On Nov. 26, an Orthodox Jewish news outlet ran this attention-grabbing headline: "WATCH THIS SHOCKING HATE: Christian TV Host Rick Wiles Calls Impeachment A 'JEW-COUP.'"
Tragically, once again, in the eyes of religious Jews, the word "Christian" is associated with the word "hate." And once again, the name of Jesus has been dishonored by one of His bigoted followers. What a terrible shame.
Of course, this story is not new. Rather, it has been repeated time and again for more than 1,500 years, to this very day. A Christian leader bashes the Jewish people, or, worse still, commits acts of discrimination or violence against them, as a result of which Jesus Himself looks ugly in the eyes of the Jewish people.
In the words of Nicolai Berdyaev, "Christians set themselves between the Messiah and the Jews, hiding from the latter the authentic image of the Savior."
And that's why Jewish philosopher Eliezer Berkovits, writing several decades after the Holocuast, spoke of the "the moral bankruptcy of Christian civilization and the spiritual bankruptcy of Christian religion," charges that are highly exaggerated yet seem accurate in the eyes of many Jews.
Of course, anyone familiar with church history can point to an endless chain of positive, world-improving actions of Christians throughout the ages, including extraordinary acts of compassion and self-sacrifice.
To this moment, Christians around the world lead the way in doing good, building hospitals, caring for orphans, feeding the poor and launching education programs, just to mention a few. And some of the saintliest people on the planet are committed Christians, people who recoil at the hateful words of people like Rick Wiles.
But church history is also littered with sinful acts against Jews, from demonizing them in sermons to herding them into ghettos and from offering them baptism or death to working hand in hand with the Nazis. And it is that part of church history many Jews know by heart.
What is especially grievous to me, as a Jewish follower of Jesus since 1971, is that a few bad apples make the rest of us look bad. And in this case, the anti-Semitic rants of Rick Wiles and TruNews, an evangelical, online news network, might make more of an impression than the loving words and deeds of millions of other Christians.
I have been sounding the alarm about TruNews all this year (see here and here), trying to engage them in private or public dialogue or debate, to no avail. Now all that is left to do is rebuke them publicly for their dangerous rhetoric.
Earlier this year, Wiles claimed that "the Jews" owned Donald Trump and the White House, while also claiming that "the Jews" owned the evangelical Christian leaders who had surrounded Trump.
Now, Wiles claims that "the Jews ... are deceivers, they plot, they lie, they do whatever they have to do to accomplish their political agenda. This 'impeach Trump' effort is a Jew coup and the American people better wake up to it really fast because this thing is moving now toward a vote in the House and then a trial in the Senate. We could have a trial before Christmas."
Oh, those evil Jews! It appears they can't even make up their own minds. First, they own Trump, who is really controlled by his Jewish son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Now, they want to get rid of Trump.
That's why the aforementioned religious Jewish news outlet noted, "Someone should remind this neo-Nazi that Orthodox Jews just donated millions to Trump's reelection campaign in an event attended by hundreds of Yarmulka-wearing Jews."
So, which is it? Jews are supporting Trump or Jews are trying to oust Trump?
As I penned this article, I received an email from my friend Rabbi Shmuley Boteach linked to this Breitbart headline: "Rabbi Shmuley: Jews Are Thankful that Trump Recognized Our Biblical Connection to Judea and Samaria."
It looks like a whole bunch of Jews are glad to have Trump in the White House (including a higher percentage of Israeli Jews than American Jews). But TruNews cannot be bothered by facts. Whatever the Jews do is evil, and they must be demonized as a group.
Wiles then sounds this ominous alarm: "This country could be in civil war at Christmastime. Members of the U.S. military are going to have to take a stand just like they did in the 1860s with the Civil War. They are going to have to decide: are you fighting for the North or the South? People are going to be forced, possibly by this Christmas, to take a stand because of this Jew coup in the United States."
And yet there is more, as Wiles closes with this fear-inducing warning that could easily lead unstable people to commit acts of violence against their evil enemies, the Jews. He said, "This is a coup led by Jews to overthrow the constitutionally elected president of the United States and it's beyond removing Donald Trump, it's removing you and me. That's what's at the heart of it. You have been taken over by a Jewish cabal.
"The church of Jesus Christ, you're next. Get it through your head! They're coming for you. There will be a purge. That's the next thing that happens when Jews take over a country, they kill millions."
What absolute rubbish. And what dangerous rubbish at that. May these words find their way into the trash heap of ideas, and may they be forgotten as quickly as they were spoken.
I encourage every Christian reader to tell your Jewish friends that Rick Wiles does not speak for you. That you utterly repudiate such words. That you recognize this as a dangerous example of modern-day anti-Semitism. And that this spirit is the opposite of the spirit of Jesus and the New Testament.
And while we pray that God would grant Rick Wiles and his team true repentance, we should shun him and his network until that time comes.
Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is Evangelicals at the Crossroads: Will We Pass the Trump Test? Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter, or YouTube.
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