To those who have been reading daily, I apologize for the delay in posting this. You may understand when you read this post.
Writing Every Day for Thirty-One Days
to Speak Life over Israel
While much of the earth is speaking death and accusation over the Jewish nation, let’s take 31 days to do the opposite. Let’s speak life over the nation of Israel and the Jewish people.
Day 30: Bacon
Bacon is a difficult word prompt for me. Let me explain why.
About seventeen years ago, I accidentally landed upon a path that has been wonderful yet filled with heartache in many ways. It has been a lonely road and it took me years to comprehend why. The path has been to learn about and walk with the G-d of Israel and the people of Israel.
If you ask the average person that has been a part of what has historically been called the “church,” you may never know that the faith began as a Jewish sect. The church seems to be a place where it is very rare to learn about the dynamic Jewish experience and the story of the historical people of Israel. Most would know that Jesus was a Jew even though some still desire to rewrite this historical fact due to their hatred of all things Jewish.
The story goes on. I connected with G-d as the G-d of Israel almost two decades ago. It has been a journey I would never ever regret. As I mentioned earlier, it has been lonely and isolating at times. As I’ve delved into the study of Jewish history, their story is filled with loneliness, isolation and rejection.
The overall Jewish experience at the hands of those who profess to believe in Israel’s long-awaited messiah has been utterly horrible. Rejection and isolation would have been kind compared to what the historical realities are. There are not words to adequately describe this tragic and dark history nor the Jewish people’s anguish and persecution by Christians. I realize that you may be shocked by this information but the reality is undeniable. This history can no longer be denied nor argued away. It must be taken seriously.
If you have a courageous heart, I implore you to take a glimpse of this story for yourself. Please stare at it with open eyes and an open heart and be willing to ask some deep and difficult questions.
A book written by the late Catholic priest Father Edward Flannery, originally published in 1965, chronicles twenty-three centuries of anti-Semitism. Father Flannery wrote a “confessional” history of the historical church’s longstanding mistreatment and hatred of the Jewish people. His post-Holocaust self-reflective hope was to see many own and repent over such sins. He links the church’s anti-Semitism to ancient pagan anti-Semitism. This faulty foundation of anti-semitism in the church opened the door for supersessionist ideology, the claim that the church was the new and true Israel. This ideology thrived among the early church fathers and has proven to be a seedbed for some of the most vile and abhorrent acts of murder and hatred of the Jewish people ever expressed throughout history.
Most surprising of all is that this history has been mostly hidden and ignored in the halls of churches and the classrooms of theological seminaries. Yet the Jewish community is starkly aware of it. Here is an excerpt from Flannery’s book to this point, “The vast majority of Christians, even well educated, are all but totally ignorant of what happened to Jews in history and the culpable involvement of the Church…the anti-Semitic record does not appear in Christian history books or social studies, and because Christians are not inclined to read histories of anti-Semitism. Jews on the other hand are by and large acutely aware of this page of history if for no other reason than that it is so extensively and intimately intermingled with the history of the Jews and Judaism. It is little exaggeration to state that those pages of history Jews have committed to memory are the very ones that have been torn from Christian (and secular) history books.”
All that to say, caring about Israel in a world of people who profess to follow a Jewish man is harder than you’d think. 1900 years of a rewritten identity of this Jewish man is sad and it is painful. It is heartbreaking. And because most don’t know this history, people are shocked by even small pieces of this information. Many get offended when the subject is brought up and many want to stay ignorant of the hard facts and the real realities.
Yet, how can there be any real reconciliation between Jews and Christians without dealing with this history? How can the church be absolved if they never ask forgiveness for these crimes? How can those who follow this Jewish man walk outside of hypocrisy and into reality without dealing with him as a Jew?
Outside of the historical truths, what is the core identity of the messiah that the masses say they follow? Who was he? Where did he live? Who was his family? What was his background? It’s like knowing someone without knowing their personal history, their family background, the joys and heartaches of their experience, what they love and what they don’t. All of these things are simply thoughts and questions to stir hunger and hopefully shed light on the subject.
So what about bacon besides the obvious fact that it isn’t kosher. In light of what we’re talking about, Jews were forced to eat bacon to prove they had converted to Christianity or they would face death during the days of the Spanish inquisition. This is the history of the church. This is the history of the Jewish people.
Reconciliation is the goal. Yet the hard work of reconciliation is hard work. And oftentimes we don’t want to do the hard work until it comes knocking on our door, and oftentimes it comes later than we had wished. Germans know this better than any modern culture. A nation professing belief in the one G-d, yet standing by while the Jews in their midst slowly but surely had everything, ultimately their lives, taken from them.
If all of this sounds too heavy and is confusing, it is heavy but it doesn’t have to be confusing. Let me connect you a couple of resources to look into it on your own. Contact me on the comments page if you have throughts/questions.
Note: In using the term “church” I am referring to all parts of what has historically been considered a part of the church including Catholics, Protestants and other Orthodox churches.
The Anguish of the Jews by Edward H. Flannery
Link to New Revised & Updated Paperback Edition: http://www.amazon.com/The-Anguish-Jews-Twenty-Three-Antisemitism/dp/0809143240
Link to Used Edition: http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?sts=t&tn=anguish+of+the+jews
Link to Electronic Edition:
Our Hands are Stained with Blood by Michael Brown
Link for Sharing: http://www.desireisrael.com/?p=224
Chai is the Hebrew word for Life
Joining the 31 Day online writing challenge