Friday, July 27, 2007

The Longest Hatred 13: Taking a stand - Part I

If you've been following my postings on the persistence of antisemitism, even within the church, I hope you've been thoroughly sickened. I want to finish the series, at least for the time being, with a couple of posts some comments and suggestions as to what Christians can do to stand against it. Today, some thoughts from Richard Gibson on The Church that Hitler would be ashamed of. Richard concludes:

Such a church and such individuals within it would:
• Affirm God’s ongoing plan and purpose with the Jewish people.
• Would celebrate Jewish identity as part of God’s creation.
• Would reject all expressions of racial superiority in the name of theology.
• Would affirm that Jesus was a Jew. He was born a Jew, lived a Jew, died a Jew, rose from the dead a Jew and will return to rule the world as a Jew.
• Rejoice that the New Testament is a Jewish book.
• Remember that the disciples were Jews, Paul was a Jew, and all the first followers of Jesus were Jews and make sure its children’s material portrayed them as Jews rather than good Aryans.
• Teach that the Jews are not the Christ-killers, but that the Father sent the Son and the Son freely gave himself as a sacrifice for sin.
• Affirms that the Holocaust was not God’s judgement on the Jews, rather it was an anti-God act of pure evil.
• Would seek and yearn for the spiritual wellbeing of Jewish people and not withhold the greatest news that the Gentiles ever received from the Jewish people just because they are Jews.
• Would affirm and support the right of the Jewish people to live in peace and self determination in the State of Israel.
• Affirm the Zionist dream for an independent Jewish state in their historical and Biblical homeland and reject as evil and iniquitous the inversion of Nazi symbols and language to describe the Israeli-Arab conflict.
• Preach from the Old as well as the New Testament without hijacking Israel’s history for a cheap application for today’s Gentile Christian.
• Affirm that the New Testament is not the cause of anti-Semitism, it is its only real cure.

“What the Church has made of the New Testament in its relationships with the Jews has, it seems to us, poisoned the very wells of God which were meant for the refreshment of His people. In this sense it is the Church, it is the Christians who have made it almost impossible for the Jews to see Jesus, hidden from them as he is by the cruel mask of Christian anti-Semitism.” (Torrance & Lamont, Anti-Semitism and Christian Responsibility, The Handsel Press, 1986)

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