By Simon Rocker
February 16, 2009
I don't think we should be unduly concerned about the latest missionary talk coming out of the Church of England. It is an axiom of traditional Christian belief that Jesus uniquely represents the fulfilment of messianic promise: and you can no more expect traditional Christians to resile from it than traditional Jews to stop saying asher bachar banu micol ha'amim ("who has chosen us from all peoples").
Last week's debates and documents at the Church's General Synod, which reaffirm a commitment to evangelism, reflect an anxiety that the Christian message is in danger of getting lost in a multi-faith society. But they do not indicate support for aggressive missionising.
"We repudiate any attempt to coerce or manipulate others into conversion," said Dr Brian Walker, one of the speakers at last week's Synod.
It is well to recall the important gesture made by the last Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, in 1992 when he renounced the patronage of the missionary Church's Ministry among Jewish People, which before then had automatically come with his office.
If someone wishes to share with you the "good news" about Jesus, then you can ask them politely to switch channels. But rather than fretting about missionary threats, perhaps we should be doing more to get others to see the New Testament from a Jewish perspective.