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    Christian Theology - Thread: Luther and the Jews

    1. #21
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      Quote Originally Posted by Lämmchen View Post
      Messianic Judaism is not a race but a religion or denomination. The term is somewhat new...1920s I think it began and then had a revival in the 60s? I can't remember and I just finished reading about it (d'oh).
      It's not really even a denomination. It merely means that a person who practiced Judaism or who has Jewish ancestry now recognizes Yeshua as Messiah. The theology of these believers is as varied as any others in Christianity.

    2. Likes ImaginaryDay2 liked this post
    3. #22
      Lämmchen's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by MennoSota View Post
      It's not really even a denomination. It merely means that a person who practiced Judaism or who has Jewish ancestry now recognizes Yeshua as Messiah. The theology of these believers is as varied as any others in Christianity.
      On another site I was on it is labeled as a "faith movement" and I suppose that is a more accurate description than denomination.
      "Christianity does not require more work but more trust." Pr. Jonathan Fisk
      "Bearing fruit does not make you a branch. A branch is a branch because it grows from the vine." Pr. Jonathan Fisk
      "A Christian's life is not defined by what the Christian does. It is defined by Christ and what He has done for us." Pr. Rolf David Preus

    4. #23
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      Quote Originally Posted by Lämmchen View Post
      On another site I was on it is labeled as a "faith movement" and I suppose that is a more accurate description than denomination.
      I don't see it that way. One could label "Jews for Jesus" as a faith movement or denomination, but a Messianic Jew isn't necessarily a member of Jews for Jesus.

    5. #24
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      From the OP, it's interesting that Luther's view was:

      "Consequently, there is no distinction between Jews and Gentiles..."

      Which I don't disagree with - but he goes on:

      "...except that Moses later separated this people from the Gentiles by a different form of worship and political regime".

      So Luther sees it as an act of Moses, this separation, rather than an act of God to separate a people to Himself. Likewise, it's viewed through a worship and political lens, rather than spiritual.
      "Let us ask the Lord for a strong faith to see with his eyes the reality of family life, and for a deep love to approach all families with his merciful heart." - Pope Francis

    6. #25
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      Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryDay2 View Post
      From the OP, it's interesting that Luther's view was:

      "Consequently, there is no distinction between Jews and Gentiles..."

      Which I don't disagree with - but he goes on:

      "...except that Moses later separated this people from the Gentiles by a different form of worship and political regime".

      So Luther sees it as an act of Moses, this separation, rather than an act of God to separate a people to Himself. Likewise, it's viewed through a worship and political lens, rather than spiritual.

      I can't find that quote in the OP at all,

      It should be kept in my mind that Luther’s later anti-Jewish tracts were written from a position different than current concept of anti-Semitism. Luther was born into a society that was anti-Judaic, but it was not the current anti-Judaic type of society that bases it racism on biological factors. Luther had no objections to integrating converted Jews fully into Christian society. He had nothing against Jews as “Jews” as a race. He had something against their religion because he believed it denied Christ.

      Dr. Heiko Oberman points out, “One thing must be clearly understood: Luther was anti-Jewish in his repeated warnings against the Jews (of any race) because of it denied the Christian Gospel and thus Christ. But Luther was not an anti-Semite or racist of any kind because- to apply the test appropriate to his time- for him a baptized Jew is fully Christian and because it matters not at all to him whether an advocate of the Jewish religion was Jew or Gentile."

      Lutheran scholar Eric Gritsch echoes Oberman’s point: “Luther was not an anti-Semite in the modern racist sense. His arguments against the Jews were theological, not biological or racist." Gritsch goes on to point out the origin of biological anti-Semitism: “Not until a French cultural anthropologist in the nineteenth century held that humankind consisted of ‘Semites’ and ‘Aryans’ were Semites considered inferior. Alfonse de Gobineau’s views were quickly adopted by European intellectuals and politicians, and Jews became the scapegoats of a snobbish colonialist society in England, France, and Germany. The rest is history- including the Jewish holocaust perpetrated by Adolf Hitler and his regime. National Socialists abused Luther to support their new racist anti-Semitism, calling him a genuine German who had hated non-Nordic races.”

      In his article “Luther’s Attitudes toward Judaism,” Carter Lindberg provides an excellent example proving Luther’s anti-Jewish writings were not motivated by biological racism. Lindberg says, “More to the point is Luther’s stance on religious intermarriage. In his criticism of the medieval Catholic canonical prohibition against a Christian marrying a Jew, Luther wrote, "Just as I may eat, drink, sleep, walk, ride with, buy from, speak to, and deal with a heathen, Jew, Turk, or heretic, so I may also marry and continue in wedlock with him. Pay no attention to the precepts of those fools who forbid it. You will find plenty of Christians—and indeed the greater part of them—who are worse in their secret unbelief than any Jew. A heathen is just as much a man or a woman—God's good creation—as St. Peter, St. Paul, and St. Lucy, not to speak of a slack and spurious Christian."

      Rather than being motivated by biological factors, Luther’s criticisms were motivated by theological concerns. Luther directed intensely abusive language against Anabaptists, lawyers, the papacy, and the Jews, the issue never being race but theology. The Jews had a religion based upon works righteousness. When Luther attacked these groups, he felt he was attacking the devil- the underlying spirit of works righteousness.

      Equally, he was opposed to any sense of racial superiority. In his last expositions on Genesis in 1544, Luther makes it explicit that no one has the right to boast on their race or lineage: “Accordingly, the Jews have no grounds for boasting; they should humble themselves and acknowledge their maternal blood. For on their father’s side they are Israelites; but on their mother’s side they are Gentiles, Moabites, Assyrians, Egyptians, Canaanites. And by this God wanted to point out that the Messiah would be a brother and a cousin of both the Jews and the Gentiles, if not according to their paternal genealogy, at least according to their maternal nature. Consequently, there is no distinction between Jews and Gentiles, except that Moses later separated this people from the Gentiles by a different form of worship and political regime. Moreover, these things were written to make it known to all that the Messiah would gather the Gentiles and the Jews into one and the same church, just as they are joined by nature and consanguinity.”

      In his commentary on Galatians 3:28, Luther explains we are all equal. No particular people has any right to claim special privilege before God: “ ‘There is neither magistrate nor subject, neither professor nor listener, neither teacher nor pupil, neither lady nor servant.’ For in Christ Jesus all social stations, even those that were divinely ordained, are nothing. Male, female, slave, free, Jew, Gentile, king, subject—these are, of course, good creatures of God. But in Christ, that is, in the matter of salvation, they amount to nothing, for all their wisdom, righteousness, devotion, and authority.”

      Luther’s most well known anti-Jewish writing was On The Jews and Their Lies. It is often quoted and cited as the clearest example of Luther’s anti-Semitism. Interestingly though, this very document proves that Luther was not a biological anti-Semite, he was not against the Jews as people, nor did he seek for their extermination. In that treatise, Luther launches into a long section against any notion that the Jews are better than anyone else. He puts forth an alleged popular anti-Jewish argument that they thanked God that they were not born gentiles or women. In arguing against this caricature, Luther mocks those who think any one particular people is better than another: “…[T]he Greek Plato daily accorded God such praise and thanksgiving—if such arrogance and blasphemy may be termed praise of God. This man, too, praised his gods for these three items: that he was a human being and not an animal; a male and not a female; a Greek and not a non-Greek or barbarian…Similarly, the Italians fancy themselves the only human beings; they imagine that all other people in the world are non-humans, mere ducks or mice by comparison.”
      We are justified by works - just not our own.

    7. #26
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      Sorry, it was a small snippet from here:

      Quote Originally Posted by Josiah View Post
      Equally, he was opposed to any sense of racial superiority. In his last expositions on Genesis in 1544, Luther makes it explicit that no one has the right to boast on their race or lineage: “Accordingly, the Jews have no grounds for boasting; they should humble themselves and acknowledge their maternal blood. For on their father’s side they are Israelites; but on their mother’s side they are Gentiles, Moabites, Assyrians, Egyptians, Canaanites. And by this God wanted to point out that the Messiah would be a brother and a cousin of both the Jews and the Gentiles, if not according to their paternal genealogy, at least according to their maternal nature. Consequently, there is no distinction between Jews and Gentiles, except that Moses later separated this people from the Gentiles by a different form of worship and political regime. Moreover, these things were written to make it known to all that the Messiah would gather the Gentiles and the Jews into one and the same church, just as they are joined by nature and consanguinity.”
      Also, when he speaks of "acknowledging their maternal blood", is he speaking of...?
      "Let us ask the Lord for a strong faith to see with his eyes the reality of family life, and for a deep love to approach all families with his merciful heart." - Pope Francis

    8. #27
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      Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryDay2 View Post
      Also, when he speaks of "acknowledging their maternal blood", is he speaking of...?
      The Patriarchs took wives from people outside the decendents of Abraham, Issac and Jacob (Israel) and God even continued to bring Gentiles into the lineage of the Messiah right up to the Moabitess Ruth, grandmother of King David. The Jews should takes less pride in their paternal roots and more humility in sharing the same maternal roots as the rest of us.

      [My best guess of Luther's intent].

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    10. #28
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      Quote Originally Posted by Lämmchen View Post
      On another site I was on it is labeled as a "faith movement" and I suppose that is a more accurate description than denomination.
      I think that's right. Most people who identify themselves with this movement attend other churches. What binds them together is an idea, and it's fueled by literature, websites, and personal contacts, not an institution like an ordinary church or denomination. To that extent, Messianic Judaism is like being a charismatic Christian or a British Israelist (Christian who believes that the British people are the lost tribes of Israel).

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    12. #29
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      Can someone respond to post 11? Preferably the link where Luther expresses violent action towards the Catholic church? Not trying to get off topic but like Luther on the Jew I think its fair to address his other extreme intolerance as well. I figure this thread is somewhat centered on luther and his mindset and not his followers but his reasoning, any Lutheran wish to comment on his statements on violently attacking the Papacy just like he did the Jew?
      (I chose "violent" because it is but im not bias on this topic, just want to know how one could respond to those particular statements)

      Sent from my LGLS755 using Tapatalk

    13. #30
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      Two points can be raised here.

      1. Are the “quotes” from Luther’s writings one sees quoted elsewhere on the internet – sickening quotes, including one expressing his potential mutilation of his wife – actually true?

      If so, that says much about the man and his attitudes.

      2. Were his tirades balanced? That is, were they aimed evenly at all non-Christian groups, including Muslims? Or was there a concentration on a particular religio-ethnic group – “the Jews”? Did Luther advocate the burning down of Muslim houses, for instance?


      If the answer to question 1 is Yes, and the answer to question 2 is No, then much of what has been presented in support of Martin Luther can be seen to be one-sided. (Another word for that is dishonest.)

      ================================================== ============================================

      There are few religions in the world that have an almost exclusive bi-directional bond with ethnicity. Judaism is one of them.

      An attack on the Jewish religion is an attack on the people practising it. Burning their houses as promoted by Martin Luther is more than just a pertinent example; it constitutes a direct attack. On specific people.

      The fact that Lutheran churches, leaders and people don’t advocate the same actions as Martin Luther did, points to one of two things:
      1. Lutheranism totally repudiates Martin Luther’s words and attitudes with respect to Jews; OR
      2. Lutheranism still harbours veiled antipathy towards Jews. (Possibly evidenced by a form of “Replacement Theology”, denying the indelibly recorded promises of God to that nation).

      Pedrito asks: which of the two is true?
      Seeking to understand with precision, God's holy and coherent revelation to us.

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