A Rising Tide of Anti-Semitism
Jews for Jesus combats anti-Semitism by keeping you informed
A reporter for The Forward, a well-known Jewish newspaper based in New York City, asked what Jews for Jesus does to combat anti-Semitism. Among other things, we explained our commitment to inform Christian friends like you about this scourge wherever it raises its ugly head. After all, evangelical Christians remain Israel’s best friends in the world. That’s why I’m writing to you about two recent incidents of the rising tide of anti-Semitism.
Incident One: a shocking resolution by UNESCO
The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recently ratified a shocking resolution to deny Jewish ties to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
The Temple Mount is known as the holiest site in Jerusalem, in large part because of the two Jewish temples that stood there for almost nine centuries. The first, built by King Solomon some 3,000 years ago, was destroyed by the Babylonians. The second was leveled by the Romans in 70 a.d. fulfilling Christ’s prophecy in Mark 13:1–2.
The site is mentioned over 400 times in the Bible and figures prominently in centuries of Jewish and Christian history. Of course, it has since become the location of the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque and is considered the third holiest site in Sunni Islam. One needn’t be a Bible scholar or a historian to recognize that this fact does not erase the prior significance of the Temple Mount. It is extremely significant to the Jewish people. No Jew, no Christian, no Muslim—nor anyone else—can deny this truth without distorting the documented history of God’s people. To do so distorts the truth about God Himself.
And yet, by a shameful 10–2 vote (eight nations abstained), the committee adopted this outrageous resolution. With calculated and clearly political intent, the resolution ignores the undeniable Jewish and Christian connection to the Temple Mount. Referring to the location by its Arabic name, Haram al-Sharif, the resolution accuses Israel of endangering this holiest of sites.
Nor does the resolution end there. It actually presumes to order Israel to cease celebrating its Jewish heritage in Jerusalem. Incredible!
Make no mistake, whatever motivated people to sign it, the resolution itself is another piece of groundwork for a growing structure of hate that won’t be satisfied with anything short of the annihilation of the Jewish people.
Incident Two: a tragic resolution by the German Lutheran Church
In anticipation of the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s Reformation, the German Lutheran Church published a resolution that promotes a spiritual form of anti-Semitism: denying the church’s right, much less responsibility, to share Jesus with the very people through whom and to whom He first came. If you didn’t read about this in last month’s newsletter, please see my article titled “True Love.” It’s critical for Christians who care about Jewish people to understand this issue.
If it seems like these developments are not relevant to us here in America, consider this: A study recently released by Brandeis University documents growing anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment on U.S. university campuses. The report found that the high rates of anti-Semitic harassment and hostility “are largely driven by hostility toward Israel.”
This comes as no surprise to those of us who are Jewish; we all know students who have encountered anti-Israel and anti-Jewish remarks or graffiti . . . even on some of our favorite Christian campuses.
The more things change, the more they stay the same
This month the Jewish people will celebrate the Feast of Purim, the story of God’s deliverance from wicked Haman as told in the Book of Esther.
Purim is a day of remembrance and rejoicing. Thanks to God’s intervention—through Mordechai and his clever cousin/adopted daughter, Esther—evil Haman’s plan to annihilate the Jewish people was exposed. In the end, he was the one who was destroyed.
As we celebrate this victory, I’m reminded that the future of God’s chosen nation is already decided. Both Old and New Testament Scriptures reveal the crucial role that Jewish people have played, and will continue to play, in God’s plans.
Even in the face of growing, bald-faced anti-Semitism, such as that demonstrated by the UNESCO vote, and the subtler, perhaps even subconscious blow by the German Lutheran Church, we know that God’s unstoppable plan is for the salvation for Israel to bless the whole world (Romans 11:12).
A call for Christians to stand with the Jewish people
I believe all Christians need to grasp the importance of what’s happening, respect God’s favor on the Jewish people and take action.
It is my duty to call on all brothers and sisters in Christ to stand with the Jewish people for their very right to exist and to hear the life-saving gospel, remembering that:
- Salvation for Gentiles is through a “grafting” into the “holy root” of Israel (Romans 11:17).
- God wants to use Gentile salvation to call Israel back to Him (Romans 11:11).
- It’s not too late for Jewish people to repent (Romans 11:23).
While the developments I described are not unexpected in light of Scripture, it’s still shocking to watch them unfold. What a tragedy it would be if, in the name of political correctness—and, yes, maybe even fear—we see Christians keep silent when Jewish people are threatened. What a shame it would be to see more and more Christians avoid sharing the Jewish Messiah with His very own people.
All Christians should heed the words of Mordechai to Esther: “For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place . . . Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14).
God is working His plan right now. That means there is even greater urgency to be a part of that plan by carrying His Word to Jewish people who are willing to consider that Jesus just may be their Messiah.
This resource, recommended by John Piper, will help you explain the urgent need for Jewish people to hear the gospel
Last month we announced the publication of Jews for Jesus European director, Avi Snyder’s new book, Jews Don’t Need Jesus & Other Misconceptions, from Moody Press, with a foreword written by John Piper. You can pre-order copies here and get free shipping. Please use this as a tool to stand with us in support of the cause of Christ among the Jewish people. You might want to get multiple copies to distribute to your pastor, your friends and others.
Will you stand with us now to pray for the protection and salvation of the Jewish people? There is incredible openness to the gospel among Jewish people worldwide, especially in Israel. Will you help Jews for Jesus share the gospel of Yeshua (Jesus) during these increasingly difficult times and encourage others to also do so?
Executive Director, Missionary
David Brickner is executive director of Jews for Jesus. David oversees the world-wide ministry from its headquarters in San Francisco. David received his Master’s degree in Missiology with a concentration in Jewish Evangelism and Judaic Studies from the Fuller School of World Mission. He has authored several books, and has been interviewed on national television shows such as Larry King Live. David’s daughter, Ilana is a recent graduate of Biola. His son, Isaac is on the missionary staff of Jews for Jesus. Isaac and his wife, Shaina, have one daughter, Nora, which makes David part of the grandparent club, a membership he is very proud of. See more here.