The ongoing missionary effort to direct the heart of the Jew towards Jesus in worship has generated many discussions between proponents of Jesus and those who do not accept his claims. Many of these discussions focus on the Jewish Scriptures with each side of the debate coming in to the conversation with the firm belief that they are following the plain meaning of Scripture.
Some people recognize that this conversation cannot get off the ground without the belief that this discussion can lead to the truth. Indeed; it is my firm belief that a civil and respectful discussion, where both parties are willing to put all of their preconceived notions on the table, will only lead both parties closer to the truth.
I have encountered some people who engage in this discussion without any belief in the power of such a discussion to move people closer to what they see as the truth. These people believe that their spiritual adversaries should listen to their preaching but they are not willing to hear what their opponents have to say. They only put up a facade of a “two way discussion” in order to lure their victims into the range of their one way proselytization campaign. But when their opponents put up any arguments beyond the superficial these proselytizers dismiss their opponents as people who are incapable of participating in the spiritual discussion.
A typical argument of these “one way propagandists” is the argument of spiritual blindness. They contend that their opponents are stricken by spiritual blindness so there is no point in engaging in a two way discussion with them.
The following e-mail exchange took place between myself and one of these propagandists.
After I presented a Scriptural interpretation to this missionary; he responded with the following:
Your email confirms to me exactly what Paul wrote in 2 Cor 3. The veil is over your heart when you read Torah.
I responded with the following note:
So it goes back to the veil – the blindness.
1) God says that the veil is over the eyes of the nations – Isaiah 25:7. God gave the Torah to the Jewish people and to them alone – (Psalm 147:19) – but it is the gentiles who know how to read it?! – You know my friend, when it is Paul vs. God, who it is that we ought to be listening to.
2) You claim that you are reading it without a veil – so you should be able to explain where I went wrong – which verse I missed or misinterpreted.
3) Yes, I do get dogmatic at times, but I thank the God of truth who guides me on the path – He shows me the verses, He gives me the understanding to articulate so that I never have to resort to an argument like Paul’s – “their eyes are clouded over by a veil”.
Yes; we all approach these issues with our personal bias. But we can move closer to the truth through civil and respectful discussion. It may take time and demand patience, but eventually such a discussion will bear fruit.
Dismissing your opponent’s ability to process information is the first step in dehumanizing your fellow man.
Don’t go there.
If you found this article helpful please consider making a donation to Judaism Resources by clicking on the link below.
Judaism Resources is a recognized 501(c) 3 public charity and your donation is tax exempt.
Yisroel C. Blumenthal