One day a good friend of mine called me to cancel a meeting I had scheduled. I had already preached in his fine church once and everyone including him, loved it. He called to say he could not have me back now because I had done my seminar in a church he considered liberal and this showed him I was losing the desire to remain separated for the Lord. I get 20-80 calls every week asking for me to preach so it was not a problem to fill the schedule gap but I felt I needed to write him to help him see his position was not logical or consistent. I dont know of anyone I agree with on everything. I learned years ago to eat the meat and spit out the bones.
Spending over 30 years in independent Baptist church ministries has been exciting as well as frustrating at times. I fear that some are even independent from God. We could all learn from people even if we don't agree with them on every issue. I pray to one day reschedule a meeting at his fine church. Below is my letter to him. (His name is not Jonah)
It saddens me to have to write this letter. The committee of "The orthodox Jews for the preservation of the distinctiveness of the Nation of Israel" has appointed me to write to you. We have been friends for years and I hope our friendship will continue but I will come right to the point. We were greatly disappointed to learn of your recent trip to Ninevah. We don't understand how you could do such a thing! God has called the Jews to be a chosen people, separated from the heathen in this world. We have been commanded by God to maintain a distance from them. Please read Numbers 8:14, I Kings 8:53, Ezra 10:11, I Peter 2:9, II Cor. 6:14-17 and especially II Thes. 3:6 (even though the last three have not been written yet). Also remember that God called Abram out of UR to leave his people and He called Moses to lead His people out of Egypt (a type of the world). Many other examples could be given but you should know all this from your orthodox training. We, the committee, feel that your trip to Ninevah violates the spirit if not the letter of that principle of separation.
We heard how you tried to not go to Ninevah by taking a ship to Tarshish. We also understand how the storm caused the sailors to cast you overboard and the great fish swallowed you. We know how tempting it is for you to think that these were miracles from God to make you think that He was wanting you to deliver a message to the wicked people of Ninevah. Please try to understand Jonah, that there is no possible way God would have led you to do what you have done. God has already made Himself clear in Scripture that we are to come out from the heathen and be separate to show them that God's people are different. We will never win them any other way.
Because of your trip to Ninevah, it is with deep regrets that we will have to cancel the meeting we had scheduled for you to come speak at our synagogue. The fact that you are a good preacher with a much needed message from the Lord (that is perfect for these troubled times in Israel) is true. It is also true that our people greatly benefited from your last meeting with us. However, our position of separation is very important to all of us in the committee. Several factors influenced our decision to cancel the meeting. They are listed here for your edification:
- Your visit to Ninevah puts your stamp of approval on the lifestyle of those wicked people. They have people in their schools who deny the only true God of Israel! Some even worship idols! It would be fine for them to come to Israel to learn about the Lord but you should not have gone to them.
- Young, future priests of our faith will not fully understand where to draw the line of separation from the heathen. You may be mature enough in the faith to deal with the heathen but weaker brethren will fall. We don't want our preacher boys to feel that it is all right to try to preach to the heathen as you have done. The fact that millions were saved is beside the point. The ends do not justify the means. Also, we believe that the future will show that those people didn't really change, they will be the death of us yet. (Be sure to read Nahum when it comes out in 100 years to see what I mean).
- If the people in the pews of our synagogues know that you went to the uncircumcised, they might start associating with them also. Many of our people are weak in the faith and we feel it is our duty as their priests to protect them from evil influence. By going to the heathen you will be associated with the heathen in the minds of our people. They may even see your name on a sign in front of a building in Ninevah and stumble in their faith.
- It is our fear that if we do not separate ourselves from those who do not separate themselves from those who do not separate themselves from the heathen, then all that we stand for as orthodox Jews will be lost. Our group came out of the more liberal group of Jews years ago because they were not doctrinally sound in the first place. Would you have us lose all we have worked for these many years? Our position of separation must be maintained!
If you ever repent of this open policy (if they call me and don't tell me what to preach I'll go) with the heathen that you have adopted, we will gladly hold a meeting to vote on reinstating you as a member of our distinguished group. However, until we hear that you have changed your policy, we feel that it is our duty to warn all the other synagogues on your itinerary that you are no longer a "real orthodox Jew" and that they should shun you as they would the heathen.
From Rabbi Morris Unofficial, self-appointed spokesman for the committee of the inter-dependent orthodox Jews for the preservation of the distinctiveness of the Nation of Israel.
cc to: all fundamental scroll distributors, all other orthodox Jews via "the green sheet", anyone else as spiritual as us who will listen.
P.S. We may not get as many converted as you do but we can sure think of ourselves as more spiritual than you by taking this course of action. We have arrived at our conclusions based on fear of what the brethren will say rather than prayer and fasting. We suggest you do the same with future decisions in your ministry.