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Why the Evangelical/Mormon Comparison to 'Jews to Jesus' Is Imprecise

I read with interest Dennis Prager’s article expressing his sorrow over President Bush’s recent speech at a Jews for Jesus gathering in Texas. While he strongly defended Evangelical Christians in general, Mr. Prager joined virtually every other Jewish writer in denouncing the Messianic Jewish group. I was particularly interested in his observation that to Jews, the claim of Jews for Jesus that they remain Jewish in spite of their Christian beliefs is analogous to Evangelicals’ reaction to Mormons’ claim to be Christians. While the disdain expressed by Jews and some Evangelicals is similar, there is an important difference in the dynamics of those relationships that needs to be clarified in this space.

Whether or not one agrees with Jews in their rejection of Jews for Jesus and other Messianic groups that target Jews for conversion, it’s hard to argue that Jews don’t have the right to determine who is a Jew, at least in the religious sense. If Jewish leaders choose to accept atheists as Jews while rejecting those who accept Jesus Christ as their Savior, it is their right and privilege to do so.

Read the rest of this story at jewishjournal.com
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