An Israeli bus driver was filmed by a passenger preaching the Gospel to his passengers while driving and now he could possibly lose his job.
In a video clip published on Ynet, a Hebrew news website, the driver is heard talking about his faith, that Yeshua is the Messiah and comparing Islam to Judaism and Christianity. It is unclear if the driver is a Christian Arab or a Messianic Jew. One passenger accused the driver of proselytizing and that there were minors on board at the time.
The clip has created quite a sensation on social media.
“It’s not the Old Testament and the New Testament — they are one,” he said. “If you read it, one completes the other, and then you realize that it all comes from the Holy Spirit.”
Some of the passengers asked him to stop talking near the beginning of the recording and chances are the driver seemed to be unaware that he was being recorded. But he continued sharing and told them if they didn’t want to hear what he had to say, they could put on headphones.
Kavim, the bus company, has put the driver on notice.
“The company is aware of the matter,” Kavim said in a statement. “Considering that this is the second complaint on this matter, and after the driver failed to cease his activity, he has been summoned to a disciplinary hearing and the company will weigh whether or not to continue his employment.”
Israeli’s don’t seem to mind
Despite his beliefs, which are generally controversial among Israelis, many readers defended the driver in the article’s comments, hailing freedom of speech and religion in Israel.
“100 percent legal,” one wrote. “Every citizen has the right to his or her own faith.”
“What a bunch of losers are those who complained about this. What do you care what the driver had to say? Hypocrites. If he had been talking about girls or sex or drugs or politics, no one would have cared.”
“So what? The Orthodox Jews who bother us to pray with tefillin (phylacteries) are much worse.”
“I thought there was freedom of speech and religion in Israel.”
“At a time when people are chanting terrorist slogans and waving Palestinians flags in the center of Tel Aviv and no one is complaining, this driver says a few words that set off a media storm.”
Another reader called it “fake news” and accused Ynet of making a mountain out of a molehill.
“It’s shameful for you to have even reported on this. I see no violation. Where are the children? The driver was speaking with an adult passenger. This is fake news for the sake of ratings.”
Ynet interviewed an angry passenger who chose to remain anonymous and had taken his complaint straight to Yad L’Achim an anti-missionary organization. The Ynet host confronted the passenger: “Would you be so upset if the driver had been preaching repentance according to Jewish law?”
“No and it wouldn’t have been illegal either,” he said.
Note from Ron
While we don’t condone badgering people who don’t want to listen, it is interesting to see the response from Israelis. While the same anti-Messianic group, Yad Lachim, has tried to shut down our new Hebrew language cable channel, it is clear that the average Israeli is not at all threatened by it. Israel is a free and democratic country!
This article originally appeared on Messiah’s Mandate, June 11, 2020, and reposted with permission.