In January God used a stick of dynamite to extrude me from life as I had known it for 8 years and thrust me into the world of unemployment. I was loosed. I was set loose. And once I was, I discovered I was loosely engaged in life. I was just going through the motions laid out for me by an elusive scheduler I never saw, but who controlled the hours of my days. Today I was reading chapter twenty of Called to Controversy, the story of Moishe Rosen the founder of Jews for Jesus. This is the chapter where Moishe is loosed from the American Baptist Mission for the Jews which he had been a part of since his Bible School days and thrust into the world of the hippie movement of the 1960’s. The year was 1970.
Three things lead to the loosening in Moishe’s life:
1. Sidney Lawrence, a Jewish keynote speaker at the biannual convention of the Fellowship of Christian testimonies to the Jews (FCTJ), was asked to speak about the image of the missionary in the Jewish community. He told those in attendance that they had no image. No one in the Jewish community saw Christians as a threat, instead they viewed the movement to convert Jews to Christ as narishkeit, foolishness. (p. 161)
2. His mother dying without the knowledge of Christ because he had promised not to talk about religion in his family to keep the peace.
3. An introduction to the hippie counterculture of the 1960’s.
Moishe began to see a need to change tactics to reach those he had been called to reach. He discovered that many young Jews were hippies and really wanted answers to the deep questions of life. Moishe was not going to reach them with the conventional methods of the Christian churches. That’s when he designed new materials which really reached the radicals and revolutionaries, but were unacceptable to the church leaders for whom he worked. Moishe was at a fork in the road. He tried pouring new wine into old wineskins, but it didn’t work. His bosses were not happy, in fact they began to believe he wanted to replace them. This made Moishe’s heart sick, but he had to pursue the course he was lead to pursue. He went to San Francisco to do just that.
Sometimes what has always worked is not working any longer. Sometimes we stay when we are supposed to go. Sylvia from http://www.sylvrpen.com reminded me of this wonderful verse from Hebrews 11:8
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.
She said I would never have left Ur (my hospital) and she was so right. I was too engrained and I wasn’t listening to the Holy Spirit bearing witness with my spirit that I was suffocating. I really understand this part of Moishe Rosen’s life and I am so ready to read how he worked out the transition.
Surrounded by such a cloud of witnesses,