Anti-Semitism and the Church of God

There are things people say in criticism of the Church, past or present, in which you can say, “OK, I can see where that might have been a problem.” There are a lot more things, though, in which I wonder what in the world was going on in some congregations. While I’m sure that people have different filters and thus see things differently, some ministers or elders must have had a rather odd agenda for some things to have gotten as bad as they apparently did in some areas.

Then, there are the ridiculous, even laughable, ones. One is the charge of anti-Semitism. This one is a real head-scratcher.

If anything, saying that the Churches of God are anti-Semitic is a lot like calling John Hagee anti-Semitic. In fact, I would argue that too often there have been a few in the Church that have put Jews and/or Judaism up on a pedestal of sorts. I can remember ministers extolling the virtues of the Jews in how they fought the Six Day War, and how God directly had a hand in their continued existence. Or, for a more extreme case in point: David Ben-Ariel.

In some cases, the argument, though, is that we are anti-Semitic because we have “co-opted” the holy days. Well, even if you believe they are Jewish days, and even if you believe that the COGs “co-opted” them, it is not a logical conclusion that that makes one anti-Semitic.

If that were the case, all of Christianity must be anti-Semitic. After all, their religious writings were “co-opted” into our Old Testament. Their Ten Commandments were “co-opted” and even hung up in churches and other buildings.

Do you see the fallacy yet? In fact, it is pretty illogical when you give it just a couple of minutes of thought. After all, there were various times in mainstream Christianity when Jews were outright persecuted, and what did the governing churches do during those periods? Did they co-opt Jewish practices and customs? No! Instead, they substituted “Jewish” customs for others. Furthermore, they accused believers who stuck to the Bible of being “Judaizers” and persecuted them.

So, the idea that somehow “co-opting” “Jewish” holidays makes one anti-Semitic is downright laughable, and I utterly reject such nonsense!

Furthermore, it points to how far some people will allow themselves to be poisoned by the spirit (and I do not use this term lightly) of hate and prejudice. They are turning their hatred outward to project it upon others. They have allowed the root of bitterness to overtake them to the point that they will justify their turning away from the truth by false accusations. Indeed, that becomes a real problem on the net, because lies and errors have a tendency to spread like wildfire, while the truth becomes sadly neglected. But, of course, their interest is not in the truth.

They willingly forget that at one time Christianity, real Christianity, was considered just another sect of the Jews. They still kept the Sabbath, the holy days, went to synagogue, practiced circumcision and overall kept the Law. In fact, some were so strict in Law-keeping that Paul had to admonish them about requiring Gentiles to be circumcised, but I’ve covered that elsewhere.

What it really boils down to is what you use for your standard. God says the holy days are His. They are not the days of Israel, the Jews or even the Church of God. Keeping them honors Him. In the Millennium, Gentile nations, even Egypt, will keep them. The focus is on Christ, now and in the future. Jesus was the Jewish Messiah, Who was also promised to save the Gentiles as well. By keeping the holy days, we are honoring a Jew. How is that anti-Semitic?

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