Tuesday, February 25, 2014

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What Can You Say to Missionaries?

 

What Can You Say to Missionaries?

by Gutman Locks

 

     A group of nice, young, non Jewish American College students came up to me at the Kotel tefillin stand yesterday. When I asked them what they were doing in Israel, they told me that they were students at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. This is a well known bible college whose objective is “to train students to completely and effectively proclaim the gospel of j.c.” (yashka)

     I hope all of their students are as ineffective as these boys.

     “Can I ask you a question?” an oriental looking boy asked.

     “Sure”

     He had his x-ian “bible” open and pointing to the page asked, “Who is the suffering servant the prophet Isaiah talks about in chapter 53?”

     “I am so surprised that you are asking that question. Someone is lying to you!”

    “Why!? It says it right here, see?” He had his finger on the line of his book.

    “Someone is tricking you and you are really falling for it. They are trying to get you to believe their myth, so they told you that the Prophet was referring to your man, but he wasn’t. Isaiah already called that servant by name, in Chapter 44, and a few other places. So why should you even be asking such a question?”

     A few of them quickly turned to chapter 44 and read, “…O Jacob My servant, and Israel…”

     One of them tried to argue that it couldn’t Jacob. “Then go argue with G-d and His Prophet, He’s the one who gave His servant that title.”

     I tried to explain how the Jewish people are all considered to be one and that since our exile 2,000 years ago we have been fulfilling the role of the “Suffering Servant”, but they didn’t believe me.

    “Look, yesterday I had some buddhists here arguing that their statue was a god. They really believe that story that someone told them. They didn’t see anything, and the guy who told them that story didn’t see anything. It’s the same with you. You never saw anything, and the people who are trying to convince you of this story didn’t see anything. It’s all just belief. Why should your belief be any better than theirs? Why should your story about your gods be any more reliable than theirs? No one saw anything!”

     One of the boys quickly “corrected” me, holding up three fingers, “god is three.”

     I loudly said, “‘Hear O’ Israel the L-rd our G-d the L-rd is ONE.’ G-d is One, not three!”

     Another boy jumped in and said, “But what do you do for forgiveness now that you do not have sacrifices? Who died for your sins?”

   “The Bible says, ‘the father will not die for the son’s sins, and the son will not die for the father’s sin. It says it clearly, and still you think that your man died for your sins!”

     “Is G-d infinite?” I asked.

      They reluctantly agreed.

      “Was yashka in the grave on the fourth day?”

      “No, he was resurrected,” they said with pride.

      “If he isn’t in the grave, he’s not everywhere. Don’t worship him. King David wrote that G-d is even in hell. Only worship the G-d Who is everywhere.”

     “Where’s it say that G-d is in hell?” one of them insisted.

     “Psalms 139,” I told him.

     He quickly looked it up and told the other boys that it does say that.

     “Just worship the Infinite G-d, and not a limited man and you will be alright. Study the 7 Commandments of Noah. If you keep them you will have wonderful lives in this world and in the Next.” I gave them each a handout about the 7 Mitzvahs.

     I really tried to help them, but most of them saw me as the enemy of their god. Maybe I got to one or two of them.

     I gave them my website address and they walked away looking like they failed…well, they did fail in spreading that foolishness at the Kotel, but I wonder how many Americans they meet do fall for that myth?

   

 

3 comments:

Leah said...

So, true, so true. they used to try and "get me" in the park where I lived in a St. Louis suburb. I used to laugh and laugh at them. Hey, look, I was only twelve then. I didn't know enough,I should have walked away, yet I stayed and put them in their place. I was stern, yet protective of my heritage..... I don't recommend debating missionaries unless one is adept at it. Can be dangerous....I do believe that Hashem was watching out for me, though.

Concerned said...

Just a friendly suggestion. You should think about changing the picture you chose to go with this article. The picture you've used is of Mormon Missionaries and the people from Moody Bible Institure are anything but Mormons. In fact, they won't have anything to do with Mormonism. Just thought you should know.

William said...

Speaking as a ger who used to be heavily involved in evangelical type xtianity, Reb Gutman's approach to this particular situation is very effective. To over-simplify a bit, there are two types of missionary. The most common is the lay-person who gets a basic level of training in their local congregation or as an undergrad in an xtian school. Reb Gutman's responses are highly effective with such people. The maxim of "the best defense is a good offense" applies to such people. Less common are the professional missionaries. Within that group are a relatively small number of missionaries trained specifically to target Jews. These types, once they latch on to someone, are very difficult to disengage from. Even when you take apart one argument, they will just proceed to the next and the next, ad nauseum. Their hope is to break the person by repetition (not that the missionary will put it that way, but that is what it effectively is).

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