Thursday, February 17, 2005

In JFJ we were not always nice

One reason I was interested in Christianity when I first was introduced to Jesus was because there was this wonderful joy about the Christians I met.

There really seemed to be love coming out of many of the people I met that were Christians. As a young Jewish person, I wondered how so much love and joy could come out of these people who told me that Jesus had transformed them into truly new creatures and I wanted to be like them.

Another thing I noticed was the words and actions that I oberved from Christians was kind.

Yes, sometimes the Christians I knew made mistakes, but generally, I saw great love from these people.

When I became a believer, I strove to do good and to think happy thoughts. I tried to see good in everyone and everything, even in food in restaurants!

Then I joined JFJ and found that in JFJ it was okay to be mean. It was okay to laugh behind someone's back and it was okay to make fun of people and to put people down.

It was even okay to play tricks on people!

I have never quite recovered from JFJ teaching me to be pushy, rude, and mean. I have to check myself when I think about playing tricks on people and I know those in JFJ do still play tricks. I wish I could be the loving person I once was before JFJ, but it is not easy. The mentality of the JFJ organization was one where those who caused hurt were admired.

JFJ taught us that because we were Jewish that we needed to not be too nice. On Campaign Training, we were even given instruction on how to snap back. Those of us who were too nice were told we'd never make it in the organization or in life.


Anonymous said...

I am infuriated that JFJ excused rude behavior by saying "it's okay because we're Jewish." There are plently of rude, pushy gentiles. What is their excuse?

Anonymous said...

This is SO TRUE! My branch leaders in New York Missionary Training was snappy and often cruel when speaking to people, especially when on the streets doing "evangelism."

We were told that we needed to emulate him as the ultimate expression of how a Jews for Jesus missionary acts on the streets.

Of course, no one could ever win any kind of discussion with him, even if you had the entire bill of goods on him. You always walked out having been made the problem.

Classic abuser behavior that any psychiatrist would recognize.

Anonymous said...

In Jews for Jesus a Type A personality was something to be coveted and rewarded.

Funny how the American Psychological Association and all the other formal organizations of similar type list a Type A personality as a disorder.

Anonymous said...

Once I was asked to accompany the JFJ Librarian to buy used books. He needed a Jewish woman who could be really pushy to get the best price on the books for him. I never got the hang of being a mean and nasty person even though JFJ tried to get me to work at it. I was no good at helping the JFJ Librarian get lower prices on the books either.

Anonymous said...

I remember Moishe repeatedly saying he disliked "nice people".