Christian Antisemitism

apostle-paul-in-prison-editDoes your Christian religious institution officially sanction and approve antisemitism? Unless it has published documentation of an official policy against antisemitism, then the answer to this question is "yes". With few exceptions, Christian religious institutions are Roman in nature with a tradition and official policy of antisemitism.
 
Most all corporate Christian religious institutions retain the Roman influence in their theology, beliefs, policies and rituals. The influence of the Roman empire existed in the first 4 centuries of the Common Era. This predated the start of the Greek Orthodox religious institutions which retain such influences as well.
 
Antisemitism in the Roman empire predated the day of Pentecost in Acts. For a time, the disciples of Jesus Christ, both Jew and Gentile, were viewed as a sect of the Jewish religion. This view was one which could bring much trouble to the Gentile believers. If these Gentiles were viewed as Jewish converts, they would be subject to the antisemitic policies and practices of the Roman empire.  They could be forced to pay grievous taxes or even lose their lives. These practices provided the practical incentives for the Gentile believers to distance themselves from their Jewish origins.
 
As recorded in Acts 20:29 – 35, even before the death of the apostle Paul, divisions among the believers occurred. Paul warned the elders at Ephesus about the divisions. Gentile elders and others of ability within the Christian assemblies began to pervert the gospel and the teachings of the apostles for their own personal gain. They began to draw away disciples to follow them instead of remaining disciples of Jesus Christ. The perverted doctrines and divisions resulted in the establishment of bishops as religious rulers. Religious power was concentrated in the Gentile bishops, due to the fact that the Gentiles outnumbered the Jewish believers.
 
Once the Gentile assemblies of the disciples of Jesus Christ were incorporated into the Roman Empire as an official religious institution, the antisemitism of the empire became the official policy of the Roman Church.
 
In order to promote, establish and enforce the practice of antisemitism, it was necessary to develop doctrines which were in agreement with antisemitism. This practice eliminated the influence of the Jewish believers and helped to consolidate the power of the Roman Gentile bishops. In the Roman church these doctrines established the tradition of institutional hatred, persecution and even murder of the Jews, including the Jewish believers.
 
One such class of doctrines have been produced by "replacement theology". Briefly, this theology attempts to use the Bible (written by Hebrews, Jews) to prove that the Gentile Roman church has replaced both the nation and religion of the Jews. Of course the apostle Paul and his writings are critical to this theology. Given the history of the early Roman church, and its' institutional requirement of antisemitism, it is easy to understand that Truth is not a priority when developing "replacement theology" or related doctrines. 
 
Antisemitism was not eliminated during the reformation, but was embraced and established in the Protestant religious institutions. The Protestant institutions did not  reject their Roman background or theology. The theology, doctrines and tradition of antisemitism is common throughout the corporate Roman religious institutions to this day.
 
It can be stated with great confidence that the apostle Paul, a "Hebrew of the Hebrews" (Philippians 3:5), was not a self hating antisemite! The writings of the apostle Paul cannot be correctly used to justify any form of antisemitism, any related theology or practice. Truthfully, the Bible cannot be used to justify antisemitism; it was written by "holy men of God" who were Jews!
 
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Leave a comment, or contact me at keith@ksradcliffe.com
(C)2015 Keith S. Radcliffe 

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