Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

A Christian in a World Filled with Jew-hatred

As Christians, we may ask ourselves, why does deep-seated antisemitism persist today? This ancient evil has resurfaced in countless and horrific ways throughout history. So how should Christians respond to the rising tide of antisemitism today?

To be clear, antisemitism is not merely hatred against the Jewish people or the State of Israel. It is a spiritual battle rooted in resistance against God and His promises. 

We know that this battle reaches all the way back to Genesis 3:15. God had a plan to deal with humanity’s sin and to crush the head of the enemy. This, in turn, brought hostility between the seed line of God’s promises and the adversary, Satan.   

God sovereignly chose Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and ultimately the Jewish people to bring forth His plan of salvation. Since then, the battle for God’s purposes, intertwined with His covenant promises, rages on.

The Spiritual Force Behind Antisemitism

We must recognize the spiritual nature of antisemitism, as demonic forces inspire it.

In 2 Corinthians 10, the apostle Paul reminds us that, “although we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.” 

We may not like it, but the truth is that we are in a battle until Jesus returns. Not a battle of words or politics or opposing armies – but a spiritual war. 

We desperately need discernment to recognize the spiritual forces behind current events and to counter antisemitism. To do that, we need to rely on the truth of the Word of God as our interpretive lens, not social media or other voices. Like the sons of Issachar, we want to “understand the times to know what Israel ought to do.”  

In Ephesians 6, we’re reminded that the war is not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces of wickedness. We are called to take up spiritual weapons of warfare and fight the good fight of faith. 

Prayer – Christian Weapon Against Antisemitism

Do you know what our most powerful weapon is? Prayer. And especially, agreeing with God in prayer. Prayer has the power to disarm the hatred and violence behind antisemitism. It can change perspectives and open hearts to love.

Derek Prince, a trusted Bible teacher said, “Through prayer, we can literally demolish spiritual strongholds.”

Reese Howells was a Welshman and a man of dedicated prayer. His prayers had a major impact during WW2. He said, “The cost of true intercession is a broken heart.” 

Yes, hatred against the Jewish people should break our hearts and compel us to love what God loves. 

But throughout the Bible, God promises to preserve His people and restore Israel, even in times of persecution. God’s story of redemption isn’t over, so neither is Israel’s.

“Do I Genuinely Care?”

Sadly, Replacement Theology and even antisemitism in the Church have hindered the gospel. To the point where many Jews associate Jesus with atrocities like pogroms, the Crusades, the Inquisition, and even the Holocaust. The fractured history of Jewish-Christian relations has prevented many Jewish people from seeing the true face of Christ.

So, how do we heal such deep wounds? The Church today must actively challenge hatred in the opposite spirit of love. A love that truly reflects the heart of God.

In the rising tide of antisemitism, we have to ask ourselves, “Do I care? Do I love what God loves? Am I concerned for the Jewish people?”  

As believers, we all should care and be concerned. The future of the Church – Jew and Gentile – is that Jesus is coming back for His bride. The Jewish Messiah will return to Jerusalem. 

And it’s important to recognize that Israel isn’t just a prophetic timepiece to shift into place so that Jesus can return. The Jewish people are still a distinct part of God’s plan, His enduring love, and promises that are connected to all of humanity’s hope for redemption.

Christian Role in Fighting Antisemitism

Loving Israel and the Jewish people should be the most natural thing for us as Christians. And this doesn’t imply that we hate any other people group. God’s love extends to all. 

We long for the day when all nations come to know the hope we have in Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Through compassionate witness and Christlike love, believers can remove stumbling blocks to the gospel.

How? This kind of love requires both words and action. The Church has a proactive role to play against antisemitism and to oppose anti-Jewish ideology wherever it surfaces – whether in extremist groups, university campus movements, or even in streams of Christian theology.

Never Again?

Elie Wiesel, an author and survivor of Auschwitz, said, “The opposite of love is not hate; it’s indifference. The opposite of beauty is not ugliness; it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy; it’s indifference.”

Over the years, many have asked, “How could something as horrible as the Holocaust ever happen?” In response to this question, the famous Holocaust historian Yehuda Bauer said, “Simply, because it could.” 

Not everyone took part in the evil of those days. But many were complicit or enabled the antisemitic agenda with their indifference and inaction.

It can be easy for us to judge that generation and think, we would for sure have stood on the right side of history. But history is happening today, right before our eyes!

Taking Action Against Jew-hatred

Sadly, the Church has often remained silent in the face of hatred. Like the Levite in the parable of the good Samaritan, may we not “pass by” hurting Israel. The Jewish community needs believers to lovingly stand with them during this difficult time. 

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

Thankfully, many denominations have rejected Replacement Theology and denounced antisemitism since the Holocaust. The Church, learning from history, can stand strong today against all forms of Jew hatred. 

We can follow the example of Christian leaders like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who courageously stood up against the Nazis at the risk of his own life. Frustrated at the inaction of much of the German Church in his day, Bonhoeffer said, “Silence in the face of evil is evil itself. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”  Clearly, indifference itself is a choice.

Christlike Love for the Jewish People

Have we in any way been silent or indifferent? If so, we can choose a different path forward. In the rising tide of antisemitism today, we have an opportunity to model Christlike love toward the Jewish people. 

How?

We can DISCERN the true spiritual nature of this conflict. 

Each one of us can walk in LOVE and stand righteously with Israel and the Jewish people. 

We can build relationships with the Jewish community by LISTENING to them and LEARNING from their experiences. 

We can each use our sphere of influence to SPEAK out against all forms of antisemitism, including within the Church.

As hard as it may be, we can choose to live with courage and conviction to PROTECT Jewish communities against violence and harassment.

We can SUPPORT local believers in Israel and gospel-centered ministries.

Above all, we should PRAY for and PROCLAIM God’s faithful promises for Israel and the Jewish people.

No Room for Antisemitism in a Christian’s Life

In the days ahead, it may not be easy to stand with God’s covenant purposes for Israel and the Jewish people. Yet, Christians are among the few remaining friends of Israel in a world of antisemitism and many enemies.  

As the tide of Jew-hatred surges, we face an important choice – to remain silent or to actively combat that hatred. Will we be the ones who look evil in the face and say, “Never Again”? 

The Church has a crucial role to stand strong against antisemitism through prayer, moral clarity, and a compassionate witness that reflects God’s enduring love for His people.

Uprooting an Ancient Hatred: What You Need to Know about Antisemitism – Free Video + PDF Guide Mini-series

What do you need to know about antisemitism? Find out in this unique 4-part mini-series that our education department developed especially for you.

What is antisemitism? Why the rise in Jew-hatred today?

History of antisemitism: Is this a part of Christianity?

Antisemitism today

How the Church can fight antisemitism

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