Shortly after I came to faith in Jesus as a 16-year-old Jewish hippie rock drummer late in 1971, my father asked me to meet with the local rabbi. My dad was thrilled that I had stopped using drugs. But he said to me, “Michael, we’re Jewish. We don’t believe this.”
The local rabbi and I became friends, spending hours in intense discussion and debate. And in one of our early meetings, he gave me a book detailing the history of “Christian” anti-Semitism. The contents were absolutely shocking.
How could it be that so many famous Christian leaders seemed to have such hatred for the Jewish people? How could it be that Jews were offered baptism or death? How could it be that non-baptized Jews were expelled from many “Christian” countries? How could it be that Luther’s recommendations to the German princes of his day, counseling them on how to deal with the “insufferable devilish burden—the Jews,” were carried out in detail by the Nazis?
All this was shocking to me because 1) the church where I came to faith had a real love for the Jewish people and Israel; 2) the spirit of the New Testament was one of love, even for those who opposed the faith; and 3) I was not familiar with church history.
But the more I shared my faith with fellow Jews, the more they referenced this ugly history, a history that was still fresh in their minds, especially if they were religious Jews.
Ironically, as I traveled around the world preaching in nation after nation, I met Christians who had a deep love for the Jewish people, who supported the modern state of Israel and who too were shocked by the horrible history of “Christian” ant-Semitism.
In fact, the book that I wrote sharing this history, Our Hands Are Stained with Blood, became my most translated book, remaining in print from 1992 until last year, when we released an expanded and updated edition. Just like me, Christians were shocked to hear about this history and wanted to help make the story known.
That’s why I am so deeply grateful to you who are Christian supporters of Israel.
For so many years now, despite the imperfections of the people of Israel, you have served my people there.
You have cared for their poor. You have ministered to their sick. You have given and you have sacrificed and you have loved. And you have done it because of your faith, not despite your faith. You have done it unconditionally.
And that has made a great difference in Jewish perceptions of Christianity. There is less suspicion. Less fear of heavy-handed proselytizing. Less concern of ulterior motive.
You have loved as Jesus taught, putting others first. And you have sought to undo the terrible reputation of “Christianity” in the eyes of the Jewish world.
For that, as a Jewish follower of Jesus, I am deeply grateful.
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SOURCE: Charisma News