With all of the unhelpful Zionism that permeates much of conservative, evangelical (American) Christianity it is encouraging to know about the ministry of the International Jewish Evangelical Fellowship (IJEF). My friend, Baruch Maoz, is one of the key leaders of this organization. Baruch is an Israeli Reformed Baptist pastor. He also serves as the Chairman of the IJEF Executive Committee. There are 9 stated goals and purposes of the IJEF:
- To promote a presentation of the Gospel to Jewish people, grounded in biblical (non-rabbinic) authority alone and expressed in terms that Jewish people can understand.
- To call upon, encourage and assist Jewish Christians to be an active part of local Christ-centered churches rather than of culturally or ethnically centered congregations .
- To inculcate in Jewish Christians an affection and a respect for the work of God in and through the Church throughout the ages and to encourage Jewish Christians to maintain, cultivate, and express their Jewish national identity in cross-cultural contexts rather than within the context of church life and worship.
- To encourage Jewish believers in Jesus in their fellowship as members of the church by providing forums for them to come together and be edified and taught a Messiah-centered point of view in dealing with life issues
- To assist the church in helping Jewish believers in Jesus to find within its framework a true spiritual home while encouraging Jewish Christians to develop fellowship in which they can express and maintain their identity with fellow Jewish Christians.
- To present the Gospel in a fashion where Christ, not Jewishness, is the focus and the message; declaring in the hearing of Jewish people the supremacy of Jesus, Israel’s promised Messiah and the Saviour of the world.
- To promote the unity of the Body of Messiah, in which there is neither Jew nor gentile, male nor female, bond nor free, while simultaneously encouraging churches to allow and enable Jewish Christians to maintain their cultural identity as Jews.
- To encourage evangelical churches to be engaged in the evangelism of the Jewish people.
- To create a distinctly Jewish Christian voice that will address the church, the nations, and the Jewish people.
Their 4th annual conference is coming up March 29-31 in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. The theme is “To the Jew First.” Baruch will be speaking on Zionism and evangelism. Other speakers include Walter Chantry and Jerry Marcellino.
If anyone can persuade Pat Robertson to attend, I will happily pay his registration fee.