Invisible Strings are Still Strings
Posted by: penina
I recently discovered the miracle of invisible thread. It has revolutionized my life, and my sewing box. Gone are the days when I went into a complete panic because I could not find the right colored thread for a job. In all honesty, invisible thread means that I can probably get rid of my sewing box completely and just have this one bobbin of thread and a little package of needles and scissors. Just think of the time and effort saved. Just in case you haven’t heard of invisible thread, it’s basically a very thin nylon fishing line. It’s colorless, so you can use it with any colored garment. Now, it does have some reflectiveness that makes it visible under certain light, but never to the same degree that the wrong color thread can. However, just because it can’t be seen, doesn’t mean it’s not there. On the contrary, the invisible thread is actually stronger than standard cotton thread, and so is perhaps more desirable for most applications.
How does this relate to the work of Shomrei Emet? Ever since the inception of the modern state of Israel, Churches and Christian organizations have provided physical and financial assistance to this beleaguered and war torn nation. Some of them out of purely altruistic motives – they favored the establishment of a Jewish State and/or believed that the Bible’s declaration that this land belongs to the Jewish people is the Truth and must be supported under any and all circumstances.
Some of them sent aid out of mixed motives – they wanted to support us, but with the desire that their support would make us more amenable to their message of salvation. And some of them sent their support disingenuously – either overtly or covertly using their aid to earn them a certain amount of protection to carry out missionary activity. But, up until recently, we knew who they were – they were “them” – the Gentile church. Those were the people even the least observant or religiously educated amongst us had the sense to stay away from. And that distance had provided us with somewhat of a cushion of safety that kept the number of Jews converting to Christianity at a minimum.
Recently, we have seen a surge in aid coming from an unexpected source. It was only unexpected, because until recently, this group was just too small and its sphere of influence just too limited to provide aid in any amount large enough to make heads turn. But this group is the most insidious, and most dangerous of them all. Why? Because they are giving this aid with what appears to be no strings attached, but in reality is laden with strings that albeit invisible, will have more effect on the people and land of Israel than ever seen before. And by the time the light shines on these invisible strings, they will already be in place and will be nearly impossible to cut. Hindsight is 20/20 and it is also usually too late.
What on earth am I talking about? I am talking about Messianic Judaism. The Hebrew Christian movement has been growing by leaps and bounds over the last 20 years, and even though the majority of its membership is still non-Jewish, its numbers and sphere of influence has begun to reach so far afield that it is now capable of providing significant amounts of aid to Israel. The Hebrew Christian groups providing the largest amount of aid are claiming to those they work with in Israel that they are doing it purely for the love of Israel and their Jewish brethren with “no strings attached’. However, like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, they turn to their supporters and loudly proclaim that their aid is earning them the ear of the Knesset. They make promises to their supporters and constituents that belie the truth of their intent. Based on their own statements, their insidious “no strings attached” goal is three-fold.
1. They want to get the Knesset to change the immigration laws so that Hebrew Christians can make Aliyah with full rights. This would make it unlawful for the Jewish Agency to deny someone Aliyah because they are believers in Jesus. Besides costing Israel more money, it would increase the already mounting problem of fake conversions and non-Jews claiming to be Jewish in order to be allowed to immigrate to Israel. It would also increase the percentage of Israeli citizens who are Christians and therefore increase conversions exponentially as well as change the way other laws read.
2. They want to get legislation passed recognizing Hebrew Christianity, or “Messianic Judaism”, as they call it, as a legitimate stream of Judaism. Some ask, “So what is the big deal?” Well, besides affecting the laws concerning citizenship and Jews who believe in Jesus, it would also eventually lead to the recognition of Messianic Jewish conversions, and create an environment where Traditional Jewish communities would not be able to take any precautions to protect their community members from missionary influence because posting flyers, demonstrating, publishing articles, boycotting, etc. would all be seen as hate crimes and their missionizing would become in essence, protected.
3. They want to get Hebrew Christians into political positions in high enough percentages to change the laws in the government. And while I will admit that Christians may make far more honest and upstanding government leaders than those the country currently possesses, I didn’t come to Israel to live in a Christian country. I had America for that – been there, done that, don’t care about the T-shirt. The problem is that endemic in Christianity is a level of arrogance and conceit that they have the absolute truth. So convinced are they of this that they will go to any length to convert people to their faith. That being the case, they cannot, if they are truly being faithful to their own beliefs, stop until they have accomplished this goal.
Many of us living in Israel and in Jewish communities around the world are so isolated in our own little world that we do not realize that there is even a problem out there, and we certainly don’t expect it to ever affect us – until it does. Then we run to Rabbis, Jewish Communal professionals and counter-missionaries for help, when it is many times too late. It would have been better to have prevented the problem in the first place.
Prevention is first and foremost on Shomrei Emet’s agenda, and you can help by supporting our various educational programs.
By Penina Taylor