From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
ABCUSA Committee Addresses Jewish Statement on Christianity
"SCHRAMM, Richard" <Richard.Schramm@abc-usa.org>
Sat, 22 Jun 2002 15:03:32 -0400
American Baptist News Service (6/22/02)--The American Baptist Churches USA
Committee on Christian Unity, meeting here this week, issued a statement of
appreciation "to the members of the National Jewish Scholars Project who
authored 'Dabru Emet: A Jewish Statement on Christians and Christianity' and
to the many Jewish leaders who have signed it."
The committee's document in part notes: "Along with its companion book,
Christianity in Jewish Terms (Westview Press, 2000), this statement marks a
significant new step in Jewish-Christian dialogue. The authors of Dabru
Emet affirm that there has been a dramatic change among Christian churches,
leading to widespread repentance for Christian mistreatment of Jews and
Judaism and to acknowledgement of God's enduring covenant with the Jewish
people. They believe that it is time for a Jewish reappraisal of
Christianity in religious as well as social terms and a reassessment of how
Jews and Christians relate to one another. They offer eight brief
affirmations as their own summary proposal for a Jewish path toward this new
relationship. These affirmations deal with: worship of the same God; shared
Scripture; the land of Israel; moral principles of Torah; Nazism as a
non-Christian and even anti-Christian movement, for whose growth and
virulence Christianity's historical anti-Judaism must bear a profound
responsibility; irreconcilable differences between Jews and Christians over
Jesus Christ, open to resolution only in God's final redemption of the
world; the effect of new relations between Christians and Jews on Jewish
practice and identity; work together for justice and peace.
"...With the authors of Dabru Emet, we wish to believe that a new day of
broader conversation and mutual religious appreciation has begun.... Dabru
Emet cannot speak for all Jews and does not claim to do so. We know that
among the American Baptist Churches there are also corresponding
differences... over the nature of the mutual affirmation of our two
traditions that is consistent with Christian identity. In this light, we
particularly appreciate Dabru Emet's frank acceptance of enduring religious
differences between Judaism and Christianity and its conviction that we can
live fruitfully and peacefully with these differences, while each faith
maintains the integrity of its own witness.
"With thanks and praise to God,
"We express our gratitude for the long history of collaboration between
Jewish groups and American Baptists in support of the principles of
religious liberty that both hold dear, and that are so crucial for the
integrity and safety of religious minorities;
"We recognize with gratitude the contributions of leaders and scholars in
other Christian churches, particularly the Roman Catholic Church, in
advancing Jewish-Christian dialogue and theological reflection on Judaism.
The resulting resources, ranging from official church documents to scholarly
and practical works in theology, biblical interpretation, education and
liturgy, are a rich ecumenical treasure. We call upon American Baptists,
particularly in our religious education programs and in our seminaries, to
draw upon these resources whenever appropriate;
"We commend the document Dabru Emet to American Baptist congregations and
pastors for study and reflection;
"We encourage our congregations to maintain and extend relations with
synagogues and temples in their communities, both for shared service and for
"We reaffirm the commitments expressed in the 1983 American Baptist
Resolution on Anti-Semitism, as modified by the General Board Executive
Committee in 1997: "Remembering the deep foundation which Christianity has
in Judaism, let us build upon that foundation so our own faith might be
deepened and our understanding and appreciation of our Jewish neighbors
might be enriched."
The Committee on Christian Unity also recommends to churches the
newly-released video, "Jews & Christians: A Journey of Faith." Copies of
the video with a study guide can be purchased from Auteur Productions Ltd.,
(301) 299-6554; email@example.com. For more information and other
resources visit www.faithandvalues.com/channels.jewsandchristians.asp.
American Baptist News Service: Office of Communication, American Baptist
Churches USA, P.O. Box 851, Valley Forge, PA 19482-0851; (610)768-2077; fax:
(610)768-2320; www.abc-usa.org; firstname.lastname@example.org
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