she taught to the synagogue to learn about our Hebraic roots. But she was rebuffed with the words, “Jews and Christians don’t mix.”
When my husband and I first visited Israel in the 1970s, Christians were still for the most part held at a suspicious arm’s length. But we were part of the original Christian band of believers who started celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles, and we also pioneered a news bureau in Jerusalem in the early 1980s. Relations between Jews and Christians were finally beginning to thaw.
“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.” (Genesis 50:20 NASB)
In God’s foreknowledge, intended evil becomes eventual good. In the Book of Genesis, deeds meant to destroy Joseph turned out to be the means of salvation of his nation. The same can be said for Jesus.
“You meant evil against me,” Joseph told his brothers, using a Hebrew verb that can also mean to “weave” or “plait,” “but God rewove it together for good.”
You see, even in the highly demoralizing terrorism coming out of San Bernardino, California, God is bringing good. People of faith are rising up to say “this city belongs to God.” Inevitably, the peoples of the Book, Jews and Christians, must come closer together because we have a common enemy.
Through the evil that was perpetrated in San Bernardino, we are learning more of the lies with which radicalized Muslims are deceiving one another. These lies must be bound and broken in intercessory prayer meetings. Radical Muslims must be set free by Gospel power. They too are people for whom Jesus died. I am in pain for the soul of the murderous mother who was so deluded by radical ideology that she could leave her baby girl to murder 14 souls in cold blood.
Gunman Syed Farook’s father said, “I told him he had to stay calm and be patient because in two years Israel will not exist anymore.” But Israel will not only exist, Israel will triumph, for it is God’s time to favour Zion.
Today the Jerusalem Channel extends heartfelt congratulations to our friends Rabbi Riskin and David Nekrutman of the Centre for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation (CJCUC) for their groundbreaking bravery and visionary advocacy in presenting the rabbis’ reconciliation statement to the world. This historic news brings me great joy. I wept when I read the statement. The peoples of the Book must stand in solidarity together. Kol hakavod!
I am a Judeo-Christian. Without the Jewish people and their presence in the world, my faith could not have been possible. As Jesus himself said in John 4:22, “salvation proceeds from the Jews.”
Almost 30 rabbis have already signed the groundbreaking statement entitled, “Orthodox Rabbis on Christianity the Centre for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation (CJCUC).” The CJCUC is inviting more rabbis as signatories.
The statement mentions Christian overtures to the Jews such as Pope John Paul II’s calling the Jews “our elder brothers,” and Pope Benedict XVI, who rightly described the Jews as “our fathers in faith.” From my childhood I’ve always deeply loved the Jews but mourned their lack of recognition of Jesus. Therefore one of the most far-reaching and daring part’s of the statement is Jewish acknowledgement of Jesus’s contributions to the world.
I wept when I read this:
…we acknowledge that Christianity is neither an accident nor an error, but the willed divine outcome and gift to the nations. In separating Judaism and Christianity, G-d willed a separation between partners with significant theological differences, not a separation between enemies. Rabbi Jacob Emden wrote that “Jesus brought a double goodness to the world. On the one hand he strengthened the Torah of Moses majestically… and not one of our Sages spoke out more emphatically concerning the immutability of the Torah. . . .
Today, with so much evil being reported in the news, we can REJOICE that Jewish-Christian relations have come such a long way. The separation and the divide have decreased; much love and appreciation are growing between us! This current move of God is a fulfilment of the prophecy of Malachi 4:6, “…he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers….”
Read the statement in full at this link.