Big Money for "Chosen" Target

Why do evangelical Christians expend so much money and energy targeting Jewish people for conversion?

It must first be understood that fundamentalist Christians don't just seek to convert Jews; they are obsessed with "saving" the entire world. The Christian bible claims that only Christians can have a relationship with G-d, and all others are consigned to eternity in hell. Evangelical Christians see themselves as do-gooders seeking to airlift a hell- bound world into heaven.

However, apart from this global agenda, many Christians clearly have a special preoccupation with the Jewish people. This is borne out by the fact that there are more than 600 missionary organizations specifically focussing on the Jewish community. This far exceeds the attention paid by Christians to any other ethnic group. Several factors account for this reality.

The Christian bible itself gives a particular priority to proselytizing the Jews. Jesus constantly told his disciples not to go to the cities of the gentiles or Samaritans, but "only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matthew 10:5). Subsequently, in his mandate to the early church, the apostle Paul popularized the expression "to the Jew first and then to the Greek" (Romans 1:16).

A second reason centers on the conviction shared by many Christians that we are entering the "end times". Because of our turbulent world and our proximity to the millennial year 2000, there is widespread evangelical expectation of Jesus' imminent "Second Coming". However, this longed for event is contingent upon a statement that Jesus supposedly made to the Jewish people of his time "You will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the L-rd'" (Matthew 23:39). This is commonly understood to mean that Jesus will not return until the Jewish people come to believe in him. By converting Jewish people, evangelical Christians believe they can hasten the second coming of their messiah.

Finally, it should be remembered that the Jewish rejection of Jesus has always been very troubling to Christians. Since the Messianic concept was originally a Jewish one, Jesus' Jewish contemporaries were the only people in the world able to evaluate his messianic credentials as delineated in the Bible. The fact that much of the Greco-Roman pagan world accepted Jesus (usually at the point of a sword) is irrelevant; they were never in a position to judge the claims for his messiahship. The Jewish realization that Jesus didn't fulfill the Biblical criteria of leading the world into an age of peace and spiritual perfection is a serious attack on his credibility. In order to substantiate and bolster their own faith, Christians have always been psychologically driven to convert Jewish people.