Missionaries may not divulge their own religious affiliations. Some Jews for Jesus-type missionaries try to develop a quick rapport with their targets by wearing external signs of Jewishness, such as a Chai or a Star of David necklace. To make Jews feel more comfortable and make the missionaries appear less Christian, they are coached by their superiors to avoid using words such as Christ, saved or baptized so they don’t arouse suspicion.
When talking to a Jewish person about religion, a missionary can try to make you say, “I don’t know,” as many times as possible in order to establish his superiority in matters of religion. Do not allow yourself to be intimidated!
Remember, the missionary has studied Jewish beliefs for the sole purpose of leading you to Christianity. He is not speaking with you to exchange ideas, but rather, to take you away from your Judaism. If you want to learn more about the Jewish Bible, do it with someone who has no hidden agenda. You’re in control, not the missionary. Whenever you want to end the conversation… just walk away!
The missionary can tell you that he, or a Christian friend or acquaintance, was once an Orthodox Jew, had a solid Jewish education, came from a traditional Jewish family, and more. This is a common deception! The hidden message he’s trying to convey is that he came to believe in Jesus even after acquiring so much Jewish knowledge and overcoming all the Jewish objections.
During the conversation, he can drop a few Yiddish or Hebrew words or phrases, or recall special memories from his traditional Jewish upbringing to give more weight to his story. In reality, these methods are often the result of careful coaching from a professional missionary.
Ask him to describe a few intimate details of Jewish life that an observant Jewish child could describe in a second, and see how he responds. In many cases, when he starts to fudge about the extent of his Jewish background and knowledge, his dishonesty becomes evident.
The missionary can tell you that he knows all the Jewish objections to his arguments and then, he can show you why these objections are wrong. Don’t expect to hear the valid Jewish response from such a source.
Loving Us to Death
Don’t be taken in by the classic good cop - bad cop routine that goes like this: The bad cop threatens a person and the good cop protects the person from the bad cop. The threatened person is so grateful to the good cop, and so worried about possibly losing this protection, that he invariably shows his appreciation by telling the good cop everything he wants to hear. In similar fashion, the good Christian talks about how much he loves the Jews, Israel, bagels, lox, and more… while denouncing the bad Christian who hates and persecutes the Jews. A Jew with even minimal knowledge of Christian anti-Semitism can feel so grateful to the good cop that he’ll automatically judge him to be a good friend and reliable ally. Watch out for hidden motives behind these loving friendship routines.
Initially, the missionary may not tell you he believes that Jesus is the messiah. Often, only after they’ve joined a Hebrew-Christian group do many Jews discover the missionary’s fundamental belief. Any previous talk about the messiah or son of G-d was merely a cover-up for this core principle, basic to fundamentalist Christianity and Hebrew-Christians. However, because this belief is repugnant to most Jews, missionaries gloss over it as much as possible when initially speaking to Jews.
The Numbers Racket
Don’t be impressed when missionaries claim they have 50... or 100... or 300 proofs from the Jewish Bible that they are truly correct in their claims about Jesus. As proof after proof is shown to be meaningless, the missionary begins to hide behind his numbers, as if to say, “Well... we have so many more proofs. What’s the big deal if you can disprove some of them?” He’ll even attempt to split the difference with you by saying, “Well... even if half ofour proofs do prove nothing, we’ve still got another 25 or 50 or 150 to go.”
But allof their proofs can be shown to be invalid. So, keep in mind that their flawed proofs are worth nothing. Zero is zero!
Very often, Christian missionaries use circular reasoning. In other words, their proof can only point to Jesus if you believe in Jesus in the first place. Therefore, it’s no proof at all!
As an example, let’s take the words of Isaiah 11:2, “And the spirit of the L-rd will rest upon him (the messiah), the spirit of wisdom and understanding...”. This verse refers to the messiah, but it does not identify him. The followers of Jesus chose to attribute this verse to him and, subsequently, it became one of the proof-texts to support the claims of Christianity. Here’s one way to test such verses. Choose a person that neither you nor the missionary believes to be the messiah, such as George Washington, Reverend Moon, or your great-grandfather! Then determine if the prophecy can point to this person to be the messiah in the eyes of anyone who believes him to be the messiah. If the prophecy can be used in this way, then obviously the verse proves nothing.
Be aware of the problem of mistranslation. A person who is unfamiliar with Hebrew or the Hebrew text of the Bible can be convinced to accept a mistranslation that puts a Christian spin on a verse that never had this meaning in the original. If you can’t check the verse for yourself, speak to a reliable and knowledgeable person who can. It’s not a coincidence that Jews of previous generations who were extremely well-versed in the original Hebrew Bible had no problem refuting bogus missionary arguments.
Often, a missionary will quote a verse that has been taken entirely out of context. When you read the entire chapter that contains this verse, it becomes clearly evident that the verse is not a messianic prophecy, and/or the prophecy cannot refer to Jesus.