RT: Antisemitism, or The Confessions of a Misguided Pastor
If our doctrine prevented millions of Jews from knowing their Jewish Messiah, would we care? Should we?
I have really tried to figure out some hook to start this post, but nothing comes. All I have is a broken heart and the horribly sick sensation that I have utterly failed my Messiah. When I stop and ponder the subject of antisemitism and my role in promoting such, I am physically ill. Maybe I feel just a little like Rav Shaul (the apostle Paul) felt as he was led by the hand to the house of Judas in Damascus. He could neither eat or drink he was so sick of heart. In fact, I believe that ill feeling would haunt him the rest of his life driving him to the lengths he was willing to go as a bond servant of Yeshua.
Shaul had not recognized the Messiah in the day of His visitation. In fact, he had gone so far as to persecute those who had, even assisting in the putting to death of Stephen. Now, Yeshua haMashiach (Jesus the Messiah) had revealed Himself in truth and glory on the road to Damascus and Shaul was sick. Beyond sick. He was shattered.
How could this have happened? How could he, a Pharisees of Pharisees, one who knew the Tanach (Old Testament) forwards and backwards, one who was a rising star among the leaders of Judaism, be so terribly wrong? He was sick! Utterly broken.
Shaul had been a faithful student who passionately sought Yahweh. He had played by the rules, only to find out the playbook he was using was not that of Yahweh. He had made the critical mistake of trusting the ages old playbook, Doctrine and Tradition.
I grew up by that playbook. Those who taught me meant well. I learned all the lines, had the prooftexts and could recite the lines of respected ‘church fathers.’ I graduated from a good seminary where well meaning men taught me to ‘defend my faith’ and ‘preach the Gospel.’ I pastored a church for ten years and taught zealously the ‘doctrines of grace.’
Yet, here I sit. Broken. Moved to tears when I ponder the gravity of what I have done and how I have hurt the heart of my Messiah. How did it ever come to this?
During my army days, after training exercises, we would have introspective ‘AARs,’ or, After Action Reviews. Like FAA inspectors after an airplane crash, we would look at every detail of the operation/exercise to try to determine what went right and what went wrong… What root causes contributed to the disaster. How could we repair the damage or insure not to make the same mistake again.
I have done much the same in trying to understand the contributing factors to this great ache in my soul. How did I get here? What went wrong? How do I insure this never happens again? I have hurt my King and taught/encouraged others to do the same!
What is this great pain I have inflicted upon Him? I have promoted antisemitism. I spent years of my life teaching against and, by example, denying the very Word of our Lord. Oh, I professed a love for Israel, and prayed often for the peace of Yerushlayim (Jerusalem), but my teaching and actions belied something very different without me even knowing it. I denied my Messiah and all He stood for.
Complete introspection and detailed analysis of the multiple ways would fill several books, so this will be a brief, but I pray, a very challenging overview of the AAR. Please walk with me here as I confess and recount some of the ways I denied my Savior before I explain how/why I committed these abominable acts.
I celebrated Christmas and Easter, holidays rooted in paganism. Just look in any encyclopedia. I may have meant well, yet, Deuteronomy 12: 29-32 among other passages clearly tells us that syncretism is an abomination to Yahweh. Inexcusable.
I called Yeshua by a Greek name, ‘Jesus,’ thus denying, with each use, His real heritage and even who He is. Yeshua means ‘salvation, deliverer.’ What does Jesus mean? There isn’t even a letter ‘J’ or ‘j’ sound in the Hebrew alephbet/language or in Greek!
Probably the most egregious was maintaining and promoting the idea that the church IS Israel, though I was careful to avoid the idea that we replaced Israel, either idea being a far cry from the truth of being grafted INTO Israel. In conjunction with this horrid error, I believed that for those of Jewish descent to be saved they had to come to ‘our’ Messiah instead of us going to them and ‘their’ Messiah. ( I never really pondered the fact that Yeshua haMashiach/Jesus the Messiah was a Sabbath keeping, feast observing, kosher eating, tassel wearing Jew!)
There are many other evidences, but these are damning enough to prove beyond any shadow of doubt that I lived and promoted antisemitism.
How so? Multiple ways, actually.
Denying the commandments is denying my Messiah. It denies His very essence, who He is, the Word made flesh, as well as denying how and through whom He chose to reveal Himself. Doing so is antisemitic at its root.
Teaching that my Messiah taught or even endorsed the errors I walked in has the effect of forcing the Jews to NOT believe in Him. Further, they are commanded to stone (or, in modern times they shun) any who might convert to Jesus. Yep, you read that right. Deuteronomy 13 commands that anyone who teaches or presents a Messiah contrary to Torah is to be separated from Israel. Just take the Deuteronomy 13 Test. See? Preaching a seemingly non-Jewish Messiah is antisemitism by removing from the Jews their own Messiah. Further, it is the act of preaching a false gospel and a false Messiah.
Teaching, or even hinting that the church somehow replaced Israel has the effect of denying the very tree into which I am grafted. Replacing Israel IS antisemitism. Overt dispensationalism (Baptist/Arminian) or covert dispensationalism (Presbyterian/Lutheran/Reformed) is still antisemitism.
Changing the name of Yeshua to Jesus denies His Jewishness and is antisemitic to the core. Think about it.
There are more ways to be very ‘religious’ and hide antisemitism, but we’ll move on. How did I get this way? Was I far afield of that which my denomination taught? Had I cast off everything I had been taught in a conservative seminary? Was I some closet radical who sought to undermine Messiah, or was I blindly following traditions?
While I have no excuse and am totally accountable for my actions, I was simply following what I had been taught. The doctrines and traditions of men that I had accepted were deeply influenced by antisemitism.
Consider what I had accepted… The doctrines and traditions I had embraced were either directly from or heavily influenced by:
“What shall we Christians do with this rejected and condemned people, the Jews? … First, to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn…. Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed… Third, I advise that all their prayer books and Talmudic writings, in which such idolatry, lies, cursing, and blasphemy are taught, be taken from them… Fourth, I advise that their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb… Fifth, I advise that safe-conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews…Sixth, I advise that usury be prohibited to them, and that all cash and treasure of silver and gold be taken from them… Seventh, I recommend putting a flail, an ax, a hoe, a spade, a distaff, or a spindle into the hands of young, strong Jews and Jewesses and letting them earn their bread in the sweat of their brow, as was imposed on the children of Adam… ” etc. Read On the Jews and Their Lies, 1543, by Martin Luther for yourself.
John Calvin: (Though Calvin was not enamored with Luther’s well known tirade, he was no angel.) A Response To Questions and Objections of a Certain Jew
“Their [the Jews] rotten and unbending stiffneckedness deserves that they be oppressed unendingly and without measure or end and that they die in their misery without the pity of anyone.”
Excerpt from “Ad Quaelstiones et Objecta Juaei Cuiusdam Responsio,” by John Calvin; The Jew in Christian Theology, Gerhard Falk, McFarland and Company, Inc., Jefferson, NC and London, 1931.
Roman Catholic Church: Multiple church fathers quoted here. These are but a very small collection as mere examples of the attitude of the Roman Catholic Church toward Jews. Add to that the pogroms in the name of Jesus.
Remember, Luther, Calvin and the Roman Catholic ‘fathers’ quoted above either wrote or were heavily influential in the very basic tenets of all doctrine taught in the church today. The attitudes presented here are like a poison that permeates every doctrine, therefore everything taught or opined that touches on all things Jewish or Hebrew must be re-evaluated. Yes, they had much right, but clearly, they had much wrong! In light of the foul stench of antisemitism, every doctrine of churchianity, I mean, christianity, must be re-evaluated from the foundation of the Word.
But it wasn’t just the church that got us here… Consider:
“On the Venerable Day of the Sun [“venerabili die Solis”–the sacred day of the Sun] let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed. In the country, however, persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits; because it often happens that another day is not so suitable for grain-sowing or for vine-planting; lest by neglecting the proper moment for such operations the bounty of heaven should be lost–Given the 7th day of March, [A.D. 321], Crispus and Constantine being consuls each of them for the second time.” The First Sunday Law of Constantine 1, in “Codex Justinianus,” lib. 3, tit. 12, 3; trans. in Phillip Schaff “History of the Christian Church,” Vol. 3, p. 380. Much more here.
Deeper research reveals that in about the second century the newborn sect of Judaism called simply The Way by some adherents and Notzrim (Hebrew for ‘The Branch,’ likely mistranslated as ‘Nazarenes’) by some detractors had been all but taken over by Greek bishops with a radically different mindset and an arrogant attitude of superiority. Steeped in Western Hellenist thought, they began to erase the Eastern Hebrew mindset and methods of Scriptural understanding and interpretation. Add to this the growing hatred of the Jews in that day due to their unwillingness to bow to Rome and a heady mix was born. The Jewish Pharisees were trying to sever any ties with the upstart exponentially growing Gentile followers of Messiah while Rome was battling for the survival of their empire and they demanded the allegiance of all.
Bottom line, I believe Constantine saw an opportunity to create an empty shell that he could then fill as he saw fit for the future of his kingdom. With a new alliance with the bishop of Rome, he created an environment whereby the beginnings of the Roman Catholic Church could meld paganism and twisted belief in Messiah resulting in a syncretistic mixture of Hebrew-less Scripture and pagan practices.
The resulting mixture of antisemitism effectively obliterated the Hebrew roots of what we call the Christian faith. The church today, through inherited but well hidden antisemitism, has created a different religion instead of the faith of our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
[Aside: I do believe there is much grace from our Father for those who believed and worshipped in ignorance, however, I am no longer ignorant and am accountable for what I have learned. If you have read this far, you are also accountable!]
I have no excuse and hold no one other than myself accountable for my teaching and acceptance of false traditions. I blame only myself and confess openly that I was horribly wrong. My heart aches, as I pray yours does too. 2 Chronicles 7:13-16 comes to mind.
I am not alone in coming to this understanding. It is part of a growing awakening that is occurring all over the planet because of the ready availability of truth on the internet. Those who seek truth are researching and finding the very things I have found.
Interestingly, in the last decade there has been a growing movement of recognition of this theft of our heritage and inheritance. It is a fulfillment of Yermiyahu (Jeremiah) 16:19-21.
O Yahweh, my strength and my stronghold,
And my refuge in the day of distress,
To You the nations will come
From the ends of the earth and say,
“Our fathers have inherited nothing but falsehood,
Futility and things of no profit.”
20 Can man make gods for himself?
Yet they are not gods!
21 “Therefore behold, I am going to make them know—
This time I will make them know
My power and My might;
And they shall know that My name is Yahweh.”
Why now? What makes our generation special in that we suddenly begin to understand something even the Reformation fathers did not see? I can’t answer that other than to quote Scripture and bask in the humbling honor that Abba has bestowed on us with His visitation.
Malachi 4 is future prophecy. Read carefully and ponder what the prophet tells us:
For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze,” says Yahweh Sabbaot, “so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.” 2 “But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall. 3 You will tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day which I am preparing,” says Yahweh Sabbaot.
4 “Remember the law of Moshe My servant, even the statutes and ordinances which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel.
5 “Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of Yahweh.6 He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.”
My fathers are Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, not Luther, Calvin or Knox. My heritage is Hebrew, not Roman Catholic pagan Hellenism. My future is the Messianic Kingdom in Israel for the Millenial reign and then the New Heaven and New earth, not some ethereal non-descript heaven.
I pray you understand my ache, and awakening to truth. Further, I pray that Yahweh open your eyes and break your heart as you see Yeshua haMashiach, the Lion of the tribe of JUDAH who is regathering the Lost Sheep!
It will take you a long time to process all of the info in this thread and as I stated early on, this is a mere overview. I encourage you to read or watch all of the links in this post. Get out your Bible and dig through it. If you are near me, come sit down and let’s reason together. Post questions and mostly, spend time before our Father and ask Him to reveal truth! He forgives and is waiting for you to come to fullness of the knowledge of Him and who He called you to be.
Embrace your heritage and waste not another day in the false doctrines of men!
The Reformation is just beginning! Next time, RT: Riches
Yahweh bless you, and keep you;
Yahweh make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;
Yahweh lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace
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