Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Christians and Anti-Semitism

I have recently been studying the issue of how Israel and the Old Testament covenants relates to the New Covenant in Christ. The paper LINKED HERE is the focus of that study. This is for a discussion group I am part of. However I am not going to comment on the actual paper or the issues is raises, nor on my ‘current’ thinking on what the Bible says.

What I wanted to simply comment on was one point raised in the paper. That of the historical Churches partaking in what can only be described as vicious Anti-Semitism. The likes of Augustine, Thomas Aquinas and Martin Luther having quite unbelievable views about Jews. Over the course of History the Church or individual believers have either directly or indirectly been responsible for all manner of persecution and suffering brought upon Jewish people.

Of course my knowledge of history is very limited and I do not know the cultural pressures and influences of the time but I simply cannot grasp or understand how a person who follows Christ can hold the entire Jewish nation as accountable for crucifying Him. My brain simply cannot get round the concept of that thinking. Even a cursory reading of Romans 9-11 demonstrates Jesus was a Jew, the Apostles were Jews, the Jewish Messiah, that anyone who becomes a Christian has effectively become part of the ‘true Israel’.

For Christians to blame the Jews for killing Christ is ridiculous. If Christ had not died then we would all perish in the final Judgement. No one would be saved, period! Yes sin was committed by those that called for and carried out Jesus’ execution. Yes this was under God’s sovereign rule and plan. No I can’t explain how the two are true at the same time but they are! Those individual people who were responsible will either face righteous and just judgement or are covered by the sacrifice of Christ if they later repented and followed Him. You can’t blame an entire nation for the actions of a handful of people. It is like hating Germans or Austrians because one Evil Nutter called Hitler was responsible for killing millions.

So yes we should be ashamed of our fellow brothers and sisters throughout history who misguidedly treated the Jewish people the way they did. Distance oursleves massively from any hint of anti Jewish feeling.

We should humbly love, reach out to and be ready to die for serving and bringing the Gospel to the Jewish people as we should to any other nation of the earth. Now I know some would say it is anti-Semitic to evangelise Jews but I say surely it is anti-Semitic not to.

It is staggeringly unloving to refuse to share the Gospel with anyone because of any prejudice you have. A Christian has no excuse as one utterly under the Free Grace of God, saved by no merit, no work, nothing you could ever possibly do to earn your salvation. Grace, Grace, Grace and for those that think us Reformed types add Grace as an afterthought more Grace!!!!!!

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