Anti-Semitism in every generation, but not the next

Shawn and Glennys Hyland   -  
In every generation, a message of falsehood reappears to slander and at times slaughter the ethic descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – the Jewish people. People are familiar with the term anti-Semitism. Most have images of the Holocaust at the hands of Hitler and the Nazi regime. Without question, nothing can compare to the manifested cruelty that was orchestrated at the hands of these evil men. Although the systematic destruction of Jews, leading them from ghettos to gas to graves, is unlikely in the 21st century (improbable but not impossible); the words and blood libel narratives have infected the ignorant of a new generation. It is found among the radicals from the political left and right in our nation.  Jewish Community Centers are under threat. Jewish cemeteries are desecrated. Young social justice warriors hijack universities to condemn the sole Jewish nation on earth which offers equal education, voting rights and even liberal gay rights to every citizen of Israel. This includes Jewish, Muslim, and Christian citizens. The Arab minority has the right to win elections and currently has members in the Israel Knesset and on the Supreme Court.

Furthermore, just in recent days:

How should the church respond to this moral outrage and this ongoing generational hate? I beg the Body of Christ to get it right, this time! As a teacher of church history, I hold the early church apologists in high regard for defending the faith against pagan persecution and heresy. I esteem the Reformation voices of the 16th century such as Luther and Calvin for their bold and brazen defiance not to compromise the authority of Scripture. I want to be clear, I love Martin Luther and John Calvin. I have studied the Reformation and Reformed Theology endlessly over the past two years. Yet, the tragedy of church history is the undeniable admission that our heroes espoused venomous views about the Jewish people.  If they had a Twitter account, they would be ostracized and placed on the home page of The Christian Post for their controversial comments. (God does use imperfect people. That promise of grace extends beyond just you and your local pastor!)

“First, their synagogues should be set on fire… Secondly, their homes should be broken down and destroyed. Thirdly, they should be deprived of their prayer books and Talmud in which such idolatry, lies, cursing and blasphemy are taught. Fourthly, their rabbis must be forbidden under the threat of death to teach any more…Fifthly, passport and traveling privileges should be absolutely forbidden the Jews. Sixthly, they ought to be stopped from usury…Seventhly, let the young and strong Jews and Jewesses be given the flail, the ax, the hoe, the spade…and let them earn their bread by the sweat of their noses.” Martin Luther, The Jews and Their Lies

“It is because you killed Christ. It is because you stretched out your hand against the Lord. It is because you shed the precious blood that there is now no restoration, no mercy anymore and no defense. Through your madness against Christ you have committed the ultimate transgression. This is why you are being punished now worse than in the past…When animals are unfit for work, they are marked for slaughter, and this is the very thing which the Jews have experienced. By making themselves unfit for work, they have become ready for slaughter. This is why Christ said, “As for my enemies, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them before me.” John Chrysostom, important church father, Bishop of Constantinople (one of the greatest preachers in church history)

From the Council of Nicea if 325 under Constantine to the Council of Basel in 1434, the Church gradually built a legal regime that removed the Jews from Christian society and locked them behind ghetto walls.
•             Synod of Clermont (535): Jews were prohibited from holding public office
•             Synod of Orleans (538): Jews were barred from owning Christian slaves or employing Christian servants
•             Synod of Gerona (1078): Jews are obligated to pay taxes for support of the church to the same extent as Christians
•             Third Lateran Council (1179): Jews are prohibited from suing or being witnesses against Christians in the courts
•             Fourth Lateran Council (1215): Jews are required to wear distinctive dress – eventually implemented by means of a yellow badge
•             Council of Oxford (1222): Construction of new synagogues is prohibited
•             Synod of Breslau (1267): Jews are forced to reside in ghettos
•             Synod of Ofen (1279): Christians are prohibited from selling or renting real estate to Jews
•             Council of Basel (1434): Jews are barred from obtaining academic degrees

I know these words do not reflect most of the Christians that read my writings or follow Move the Earth. I am proud of that! Unfortunately, they still represent the silent but steadfast view of most Christians globally. This nature of Jewish hatred is absent and void of Biblical theology. You can have intelligent interpretations about the true Israel, the spiritual Israel, and the nation of Israel; without loathing the very people that are the ancestors of Christ, the apostles and the prophets. It does not matter if it is ancient Egypt in Africa, ancient Rome in Europe, or ancient Persia in Asia. Or if it is our modern world where Jews had to leave North Africa, Europe and Arab countries to become refugees to the nation of Israel after 1948. Every continent and every generation has been corrupted by this spiritual curse of anti-Semitism.

What is the course of action the Church should take?

  1. Stand with Israel and the Jewish people both publicly and politically in the 21st century. Visit www.cufi.org to learn more about the largest pro-Israel organization in America.
  2. Send an email or introduce yourself to your local Jewish Federation.
  3. Teach your children the truth about modern Israel and the history of what the Jewish people have added to Western Civilization and the faith of Christianity.
Let the Church get it right in our generation so no seeds anti-Semitism are planted in the next generation.