The nation was stunned this past week after deadliest attack on the Jewish people in U.S. history. Eleven people were killed in a synagogue in Pittsburgh.The murderer was a vile anti-Semite. We might dismiss him as simply deranged—and he certainly was—but a CNN article cites a source saying that anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. surged almost 60% in 2017!
Although the church has a deplorable history of anti-Semitism, in my opinion, an attack on Jews is also an attack on Christians. Jesus was Jewish. All of the Apostles were Jewish. In fact, the very earliest church was almost entirely Jewish. In Galatians 3 Paul says that if we are in Christ, we are Abraham’s descendants and joint heirs of the promises God gave to Abraham. In Romans 11, Paul likens non-Jewish Christians to wild olive branches grafted into a Jewish olive tree through Christ. Christians are spiritual Jews!
Although some Protestants argue that when Israel rejected Jesus, God rejected Israel, that’s not what Paul says. In Romans 11 Paul asks, “Did God reject his people?” In the context “his people” is clearly referring to unbelieving Jews. Paul answers, “By no means!...God did not reject his people….” I’m not sure how much clearer he could be! In fact, Paul’s love for his fellow Jews is so great that in Romans 9, he says that he would actually be willing to go to hell if that could somehow save his unbelieving Jewish contemporaries!
We stand with all decent people everywhere in condemning this slaughter and call for the strongest legal means possible to put an end to our nation’s anti-Semitic surge. We also join with Christians everywhere in praying for the survivors of this terrible tragedy.