LARGEST GATHERING OF JEWISH EVANGELISM LEADERS IN THIS CENTURY
Helsinki, Finland. August, 2003.
The Lausanne Consultation on Jewish Evangelism (LCJE) held its seventh international conference at the Finnish Bible Institute near Helsinki, Finland, August 7-12. OVER 300 pages of reports and papers were given as leaders were updated on trends in the Jewish community worldwide as well as innovations in their own field of Jewish missions. The LCJE sponsored event was the largest ever since the establishment of the group in 1980. It was also intentional in its location.
Tuvya Zaretsky, president of LCJE and a Jewish believer in Jesus himself, commented, “The venue for the conference was chosen because of its proximity to the former Soviet Union where we are encouraged to see indigenous leadership growing for our movement. In addition, Finland was chosen because of the Nordic region’s historic concern for the spiritual and physical well being of the Jewish people.”
Papers were presented to the more than 200 participants from 18 countries who also entered discussions on the theme of Jesus and the Jewish people. They also adopted a conference statement which is included with this release.
Highlights of the statement include:
- an affirmation of the love between Jewish and Arab believers in Jesus. The statement points out that Jesus is “both the road and the map to true shalom with God and one another.”
- an appreciation for addressing humanitarian concerns of the Jewish people, but a strong caution of those “who do not consider verbal proclamation of the gospel to Jewish people a necessary part of the Great Commission.”
- an acknowledgement of the “vibrant witness of Russian-speaking Jewish believers worldwide and the creative and courageous indigenous leadership they bring to our movement.
- an acclamation that Jesus is God incarnate and that “there is salvation in no other name.”
On this last point, Dr. Kai Kjær-Hansen, international coordinator of LCJE and one of the organization’s founders, added, “If Jesus is not the Messiah of the Jewish people, how can He possibly be the Messiah for the rest of us? He is either the Messiah of all, or he is not the Messiah at all!”