Antisemitism is a scourge! Don’t you agree?
In fact, I believe antisemitism is Satan’s favorite tool to use in trying to destroy the Jewish people!
And I am sorry to say that antisemitism is on the rise both in North America and across the globe.
All you need to do is turn on your television and watch the news. Most of us watched in shock a year ago as we viewed reports of four Jewish people in Paris being gunned down by the Islamic terrorist, Amedy Coulibaly. The only “crime” of these victims is that they were born Jewish!
Antisemitism is not only emerging in Western Europe but also in our own country—especially on campuses.
A serious study exploring the issue of antisemitism on U.S. campuses discovered that 50% of the Jewish students questioned had experienced or witnessed some form of antisemitism on campus.
In a recent survey of Jewish people, we discovered that a high percentage of Jewish people in the United States are very concerned with antisemitism today.
My hope and prayer is that true Christians will also be concerned about the growth of antisemitism as well!
Antisemitism Is the Devil’s Tool to Keep Jewish People from Believing in Jesus
I remember my installation as president of Chosen People Ministries almost 19 years ago when Dr. Paige Patterson (now president of Southwestern Baptist Seminary) encouraged us to “hate what Satan loves and love what Satan hates.” His comments were based on Revelation 12:13, where we see the devil again trying to destroy the Jewish people.
If God loves it, I want to love it…if the devil loves it, I want to “hate” it.
Clearly, Satan hates the Jewish people because he understands the role of the Jewish people in God’s plan. God promised Abram that great things would happen for humanity through the Jewish people!
…And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed (Genesis 12:3).
An Unholy Chasm Between Jesus and the Jewish People
I was raised believing that “Christianity” inspired the Crusades, pogroms, the Holocaust and that Jesus Himself (whom I knew very little about) was anti-Jewish! Imagine my surprise when I found out that Jesus was Jewish!
The devil has created the myth that Christianity is the fountain of antisemitism. But we know from Scripture that though some forms of more institutional “Christianity” have been hostile to the Jewish people, the true Gospel is actually all about a Jewish Messiah who is the Savior of the world! In fact, true Christians love the Jewish people and oppose antisemitism!
The Christian Response to Antisemitism
I am writing to you because I see the world again turning against the Jewish people. Radical Islam is fueling much of the global antisemitism, in the same way the Nazis did! Many Jewish people think that traditional “Christian” countries are in one way or another sympathetic to Islamic antisemitism today because they have not done anything to stop it and have not repented of their past.
What I also find to be both tragic and intriguing at this time in history is that the very same people who are persecuting the Jewish people and opposing the right of the modern state of Israel to exist are the very same violent extremists limiting the rights of and even killing Christians in the Middle East, Africa and in other spots across the globe.
I believe this co–persecution of both Jews and Christians is issuing a wake-up call to the Church to oppose antisemitism and to see through the thin veneer of anti-Israel rhetoric and propaganda. Sometimes passionate views about Israel spill over and become anti-Jewish.
As those who believe the Bible and follow the Jewish Messiah, Jesus we must respond!
Christians must unite in support of the Jewish people by denouncing antisemitism in our countries and communities. Let us bless the Jewish people and not curse them by hearing and not responding (Genesis 12:3).
What Should We Do?
There is so much that we can do as believers to help the Jewish people at this difficult time. May I make two quick suggestions?
Pray For the Jewish People
First of all, and perhaps most importantly, we can pray. The psalmist (Psalm 122:6) asked us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and so in obedience we should pray that God would bring His peace to Jewish people. This goes far beyond political peace and strikes at the very heart of the matter—the Jewish people need the Prince of Peace, Jesus, in their lives.
I love what the Apostle Paul, himself Jewish, said in Romans 10:1, Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.
It is not enough to simply pray for political peace—we must pray for spiritual peace and that only comes when individuals receive Jesus as their Savior and Lord.
I hope that you will oppose antisemitism in your local community. You could write letters to the editors of your local newspapers if you witness antisemitic acts or attitudes taking place in your hometown or perhaps on a local college campus. You can also approach your state and federal representatives if you spot an antisemitic incident on a national or international scale.
Most of all, I hope you will not stay silent when Jewish people are attacked. I hope that you will be very sensitive to the lines that can easily be crossed by those taking a political position critical of Israel and a position leading to antisemitism.
Shine Your Light
Growing up in a Jewish home, I “knew” Jesus was not for the Jews and that most Christians did not like Jews. My attitude was probably shaped by the Holocaust which had ended just a few years before I was born.
However, this dark background actually proved to be very important in my spiritual journey. The contrast I experienced when I began meeting Christians who loved the Jewish people amazed me. In fact, I would say that one of the major reasons Jewish people believe in Jesus today is because of the love shown to them by a Gentile Christian.
Countering antisemitism is one way of showing Messiah’s love for the Jewish people. Believe me, it makes a big difference!
Support Jewish Evangelism
As I mentioned before, one of the devil’s greatest victories is convincing Jewish people that Jesus and His followers are anti-Jewish.
This breaks my heart.
One of the reasons Jewish people feel defensive when true Christians talk about Jesus is because they believe, as I did when I was not yet a believer, that accepting Jesus meant I was giving up my Jewish heritage. Yet, nothing could be further from the truth! So many Jewish people who become followers find that being Jewish now means more to them than ever before.
The devil has sold us a lie—that one cannot be Jewish and believe in Jesus.
Would you help us love what the devil hates and hate what the devil loves and bring the glorious Gospel of Jesus the Messiah to Jewish people around the world? In order to do this, we need your partnership—in prayer, financially, and by allowing us to help you shine the light of the Gospel to your Jewish friends.
We do need your financial support as February is traditionally a “low donation month” for a variety of reasons—and shorter as well!
Thanks for your partnership in the Gospel!
Earlier, on March 19, 2012, four Jewish people, including three children, were killed at the
Ozar Hatorah Jewish day school in Southern France.
http://www.trincoll.edu/NewsEvents/NewsArticles/Documents/Anti-Semitism Report Final.pdf