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"Morey Menaces Missionaries"

Ramesh C. Reddy

Editors note: This is a rebuttal to Sam Morey's column, "Jews for Jesus offend many on campus" which appeared in the Pitt News on Sept 27, 2005.

In a column titled, “Jews for Jesus offend many on campus”, appearing in the Pitt News on Tue, Sept 27, Pitt News columnist Sam Morey goes off on a rant about how he feels violated by Jews for Jesus and also has some libelous statements.

Morey states, “ From what I understand, some Jews for Jesus are actually ordained ministers of various other Christian groups. I am not sure, but I think the pope might technically qualify as Jew for Jesus”

It is sad when statements like this are even printed by their opinions' editor. First of all, being Jewish is a birthright and heritage which is full of rich history. That is why I support the state of Israel. This however does not mean anyone who believes in Jesus should be technically seen as a Jew for Jesus.

Morey wrote about ‘people of the Jewish faith are taught early on to be proud of their rich heritage and rich history’. Then, Morey should know those who call themselves Jewish are Jewish because of their God given birthright. Being Jewish is not just a religion but it is also an ethnicity and heritage. People are born Jewish just like I was born Indian.

Just because I do not believe in Hinduism but believe in the Absolute Truth of the Messiah does not make me any less Indian. People can see me as an Indian for Jesus. That is fine with me. Once a Pitt News columnist did not know my name so he wrote, ‘the Indian fella with the Bible’. That was fine with me.

No Jew whether it be Morey, students of Hillel, students of Chabad House, etc should be upset with the name ‘Jews for Jesus’ just because they follow Jesus as Messiah. They are still Jewish by birth and have a rich heritage which is theirs from the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. Moses, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and Isaiah are their major prophets too! Just because they believe in Yeshua as Messiah who is represented in Jesus who was born into a Jewish household in the line of David, they should not be degraded for their faith in believing in Jesus as Messiah. They are Jewish and proud of their heritage. Just because there are ‘Jews for Jesus’ who adhere to evangelical teachings does not make them any less Jewish. At least they have been proud of their heritage. It is not something I can say of Morey.

Morey stated, ‘Try as I might, I never really felt particularly proud of my heritage.”

Morey should thank the Jews for Jesus for finally making him proud of his heritage. It is their presence on campus that made him think what it meant to be deeply Jewish and truly proud to be a Jew. It is sad that Morey needed Jews for Jesus to make him proud of his heritage. Everyone should be proud of their heritage. Morey should have distinguished heritage from religion. I think a Jew for Jesus would know more about Jewish history and heritage than Morey who never felt particularly proud of his heritage.

I do not think it was right of Morey to take a shot at the Catholic faith and the pope. I do not care if he was being facetious.  If Morey kept with current events, he would know that the pope has a German background and does not qualify as a Jew for Jesus. He would qualify as a German for Jesus.

Morey goes on to say the ‘Jews for Jesus’ are ‘evangelical Christians who eat lox and matzo ball soup every so often, and therefore claim that they are real Jews who just happen to accept the complete sovereignty of Jesus and fully believe in original sin and Christmas.

Morey should know they claim to be real Jews because they are born into a Jewish household. If they were not born into a Jewish household, they would consider themselves Gentiles and not a Jew.

Morey goes on to write. ‘They go to various places…..and hand out crazy pamphlets in an effort to recruit members for their cult.”

It is once again sad the Pitt News opinions staff will allow this statement to go in the paper without verifying whether ‘Jews for Jesus’ is a cult or not. There are certain criteria that have to be met for any organization to be seen as a cult whether it is religious or not. ‘Jews for Jesus’ does not fall in that criterion!

Morey states, “Missionaries in general annoy me…the fact that these people feel that whatever populations they are trying to convert are too stupid to find their own way is insulting.”

Morey needs to realize that if someone loves someone or something, they like to share it with others so they can experience that same love or joy. If that means a person is converted, the conversion occurs because God is working in their lives. No one can really find their own way unless someone speaks to them or teaches them! Some do not find their way even when they have guideposts and others do not choose to accept the way. Yet, each one has a choice. Morey would not have found his own way and been proud of his Jewish heritage if it were not for ‘Jews for Jesus. He should be thankful to them. Missionaries give people a choice to accept Jesus or not whether they are ‘Jews for Jesus’, or any other missionary organization.

Morey goes on to bash ‘Jews for Jesus’ on their unwillingness to understand and tolerate real Jews’ choice not to recognize Christ. Just because someone wants to share Good News they have with someone until they understand is not wrong. What would be wrong is forcing it upon people.

As I walk the streets of Squirrel Hill, people from ‘Jews for Jesus’ hand me tracts in a loving way. Most Indians are either Hindu or Muslim. I am an Evangelical Christian but they do not know that. They pass out tracts to me as they pass it out to anyone else without assuming anything. To pass out tracts to Jewish people or Gentiles is not intolerant.

“For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our message?” (Romans 10:12-16, NIV)

Morey goes on to talk about the ‘Jews for Jesus’ lack of humility, understanding, and respect. However, I have found them to be very humble, understanding, and respectful to all those they come across.

Morey is so hypocritical to talk about tolerance when he cannot tolerate the ‘Jews for Jesus’ being on campus or anywhere. Morey has shown characteristics of arrogance and disrespect when he has received a flier from one of the ‘Jews for Jesus’ people and deliberately blew his nose into it and threw it into the garbage as the person watched.

I kid you not for Morey was proud of that action too! For a person who wants to talk about tolerance, humility, understanding, and respect, he had the audacity to do what he did. I know he was upset with the group being on campus but everyone has a right to express themselves. It is people like Morey who promote persecution against Christians because they espouse and promote hatred towards groups like that.

Morey goes on to call ‘Jews for Jesus’ ‘blue-shirted fiends’.

That is very offensive and I am surprised why the opinions editor/assistant opinion editor would publish that statement. It is offensive to anyone who believes in Jesus as Messiah. They are my brothers and sisters in Christ. Morey just called them fiends for which synonyms are evil person, wicked people, brute, beast, and cruel person.

It would have been nice for the Pitt News editors to have not included that word. Nothing that is even construed as anti-semitic would ever see the light of day in the Pitt News and it should not. The same should go for other groups too including ‘Jews for Jesus’ including Christians but time after time the Pitt News does not mind publishing anti-Christian columns.

Morey should know just because a Jewish person believes in Jesus as Messiah does not make him any less Jewish and is still his brother or sister because of being Jewish.

By stating “every real Jew was holding a trash bag”, Morey was demeaning Jews who are Jews but believe in Jesus. This is not a contradiction. Jesus Himself was Jewish. All the first believers in Jesus were Jewish.

Morey goes on to say, “If the Jews for Jesus are going to hand out fliers and facilitate littering, then someone should be there to stop them.”

First of all, this is libelous content against ‘Jews for Jesus’. They are not facilitating littering as Morey wants people to believe. Actually, this is the only group that I have seen who pass out tracts and have a request on the back of the tracts that have said, ”Please do not litter.” They have had this request on their tracts even before Morey wrote this libelous statement.

Morey also states, “This is all true except in the case of Jews for Jesus, because their opinions are, in fact, completely wrong.”

Morey should realize many times one person’s factual information can be another person’s opinion. For Jews for Jesus, Jesus being their Messiah is fact. For Morey it is a wrong opinion. 

This should not give him the right to degrade ‘Jews for Jesus’ as he has done the way he ends his column by stating, “And I don’t care how many times they saw ‘Fiddler on the Roof,’ they’re still not Jewish, and they can keep their Jesus to themselves.”

How can Morey say that someone is not Jewish just because they believe in Jesus as Messiah! That is so wrong because many Jews who are for Jesus are born into a Jewish family. They are Jewish and believe everything that is Jewish with the exception of accepting Jesus to be their Messiah.

The world will be a better place if we do not have hateful rhetoric written by people like Morey. For a well thought of debate between Rabbi Shumley and Dr. Michael Brown on Jews for Jesus, it can be found at www.pittsburghstandard.com under the news section.

Ramesh C. Reddy is an Evangelical Christian and prays for Sam Morey that the Lord would bless Him and can be reached at reddyr@pittsburghstandard.com

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