Anti-Jewish Hatred, Hatred Against Christianity

The anti-Jewish hatred that we now see in marches in the United States and around the world is inspired by hell itself. We Christians need to reassert some basics. Our mother church in Jerusalem was Jewish. The twelve apostles were Jewish. The apostle Paul was Jewish. Jesus of Nazareth himself according to his human nature is from the line of King David. Jesus is Israel’s Anointed One/Christ who became “a servant to the circumcision on behalf of the truth of God” (Rom 15:8), and the gospel of Jesus is the power of God unto salvation to the Jew first (Rom 1:16).

Those of us who are Gentiles are the “foreign branches” of Romans 11. The apostle Paul warns Gentile Christians against despising the Jewish “natural branches,” since we do not support the Israelite root, but the Israelite root supports us (Rom 11:18). The saying should not be “How odd of God to choose the Jews” but rather “How odd of God to smile on the Gentile.” For we Gentiles were ethnically “separated from the anointed one/Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world,” but now in the anointed one/Christ Jesus we Gentiles have been brought near by his blood (Eph 2:11–13). The Christian church consists not only of Gentiles. Throughout the centuries there have been and to this day there are many Jewish believers in Jesus.

While the political questions regarding the Middle East today are quite complex, two things should be clear to all. As is the case with all hatred, anti-Jewish hatred is a work of the sinful flesh (e.g., Gal 5:20). More than that, it is hatred against Christianity.

Dr. Paul R. Raabe

Dr. Paul Raabe
Professor Emeritus of Exegetical Theology

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7 responses to “Anti-Jewish Hatred, Hatred Against Christianity”

  1. John Tape Avatar
    John Tape

    Well said. Thank you.

  2. Justin Avatar
    Justin

    This is embarrassing. Time and again LCMS theologians prove themselves to be nothing of the sort. Marches across the US against the actions of the modern state of Israel are not anti-Christian, or even anti-Jewish. Misusing Scripture to make this argument is inspired by hell itself and is anti-Christian. One might as well argue that objecting to inhumane actions, war crimes, and atrocities committed by the US is anti-American. It is a standard argument brought forth vigorously to silence objectors to evil acts. It is to claim that by the identity of the actor, the actions, whatever they may be, are righteous. That is what evil does. Yes, the political questions surrounding Palestine are complex, but also not merely political by those involved. But it is not a spiritual issue for Christians. And this implication that Christians cannot criticize Israel or even need to show partiality for Jews because Jesus, the Twelve Apostles, Paul, or anyone else in the Church was Jewish is false and furthers the problems in the Middle East. Pray for peace in Gaza, the West Bank, and Israel, first for the Christians there, but also for the Jews, Arabs, and everyone there. Pray also that the Jews, the natural branches that have broken off and separated from the anointed one/Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world, pray that they do not continue in their disbelief. Pray the same also for the Arabs. But it is not your Christian duty to support the modern state of Israel in any war it engages in, even if it was waging a just war justly.

  3. Tracy Pace Avatar
    Tracy Pace

    ‘Throughout the centuries there have been and to this day there are many Jewish believers in Jesus.’

    I was involved in the Houston Interfaith Dinner Dialogues, and have heard Jews and Muslims speak on the influence Jesus has in their religions. Jesus is in the Torah and the Quran.

    But when I was a child at Sunday School in England I was chastised for saying ‘Jesus was Jewish!’ I thought I was being clever having read my Bible but apparently it was considered inappropriate! The 1917 Balfour Treaty which called for British support for the establishment of the Jewish state of Israel, Zionism, was born out of European anti-semitism.

    Poet William Blake wrote allegorically in 1804, and it is still in many hymn books as the hymn ‘Jerusalem’:
    ‘And did those feet in ancient time
    Walk upon England’s mountains green:
    And was the holy Lamb of God,
    On Englands pleasant pastures seen!

    And did the Countenance Divine,
    Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
    And was Jerusalem builded here,
    Among these dark Satanic Mills?

    Bring me my Bow of burning gold:
    Bring me my arrows of desire:
    Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
    Bring me my Chariot of fire!

    I will not cease from Mental Fight,
    Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand:
    Till we have built Jerusalem,
    In England’s green & pleasant Land.’

    There are currently protests in Israel itself against Netanyahu, calling for his resignation and an election, blaming him for the ongoing Palestinian conflict and mishandling of the latest crisis which is now a genocide against Palestinian civilians and has done nothing to save the lives of the hostages. That is what (reasonable) people are protesting, it’s not anti-Jewish hatred per se.

    For many years Netanyahu has supported Hamas over the creation of a proper Palestinian state and despite Hamas being recognized by other nations and within Palestine as a problematic terrorist organization.

    The Nakba, the loss of their homeland by the Palestinian people in 1948, is a deep source of loss and frustration for Palestinians and instead of acknowledging and healing the loss Netanyahu has continued to encourage illegal settlements in Gaza and to deny or sacrifice Palestinian rights. The US has supported this largely because of the Biblical misinterpretation of religious leaders here.

    The only way forward is to adopt Christian values and apply the teachings of Jesus to the situation, which is not increased bloodshed and human rights violations. British nationalism was anti-semetic, and the idea of taking one people’s homeland and gifting it to another group of people to encourage them to settle elsewhere…ridiculous…but many of these nuances have been lost which have lead to this latest terrible and cruel situation. Who can lead the way forward? Jesus. The teachings of Jesus. ‘Love God above all things, love your neighbor as yourself.’
    Anyone can create conflict; very few can heal.

  4. Luther Blanchard Avatar
    Luther Blanchard

    We used to have solid theologians writing for the Synod. The author might want to check into what our Lutheran and LCMS fathers wrote back when we had solid men writing theology. In his shallow way, the author here has contradicted the fathers and appears to not to know some of the basics of handling the Word accurately and honestly. We can do better than this.

  5. Paul Richard Raabe Avatar
    Paul Richard Raabe

    My piece is about anti-Jewish hatred, not the politics regarding the state of Israel and its international relationships in the Middle East. My piece is addressed to Christian readers and assumes that there is such a thing as anti-Jewish hatred. Apparently, others don’t think it exists, no problem. We disagree on current events and what is going on today.

    1. Justin Avatar
      Justin

      Your very first sentence argues that political marches protesting Israel’s actions are anti-Jewish hatred You closed with arguing that anti-Jewish hatred is hatred against Christianity. You are very much making an argument that to object to Israel’s actions is hatred against Christianity. Whether you did so deliberately or through ineptitude, you wrote about politics and clothed it in Scripture. And you want people to assume there is such a thing as anti-Jewish hatred? If there is just name it rather than doing the ridiculous by equating protest marches against obvious war crimes as being anti-Jewish hatred. I can guarantee you that I could find clear examples of someone expressing hatred of Jews for being Jews. It’s not that hard. And to actually speak more broadly about hate, you could even talk about Netanyahu and his proclamation to treat Palestinians as Amalakites as an example of the hatred Christians should condemn, let alone an abuse of God’s Word. Your last article was good. This one was bad…really bad. If you want to disregard with some idiotic statement about how hatred of Jews is real and slight me as someone who doesn’t believe that, we’ll go ahead of it makes you feel better about your article and abuse of Scripture in defense of the modern state of Israel and what it is doing.

  6. Tracy Pace Avatar
    Tracy Pace

    ‘We disagree on current events and what is going on today.’

    Speaking softly, what is going on currently is a massacre which any compassionate humanitarian person is going to question Dr Rabe, and the Christian most of all because Jesus teaches us to feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, clothe the naked, treat the sick and visit the prisoner…scenarios visible in Gaza right now, with Netanyahu’s army blocking humanitarian aid and literally attacking indiscriminately the helpless civilian population who cannot move or escape.

    You are right that the Jews suffered persecution and anti-Jewish sentiment historically. That is what I am talking about from my childhood in England, the very real exclusion of Jewish people from mainstream European society. At different times they were expelled altogether. When Lord Balfour drew up the treaty in 1917 he did so partly because the aristocracy wished to exclude Jewish people from British social leadership and firmly establish them elsewhere. Historically Jews practiced their religion there necessarily quietly even secretly. There has only been one Jewish-born British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli, and his family had converted to Anglicanism. He was a friend of Queen Victoria, or he likely would also have been excluded despite his intelligence and abilities. People are sometimes prejudiced and bigots even in the face of reason and ability.

    As Jason points out ‘Your last article was good.’ It really was, and I applauded. It takes courage to point out reason and fact. America is romanticizing the situation to say that Netanyahu must be supported at any cost ethical and financial because of a scriptural interpretation of a situation which was not truly motivated by spirituality. The three Abrahamic religions identify with Jerusalem, more than ever the situation must be managed with peace as a goal, remembering the words of Jesus: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate; for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ” The use of scripture without reverence, holy values, is a religion’s weakness, not a strength. We are following on the wrong level at that point.

    Netanyahu gave millions of dollars to Qatar which turned Hamas from a minor terrorist organization to an unwanted army within Palestine, justifying this with ‘The money transfer is part of the strategy to divide the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. Anyone who opposes the establishment of a Palestinian state needs to support the transfer of the money from Qatar to Hamas. That way we will foil the establishment of a Palestinian state.’ The US is funding his ideas which have led to the deaths of 10000 civilians in the past few days, that is what people are marching against, and why the international community has long supported the two states living side by side instead of the unfair, unequal and unethical situation which developed, none of it truly scriptural or spiritual.

    Thank you for writing about these difficult topics Dr Rabe. It is important work.

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