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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Christians and Jews Working Together : The Teacher and the Preacher in Portland

Nadene Goldfoot
Have Christians and Jews ever partnered together feeling they share many values in common?  The answer is Yes, and they are demonstrating it right now in Portland, Oregon.  Dave McGarrah and Charlie Schiffman have created a radio program called "The Teacher and the Preacher" which can be heard on Sunday evenings at 6:30 pm on KPDQ 93.9 FM. 

Last night the Multnomah Art Center in Multnomah Village was the scene of many people watching their show and taking part in the discussion.  The two gentlemen, Dave being the Christian minister and Charlie being an orthodox Jew concluded that the world is increasingly secular, crude, and anti-religious.  They have joined forces where they can and feel that concerned Jews and Christians working together can push back against this rising tide and help restore sanity and faith. 

Their show is demonstrating that people from the two major Western religions can support each other in this world-wide struggle without compromising their own core beliefs.  They are an excellent example for others in their show of respect and understanding.  They teach and preach and give their audience not only education but inspiration as well, allowing listeners to see new vistas that they may not have thought about before.

Their show has been well received and certainly was last night.  The audience was packed by like thinkers.  This was their 2nd meeting, the first being last month in Salem with about 125 enthusiastic fans of the show.  The radio show is supported by Master Minded Ministries, but they could stand our support as well to keep this going.  I was most pleased to see that there were several rabbis in the audience as well as other Jews and Christian friends I knew attending.  Both Charlie and Dave are leaders in their own communities so by joining together in admiration as well as this needful project make us all  feel that something extraordinary is happening in our city. 

Last night the two dialogued about the current events regarding Israel and the U.S. relations.  I've been wondering when other people might open their eyes to see the unjust situation that Israel finds itself in having to fight for their right of recognition and justify their existence after having been created by the U.N. in 1948.  It is such a powerful and wonderful feeling to see that there are Christians in full support of this tiny fledgling country  along with myself.  The first time I saw this union of Christians helping Jews was several years ago in the group, CUFI, Christians United for Israel, which is organized by John Hagee, minister, who has outlined his thoughts in his book, In Defense of Israel, which explains why Christians should support Israel.  John Hagee has just joined  Glenn Beck in Jerusalem in their quest to support Israel as well.  Glenn is a Mormon and Hagee is an Evangelical so even this is a magnificant union in working together. 

Not all Christians have come to this conclusion because of part of their belief in a Replacement Theology, which has replaced Israel and Jews with Christians.  As we can see, the friends of Israel have not bought into this section of the Christian religion, and see the need to be on the side of Israel and Jews.  Not only do they see the need as part of their beliefs, but because of this their reasoning is not clouded by a caustic attitude towards Israel and they can be rational in their conclusions about Israel. 

Dave and Charlie are showing the world that a committed Christian and a committed Jew can agree that their theological differences are not getting in the way of joining forces to promote values they both hold in common.  Coming together at a time of great danger to Israel and to our traditional American values, they both feel they must join forces if Israel and the USA are to succeed.  The message is slowly spreading and they are doing their part to speed it up.  Their past programs are on CD's and can be purchased, including "Differing Views of the Messiah,"  "Why Support Israel"  and others.   Jews and Christians must not fear working together.  We have arrived at a new paradigm of mutual respect and common concerns.

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