In the last week we have skimmed the surface of antisemitism in a number of ‘fathers’ of the Christian religion, including pre-Catholic, Roman Catholic and Protestant, in the (Not So) Quotable series. Earlier in the series I promised a thumbnail sketch of some of the impact antisemitism has had on various Christian doctrines and theologies.
Honestly, if we took a punchbowl and added even a drop of arsenic, the poison would quickly spread to affect every molecule in the bowl. Who would want to taste, nevermind, drink heavily from the bowl?
In like manner, antisemitism is a poison that affects, often dramatically, every doctrine and theology in Christendom. Following are a few obvious examples with a few possible effects.
Possibly the single most obvious errant theology that springs from antisemitism is Supersessionism, better known as Replacement Theology. The Wiki link provided is a good overview of the idea that the Church replaced Israel and now has all the promises covenantally made with physical Israel/Judah. Even a basic reading of Paul in Romans 9 refutes the false idea that the church replaced anybody. Stephen affirms this when he refers to Israel at Mt. Sinai as ‘the church in the wilderness.’ Paul further drives the point home in Ephesians 2 when speaking of the alien and stranger being grafted INTO Israel.
Antisemitism, by fostering or even promoting the false idea that God has ‘done away with,’ or ‘rejected’ the Jews, leads to a wrong/false understanding of who Israel is and the fact that God, right now -even today- values the Jews and has an everlasting covenant with them and a promise for a glorious restoration! Those who teach otherwise kick against the goads and set themselves up for a very personal confrontation with the Covenant Maker!
Another related false doctrine is Dispensationalism. By believing God has two separate peoples and that He deals with them differently, we wrongly assume Him to do many things contrary to His inerrant, unchanging, everlasting Word! He, by the implied definition of Dispensationalism is a law-breaker with unjust scales. Similar to the evident antisemitism in the above example, God reserving the Jews for the Great Tribulation (according to Dispensationalists), while rescuing the Christians with the ‘Rapture Escape Clause’ is inherently antisemitic.
Related to the above two is a most basic idea in Christendom that has been warped radically by antisemitism!! New Covenant Theology! What the teachers of New Covenant Theology fail to understand is that the ‘New Covenant’ (Jeremiah 31:31-34 and Hebrews 8:8-12) is made with…. wait for it…. Israel and Judah!! NOT with the Gentiles! (Might want to go read the previously linked article on grafting in…) Here is a great short overview post identifying the elephant in the room for the false New Covenant Theology crowd. It is antisemitism that led them theologically into this morass that sounds really good, but does not pass the logic and Scripture tests when scrutinized.
Ultimately, all of these false doctrines are related as we see with this next one… ‘Doctrines of Grace.’ Now, grace is indeed a wonderful thing as we are allowed into covenant through the blood of Messiah, however, among the pastors I speak with, most decry the rampant antinomianism in the church while they are fearful of teaching anything that resembles obedience to the full Word. Church fathers, though, for centuries taught that obedience to the law, the Torah, was too Judaic, and therefore anathema. In fact, quote after quote is available from the ‘fathers’ as early as Ignatius of Antioch trying to isolate Gentile believers from the Jewish root they were grafted into. All things deemed ‘Jewish’ were stigmatized.
Today, there is much focus on belief without works regardless of a mountain of Scriptural evidence to the contrary. The root of this antinomianism and fixation on grace to the exclusion of obedience to all of God’s Word is antisemitism. Read the church fathers and see that they abhorred anything Judaic and therefore HAD to exchange the Feasts of Yahweh for pagan rites/rituals at the winter solstice and the spring equinox as well as changing the day of worship from the Biblically mandated seventh day to the SUNday, eating of cockroaches and swine (Scripture puts them in the same class…), etc. The church fathers committed the sin of Jeroboam, a sin perpetuated by most pulpits today! They literally created a new syncretistic religion because of their avoidance of the Jewish root of the Messiah and His Torah.
By definition, theology is the study of God. The tragedy is that theologians have sought to redefine God and in their antisemitic conclusions have made Him out to be a liar. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob made physical promises to the physical descendants that were specifically given through covenant ‘forever.’ Yet, as theologians look through their antisemitic lenses, they come away declaring ‘olam’ doesn’t really mean ‘forever,’ unless of course, it benefits Christendom! Thus, according to them, Abba Yahweh has recanted some of the parts of the ‘everlasting covenants’ which, by definition means God is dead. He doesn’t keep His word, is a liar and the punishment for covenant breakers is death! Yeshua can’t die for His sins and ours! He is not qualified!
So, another aspect of these antisemitic doctrines and theologies is the denial of God, whether they understand or believe it or not.
The final and most devastating aspect of these horrid antisemitic tainted doctrines is simply that the antisemites impede the return of the Messiah! By teaching false theology and leading the church to hate and persecute the Jews, Martin Luther being the (not so) golden boy of this maneuver, they cause the Jews to despise Yeshua/Jesus and run away from Him instead of to Him. As a direct result it delays them saying, “Baruch haba b’shem YHWH!” (Blessed is He who comes in the name of YHWH!)
Ever thought about that? Christendom’s antisemitism is the very thing that prevents the Jews from saying the very thing Yeshua declared had to be said before He would appear.
A fine kettle of fish we have! Victims of our own ignorance, nevermind the judgment we’ll receive for being a curse to the descendants of Avraham!
Honestly, I don’t even know how to end this… It just breaks my heart!
We need tears. Lots of tears! Repentance and deep grief!
If some of this is new to you, your head is reeling, because I have just dumped a truckload of new information on you with a pile of weighty links to more information!! Take it in prayer and search your heart as you seek truth, not man-made doctrines and traditions!
Here are a couple more links to challenge you even further!