ANTI-MESSIANIC JUDAISM: A BRIEF SUMMARY
by Dan Juster
We have become involved in an effort to see a broad representation of the Church come to terms with its anti-Messianic Jewish past. This past is rooted in the second century Church, and was actually made part of Church law in the Church councils. As Peter Hocken wrote in his amazing book The Glory and the Shame, the Church is cursed with division until it reconciles with Israel. However, it cannot fully reconcile with Israel without dealing with its historic rejection of the Messianic Jewish community in the early centuries of this era. The Church's rejection of the Messianic Jewish community was the first Church split. This split led in turn to other Church Splits; hence the Church is cursed with division. The resolution of the later Church splits requires repentance and returning to a first century understanding of the Bible in its original Jewish context. Peter Hocken believes that one of the purposes of the Messianic Jewish movement is to be the resurrection of the Messianic Jewish community from the dead, and to be a living body of believers with whom the Church can effect repentance and reconciliation. I was quite amazed to read this in Peter's book, for at the time he wrote the book, he had never attended a Messianic Jewish congregation or conference. John Dawson writes in Healing America's Wounds, that the reconciliation of Israel and the Church will heal the greatest of all wounds and bring a great world harvest.
The Intercessory Key
Keys to effecting reconciliation are, first of all, our own repentance; and secondly, representational intercession for the Church, the Messianic Jewish component of the Church, and the Jewish community. In intercession, prayer warriors representing various streams of the Church renounce the sins of decisions and actions in Church history and intercede for Israel and the Church. However, we need to gain accurate information on this history to intercede rightly. This is why we have worked on the most basic Latin texts! Our research greatly added to the accuracy of our understanding. It is an amazing story.
The Progression of anti-Messianic Judaism
In the first century, the Messianic Jewish movement was accepted not only as legitimate, but the Jerusalem congregation was looked at as mother to the whole Church. There was no question as to the legitimacy of Jewish life in Yeshua because it was known to be the apostolic life pattern.
A first and important step in the separation between Jew and Gentile was the decision of the leadership of the Jewish community to reject the witness of the Apostles to the resurrection of Yeshua which came with great confirming signs and wonders. During the discussion of the Rabbinical Council of Yavneh, (near Tiberias) Simon the Lesser volunteered to write a malediction condemning the Messianic Jews (Nazarenes). This malediction was to be added to one of the central prayers of Judaism, the Sh'mona Ezra (the Eighteenth Benediction). This prayer is also called the Amidah, because it is always recited standing. The Messianic Jews could not continue to stand during this portion of the prayer, for by doing so they would be cursing themselves. By this they were identified and excluded from the Synagogue. This paved the way for the perverse agreement between the Church and the Synagogue, despite all their disagreement, on the rejection of Messianic Jewish identity. In the Bar Kochba Revolt, the Jewish community was further divided from the Messianic Jews when the leading rabbi of the day, Akiba, proclaimed Bar Kochba the Messiah. He in turn sought to eliminate all who would not follow him. The Church and the Synagogue agreed that "He who would be both Christian and Jew can be neither Christian nor Jew." The Jewish community in Israel recently reaffirmed this stance in four supreme court cases. In the first, Father Daniel, a Roman Catholic priest, was denied citizenship in Israel in spite of his Jewish birth. In the second, Esther Dorflinger was denied citizenship because she was a part of the Church and believed in Jesus. In the third, James Hutchins was denied citizenship because his conversion to Judaism was said to be invalid because he was a believer in Jesus. In the last, Gary and Shirley Beresford were denied citizenship because they believe that Yeshua (Jesus) was the Messiah. They had not been baptized in any Church context. Therefore, Messianic Jews intercede for their people to repent for their rejection of the Gospel and for their official stance to Jewish believers in Yeshua.
After the destruction of Jerusalem and the scattering of the Jewish people, Church fathers took a decidedly negative stance toward the Jewish people. As part of this stand, they began to reject the propriety of Jewish life in the New Covenant. As Justin Martyr stated, keeping the Torah did not mean that the Jewish believer was lost, but it was not right. (In his Dialogue with Trypho the Jew, quoted in James Parkes' The Conflict of the Church and the Synagogue and Hugh Schoenfeld, A History of Jewish Christianity). Can we begin to see how amazing it is that the Church fathers who were not born Jewish were rejecting the life pattern of the Jewish Apostles as illegitimate? Toward the end of the second century, Pope Victor of Rome, in intense written debate with Polycrates, Bishop of Antioch, forbade the use of the Jewish lunar calendar for dating Christian holy days. Polycrates was incredulous. How could he forbid the practices that were directly passed down by the Apostles? This was the first Church stance which forbade Jewish practice in the Church under penalty of exclusion from the Church. The issue of setting dates according to the Jewish lunar calendar was one of several issues leading to the split of the western and eastern Churches centuries later.
These attitudes continued to spread; though according to the writings of Norwegian Lutheran scholar Oscar Skarsonae, there was still a positive regard for Jewish people among many of the people of the Church. This was a threat to some Church leaders. Chrysostem's infamous hateful Eight Sermons Against the Jews is well known. However, some are not aware that Augustine taught that although the Apostles continued to live a Jewish life, once the Church was established, it was heinous to continue to do so. Imagine, it was said to be heinous to continue in the apostolic life pattern!
During the period from the second to the fourth century, the attitudes of Church leaders hardened. This led to the first council decisions that officially rejected Jews who believed in Jesus and who continued to identify as Jews. In the fourth century, regional councils in Elvira and Toledo, Spain explicitly rejected Jewish life. In the great universal Council of Nicea I, the rejection of Passover as the time of celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus was made official. This, of course, impinged upon Messianic Jews although they were not referred to directly in the Council Canons. The letter of Constantine on the Council made clear the rejection of Jewish practices as a council motivation. By the sixth and seventh centuries, Spain had already greatly hardened its attitude into anti-Semitism. More Church councils making decisions against Jewish life in Jesus were held in Toledo than in any other location. This was over a course of several centuries. While many are familiar with the decree in 1492 demanding that all Jews either convert to Christianity or leave Spain, most do not know that Spanish rulers also made such decisions in the seventh century.
Nicea II, in the eighth century, officially banned Jewish life in Jesus. All who continued to practice circumcision, Sabbath observance or other Hebrew rites were to be banned from the Church. Many think that the first Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. precluded Jews from Jewish life in Jesus. However, there is no canon of this council explicitly dealing with this issue. Apparently, many have confused Nicea I and Nicea II. Only universal councils were universally received and became binding to the whole Church. Regional councils, such as Toledo, Elvira, Antioch and Laodocia making such decisions against Jewish life in Yeshua had influence, but did not become universal law. Nicea II provides us with universal law. The text translated from the Latin follows:
"Because those from the Hebrew religion have been deceived, they seem to mock Christ as God, pretending to become Christians, but they deny him as they openly and secretly keep the Sabbath and follow other practices in the manner of the Jews. We determine that they are not to be received into communion, nor into prayer, nor in the Church, but the Hebrews are manifestly according to their own religion: their children are not to be baptized; nor is a slave to be purchased or acquired. But if anyone of them will convert out of a sincere faith and heart and will make a profession of faith with all his heart, disclosing their customs and practices so that others might be exposed and corrected, he is to be received and baptized, and also his children; but indeed we decree that they are to be observed so that they depart from Hebrew practices, otherwise they are not to be admitted at all."
Canon VIII. That the Hebrews should not be received if they have not yet been converted out of a pure heart. (A.D. 787)
This is amazing and did reflect the orientations of previous centuries. The official doctrine of the Church never said that the Jewish people were to be exterminated. Jews were to be the subject of discrimination, and could somewhat escape this by converting. Suspicion often remained anyway. However, the decisions of the Church destroyed the possibility of the existence of the true spiritual bridge between the Church and the Synagogue. Without this bridge, appreciation of the irrevocable gift and call to the Jewish people was denied (Romans 11:29).
The Inquisition in the Middle Ages established the means to enforce Church orthodoxy by civil power. In 1231, Pope Gregory IX created a special court to investigate suspects and force heretics to change their beliefs. In 1542, the Congregation of the Holy Office controlled the Inquisition. Some suspects were tortured, and heretics who refused to change their beliefs were sentenced to die by burning. Even some who repented of heresy could be burned at the stake. This especially affected Jewish Christians. Spain, in 1492, passed the law that all Jews had to be expelled unless they converted to Christianity. In converting, they were expected to renounce their people and all Jewish practice. There were official pledges to be signed. Such conversion pledges were first written centuries before, and are included in our attachments. Most Jews fled Spain. Many feigned conversion and were called Morranos. Some who sincerely believed wanted to continue Jewish practice. The penalty for either group was to be burned at the stake for Judaizing.
We can easily see how such reactions with the rejection of the Messianic Jewish expression of the New Covenant had awesome implications that played out on the stage of history. The Institutional Church thereby became an accomplice to the most wretched crimes - from the Crusades and their massacres of Jews along the routes to the Holy Land, to the pogroms (massacres) of Tsarist Russia. In the climactic horror of the Nazi Holocaust, the Germans could look to the Church tradition for their justification. Hitler could quote Luther.
The Significance of this History
Why is this important to us? It is because God established an order through which the world would be redeemed. This order begins with the irrevocable calling to Abraham's physical/national seed. By this order, all who are grafted in from the nations are to recognize and honor their spiritual roots in Israel. Therefore, scripture gives a clear plan from God. It is the call of the whole Church, both Jewish and Gentile membership, to make Israel jealous. God has shown mercy to the Gentiles that they might show mercy to the Jewish people. Salvation has come to the Gentiles for the purpose of making Israel jealous (Romans 11:11-14, 30-33). Success in the mission to the Gentiles is to lead to greater success in the mission to the Jewish people. Success among the Jewish people is to lead to greater success among the nations (Gentiles). It is no accident that the restoration of physical Israel, the change in attitudes of the Church toward Israel and the Jewish people, and greater success in world evangelism have all come during the same period of time. The Puritans first began to favor Jewish people. The pietist Lutheran movement incorporated love for the Jewish people and their salvation as a key tenant in the 18th century. This was the background of Count Zinzendorf's prayer movement for world missions. The revivals in Europe in the 19th century led to new effort in Jewish missions and even to the acceptance of some (though limited) expression of Jewish identity among Jewish believers. This period saw Frederick William of Prussia, with Lutheran leadership to back him, spur the effort to establish a Jewish Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem. This effort received the support of Queen Victoria who was backed by Parliamentary legislation. This reflected a significant and deepening British history whereby a growing number since the Puritans believed that the United Kingdom was called to play a role in the restoration of the Jewish people to their ancient land. During this period the first Hebrew Christian Alliance of Jewish believers was formed in England. In addition, some leading churchmen supported the effort of Joseph Rabinowitz to found the first Messianic Jewish Synagogue in Kishinev, Russia at the end of the 19th century. In 1907, the American Episcopal Church officially endorsed the formation of Hebrew Christian Churches. This was a result of the efforts of Mark John Levy, who truly believed in Jewish life in Jesus. However, these efforts did not produce a lasting movement of Jewish people who lived a Jewish life in Yeshua.
Only now, at the end of the 20th century, we have the revival of a significant Messianic Jewish movement worldwide. More and more segments of the Church are endorsing this movement. Attachments are included from the Fuller Seminary School of World Missions statement and the Willowbank Evangelical Declaration. These are official statements, the latter from an ad hoc group of Evangelical leaders. Few statements have been made at this point. We now involve ourselves in significant efforts so that the Church would officially repudiate no only anti-Semitism, but also anti-Messianic Judaism. Only thereby can we see a large number of Jewish people saved. Only thereby can we see reconciliation that leads to the healing of the divisions in the Church, the conclusion of world evangelism, the salvation of all Israel and life from the dead (Romans 11:15). Surely, Peter Hocken hit the mark and was in the Spirit when he saw these truths. This is why I spent time looking at Latin texts. It is part of the project of those gatherings during which the false doctrines and practices will be renounced. Also, the curses brought upon Israel and the Church will be lifted, and the blessing of God will return in wonderful fullness to both. There will be restitution as well when one of the foci of prayer and giving from the Church is to establish and expand the saved remnant of Israel - the Messianic Jewish congregational movement.
- Daniel Juster
Catholic University Research for Toward Jerusalem Council II
Acknowledgments to Rev. Peter Hocken and John Dillon, Ph.D.
1. Separate Church Fathers' statements from unofficial stance. Their decrees are binding in the cities where they held authority as Bishops. Examples are Ambrose, Chrysostem. Much later, take note of Luther's writing, Against the Jews and their Lies.
2. Pope Victor's statement condemning the use of the Jewish Calendar for dating Christian Holy Days. Rome, 175.
3. Ecumenical Councils generally silent on these issues in their canons until the Council of Nicea II, in 787 A.D. Local Councils form important background to Nicea II. Nicea I position on the dating for celebrating of Passover does reject Jewish biblical dating, and thereby excluded the Jewish believers. Constantine's letter on the Council made this clear.
Elvira, Spain (306 A.D.)
Canon 16: If heretics are unwilling to bring themselves across to the Catholic Church, young Catholic girls are not to be given to them. And it was not pleasing to give them to Jews or heretics, for the reason that there can be no fellowship between the faithful and the unfaithful. If their parents should act contrary to this decree, it is pleasing that they be deprived form communion for five years.
Canon 49: (Vol. II Mansi ed.) It was pleasing that owners be warned that they may not enjoy their fruits which they recognize coming from God which have been blessed by the Jews lest they make for our blessing to be voice and without power. If any one should take it upon themselves to do this after this interdict, let them be hurled far from the Church.
Canon 50: If indeed any cleric or member of the faithful will share a feast (food-meat) with the Jews, it was pleasing that he abstain form communion because he ought to be corrected.
Canon 1 - second part: If anyone of these men who is the head of a church, whether it be a bishop, a presbyter or a deacon will dare after this decree to act separately for the subversion of the peoples and the disturbance of the Churches and celebrate Pasca with the Jews, the holy synod judges him to be apart from the Church in order that they might be not only a cause of sin for themselves, but also a cause of destruction and subversion of many others. And this synod not only disposes them from ministry, but those who dare to communicate with them after disposition. Those who are deposed are to be deprived of even external honor, those who were partakers of holy order and the priesthood of God. (Note: this decree would not have been written as Skarsonae says were it not for the fact that some clergy and laymen had positive relations with Jews, and I would add even some Messianic Jews? Let us recall the apostolic tradition that was laid in Antioch!)
Canon 37: That it is not permitted to receive festivals which are by Jews or heretics nor hold a festival together with them.
Canon 38: That it is not permitted to receive unleavened bread from the Jews nor to share in their impieties.
Canon 34: If the Jews wish to become Catholics as it is well known that they return easily to their vomit, they must remain a catechumenate for 8 months before being baptized. Only in danger of death will they anticipate the time of their baptism.
Canon 40: Clerics must not take part in Jewish festivals.
Under the leadership of Lord and most excellent King Sinentus this sacred council decided that the Jews or those who are of Jewish extraction (Jewish Christians) may in no way hold public office because on that occasion they have done injury to Christians. And therefore the judges of the provinces with the priests are to suspend their fraudulent undertakings and not permit them to hold public office. If any of the judges, however, would permit this, let excommunication be passed upon them as if on one who has committed sacrilege.
Canon 1: Easter must be celebrated uniformly.
Canon VIII: Because those from the Hebrew religion have been deceived they seem to mock Christ as God, pretending to become Christians, but they deny him as they openly and secretly keep the Sabbath and follow other practices in the manner of the Jews. We determine That they are not to be received into communion, nor into prayer, nor into the Church; but the Hebrews are manifestly according to their own religion: their children are not to be baptized; nor is a slave to be purchased or acquired. But if anyone of them will convert out of a sincere faith and heart and will make a profession of faith with all his heart, disclosing their customs and practices so that others might be exposed and corrected, he is to be received and baptized, and also his children, but indeed we decree that they are to be observed so that they depart from Hebrew practices, otherwise they are not to be admitted at all.
A. Visigothic Professions (early 7th century)
I. Of Recceswinth, from Leg. Vis. 12.2.17.
To our most merciful and tranquil lord Recceswinth the King, from us the Jews of Toledo as witnessed or signed below. We well remember how we were long and rightly constrained to sign this Declaration promising in the name of King Chinthila's holy memory to support the Catholic faith; and we have done so. However, because our pertinacious lack of faith and the ancient errors of our fathers held us back from believing wholly in Our Lord Jesus Christ or accepting the Catholic truth with all our hearts, we therefore make these promises to your greater glory, on behalf both of ourselves and our wives and children, through this our Declaration, undertaking for the future not to become involved in any Jewish rites or customs nor to associate with the accursed Jews who remain unbaptised. We will not follow our habit of contracting incestuous unions or practising fornication with our own relatives to the sixth degree. We will not on any pretext, either ourselves, our children or our descendants, choose wives from our own race; but in the case of both sexes we will always link ourselves in matrimony with Christians. We will not practise carnal circumcision, or celebrate the Passover, the Sabbath or the other feast days connected with the Jewish religion. We will not keep to our old habit of discrimination in the matter of food. We will do none of the things which the evil tradition of long custom and intercourse urges upon us as Jews. Instead, with utter faith and grace in our hearts, and with complete devotion towards Christ the Son of the Living God, as the apostolic tradition enjoins, shall we believe on Him and confess Him. Every custom of the holy Christian religion, feast days, marriage, and what is lawful to eat, indeed every ceremony thereof, we shall faithfully hold and embrace with all our hearts, reserving no hint within ourselves of resistance, no suspicion of deception, whereby we may come to repeat those errors we now deny, or fulfil with little or no sincerity that which we now promise to do. With regard to swines' flesh we promise to observe this rule, that if through long custom we are hardly able to eat it, we shall not through fastidiousness or error refuse the things that are cooked with it. And if in all the matters touched on above we are found in any way to transgress, either presuming to work against the Christian Faith, or promising in words to perform actions suitable to the Catholic religion, and in our deeds deferring their performance, we swear by that same Father, Son and Holy Ghost, who is One God in Three, that whoever of us is found to transgress shall either perish by the hands of our fellows, by burning or stoning, or if your splendid piety shall have spared our lives, we shall at once lose our liberty and you shall give us along with all our property to whomever you please into perpetual slavery, or dispose of us in any other manner that seems good to you. To this end you have free authority, not only on account of your royal power, but also arising out of the stipulations of this our guarantee. This Declaration is given at Toledo in the name of the Lord, on the 18th of February in the sixth year of your glorious reign.
II. Of Erwig, from Leg. Vis. 12.3.14.
I do here and now renounce every rite and observance of the Jewish religion, detesting all its most solemn ceremonies and tenets that in former days I kept and held. In future I will practise no rite or celebration connected with it, nor any custom of my past error, promising neither to seek it out nor to perform it. Further do I renounce all things forbidden or detested by Christian teaching; and,
(Here follows the Nicene Creed)
In the name of this Creed, which I truly believe and hold with all my heart, I promise that I will never return to the vomit of Jewish superstition. Never again will I fulfil any of the offices of Jewish ceremonies to which I was addicted, nor ever more hold them dear. I altogether deny and reject the errors of the Jewish religion, casting forth whatever conflicts with the Christian Faith, and affirming that my belief in the Holy Trinity is strong enough to make me live the truly Christian life, shun all intercourse with other Jews and have the circle of my friends only among honest Christians. With them or apart from them I must always eat Christian food, and as a genuinely devout Christian go often and reverently to Church. I promise also to maintain and embrace with due love and reverence the observance of all the Lord's days or feasts for martyrs as declared by the piety of the Church, and upon those days to consort always with sincere Christians, as it behoves a pious and sincere to do.
Herewith is my profession of faith and belief as given by me on this date.
III. Of Erwig, from Leg. Vis. 12.3.15.
I swear first by God the Father Almighty, Who said, 'By Me shall ye swear, and ye shall not take the Name of the Lord your God in vain, Who made Heaven and earth, the sea and all things in them', and set bounds to the ocean, saying 'So far shalt thou come and here shall thy proud waves be stayed', Who said, 'Heaven is my home, the earth my footstool': Who first cast forth from Heaven the Archangel in his over-weening pride, before Whose sight the host of Angels stand in fear, Whose gaze lays bare the abyss and Whose anger wastes away mountains; Who put the first man Adam in Paradise, giving him the law that he should not eat of the forbidden apple tree. He ate of it and was cast forth from Paradise, and bound himself, together with the human race, in the chains of error. And by Him Who gladly received the offerings of Abel and justly rejected the unworthy Cain; Who, when they were about to die, took Enoch and Elijah to Paradise in the body of this life, and shall bring them back to the world at the end of this age; Who thought fit to save Noah with his wife and three sons and their wives and all the animals, birds and reptiles in the Ark at the time of the Flood, whereby every species was preserved; Who from Shem the son of Noah saw fit to give issue in Abraham, and from him the people of Israel; Who chose Patriarchs and Prophets, and blessed the Patriarchs of Abraham's line, Isaac and Jacob; Who promised holy Abraham, saying, 'In your seed shall all mankind be blessed', giving him the sign of circumcision as the seal of His promise for ever. I swear by Him Who overthrew Sodom and turned Lot's wife, when she looked back, into a statue of salt; and by Him Who wrestled with Jacob, and touching a sinew made him lame, saying, 'Thou shalt be called not Jacob but Israel'. I swear also by Him who freed Moses from the waters, and appeared to him in a flaming bush, and by his hand brought ten plagues upon the Egyptians, and freed the people of Israel from the Egyptian slavery, making them cross dry thorough the Red Sea, where against natural law the water stood up in a solid wall. I swear by Him Who drowned Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea. I swear by Him Who led the people of Israel by a pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night. I swear by Him Who gave to Moses on Mount Sinai the law written by His own fingers on tables of stone. I swear by Him Who made that mountain to smoke in the sight of all Israel. I swear by Him Who chose Aaron for His first priest and consumed his sons by fire in their tent, because they had dared to offer strange fire before the Lord. I swear by Him Who in His justice ordered Dathan and Abiram to be swallowed alive by the earth, I swear by Him Who changed the bitter waters into sweet by the casting in of the trunk of a tree. I swear by Him Who, when the people of Israel thirsted in Horeb, caused Moses to smite the rock with his rod and bring forth great streams of water. I swear by Him Who for forty years fed the people of Israel in the wilderness, and preserved their garments so that they wore not out with use; and kept them safe in every way. I swear by Him Who decreed once and for all that no Israelite should enter the Promised Land, because they had doubted the Lord's word, excepting only Joshua and Caleb, whom He promised should enter. I swear by Him Who told Moses that if he raised his hands on high, the people of Israel be victors against the Amalekites. I swear by Him Who ordered our Fathers by the hand of Joshua to cross the Jordan and raise twelve stones from that river in witness thereof. I swear by Him Who enjoined upon all Israel that having crossed the river Jordan they should circumcise themselves with stone knives; and by Him Who overturned the walls of Jericho. I swear by Him Who adorned David with the glory of kingship, and saved him from the hands of Saul and of his son Absalom. I swear by Him Who at the prayer of Solomon filled the Temple with cloud, and poured His blessing therein. I swear by Him Who, raising the Prophet Elijah through a whirlwind in a chariot of fire, brought him from earth to the seats of Heaven; and by Him Who, at the prayer of Elisha, divided the waters of Jordan when Elisha smote them with the robe of Elijah. I swear by Him Who filled all His Prophets with the Holy Spirit, and freed Daniel from hungry and monstrous lions. I swear by Him Who saw fit to preserve three boys in the fiery furnace, under the eyes of a hostile king; and by Him 'Who keeps the key of David, closing what no man has opened, opening what no man has closed'. I swear by Him Who brings about all wonders, virtues and signs to Israel and other peoples. I swear also by the Ten Commandments. I swear also by Jesus Christ, His ascent to Heaven, His glorious and terrible coming, when He shall come to judge the living and the dead, showing Himself gentle to the just and terrible to sinners; and by the revered Body and precious Blood of Him Who opens the eyes of the blind, and makes the deaf to hear and brings back the paralysed to the use of their limbs; Who loosens the tongues of the dumb, cleanses the devil-ridden, makes the lame to run, and rouses the dead: Who walked over the waters, and brought back Lazarus, freed from death, when his flesh was already in corruption, to life and safety, changing grief to joy: Who is the Creator of time, the Principle of life, the Author of salvation: Who illumined the world with His rising, and redeemed it by His Passion: Who alone among the dead was free, and death could not hold Him: Who undermines the gates of Hell, and by the majesty of His power draws the souls of the blessed up from the shades: Who having vanquished death has taken the body which he assumed upon earth into Heaven with Him after His victory over the world, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, receiving from Him the power of eternal sway. I swear also by all the heavenly virtues, and by the relics of all the Saints and Apostles, and also by the four holy Gospels, on which I lay this Declaration upon the sacred altar which I hold with my hands. Since I have taken care to note well everything in my profession of Faith, and have been able to put it together, I give my signature to you, my Lord Bishop, and affirm everything in all sincerity, with no reservations or deception as to what is meant. With absolute sincerity, as I have said in my profession, I have abjured all Jewish rites and observances, and with my whole heart shall believe in the Holy Trinity, never returning in any way to the vomit of my former error, or associating with the wicked Jews. In every respect will I lead the Christian life and associate with Christians. The meaning which I have discerned in what I have signed concerning the observance of the holy Faith I will guard with all the purity of my faith, so that I shall live from now henceforth according to the Apostolic tradition and the law of the holy Creed. If I wander from the straight path in any way and defile the holy Faith, and try to observe any rites of the Jewish sect, or if I shall delude you in any way in the swearing of this oath, so that I appear to swear sincerely, yet do not perform my promises in the spirit in which I have heard and understood them from you while I made my profession; then may all the curses of the law fall upon me as they are promulgated by the lips of the Lord against those who despise the commandments of God. May there fall upon me and upon my house and all my children all the plagues which smote Egypt, and to the horror of others may I suffer in addition the fate of Dathan and Abiram, so that the earth shall swallow me alive, and after I am deprived of this life I shall be handed over to the eternal fire, in the company of the Devil and his Angels, sharing with the dwellers in Sodom and with Judas the punishment of burning; and when I arrive before the tribunal of the fearful and glorious Judge, Our Lord Jesus Christ, may I be numbered in that company to whom the glorious and terrible Judge with threatening mien will say, 'Depart from me, evil-doers, into the eternal fire that is prepared for the Devil and his Angels'.
B. Profession of Faith, from the Church of Constantinople
From Assemani, Cod. Litl, I, p. 105.
As a preliminary to his acceptance as a catechumen, a Jew 'must confess and denounce verbally the whole Hebrew people, and forthwith declare that with a whole heart and sincere faith he desires to be received among the Christians. Then he must renounce openly in the church all Jewish superstition, the priest saying, and he, or his sponsor if he is a child, replying in these words:
'I renounce all customs, rites, legalisms, unleavened breads and sacrifices of lambs of the Hebrews, and all the other feasts of the Hebrews, sacrifices, prayers, aspersions, purifications, sanctifications and propitiations, and fasts, and new moons, and Sabbaths, and superstitions, and hymns and chants and observances and synagogues, and the food and drink of the Hebrews; in one word, I renounce absolutely everything Jewish, every law, rite and custom, and above all I renounce Antichrist, whom all the Jews await in the figure and form of Christ; and I join myself to the true Christ and God. And I believe in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, the Holy, Consubstantial and Indivisible Trinity, and the dispensation in the flesh and the descent to men of the Word of God, of the one person of the Holy Trinity, and I confess that he was truly made man, and I believe and proclaim that after the flesh in very truth the Blessed Virgin Mary bore him the son of God; and I believe in, receive, venerate and embrace the adorable Cross of Christ, and the holy images; and thus, with my whole heart, and soul, and with a true faith I come to the Christian Faith. But if it be with deceit and with hypocrisy, and not with a sincere and perfect faith and a genuine love of Christ, but with a pretence to be a Christian that I come, and if afterwards I shall wish to deny and return to Jewish superstition, or shall be found eating with Jews, or feasting with them, or secretly conversing and condemning the Christian religion instead of openly confuting them and condemning their vain faith, then let the trembling of Cain and the leprosy of Gehazi cleave to me, as well as the legal punishments to which I acknowledge myself liable. And may I be anathema in the world to come, and may my soul be set down with Satan and the devils.'
C. Profession of Faith of Uncertain Eastern Origin, attached to the Clementine Recognitions
From P.G., I, p. 1456.
It is my desire to-day to come from the Hebrews to the Christian faith. I have not been brought by any force, necessity, fear, annoyance or poverty; nor because of a debt, or of an accusation lodged against me; nor for the sake of worldly honours, of advantages, of money or property which has been promised me by anyone; nor for the sake of its useful consequences, nor to obtain human patronage; nor because of any quarrel or dispute which I have had with people of my own religion; nor for secret purposes of revenge on the Christians, by a feigned admiration for their law, nor because I have been wronged by them; but I have been brought by a whole-hearted love of Christ and of faith in Him.
I renounce the whole worship of the Hebrews, circumcision, all its legalisms, unleavened bread, Passover, the sacrificing of lambs, the feasts of Weeks, Jubilees, Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles, and all the other Hebrew feasts, their sacrifices, prayers, aspersions, purifications, expiations, fasts, Sabbaths, new moons, foods and drinks. And I absolutely renounce every custom and institution of the Jewish laws.
Moreover, I place under anathema the heresies among the Jews, and the heretics themselves. I anathematise the Sadducees, who are called just, who blaspheme the Holy Spirit, who attack the resurrection of the dead, and deny the existence of angels. I anathematise the Pharisees, the separate ones, who fast on the second and fifth days, who pretend to sexual abstinence at definite times, and afterwards despise all continence, who foretell the future and waste their time on astrology. I anathematise the Nazarenes, the stubborn ones, who deny that the law of sacrifices was given by Moses, who abstain from eating living things, and who never offer sacrifice: I anathematise the Osseans, the blindest of all men, who use other scriptures than the Law, and reject most of the prophets, and who boast in a man as master, one Elxai, that is 'the hidden virtue', and who worship, as Gods, tow women of his offspring, Marthonis and Marthana: I anathematise the Herodians, who worship as Christ a foreign king of the Jews, Herod, who was eaten of worms. I anathematise the Hemerobaptists, who believe as do the Pharisees, but also teach that a man cannot be saved without daily washing. I anathematise the scribes, or doctors of the Law, who are not content to live according to the Law, but of their own free will perform more than is prescribed in the Law, and devising washing of vessels and cups and platters and other articles of furniture, and frequently wash their hands and their pots; and who call all these many traditions they have added to the Law 'Deuteroses', as though they were a second series of Divine Laws, and they falsely ascribe the first to Moses, and the second to Rabbi Akiba, and the third to Annas who is also called Judas, and the fourth to the sons of the Hasmoneans who even violated the Sabbath in battle.
Together with all these Jewish heresies and heresiarchs, derteroses and givers thereof, I anathematise those who celebrate the feast of Mordecai on the first Sabbath of the Christian fast, hanging the effigy of Haman on a gibbet, and mingling the sign of the cross therewith, and burning all together, and subjecting the Christians to every kind of curse and anathema.
Together with the ancients, I anathematise also the Chief Rabbis and new evil doctors of the Jews, to wit, Lazarus the inventor of the abominable feast which they call Monopodaria, and Elijah who was no less impious, and Benjamin, Zebedee, Abraham, Symbatius and the rest of them. Further I invoke every curse and anathema on him whose coming is expected by the Jews as the Christ or Anointed, but is rather Anti-Christ, and I renounce him and commit myself to the only true Christ and God. And I believe in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, the Holy Consubstantial and Indivisible Trinity; I confess the Incarnation and the coming to man of one of the Holy Trinity, to wit, the only begotten Son and Word of God, begotten of the Father before all the centuries, through Whom all things were made. I believe Him to be the Messiah foretold by the Law and the Prophets; and I am convinced that He has already come into the world for the salvation of mankind; that He was truly made man, without confusion, change or alteration, of one person and two natures. I believe that He suffered all things of His own will, and was crucified in the flesh, while His Divinity remained impassable, and was buried, and rose again on the third day, and ascended into heaven, and shall come again in glory to judge both the living and the dead.
And I believe and profess the Blessed Virgin Mary, who bore Him according to the flesh, and who remained a virgin, to be truly and actually the Mother of God, and I venerate and honour her truly as the Mother of God Incarnate, and as the Lady and mistress thereby of all creation.
I am convinced and confess and believe that the bread and the wine which is mystically consecrated among Christians, and which they take in their sacred rites, is the very body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, transmuted by His Divine power reasonably and invisibly, in His own way beyond all natural understanding, and I confess that in taking the sacrament I am taking His very body and blood, to the gaining of life eternal and the inheritance of the Kingdom of Heaven which belongs to those who receive them in perfect faith.
Finally, I beg for Christian baptism, out of a pure and spotless heart and mind, and a sincere faith, truly persuaded that it is the true spiritual washing, and the regeneration of soul and body.
I receive, honour and accept as symbols and indications of their prototypes, the venerable Cross of the true Christ and God, no longer the instrument of death and crime, but of liberty and eternal life, and the sign of victory over death and Satan; likewise I receive the hitherto venerated images both of the Word of God according to the flesh among men, and likewise of the most pure and ineffable Mother of God, of the holy angels, and finally of all the saints.
I honor and venerate with the honor due to them the blessed angels and all the saints, not only the patriarchs and prophets, but the apostles, martyrs, confessors, doctors, saints, all indeed who pleased Christ when He came, as His servants and faithful followers.
Wherefore with my whole heart and mind and with deliberate choice I come to the Christian faith.
But if I make this statement falsely and deceitfully, and not on the witness of my whole conviction and in love for the Christ who has already come, but because of some compulsion, necessity, fear, loss, poverty, debt, accusation brought against me, worldly honour, dignity of any kind, money, promised gifts, or to serve some end, or for human protection, or because of dispute and quarrel with some of my own faith, or to revenge myself thus on the Christians, feigning respect for their law, or if I pretend to become a Christian because of some injuries suffered from them, and then revert to Judaism, or be found eating with the Jews, or observing their feasts and fasts, or speaking secretly with them, or defaming the Christian faith, or visiting their synagogues or oratories, or taking them under my protection, and do not rather confute the said Jews and their acts openly, and revile their empty faith, then may there come upon me all the curses which Moses wrote in Deuteronomy, and the trembling of Cain, and the leprosy of Gehazi, in addition to the penalties of law established, and may I be without any hope of pardon, and in the age to come may I be anathema and doubly anathema, and may my soul be set down with Satan and his demons.
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA - Dean Arthur F. Glasser and the School of World Mission faculty of Fuller Theological Seminary have released the following statement:
"We of the School of World Mission faculty of Fuller Theological Seminary feel constrained to address ourselves and the Church at large concerning the Jewish people. Particularly so at this time when the third commonwealth of Israel is celebrating its 28th anniversary and when we find ourselves much in prayer that the Jewish presence in the Middle East shall become under God an instrument for reconciliation and peace.
"We are profoundly grateful for the heritage given to us by the Jewish people which is so vital for our own Christian faith. We believe that God used the Jewish people as the sole repository of the history-centered disclosure of himself to mankind. This revelation began with Abraham and continued to the Jewish writers of the New Testament. Not only were the oracles of God committed to them (Romans 3:2), but it was through this people that God chose to bring Jesus Christ into the world. We believe that he is the only hope of salvation for the Jewish people, and for all mankind. Indeed, we continue to pray that through the mercy and blessing of God, the Jewish people shall turn to the Messiah Jesus and become once again a light to the nations, that his salvation may reach to the end of the earth (Isa. 49:6).
"We wish to charge the Church, as a whole, to do more than merely include the Jewish people in their evangelistic outreach. We would encourage an active response to the mandate of Romans 1:16 calling for evangelism "to the Jew first." For this we have the precedent of a great Jewish missionary, the Apostle Paul. Though sent to the Gentile world, he never relinquished his burden for his own kinsmen after the flesh. Wherever he traveled, he first visited the synagogue before presenting Christ to the Gentiles. So it must be in every generation. We must provide a priority opportunity for our Jewish friends to respond to the Messiah. They are our benefactors and it was they who first evangelized us. Furthermore, the Gospel we share with them must be carried to all tribes and peoples and tongues.
"We regret exceedingly that Christians have not always shared this Gospel with the Jewish people in a loving and ethical manner. Too often, while interested in Jewish evangelism in general, we have demeaned the dignity of the Jewish person by our unkind stereotyping and our disregard for Jewish sensitivities. How un-Christlike we have been!
"Likewise, we have unwittingly encouraged Jewish converts to divest themselves of their Jewish heritage and culture. For this too, we would repent and express our regret that the Western influence on our beliefs has precluded the original Jewish context. Our Church is culturally and spiritually poorer for it.
"In our day we are encouraged that thousands of Jewish people are coming to the Messiah. This being so, we cannot but call upon the Christian community to renew its commitment to share lovingly the Gospel of Jesus with the Jewish people. And we heartily encourage Jewish believers in him, including those who call themselves Messianic Jews, Hebrew-Christians, and Jews for Jesus, to retain their Jewish heritage, culture, religious practices and marriage customs within the context of a sound biblical theology expressing Old and New Testament truth. Their freedom in Christ to do this cannot but enrich the Church in our day.
"More, we feel it incumbent on Christians in all traditions to reinstate the work of Jewish evangelism in their missionary obedience. Jewish-oriented programs should be developed. Appropriate agencies for Jewish evangelism should be formed. And churches everywhere should support those existing institutions which are faithfully and lovingly bearing a Christian witness to the Jewish people."
May 12, 1976
"The Gospel is the power of God for salvation, to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek." (Romans 1:16)
"Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved." (Romans 10:1)
Every Christian must acknowledge an immense debt of gratitude to the Jewish people. The Gospel is the good news that Jesus is the Christ, the long-promised Jewish Messiah, who by his life, death and resurrection saves from sin and all its consequences. Those who worship Jesus as their Divine Lord and Saviour have thus received God's most precious gift through the Jewish people. Therefore they have compelling reason to show love to that people in every possible way.
Concerned about humanity everywhere, we are resolved to uphold the right of Jewish people to a just and peaceful existence everywhere, both in the land of Israel and in their communities throughout the world. We repudiate past persecutions of Jews by those identified as Christians, and we pledge ourselves to resist every form of anti-Semitism. AS the supreme way of demonstrating this love, we seek to encourage the Jewish people, along with all other peoples, to receive God's gift of life through Jesus the Messiah, and accordingly the growing number of Jewish Christians brings us great joy.
In making this Declaration we stand in a long and revered Christian tradition, which in 1980 was highlighted by a landmark statement, "Christian Witness to the Jewish People," issued by the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization. Now, at this Willowbank Consultation on the Gospel and the Jewish People, sponsored by the World Evangelical Fellowship and supported by the Lausanne Committee, we reaffirm our commitment to the Jewish people and our desire to share the Gospel with them.
This declaration is made in response to growing doubts and widespread confusion among Christians about the need for, and the propriety of, endeavors to share faith in Jesus Christ with Jewish people. Several factors unite to produce the uncertain state of mind that the Declaration seeks to resolve.
The holocaust, perpetrated as it was by leaders and citizens of a supposedly "Christian nation," has led to a sense in some quarters that Christian credibility among Jews has been totally destroyed. Accordingly, some have shrunk back from addressing the Jewish people with the Gospel.
Some who see the creation of the state of Israel as a direct fulfillment of biblical prophecy have concluded that the Christian task at this time is to "comfort Israel" by supporting this new political entity, rather than to challenge Jews by direct evangelism.
Some church leaders have retreated from embracing the task of evangelising Jews as a responsibility of Christian mission. Rather, a new theology is being embraces which holds that God's covenant with Israel through Abraham establishes all Jews in God's favor for all times, and so makes faith in Jesus Christ for salvation needless so far as they are concerned.
On this basis, it is argued that dialogue with Jews in order to understand each other better, and cooperation in the quest for socio-economic shalom is all that Christian mission requires in relation to the Jewish people. Continued attempts to do what the Church has done from the first, in seeking to win Jews to Jesus as Messiah, are widely opposed and decried by Christian as well as Jewish leaders.
Attempts to bring Jews to faith in Jesus are frequently denounced as proselytizing. This term is often used to imply dishonest and coercive modes of inducement, appeal to unworthy motives, and disregard of the question of truth even though it is truth that is being disseminated.
In recent years, "messianic" Jewish believers in Jesus, who as Christians celebrate and maximize their Jewish identity, have emerged as active evangelists to the Jewish community. Jewish leaders often accused them of deception on the grounds that one cannot be both a Jew and a Christian. While these criticisms may reflect Judaism's current effort to define itself as a distinct religion in opposition to Christianity, they have led to much bewilderment and some misunderstanding and mistrust.
The Declaration responds to this complex situation and seeks to set directions for the future according to the Scriptures.
I. The Demand Of The Gospel
WE AFFIRM THAT the redeeming love of God has been fully and finally revealed in Jesus Christ.
WE DENY THAT those without faith in Christ know the full reality of God's love and of the gift that he gives.
WE AFFIRM THAT the God-given types, prophecies and visions of salvation and shalom in the Hebrew Scriptures find their present and future fulfillment in and through Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who by incarnation became a Jew and was shown to be the Son of God and Messiah by his resurrection.
WE DENY THAT it is right to look for a Messiah who has not yet appeared in world history.
WE AFFIRM THAT Jesus Christ the second person of the one God, who became a man, lived a perfect life, shed his blood on the cross as an atoning sacrifice for human sins, rose bodily from the dead, ever reigns as Lord, and will return visibly to this earth, all to fulfill the purpose of bringing sinners to share eternally in his fellowship and glory.
WE DENY THAT those who think of Jesus Christ in lesser terms than these have faith in him in any adequate sense.
WE AFFIRM THAT all human beings are sinful by nature and practice, and stand condemned, helpless and hopeless, before God, until the grace of Christ touches their lives and brings them to God's pardon and peace.
WE DENY THAT any Jew or Gentile finds true peace with God through performing works of law.
WE AFFIRM THAT God's forgiveness of the penitent rests on the satisfaction rendered to his justice by the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross.
WE DENY THAT any person can enjoy God's favor apart from the mediation of Jesus Christ, the sin-bearer.
WE AFFIRM THAT those who turn to Jesus Christ find him to be a sufficient Saviour and Deliverer from all the evil of sin; from its guilt, shame, power and perversity; from blind defiance of God, debasement of moral character, and the dehumanizing and destructive self-assertion that sin breeds.
WE DENY THAT the salvation found in Christ may be supplemented in any way.
WE AFFIRM THAT faith in Jesus Christ is humanity's only way to come to know the Creator as Father, according to Christ's own Word: "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:5)
WE DENY THAT any non-Christian faith, as such, will mediate eternal life with God.
II. The Church Of Jews And Gentiles
WE AFFIRM THAT through the mediation of Jesus Christ, God has made a new covenant with Jewish and Gentile believers, pardoning their sins, writing his law on their hearts by his Spirit, so that they obey him, giving the Holy Spirit to indwell them, and bringing each one to know him by faith in a relationship of trustful gratitude for salvation.
WE DENY THAT the blessings of the New Covenant belong to any except believers in Jesus Christ.
WE AFFIRM THAT the profession of continuing Jewish identity, for which Hebrew Christians have in the past suffered at he hands of both their fellow Jews and Gentile church leaders, was consistent with the Christian Scriptures and with the nature of the church as one body in Jesus Christ in which Jews and non-Jews are united.
WE DENY THAT it is necessary for Jewish Christians to repudiate their Jewish heritage.
WE AFFIRM THAT Gentile believers, who at present contribute the great bulk of the Christian church, are included in the historically continuous community of believing people on earth which Paul pictures as God's olive tree. (Romans 11:13-24).
WE DENY THAT Christian faith is necessarily non-Jewish, and that Gentiles who believe in Christ may ignore their solidarity with believing Jews, or formulate their new identity in Christ without reference to Jewishness, or decline to receive the Hebrew Scriptures as part of their own instruction from God, or refuse to see themselves as having their roots in Jewish history.
WE AFFIRM THAT Jewish people who come to faith in Messiah have liberty before God to observe or not observe traditional Jewish customs and ceremonies that are consistent with the Christian Scriptures and do not hinder fellowship with the rest of the Body of Christ.
WE DENY THAT any inconsistency or deception is involved by Jewish Christians representing themselves as "Messianic" or "Completed" or "Fulfilled" Jews.
III. God's Plan For The Jewish People
WE AFFIRM THAT Jewish people have an ongoing part in God's plan.
WE DENY THAT indifference to the future of the Jewish people on the part of Christians can ever be justified.
WE AFFIRM THAT prior to the coming of Christ it was Israel's unique privilege to enjoy a corporate covenental relationship with God, following upon the national redemption from slavery, and involving God's gift of the law and of a theocratic culture; God's promise of blessing to faithful obedience; and God's provision of atonement for transgression.
WE AFFIRM THAT within this covenant relationship, God's pardon and acceptance of the penitent which was linked to the offering of prescribed sacrifices rested upon the fore-ordained sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
WE DENY THAT covenental privilege alone can ever bring salvation to impenitent unbelievers.
WE AFFIRM THAT much of Judaism, in it various forms, throughout contemporary Israel and today's Diaspora, is a development out of, rather than as an authentic embodiment of the faith, love and hope that the Hebrew Scriptures teach.
WE DENY THAT modern Judaism, with its explicit negation of the divine person, work, and Messiahship of Jesus Christ contains within itself true knowledge of God's salvation.
WE AFFIRM THAT the biblical hope for Jewish people centers on their being restored through faith in Christ to their proper places as branches of God's olive tree from which they are at present broken off.
WE DENY THAT the historical status of the Jews as God's people brings salvation to any Jew who does not accept the claims of Jesus Christ.
Article III. 16
WE AFFIRM THAT the Bible promises that large numbers of Jews will turn to Christ through God's sovereign grace.
WE DENY THAT this prospect renders needless the active proclamation of the gospel to Jewish people in this and every age.
WE AFFIRM THAT anti-Semitism on the part of professed Christians has always been wicked and shameful and that the church has in the past been much to blame for tolerating and encouraging it and for condoning anti-Jewish actions on the part of individuals and governments.
WE DENY THAT these past failures, for which offending Gentile believers must ask forgiveness from both God and the Jewish community rob Christians of the right or lessen their responsibility to share the gospel with Jews today and for the future.
WE AFFIRM THAT it was the sins of the whole human race that sent Christ to the cross.
WE DENY THAT it is right to single out the Jewish people for putting Jesus to death.
IV. Evangelism And The Jewish People
WE AFFIRM THAT sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with lost humanity is a matter of prime obligation for Christian people, both because the Messiah commands the making of disciples, and because love of neighbor requires effort to meet our neighbor's deepest need.
WE DENY THAT any other form of witness and service to others can excuse Christians from laboring to bring them to faith in Christ.
WE AFFIRM THAT the church's obligation to share saving knowledge of Christ with the whole human race includes the evangelising of Jewish people as a priority: "to the Jew first." (Romans 1:18).
WE DENY THAT dialogue with Jewish people that aims at nothing more than mutual understanding constitutes fulfillment of this obligation.
WE AFFIRM THAT the concern to point Jewish people to faith in Jesus Christ which the Christian church has historically felt and shown, was right.
WE DENY THAT there is any truth in the widespread notion that evangelising Jews is needless because they are already in covenant with God through Abraham and Moses, and so are already saved despite their rejection of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.
WE AFFIRM THAT all endeavors to persuade others to become Christians should express love to them by respecting their dignity and integrity at every point, including parents' responsibility in the care of their children.
WE DENY THAT coercive or deceptive proselytising, which violates dignity and integrity on both sides, can ever be justified.
WE AFFIRM THAT it is unchristian, unloving, and discriminatory, to propose a moratorium on the evangelising of any part of the human race, and that failure to preach the Gospel to the Jewish people would be a form of anti-Semitism, depriving this particular community of its right to hear the Gospel.
WE DENY THAT we have sufficient warrant to assume or anticipate the salvation of anyone, who is not a believer in Jesus Christ.
WE AFFIRM THAT the witness of separate churchly organisations for evangelising Jews, as for evangelising any other particular human group, can be justified pragmatically, as an appropriate means of fulfilling the church's mandate to take the Gospel to the whole human race.
WE DENY THAT the depth of human spiritual need varies from group to group so that Jewish people may be thought to need Christ either more or less than others.
V. Jewish-Christian Relations
WE AFFIRM THAT dialogue with other faiths that seeks to transcend stereotypes of them based on ignorance, and to find common ground and to share common concerns, is an expression of Christian love that should be encouraged.
WE DENY THAT dialogue that explains the Christian faith without seeking to persuade the dialogue partners of its truth and claims is a sufficient expression of Christian love.
WE AFFIRM THAT for Christians and non-Christian Jews to make common cause in social witness and action, contending together for freedom of speech and religion, the value of the individual, and the moral standards of God's Law is right and good.
WE DENY THAT such limited cooperation involves any compromise of the distinctive views of either community or imposes any restraint upon Christians in seeking to share the Gospel with the Jews with whom they cooperate.
WE AFFIRM THAT the Jewish quest for a homeland with secure borders and at just peace has our support.
WE DENY THAT any biblical link between the Jewish people and the land of Israel justifies actions that contradict biblical ethics and constitute oppression of people groups or individuals.
This Declaration was developed and adopted on April 29, 1988 by all those present at the Consultation on the Gospel and the Jewish Peoples after several days of intense consultation, under-girded by prayer. Together, the participants commend this document to the churches with a call to prayerfully consider and act upon these very serious matters as touching the Christian Gospel and the Jewish People.