Saturday, February 4, 2012

Regarding Prager's Take on Jews and Christians

I am appalled at the stereotypes circulating among a number of readers regarding Christians' attitudes towards the Jews.

I despise anti-semitism, but why has no one spoken out against the anti-Christian mentality which lazily assumes that every Christian believes that the Jews are Christ-killers? Granted, there are evangelists whose fiery rhetoric has inspired dread and disdain, but no one should despise the Gospel because someone preaches it poorly or because certain preachers are motivated more by personal gain as opposed to personal conviction and expansive salvation for all who are willing to believe.

The Christian evangelical community desires to share the gospel, which in fact respects the Torah and the Prophets. Contrary to harassed and incomplete hermeneutics, the New Testament, specifically the Gospel of John, does not attack the Jews as a whole, but rather the religious leaders of Ancient Rome, those who crucified Christ and brought many of their people under political and financial bondage. Have we already forgotten that Jesus Christ was a Jew, a Rabbi who lived under law until His crucifixion? Have we also forgotten that the first Christians were in fact Jews, and contrary to the current trend of welcoming Jews into the Christian community, the first struggled to reconcile the expansion of Gentile believers into their community?

On the relationship between evangelical Christians and Jews, Columnist Dennis Prager has demonstrated masterful maturity in the past. For example, he respected fiery Ann Coulter's charge that every Jew should become complete and convert to receive Jesus, whom many Christians attest to be the Messiah Jews are still waiting for. Prager does not share her beliefs, but neither did he denigrate her for asserting her convictions. They two commentators carry on a professional composure with each other to this day.

Jews have nothing to fear from Christians as a whole. Just as only a few Jews were complicit in the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, so too only a minority of Christians are complicit in anti-Semitic or anti-Zionist rhetoric and programs which do not respect the Jewish People.

Besides, why are so many Rabbis concerned about the growing number of Jews who are confessing that Jesus is the Messiah? Is it perhaps that the teachings of the Torah manifest this faith? Or is it that current Jewish religious communities are failing to offer something substantial beyond tradition and community for this life?

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