- Pathfinder

Reply To: How can you work to combat antisemitism and supersessionism in your own Christian community?

Mariah Gaudet

I was not taught supersessionism growing up at all, and was actually surprised when I learned that it was a common thought in the history — and even modern world— of Christianity. I was taught that Jews were our brothers in faith and God’s chosen people with whom he had a sacred covenant. I was raised in the Episcopal church, which explicitly eschews supersessionism and the teaching of contempt, although I recognize that wasn’t always the case. Coincidentally, my church service today discussed supersessionism and the truth that is found in the Hebrew Bible and the fact that Christianity has undeniable Hebraic roots.

I recently went to Israel with Passages, and we heard a presentation from Dr. Faydra Shapiro. She told us 6 things she wish Jews knew about Christians and 6 things she wishes Christians knew about Jews. Two things that really stood out to me were 1) Jewish people have no reason to understand Christianity in the way that Christians have a responsibility to understand Judaism. Understanding this, it becomes obvious that Jews often misinterpret Christianity. 2) Holy Envy. We can fight antisemitism and forge greater partnerships between Christians and Jews by finding something about the other religion that we are envious of, something we deeply respect.

I think spreading these ideas in our community, and actively speaking against antisemitism and supersessionism is required of us. It takes courage to speak out against a room of people that may disagree with you, but it’s demanded of us in keeping of the way that Jesus lived his life.