Editor’s note: The following guest opinion is a rebuttal to Rev. Sam Dinsdale’s guest opinion about anti-Semitism published in the April 5 edition.
Are the gospels responsible for anti-Semitism? The short answer is no. Rather, men who have grossly misunderstood the gospels are responsible for anti-Semitism, which is unreasonable and misguided animosity and even hatred for all people of Jewish descent.
Anti-Semitism can better be attributed to being just part, but an important part, of the human race’s long war against God. The Jewish people (the word is taken from Judah, one of Jacob’s sons. Jacob was later re-named Israel) have been prominent in God’s favor historically per Old Testament scriptures, since the time of Abraham. Such favor seems to arouse jealousy and envy from other people not so favored, you might say, some of the worst aspects and subsequent outrageous behavior of human nature.
Rev. Dinsdale’s statement that I would most like to highlight, and negate, is this one. I quote, “To think that the Holocaust was not caused by Christian hatred for Jews would be ridiculous.” To make a positive statement of that would be “Christian hatred caused the Holocaust.” No, Mr. Hitler and his ungodly regime caused the Holocaust. But let’s define “Christian” more carefully.
I would say there are real Christians, then also nominal and even some, who could be called “pseudo-Christians.” Then also is the official church’s positions on things, that would be the Roman Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox churches, because those are all there were until the Reformation.
To get a feel of what might be a “real Christian,” read the book of First John carefully. In it light, life and love are held in contrast to darkness, hatred and death (non-Christian). To say “Christian hatred caused the Holocaust” is to lump all flavors of supposed Christians into one basket. That’s not true and grossly unfair to what I would call real Christians down through the ages.
The early church’s development of anti-Semitism came really from one verse in the Gospel of St. Matthew, chapter 27, verse 25, where the rabid mob called out, “His blood be upon us, and on our children!”
But according to Deuteronomy 24:16, God himself said to Moses, “The father shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers, but every man shall be put to death for his own sin.” Who is the greater authority in view here? God Himself, or misguided, misunderstanding church leaders of subsequent years?
There was something much greater going on at the crucifixion than the fanatical statements of a relatively few. Consider Isaiah 53:5-6. “But he was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities … and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” If Jesus died for all, that is, the whole human race, and the whole New Testament asserts that this is true, then we are all responsible for his death, not just a mob at the time of the crucifixion!
For a New Testament reinforcement of this idea, read Romans 5:6-8. While we were yet sinners, “Christ died for us.” Without meaning to be flippant nor blasphemous, we can say that the Jewish mob was not primarily responsible for Jesus’ death, but that God the Father was. See Book of Acts 2:22-23. “Jesus of Nazareth … Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God.”
Think on this, Christian: Jesus was (and still is?) a Jew. If not for the historical Jewish nation, there might have been no Jesus. And, if no Jesus, then who would you find to be your savior?
Nord is a resident of Tooele City.