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Thursday, 26 March 2020
Messianic Jewish Outreach (6)

So is Messianic Jewish Outreach just another term for Evangelism? This is a charge frequently levelled against the Messianic Jewish movement by the mainstream Jewish denominations. Stuart Dauermann is clear that the two terms are not synonymous. He says that there are at least three notable differences.

His first point is that ...

how evangelism is to be conducted is contingent upon how one defines the good news being proclaimed.

He then quotes from the Lausanne Consultation on World Evangelism:

To evangelize is to spread the good news that Jesus Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead according to the Scriptures, and that, as the reigning Lord, he now offers the forgiveness of sins and the liberating gifts of the Spirit to all who repent and believe ... Evangelism ... is the proclamation of the historical, biblical Christ as Saviour and Lord, with a view to persuading people to come to him personally and so be reconciled to God. In issuing the gospel invitation we have no liberty to conceal the cost of discipleship. Jesus still calls all who would follow him to deny themselves, take up their cross, and identify themselves with his new community. The results of evangelism include obedience to Christ, incorporation into his Church and responsible service in the world.

Is that the same as Messianic Jewish outreach? No, Dauermann claims ...

although the two inextricabley overlap. While proclaiming Yeshua as Messiah and Lord is essential and central to Messianic Judiasm's message, the implications of Yeshua's messianic office go far beyond matters of personal destiny to encompass a wider communal covenantal context amply testified to in Scripture and summarised by Ezekiel.

We'll look at the second difference next time.

Taken from Stuart Dauermann, "Messianic Jewish Outreach", chapter 7 in Introduction to Messianic Judiasm, edited by David J Rudolph and Joel Willits, Zondervan 2013, page 94.

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