CWI has issued a response to a Vatican issued statement which suggests that Jewish people don’t need Jesus to experience salvation and which seeks to dissuade the Catholic Church from participating in mission specifically among Jews.
Do Jewish People need Jesus? Is the Pope Catholic?
A Vatican-issued statement – which suggests that Jewish people don’t need Jesus to experience salvation and which seeks to dissuade the Catholic Church from participating in mission specifically among Jews – has left leading Jewish mission organisations like Christian Witness to Israel (CWI) baffled.
“To me it is so obvious that we Jewish people need Jesus, it is not even a question, it is like asking, ‘Is the Pope Catholic?’ But the reality is that a statement like this has extremely serious implications,” said Rev Joseph Steinberg, Chief Executive of CWI and a Jewish believer in Jesus.
According to the document, The Gifts and Calling of God are Irrevocable, issued on 10 December, the Catholic Church “neither conducts nor supports any specific institutional mission work directed towards Jews.”
“Although Jews cannot believe in Jesus Christ as the universal redeemer, they have a part in salvation, because the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable,” the report concluded, according to a summary released to the media.
Rev Steinberg responded saying that if Jewish people can find salvation without Jesus, “somebody should have told Saint Peter, who Catholics revere as the first Pope, because Peter declared, ‘There is no other name in heaven or earth by which anyone can be saved but in the name of Jesus.’”
Steinberg, who grew up “hating Jesus”, was compelled to read the Scriptures for himself because of the evangelistic efforts of a Christian friend and that’s how he discovered Jesus is the Messiah.
“I find it perplexing when those who claim to believe the message of Jesus ignore the fact that Jesus claimed to be the Jewish Messiah, lived his entire life among his Jewish people in the land of Israel and at that time proclaimed to an entirely Jewish audience, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me,’” Steinberg said.
Rev Steinberg says he hopes Protestant churches will not follow the lead of the Catholic Church but will lovingly continue to conduct and support mission to Jesus’ own people, the Jews.
From a CWI Press Release issued 16th December 2015