Christ In Culture/salt & Light Meeting- March 19
@ 6:30 @ Fairmount Christian Church
6502 Creighton Rd. Mechanicsville, VA
The above creation was unveiled Sunday, March 3, 2019 at Belgium’s most celebrated carnival of Aalst.
The parade featured these two huge puppets depicting pink-clad Haredi Orthodox Jews. One of them leers while smoking a cigar, a rat perched on his shoulder.
Against a synagogue facade, the puppets have money bags at their feet. A platform following the float carried other puppets that danced to a song about “bulging coffers” and “Jews getting extra fat.”
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me. Words spoken by Martin Niemöller, a prominent Protestant pastor who opposed the Nazi regime and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in German concentration camps.
The Anti-Semitic sentiment displayed in Belgium last week and the familiar words of Martin Niemöller spoken during WWII (both copied above), set the stage for our most important March and April meetings.
There’s absolutely no doubt. We’re living in an age of Global Anti-Semitism that’s on the march. This destructive sentiment thrives in America – and, as Niemöller observes, that should be perceived as bad news by Christians on several levels.
Sadly, destructive attitudes of Anti-Semitism have pervaded much of Church history. Persecution of the Jews must be regarded as foundationless and outside of God’s Will. But Christians must also begin to recognize the resurgence of Jew Hatred as their own “canary in the coal mine.”
Last week’s action in the US House of Representatives to denounce the anti-Israeli rhetoric of one of its Member was most instructive. The deliberations began as an effort to condemn the Anti-Semitic statements of freshman Congresswoman, Ilhan Omar.
They ended with passage of a watered down Bill condemning ambiguously generic acts of “hatred”. Dr. Michael Brown, Messianic Jewish cultural commentator reacted, “This was the moment to confront the insidious, rising tide of Anti-Semitism in America, not to group it together with other hateful and dangerous attitudes. Other forms of bigotry and racism can be addressed another day.”
The complete lack of Congressional will needed to repel the Anti-Jewish element of the House (that now enjoys a significant prominence in that legislative body) should send an ominous signal to Evangelical Christians. The House’s impotence points to a pathology that we must candidly appreciate as Niemöller did, albeit belatedly, in his time.
Refusal by the Congress to single out Anti-Semitism for condemnation must be assessed as particularly threatening when considered in combination with recent legally sanctioned instances of Christian persecution (e.g., the celebration of violet killings of infants, both pre-born and recently born; Lawfare against bakers, photographers and florists who decline to serve patrons demanding their participation in un-Biblical ceremonies).
Clearly, there’s more at stake here than Anti-Semitism.
The persecutors of today see Christianity as a mere extension of the Judaic code expressed in the Old Testament (which they despise). Had sufficient reason not existed before; there is now good cause to sound an alarm highlighting the very real and rising tide of hatred being demonstrated against Bible-believing Christians in America (i.e., those who some have very publicly referred to as “Deplorables”).
To support this contention, note that the House action against “hatred” did not include a direct word about Christianity yet it repeatedly addressed “Islamophobia”. Anti-Christian sentiment in America represents a clear and present danger as documented in the recent book,
So Many Christians, So Few Lions by George Yancey and David A. Williamson.
I say all of the above to, hopefully, get your attention and to tell you that we’ll consider the first of the issues I’ve raised during our March 19 meeting – that is, Growing Anti-Semitism. This topic is most relevant to Christians yet it is seldom addressed in the Church today. It’s ascendency should, by itself disturb all Christians. But it is Niemöller’s chilling comment; his inability to perceive persecution until too late (when it directly affected him), that prompts study of the second issue we’ll consider in our April meeting – specifically, Religious Freedom in America and Abroad.
We’ll begin this very important two-part series on March 19 by watching I Am Israel, a 30 minute documentary.
This multi-award winning film will not only reveal the beauty of the Land to which God is regathering His Chosen People (the Aliyah) but it will also help you understand the important and continuing linkage between Jews, Israel and Judaism, on the one hand, and Christianity on the other. I’ll following our screening of the film with short discussions of the (a) Jewishness of Christianity and (b) Several Political Myths concerning Israel.
In April, we’ll continue our recognition of the sage wisdom expressed by Niemöller. As previously announced, on April 16, Dr. Glenn J. Kimber and Sam Kakhem, former U. S. Ambassador to Bahrain will present “Attacks on Religious Liberty – Home and Abroad”. I’ve attached a flyer providing additional information concerning next month’s meeting.
I hope you’ll be able to attend both of these significantly important events. My intent will be to clearly demonstrate the existential attacks upon Christ in Culture.