spiritual solipism

(good god–a newbie attempting to start a thread! the cheek!)

I was driving to work today when I heard something on NPR that got my dander up–the story about the Southern Baptist council targeting the Jewish High Holy Days to send out pamphlets encouring members to pray for their salvation, and (and this was implied, to my mind, but not stated in the story) work for conversion. Jewish leaders interviewed seemed to be (rightly) peeved that the convention (and I’m sure they don’t represent the views of all Baptists) would be so insensitive as to choose this week for this effort. Baptist leaders state that it was “out of love.”

Hokay. Now while I don’t doubt the sincere thoughts of what is more than likely the majority of Baptist leader that their “conversion” effort is “out of love,” can’t they understand that they are far more likely to piss people off with this than convert anyone? It seems to me like a form of what I like to call (and I am an inveterate phrase-maker) “spiritual solipism”–the inability to see beyond my own beliefs for a second to empathize with the feelings of someone with different religous beliefs!

Any thoughts?

“You must not mind me madam; I say strange things, but I mean no harm.” Samuel Johnson

An interesting point. I suppose if you were very attached to your own sect, you would probably think that just about anybody would convert if they just heard the message. So maybe, annoying the Jews seems like a good idea to aforementioned hyper-prosletyzing Baptists, who figure that Debbie is going to get over her momentary irritation and say, “Hey Howard! This whole Jesus-is-the-Messiah thing is such a freakin’ great idea I can’t believe we never heard of it before! Let’s go out for bacon oyster cheeseburgers and read the New Testament!”

Sorry to mock the Baptists, I’m sure they’re very sincere, but overzealous prosletyzing tends to irk me to my goy core.

Well I am Baptist, and I know very many Baptists, and I know few who are “hyper-prosletyzers.” What’s wrong with the leaders encouraging the church to pray? Didn’t you say, dramatoig, that the report did NOT state that the leaders were encouraging the Baptists to try to convert? Now if they did encourage conversion attempts, I would have to disagree with it, because the attempt will merely piss the Jews off even more. But I see nothing wrong with a religious leader encouraging others of the same faith to pray.

“There are many sweeping generalizations that are always true” -Space Ghost

Yeah, I heard the same story. And while it frosts my shorts, I can’t imagine for a moment that anyone will fall for their “message of love” and decide to have chili cheese dogs next Saturday whilst they drive to Grandma’s.

And should anyone be gullible enough to accept what they’re selling, then they deserve each other.

Flick Lives!

Somewhere in the middle of the JforJ thread, I posted about the Southern Baptists releasing the prayer book to coincide with Rosh Hashannah. I don’t like it either. I included a link to the article that appeared in the Washington Post, too, if you want to check it out.

Cristi: Thanks for the link. It didn’t work, but it sent me in the right direction. Here is a little bit of the article:

"The book explains, for example, that on Rosh Hashanah, the first day of the Jewish New Year, Jews blow the shofar, or ram’s horn. “As the shofaris sounded,” the book continues, “many Jews will be asked to remember Abraham’s call to sacrifice his son, Isaac. Ask God to reveal the truth of his own Fatherly sacrifice.”

On day five, the book urges Christians to pray that Jews “seek to make their own lives richer through personal relationships with Christ.” On day six, “that they may come to terms with their own anti-Christian biases.” And on day eight, that “Jewish people would be free of the strong influence
of materialism.”

The conversion strategy rests on two assumptions many Jews find especially offensive. First, the guide book implies that the great majority of Jews are actually secular or atheist, based on a study by the U.S. Center for World Mission in Pasadena, Calif. The book then breaks down the numbers for each country, for example: “Israel: Jewish population:
4,500,000. Jewish believers: 5,000.”

Second, the prayer book attempts to dispel what one Southern Baptist spokesman called the “myth” that one can’t be Jewish and accept Jesus as the messiah. “When you become a Christian, you become more of a Jew,” said spokesman Mark Kelly, pointing to the growing number of messianic Jews in the evangelical world. “It’s not a genocide. It’s a fulfillment. You become more Jewish than ever.”

I would find particularly the comment about “materialism” offensive were I Jewish. Plus, given the tenor of the rest of the article, the pamphlet is as much a guide to conversion as it is a prayerbook.

BTW, what is up with the comment about genocide at the end of the quote? This make no sense to me.

“You must not mind me madam; I say strange things, but I mean no harm.” Samuel Johnson


Which pretty succinctly sums up what is being done in the name of “Christian Love”.

Flick Lives!

Well, if all the Jews become Christians, it’s like their race dying out. Of course, the “converted Jews” would still be Jewish (as has been gone over in the Jews for Jesus thread) but still if all Jews cease to practice the Jewish religion it would be like a genocide. That’s what I think they’re getting at.

Their stat on “Jewish Believers” is a hoot. 5,000? In Israel?

“Eppur, si muove!” - Galileo Galilei

While I find this particular tactic by a Christian group offensive (although I think the fact that they are shooting themselves in both feet to be a hoot), I suspect that the 5,000 figure is supposed to be the number of people that they believe were Jewish who have now converted to some brand of Fundamentalist Christianity.


Okay, I might have been confusing two things here. I heard on the NPR this morning about a Baptist organization that was using the main Jewish holy days to attempt to convert Jews. The leader of the organization defended this, comparing it to campaigns used to convert Moslems which coincided with Ramadan. This is the origin of my comment about certain folks “hyper-prosletyzing”. (They also try to convert Wiccans on Halloween. Just kidding.)

It’s true that the first post spoke only of implied attempts to convert Jews, which I suppose I can’t complain about.

Boris: “They also try to convert Wiccans on Hallowe’en. Just kidding!”

Well, I suspect it’s just because they hadn’t thought of it. When they start the ad campaign next month, we’ll know who to blame! :slight_smile:

Naah, they’ll go after Moslems on Ramadan first. Then they’ll set their sights on the Pagans (which, as every good Christian knows, are secretly in league with the Devil) on Hallowe’en.

(I’m not worried. I’m sure Odin will prevail against all these False Gods. :wink: )