- Pathfinder

Reply To: Why is it important for Christians to keep the sad history of Christian antisemitism in mind when responding to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the present?

Joshua Johnson

I find Christian anti-Semitism and anti-Judaism extremely sad. I was once attending a Lutheran church, and I was speaking with an elder I very much appreciated. I must have said something about Israel, because he became very defensive and made some anti-Semitic comment. I responded with some verses from Isaiah (including the ones we read here, Isaiah 60). He said those applied to the church, which had destroyed Israel.

The problem with Christian anti-Semitism is it has theological underpinnings. There are three aspects of Christian anti-Semitism: the theological aspect (Christian anti-Judaism), the racial hatred aspect, and the physical violence or mistreatment aspect.

Since the early centuries of Christianity, the religion has sought to differentiate itself from its matrixial mother, Judaism. It had to divide and conquer. By making itself different from, and therefore better than, Judaism, Christianity bolstered its fabricated yet inherent anti-Jewish sentiment. Since the claim that the Jews killed G-d (or G-do’s son) rang out, the logical imperative of the Church dominated any other discourse. Who can argue with the claim “you killed G-d,” when you have the imperial might of Rome and the Vatican behind you? Certainly not minority Jews, and any Jewish-sympathizing Christians would be disenfranchised.

Sadly, until Christianity repents of its own inherent anti-Judaism (which includes the charge of deicide, and more importantly, the claim that the Church replaced Israel as G-do’s people, known as supercessionism, and relatedly, that G-d’s covenant with Israel and Abraham has been abolished {contrary to what Christ said in Matthew 5}), there can be no end to Christian anti-Semitism. A right reading of Romans 11 will show that the Church has been *added* (or grafted in, the language of Romans) to Israel, Christians are a part of the commonwealth of Israel. That is, Israel is composed of two parts: physical Jews and spiritual Christians. Bad theology must be repented before breakthrough can come.