Riga, LATVIA. May 20–21, 2006. The president of the Israel Field and the director of the World Jewish Friendship Center of Global Mission of the General Conference Richard A. Elofer visited Riga (Latvia) and Tartu (Estonia) to share the results of his biblical studies about the Bible message, prophecies and Gospels regarding the Jewish people. More than 3 hours in Riga and 4 hours in Tartu R. Elofer explained Biblical passages dealing with acceptance of the Gospel and Jesus as the Messiah by the Jews in the Bible times.
“If we carefully look at the Biblical passages, we cannot say that the Jews didn’t accept Jesus,” explains Elofer. “There are so many Biblical passages which show that God has never rejected Israel and that a lot of Jews accepted the message of the Gospels. In fact, the book of Acts in the Bible tells us that almost half of all Jerusalem population before the stoning of Stephen in 34 AD had accepted Jesus! Is Church’s message of the Gospel so strong today that half of your local population has accepted Jesus? If not, can you say that people in your local area have rejected Jesus? If half of Jerusalem population accepted Jesus, why does the Church is still teaching that Jews rejected Jesus?
It’s time for the Christian Church to revise its theology about the church and its message to the Jewish people. Jews do not reject the Biblical Jesus, but the Jesus of the Christian Church, because in the Bible Jesus never abandoned the Ten Commandments, He didn’t changed the Sabbath or the laws about the clean food. He never instructed to place idols and images in the church and to bow down before them. If the church will reveal Jesus as He’s portrayed in the Bible, many Jews will accept Him as their Messiah.
“For many centuries Christian Church has emphasised negative attitude towards Jews by accepting Marcion’s theology of the church (replacement theology), even though he was declared heretic by the first councils of the church. Unfortunately even today many Christians consider the biblical expression “Let his blood be on us and on our children!” (Mtt 27:25) as an eternal curse which Jews had put on themselves. At the same time Christian consider that they are cleaned by the blood of Jesus. Why do Christians think that the blood of Jesus is blessing for the themselves, but curse for the Jews?…
“Christians must come back to the Biblical message about the eternal covenant which God made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God’s love is unconditional and eternal; even if we sin, He doesn’t stop loving us. If we believe in the Bible and God’s eternal covenant, we should believe that God never abandoned His chosen people. Even dying on the cross Jesus prayed His Father to forgive the sins of His persecutors. Didn’t God granted prayers of His Son on the cross? If He did, who are we to condemn those who are forgiven by God?” concluded R. Elofer.
Accompanied by the local Jewish Adventist pastor Isaac Kleimanis, Richard Elofer visited Synagogue and the Jewish Society in Riga, they also visited Rumbula and Bikernieki Memorials in Riga where during World War II 25.000 Jews were killed by Nazis and their supporters.
Baltic Union Conference Communication Director