I want to inform some people here about some issues regarding why it took a while for me to post here.
Three years ago I came across this site, interested in Orthodoxy. I read some things, had some fun and was ready to make a handle and jump in.
What I came across when I saw references to Jews, not only the religious Jew but the cultural Jew, I was disgusted. I followed links with names, sadly mostly Serbian and I saw someone who shall remain nameless on an anti-Semitic board using the same handle and promoting the extermination of Jews in their nation. I was appalled, disgusted, cried honestly and questioned if Blessed Orthodoxy is truly the loving compassionate church Jesus Christ founded. It took not only the Roman Catholics, but two loving Orthodox Priests to help me come to my conclusion of entering the Church. Their information on Jewish converts to Orthodoxy helped alot, and I have to say that those who hate the Jew are in sin. Those who hate their faith walk a shady ground and those who have compassion to heal and show the truth to the Jew in love is healthy. SO to those who have an issue, please realize you will have to answer God for some of your actions and reasoning.
And remember, we all have a Jewish Mother who intercedes for us, so how can you hate her?
Panagiotis raises some valid points. I'm sure that many of us have wrestled with aspects of Orthodox history and wept at past mistakes. Of course, Orthodox history is merely a mirror of all human history. And it seems that mankind never really learns.
Apparently, the "racism" in the thread isn't truely racisim, but ideologism. (I might have just invented that word.)
From what I can ascertain from reading this thread, clearly any Jew who comes over to our side and accepts Christianity is acceptable. What doesn't appear to be acceptable is the continued denial of Christ.
I have a recollection of being quite surprised to discover that Martin Luther believed that his own change of ideology would somehow ease the path for the Jews of his time to accept Christianity. He figured that by throwing off Catholicism (and thereby the bad blood between Jew and Christian) the Jews would flock to his brand of Christianity. When they didn't, he became petulant and began writing in a very different vein than he had earlier. It was time, he decided, to burn their synagogues, with the Jews still in them.
Without wishing to judge Martin Luther in any way, it would seem that his pride was hurt. He had assumed that his ideology was so undeniably brilliant that no one, not even the Jew, could resist it. When they did, his disappointment turned to vengeance; all in the name of Christ, of course. (I hope that this is a reasonably accurate account of the events. It is many years since I read the details.)
I have lived long enough now, that I have ceased to be surprised by the fact that people, myself included, are so dismally flawed.
Why is it that we who claim to follow Christ, simply don't? Nevermind how Jews or Muslims or anyone else believe or act. How are we, as Christians, supposed to believe and act? The onus is the Christian to show the love of Christ toward all enemies, in all circumstances; in every word and in every deed. What others do is irrelevant.
Too often, I see people resort to insult and denegration of people who don't agree with them and then, when challanged on their behaviour, turn to the pages of the Gospel and proudly state; "Well, Christ calls the Pharisees a brood of vipers!" It's true. And He was right, and those He was referrring to were His own people; people who had the Law and the Prophets and who should have known better than to lead those who they instructed into error.
There have been, and always will be, those within the Church to whom the very same term could be applied. And quite frankly, Christians should know better, but we simply don't seem to be able to transfer head-knowledge into righteous action.
The last two thousand years have shown Christians to be every bit as inept as the Jews were at revealing the unconditional and self-sacrificing Love of God to our fellow man. The battle-cry is always the same. "Come over to our side and we'll forget that you are different; that your predecessors in the dim and distance past crucified our Lord. If you don't, we will consider you not worthy of respect and thoughtlessly repeat all manner of slander against you."
Do Jews act and think in error? Do they have a political agenda? If they do, so what? This might come as a shock, but we all
act and think in error, we all
have a political agenda; Christians, Jews, Muslims and whatever else. Every human being on the face of this planet is so pitifully flawed that most of the time we simply can't see the forest for the trees. And the sooner we come to grips with that realisation, the sooner we will be able to accept each other as flawed creatures. Only when we consider others on an equal footing are we going to be able to look past their faults, whatever they might be, and truly offer God's love.
Panagiotis is right. We will have to answer to God for our actions and reasoning. And because of this, we need to stop and think before we speak; before we form any idealolgy that could lead us into the grave sin of condemning our neighbour because he is in error; forgetting at the same time that we also are in error. No one is perfect, but everyone will have to answer to God for their actions and reasoning.
Lord have mercy on us all. (We certainly need it!)
Sorry to have ranted. I shall put the soap box away now.