The Many Faces of Anti-Semitism
What I cannot help but notice is that in some ways, the Church is going backwards. Years ago, around the 10th century A.D., the Catholic Church was the leader in the Crusades that were taking place. They believed (and still believe) that the Roman Catholic Church was God’s Church on planet earth. No other denominations or protestant churches would be considered.
Because of the Catholic belief (adopted through Augustine) that the Church replaced Israel (due to their rejection of the Messiah), it followed that the Church (as the Roman Catholic Church) took on the unfulfilled promises as well as authority that Israel possessed, but forfeited. Because of this authority, the Catholic Church saw (and sees) itself as Christ’s arm of judgment on the earth. This then produced many policies in which thousands were brutally tortured and/or killed for their defiance of the Catholic Church. This was only one of the factors which led to the Reformation.
However, during these Crusades, anti-Semitism ran amok. The Jewish people were blamed for “killing” Christ, even though the Romans played an equal part, making everyone – Jewish and Gentile – guilty of the offense. The Jewish people were hounded, told to give up Judaism, forced to “become” Christians and those who did not were summarily killed. Even Hitler believed in his twisted way that he was a Christian and because of that, had the power to do what the Catholic Church had done during the Crusades. This belief, affirmed by Darwinism, which came on the scene at that time, provided Hitler with the necessary fodder to forumulate his opinion that Jews were less than human. Apparently, Hitler never saw the discrepancy with stating he was a Christian, while fully involved in occult practices and anti-Semitism to boot!
So how does this tie in with what is being stated in this post? Simply this…because of the errant views of the Catholic Church, which wrongly believed that they had replaced Israel as God’s chosen “nation,” anti-Semitism became an accepted norm. Because of the power of the Papacy, as it was aligned with the state, it was difficult, if not impossible to stand against the church’s policies without danger of being executed for it. If the reader doubts this, all that is necessary is to read through a copy of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs.
Because of the erroneous policies of the Catholic Church regarding their alleged position of authority, along with other intolerable and abominable doctrines such as indulgences, things eventually came to a head. Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the Wittenberg Door and the Reformation had begun. Many like Luther put up a good struggle against the Catholic Church, in which it was hoped that they would modify their heretical doctrine of salvation by grace and works. The purchase of indulgences was one such aspect where it was taught that by placing money in the church’s coffers, a soul would fly free of purgatory.
Ultimately, the struggle continued long and hard, eventually necessitating people like Luther, Calvin and others to pull away from the Catholic Church. Other denominations sprung up, like Lutheranism. The main difference between Lutheranism and Catholicism (as well as other denominations that came into being during that time) was the disagreement over the doctrine of salvation. Catholicism essentially kept theirs and it should be noted that people are still encouraged within Catholicism to make a financial offering to the Catholic Church, creating less time for the penitent to remain in purgatory.
The one major thing that did not change after the Reformation was the Catholic Church’s view of Eschatology. It was still believed that the Church had replaced Israel and the Church now had the authority that Israel once had. That viewpoint has carried over to today, through Covenant Theology, Reformed Theology, Preterism and Replacement Theology. All of these viewpoints arrive at their conclusions because they allegorize Scripture. Rather than understanding the Bible in its most basic, plain sense, an allegorical interpretation is preferred; one which states that with the rejection of Jesus as Messiah, God finally decided to push Israel off the table, forever. His new favored “nation,” the Church, is what He deals with now and there will be no other entity.
Because of the continuation of this erroneous viewpoint, anti-Semitism is again on the rise. I personally, have spoken to Jewish believers who hate their own people; the Jews. While they want to evangelize them, they roundly condemn them for what is happening in the Middle East. To these folks, the Jews of Israel are the problem and as long as they remain in that area geographically, there will be no peace. This sound uncannily like many Arab leaders who have denounced the Jewish people for decades, however have come out with even stronger attacks in recent times.
I would agree with the individual who stated:
“In the Torah and the from Old Testament prophets, we are told of the Throne of David and we can read of the prophecies of Messiah who will rule the world from Jerusalem. There in lies the origin of anti-Semitism; it is the desire to block the future world rule of God through Judah, the Royal House of Israel, and the Throne of David.”1
This is really it in a nutshell. THE reason for the anti-Semitism that has been with us since the beginning of the nation has to do with the forthcoming reign of the Jewish Messiah, Jesus Christ. Satan has pulled out all the stops to keep this from happening and even if he is not able to keep it from happening, he will still continue to fight against Jewish people because his hatred of them is so deep. Since Jesus – a Jewish man by birth – came from the tribe of Judah, from within Israel and it is this same Jesus who is not only Messiah to Israel, but Savior to Gentiles, is there a greater reason for Satan’s hatred? This was foretold by God way back in Genesis 3!
People believe that the Jewish people of today living in Israel are usurpers. They live where they do not belong. Since it is believed by many that the Church has replaced Israel, then they really have no right to be there! What needs to be asked is this: Would God allow any Christian to harbor hatred against any person or group of persons? The obvious answer is a resounding “no!” yet this is exactly what has been done and continues to be done against Israel today. The excuse is that Christian Zionists (those Christians who support Israel’s right to exist), harbor hatred against the Arab world. This is absolutely not the case. All people – Jewish and Gentile (including Arab) need salvation and that salvation comes only through Jesus Christ’s atonement on Calvary’s cross.
Anti-Semitism is Obvious: The difficulty though is that the amount of ire, vitriol and abject hatred for the Jewish people is what tells the story. Here are just a few quotes from top Arab officials and clerics who not only denounce Israel and Jewish people, but as you can easily see, have no love for them whatsoever:
“Israelis are apes and pigs” – Lebanese Cleric Fathi Yakan: Whoever Disputes Hizbullah’s Victory over the Descendents
of Apes and Pigs Has Mental AIDS (2006)
“I was dreaming a beautiful dream, which I hope will come true, and that we all agree upon it. I dreamt that we are the Arab Islamic States, not just Egypt, Lebanon, and Palestine. I was truly dreaming that we are the Arab Islamic States. Get a map of the Arab homeland, and erase the borders.
“Four conditions of the fatwa in order to kill an Israeli, one must make sure that he is a Jew, an Israeli, and that he is between 21 and 54 and if she is a woman, she must be between 21 and 34.” – Egyptian Cleric Safwat Higazi Explains His Fatwa, in 2006
Gholam-Ali Haddad ‘Adel: “The Muslims throughout the world say: Stop your support for Israel, or else don’t expect any kind of peace or reconciliation with the Islamic world.”
The real tragedy is that we are seeing and hearing this kind of thing more and more routinely and some of it is coming from the Church itself! We can be assured of the fact that not only will anti-Semitism grow as we move closer and closer to the time of the Tribulation, but it will become much more vitriolic and volatile. Sadly, it will also become much more acceptable.
Christians have no excuse. Israel has every right to protect itself from the onslaught of the terrorism she faces in many forms every day. If modern day Israel since 1948, is a fulfillment of Jeremiah 32:37-41, Ezekiel 20:34; 35:17-19; 36:33-35; 37:10-14; Isaiah 35:1-2; Micah 7:8-11; Amos 9:14-15 and many other Scriptural references, then anyone who stands against Israel is in effect standing against God Himself. That includes anyone who believes they are Christian.
There is nothing in Scripture which indicates that God is done with Israel. Quite the contrary. God has called Jewish people back into the land that He gave them. He will bring all of His plans for Israel to fruition, in His time and in His way. He will do this for the sake of His Name, because it is His Name that has been ridiculed by the nations because of Israel’s waywardness. But it is up to God to deal with Israel.
People who harbor anti-Semitism against the Jewish people had better realize what they are up against. They need to ask themselves why they hate Jewish people. There is NO good reason for hating anyone and certainly no good reason to hate a group of people because of their gender, race or culture. God will bring His plans to completion where Israel is concerned, regardless of who it is who attempts to stop Him. God is sovereign. He is fully sovereign and it is His sovereignty that will ultimately bring Him glory.
In the end, everyone will do God’s bidding. They will either do it voluntarily, or they will do it against their will, but they will bow to His authority, His sovereignty and in so doing, will bring Him the glory He so richly deserves.
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