Refusing to Deliver New Testaments

Hebrew New Testament

Arutz 7 is reporting that “[d]ozens of mail deliverers” have refused “to deliver copies of the Christian ‘New Testament’ Bible” in the Tel Aviv suburb of Ramat Gan because doing so is akin to delivering “missionary material.” This, they assert, is against Jewish law, and possibly state law, too.

On the latter point, I can say that it is definitely NOT against the law to deliver missionary material. However, that doesn’t mean that all the postal workers do their job. I am aware of certain occasions when “Messianic/Christian/Missionary” materials simply have not been distributed according to contract.

This particular situation is now circulating amongst the politicians and I’m guessing will likely go away quietly. (I’m not aware of the specifics of this mailing, so I’m shooting in the dark as to the likely outcome.) Over the years, due to mass mailings of “Messianic/Christian/Missionary” literature, parliament members have become exercised and have raised the idea of outlawing such mailings, or even evangelism, altogether. Each time an anti-missionary law has been floated, it has been left floating long enough for constituents to appreciate the politicians’ efforts, then it goes away quietly.

Honestly, I get a cynical giggle from this story because I’ve seen soldiers, in an official capacity, teaching other soldiers from the New Testament. I wrote about that here.

“…fearing those who were of the circumcision.”

“…for before certain men came from James, he [Peter] would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision.” (Galatians 2:12)

“The mission against Jews” is a common way orthodox Jews refer to people in Israel, Jews or gentiles, who believe in Yeshua. And social pressure is one of the main weapons that orthodox Jews use in their battle against those whom they oppose. (See John 9:22 for another NT example.)

There are a few “anti-missionary” organizations that have the goal of protecting Jews from the “dangers” of believing in Jesus. Yad L’Ahim is the most well known, but there might be others. It’s hard to tell how many organizations there might be because much of their efforts are done anonymously as can be seen in the photo below.

Recently, one of these organizations placed flyers in the mailboxes of a particular neighborhood. On that flyer they included the photos, names and addresses of 5 pastors of Hebrew speaking, Jesus believing congregations in Jerusalem. The sixth box (outlined in red) contained a not so subtle warning: Your photo could be here. Often, such a warning creates a fear of “those of the circumcision” that for all practical purposes silences believers in Yeshua.

The fear of man is a very real fear both in the NT period and now, and it is something that fellow believers around the world should pray for Israeli believers to overcome. I know four of the five men highlighted in the flyer, and am confident that they will not be silenced. In fact, for at least one of them, this isn’t the first time his picture has been used in such a way.

As the local believing community continues to grow, the anti-missionary groups are becoming more determined to stop the message. And to the degree that humiliation doesn’t work, more severe means of opposition will be implemented. Just this year, among the lesser known actions, there have been some very headline grabbing attempts to resist “the mission.” Among those were the near assassination of Ami Ortiz, the son of a messianic pastor in Ariel. Ami, made the mistake of opening a Purim holiday package that had been left at his home. Inside that package of candies was a bomb. See one report here, or search YouTube for a variety of video reports and testimonies of that event.

In Or Yehuda, a small town next to Ben Gurion Airport, a bunch of Ethiopian New Testaments was gathered and burned in a public demonstration against “the mission.” This action was instigated by the deputy mayor of Or Yehuda. See the article here where the deputy mayor tries to get the toothpaste back in the tube.

%d bloggers like this: