Riots

What I Learned in Church Today: Anti-Gentilism and Crypto-Supersessionism

Before starting, I wish to apologize to Pastor Randy, everyone at his church,  and any Christians who may be offended by what I’m about to say. I’m sorry but the Church isn’t perfect. It’s full of flawed human beings (I know, I’m one of them). Last Sunday, one of those people proved it and I’m proving it again by even talking about it. I probably shouldn’t. I almost didn’t. But I decided in the end that this needs to be said, not to injure the Church but to help it improve.

Now to begin today’s “morning meditation.”

Two statements from the notes handed out in the church bulletin on Pastor’s sermon for last Sunday:

Paul’s Conversion in Damascus (22:2b-13)

  1. His Previous Conduct – How Judaism Once Controlled His Life (vs. 2b-5)
  2. His Present Conduct – How Jesus Now Controls His Life (vs. 6-13)

This was part of Pastor’s sermon on Acts 21:35-22:2a. For a little context, here are the relevant passage of scripture:

And when they heard that he was addressing them in the Hebrew dialect, they became even more quiet; and he said,

“I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated under Gamaliel, strictly according to the law of our fathers, being zealous for God just as you all are today. I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and putting both men and women into prisons, as also the high priest and all the Council of the elders can testify. From them I also received letters to the brethren, and started off for Damascus in order to bring even those who were there to Jerusalem as prisoners to be punished.

“But it happened that as I was on my way, approaching Damascus about noontime, a very bright light suddenly flashed from heaven all around me, and I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ And I answered, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said to me, ‘I am Jesus the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting.’ And those who were with me saw the light, to be sure, but did not understand the voice of the One who was speaking to me. and I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Get up and go on into Damascus, and there you will be told of all that has been appointed for you to do.’ But since I could not see because of the brightness of that light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me and came into Damascus.

“A certain Ananias, a man who was devout by the standard of the Law, and well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, came to me, and standing near said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight!’ And at that very time I looked up at him.”

Acts 22:2-13 (NASB)

I go over the notes for the sermon before services while everyone else is “schmoozing” and drinking coffee. Sometimes, I’ll even start writing down my impressions (I’m kind of a nerd that way). When I saw the two points above, my immediate response was “Judaism and the Jewish Messiah are not mutually exclusive.”

It’s doubtful Pastor meant to say they were, at least in a first century context (today is another story), but so many Evangelical Pastors believe that with the so-called “birthday of the Church” in Acts 2, God had declared Judaism (and possibly the Jewish people) obsolete and replaced by Christianity and the Church (neither of which existed as we understand them today at that point in history).

Actually, I really liked today’s (as I write this) sermon. Pastor really shines in his knowledge of Biblical history as well as the languages involved, and he brought out many details I thought were important and illuminating. At the same time, I could see the “lights” dim in the eyes of some of the people around me as Pastor may have (for them) gotten a bit too historical and scholarly.

He also delivered a welcome and rousing speech condemning anti-Semitism and the shocking fact that there are some two-hundred neo-Nazi organizations in the U.S. today that teach adults and children to hate and kill Jews and other minority populations. Anti-Semitism should not exist in our world, especially post-Holocaust.

ChurchThe only thing he left out was how for nearly all of the history of the Church, we have been one of the chief supporters of anti-Semitism, pogroms, forced conversions, torture, and murder of countless Jewish people, not to mention the numbers of synagogues, Torah scrolls, and volumes of Talmud we’ve destroyed “in the name of Jesus”.

Thankfully, Christians don’t participate in such actions today, but there’s an echo of that same sentiment toward Jewish people we can still hear in our churches right now, including in the Sunday school class I attended a few hours (as I write this) ago.

I’ll get to that in a bit.

In reading Paul recite his own history about how he so zealously opposed the Messianic Jewish movement of the Way, I realized the Bible never directly addresses why Paul embraced such murderous hate of the movement. What did it mean to him personally? Why did he make it his special mission to eradicate Jewish Jesus-believers?

Typically in the late second Temple period, the Way was opposed by other Jewish groups because of it’s unusually wide acceptance of Gentiles as equal co-participants in Jewish religious and social space without the requirement of the non-Jews undergoing the proselyte rite.

“And He said to me, ‘Go! For I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’”

They listened to him up to this statement, and then they raised their voices and said, “Away with such a fellow from the earth, for he should not be allowed to live!”

Acts 22:21-22 (NASB)

The Jewish crowd, that had previously assaulted Paul because of the mistaken belief that the apostle had taken a Gentile into the Temple, up to this point, was (presumably) calmly listening to Paul relate his first encounter with Messiah, even describing how Yeshua appeared to him in a vision of light, and that he heard a Bat Kol from Heaven. Seemingly, they did not object to Paul’s assertion that Yeshua was Messiah and even that he could speak from the Divine realm. They only became once again enraged when Paul mentioned the Gentiles.

But when Paul previously opposed the Way some thirty years before, it was early enough in history that there would have been few, if any Gentiles participating in the Messianic Jewish movement. Paul’s motivation couldn’t have been Gentile involvement. But what else could it have been?

But He kept silent and did not answer. Again the high priest was questioning Him, and saying to Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” And Jesus said, “I am; and you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” Tearing his clothes, the high priest said, “What further need do we have of witnesses? You have heard the blasphemy; how does it seem to you?”

Mark 14:61-64 (NASB)

PhariseesJewish objections to Jesus were never about claims of his being Messiah. Would-be Messiahs came and went in Judaism all of the time. The worst Jesus and his followers could have been accused of was being wrong, but being wrong is hardly blasphemy. What would have been considered blasphemy was a man declaring himself co-equal with God. This is why the High Priest tore his clothes. This is what got Jesus killed. This is what the Jewish people found so incredibly offensive and wanted to exterminate.

(As an aside, for more details about Jewish objections to Messiah as Deity, read Derek Leman’s new ebook The Divine Messiah as well as my book review on his work.)

Paul (Saul) was present at the defense of Stephen (Acts 7) and heard the disciple of the Master state, “Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:56), declaring Yeshua co-equal with God. Saul willingly held the cloaks of the men of the Sanhedrin as they drove Stephen outside the city and stoned him to death.

This may have been the genesis of Paul’s hatred of the Way, a sect of Judaism that went one step too far in not only following a (presumably) dead man as Messiah, but believing him to be co-equal with God and God Himself.

So in opposing blasphemy, from the point of view of most Jews of his day (or for that matter, ours), Saul was in the right (even though it turned out he was wrong). The only thing really questionable was how personal his hatred of the Jewish Messianics seemed to be. We can speculate as to Saul’s reasons, but the Bible is silent as to what they might have been.

So in Acts 9, Paul did not “convert to Christianity,” but he did have a supernatural and highly personal encounter with the Master, strong enough to override all of Paul’s previous motivation and set him on a new track. That track however, was one that was completely Jewish and might even be described as “Pharisaism with a Messianic twist”. By his own admission, Paul’s beliefs and practices were still totally consistent with being a Pharisee and a zealot for the Torah, but he was most of all a zealot for Messiah within a completely Jewish lived reality.

Although I thought Pastor’s sermon was very good with just a few slight wrinkles, Sunday school was another story. You may recall from a previous blog post how my wife had pointed out my arrogance, and as a result, I began to reevaluate my role in the church.

Out of that, I resolved, at least for a time, to remain silent in Sunday school. I mentioned to the teacher before class got started that I would be keeping quiet, and he honored that by not posing me with any questions.

There were more than a few times during class when I regretted my decision, although I still think it was for the best.

Oh sure, the non-believing Jews who opposed Paul were called “satanic” for their devotion to the Law and their rejection of Jesus (although nowhere in the narrative we were studying does it mention them rejecting Jesus at all). Teacher likes to label non-believing Jews as “influenced by Satan” from time to time, and I’ve called him on it in the past. He can’t seem to imagine the actual motivation and reasoning involved in first century Jews not understanding Gentile equality in a Jewish social and worship venue. I’ve noticed some Christians often treat the people they encounter in the Bible as “characters” playing out some sort of artificial role in a “Bible story,” as if they weren’t (and aren’t) real, live human beings in actual human situations.

Adult Sunday SchoolBut a number of people in class were sort of chuckling at the “ignorance” of the Jewish mob who had finally settled down and was listening to Paul’s words, and how they had a “hissy fit” upon Paul’s mention of the Gentiles.

At one point, a gentleman piped up complaining about all the accusations of “anti-Semitism” against Christians and wondering if there was some sort of opposite sentiment like Jewish “anti-Gentilism” (I suppose he was thinking along the lines of something like reverse discrimination, but depending on your point of view, that may or may not exist).

That’s when I started gritting my teeth. It’s incredible that anyone who has studied the Bible for any length of time (this person, by the way, seems well-read and intelligent) can miss why, especially on one of the three major pilgrim festivals on the Jewish religious calendar, Jews would be highly sensitive to Gentiles invading Jewish worship and social space in the Temple (which was what they were reacting to).

For cryin’ out loud, the Romans had invaded the whole blamed country and were occupying it. The Jewish nation was hip deep in oppressive, cruel, dictatorial Gentile Roman soldiers. Who responded to keep the peace when the Jewish mobs rioted? The Roman soldiers. Why? Because Rome had control of Israel and jurisdiction over Jerusalem, including on the Temple Mount where the riot occurred. Of course the crowds of Jews, both native to the Land and from the diaspora, millions of them inhabiting Jerusalem during the festival of Shavuot, would have been incensed at the very idea of Gentiles taking even more away from the Jewish people than they already had.

Believe me, if you were a Jew in that situation, you’d probably have “lost it,” too.

I stayed silent and no one else spoke up. Remember those echoes I mentioned before? This was one of them.

I’ve already got enough theological and doctrinal issues to address in church as it is. I don’t want to find something like this on top of it all.

I know it might seem like a small thing to some, maybe to most people. Maybe it’s just that I’m married to a Jewish wife and have three Jewish children. But the Church, including each and every individual in my little local church, won’t truly make Pastor’s dream of a world without anti-Semitism come true until we really start treating the ancient and modern Jews like real people with real concerns instead of caricatures or stereotypes used only as “bad examples” of religion without Christ.

My Sunday school teacher made a point several times in class to emphasize how, when we believe we don’t like someone, to look deeper and to find what is good in them rather than focus on what we dislike. In complaining about the Jewish crowd who opposed Paul as displaying “anti-Gentilism” and failing to see why they would feel and act as they did, one Christian gentleman overtly failed in that mission and by not speaking up, the rest of us silently agreed that we didn’t have to look past Jewish anger to see Jewish hurt, fear, and vulnerability.

Christian and JewishWe always read these “Bible stories” supporting Paul and the rest of the believing Jews and Gentiles, and imagining the Jews who were “persecuting the Church,” including Saul back in the day, as fools and villains. The Church exists in a post-missionary, crypto-supersessionist space, even now, relative to the Jewish people and Israel. If I would have called this gentleman on his comment, I don’t think it would have done any good. I’m an outsider, an anomaly in Christian religious and communal space. The rest of them had heard the Pastor’s plea to end prejudice against Jews in the Church. But at least one person didn’t think it applied to him.

Matters leading to sadness fall into two categories: matters that can be corrected and matters that cannot.

If something can be done to correct a situation, why feel sad? Simply take action to correct the matter!

On the other hand, if nothing can be done, what gain is there in feeling sad? Sadness will not improve matters. It is wiser to accept what cannot be changed.

-Rabbi Zelig Pliskin
Aish.com

Tonight at sundown begins the Festival of Shavuot which I commented on a few days ago. As long as even one believer thinks the “birthday of the church” completely overrides this moed’s meaning to God’s chosen people, the Jews, the Church will never be free of its anti-Jewish history.

One last thing. I’m often critical of the Church, not because I’m into “Christian-bashing” but because I believe that the Church, the Gentile Jesus-believing ekklesia, is good. But it could be a whole lot better. I’ve defended the Church more than once, and one of the defining qualities of Christianity is love of one’s neighbor and fellowship.  I know I’m only one man, but I can see this so clearly. We need to do better, a lot better. We need to see the Jewish people and Israel as God sees them. Only then can we fulfill our own purpose as the people of the nations who are called by His Name to be the crowning jewels surrounding and uplifting Israel and her King Messiah.

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24 thoughts on “What I Learned in Church Today: Anti-Gentilism and Crypto-Supersessionism”

  1. I wonder if any of the folks in your church or Sunday-school class ever happen to read your blog? Since you were gritting your teeth and trying not to speak up against what could have instituted an explosive argument, might it do any good to print out an essay like this one and hand-deliver a copy to key individuals in order to initiate some more controlled discussions? How could their opinions ever change if not challenged by exposure to a very different perception and sensitivity toward these issues?

    Incidentally, sitting at someone’s right hand is not a claim of anything like “co-equality”. It does suggest authority and sanction by the referenced power, however. In the case cited in Mk.14, the “blasphemy” was more like the “two powers in heaven” controversy we see addressed in later documentation of the story of four rabbis in the pardes and the consequences of this sort of mistake. The “clouds of heaven” was clearly a Dan.7:13 reference about the “Son of Man” who was presented to the Ancient of Days and given power and dominion. Not everyone at that time (or even nowadays) viewed the veneration of the “Son of Man” character as acceptable; hence it wouldn’t be surprising to hear it called blasphemy in the Sanhedrin, particularly by the high priest who was likely of Sadducean outlook. But, as you point out, folks seldom seek to grasp the whole human picture or situation described in these stories. They assume his reaction was typical of everyone, and representative of monolithically accepted Jewish doctrine, which it was not, even if it became the rallying point to sway that Sanhedrin at that time to agree with the condemnation.

    ‘Hag Shavuot Samea’h!

  2. We need to remember to treat everyone as people with individual stories and concerns. Too often in the Christian Church, everyone considered outside the faith are treated only as “meat”, objects that you can put marks on your gospel gun if you can get them into church. Of course that isn’t a particularly Christian failing it’s a human failing .

  3. @PL: Actually,the head Pastor reads it all the time, which I think is part of why he’s pulled away from me (that, and the fact that he’s realized he’s not going to change my mind about my fundamental beliefs). I don’t know if anyone else reads it. I know I’ve sent emails to people at church and the URL to my blog is in the signature section. However, no one has mentioned reading my blog or (apparently) reacted to its content.

    I don’t think most people want their opinions to be changed. My assessment of what happens when I express my opinion is that either my perspectives aren’t understood at all or they are deliberately ignored. One thing I’ve noticed about Sunday school, both in my prior church experience and in my current one, is that agreement and “unity” are valued more than actually learning something new if that something might provoke a “rousing” debate (i.e. “argument”).

    If I printed the content to this blog post and handed it to a few people next week, first of all, they probably wouldn’t even recall the “incident,” since from their point of view, it was totally unnoteworthy. I was probably the only person in the room to react to it. Also, to reference the missus, it would be just another way to be annoying and arrogant in thinking anyone wants or needs to change. As she said, it would be like her going into our local Reform/Conservative shul and start telling people they’ve got the Torah all wrong (although, from my viewpoint, as a Jew, she has more of a platform from which to express her opinion to other Jews in the synagogue than I do as an outsider in the church).

    ‘Hag Shavuot Samea’h!

    @Michele: I take it you approve of today’s message. 😉

    @Dree: Yeah, it’s all too human, and I hope I communicated that well enough today.

  4. So, quoting Lancaster:

    No one teaches new Torah-teaching to old (previously educated) students. If he does, the new teaching will be rejected, the student will be lost. No. Instead new Torah-teaching must be taught to new students. And no one after receiving old teaching (previous education) wants the new, for he says, “The old teaching is better.”

    Are you saying that I’m going to be ignored because these students are already educated in a system that is incompatible with new teachings about the centrality of Israel and the continued choseness of the Jewish people?

  5. Why are you offended at the thought that Jewish people can also be anti-_____? Messianics in Israel are referred to as ‘soul stealers’ by some orthodox. Not a very loving sentiment. There probably was anti-gentilism but not without reason. I like what Rabbi Chaim Richmond of the Temple Institute once said. “If the Roman soldiers had understood how important the Temple is to the nations they would have guarded it instead of destroying it.” Alas, not much has changed. BTW, in my opinion G-d’s plan given to mankind as expressed through Judaism is FAMILY centered, where as the gentile church is CONGREGATION centered. Ponder the difference.

  6. You’d have to have been present for the full context, but the person speaking was behaving as if the Jewish people rioting had no reason to be upset because their nation and their Temple had been invaded by foreigners. The crime which Paul was suspected of was a further insult to the Jewish people. The person in Sunday school behaved as if the Jewish people have no right to feel threatened and to react out of fear with anger. Even in modern times, Jews who object to Messianics or to Christian missionaries are operating on the same fundamental level. We may not agree with their assessment of us, but we need to understand and be sensitive to why they act as they do. The Church is not innocent in all this and historically, Christianity’s abuse of the Jewish people is the cause of Jewish response.

  7. Agreed. Hmmm, perhaps you are having an influence on the pastor. Pity you felt like you couldn’t speak, however, it might have been the wrong time and you did well to hold your tongue. I have stopped attending church. The last time I spoke and suggested that we are teaching our youth to be ..”lovers of pleasure more than lovers of G-d..”it wasn’t well received. The silence spoke volumes. Of course, I did go on to suggest teaching ‘the Feasts’ as part of the instructions for our youth. Shoving meat down the throat of babes is not a wise approach. Look at that! Wasn’t that an arrogant statement by me?!

  8. Silence can be the better part of valor, I suppose, except when I say the same things I think about in Sunday school on my blog. I’m afraid I am having an effect on my Pastor, but probably not a positive one at this stage.

  9. James: ‘Are you saying that I’m going to be ignored because these students are already educated in a system that is incompatible with new teachings about the centrality of Israel and the continued choseness of the Jewish people?’

    Yes, but I thought I was just saying what you said in different words. No claim of an original idea on my part.

  10. What I find interesting about the story you’ve shared is that we (the Church) seem to fail to recognize that it was the kindness and patience of the Lord that drew us to repentance and relationship. Why we think that browbeating, name-calling or treating others with disdain will bring people to Him is beyond me.

    On that same note, I am often startled at my own lack of understanding and compassion toward Jewish people. I love studying Judaism (the little I’ve done) but I’ve not had much opportunity to interact with followers. When the opportunity does arise, and the topic turns theological, I get frustrated and think, “Why can’t you see it?”

    And then I realize that I’m doing the very thing that pushes people away from God.

  11. @James: The, “Judaism = bad; Jesus = good narrative would bother me too, and if I promised not to speak, I would walk out.

    Yes, it is a disconnect, to condemn antisemitism, yet ignore 2,000 years of church antisemitism, and fail to admit it still exists. Antisemitism is more than hating Jews; it also involves hating the beliefs and practices of Jews and considering these wicked. This is not the same as disagreement or not adopting these yourself. It seems most of this hatred also stems from ignorance, as most know nothing of the Judaica they despise so much.

    One might ask: If Judaism is bad, what have Jews contributed to the world that is bad? If Christianity is good, how do they explain the millions killed both directly and indirectly by Christianity? The suppressing of science and other behavior that violates scripture, such as racism?

    Any suggestion that his church search their hearts and repent of their own antisemitism? It is easy to express shock at the 200 Neo-Nazi groups, as that is, “them.” What about the, “us?” Grandma was right.

  12. “No one teaches new Torah-teaching to old (previously educated) students. If he does, the new teaching will be rejected, the student will be lost. No. Instead new Torah-teaching must be taught to new students. And no one after receiving old teaching (previous education) wants the new, for he says, “The old teaching is better.”

    Are you saying that I’m going to be ignored because these students are already educated in a system that is incompatible with new teachings about the centrality of Israel and the continued chosenness of the Jewish people?”

    So, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? I think you can, but like the proverbial lightbulb joke, the dog has to want to learn. And its not easy.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if you pastor had been praying for God to teach him truth, to reveal himself in a greater manner. And then God sent you to be a source of tikkun for him, and he didn’t recognize it.

  13. Pl and James: Being ignored is very dismissive and disrespectful, especially if you claim to have a relationship. I think all of us desire to be understood and that our contributions are useful, not just feigned interest when your real intent is to build a relationship only for the purpose of setting the other person straight. Yes, the Christian need to maintain a semblance of agreement and avoid conflict and the hashing things out that might be useful is discomforting, but that is the way it is.

  14. KEY

    I don’t have time to say much more today, but the added conflict you mentioned in this, the first topic here I read today, is key to overcoming the obstacles of history that distort faith. Without it, most concepts won’t make sense. Plus, the heart isn’t prepared.

    Also, I loved the inclusion of the statement about God taking hold of Israel and never letting her go. Then I remembered, the reason I am in a bit of a hurry right now is that I’m preparing for my oldest son’s rehearsal dinner at my home tomorrow evening

  15. God taught the Jewish people from the very beginning of His relationship with them that they were a family. Gentiles (anyone not in the family) throughout the centuries were either jealous or condencending toward them. They were often the victims of violence, persecution, and mistrust. By the time Paul was having this conversation regarding his first encounter with Jesus they Jewish people were “over” dealing with outsiders period. They were praying for a Messiah who would come and end the constant grinding pressure between the family and the rest of the world. They were angry, sad, and tired. Of course they flipped out over Gentile acceptance by this alleged Messiah. If He was truly the Messiah, He should be THEIRS only! This was salt in a very old, very sore wound. If they couldn’t even claim their own Messiah, what point was there in accepting Him? I think I would have agreed with them at that point. Even if I had believed he was the one true Messiah, I would have felt betrayed by Him. Chances are, I would have felt like His acceptance of these outsiders who hated and mocked my family, my way of life, and my reasons for it, made Him NOT the one true Messiah for sure. I would have felt like Paul had been tricked by Satan and was preaching blasphemy. He would need to go and be away from my friends and family before something terrible happened because of his false teachings. So there’s that.
    FYI, self professed Jesus Freak here. Active member of a United Methodist Church. Child of nondenominational missionaries who ran an orphanage in Mexico for most of my life. If I can get how the Jews felt about this, why can’t other Gentile Christ followers? I think there is a vast amount of unwillingness to have empathy and understanding on both sides of this issue.

  16. You ask why people don’t, “get it.” I suspect they don’t want to, and what benefit would it provide vs. the difficulties it would present. Christians are 32% of the world’s population and Jews .2%. Why should they care what Jews think or what is offensive? Better to not know, so you have no responsibility.

    Compare this to MessyWorld groups who feel the need to seek the comfort and avoid offense of the evangelical who provide financial support and career growth, with, “We are a congregation of Jews and gentiles….” What church says anything like this? The HR groups leave this out, as they don’t have any Jews.

  17. “The Church exists in a post-missionary, crypto-supersessionist space, even now, relative to the Jewish people and Israel.”

    Now we have, all across Europe, but especially in France, a new, Islamic/Leftist form of Gentile antisemitism rivaling the rise in the 1930’s (as some sources say), wherein the Islamic Gentiles are reportedly generating the protests and violence based upon the Gaza operation, joined by pro-Palestinian non-Muslim Gentiles. My question: Where is the Christian Gentile Church? Unless I’m missing something, the Church in Europe is again behaving in character with its 20th century role as a bystander to vicious antisemitism. I do not recall any Evangelical Christian counter-protests or demonstrations condemning the terrifying situation at the French synagogue, for instance. I say this in support of your assertion that there is a strong “post-missionary, crypto-supersessionism” alive within 21st century Christianity. The “Church Triumphant” may reject Replacement Theology in theory, but its residual contamination is all too obvious in its interpretation of the Scriptures and its refusal to interact with Messianic Judaism even though they are also believers in Yeshua as Messiah, but also, and perhaps more dangerously so at this moment in history, in its conception of itself as “right” and “the Jews” as “wrong,” perceiving the Jews as “the other” as it always has and therein reluctant to take any risk to defend them.

    As Elie Wiesel has maintained, he sees “indifference” as the “opposite” of love, not “hate.” As a Jew, he expected the Nazis to hate the Jews, understood their hatred of the Jews as they were in agreement with the anti-Jewish ideological position. But what about the silence of the rest of the world? It was the indifference of the non-Nazi Gentile world, to include the Christian world, that hurt the most, caused the deepest sense of hopelessness, in a way. The Nazis were expected to persecute the Jews by self-definition; but what of the Church, supposedly defined by the Jewish teachings of love your neighbor, etc.?

    The strongest pro-Israel groups, such as CUFI (Christians United For Israel) have made some noise, continue to provide financial support, but where is the rest of the Christian world and why aren’t they in the game? Again? If pastors more regularly use the pulpit to encourage action taken against the abortion industry, for instance, why not to encourage action taken in support of, and defense of, the Jewish people as antisemitism rises? And if the ADL Global 100 numbers are even close to accurate, the time for the Church to respond was yesterday.

  18. Good points, everyone. As the pressure builds to stand against Israel as a nation and the Jewish people as a people regardless of where they live, we shall see just how much “the Church” actually loves Jews and just how far it will go to stand by Israel. I believe there is a limit and we are rapidly approaching it.

  19. Well, you read my article. There are many who are secretly or perhaps openly heartened to see Israel enduring such difficulty, as 1948 was a hit to their theology and the enlightenment and modern political changes were a hit to their influence and control that allowed the delusion that they were the chosen, the blessed, the righteous….

    There are those who get that liberals are for the most part against Israel, but fail to get that most Conservatives are only tolerating support of Israel as long as this tactic is useful, and when that cup of trembling reaches a tipping point, they will abandon ship. In the same way there is a “patriot,” faction that is also pro-Israel. However, when Israel and their Jewish members are not worth the blowback, they will also turn on us with a vengeance.

    I got a little taste of this when I was castigated by several people by revealing how the Hobby Lobby Green family is anti-Israel and has supported Israel’s enemies to the tune of millions, as well as producing a film to replace Christian Zionism with the Palestinian narrative. See, I am supposed to support them because they are against Obama and for the constitution. Conservative media has ignored and covered up this fact.

    I believe the first major split that is going to rock religious media will be Calvary Chapel. The corporate leadership is emergent, yet many churches are deciding to keep the moed in some form. Various denominational and non-denominational churches, in choosing to keep the moed are choosing to stand with Israel and the Jewish people.

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