Religion Magazine

GOD TV is a Result of Cozying up to the Evangelicals

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
I have not paid too much attention to this story, so I do not know all the details, but people are very upset about some new Christian television station that was just given permission to broadcast in Israel. I think it is on the HOT cable tv system.
The name of the show is God TV, or Shelanu TV, and it seems to be evangelical with a bent on trying to persuade Jews to convert to Christianity or at least to accept Yoshka as the Messiah.
Initially they were accused of proselytizing and people were reporting them to the government and police and trying to pressure the government to revoke their license. In response the CEO of God TV issued a statement that they are not proselytizing and trying to convert Jews but only to get Jews to accept Jesus as Messiah. (you can see the youtube clip of his statement, which I will not embed here. Here is a TOI article about it as well.)
I hope their proselytizing gets shut down. That is not allowed here and should not be allowed here.
What I do want to say is that this, in my opinion, is the direct result of the Jews in Israel and the Jewish organizations in Israel, that in recent years have sprouted like mushrooms, who target Evangelical Christians and try to get them more connected to Israel and the Jews, teaching them Torah, persuading them to come visit and spend money here, persuading them to support Israel and support charities and organizations.
Even if much of that is just a business and attempt to tap a market that has a lot of money to send to Israelis, the result of getting people more involved is that they want to be even more involved. You fire up a passion in people, and they want to do even more than what you wanted them to do.
You want to teach them Torah and bring them to Israel and get them involved in organizations and supporting both morally and financially, don't be surprised, and especially outraged, when they turn around and step up their own activities in Israel.
I would not tell anyone to stop doing something that is good PR for Israel and brings parnassah to so many Jews. It is not my business what they do. Just don't act so surprised when the target audience then takes it further than was originally intended.
I think of it similarly to female Jewish education, lehavdil. It used to be there was no Jewish education for girls. Then Jewish education began, out of a perceived necessity (and a very real one). Then over the years that education was expanded to higher and higher levels of Torah education and learning for women. The result of all that was that women loved learning Torah and some wanted to do it much more than was originally intended by Sara Schnirer and others. Some eventually try to become rabbis and teachers and community leaders. It is just natural. If you work hard to evoke passion in a subject on many people, some of those people will develop the passion and go much further than you intended.
caveat: I am not saying female education is a bad thing - just the opposite, I think education is the greatest thing possible for everybody. I am comparing it in the sense that when you involve people and teach and try to get them involved and passionate about something, it cane easily go further than you intended. That is what is happening with these Christian missionaries, but in this situation it is a bad thing for Israel.
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