To My Jewish Friends (a letter for Yom Kippur)

Yom-Kippur-Graphics-5

Today is your holiest day, the day for making right anything that hasn’t already been made right between us. And so I’m writing to you now.

I used to feel somehow responsible for 2,000 years of the church’s sins against you, as though I could ever make up for it (or had even caused it). Over the years I’ve realized that contemptible, arrogant history, what you might call “church history,” was nothing more than a gross, horrifyingly evil deception of ignorant people. There was nothing Christian about the crusades or torchings or drownings or forced conversions propagated by the Catholic church which – after all – believes and teaches things that can’t be found in Scripture and proved itself anything but Christian over those bloody centuries.

The one we call Messiah would have rejected the ones who rejected your people.

Today things are turning upside down again. And again I almost feel responsible. I know I need to do something to stop the madness in the Christian world, somehow slow the tide of people supposedly reading their Bible but disregarding its message and turning against you and yours regardless. I’m not guilty for what they do, or how they take sides against you, but I will be guilty if I say nothing.

So I’m coming to you this day as a friend. Confessing to you that things are terribly wrong inside many denominations within the larger Christian church. My brothers and sisters have bought into the media and taken their stand for the ones they see as oppressed and persecuted, not knowing the truth about your history or the history of your enemies, and somehow forgetting what our Scriptures – your Scriptures – say. What our God has said about you.

You are His chosen people.  “He who touches you touches the apple of His eye,” according to Zechariah 2:8 and other verses.

And Jeremiah 31:35-37 still says there’s no chance Israel will cease being a nation before Him, or that He will cast you away.

For that matter, the Holy One promises to bless whoever blesses you and curse whoever curses you. (Genesis 12:3) And that makes it my job now to make sure my people know the true implications of their choices, the eternal consequences of coming against you, when the God they claim to worship is now, always has been, and always will be on your side.

The good – no, great – news is that many Christians are reading their Bibles and do support and stand with you and your land. (like the church I visited this last Sunday and so many others I’ve been in.)

But tragically, it’s not like that in every congregation.

On this holy day, will you forgive me for not speaking louder against the evil voices? For not speaking up every time I could have?

And if it’s not too bold, can I ask you for a personal favour? Would you mind praying for me to be bolder and stronger than I really am, as I stand up for your land and people? You have a special place in the heart of the Holy One of Israel, He hears your prayers, and I would appreciate that so much.

Shalom. And may your fast be easy.

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