Christian anti-semitism - One believer’s persepctive
As I looked at pictures earlier from the disgusting event known as “World Hate Israel Day”, my heart sank.
And it did so both because it represent some of the worst of human nature and also because it represented the newest incident in a long, virtually uninterrupted anti Semitic movement that stretches back well over 3000 years.
In my opinion, no race or ethnic group has been persecuted over the past three millennia as much as Jews have. Christians talk about persecution and while Christian persecution does occur and has occurred throughout history, it has seldom (if really at all) occurred on the same level as Jewish persecution.
To use a blunt example: Hitler didn’t gas 6 million Christians.
And although those events happened over 60 years ago, the fact is the Jewish people still face many challenges even today.
Antisemitism lives. A google search for “Hatred of Jews” brings up 17.2 million results.
Today Christian persecution is largely limited to countries and regions where the majority of the population either do not have a religion or follow a different religion, namely parts of Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
While Jewish persecution occurs in these areas as well, there’s no denying that anti-semitism is alive and well not only in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, but in Europe and here in North America as well.
I also think it’s reasonable that some Jewish people might cringe (and rightfully so) when they hear Christians (especially in places like the U.S.) whine about “persecution”. A lot of the time, the so-called persecution is anything but. To a Jewish person who actually knows what real persecution is, that can be extremely insulting.
For some reason the Jews always seem to have far more serious charges levied against them than Christians. In doing some research on this, I’ve come across the term “Zionist Conspiracy”. This is used to describe a supposed worldwide plot by powerful Jews (and their allies) to advance Jewish interests at the expense of other nations and peoples.
I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of a “Christian Conspiracy” or a theory that powerful Christians are working behind the scenes to bend the world to their whim. You might think that sounds a bit like what the New Apostolic Reformation is attempting to do, but I still believe in the minds of many, they aren’t seen as an enemy on the level of Jews.
It’s also important to note the rise of the NAR movement is a relatively recent occurrence, whereas Jews have been accused of trying to take over the world for generations now.
One particular form of anti semitism that bothers me the most is that of devout Christians. I find the notion that any Christian could hate Jews to be baffling and yet we’ve seen so many times (particularly in the modern right wing) examples of Christians either covertly or overtly expressing anti-Jewish sentiments.
And I have to ask myself: Why?
It’s been said Christians hate Jews because Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus. That may be so, but to simply run with this explanation and become an anti-semite because of it is wrong and illogical.
Let’s not forget that Jesus dying on the cross is EXACTLY what was supposed to happen. It was God’s plan, as laid out in the Old Testament and carried out in the New. The death and resurrection of Jesus is the single most important event of the Christian faith.
Put another way: If Jews HADN’T killed Jesus, what would the world look like today?
Hating all Jews for the death of Jesus is like hating all Muslims because of the 9/11 attacks. It doesn’t really make sense.
In fact hating all Jews for the death of Jesus is a lot like hating all Germans because of what the Nazis did during the Holocaust.
As a Christian, I respect and support the Jewish people and the nation of Israel. I hold no malice towards them whatsoever. I find it illogical to condemn them for what they did to Jesus. Aside from the points made above, there is no Jew alive today who had anything at all to do with the death of Christ, just like there is no one in America alive today who directly had anything to do with slavery in the South.
I find the Jewish religion to be complex, beautiful and subtle at the same time. I find the Hebrew language one of the most beautiful in the world.
And I believe Jewish people are some of the most resilient and determined people in the history of this planet.
I follow the teachings of Jesus. I do not hate Jews. I treat them as my brothers and my sisters. If a Jewish man needs food, I will not hesitate to feed him. If he needs shelter, I will provide a roof. That is who I am. That is who I want to be.
Christians who hate Jews are in my view doing a great disservice not only to their faith but to Humanity as a whole.
I honestly believe about the LAST thing Jesus would have wanted is for his followers to hate Jews for what they did to him.
Let’s remember that Christ himself FORGAVE those responsible for his trial and crucifixion. For his followers to not do the same seems grossly hypocritical.
I do not profess to speak for all Christians, only for myself. But I don’t doubt there are other believers who feel as I do. And I hope they don’t hesitate to speak up if the situation calls for it.
Israel and the Jewish people are many things…but they are not and never will be an enemy of mine.