Students should be aware that they are prime targets for religious missionaries wanting to change their beliefs, a speaker told students Tuesday at a discussion about the group Jews for Judaism.
College campuses are places of large transition times in many students lives where they are constantly evaluating their beliefs, said Scott Hillman, the educational director of Jews for Judaism. And there are people who try to take advantage of that.
He said that he did not have a problem with people wanting to discuss religion or people who try to tell others about their beliefs.
The question is whether or not these missionaries are playing the game fair, Hillman said.
Hillman said deceptive missionaries are common. He cited the recent visit Jews for Jesus paid to GW as a prime example.
These are people that are telling (Jews) that we will only be a complete Jew if we believe that Jesus was the Messiah, Hillman said. But we decided 2,000 years ago that he was not, and that is the end of the story. Believing in Jesus is fundamental Christianity, not Judaism.
Hillman said more than 900 groups worldwide spend a quarter of a billion dollars a year trying to convert Jews to Christianity.
With the year 2000 approaching there are many Christians who believe that it is time for the second coming of the Messiah.
They think that the more Jews that they convert, the greater chance there is that Jesus will return, Hillman said.
Many of the students attending the event were a part of a class writing papers on the subject. Some students who were not Jewish attended the event, wanting to learn more about the religion.
I wanted to come and see why the Jews can’t follow Jesus, even though they were the original followers, junior Luke Fischer said.