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?”
The US Treasury added three top Hezbollah figures to its list of sanctioned individuals on Tuesday, including two members of the Lebanese Parliament and a security official responsible for coordinating between Hezbollah and Lebanon’s security agencies.
It was the first time the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control had designated a member of Lebanon’s Parliament under a sanctions list that targets those accused by Washington of providing support to terrorist organizations. Washington has designated Hezbollah as a terrorist group.
South African fans in Cairo celebrating their team’s win over Egypt at the African Cup of Nations. Photo: Reuters / Sumaya Hisham.
Three days after South Africa stunned the world of international soccer by knocking hosts Egypt out of the 2019 African Cup of Nations, the sound of elation remains clearly detectable in the voice of the team’s Jewish midfielder, Dean Furman.
“It was a fantastic victory, just fantastic,” Furman told The Algemeiner during a break in training on Tuesday, as South Africa prepared for its crucial quarterfinal game against Nigeria, another of the continent’s toughest sides, tomorrow.
Pieter van Oordt, left, with his brother, Roger, at the Israel
For the second time in recent history, a Dutch Christian organization dedicated to supporting Israel has gone head-to-head with the government. With their family tradition of belief in Israel that preceded the state of Israel by almost one hundred years, it seems unlikely that the van Oordts are about to back down, no matter what the odds.
Last month, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy made a request from the management of the Israel Products Center (IPC) to ensure they were in compliance with regulations adopted in 2015 by the European Commission requiring products made by Jewish owned companies in Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights, and sections of Jerusalem to be labeled in a manner indicating their origins.
Studies have shown that dairy cows contribute large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, caused by the organisms living in their microbiomes.
Genetically modifying cows may help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and feed world populations, a new study led by Prof. Itzhak Mizrahi of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev suggests.
“Our findings are both a major breakthrough for basic science and will have a positive impact on two major challenges facing the international community for the foreseeable future: climate change and food security,” Mizrahi said.
The decision by IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi to promote Brig. Gen. Ofer Winter reflects his future political aspirations.
Incoming Israeli Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi walks out at the end of a handover ceremony where he replaces Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, Israel, Jan. 15, 2019.
Israel has its own version of Napoleon’s famous saying, “Every soldier carries a marshal’s baton in his pack.” In these parts, every general carries a prime minister’s baton — or at least that of a defense minister — in his pack
As Islamist Watch has pointed out many times before, Islam is enormously diverse – containing many competing schools of theology, schools of jurisprudence, sects, ethnicities, cultures and mysticisms. Islamism is also not a single force; it comprises dozens of (both) competing and collaborating radical ideologies.
One of the most intriguing divisions, then, within both American Islam and Islamism of late has been growing dissent over the question of liberalism.
Right after Trump’s inauguration, I ran an article about how incredibly fake the news coverage was about his inauguration. (Those reading my site know I’m not a big Trump fan, but credit where credit is due and calling fake where calling fake is due.) The media was nothing short of spectacularly fake in the news it contrived that week on CNN, the New York Times and the other major fake media, and they mostly got away with it.
It wasn’t condescension or contempt. Recent remarks by former Mossad head Shabtai Shavit reek of racism. That is the proper way to frame them, calling them anything else is letting him off easy. In its classic, formal sense, racism is when a certain social sector perceives itself as superior because of clear racial criteria. Shavit represents an updated version of racism that doesn’t require ethnicity or religion as proof of a defect – you can call it “essential racism.”
Little Napoleon Barak is going to save Israeli Democracy? What a bunch of claptrap Orwellian doublespeak.
Well let’s check out history. How well did the original Napoleon save France’s democratic revolution against the monarchy?
Hmm, if I recall he crowned himself emperor!
For years, the pundits have been telling us that Israeli democracy is in danger because of the Arab birthrate, or because of the Jewish nation-state law, or because of the debates over the powers of Israel’s High Court.
I wonder if they will recognize the danger posed by the 10 left-wing American Jewish organizations that have formed a new umbrella organization, the essential purpose of which is to undermine Israeli democracy.