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Some have been shocked at what seems like a sudden explosion of anti-Semitism on university campuses. It is shocking, but perhaps we should not be all that astonished. Why should we be so surprised? William F. Buckley Jr. raised the alert in his 1951 book, God and Man at Yale. Buckley’s premise was simple:

But God and Man at Yale is about more than God and man. It also concerns Yale itself, where a young Bill Buckley believed political radicals were subverting American society by indoctrinating the nation’s future leaders with atheism and collectivism.1Michael Knowles, God and Man at Yale at 70: A New Introduction – Intercollegiate Studies Institute (

That was 73 years ago, and the universities have only increased their efforts to radically transform America and the western world. Few grasp, even now, how deeply Progressive and “Woke” the leadership and professors are at those universities. Some, like Neta Meltzer, believe radicalism is far more deeply entrenched in Progressivism than most are willing to admit. Meltzer write in her article, The CNN documentary glossed over progressive antisemitism. I’ve faced it, and we must confront it: Antisemitism on the progressive left is insidious, and we ignore it to our detriment:

Why are we so afraid to delve into the problem of antisemitism on the political left? Of the exclusion of Jewish students on campus when they identify as proud Zionists, the rejection of Jewish participation in a marches meant to celebrate diversity and acceptance, the unwillingness to address the progressive movement’s most pressing issues side by side with Jewish organizations, the complete erasure of the Jewish connection to their indigenous homeland in Israel, and the idea that denying the legitimacy of the Jewish state is anything short of clear and blatant antisemitism? Why can’t we talk about it — all of it?

In How American progressives normalize anti-Semitism, Steven Lubet contributes:

It has become commonplace on the American left to condemn anti-Semitism among neo-Nazis and white supremacists, while viewing its anti-Israel instantiations as only overheated taunting, or perhaps just an expression of poor taste. There is painfully scant realization, for whatever reason, that ambient anti-Semitism has never in history led to anything truly progressive. It is a short step from normalizing anti-Semitism to enabling it, which will assuredly be worse.

How is it that Progressives can see anti-Semitism in “neo-Nazis” and “white supremacists” but not in Progressivism? Perhaps the answer lies in Daniel Lattier’s article, Why So Many ‘Tolerant’ People Are Actually the Opposite. He points out that tolerance is a virtue, but virtues do not operate independently in a vacuum. They are interdependent on the other virtues, none of which can correctly operate without the support of the others. He quotes J. Budziszewski:

Budziszewski explains:

“For every moral virtue depends on practical wisdom; hence if practical wisdom is impaired, then every moral virtue is impaired. But on the other side, practical wisdom depends on every moral virtue; hence if any moral virtue is impaired, practical wisdom is impaired. It follows, then, that through practical wisdom, a flaw in any moral virtue entails a flaw in every other.”

To summarize… “Practical wisdom” refers to prudence, the virtue of determining the right course of action in each situation. If one is missing this virtue, then one cannot know how to properly perform virtues such as tolerance in a balanced manner. And vice versa, if one doesn’t know how to be properly tolerant (or temperate, or just), then it means that person is not prudent.

We would suggest that, ultimately, it is truly a spiritual problem. With the left’s total rejection, even revulsion, of objective morality, tolerance isn’t possible, and therefore, there is no reason not to be anti-Semitic. As we pointed out in They’re Just Jews, few realize that there is a 4 ½ times more likelihood of a hate crime being committed against a Jew than a Muslim.

Anti-Semitism is not new in America, sadly. It was quite popular in the 1930s and 40s. It extends across nations and has a long history in the past.  Anti-Semitism predates Christianity. In Why have Jews been targets of oppression for so long? Look to the Bible, Alexander Roberts suggests that the pattern begins as far back as Genesis 26, where Abimelech sent Isaacs’s family away from his domain because of their tendency to succeed and outshine surrounding peoples. Roberts also provides a partial list of “some of the nations that had ‘violently expelled Jews.’” There seems to be an interesting, if somewhat startling, correlation between how nations turn against their Jewish population and the collapse of those nations. Roberts writes:

Many historians call Jews the “canary in the coal mine,” a metaphor referring to the practice by miners of sending canaries into mine shafts to determine if they were safe from dangerous levels of toxic gases.  When societies blame Jews for their problems, both are in trouble. Or, as the late Chief Rabbi of Britain, Lord Jonathan Sacks, put it, “The hate that begins with Jews never ends with Jews.”

The classic paradigm is the experience of Jews in Spain and the Spanish Inquisition [founded in 1478]. Thousands of Jews were burned at the stake for “insincere” conversions. In 1492, with the Spanish treasury depleted by the fight to dislodge Muslim rule, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella enacted the Alhambra Decree to expel the Jews and seized their money. The confiscated wealth, however, never made up for the economic and cultural loss of so many prominent merchants, artisans, scientists and philosophers. Ironically, the Jews of Spain were welcomed by the Ottoman Empire and its Sultan who said, “They tell me that Ferdinand of Spain is a wise man, but he is a fool. For he takes his treasure and sends it all to me.”

Spain declined and went bankrupt 100 years later, while the Ottoman Empire became a great power.

These facts alone are enough to tell us that God is not through with His people, the Jews. They are not “the church,” but rather both groups are uniquely loved by God.

Looking back further to the late 4th century, Christianity became the State Church of Rome, and the “Jews became the victims of religious intolerance and political oppression.”2History of antisemitism – Wikipedia -“Late Roman Empire” This stems not from sound biblical teaching but from misuse of passages of the New Testament. As a result of this, many Jews view the New Testament as an anti-Semitic book, which, properly understood, it is decidedly not. This issue is demonstrated in Matt Gaetz’s (R-Fla.) comments on the new House antisemitism bill and his concerns that the inclusion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism would label the Bible as hate speech:

Gaetz said that one of the examples of IHRA’s definition of antisemitism includes “claims of Jews killing Jesus.” He then pointed to excerpts from the Bible to back his argument, suggesting that the religious text would fall under the definition.

Gaetz is concerned the IHRA’s definition of antisemitism could lead to labeling the New Testament as hate speech but is he also suggesting that the Jews are guilty of the death of Christ? He doesn’t seem to clarify his position on that question.

So, are the Jews responsible before God for the death of Jesus? Did the Jews kill Christ? There are several problems with this claim. First, it was Jesus Who said, “I lay down my life for the sheep” (John 10:15). To make sure there was no misunderstanding, Jesus reiterated it more strongly:

For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” (John 10:17-18 ESV).

Second, it was the chief priests and rulers who conspired to bring about the trial and crucifixion of Christ and led the people in demanding the crucifixion. (Luke 23:13-25) Third, it was Pilate that passed the sentence to execution. Fourth, all of this was ordained by God. While on trial before the religious leaders, Peter enumerated the responsible parties:

for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you [God] anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. (Acts 4:27-28 ESV)

Fifth, on the cross, “Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’” (Luke 23:34)

We find that prayer answered in Acts 3:17: And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers.

Peter went on to point out that what Jesus suffered was a fulfillment of prophecy to a Jewish nation:

But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago. Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you. And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people. (Acts 3:18-23 ESV)

His listeners thus had the opportunity to believe what was foretold by God through His prophet, repent, and be cleansed of their sins, for which the Messiah died and rose, or reject Him to their own peril.

Are any descendants of Jews or Gentiles – guilty of the sins of their ancestors? YHWH answers that question through His prophet, Ezekiel:

The soul that sins, he will die. The son will not bear the iniquity of the father with him, nor will the father bear the iniquity of the son with him. The righteousness of the righteous will be on him and the wickedness of the wicked will be on him. (Ezekiel 18:20 TLV)

Each person, Jew and/or Gentile, will stand before God and be judged for his or her own sin, not the sin of an ancestor, a son, or another contemporary. Likewise, we do not stand condemned by our race or nationality. Still, though free from that type of “guilt by association” condemnation, we still have our own personal sins to stand and give an account for on the day of judgment. That, friends, is the reason Jesus came, and why He laid down His life to pay for our sin, so that we could be forgiven and set free. We do not need to be judged and condemned for our sin, if we accept the redemption and sonship He alone can offer. Roman chapter 8 encapsulates this so well.

There is therefore NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:1-2 ESV)

We could try so hard to keep the law and live up to God’s requirements, but we couldn’t even do it for a very short while, much less always, without one slip. God does not grade on the curve, where we could compare ourselves to people we deemed to be the most evil among us, to look good standing next to them. Without Christ, we are just as lost as they are. And, we all know that people have a way of mentally excusing their own bad behavior. We were frustrated, we were hungry, we were disadvantaged in life – we are NOT SO BAD.

But Jesus is God in human flesh, born perfect, who came to Earth to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves – the only person capable of keeping God’s law.

For God has done what the law, weakened by [our] flesh, could NOT do. By sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8, 3-4 ESV)

Jesus freely offers us – at no charge, what we cannot earn for ourselves – His perfection – and the right be called “sons of God.” When we acknowledge His gift, and accept his sacrifice on our behalf, we are then led by the Spirit and no longer by the flesh. We will not be perfect in all our own actions in this life, but our imperfection is no longer an anchor chained to our neck, condemning us forever before God. Instead, when God looks at us, he sees the righteousness of His Son laid over us.

How do we accept His priceless gift? We “call upon” Jesus, pray to Him, and simply ask for His forgiveness and perfection – and He will freely give this to us, in place of our own unrighteousness.

For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord (Jesus) will be saved. (Romans 10:13 ESV)

It is a gift! Please don’t reject the best gift you can ever receive.

Don and Joy Signature 2

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