The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews: “On the Wings of Eagles”
Many Christians have seen the infomercial on television from the “International Fellowship of Christians and Jews” also known as “On the Wings of Eagles”. In the infomercial a very emotional appeal is made by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein to bring Jewish people out of Russia to Israel and bring humanitarian aid to hurting and suffering Jewish people in the land of Israel. The appeal is based upon prophetic promises. Rabbi Eckstein is well versed in both the Old and New Testament promises. His support comes from some prominent evangelical Christian leaders. But most Christians are not aware that Rabbi Eckstein is a Jewish unbeliever who is vehemently opposed to bringing Jesus to the Jewish people. An excerpt from the linked website below expresses some concern over the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews and over Eckstein himself:
Rabbi Eckstein publicly censures evangelistic activity among Jewish people. This has led some conservative Christians to believe that association with Eckstein compromises the Gospel, not to mention diverting funds away from other ministries to Jewish people, including Christian ministries which seek to address the physical and spiritual needs of Abraham’s descendants.
Eckstein has gone so far as to say that evangelization efforts directed towards Jews is based upon “anti-Semitic prejudices,” tantamount to “spiritual genocide,” and that such efforts stem from either pure arrogance or a deep ignorance. Eckstein does affirm the right of Christians to share their faith, and even in some cases to share their faith with Jewish people, but he believes that such witnessing ought to take the form of “sharing deep personal thoughts about God,” where the one witnessing is not completely convinced of either the truth of his beliefs or of the error of those beliefs which contradict what he holds to be true. The problem with this seemingly tolerant view is that it implies that conservative Christians must become incipient relativists in order to refrain from engaging in “anti-Semitic,” “genocidal,” “arrogant,” and “ignorant” Gospel proclamation. Conservative Christians, however, do not believe that the Gospel consists simply of “deep personal thoughts about God;” rather, they take the Gospel to be the objective self-revelation of God the Father in the Person, work, and words of his Son Jesus, the self-proclaimed Messiah, anticipated in the Hebrew Scriptures, confirmed by miracles, and testified unto by many witnesses. Evangelicals believe that genuine Christian witness is carried out in a spirit of love, for it is performed out of the desire to help people obtain the greatest good possible to man: the gift of eternal life. Rabbi Eckstein and IFCJ do not support, in fact they implicitly oppose, this mission. For this reason, many evangelicals find it difficult to support IFCJ, especially given the fact that there are Christian ministries (some of which are operated by Messianic Jews), which provide similar services for the Jewish people.
Following is a link which may help those who are interested discern whether or not the “International Fellowship of Christians and Jews” is an organization that Christians should financially support.
If the Lord has laid on your heart a desire to support Jewish people returning to the land of Israel or to support humanitarian efforts among the Jewish people in Israel or around the world, we would rather recommend another ministry called “Operation Exodus” which is a part of the Ebenezer Fund. They are a Christian ministry with a Christian statement of faith. Please do be aware, however, that though they are not opposed to the proclamation of the gospel to the Jewish people, they expressly do NOT “evangelize” the Jewish people with whom they work. This ministry is a purely humanitarian ministry. Following is a link with more information about “Operation Exodus”:
Remember that though humanitarian efforts are good, profitable, and needed, the most important thing we can bring back to the Jewish people is the message of salvation in the Messiah Jesus. Please pray about supporting a ministry that reaches out to the Jewish people with the message of Jesus as well as with the material needs that are so much a part of life.