Antisemitism: The Longest Deepest Hatred
President’s Prayer Letter, February 2015
Dear friend of the Jewish people,
This past August, on a warm Friday evening in Los Angeles, a prominent Jewish comic was walking with his family, dressed for Sabbath—easily identifiable as a Jewish family. As reported in the Jewish Journal, a black Mercedes SUV pulled up next to them. A young man jumped out and screamed, “I hope your children die!”
The comic’s daughters, five and ten, were understandably frightened. They immediately started crying and the eldest wailed, “I’m scared.”
This family was targeted simply because they are Jewish. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. A few months earlier, two men killed a rabbi while he was walking to synagogue on a Saturday morning in Miami. In April, a white supremacist killed three people at a Jewish community center during a shooting rampage in Overland Park, Kansas. As tensions rise in the Middle East, antisemitic incidents persist around the world in countries like Argentina, Belgium, France and Australia.
The “Longest and Deepest Hatred of Human History”
All racism is evil, but there is something different and even more insidious about antisemitism.
Hatred of the Jewish people has a long and abhorrent history with demonic roots. Edward H. Flannery writes, “Antisemitism is the longest and deepest hatred of human history.” Why has there been such widespread Jew hatred throughout history? And why have the Jewish people been singled out? The reason is theological. To put it simply, antisemitism is the most critical arena of spiritual warfare there is.
The Bible is clear: God loves both Israel and the Jewish people (Deut. 7:6-9; Jer. 31:3; Rom. 11:2, 29). Antisemitism has one cause—Satan. Israel plays a crucial role in God’s redemptive plan for the world. Therefore, Satan seeks to thwart God’s plan by concentrating his efforts on destroying the Jewish people.
During the Jewish holiday of Purim, we celebrate God’s protection of Esther and His chosen people. The story of Esther tells about a man named Haman, who plotted to eradicate the Jewish people from the Persian Empire. Haman convinced the king to pass an edict to “destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all Jews, young and old, women and children” (Est. 3:13).
Haman is a picture of how Satan has prompted individuals throughout history to attempt to eradicate the Jewish people. Pharaoh, Antiochus IV, Herod the Great and Adolf Hitler all attempted to thwart God’s plan of redemption by killing the Jewish people. Like Haman, these men also failed in their plots because the nation of Israel is as permanent as the foundation of God’s creation (Jer. 31:35-37).
Satan’s plot became even more sinister when he began using Christianity as the vehicle to persecute the Jewish people.
While Satan has failed to destroy the Jewish people, he has not failed to drive a wedge between Israel and the Gospel as a result of the cruelty of those who have gone by the name of “Christian.” As a result, much of the Jewish world is reticent to consider the claims of Jesus as the Messiah. Those of us who have discovered life through Jesus have encountered resistance from our friends and family because they frequently view us as traitors, brainwashed by the enemy.
One More Story!
Some months ago, I had lunch with a friend at one of the restaurants inside the Empire State Building. We prayed before we ate, as we usually do, and thought nothing of it. After the meal, we paused to talk a few moments in the cavernous lobby of the building—it was teeming with people, as almost 15,000 work in the building.
All of a sudden, a man in his early 60s approached us and asked, “What do you two do for a living?” He was curious because he had seen us pray.
I told him, “I spend my time telling Jewish people about Jesus.”
He then said, “I’m Jewish!”
I said, “Great! Then I can tell you!”
He answered with half a smile and said, “I don’t believe in religion!”
I told him I was not religious either, but I believed we all needed to have a personal relationship with God through the Jewish Messiah, Jesus.
I thought he might walk away at that moment, but instead, he said, “Come up to my office, there are some things I want to show you.”
So, we followed Fred* upstairs to a little office where he sells shirts. Fred opened one of his overflowing drawers and began pulling out pictures—nice family photos of his childhood in Germany. Then, without warning, he produced a picture of a person lying in a pool of blood with a bullet wound in his head. Fred said, “This is my uncle, shot by the Nazis. I found this photo in a collection taken from the Gestapo after the war.” I also learned that Fred, unfortunately, like many other Jewish people, identified the Nazis with Christianity.
He turned to me and said, “You want me to believe in a God who allowed all of this?”
We talked further and shared the Gospel with Fred, telling him that real Christians love the Jewish people and would never tolerate such atrocities. Yet, as the conversation progressed, we learned that Fred was interested in talking with us because a born-again friend had reached out to him and shown an appreciation for his Jewishness. And there it was! The hand of God had brought Fred to us at the right moment!
You see, the only way a Jewish person is going to get beyond the Holocaust, the pogroms and the threat factor of Christianity is through our loving testimony.
Jewish prejudice towards Christianity may be alleviated one person at a time and even one church at a time. Your church can show the local Jewish community kindness. If there is some way to support Jewish concerns in your community, then do it. This will help.
But, nothing breaks down two thousand years of prejudice more effectively than love.
Does it work? If it did not, I would not be writing to you today. Somehow we must show Jewish people the difference between Jesus and the Christianity that has hurt them—one person at a time.
The spiritual antagonism against the Jewish people emanates from the enemy’s desire to prevent the return of the Messiah. But our hope is established upon a firm foundation. Despite Satan’s attempt to thwart God’s plan, we can be certain of Israel’s redemption and Jerusalem’s prominence in Jesus’ Kingdom because God’s promises are irrevocable (Rom. 11:29).
Our Chosen People Ministries staff needs your prayers and financial support more than ever before. We have seen breakthroughs in places and situations—like with Fred—that were utterly unexpected! We see these happening through our campus outreach, our Bible studies, outreach events, Messianic Centers and congregations…but, our staff needs to be encouraged and to endure. Breaking through two thousand years of “bad” history and prejudice against the Gospel is not easy…and it takes time.
Would you help me support our staff by giving to Chosen People Ministries? Without your gifts, we cannot support those on the field doing this great work among His chosen people!
Our staff is our most precious asset as a ministry and this month I hope you will give a generous gift to the Daniel Fuchs Under-Supported Missionary Fund. Our missionaries all raise their own support and a number serving in hard places like Brooklyn, Israel and Russia need your help today. Our goal this calendar year is to raise $200,000 to help them receive their salaries and ministry funds. We cannot do this without you!
Please pray for Robin, Henry, Sasha, Kirill, Rich and a half dozen others who will benefit directly from your gift. I want our staff to be concerned with the Jewish people with whom they are sharing the Gospel and not with fund raising any more than is necessary.
Thank you…SO MUCH…for your love and partnership.
P.S. We have a great book to help you share the Gospel with your Jewish friends, and for your gift of $100 or more, I will send you a copy of the training book How to Introduce Your Jewish Friends to the Messiah. And if you wish, we will also send you a copy of Isaiah 53 Explained that you can give to your Jewish friend.
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