Why should Christians be able to decide who is a Jew?

Why do some Christians think that if they want to call themselves a Jew they can even though their is a strictly defined process for conversion that none of these "Jews" have gone through.

Now I've had Christians telling me I'm mean and against freedom of religion when I say that Christians are not Jews.

So why should a random Christian be able to say that the rabbis are wrong and a Jew that worships Jesus is an apostate? If they were actually a Jew before converting. If they weren't, then the rabbis do not consider them Jews at all.

So someone please tell me why they get to decide who is a member of another religion that they do not belong to?

10 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The Jewish people know with certainty that they do not have the authority to declare who is or is not Jewish or what is or is not of the Jewish faith.

    Turn on any Christian network channel and not a day goes by that some televangelist, many days a number of them..declares something false about Jewish belief.

    And now, with the growing popularity and appeal of cloaking Protestant evangelic Christian dogma in Hebrew and Jewish ritual and symbolism and falsely labeling it "Messianic Judaism" and it is no wonder that so few Christians have a clue what it is Jews really believe from our Holy Scriptures of the Tanakh.

    I am aware that many people have simply been misinformed. Sometimes by other people who were innocently misinformed. But the origins of such misinformation are not so innocent. They are utterly disrespectful and dishonest attempts to do away with Judaism. I am as fed up with being told that simply declaring what it is that Jews believe is an assault on Christianity as I am in seeing some Christians misrepresenting Judaism in the first place.

    While there are different branches of Judaism with different levels of observance and ritual, there are core beliefs from Torah that clearly define Judaism that all Jews recognize as what make us all Klal Yisrael.

    http://www.whatjewsbelieve.org/ written by Rabbi Stuart Federow remains the most concise web page I've seen to explain as simply as possible using the Bible itself, the core differences between Judaism and Christianity. No matter what branch of Judaism, all who are of the Jewish faith will recognize those core key concepts of faith that are incompatible with any other religion and why they shall remain so.

    Torah never has taught Jews that only Jews can know or be blessed by God. We do not proclaim to be the exclusive people of God, but for a Jew, God is exclusively the only entity we shall ever bow before in prayer.

    Some Christians assert here in Y/A nearly daily that Jews will bow before the "antichrist" because we "rejected" Jesus. The Jewish concept of Mosiach doesn't fit the Christian concept of "antichrist" any more than the Christian concept of messiah. No one of the Jewish faith will ever pray to or through any man.

    Until or unless they're trying to convert me, they misrepresent an aspect of my faith or they're hateful to me and try to base it on their belief, I get along with most folk. I try be respectful and tolerant of the right of individuals and groups to have their own unadulterated culture, customs and beliefs. My tolerance extends to the point where the expression of those beliefs violate certain standards of behaviors: If they attempt to violate another’s civil rights, seek to incite harm to anyone, willfully deceive another or misrepresent the beliefs of others then my tolerance ceases.

    Now as to the aspects of dogma. I disagree. I don't declare that others must follow my path. I don't declare it is the only path to God. But for me I believe it is the path I should follow. Since I'm Jewish, that's rather obvious or I would be something else instead of Jewish.

    I do not even feel I have to respect every other belief out there, but I do need to recognize and live in a manner that respects the right of others to have their different beliefs. That’s what we generally mean when we say we want them to respect us.

    I don’t care if someone doesn’t like Judaism, as long as they are basing their dislike on the reality of what Judaism IS and not giving a strawman argument. No one of the Jewish faith respects another when they misrepresent Judaism, either to convert us or to demonize us.

    Live and let live in honesty and Shalom :)

  • 1 decade ago

    You bring up a good point. I may wish to follow Buddhism, but I MUST follow THEIR teachings if I wish to say I'm a Buddhist. If we, as Jews, do not believe that Christ is the Moshiach (as part of our core beliefs), then those who say they are Jewish but follow Christ are not Jewish.

    Jews for Jesus was started by a Baptist minister for the express purpose of converting Jews. We do not proselytize and to take Jews away by not being honest about their intent is wrong. If you follow Christ, then as a Christian, be proud. It is a good thing to do. But if you DO follow Christ, you cannot also be called Jewish, since our core belief is that our Moshiach has not yet come.

    I also believe that if folks wish to observe our holidays and study the Talmud and Midrash, it's a wonderful thing, just be respectful and realize what our core beliefs actually ARE before labelling yourself. THAT would be dishonest.

  • 1 decade ago

    Why do they think that? Because they believe the Christian Bible which was plagiarized from the Hebrew Bible defines Judaism.

    Because they believe that God renounced those evil Jews and chose Christians instead. You know, the kind and loving Christian God that sends Jews and other non-believers to a place of eternal torment.


  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    You are spot on.

    Judaism is a TRIBAL faith. Anyone can convert, but to do so, they MUST go through a proper conversion, then they are 'adopted' into the faith.

    The only two ways that someone is Jewish are:

    - they are born to a Jewish mother

    - they convert

    If someone does not fall into either of these groups then they ARE - NOT - JEWISH.

    And - even if someone IS born Jewish, if they THEN adopt another faith, such as Christianity, they cannot still claim to represent Judaism.

    If a Muslim converts to Christianity, are they still a Muslim?


    Equally, if a Jew converts to Christianity, are they still a Jew who 'just' happens to worship Christ?


    And frankly, I for one am totally fed up with Christian missionaries, or as they insist on calling themselves 'messianic jews' LYING and claiming CHRISTIAN theology as 'JEWISH' belief.

    Messianics ARE - NOT - JEWISH. Period.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I don't think anyone can truly speak for anyone else. I know I get tired of people telling me what I believe. For instance, many people will say things on this forum like " Christians think Gandhi is in hell" "Christians hate homosexuals". I don't think either of those. I think it is absurd for a Christian to define a Jew, a Pagan or an atheist.

  • 1 decade ago

    We don't. A Christian cannot be a Jew in a religious sense. Are beliefs are different. I would think biologically speaking a Christian could be Jewish if you look at the word as an implication of race. Like if you are born in a Jewish family and then decided to become a christian. If a Christian wants to recant their Christianity and become a Jew in the religious sense then yes they should have to go through the process before calling themselves a Jew.

  • 4 years ago

    I agree with you. In fact, I would go further: why do SO many Christians insist that our faiths are similar when ideologically, they are poles apart? Christianity began as a dissident Jewish sect. But as this religion spread through the Roman empire, and especially once Jesus was deified, then at THAT point, the religions split apart forever. For us as Jews, G-d is G-d and man is man - they never 'merge'. The mere idea that G-d would take human form is BLASPHEMY. Jews believe that all humans are the children of G-d. Christianity has evolved a totally different belief system. It has taken the Jewish scriptures, MIStranslated them, REinterpreted them and also the concept of messiah, and now insists that we as Jews 'missed' or were too 'stubborn' to recognise our own messiah! Talk about arrogance! Why don't more Christians accept that the very notion of 'messiah' is a JEWISH one. The JEWISH messianic prophecies were written by JEWS, for JEWS. We as Jews use accurately translated Hebrew. In short, we understand OUR scriptures. But no. Many Christians maintain that Judaism is 'irrelevant'. Charming. The Jewish and Christian G-d is not the same G-d. How can it be, when Christians believe in the trinity? When they believe that G-d was made flesh in Jesus? And to those people who keep cheerfully stating that Jews regard Jesus as a prophet - no, we don't. We never did. We never will. CATALIZ - BUT you've just gone and missed the vital point! In Judaism there is NO such idea as the 'suffering' messiah! That is a CHRISTIAN concept. CATALIZ AGAIN***********************************... You totally ignored what I said. The Jewish concept of messiah does not include ANY 'suffering' messiah. You are using a MIStranslation of the Torah. Kindly don't tell ME as a Jew what my religion doesn't 'understand' about OUR OWN SCRIPTURES.

  • 1 decade ago

    As a Christian myself, I have never said who is, & who is not, Jewish.

  • Mike R
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Only God determines who is an Israelite. Some Christians believe that they are now Jewish (Israelites) others do not believe so. It is just their own interpretation of God's Word.

    Just because someone says or thinks that they are a Jew does not make it so. Also, just because someone else says or believes that Christians are not Jews does not make them to not be Jewish.

    I do not believe that this subject will determine anyone's salvation. It is just a side topic/debate that will be answered upon Yahoshua's (Jesus') return.

    Mike R

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I am a Christian, but I have not converted over the the Jewish religion. I did not even realize that we could do that. I know they have Christian Jews, but to be a true Jewish person, your heritage has to come down through the Jewish line, like Jesus.

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