How can you work to combat antisemitism and supersessionism in your own Christian community? - Pathfinder

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

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    • #1434
      pathfinderlms
      Keymaster

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

    • #2629
      Jordan Karausky
      Participant

      It seems to me that the best way to combat misinformed theology in one’s daily experience is to have a few ready-made claims memorized, coupled with the ability to unpack those claims, in a friendly, but firm discussion when challenged. One helpful fact found in Dr. McDermott’s lectures is the faulty use of The Parable of the Bad Tenants, cited by past supersessionist theologians to justify their replacement theology. It is clear, especially in light of the horrors of the holocaust, that these claims are not benign abstractions, innocently opined by ivory tower theologians; they are as meaningful as they can be dangerous. Additionally, one could cite the use of supersessionism as justification for the alienation of Jewish Christian and an egregious disregard for the Old Testament scriptures. The level of discord and cognitive dissonance which was borne out in history, is a powerful reason to re-think such theology.

    • #2630

      I am a Roman Catholic and I believe that one of the best ways to combat antisemitism and supersessionism in my church community is to look at the Old Testament and its history. For example, learning about the Second Temple Period, the period in which Jesus walked the earth, is beneficial because we can see the Jewish context, setting, lifestyle, and religion that Jesus grew up in. Furthermore, if we study the Old Testament, we will find that one scholar says something along the lines of “The New Testament is hidden in the Old Testament and the Old Testament is fulfilled by the New Testament.” The Old Testament is the background and foreground of our faith. If we understand it, we come closer to understanding our brothers and sisters in Judaism. We won’t seem as “different.” As a Christian, I actually enjoy the Old Testament more than the New Testament. I like how rich in history it is and I have come to know God in many different ways because of it.

      • #2765
        Samuel Vandeputte
        Participant

        Hey Jacqueline,

        Great perspective! I agree that diving into the Bible to find the Jewish roots of Christianity is very important. Besides the Old Testament, the New Testament has also been almost exclusively written by Jews (at least in an ethnic sense). Probing as to what the biblical basis is for the fulfillment of the old covenant -and then discerning what that actually means- seems crucial to constructively pointing to the Hebraic heritage we share.

        Would you also see a place for contemporary considerations such as the return of the Jewish people to the promised land?

      • #2910
        Hunter Mixon
        Participant

        An excellent way to combat any belief that is hurtful or just wrong is to study the history behind it. Once YOU understand where these beliefs come from you can do a more impactful job of combating that belief. Attempting to change someone’s opinion on a subject is no small feat. Being able to relate to them and bring points to the table that they believe is an efficient way to win them to your side.

      • #3066
        Joshua Johnson
        Participant

        Hi Jacqueline!

        Great perspective! One thing I noticed and find ironic is that the Catholic church has maintained the deuterocanonical books of the Old Testament: the Maccabees, Judith, Tobit, Sirach etc. What is so interesting to me about this fact is that these are all clearly Jewish books from the fourth-first centuries BC! So what’s amazing to me is that the Christian Catholic church holds Jewish books as sacred, whereas the Jewish community did not preserve these particular books! Quite amazing! Maccabees is literally the story of Hanukkah, Judith means “Jewess,” Tobit is about Jewish marriage practices, Sirach is Jewish wisdom literature (from Yeshua/Jesus ben Sirach). I definitely agree with you that the more we study context, the less anti-Semitic we will be. I also hold to the universality and catholicity of the church, which includes our Jewish brethren, with whom gentiles are grafted into the grand “commonwealth of Israel” (according to Paul, Romans 11 and Ephesians 2). Thank you for sharing!

    • #2746
      Shawrath Anthony
      Participant

      I think there are numerous ways to combat antisemitism and supersessionism in my own christian community and I think the first step is being informed and aware of the right theology and truths about the Bible. Being a diligent student of the word is imperative in dispelling wrong narratives about the jews and the land of Israel. I think this Course has done a phenomenal job in explaining to us the right biblical way to view the Jews and Israel.

      Another way would be to be bold and speak up when you hear wrong theology about Israel and not be afraid of the backlash now might face, after all the christian community has persecuted the Jews for hundreds of years and now is the the time to right the wrongs we have done In the past. Off course we need to speak truth in love but we need to speak truth regardless.

      • #3092
        Medgine Present
        Participant

        Hi Shawrath! I like that you spoke of being bold enough to speak up when people spew misinformation regarding Israel theology. I have seen that a lot of people know staying informed is a way to combat antisemitism. But, it is important to share what we learn with others. More importantly, to correct people with gentleness when they are misinformed. I think that is usually an uncomfortable position for most people because it increases social friction.

    • #2764
      Samuel Vandeputte
      Participant

      I think there are several ways.

      First, I want to educate myself as well as possible, both for my own convictions and for my ability to reason and defend the Jewish people from a Christian perspective. Second, we can carry these beliefs out to our family, friends, and church community. Third, I think we can work through our local churches and church governance institutions to advocate for fruitful interfaith relations between Christians and Jews.

      Personally, I have engaged many friends on the topic of supersessionism and I think quite successfully so. A love for the Jewish people, or at least an understanding of the Hebraic worldview, is transformative to our faith and biblical understanding. I have found it to be doable at least to make people (re-)consider the notions that they have uncritically adopted on Israel and the Jewish people. We should, however, not be limited to our immediate neighbors, but rather carry this mission out wherever we find ourselves, including in politics, media, and education.

      • #3114
        Marieliana Cadet
        Participant

        Hi Samuel,

        I enjoyed reading your post on this discussion question. Yes, I agreee with educating yourself on the topic so that it will guide you in your reasoning and also, help with taking the appropriate measure to combating the issues in our own communities. Also, we wouldn’t want to keep the knowledge that we have gained about these issues to ourselves, we would want to share those with our friends, family, and church community.

        Thank you,

        Marieliana Cadet

    • #2908
      Hunter Mixon
      Participant

      I have seen first hand, through friends of mine, that antisemitism is a problem that a lot of time people do not know what they are talking about. The best way to combat this is to explain or try to show that what they are saying simply is not true. Most of the time in Christian communities, going about combating this behavior, in this manner, has the desired result of giving the other side a different way to think about about what they are actually saying. In addition to combating a single person, you have possibly, created second and third orders of effects of combatting antisemitism.

      • #2953
        Sean Moore
        Participant

        You are so right, the best way to do anything, as Jesus showed us, is discipleship. That is how a movement is created that can lead toward more people opposing this anti-jewish hate. Jesus took disciples aside who would be able to then go out and make more disciples. Not only is this how our religion has and will spread, it is also the best way for us to support movements such as support for israel.

    • #2946
      Austin Pellizzer
      Participant

      When trying to educate any community about harmful practices, I think one should take a couple of points to consider as a whole. In particular, concerning antisemitism in one’s Christian community, there are several ways young students, in particular, can approach this topic.
      Firstly, when trying to educate others on the shameful history Christians have played in the roles of antisemitism, one should try and educate themselves by reading, listening, and researching this practice. It is through getting a well-rounded understanding that one can start answering questions and changing people’s perceptions.
      Secondly, get involved in pro-Israel and Jewish cultural clubs on campus to get a better idea of how these communities not just practise but also have the opportunity to appreciate the beauty of Jewish traditions and history.
      Lastly, it sounds silly, but it works. Talk to Jewish students and people. The best way to amend the past is to engage and come to an understanding. In my opinion, engaging with all forms of the Jerwishing community has helped to educate me and pass on knowledge about antisemitism which I have been able to share with others myself.

      • #3259
        Angel Fierro
        Participant

        Hi Austin!

        I really like how you put these into steps I could also follow. I think its important you shared encouraging talking to the jewish community. I think many christians would benfit from learning about the roots of their faith as well as learn about the issues that they face. The issue with superssionism is that it is still prevelant in many communties. I believe by engaging in conversation it can lead to growth and shared wisdom.

        Thanks,

        Angel

    • #2952
      Sean Moore
      Participant

      This is something I have found to partially be connected to political ideology. In general, conservative Christians tend to not take up many issues of the “disenfranchised” but they have always been pro-Jewish. Whereas in general many liberal Christians tend to take the issues of disenfranchised people seriously, but do not take the issues of the Jewish peoples seriously. Instead, they focus wholly on the Palestinian Arabs. I think that main way to approach this si to point out to liberal Christians that the Jews are hands down the most abused minority in history. No one has been more hated anywhere they go then the Jews.

      On the other hand, to those primarily conservative Christians who believe in supersessionism, this is a different issue where they deny God’s covenant with the Jew’s still stands. It obviously does. Think about this, how could a group, that was exiled all throughout Europe for 2 thousand years, hold on to their culture despite everyone hating them. There is no other example of that, a religious minority, who was forced out of their native lands but their religion survives intact for 2,000 years. That in itself should be proof enough some part of God’s covenant and protection is still in effect.

      • #3447
        Lillian Gillespie
        Participant

        Sean, What a good point. I think so much of this division comes down to lack engagement and contextual knowledge. It seems in our culture that Jews are more vilified than other groups because people want to signal they are on the right side of the issue. Unlike when other groups are attacked, there is often little accountability. I think this is because (in America at least) of perceived success of Jewish people in our culture. Like you, I think the fraught, politically-motivated attacks of this religious minority might be tied to the continual acknowledgement of the Jews as God’s chosen people.

    • #2987

      I think combating antisemitism in our Christian communities starts with humility. We need a humility to listen when our friends and family preach false theology or propagate harmful myths. Personally, I try to ask intentional questions and, in doing so, get people around me to honestly question the things they say.

      Often, we simply regurgitate what others have told us to believe. I would venture to say that most of the antisemitism and supersessionism I’ve heard in my life is simply ignorance. By asking honest questions and seeking to empathize – while not giving up ground or agreeing to false narratives – others are forced to grapple with their words.

      So I think it starts with educating yourself (myself). Then it moves to cultivating humility and honest curiosity. Then you have to develop a spine. Without courage, we won’t speak up. We have to build confidence and be unafraid to seek and support Truth.

      One of my favorite quotes is a MLK Jr quote: “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it.” As long as we side on the sideline as others spew supersessionist beliefs, we’re complicit in their beliefs.

      • #3108
        Benjamin Comire
        Participant

        Hello, John, and thank you for sharing! I agree with you that humility is a key component of this work to engage with our Jewish neighbors. The Church has done much damage to the Jewish community, and this knowledge alone should humble us and cause us to want to correct our past course of action as a body of believers by respecting, valuing, and uplifting Jews. We should come to their aid, learn from them, and have meaningful dialogue that helps us learn from each other and honors God.

      • #3178
        Sarah Victor
        Participant

        Yes I think it is important to approach any dialogue with humility. I have found engaging with history is critical to a deeper understanding of the pain caused by antisemitism and the role so-called Christian communities have played either actively or passively in cultivating environments where antisemitism has flourished. I appreciate you mentioning that the learning process should lead to a courageous response. This could span from supporting our Jewish friends in social situations where they are attacked for being Jewish to the content we share in our public platforms, boldly standing up to hate regardless of the hate we ourselves may receive in response.

    • #3050

      Whenever we as Christians are confronted with conflicts or tough decision making situations, it is prudent to ask ourselves, “What does our faith say about this?” Jesus stated in his teachings, “I’ve come to change the law but fulfill it.”
      So we understand that Jesus was respecter of laws (basically Jewish custom), thereby leaving us an example to he world.
      To practically combat anti-Semitism and supersessionism in my community as a Christian is to first be acquainted with history of Judai-Christianity and use my biblical knowledge to educate youths. Much of anti-Semitism and supersessionism comes from lack of knowledge about Judaism of which Christianity has its root.
      So we must do justice to history and the political implications of the subject matter and thereby use our experience to resolve this crisis, and honesty in making sure that the historical truth is taught to my immediate associates all the time.

    • #3065
      Joshua Johnson
      Participant

      I think the way to combat antisemitism and supersessionism is to recognize it comes in two forms (well, besides “hard” and “soft”): essentially (1) prejudice against human beings, and (2) theological supersessionism.

      The first is combated easily enough through getting people to befriend Jews or hear their side of the story. This can also include educating people about the Holocaust and showing people documentaries, the human interest stories to ignite their pathos. Once you understand someone and their motivations, it’s harder for you to judge them negatively. Getting to know real, leaving Jews and also learning about Jews of the past and studying Jewish history is key in this regard.

      Secondly is much more difficult. Essentially, to fully combat supersessionism, one must systematically dismantle supersessionist interpretations of Scripture through proper bible teaching and understanding context. One key part of this is education. As many of the comments above suggests, when a Christian finds out the view they’ve been taught is anti-Jewish or supersessionist, they will normally be shocked and realize that’s not the best view to have. Another key is context. So much of the Bible is read without context. And you don’t even need a Master’s degree in biblical interpretation to do so. You just have to be an astute reader of the Bible. When you realize that the whole Bible is about Jews, and every book of the Bible is written by Jews (and also for Jews, in many cases – possibly with the exception of Luke the physician, who may have been Jewish or gentile), and that Christianity is a Jewish religion, that is, a religion that originated inside of Judaism, the better. Gentiles who read the Scripture are actually looking at someone else’s scripture, but thankfully, Gentiles are grafted in to the commonwealth of Israel and are inheritors of the promise of Abraham, alongside the natural branches. When people begin to see this commonality and unity lived out as Jews and Christians walk together under Messiah Yeshua, lives will be changed.

      • #3418
        Kacie Marks
        Participant

        Hey Joshua, I enjoyed reading your post and I appreciate how you broke up your points. I agree that building relationships and understanding between Jews and Christians is the initial way to combat antisemitism. I think that much of Jewish history is neglected in our schools, and even in our Churches. Personally, before I traveled to Israel with Passages, I did not know much about Jewish culture and did not have any Jewish friends. Once I had the education and opportunity to connect with/learn from Jewish and Israeli people, I gained a huge desire to see flourishing Jewish-Christian relations. It is truly such a beautiful thing and it is exciting to be a part of what God is doing through people/organizations like Philos!

    • #3073
      Donna Molloy
      Participant

      I believe the best way is through education and a focus back in the Hebraic world view to rebuild relationships with the Jewish communities. This lack of understanding that the Old Testament has its routes in Judaism and as Christians we need to understand to better draw from the New Testament teachings is what is lost right now. This comes with maturity as a Christian and something I myself have had to come to a better knowledge of and the more I read the more it just makes sense. Also my work with the Jewish communities gives me more opportunities to ask questions.

    • #3091
      Medgine Present
      Participant

      First I can help combat antisemitism and supersessionism by educating myself on the history while also sharing what I know with others. Additionally, being careful with how we teach the younger generation about Jesus’s death is important. We need to make sure to not blame anyone because at the end of the day, it was in God’s will for Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. This story again proves that God never lets any bad moment be used for evil but he uses it for good.

      Additionally, I think it would be helpful to have conversations with Jewish people. Sometimes we hold these preconceived notions about people and their ideas. We generalize them and assume we understand their perspective based on information shared with us or based on assumptions. Having a conversation with Jewish people and seeking to understand them and their culture is a great way to connect on a smaller scale.

      • #3105
        Benjamin Comire
        Participant

        Hi, Medgine, thank you for sharing! I think you are so right that education is a critical piece of working against antisemitism. I also think it can sometimes be tough to reach out to Jewish neighbors for fear of saying the wrong thing or feeling uncomfortable. In my experience, my Jewish neighbors are eager and delighted to have me around them and glad that Christians are motivated to learn and act against antisemitism!

      • #3113
        Marieliana Cadet
        Participant

        Hi Medgine,

        I agree with you when you said that first to help you combat antisemitism and supersessionism is by educating yourself. I strongly believe that education should be the first step that we all take when wanting to fight something that is causing a problem in our community. We must be educated on such topics in order to take the approriate steps to overcoming such obstacles. I enjoyed reading your reading piece on this discussion question.

        Thank you,

        Marieliana Cadet

      • #3157
        Tanner Hauck
        Participant

        Hi Medgine, thank you for your thoughtful response. I especially enjoyed the point you made about being intentional about what we teach the next generations of Christian leaders. I really resonated with this as a teacher myself, our approach needs to correct current wrongs but also should be proactive in nature ensuring there are less wrongs to correct in the future.

        I agree conversations are a productive route to combatting antisemitism as well. I think engaging in a conversation with Jewish individuals regarding their experiences with antisemitism is daunting but ultimately fruitful and insightful. Hearing from the source is always better than third party.

    • #3104
      Benjamin Comire
      Participant

      For me, I know that I can work to combat antisemitism and supersessionism in my Christian community by working to educate my fellow Christians about the importance of the Jewish people, their unique identity, and stressing the value of reaching out to them in solidarity as a positive Christian presence. Too often, Christians neglect to think of our Jewish neighbors and we often do not act to improve their lives when we have the opportunity and responsibility to do so. I see a lot of complacency in my Christian community that prevents people from engaging with the Jewish community, so I am currently working to wake people up to the reality of our Jewish neighbors who can benefit from our love, support, and intentionality. My hope and prayer is that things will change with time, and I know God is working to do just that.

    • #3112
      Marieliana Cadet
      Participant

      Learning that both antisemitism and supersessionism are faced in many Christian communities, not just my own have pushed me to want seek out and learn ways to fight these and overcome them. However, to combat these two issues, I must first start with myself. Educating myself about antisemitism and suppersessionism. Also, have a clear understanding of those terms and if have to, I will consider maybe taking a course on those following topis. It is with my education that I can begin to educate those around me about those concepts and come up with ways to combating them. But also, standing firm and confidence with the truth that I’ve learned and boldy sharing with others around me especially, with the younger population that way they will begin to at a younger age to influence the generation coming after them.
      Education is one of the first step for me to taking initiatives to combating antisemitism and suppersessionism in my own Christian community.

    • #3134
      Loncey Elie
      Participant

      Antisemitism is an issue that has been occurring in the past, is happening right now, and will happen in the future. In every situation, there needs to be a solution and in order to combat this problem, violence should not be the answer. The main way to solve this issue is communication. Communication is key because by listening to others and getting an understanding of their needs creates peace. To be able to solve situations in peace is good in the long term run because everyone is on the same page depite the differences. As Christians, anything we do has to be done in love so anything that opposes harm and creates destruction is something that is not tolerable. These problems will continue to arise, but the way in which we combat these issues has to be solved in a way that creates unity. It will be tough to tackle these issues in reality, but the world should strive to promote ways that brings peace. I personally will have conversations with students at my college campuses where it is open-minded to listen to all perspectives. By doing this, clarity will occur and ideas will be created that respects all views in order to tackle this issue.

    • #3156
      Tanner Hauck
      Participant

      I can work to combat antisemitism and supersessionism in my own community by being intentional about the way I speak about Israel and Jewish people and listening thoughtfully to the way others speak about Israel and Jewish people – and engaging in productive conversations when antisemitism or supersessionism arise. I’m fortune to attend a church that recognizes the importance of Israel and the Jewish people to our faith but I know my experience is not universal for Christians. I will reach out to my old YoungLife leader to hear his thoughts and what that organization teaches about Israel and the Jewish population. In my past I’ve worked with on campus Hillel groups, my student government, and JNF to promote positive views of Israel and the Jewish people through storytelling and community engagement. So often Israel and the Jewish people are only viewed through a political lens which strips them of much of their humanity. We would host traditional Israeli dinners near thanksgiving for people to engage with the Jewish community on campus through food. Getting people eating and around the table proved to be really effective and simply by building that strengthened network I hope we were able to combat antisemitism and empower others to do the same.

    • #3175
      Sarah Victor
      Participant

      I think it is important to speak about the history of antisemitism within Christian communities, and this is something I do frequently. The fact that I work for a nonprofit that addresses antisemitism often opens up conversations on this topic, and knowing the history within different Christian denominations as well as countries that have had a population that was majority Christian is a vital component of changing the dynamic. Unfortunately, I come across many who do not even know what antisemitism is, or who assume that it is a historical fact that is no longer a problem. We need to hold our individual communities accountable to addressing wrongful rhetoric and actions taken not just in the past, but also in the present. Antisemitic tropes such as blood libels are resurrected from their use centuries ago, poisoning young minds and old alike. Knowing the historical threads makes this advocacy much more powerful.

    • #3260
      Angel Fierro
      Participant

      On this topic, I think about the spanish speaking community. There are not many rescources that effectively translate books about this topic. I still often hear that a chruch is the “new israel”. When I do I often suggestion books for the pastor to read or to look over, because I find the situation often hard to teach in one conversation. I have had success in sharing books, but not every book I liked to recommend is translated correctly with contect of the language in mind. I think maybe working on how to combat, I may attempt to write a lesson plan in spanish or translate one I know the author for. I hope this can help the latino and spanish speaking community, because I know that type of teach is still very popular. I believe this will help introduce to christians to the topic of antisemitism and how to combat it.

      • #3357
        Griffin Weiss
        Participant

        Hello Angel,

        I appreciate your idea to reach Spanish speakers with important information about this issue. I think that we need more people like you who have good ideas and are willing to take initiative to make them happen. Because antisemitism is so hard to teach on or even talk about, perhaps the best way to do it is to start with a dive into the history of the Jewish people and let their history do the talking, let listeners and readers be confronted with true antisemitism in times past, this may open them up to see more modern exhibits of it. This is just a thought, and regardless, cross-language and cross-cultural translation is so important!

    • #3356
      Griffin Weiss
      Participant

      To best combat antisemitism and supersessionism in my own community, I think that the answer has to be open, two-sided conversations. Education, reading, and news/media engagement are all important to different degrees, but we tend to not get anywhere if we are not a community that is talking about the hard things. For me, several years ago, I was very ignorant about much of the nuance and detail in the history of the modern Israeli state and the Arab-Israeli conflict. Having coffee with a friend one Saturday, somehow it got brought up, and he, being well-versed on the matter and living in the Near East for a time as well, was very gracious in challenging some of my misconceptions, listening to what I thought as well, and plainly having an important conversation. He couldn’t explain every detail to me, and he knew that would be fruitless, so instead of trying that or just sharing his opinions, he just tried to give me a different perspective and launched me into a journey of learning and many more conversations. I think these types of moments are the best way to impact my local community.

    • #3380
      Miriam Cavanaugh
      Participant

      Like many other in this forum I do believe that firstly education about Judaism and secondly being exposed to our jewish friends is crucial in forming good christian-jewish dialogue. Education about Judaism thus must be an ongoing process for me personal, as a Christian I must first learn more about the religion and people that our Lord and Saviour was born into, before I can share my acquired knowledge with my friends and fellow Christians.
      I personally think that, as the family is the nucleus of the society, I should first and foremost teach my children about the Jews as our “older brothers” in the faith. Fostering good and educated conversations around the dinner table about similar topics can have a wide-ranging effect.
      Secondly, concerning exposition to the jewish faith, I can either go on my own, or take my whole family to a synagogue, or to a shabbat evening and experience the beauty of their religion while keeping my eyes open towards similarities in our beliefs.

      Another thought I just had is that celebrating a christian-adapted version of shabbat on Friday nights with the family is also a beautiful way of honouring our jewish roots.

      • #3419
        Kacie Marks
        Participant

        Hi Miriam, I love your ideas to honor the Jewish roots of our Savior! I also like the analogy that the Jews are our older siblings in the faith. After traveling to Israel with Passages, I was struck by the beauty of Shabbat and worshiping God through rest. It encouraged me to practice a Sabbath in my own walk. I am also inspired to reach out to my local synoguage and attend a Shabbat service. Thanks for sharing and happy new year!

    • #3390
      Iliana Owen-Alcala
      Participant

      I find that it is very important to constantly fight against antisemitism because Jews are our older siblings and our traditions come from theirs. The Christian community needs to understand that and appreciate their traditions. My church at my college works with our local Hillel to host events. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to learn from each other and interact in a way that we most likely would not have done. There are a few clubs on my campus, such as the pro-Israel club, which are great to go to. I am part of my campus’ Young Americans for Freedom chapter, and we love to work with the Jewish groups because we hold many of the same values.

    • #3417
      Kacie Marks
      Participant

      I plan to combat supersessionism and antisemitism in my local Church by learning alongside other believers about the Jewish context of the Bible and of Jesus, our Savior. Romans 11 is such an important passage to point towards. Paul says, “Now if some of the branches were broken off, and you, though a wild olive branch, were grafted in among them and have come to share in the rich root of the cultivated olive tree, do not boast that you are better than those branches. But if you do boast—you do not sustain the root, but the root sustains you” (Romans 11:17-18). We have been grafted into the olive tree of God’s people. How can we understand what that means if we don’t understand and see our place in the story of God’s people? Christianity is born from Judaism and we worship the Jewish Messiah. Understanding Jewish culture helps us to better under the origins of our faith and come to know Jesus more deeply. Additionally, we are able to point to scripture beginning with Genesis that shows God plans to bless the world through Israel. I think that in modern America, the historical roots of the Bible can feel distant and almost mythological in many Christian circles. Combatting antisemitism begins with knowing that God is a God of both the particular and the universal from start to finish. Jesus cares about more than our philosophical or religious ideas. He actually walked this Earth and slept under the same sky as us and participated in Jewish culture, and cares most about developing personal relationship with all who would call on his name in faith. I think many people in America have few interactions with Jewish people and antisemitism can be combatted by opening the door to relationships between Jews and Christians in my community. I hope to grow in this in 2023!

    • #2627
      Jordan Karausky
      Participant

      It is a scary notion that it is somehow a good reason not to teach about events like the Holocaust because it is offensive. It’s offensiveness is plainly the only reason for teaching about it! Learning about the horrors of history is not supposed to be congenial to one’s current sense of well-being. I cannot understand how discomfort is not justification for teaching students about such events. Keep up the good work Thomas!

    • #2628
      Jordan Karausky
      Participant

      Thanks for the comment Cara! I am also one of those Christians who assumed the Jewishness of Christianity. Until I did some research I always assumed the antisemitism of the church was a small minority of outliers. I too was shocked to learn about claims by Martin Luther and John Chrysostom. Combatting that dangerous misinformation needs to be at the top of our to-do list as Christian leaders!

    • #2631

      Hi Hans! I find it interesting that you mention your studies in Theology and History of Christianity do not include contemporary Jews. It is sort of like hidden antisemitism. I took a class in the Politics of the Middle East and the class obviously focused on the Palestinian side. My professor did not criticize Israel and the Jews, but he was silent about it. That is why I am glad to be taking this course, so I may see Jewish thought and practices.

    • #2738
      Mitchell Schwab
      Participant

      Hello, Hans.

      I enjoyed reading your insights pertaining to this issue. I have been often shocked and appalled at the viewpoints of many of my Christian friends towards Jews, Judaism, and Israel. I believe anti-semitism is, unfortunately, on the rise across the globe. I think the Philos Project is leading the charge in combatting this anti-semitic movement. Truthful education and empathetic dialogue is the first step. Similar to the pharisees in Jesus’ day, tradition is our biggest enemy. When the masses view tradition as doctrine, conversion to a new way of thinking becomes astronomically more difficult.

    • #2921
      Christian Brehmer
      Participant

      Hi Hans, that’s awesome to hear that although you’re not around a large Jewish community that you have still found ways to build friendship through hosting Israelis. I also like your analogy of the two being brothers, and the importance of leaving behind the belief of spiritual superiority

    • #2632

      Hi Mary,

      I think your statement that it all starts with education is a good one. I also agree with the need for education, which is why I am writing novels, novellas, and short stories about the Jewish people in the Bible. My goal is to creatively teach readers about issues like antisemitism and the history of Christianity and Judaism in a fictional, but true style. I hope it will be an enjoyable read and educate my readers without them even realizing it because it is so fun!

    • #2684
      Evan Crain
      Participant

      I grew up in a conservative Christian community, which is very much pro-Jew and pro-state of Israel, so I’ve not encountered antisemitism. At the same time, I’ve also not encountered many Jews (or at least, practicing Jews) and wouldn’t know what connection, if any, I should share with them. Education, such as this course, is particularly useful in helping understand the historical connections and build relationships. And, as you mention, expose/understand the antisemitism that is pervasive but I haven’t personally seen.

    • #2909
      Hunter Mixon
      Participant

      This is an excellent way to show different ways of thinking about topics that typically do not get enough time within Christian circles. I always find it easiest to not talk at people about tough situations but opening a dialogue with them and speaking with them, as opposed speaking to them.

    • #2988

      Thanks Mary – great response. It’s so easy for “out of sight, out of mind,” to be our default state of thinking. Personally, I wasn’t even remotely connected to a Jewish community in rural NC growing up. So our conversations and discussions about Judaism was generally theological and historical.

      It’s amazing how easy it is to completely be oblivious to the suffering of others when they’re not in our tribe, and how easy it is to ignore those in our tribe when they say false things about people we don’t particularly care about or know in a personal way.

    • #2747
      Shawrath Anthony
      Participant

      Hey Gabriel,

      I really appreciate your willingness and desire to reach out the local jewish community in your area, I really commend you for that. I also really appreciate how you recognize the need for the body of Christ to understand the jewish roots of our christian faith and then call us to actively particpate in furthering our education and knowledge about the roots of our faith.

      Hopefully in the coming days we do see people actively engaging in the same and strengthing jewish – christian relations.

    • #2989

      Yes! I love your honesty Gabriel. I have not been intentional about reaching out and supporting Jewish communities in my city. I think the only way to start combating antisemitism in our own communities is for each of us individually to acknowledge, honestly, what we haven’t done enough and that we don’t know as much about our neighbors as we should.

      It many ways it’s comforting to see a reply, yours, that starts with a mild confession. My reply too should start the same. Thanks!

    • #3093
      Medgine Present
      Participant

      Hi Gabriel! I loved reading through your response. I have always mentioned to my friends how I wished as people who serve the same God we could come together more. Obviously, there are some important points where people may differ in comprehension and interpretation. However, the parts that we certainly share, we should be comfortable with sharing those parts with each other. I think that kind of cooperation sends a huge message to the world.

    • #2748
      Shawrath Anthony
      Participant

      Hey Yasmin,

      I really appreciate your ongoing willingness and desire to continue your own personal education and growth regarding your knowledge of Israel and the Jewish people. I think self education is crucial in a world that doesn’t always stand with the truth. I also like how you said that change starts with you and then goes outwards. I truly hope that you are able to continue in this fight of dispelling the lies and standing up for truth.

    • #2943

      Hi Yasmin, I agree with you – educating ourselves about antisemitism first is the key to combating it. The more we learn, the more prepared we will be to defend our stance on this topic. Knowledge will also help us challenge our own antisemetic beliefs, whether or not we are conscious of them. Change begins with us and it is great to see you that you are already involved on campus already with SSI. Attending these events as a non-Jew itself shows solidarity with the Jews, which is a great way to support our Jewish community.

    • #2766
      Samuel Vandeputte
      Participant

      Hey Ashley,

      I appreciate your points here! I like the connection between God’s promises and empirical reality, as affirmed by Lord Ashley. This way, you link biblical prophesies with the observable facts in our day and age.

      I do wonder how you would react to people separating the spiritual from the purely material, observable. For example, one could make the observation that Jews prosper and help the cities where they live to prosper, purely from empirical observation. What then, would someone conclude if they look at it merely through secular lenses? How important is the lens you look through anyways?

    • #2922
      Christian Brehmer
      Participant

      Hi Ana, I agree. I think education is key to combat anti-semitism. From the crusades to the Shoah, to modern day we’ve seen how ignorance helps perpetrate violence. Only through education and friendships can we start to break down the walls of ignorance.

    • #2923
      Christian Brehmer
      Participant

      Hi Ana, I agree. I think education is key to combat anti-semitism. From the crusades to the Shoah, to modern day we’ve seen how ignorance helps perpetrate violence. Only through education and friendships can we start to break down the walls of ignorance.

    • #2947
      Austin Pellizzer
      Participant

      Hey John Ryan,

      I think you have touched on an excellent and interesting point that not many people today address. A good portion of the antisemitism that I have heard about, especially within the American context, is not coming from Christians as a whole but rather from another predominant faith which seems to have an entrenched culture of antisemitism attached to it. While we, of course, do not like to paint with a broad brush a whole community, a first step is to have an open and honest conversation about who is committing the vast majority of these antisemitic incidents, why they are and finally, how can we as a society move forward. I genuinely think it is the best way to address the antisemitic elephant in the room.

    • #3158
      Tanner Hauck
      Participant

      Hey John Ryan, I appreciate your candidacy as you shared your experience combatting antisemitism. I agree with you that addressing the issue when it arises is the best tactic. Being communicative and upfront on topics like this signal to the other person the firmness of your belief and provide a better foundation for productive educational conversations – they’re less likely to try and bully you out of the conversation. Additionally, I appreciated your insight about the overlap of Christian and Jewish value for love and respect. I think revolving around similarities and common wants assists in having more productive coversation.

    • #2954
      Sean Moore
      Participant

      It is strange that a certain group of the population has always felt some type of pull to radicalisms, in either the society or in politics. I wonder if this type of radaclism is just part of our human issue, like maybe it is ingrained in us spiritually. That could explain why certain things like January 6 tend to happen repeatedly. The only way this ill be completely snuffed out is if God returns. until then, we have to continue to approve these things ourselves, and to the best we can.

    • #3258
      Angel Fierro
      Participant

      Hi Taylor!

      I agree with your thoughts and really liked how you brought up Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Its important we learn about the actions leaders took in this manner and also follow them similarily. I think about the hispanic community alot on this topic because of the “new israel” idea. Its really hard sometimes to explain things but then I think that maybe learning how to combat this is by encouraging them to read and also sharing books with them that are translated to their language. I hope you keep your voice loud and proud when speaking against antisemetism. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

      Angel

    • #3381
      Miriam Cavanaugh
      Participant

      Hello Gabriel,

      I am impressed by your determination and courage to join both clubs, knowing that you could be banned from the Pro Palestine group when they find out that you are a part of the Tikvah group. Also – thanks for bringing Dietrich Bonhoeffer up, my husband recently read a biography about him and shared a lot from his thoughts and life with me. I am so impressed by the courage of my fellow countryman, that he went to the war in Germany to stand up for the truth when he could have stayed safely in the US.

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