Since the release of Shelanu TV, the Israeli cable channel that proclaims the Gospel from a Messianic Jewish perspective, many Orthodox Jews have protested its existence and its right to share about faith in Yeshua the Messiah. Here is a brilliant response to the challenges that Shelanu TV is facing.
Now it’s completely understandable, even expected, how Orthodox Jews responded, but when some Christian leaders accused Shelanu TV of claiming that the church has replaced the Jewish people, I asked Ron Cantor, the regional director, if that was true and he replied absolutely not. Ron also said that 70% of the content is from local Israeli Messianic Jews and the remaining 30% is from mainly Jewish believers in America who are also sensitive to Jewish seekers of Messiah and international evangelicals. When a friend of mine, a fairly new Israeli Jewish believer heard about this controversy, he remarked, “The more I live, the less I understand.”
So with these facts in mind, I’d like to share my perspective of this situation. Years ago while attending university, I met some Christians who were very nice, but when they told me I had to convert to Christianity or else I’d burn in hell for all eternity, I did the logical thing that any Jew would do – I told them to go to hell!
I understand the animosity that lingers between Jew and Gentile due to events throughout history. Having grown up in an Orthodox synagogue, hearing firsthand stories of Holocaust survivors and knowing that some of my own family perished in the Shoah, I would’ve also been greatly angered by this TV channel.
But G-d had another chapter in my story. Years later while singing in bars and hitchhiking in Mexico, I had a vision of Yeshua and knew immediately that He is my Messiah and L-rd! During the following four years as a secret believer, the thought never even occurred to me to visit a church. After this season alone the L-rd graciously led me to a Messianic congregation where I came into the fullness of following my Messiah, but it’s always been essential and a great joy for me to continue keeping Shabbat and the Leviticus 23 Feasts of the L-rd. I study the Parashat HaShavuah, the weekly Torah portion every Shabbat and find treasures in Torah that I’ve never found elsewhere!
As a Jewish follower of Yeshua, who never converted to Christianity either nor did His disciples, I have no desire to see my fellow Jews convert to another religion. Yet I do believe what Yeshua said when He proclaimed, “I am the way and the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Now I noticed that most of the evangelical leaders who spoke out against Shelanu TV are working with Orthodox Jews. Do some believe in dual theology, that Gentiles are saved by Yeshua and Jews are saved by Moses? Could it be that they feel ashamed of their Christian history and they’re trying to placate the Jewish people? The problem with appeasement is that it makes your foundation unstable. Yeshua never said to go and make converts to Christianity of all men, but He did say to go and make disciples of all men. This is a basic tenet of our faith in Messiah and if we don’t cling to the principles of our faith, then what kind of faith do we have? I offer this word from Isaiah 7:9 for Christians who oppose sharing Messiah Yeshua, whether it be here in Israel or anywhere in the world:
“If you don’t stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.”