Shortly after I came to faith in late 1971, at my father’s request, I met with the local rabbi. By God’s grace, my life had been radically transformed, going from a heroin-shooting, LSD-using, rebellious, hippie rock drummer to a Jesus-loving, clean-living child of God. And this happened virtually overnight. What a miracle!
But as much as my dad was thrilled to see me off drugs, he wasn’t thrilled to see me believing in Jesus. As he said to me, “Michael, we’re Jews. We don’t believe this.”
So it was that I met with the local rabbi, who quickly befriended me and took a genuine interest in my well-being. He challenged my beliefs, forced me to dig deeper into the Scriptures and provoked me to learn Hebrew well.
He also challenged me to look at the record of church history, which was a total shock for me. What? Christians hating the Jewish people? Christians persecuting the Jews? Christians killing the Jews?
He gave me a book to read, accompanied by a poignant letter, which I still have today, enclosed in the pages of that book. This is what he wrote:
“I’m lending you this book so that as you read its pages you can share in the thousands of years of agony your people have undergone for the sake of the Almighty G-d of Israel and His absolute unity. Perhaps it will touch a note in your heart which will help you realize what your destiny on earth is to be.”
Then, after citing powerful verses from the Hebrew Bible, he closed with this: “I pray our G-d give you the inner strength to face the truth no matter what the consequences.”
What a moving letter this was to receive, and what a shocking book it was to read.
But to be perfectly candid, the book didn’t affect me that much, even though it was filled with painful stories of the mistreatment of Jews at the hands of Christians. Growing up, I had been unaware of this history, and in the church where I came to faith as a 16-year-old in 1971, I was met with great love, not hatred. These dear Christians seemed to have a tremendous heart for the Jewish people, including those who rejected the gospel. They showed nothing but grace to me, and their hearts were also joined with the modern state of Israel, recognizing that it was God who brought the Jewish people back to their land out of the ashes of the Holocaust, as if alive from the dead.
In the decades that followed, as I traveled around America as well as overseas (now with roughly 200 ministry trips outside the United States), I also met with profound love for Israel and the Jewish people. And, over the years, when I shared with these precious believers the history of “Christian” anti-Semitism, they were absolutely shocked. As an Iranian Christian once said to me, “It is impossible to be a Christian and hate the Jews!”
That had been my experience for 47 years, with rare exception, and I could count on two hands the amount of “Christian” anti-Semites I had met—until 2019. Since then, I have encountered more “Christian” anti-Semitism than in the previous 47 years combined. I am not exaggerating.
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SOURCE: Charisma News