Monday, August 17, 2020

Real Unity before the End


A HaAretz book review caught my eye, 'We Curse Christianity Three Times a Day' Can Jews and Christians Truly Reconcile? Despite the spiritual darkness of a people who curse Christianity three times a day, the answer to that question is an unequivocal YES. God reveals in His Word that is the Divine plan. If He said it, it is not only possible but God is going to bring it to pass. God promised He would return to Israel in mercy, removing the spiritual blinders, and that "all Israel shall be saved." I don't think that is the outcome most Jews are really looking for, but whether a Jew or a Christian expect it or not, that's where we are headed. God will have His way.

It could come in our lifetime, or perhaps in our children's lifetime, but we are very close to the conditions God's Word describes as existing in the times He will bring fulfillment. Still, God has to whip both sides into shape before we actually live out the unity that is described by Paul in Ephesians 2 where out of two is created one new man in Messiah. We are sure not there yet, even if we are closer. So what are the obstacles in our path to this one new man unity? 

'We Curse Christianity Three Times a Day' covered how historical Jews have responded to Christians extending an olive branch. However, in a related opinion piece Richard Landes' explored another interesting question, What Fuels Evangelical Christians’ Love-hate Relationship With Jews. If you are a Christian who doesn't know the history behind Landes' question, you should educate yourself, because it is not without reason that so many Jews think in those terms. 

Landes recalls the instances where Christians first loved the Jews...until they didn't. He writes, "A cyclical, volatile and dangerous form of apocalyptic Christian belief moves rapidly from philo-Semitism to hating Jews." In just about every case the underlying answer is because the timing of God was "not yet" for the wide removal of spiritual blindness from the Jews regarding the Messiah and the Christians involved didn't even know there was Divine timing in play. Being ignorant of God's timing in returning salvation to the Jews, Christians became frustrated and eventually turned on the Jews for not living up to expectations of acceptance. Martin Luther is a great historical example of that, but it has happened repeatedly and I'm pretty sure it will happen again. It may be rolling out in America right now.

In the closing lines of Richard Landes' commentary, he asks, "...despite the evangelical hopes of two post-1948 generations, there’s still no sign that the Jews 'understand' their critical role in everyone’s salvation. In the past, the slippery slope to violence and human sacrifice has won over and again. Can Christians hold on to the unconditional love they profess, and cling to the ways of peace?"

For quite some time I have expected many Christians would turn on Jews before the end. I expected the reason to be, not so much what Landes sees as the classic reason — of Christians becoming tired of waiting for Jews to come to faith — but other reasons. Because even though it is somewhat still under most Christians' radar, and certainly the world's radar, Jews are already coming to faith in Yeshua in great numbers. It is an ever increasing stream of Jewish salvation that so many Christians are completely unaware of. Often if they are aware of it, they still have no grasp of the significance of it happening now.

In fact, many Christians are still of the mind that if Jews come to faith in Jesus, then that means they have left Jewish identity and have become Christians. They have no grasp of the significance of the commonwealth of Israel, another subject I am writing about currently. We must be preparing Christians through teaching to accept a unity that does not require Jewish abandonment of Jewish identity. Just like a wedding unites two — a husband and wife — into one before God, it does not mean their male and female identity is wiped out by becoming a couple. As I said that is another article in progress.

My expectation the many Christians will turn against Jews is because of how unsaved American Jews have played such dynamic roles in supporting the godless agenda of the Democrats. I'm not talking just since Trump. We may never talk about it but that doesn't mean it isn't noticed. I believe we are really playing with fire if we are not actively preparing Christians to see the long range plan of God's intention to save the Jewish people, "all Israel," and bring Christians and Messianic Jews into a unity that Paul speaks of in Ephesians 2. 

As for Christians who do not know what God is doing in bringing over a million Jews to faith since 1948, these are the ones I have believed would become so incensed at the role of unsaved Jews in the de-morals-izing of America that it would have strong potential of becoming anti-semitism. It will have to be so strong that it drives a major Jewish exodus to Israel as we saw in Russia. Many don't think that will happen, but I'm not one of them.

We live in such a divided nation, as many nations are experiencing today. I am among the conservative Christians in the USA who sees it in terms of a battle for the soul of our nation, not just politics but an existential threat and ultimately the battle between good and evil, God and anti-God.

Some of the older generation of American Messianic Jews are still in such rejection of Christians because of the historical persecution, that they align themselves much more with American Jewish political views and causes. It is quite shocking considering the godless agendas that Democrats stand for, but I have personally been rebuked as not having a "healthy" attitude about Democrats. Weird since Democrats have such a godless agenda and are so openly anti-God. Even some Messianic Jewish Millennials who have stepped into leadership ministry roles are just like Christian Millennial peers in embracing secular social justice rather than traditional Messianic embrace of God's biblical justice. From my perspective it is compromised faith; from their perspective they are just keeping 'relevant' to their society. God is able to 'right the ship' but I don't believe we can afford to ignore it any longer as a normal thing happening among us.

But the greatest source of the rising tide of anti-semitism has begun to come into focus despite the failure of Jewish watchdog groups to keep Jews informed. In fact, some of the leading watchdog groups have done everything within their power to obscure the facts about how Leftist intersectionality has created more antisemitism than the over-hyped "far right" extremists. Most secular American Jews are Left-leaning and too many of the American Messianic Jews follow their lead in these matters.

Jonathan S Tobin, a traditional American Jew who happens to be conservative just wrote about the ADL's gross misleading of Jews in an op-ed where he said that in the last five years under, "Jonathan Greenblatt, a veteran of the Clinton and Obama administrations, the ADL has become a reliable auxiliary of the Democratic Party taking sides against Israel’s government and involving the group in partisan squabbles and bashing President Donald Trump." That includes over super exaggerating the "right wing" extremism in the USA and turning a blind eye to Islamists intersecting interests with activist groups like BLM.

In Europe it is much clearer to see how the mass immigration of Islamists into Europe has brought an intense rise in antisemitism throughout Europe. In the US, the Islamists have worked much more strategically and by explicit planning that involved alignment with America's grievance activists - BLM, Feminists, LGBTQ, Antifa, etc. This is the most virulent form of anti-Semitism that has raised its head in American life — initiated on campus, but now blossomed spilling out in governmental power and on the streets as we saw in past months with the attacks on visibly Jewish New Yorkers by blacks.

How did this happen? American Jews are perplexed why suddenly their Leftism doesn't protect them, but it will become even more pronounced if and when the Democrats return to power. The political rise of Leftists in the US government is not going to be good for all the Leftist Jews fighting for that return. They see biblical and Christian values as a threat to establish their own definitions of justice and morality. In their zeal "never again" applies here. From the looks of Israeli newspapers, there isn't a bit of difference in how the American Left perpetuates the myth of where this anti-Semitism has risen from.

With all this in mind, will we Christians, as Richard Landes asked, "hold on to the unconditional love they profess" for the Jewish people? Are we able to look squarely at what Jews are now and what God is calling them to become, and remain in faith for what God is going to do to restore salvation to the Jews? It is always challenging even with our own family members at times, which is why we need to be prepared. We do not want to be taken unaware of Satan's devices because the truth is some of us will and some of us will not "love our enemies" especially if we don't know they are beloved by God as Romans 11 says. 

I have advocated for a while now that we should be teaching on this issue so Israel-supporting Christians and Christians in general could understand what is going on and be prepared to stand when the going gets so tough — disappointing, frustrating and even threatening. This is true especially because we still have some unresolved issues with each other as Jews and Gentiles in the faith of Jesus. Even among those of us who support Israeli believers and the Israeli believers who embrace us, we are still going to be challenged to remain in the unconditional love we profess. God is continually winnowing the chaff from the grain.

* Please watch for my upcoming related article in The Messianic Times Sept-Oct issue titled, They Never Saw It Coming | How Intersectionality is the new foundation for Antisemitism