Missionaries have spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to convert Jews to Christianity. Unfortunately a huge percentage of the Jewish population is secular (that is, not religious). They have assimilated into the Christian population around them in the United States and many are marrying non-Jews at a very alarming rate. In Reform Judaism over 50% are marrying non-Jews.
While I do not think Judaism will disappear (G-d promises it never will), it is sad that so many Jews, people who for 3500 years have been Jews, are walking away from their G-d, their covenant, their heritage and the people primarily out of ignorance. This is also why so many secular Jews do become Christians -- they do so to please a spouse, and because they simply do not feel a connection to their own Jewishness.
The past few posts have discussed an attempt by missionaries to claim that religious, well educated Jews become Christians. This is not true, at least not based on my 20 years of experience countering false missionary claims. If you read the last three posts about Sam Stern, Leopold Cohn and Simcha Pearlmutter it is clear that those three supposed "learned Jews" were nothing of the sort. They claimed far more expertise than they possessed -- and they used the Jewishness to earn a living with their veneer of Judaism used to earn a living from the Christians who respected them.
Alexander Bacon, the Baptist lawyer who spent a good part of his life trying to expose Leopold Cohn (of Chosen Peoples' Ministry) as a fraud said of Cohn "We are not commanded to forgive an unrepentant sinner; certainly not one who covers up his sin and grows rich on deliberate false pretenses. A false Jew is a disgrace and an injury to his whole race, and should be repudiated by all religionists alike." Link.
Let's discuss the differences I've noted in Jewish converts to Christianity and contrast them with Christian converts to Judaism (or Noahidism). I've noted that Jews converting to Christianity tend to epitomize two things:
1. A lack of decent Jewish education
2. An underlying issue (mental, emotional, wanting to escape anti-semitism and "fit in").
By underlying issue I mean that converts to Christianity tend to be swayed by emotions -- either the "Christian love" they are shown by the missionaries trying to convert them, or sometimes a "personal revelation" that sways them emotionally to believe in Jesus. They only tend to try to support their conversion with "proof texts" after the fact, but I have yet to meet even one who converted based on studying Christianity and making an intellectual choice.
The Torah warns us to not be swayed by personal visions and revelations -- all religions except for Judaism are based on personal revelations. From the followers of Jesus reporting "third hand" on him being a god, to Mohmad to Joseph Smith of Mormon fame, all other religions are based on one or two people (or anonymous groups) having visions which they relay to followers. The Torah warns us against these personal experienes and tells us that G-d is testing our faith in Him. Judaism is the only religion based not on personal revelatins, but on national revelation. G-d spoke to the entire nation (3 million people) and made a contract with us Jews -- warning us that any other religious experience we did not know at Sinai was false and not to be fooled by them. D'varim / Deuteronomy 4:32-33 "You might inquire about times long past, from the day that G-d created man on earth, [exploring] one end of heaven to the other. Has there ever been anything like this great thing or has anything like it been heard? Has a people ever heard the voice of G-d speaking from the midst of the fires as you have heard, and survived?"
Converts to Judaism from Christianity tend to be on the opposite end of the spectrum. They were often religious Christians or Muslims who begin to see the inconsistencies and errors in the Koran and Christian bible. They begin to research and search for G-d -- and they usually find him.
Here is a brief list of some converts to Judaism from Christianity, along with a bit of information on some of them.
1) Asher Wade, former Methodist pastor; he converted in 1978 to Orthodox Judaism.
From "Simple to Remember" "Asher Wade, a native of Virginia, was attending the University in Hamburg in Germany working towards his doctorate in the field of Metaphysics and Relativity Theory. He had already earned a B.A. in Philosophy in America and a post-graduate degree in Philosophical Theory at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. In addition, he had previously worked as an adolescent and marriage counselor at the U.S. Army Chaplaincy in Berlin while he was attending the Goethe Institute for Language Studies.
"Asher Wade had never been taught a course in Judaism and so he was determined to teach himself. Mrs. Wade, a nurse whose father and grandfather were pious Lutheran ministers, encouraged her husband to go to the source and “read the front of the Bible.” And once they began to compare the front of the Bible, the “Old Testament,” with the new, they realized they had finally found the answer to their question, “What does G-d want?” . . . It took about a year for them to reach the conclusion that Torah Judaism fulfilled all the “intellectual, academic, spiritual and emotional truths” for which they had been searching."
2) Ole Brunell, former Lutheran minister from Finland and Australia. Along with him, his wife Ruth (formerly Runa), two adult daughters, two teenage daughters, and a former son-in-law also converted to Orthodox Judaism.
From a newspaper article from Haaretz: "Ole Brunell used to lead a congregation at a Lutheran Church. . .Brunell's study of the Bible grew deeper, and he began experiencing nagging feelings about Christianity. . ."I searched for the G-d I knew from the Bible. But he seemed to be so hidden. Was he manipulated in the faith that gave me my livlihood for 12 years?. . ."
3) Geza Vermes, expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls and former Catholic priest, he reverted to Judaism.
"Born into a Jewish home in Hungary in 1924, he and his family (because of his parents) converted to Catholicism and were all baptized when he was still a boy. The parents had hoped that this conversion would save them from the coming onslaught of the Nazis. It ended up saving Vermes, but not his parents. . . He was accepted in the Catholic Seminary, . . Vermes was a scholar’s scholar. Professor at Oxford, he was an incredible linguist, intimately familiar with every ancient historical source of relevance, a creative thinker. He wrote books for scholars but also books that were accessible to the educated layperson. He was at the very top of Dead Sea Scrolls studies and Jesus studies. . ." Link.
4) Penina Taylor, a former messianic Christian who attended the Moody Bible College who returned to Judaism in 2000.
From the Chabad: " she fell into the wrong crowd and began drinking and taking drugs in high school . . . At age 16, she converted to Christianity and joined a church-going crowd. She stopped drinking and quit drugs and her grades improved dramatically. . . In 2000, (Penina and her husband) purchased a home in Baltimore's Orthodox neighborhood with the hope they would evangelize Jews. But when she started talking to people about Christianity, they were not responsive. . . (as she studied the bible she began to realize that) "The biblical verses on which Christian belief was based were either misquotes or mistranslations of the original text," she said. He gave her the strength she needed to pull herself away from Christianity."
5) John David Scalamonti, a former Roman Catholic priest, he converted in 1972 to Orthodox Judaism
6) William Dever, an Evangelical preacher, Harvard graduate, who converted to Judaism.
7) Sheldon Christopher Smith, a former Pentecostal Pastor converted to Judaism in 1987
8 ) John Hove, a third generation Lutheran pastor who converted to Judaism
9) Gavriel Sanders, former Pentecostal minister and missionary in Israel, he converted to Orthodox Judaism.
10) Tonica Marlow, a former female evangelical minister and daughter of a Pentecostal preacher. She converted to Orthodox Judaism.
11) Aharón Calderón, a former Benedictine monk of a Catholic monastery in South America, he converted to Orthodox Judaism.
12) Armando Quiros, a former catholic priest, he converted to Orthodox Judaism.
13) Julie Galambush, holds a Ph.D. in Old Testament studies from Emory University and a Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School. Formerly an ordained American Baptist minister, she converted to Judaism.
14) Michael Flanagan, a former Baptist minister, and son of a Minister, his mother-in-law, wife and their two adult sons, grandchildren, daughter-in-law also converted to Orthodox Judaism.
15) Ahuva Gray, served as a Christian minister in the African American community both in Chicago and Los Angeles for fourteen years. She left that world in 1996 to fulfill her spiritual yearnings and become an Orthodox Jew. Link to video.
16) Nobutaka Hattori, a former Protestant Minister of Japan, he converted to Orthodox Judaism.[http://www.ou.org/pdf/ja/5766/summer66/24_27.pdf]
17) Carlos Samuel Salas, a former Methodist minister, he converted to Orthodox Judaism.
18) David N. Weiss, Former Presbyterian lay minister David Weiss (born Jewish) embraced Orthodox Judaism and is now a successful writer living in Los Angeles.
19) Abraham Carmel, born Kenneth Cox, a former Anglican and Roman Catholic priest, he converted to Orthodox Judaism
20) Mariano Otero, a former Assemblies of G-d minister is now a counter-missionary
21)Carole Le Faivre-Rochester, a former Dominican nun, she converted to Judaism in 1989
22) Yaakov Ephraim Parisi, former Pentecostal minister
23) Ary'el Tsion, formerly known as Bert Woudwijk, a Messianic pastor from Holland
24) Leon Fundo, former Seventh Day Adventist preacher
25) Moriya Webster, former Worldwide Church of God pastor
26) Dov Heller, former Minister and missionary
27) Benjamin Klugger, former Pentecostal missionary, now Orthodox Jew and head of counter-missionary organization
28) Paul H Goodley, former Messianic "rabbi"
29) Efraim Uba, was raised Catholic, later became a Pentecostal preacher then became a Messianic in Nigeria, and then later left that Christian sect to convert to Judaism
30) Celia Futch-Rogow, former Methodist minister [THE JEWISH NEWS of Detroit, March 5, 2004 p.41]
31) Hector Flores, a former evangelical minister, converted with 100 members of his Houston church [http://www.aish.com/sp/so/48932037.html]
32) Yuval Yisrael, a former evangelical pastor and messianic leader for 20 years [http://virtualyeshiva.com/vy_whoweare.html]
33) Lawrence Hamilton, former Lutheran minister [http://www.religion-onlin...warticle.asp?title=3241]
34) Julius Ciss, former messianic "Jewish" missionary [http://jewsforjudaism.org...k=view&id=23&Itemid=228]
35) Kenneth Cox, former Catholic Priest [http://www.people.com/peo...cle/0,,20073218,00.html]
36) Samuel Golding, former Christian minister [http://www.kosherjudaism....iewtopic.php?f=22&t=975]
37) Skipp Porteous, former Pentecostal minister [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skipp_Porteous]
38) Rod (Reuven Dovid) Bryant, a former Evangelical Pastor converts to Judaism. Video Link.
39) Shmuel Yakobi, a former Indian preacher [http://www.kulanu.org/india/telugu_jews.php]
40) Barrie Wilson, biblical scholar, author and educator [http://www.boston.com/ae/...08/03/23/faith_examined/ ]
41) Chuck Snow, former Messianic "rabbi" of London now Orthodox Jew
42) Yeshayahu Heiliczer, former Messianic "rabbi" now Orthodox Jew [http://countermissionary.org/articles/journey.htm ]
43) John Castellaños, former Evangelical minister converted to Orthodox Judaism [http://recordings.talksho...m/TC-31687/TS-180586.mp3 ]
44) Tom Gagliano, former Messianic congregation leader converted to Orthodox Judaism [http://www.interfaithfami...Proselytizing.shtml?rd=2 ]
45) Pablo Martinez, former Baptist minister [http://www.palmbeachpost..../06/22/converts0622.html ]
46) Nati, former Messianic "rabbi" in Florida [http://video.google.com/v...cid=8108602649886339211# ]
47) Nestor Komer, former Mennonite preacher [media.isnet.org/off/Judaism/komer.html ]
48) Reuven, former Messianic "rabbi" [http://wonderingjew.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!681A30C354BCD4DB!158.entry ]
Tonica Marlow (now known as Tova Mordechai) former Minister
'Messianic' Newspaperman Comes Home
Rabbi Justin Jaron Lewis (former Catholic)
Abraham Carmel (deceased) (former Catholic priest)
Baptist Minister becomes an Orthodox Jew
A personal favorite is Yisrael Campbell, a comedian who was a Catholic who converted to Judaism first as a Reform Jew, then as a Conservative Jew and finally halachally as an Orthodox Jew.
An African prince (whose grandfather was the last king to rule and became a Christian minister) who is now a Rabbi, Natan Gamadze video.
This list is by no means complete, but if you read some of the articles or watch some of the videos you should see the difference between how they found G-d in Judaism versus the emotional path that seems to lead Jews to go in the opposite direction.
Why are people led to desert Judaism, swayed by their own emotions? The Torah tells us that G-d tests us all, and that we are tested to see if we will follow our own hearts, our own inclinations -- or will we remain faithful and loyal to G-d?
D'varim / Deuteronomy 11:16: "Be careful that your heart not be tempted to go astray and worship other G-ds, bowing down to them."
D'varim / Deuteronomy 29 "Perhaps there is among you a man, woman, family, or tribe, whose heart strays this day from HaShem, our G-d, to go and worship the deities of those nations. Perhaps there is among you a root that produces hemlock and wormwood. 18. And it will be, when he [such a person] hears the words of this oath, that he will bless himself in his heart, saying, "I will have peace, even if I follow my heart's desires,". . .19. HaShem will not be willing to forgive him; rather, then, HaShem's fury and His zeal will fume against that man, and the entire curse written in this book will rest upon him, and HaShem will obliterate his name from beneath the heavens. 20. And HaShem will separate him for evil,"
and perhaps most important of all:
D'varim / Deuteronomy 13 "The entire word that I command you, that shall you observe to do; you shall not add to it and you shall not subtract from it.  If there should stand up in your midst a prophet or a dreamer of a dream, and he will produce to you a sign or a wonder,  and the sign or the wonder comes about, of which he spoke to you, saying "Let us follow G-ds of others that you did not know and we shall worship them!"  do not hearken to the words of that prophet or to that dreamer of a dream, for HASHEM, your G-d, is testing you to know whether you love HASHEM, your G-d with all your heart and with all your soul.  HASHEM, your G-d, shall you follow and Him shall you fear; His commandments shall you observe and to His voice shall you hearken; Him shall you serve and to Him shall you cleave."