It is a Mistake to Think the Focus of
the Problem is Not the Heart
There are a number of Christians who feel they have a interest and a calling to answer the claims of Israel Only savants. Efforts are being made and encouragement given to come up with answers that are offensive rather than defensive. In my opinion it does not matter whether or not the approach is offensive or defensive. I believe it has to be recognized that their issue is not about Israel, but they have a sinful and hard heart which they are being dilettantes—a person who cultivates an area of interest, such as the arts, without real commitment or knowledge—or, in other words, they are amateurs, but that is the least of their problems!
With all due respect, I do not believe that having a better offensive against them will actually work at all. What I do believe is they should be approached with the sword of the Word of God as if they were just sinners in need of being slain (i.e., convicted) by the Spirit of Almighty God. I am of the opinion that a horizontal approach to these people will be less effective than a verticle relationship (between you and God about them).
The theology they have is so thin and superfluous that I think it is difficult and even [deceptively] enticing to think that disproving it will get you somewhere (and I don't believe so). I think, rather, that having your own rich personal relationship with Jesus and a close bond of fellowship with other Christians is the best way to signal to the barren trees they you have something that they do not have. It is those without the Spirit who separate themselves and they are sensual (Jude 19).
So what to do?
Doing things for them that they cannot see (and you don't dare tell them!), in my humble opinion, is the very best strategy:
(1) Hold them up to God in prayer.
(2) Feel extreme compassion for them.
(3) Fast three days just for one of them that you feel a calling to reach.
(4) Ask the Holy Spirit to visit them or reach into where they are hurting.
(5) Contact them and invite them into conversation and just be a very good listener so that you can really get a feel for who they are as individuals (and be quiet without opposing them with your own ideas or objections).1
All this could give them the distinct impression (which would be true) that you genuinely love and care for them. I'm not saying I know all the answers, but this is what I feel led to say about evangelism to this particular group. At the end of the day (I sincerely believe) your actions on their behalf, will make more of a difference for their spiritual welfare and possible salvation, than their actions, their belligerence or their resistance. I say this because the fruit of what they do is withered, without fruit (Jude 12).2
A pastoral approach (Matthew 18:12-14) will yield fruit—why? Because if you are a Christian God will hear your prayer (1 John 5:14) and if you appeal to him on their behalf, God could reach out to them in any number of ways. He could do this by dreams, by visions, by turbulent or catastrophic life circumstances,. God could even show up in a Bath Kol (an audible voice) that could wake them up and shake them and radically alter their assumptions about Christ and the Truth to their very foundations. So the onus is on us, not them.
I get that there is a felt need to deal with the issues they present. I see the solution to this issue (maybe differently than others) but I have personally seen and known and heard of too many examples where prayer worked when nothing else would. I am totally willing to participate in a national prayer conference call where we could get together and raise our voices in prayer to God for them (Matthew 18:20).3 If anyone wants to commit to this, by all means, let me know.
1 So we need to find out, other than Israel Only, what are they interested in? What kind of relationships do they have now? How was their upbringing? Are they married or single? Are they divorced? Do they have children or grandchildren? What are their hobbies or what sports do they enjoy? We need to find out who this person is behind the superficial facade of a polemicist, a skeptic or a critic.
2 It must be remembered that we have a positive spirituality and they have a negative spirituality (which is, basically, all about materiality and denial of what is invisible and anomalous). You have Someone you can call on; they have only their own intellect and material reality which gives them a sense of certainties; whatever they cannot see, hear, feel, taste, touch or smell, they think does not exist (but we know differently - 1 Peter 1:8).
3 My Christian friends, read and contemplate the implications of Acts 12:5-16 and think of what would happen if we join our voices without ceasing in ministry to those who are imprisoned in ideological prisons. What would happen? One thing is for sure: God is faithful!