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For several decades, I have drawn attention to the Church’s historic persecution of the Jews in Jesus’ name. It is one of the ugliest and longest chapters in Church history, and it cannot be downplayed, forgotten, or ignored. With God’s help, I will continue to call out “Christian” antisemitism wherever I see it today. But I will not ignore Jewish persecution of Christians. It too must be called out.
In the Gospels, Jesus and His followers, all of them Jews, were persecuted by hypocritical Jewish leaders, ultimately leading to the Lord’s death on the cross. And that pattern continued in the Book of Acts, where the Jewish leadership stood in opposition to the message of Jesus the Messiah, sometimes persecuting His Jewish followers to the death (see Acts 7).
Trouble - Messianic - Jewish - Emissaries - Share
Some even stirred up trouble wherever these Messianic Jewish emissaries went to share the good news (see Acts 17), and this continued in the centuries that followed, with some documented cases of Jewish leaders siding with local efforts to persecute Christians.
Of course, no amount of Jewish persecution of Christians can justify the horrors inflicted on the Jewish people by professing Christians, including torture, exile, being forced into ghettos, being burned at the stake, being offered baptism or death, and much more.
Secret - Nazis - Martin - Luther - Writings
And it is an open secret that the Nazis drew on Martin Luther’s antisemitic writings to help enflame German hatred against the Jews.
None of this can be denied, nor should it be denied. To the contrary, we must be ever mindful of this tragic history lest we repeat it in our day.
Persecution - Followers - Jesus - Place - Israel
But, to say it again, when there is Jewish persecution of followers of Jesus, that must be called out as well, especially when it takes place in Israel.
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