The sun rises over Jewish vineyards in Samaria, the historical and Biblical central region of the ancient Land of Israel. (Credit: Seth Aronstam/Israel365 calendar)
A recent survey of Evangelical Christians revealed that a majority of them acknowledge that God accepts the prayers of Jews. Although this seems to be a positive development in Jewish-Christian relations, the idea that basic tenets of Christianity can be cast aside is the source of serious concern for the Christian clergy.
The results of the 2018 State of Theology survey conducted by LifeWay Research was recently released. The survey asked 3,000 American Evangelicals about their theological beliefs. Fifty-one percent of respondents agreed with the statement that “God accepts the worship of all religions, including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam,” while 42 percent disagreed.
Chris Larson, president of Ligonier Ministries, told Christian Post that the results indicate “an urgent need for bold teaching of historic Christianity.”
“The State of Theology survey highlights the urgent need for courageous ministry that faithfully teaches the historic Christian faith,” Larson said in the interview. “It’s never been popular to talk about mankind’s sinfulness or the exclusive claims of Jesus Christ… but at a time when a darkened world needs the light of the Gospel, it’s disheartening to see many within the evangelical church confused about what the Bible teaches. We hope this survey provides local churches with a little more insight into what people in our neighborhoods and in our pews actually believe.”
“Indeed, among Christians who believe many religions can lead to eternal life, 80% name at least one non-Christian faith that can do so.
The Lifeway researchers noted that the results indicated that the majority of respondents did not accept one of Christianity’s core beliefs: it is only through accepting Jesus that a person can achieve salvation.
David Nekrutman, the executive director for the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation (CJCUC), responded to the poll results with a question.
“Why are we blending salvation and worship?” Nekrutman asked rhetorically. “This survey asks if there is room within Christian thought that my prayers as a Jew to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will be accepted by God within Christian thought. Of course, there is no question that Jews believe their prayers are accepted. Judaism also holds that anyone who prays to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, his prayers are accepted.”
Nekrutman noted that the Lifeway survey raises more questions than it answers.
“One question is ‘When a Christian comes to the Kotel (Western Wall), who does he think we are praying to?” Nekrutman asked. “Does he believe that all our prayers are automatically rejected by God?”
This recent survey seems to be more of a long-term trend among evangelicals toward accepting other religions than a temporary anomaly. A 2008 Pew Survey showed a majority of all American Christians (52 percent) think that at least some non-Christian faiths can lead to eternal life. The survey indicated that this Christian open-mindedness was primarily focused on Jews. The overwhelming majority (69 percent) of non-Jews who said that many religions can lead to salvation believed that Judaism can bring eternal life. Though evangelicals were less likely than other groups to say that non-Christian faiths can lead to eternal life, about two-thirds of evangelicals who did believe that there are multiple paths to salvation felt that Judaism can bring eternal life.
Tommy Waller, the founder of Hayovel, an organization that brings Christian volunteers to harvest grapes in Israel, was cautiously optimistic about the Lifeway survey results.
“This may be a product of progressiveness on Christianity,” Waller told Breaking Israel News. “This may be an attempt to make everybody happy, make everyone feel comfortable in the church. This results in not having a solid stance on anything, embracing some things which simply cannot coexist with faith in God and the Bible. A liberal mindset is very problematic.”
“There is a bit of positive in this,” Waller said. “I think Christianity needs to move toward accepting Judaism in Israel. As a Christian, I see a God connection in Jews returning, in the fulfillment of God’s covenant. Accepting this into my faith is not a rejection of any core faith. It is embracing what is written in the Bible; the Old Testament as well as the New Testament. In this respect, there is a significant difference between Islam and Judaism.”
“You can be too conservative, stuck in the old ways that are not relevant to changes that have taken place. I believe that Christians need to open their minds and their hearts. But for me, opening up does not mean not embracing every religion, but there is hope for every religion.
“Jesus prayed as a Jew, practiced Judaism in Israel, and loved the Temple,” Waller emphasized. “How can we, as Christians, reject that?”
We all know that the midterm elections are different this time around. They are usually like “all politics,” namely local. But this time around they’re different. They are all presidential, all about Trump, as most everything is. And for the anti-Trump crowd — I’m talking about the political commentators and “analysts” — any and all things bad are held to be Trump’s fault. This is presumably because they believe that their condemnations of Trump will result in a Democrat takeover of the House of Representatives.
A new book explores how graffiti artists in Beirut skirt limitations on expression to share political criticism in the streets.
A photograph of the book “Drawing Lines” by Tamara Zantout, taken at the launch of the book at Beit Beirut cultural center, Beirut, Lebanon, Oct. 25, 2018.
BEIRUT — Beirut’s alleyways and streets are peppered in bright, detailed and provocative graffiti. Street artists use the medium, which exists in a legal grey area, to express their identity and give voice to political frustrations.
On Tuesday, San Francisco will become the largest city in the nation to allow noncitizens to vote, and the city has spent $310,000 on a “new registration system” specifically aimed at illegals. As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, the plan is the first in the state and follows Proposition N, a 2016 ballot measure allowing votes by noncitizens over the age of 18, reside in the city, and have children under age 19.
By the count of the Chronicle, only 49 noncitizens have signed up to vote on Tuesday, which works out to $6,326 for every illegal voter, but there’s more to the story. City officials are worried that voting could expose illegals to ICE, who might come looking and possibly deport somebody. So supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer, a backer of Proposition N, urged the city to spend $500,000 to warn the illegals.
At first Sabbath service after massacre, shooting survivors are blessed; rabbi says to those who condemned Trump’s visit: ‘No one tells me how to welcome a guest in my own home’
On November 3, 2018, a joint communal Shabbat prayer service at Pittsburgh’s Beth Shalom Conservative synagogue following the massacre a week prior which saw 11 Jewish community members killed. (Amanda Borschel-Dan/Times of Israel)
PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania — A week after an anti-Semitic shooter massacred 11 worshipers at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue, the community embraced each other in prayer on Saturday.
IS EUROPE RETURNING to the horrors of the 1930s? In an assessment typical of the moment, Max Holleran writes in the New Republic that “in the past ten years, new right-wing political movements have brought together coalitions of Neo-Nazis with mainstream free-market conservatives, normalizing political ideologies that in the past rightly caused alarm.” He sees this trend creating a surge in “xenophobic populism.” Writing in Politico, Katy O’Donnell agrees: “Nationalist parties now have a toehold everywhere from Italy to Finland, raising fears the continent is backpedaling toward the kinds of policies that led to catastrophe in the first half of the 20th century.” Jewish leaders like Menachem Margolin, head of the European Jewish Association, sense “a very real threat from populist movements across Europe.”
IS EUROPE RETURNING to the horrors of the 1930s? In an assessment typical of the moment, Max Holleran writes in the New Republic that “in the past ten years, new right-wing political movements have brought together coalitions of Neo-Nazis with mainstream free-market conservatives, normalizing political ideologies that in the past rightly caused alarm.”
We’ve been told for a long time that the ceasefire is on the way. It had many names in the past, such as tahdiah, hudna, and most recently—”an arrangement.” On Friday, once again, reports started emerging that an agreement has been reached. Several hours later, southern Israel was hit with a barrage of rockets. What happened?
And He said, “You will not be able to see My face, for No Human Being shall see Me and live.” — Shemot 33:20
Faith is deeper than knowledge. While scientific data is absorbed only in the brain, faith permeates all parts of the human personality. Nothing is untouched, all spiritual limbs quiver, and everything is transformed. It is thus more difficult to acquire faith than knowledge, and faith has a more radical effect on the human being.
A Catholic archbishop recently touched on an unspoken but highly subversive phenomenon: How anti-Christian forces exploit Christian teachings to empower those who seek to dismantle Christian civilization, Muslims being chief among them.
In an interview published last summer by the Italian outlet IlGionarle.it, Catholic Archbishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan said:
The King of Jordan, not some lowly clerk, announced that Jordan will not extend the currently existing leases renting two parcels of land to Israel. One is the so-called Island of Peace in the northern Naharayim area and the other located in the southern Arava, near Tzofar, an agricultural cooperative village (moshav). Jordan was entirely within its rights to decide not to renew the leases