SBC Prayer Guide Rankles Jews

Article excerpt

Southern Baptists have been asked to pray that Jews accept Jesus as the Messiah during Judaism's High Holy Days, a move denounced by Jewish leaders as arrogant and offensive. On the eve of the Jewish High Holy Days, which began September 10, the Southern' Baptist Convention's International Mission Board published a new prayer booklet intended to guide church members "as they intercede with God on behalf of his chosen people," according to Baptist Press, the denomination's official news service.

The High Holy Days, a ten-day period during which traditional Jews believe God seals their fate for the coming year, is Judaism's holiest period. Randy Sprinkle, who directs the International Mission Board's prayer strategy office, said the period is an appropriate time for Christians to pray for Jews to accept Jesus as an act of love.

Don Kammerdiener, International Mission Board executive vice-president, said Southern Baptists are obligated to pray for Jews. "Jesus stated clearly that his followers were to begin their witness to him in Jerusalem, the heartland of the Jews.... Obedient Christians have no choice except to invite Jews and all other peoples to come to faith in Christ."

But what Southern Baptists view as love and obligation, Jews regard as disrespectful and inciteful. …