May 25, 2006 2 Comments
This post is an expansion on the previous one. Some of the main culprits of anti-Semitism have been institutions/individuals that call themselves 'Christian.'
Allow me to expand on a possible explanation for this. From what I understand, throughout Church history there has been resentment towards the Jews because they 'killed' Jesus the Christ. If I'm not mistaken (if I am someone correct me) this is the main gripe that adherents of the Christ have had against the Jews. The fear of Christian retribution still exists (remember the weeks leading to the release of Mel Gibson's movie?) as evidenced by the Anti-Defamation League breaking out in hives over the release of "The Passion of the Christ." The fear is somewhat founded since "passion plays" in Medieval Europe fuled anti-semitic sentiments.
The Christian resentment towards the Jews, I believe, also falls within Torrence's explanation.
"But wherever and whenever anti-semitism arises it is a clear sign that people are engaged in conflict with God…"
The Christian conflict with God arises from one of the most shocking passages in the Gospels (Matthew 16:21-23) where Jesus predicts His death, Peter rebukes Him for it and Jesus states the following:
"Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."
Why does Jesus rebuke Peter in this manner? Peter found the idea of Jesus' crucifixion offensive as do most of us when we're honest with ourselves. How many of us felt pity after watching the "Passion of the Christ?" I know I did as well as muted rage against those who so treated the Lord of Lords. Our anger needs an outlet so we pick those who are obviously 'responsible,' the Jewish religious leaders. The true conflict within this attitude is really with God because of what happened along the Via Dolorosa and Golgotha. It is really a gripe against what God had pre-ordained to happen. It is rebellion, why? Because we think that our way of doing things (not having Jesus die in that manner) is better than God's way (what happened at Calvary). Just like Peter would have none of this death talk coming from Jesus, we have the same attitude and so do those who choose to persecute Jews. The thing that must be remembered is that God had preordained it so we must accept it and be thankful for it because it was for our ultimate good.