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Jewish doctrinal defense against heresy.
This section of LearnEmunah.com is intended only for Jewish education and defense.
Paganism And The Burning Times
This Is Part Six
In addition to the remaining Nazarenes and Jews, the Nicean Nicolaitans also held an united abhorrence of Pagans, i.e. those people who held firmly to their pre-catholic nature-based beliefs and to Heathens, i.e. those who sought to maintain their local religious beliefs then current in the Heath (i.e. in the largely isolated rural areas). All across Europe millions of Pagans and Heathens resisted the New Religion and sought to maintain the older earth-based religions practiced by their ancestors. These brave people refused to submit to the Universal Church despite the Bishop's willingness to Paganize the New Religion in order to accommodate and entice them. While doctrinally at odds, many Jews found willing compatriots among these people, as they did among the Muslims of the period. We were all struggling to preserve our cultures and beliefs against the ever intensifying onslaughts of our common enemy.
We often forget the valiant struggles these people waged against the Nicolaitan conquerors of their homelands. This mutual hatred eventually led to "the Burning Times" in which over five million Pagans were tortured and murdered by the Christian Church. Once the Protestants came onto the scene circa 1517 Church hatred of Pagans and heathens burned even hotter, as did their intended converts!
The Church's deification of Iēsoús and near deification of Mary, their embrace of the Pagan cross as a holy symbol, the inclusion of Pagan holidays like Yule (Christmas), the feast of goddess Ostara (Easter), Samhain: the day of the dead (All Saints Eve/Halloween), the inclusion of the demonic dogma of eternal torment in the abode of the god Hades by "the God of Love" and so on finally convinced most Pagan survivors of the Burning Times to convert to the New Religion in order to survive. Some Jews made the same decision while others fled into Muslim lands for protection. Like the struggling Arians, the Pagans and Heathens tried in vain to survive. The choice was convert or die. The Jews, for the most part, did what we always have: Am Y'israel Chai! -- They survived however they could!
Unlike Judaism, Neo-Paganism (like Wicca, Druidism, Welsh Traditionalism, Gardarian Witchcraft, etc.) have no historic continuity with the past. These are all hybrid "New Age" attempts to restore the "Old Religion." These attempts are mainly based on Catholic and Protestant diatribes against them such as the Malleus Maleficarum (The Witch Hammer), a Church guide book for their extermination. In the end, the Church successfully destroyed both groups. BUT Am Y'israel Chai!
Antisemitism and the Church
As the debates raged on, the Judaizers within and without the Church were branded as heretics and relentlessly persecuted. The clear implication of these attacks being that the Catholic Church (the only Christian Church for a very long time) had no place within it for anyone who held to the Jewish origins of the Way nor for the teachings of Iēsoús the Jew, and certainly not for Judaism itself. Nothing outside the Church's authority was to be accepted as being of God and cries of "heresy" rang out across Christendom as the various persecutions intensified. In effect the Roman theologians had declared Yeshua and his talmidim heretics! Neither Yeshua nor his teachings would be tolerated within the Christian Church, only the Catholic Iēsoús and their sanctioned universalist dogmas.
For their part, the Jews were branded "Christ killers" and antisemitism became a desirable trait to be embraced by all faithful Christians. It became a sign of loyalty to the Church and to its Iēsoús god-man. Even the word "Jew" took on negative connotations among the Nicean Christians. I even know Jews today who dislike being referred to "Jews" for this reason! Well, I your humble author am proud to publicly announce here and now: I am a Jew!
Antisemitism spread like poison throughout the Christian world forcing countless Jews to flee into the Muslim lands for safety. For decades the Muslims provided the Jews with refuge against the raising universalist storm that was creating an age of darkness and despair known as "the Dark Ages" due to Christian Rule.
Even after the Anglican and Protestant Reformations this toxic prejudice continued to spread throughout Christendom. That this sentiment was carried into the Protestant Movement is evident from even a cursory reading of Protestants like Martin Luther, a personal hero of Adolph Hitler. For instance Luther wrote in his On The Jews and Their Lies:
What shall we Christians do with this rejected and condemned people, the Jews? Since they live among us, we dare not tolerate their conduct, now that we are aware of their lying and reviling and blaspheming. If we do, we become sharers in their lies, cursing and blasphemy. Thus we cannot extinguish the unquenchable fire of divine wrath, of which the prophets speak, nor can we convert the Jews. With prayer and the fear of God we must practice a sharp mercy to see whether we might save at least a few from the glowing flames. We dare not avenge ourselves. Vengeance a thousand times worse than we could wish them already has them by the throat. I shall give you my sincere advice:
First, to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them. This is to be done in honor of our Lord and of Christendom, so that God might see that we are Christians, and do not condone or knowingly tolerate such public lying, cursing, and blaspheming of his Son and of his Christians. For whatever we tolerated in the past unknowingly -- and I myself was unaware of it -- will be pardoned by God. But if we, now that we are informed, were to protect and shield such a house for the Jews, existing right before our very nose, in which they lie about, blaspheme, curse, vilify, and defame Christ and us (as was heard above), it would be the same as if we were doing all this and even worse ourselves, as we very well know (Source: On Jews and their Lies)
Martin Luther of course was one of the main founders of the Protestant Reformation and subsequent denominations including Luthrnism. While active Christian persecution of Jews has subsided today, it still exists in some Christian circles and is not confined to Catholicism by any means.
In 1948 many Christians determined that the rebirth of Israel was an act of G-d. For this reason, many of these people replaced outward antisemitism with the more sinister antisemitism of Replacement Theology. Many seek to deceive the world, and even Jews, into accepting their brands of Christianity as "Spiritual Israel," or so-called "Messianic Judaism." They sometimes even dress like us, with kippot and tzittzit, hoping to draw unsuspecting Jews away from Torah.
Those who actively support our spiritual and physical genocide continue in their nefarious hatred however. Two of the most committed anti-Jewish denominations are the Quakers (the Religious Society of Friends) and the Presbyterians Church USA, but this ancient antisemitism exists in many corners of the Christian world. Sometimes it is expressed through direct hatred and persecution, sometimes through more subtle efforts to convert us away from our Covenant with HaShem, as is done by the so-called Messianic Movement, the Holy Names movement, the Ten House sects, Jews for Jesus, Chick Tracts, etc.
Make no mistake about it, and I want our real Christian allies to understand this FACT and to join the resistance of it, while millions of sincere Christians today are standing with us, sincerely love and support us (both our people and our country), and while they make no attempts to covert us nor do us physical harm, Christendom remains the largest threat to our people today next to interfaith marriage (and these are most often with Christians).
For most of Christian history Jews have been targeted for extermination either physically or spiritually. That has not changed.
The emerging Christian Papacy based its teachings more on Plato and Aristotle than upon the revealed Word of G-d, the Torah. The "Church fathers" acknowledged the many weaknesses of Pagan Rome and their philosophies, but sought to maintain the strengths and basic mythos of the Pagans because it appealed to their enslaved subjects and thereby empowered the Vatican. Church citizens were by and large good, moral people, but the Nicolaitans who ruled them had one goal, one desire: Global Power and the extinction of the Jews.
Paganism, a major underpinning of traditional Roman authority, was a dieing religious system throughout the Empire. Rome itself was crumbling in part as a result of these failing belief systems. Kingdoms and nations endure only as long as their subjects embrace the paradigms the leaders weave. By the third century Rome's belief tapestry was moth eaten and frayed. The Vatican hoped to turn things around with the New Universal Religion. They needed some way of uniting the rebellious and disillusioned masses around a central patriotic pillar, and in Rome that meant religion. With this as their primary impetus, Roman scholars undertook the Herculean task of merging Roman Paganism with the fast growing reform Jewish sects embraced by Constantine's mother, believing it would provide the needed catalyst for the invigoration of the Roman Empire and thereby establish Papal authority over the earth.
The Papacy still faced many problems however. In many cases neither the Tanach (the Jewish Bible) nor the generally accepted writings of the early Nazarenes could be made to agree with the new Roman religion. Thus began serious Catholic biblical scholarship. If their doctrines didn't fit their Bible, then their Bible would be made to fit their doctrines as we will discuss part seven!
Continue to Part Seven Got Questions or Comments?
Let me know
Be the Blessing you were created to be
Don't let the perfect defeat the good
Contact Rabbi Shlomo Nachman
Boycott Hatred of Jews!
Echoes From Shoah
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