B'nai B'rith, one of the world's oldest Jewish organizations, has initiated a nationwide protest campaign against the Southern Baptist Convention's (SBC) June resolution calling for evangelization of Jews (CT, July 15, 1996, p. 66).

Since the SBC's recommitment to Jewish evangelism five months ago, B'nai B'rith, which operates in 53 countries, has initiated a postcard protest campaign, stating that the sbc decision is "deeply offensive." To date, about 6,000 postcards have been mailed to sbc headquarters in Nashville. The cards also request that Jews financially support B'nai B'rith in its fight "to expose and overturn" the resolution.

Morris Chapman, sbc chief executive, has responded to B'nai B'rith, noting that the resolution states how Christians are "indebted" to Jews for Scripture and for "our Savior, the Messiah of Israel."

However, Tommy Baer, president of B'nai B'rith, says Chapman's comments suggest "that without accepting Jesus as 'savior' Jews remain flawed, incomplete, and inadequate." Baer has a message for Baptists: "Do not target us for conversion."

Phil Roberts, director of the SBC Home Mission Board's interfaith witness office, says the resolution has been largely misunderstood.

Roberts says, "All we're talking about here is evangelism, which is sharing of our faith in a loving way with those around us." People can be fully Jewish and have faith in Jesus Christ, Roberts says. "They don't deny their ethnicity. They don't deny the true Old Testament faith. Instead, we believe it's clearly a fulfillment."

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November 11, 1996

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