The Journey Away From Anti-Semitism
This subject is a tough one for me to search out. At first blush I would say I’m not anti-Semitic. Who me?! Of course not! I love the Jews, and Israel. But I kept noticing certain thoughts would pop up, in my thinking, that caused some of my Jewish friends to pause. Which therefore caused me to do more thinking. More research.
“That’s TOO Jewish.”
“They follow man-made laws.”
Just 2 thoughts, I’ve personally had in this journey of faith. I am the last person to think that I hold any anti-Semitism in my heart. I come from 2 parents who wholeheartedly loved and supported Israel and her people. But the more I research into my own faith and into history itself, the more I’ve realized just how deep this anti-jewsish feeling goes. It goes right into the heart of the early Christian church fathers, themselves. Is it any surprise then, that the faith that emerges from these men carries the subtleties of anti-Semitism?
*Ignatius Bishop of Antioch (98-117A.D.) – Epistle to the Magnesians
For if we are still practicing Judaism, we admit that we have not received God’s favor…it is wrong to talk about Jesus Christ and live like Jews. For Christianity did not believe in Judaism, but Judaism in Christianity.
*John Chrysostom (344-407 A.D.) – One of the “greatest” of church fathers; known as “The Golden Mouthed.” A missionary preacher famous for his sermons and addresses.
The synagogue is worse than a brothel…it is the den of scoundrels and the repair of wild beasts…the temple of demons devoted to idolatrous cults…the refuge of brigands and dabauchees, and the cavern of devils. It is a criminal assembly of Jews…a place of meeting for the assassins of Christ… a house worse than a drinking shop…a den of thieves, a house of ill fame, a dwelling of iniquity, the refuge of devils, a gulf and a abyss of perdition.”…”I would say the same things about their souls… As for me, I hate the synagogue…I hate the Jews for the same reason.
From “The Roots of Christian Anti-Semitism” by Malcolm Hay
With such a foundation as this, with such men as these, forming the new religion called Christianity, there was woven into the structure and belief that to be Jewish was to be evil. To be Jewish, was to be the worst possible thing ever. Upon further research, I found the following quotes, and when I read them, my heart broke.
*…the personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil assumes the living shape of the Jew.
-Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf)
*Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: ‘by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.’
-Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf)
I’m sure you can imagine my outrage, my knee-jerk reaction, to finding that Hitler’s statements echoed the early church fathers statements. My my belief system by which I was trying to live my life, was founded on hatred for Hashems chosen people. If that doesn’t make you bow your head and search your heart, not much will…let me tell ya!
I am not an anti-Semitic person. But I have come out of a faith whose roots are deep into the anti-Semitic belief. It will take time for me to find all the thoughts and purge them. I pray daily that Hashem will show me where else I have hated His people. And please hear me right now: I am not attacking Christians. I am not calling any one person out, nor am I saying that I’m better. I’m sharing my journey of faith, which is taking me away from Christianity but not from Yeshua. Again: I am not attacking Christians or Christianity. I’m trying to be truthful, and logical, and share what I find. This information is out there on the internet and in the libraries.
History Tells the Tale
The history of hatred towards Jewish people is a long, inglorious one. Click here for a brief listing of anti-Semitism. Just as an aside, it didn’t end after the Holocaust, though this listing stops there. Here is another, eye-opening, timeline of hatred…
- If I am a follower of the G-D of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob…
- If I believe He is the One true G-d…
- If I believe that His commands were given to Moses…
- If I believe in Him…
- Then I have faith, and walk in His commands.
In doing so, I will join into a family that is hated. A family that is hunted. I realize that this family may not appreciate me, but I deeply appreciate them.
I have been adopted into Abrahams family, so I strive to live like they do, behave like they do, and treat others the way they do. Abrahams family was/is Hebrew, the chosen family of Hashem, to guard His commands, live out His mitzvots, and behave according to His ordinance. To live holy, and set apart.
In doing so, I will look Jewish. I will act Jewish. I will believe as many Jewish people do. And I will also be treated, by some, in an anti-Jewish way. For this reason, I go slowly in my journey. Being sure of each step I take, because this isn’t a light choice. Following Hashem is NOT a light choice…and woah to those who think it is, or treat it as such.
May His peace comfort you, and give you hope.