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God desires that ALL people would accept God's love and salvation through Jesus Christ. God has compelled me to share information with the world relating to the biblical seven year tribulation in order to share Truth in a deceived world.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. (John 1:1-5)

Jesus answered, "I AM the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Jewish holy days provide opportunity for Jewish, Christian dialogue

How can you be a Christian without John 14:6???

More than just intimate Jewish affairs, though, the holy days provide an opportunity for Christians to connect with Jewish culture and communities as well. Southside Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., has enjoyed a close relationship with nearby Temple Emanu-El for several years. And Woodbrook Baptist Church in Baltimore, Md., is increasingly known for the congregation’s work with Baltimore’s Institute for Christian and Jewish Studies. The institute works to address the challenges of religious pluralism and foster interfaith understanding and respect. Other Baptist groups, like the Alliance of Baptists in 1995, have made pronouncements about improving Jewish-Christian relations.
Steve Jones, pastor of Southside Baptist Church, has a close relationship with Rabbi Jonathan Miller of Temple Emanu-El, a reform synagogue that sits just down the road from the 120-year-old church.
The partnership started several years ago, when the Jewish congregants held services in Southside’s building for 14 months while their temple was under construction. Since then, Southside and Emanu-El have joined forces in studying sacred texts, working on mission projects, and leading community walks. Jones even visits the temple as a guest speaker and sometimes leads prayers in place of Miller, and vice versa.
“With the world we live in now, where religion has caused so much discord, it seems to me that understanding each other spiritually is going to be a key to try to find some kind of peace,” Jones said. “If you can’t get along with the people in your neighborhood, with the synagogue down the street, then there’s no hope for peace in the world.”
Southside and Emanu-El didn’t have a totally easy road to community, though. Jones received harsh criticism from other Christians who thought he should use the partnership to evangelize. And while members of each congregation had known each other previously through businesses, school or social events, when it came to religion, Jones said, “things were cut off.”
Jones said the keys for overcoming that awkward phase, especially during the holidays, are humility and openness. It’s not about winning people, he said, it’s about being a witness to the reality of the Christian faith. And that might mean letting go of the “hardcore evangelistic stuff we’ve had drilled into us,” he added.
“First, the Baptist church in particular does not need to go in with an agenda,” he said. “I think that is a very arrogant approach. It is also unscriptural and unspiritual. We must respect each other as equals.”
That respect comes with putting aside “petty” political ideals, he added. Under good circumstances, a Christian community and a Jewish community that share meals, dialogue and events can learn from each other to the benefit of all.
“When you are Baptist, and you have all the big churches in town, there is a certain arrogance that comes with that,” Jones said. “Just be who you are and celebrate each others’ faith. We became better Christians -- we understood our own faith better -- after doing this.”

Jewish holy days provide opportunity for Jewish, Christian dialogue

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