Sunday, January 08, 2006

Evangelical affinity makes Jews nervous


A growing affinity toward Jews among evangelical Christians is alarming many Jewish leaders, The Washington Post reports.

Rev. Lamarr Mooneyham of the (Southern Baptist) Tabernacle in southern Virginia, frames his love for the Jews this way: "I'm a pardoned gentile, but I'm not one of the Chosen People. They're the apple of God's eye."

Jewish leaders are suspicious of the evangelical adoration. Leaders of the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee and the Union for Reform Judaism have decried what they see as a threat to the separation of church and state from evangelicals who believe they have an ally in the White House.

Julie Galambush, a former American Baptist minister who converted to Judaism 11 years ago, said many Jews suspect that evangelicals' support for Israel is rooted in a belief that the return of Jews to the promised land will trigger the Second Coming of Jesus and mass conversion.

"That hope is felt and expressed by Christians as a kind, benevolent hope," said Galambush. "But believing that someday Jews will stop being Jews and become Christians is still a form of hoping that someday there will be no more Jews."