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Consulting The New Testament For How To Treat The Jews Today

 

Neal Pollard

Six months after the deadly shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a similar attempt was made on the Chabad Synagogue in San Diego this weekend (4/27/19). Although Jewish people are not the only ones targeted in attacks toward religious and non-religious targets, hatred and violent acts against Jews are some of the most severe and ancient known to the world. Antisemitism has often been so strong and passionate, it is incredible. Stereotypes against them are sweeping and staunch. Among those professing to be Christians, there is a wide range of views and false extremes at both ends. Let us consider some truths and then a few applications.

  • Jesus was a Jew (Mat. 1:1-17).
  • All the apostles were Jews (Matt. 10:2ff; Acts 1:21-26; Phil. 3:5-6).
  • Some of the greatest Bible heroes, including Moses, David, Elijah and the prophets, Esther, and more, were Jews.
  • Jews prompted the Romans to cause Jesus’ death (Mark 15). 
  • Salvation came first to the Jews (Rom. 1:16). 
  • The first Christians were Jews (Acts 2-9).
  • The Jews were God’s chosen people to bring the Messiah for the benefit of the whole world (Gal. 3:23-29). 
  • Jesus fulfilled the Old Law (Mat. 5:17), and by His death He ended the religious separation between Jew and Gentile (Eph. 2:11-21).
  • Jews and Gentiles are all saved by the same “Way” (John 14:6; Rom. 11). 
  • Though some believe the Jews are suffering from the curse they placed on themselves when Jesus was crucified (Mat. 27:25), that is no justification for any mistreatment of the Jews today.
  • True, New Testament Christianity seeks to harm no one (Mat. 10:16) and wants to embrace any who come to Christ (Rev. 22:17; Rom. 15:7). So, anyone doing violence in the name of Jesus is misusing and abusing His name!
  • Premillennialists, who in their misunderstanding seek to elevate the city of Jerusalem or modern-day Israel, misunderstand the nature of Christ’s Kingdom and the end of time (Mat. 24:36ff; 2 Pet. 3:10; etc.).
  • No race is inherently superior or inferior (Acts 17:26; Gal. 3:28-29). God is not one to show partiality (Acts 10:34), so neither should we.
  • God wants every Jew to be saved (1 Tim. 2:4).

These are just some of the Bible facts to keep in mind when considering our own feelings or testing the feelings of others against Abraham’s descendants. In a world of hate and fear, Christians are to rise above such (Col. 3:1-2). While most Jews (and Gentiles) will refuse the gospel (cf. Mat. 7:13-14), our heart and efforts should be dedicated to trying to share it with anyone and everyone who is willing. Hateful words and harmful conduct are the characteristics of those against Christ and certainly do not represent Him!

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Should Obese Kids Get Candy?

Neal Pollard

The cynic surely believes this lady is feeding her urge for 15 minutes of fame or seeking an outlet for her social ideology.  The tenderhearted finds it cruel and unfeeling.  The overweight likely are offended.  The objective observer still must be shaking his or her head in disbelief. The Fargo, North Dakota, woman, who identifies herself only as Cheryl set off a firestorm when she called in to a local radio station declaring she was going to give those she deemed overweight children an “obese letter” in addition to candy this upcoming Halloween (Fox News Story).  We’ll see if she has the courage to go through with it, what with a national spotlight and all.  But, there is no doubt how she feels.

Are there some people to whom you would not give food or candy because of their size.  That seems unfair and pretty prejudiced behaviour, doesn’t it?  How cold and unfeeling does one have to be to be so arbitrary and callous?

But, do we ever do that in other ways?  As Christians, are we ever selective?  Do we ever discriminate in our evangelism, benevolence, fellowship, or other outreach?  Do we ever judge based on their skin color or ethnicity, their present morality or lack thereof, their seeming scamming or dishonesty as they hold the sign at the traffic light, or their plain clothes or less hygienic appearance even in our own assemblies?

At first, I thought this lady’s behavior incredulous.  Actually, I still do.  But, I am also filled with a conviction to do some introspection.  Do I do what she’s doing, but in different ways?  I shouldn’t.  After all, Paul writes that we should “not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly” (Rom. 12:16).  That’s what Jesus did, and the Pharisees and scribes judged Him for it (Luke 15:2).  James warns us not to have an attitude of personal favoritism because making distinctions between people makes us judges with evil motives (Jas. 2:1-5).  Isn’t that the heart of the matter, right there?  We are not judges but servants.  Our motivation is supplied to us by the Savior, and that is to save souls (cf. Jude 23). Whose souls? Who’s ever we can!