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Anti-Semitism in the Church, by Kevin Williams

As we begin this topic on anti-Semitism in the church, the body of Christ, please understand that at times I may sound harsh. I am not harsh. I ask many questions for the purpose of making people think introspectively, to review their own actions and attitudes, and this can be a difficult task. I pray that the Holy Spirit, even now, is lifting a veil from your heart and opening you to this message of hope and redemption.

Ask any number of Christians today, “Are you anti-Semitic?” and you will receive a resounding “no!” in response. Many churches and denominations embrace Israel and its place in these end days. In an age when biblical prophecy comes to pass almost daily, it is difficult to ignore the role of Israel and the Jewish community in end time events. Most believers today will tell you that they love the Jews and are, for the most part, pro-Israel.

This is well and good. Truly, we can see that God has many things yet to accomplish through the Jewish people.

However, the Spirit of the Lord is moving on many Christians, prompting them to repent of the sin of anti-Semitism. With a confessed pro-Israeli doctrine, this leaves many believers mystified, scratching their heads wondering, “Okay Lord, how?”

The general modus operendi is to look at current events. What have we committed or omitted that would prompt the Holy Spirit to reveal such a word of knowledge? Many look for clues in their government’s role during the World War II era, and its blind eye toward the plight of Europe’s Jewry. The Holocaust was a tragedy that goes beyond any tongue’s ability to describe. We watch death camp films and wonder if this is from what God wants us to repent. Certainly, if believers turned their heads and looked the other way, there is culpability and repentance is in order.

I believe there is more to it than governmental actions during the reign of the Third Reich. The “church”—as secular as it may have been over the centuries—has a long history of persecuting God’s Chosen People. Hundreds of years and millions of Jewish lives have been squandered in the name of “Christ.”

That was then, and this is now. It is my opinion that God is calling us to examine our churches and congregations. Is anti-Semitism in the camp? At first glance it is easy to say, “no.” But I think that if we scratch below the surface a little, we’ll find that all we have been applying is a secular standard to the question. Do we believe in the extermination of Jews? No. Do we agree with the Nazi “final solution?” No. In the post holocaust years, do we acknowledge that the Jews should have a Jewish homeland? Yes. Do we acknowledge that the Jews have been unfairly persecuted over the centuries and that this practice must not be allowed to darken our doors again—even in the smallest degree? Yes.

If these are our only definition of anti-Semitism, then we agree wholeheartedly with the United Nations and the Anti-defamation League.

What Definition Does God Use?

Does the Bible use a secular standard to measure godly principles? It does not. Though a good beginning, we cannot limit our definition of anti-Semitism to the world’s standard. If we do, we can only hope to create a surface, feel-good penitence that might make people feel like they are doing something, but will it accomplish true repentance? Will it accomplish all that God is looking for?

It seems that if we wish to be true to the Spirit’s calling, to be obedient to the call of the Most High God “to repent of anti-Semitism,” then our desire will be to willingly place ourselves on the examination table. Exploratory surgery is unpleasant, but is often the only way to get at the heart of some cancers.

Before we lay down on the table, however, we might do well to try and figure out who stands to gain if the body of Messiah is anti-Semitic, even in what may seem like insignificant matters.

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Category: Ministry

About the Author: Kevin M. Williams, Litt.D., H.L.D. has served in Messianic ministries since 1987 and has written numerous articles and been a featured speaker at regional and international conferences on Messianic Judaism.

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