Objection: “Judaism is a healthy religion. Jews don’t see the world as intrinsically evil, or denounce marriage or call for self-renunciation. Christianity, on the other hand, sees the world as evil, advocates celibacy, and says: ‘Deny yourself, take up your cross, and suffer.’”


by Dr. Michael Brown

Answer: “This is an exaggerated and inaccurate statement. Traditional Jews see this world as the corridor to the world to come but stresses the importance of life in this world. As for Christians, while stressing the importance of the world to come, they have been responsible for the building of more hospitals, the feeding of more hungry people, and the establishment of more educational institutions than all other religions of the world combined. The difference between the two is not one of substance but of emphasis. So, the real question is, Which emphasis makes more sense? If this life is only a passing shadow, (as Psalm 90 teaches), and if we are only pilgrims and strangers here (as Jacob and David said), isn’t it logical to live out our few days here in the light of eternity? If we are on this earth for 70 or 80 years and then we enter eternity -- either under God’s favor or God’s judgment -- doesn’t it make sense to give serious thought to the world to come, making sure we are ready to enter our eternal home? Also, both Judaism and Christianity recognize the sinful tendencies of the human race; Christianity just puts greater emphasis on subduing those tendencies, calling on its adherents to ‘put to death the harmful desires of the sinful nature.’ Finally, Jesus emphasized that we are not here primarily for ourselves but for God and for others, not to be served but to serve. God’s kingdom is advanced through suffering and sacrifice, and that too is part of our calling as mature followers of the Messiah.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 2, pp. 235-248.)


Michael Brown

Dr. Michael L. Brown is founder and president of ICN Ministries, devoted to taking the message of repentance and revival to Israel, the Church, and the Nations. He has preached throughout the United States and in numerous foreign countries, emphasizing radical discipleship, holy living, and the visitation of the Spirit. His books, articles, and messages have been translated into more than a dozen languages. In 1996, he became part of the ministry of the Brownsville Revival, holding weekly sessions for leaders and heading up the revival's intensive two-year School of Ministry. Dr. Brown is now President of the FIRE School of Ministry located in Charlotte, NC.
     As a Jewish believer in Jesus, Dr. Brown is active in Jewish evangelism and has debated rabbis on radio, TV, and college campuses. He is also a published Old Testament and Semitic scholar, holding a Ph.D in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. In 1997, he was appointed Visiting Professor of Jewish Apologetics at Fuller Theological Seminary School of World Mission and has been affiliated with Regent University Divinity School as an Adjunct Professor of Old Testament and Jewish Studies.

 

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