Soon after I came to faith in Jesus in 1971 as a 16-year-old, drug-abusing, hippie rock drummer, my father said to me, “Michael, I’m glad to see the changes in your life, but we’re Jews, and we don’t believe in this.”
He introduced me to the new rabbi of our synagogue, fresh out of Jewish Theological Seminary, and the rabbi and I quickly became friends, a friendship that has lasted to this day.
One of the first books the rabbi gave me detailed the history of antisemitism in the Church, a shocking, painful, and often bloody history.
It made for some very difficult reading, replete with disturbing quotes from famous Church fathers, Catholic popes, and the great reformer, Martin Luther.
In the eyes of many Jews, there was a straight line from the Church Fathers to the Holocaust. How could this be?
The Christians I had met had a great love for the Jewish people, even a reverential respect. And to this day, evangelical Christians are Israel’s best friends. How could there be such a thing as “Christian” antisemitism? As an Iranian Christian once said to me, “You cannot love Jesus and hate the Jews!”
Over the years, I discovered that many contemporary Christians were completely unaware of their painful history with the Jewish people. As expressed by the Catholic historian Edward Flannery in his book The Anguish of the Jews, “The vast majority of Christians, even well educated, are all but totally ignorant of what happened to Jews in history and of the culpable involvement of the Church. …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.”
This is what led me to write the book Our Hands Are Stained with Blood: The Tragic Story of the ‘Church’ and the Jewish People, which came out in 1992 and has never gone out of print. Since I could relate to both Church and Synagogue, I wanted other Christians to feel the pain that the Jewish people had felt.
But to be perfectly candid, in all my travels across America and around the world (almost always in evangelical circles), I witnessed very little “Christian” antisemitism first hand. To the contrary, I experienced an outpouring of philo-Semitism in nation after nation, from Mexico to Korea and from Kenya to India. And where I did see signs of “Christian” antisemitism, it was on the fringes.
Not so today. It is rising again in some influential, Catholic circles as well as among evangelicals, some of whom seem obsessed with bashing the Jews. As I prepared to release an updated and revised edition of my book, what I discovered was chilling.
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Brown