News Release from Fuller Theological Seminary
“We are profoundly grateful for the heritage given to us by the Jewish people which is so vital for our own Christian faith. We believe that God used the Jewish people as the sole repository of the history centred disclosure of Himself to mankind. This revelation began with Abraham and continued to the Jewish writers of the New Testament. Not only were the oracles of God committed to them (Romans 3:2), but it was through this people that God chose to bring Jesus Christ into the world. We believe that He is the only hope of salvation for the Jewish people and for all mankind. Indeed we continue to pray that through the mercy and blessing of God, the Jewish people shall turn to the Messiah Jesus and become once again a light to the nations that His salvation may reach to the end of the earth (Isaiah 49:6).
We wish to charge the Church as a whole to do more than merely include the Jewish people in their evangelistic outreach. We would encourage an active response to the mandate of Romans 1:16 calling for evangelism “to the Jew first.” For this we have the precedent of a great Jewish missionary the Apostle Paul. Though sent to the Gentile world, he never relinquished his burden for his own kinsmen after the flesh. Wherever he travelled he first visited the synagogue before presenting Christ to the Gentiles. So it must be in every generation. We must provide a priority opportunity for our Jewish friends to respond to the Messiah. They are our benefactors and it was they who first evangelised us. Furthermore, the Gospel we share with them must be carried to all tribes and peoples and tongues.
Likewise we have unwittingly encouraged Jewish converts to divest themselves of their Jewish heritage and culture. For this too we would repent and express our regret that the Western influence on our beliefs has precluded the original Jewish context. Our church is culturally and spiritually poorer for it.
In our day we are encouraged that thousands of Jewish people are coming to the Messiah. This being so, we cannot but call upon the Christian community to renew its commitment to share lovingly the Gospel of Jesus with the Jewish people. And we heartily encourage Jewish believers in Him, including those who call themselves Messianic Jews, Hebrew Christians, and Jews for Jesus, to retain their Jewish heritage, culture, religious practices and marriage customs within the context of a sound Biblical theology expressing Old and New Testament truth. Their freedom in Christ to do this cannot but enrich the Church in our day.
More we feel it incumbent on Christians in all traditions to reinstate the work of Jewish evangelism in their missionary obedience. Jewish-oriented programs should be developed. Appropriate agencies for Jewish evangelism should be formed. And churches everywhere should support those existing institutions which are faithfully and lovingly bearing a Christian witness to the Jewish people.”
Fuller Theological Seminary 12 May 1976
This is a direct and biblical appeal to church & missions organisations to “Put the Jews first” in their endeavours by a well respected Christian organisation.
Shalom and Blessings,