by Nancy Petrey
The fact that the Church has Jewish roots escaped my notice as a Christian until twenty years ago. I had a rude awakening when I attended an “Israel in Prophecy” Conference. I was shaken to learn that the “Father of the Protestant Reformation,” Martin Luther, the one who wrote the hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God,” had also written a booklet, “Concerning the Jews and Their Lies.” This booklet was published by Goebbels in 1936 and became official Nazi propaganda! I learned that Luther was influenced by replacement theology, the belief that the Jews had killed Jesus, so God had rejected them as His chosen people and replaced them with the mostly Gentile Church. Replacement theology, a deadly virus, would give God’s covenants, promises, and blessings to the Church and leave the curses to the Jews. The process that cut off the Jewish roots of the Church began around A.D. 135 and was made official by Constantine at the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325. At that time pagan practices took root instead! Anti-Semitism flourished in the Church and found expression in the Crusades, the Inquisition and, finally, the Holocaust.
Whole denominations of the Church have been taught that God rejected the Jews, because they were responsible for Jesus’ crucifixion. They ignore the fact that Jesus willingly laid down His life, and that the Jewish religious leaders (not the multitudes of Jews who followed Jesus), in complicity with the Gentile Romans, put Him to death. However, a distinct Hebrew Roots movement began emerging in the mid-1990s. Today many Christians are getting reconnected to their Jewish roots, as God has revealed to them the tremendous debt the Church owes to the Jewish people through whom we received our Messiah and the Scriptures. Attention has now been given to Paul’s admonition that we “wild branches,” Gentile believers, have been grafted into the Jewish olive tree, and that we should not boast against the natural branches, the Jews. It is the root which supports us. We have received our nourishment from their cultivated tree.
Since my attendance at that conference in 1995, I have become aware that the Church was born on a Jewish feast day (Shavuot/Pentecost), and Jewish apostles, including Paul, spread the gospel. The first fifteen bishops of the Church were not only Jewish but relatives of Jesus Christ! There were possibly no Gentile members until ten years later.
My little book of forty pages, Why Christians Should Care About Their Jewish Roots, is a great resource for Christians to help them align with God’s purposes in the end times, thereby preparing the way of the Lord as He returns to Jerusalem. Don’t forget that Jesus was born King of the Jews and died as King of the Jews. Our Messiah is Jewish! How fitting that the King of kings and Lord of lords will reign over the world from Jewish Jerusalem, another proof of the Jewishness of Christianity.
Every pastor should have a copy of this book, not only for the reasons already stated but to help his people become aware of and guard against a new form of anti-Semitism, which is anti-Zionism. Replacement theology and Palestinian liberation theology have combined to give birth to the BDS movement (boycotts, divestment, and sanctions) against Israel, the Zionist nation. Some churches and Christian leaders have bought into the Palestinian narrative – “everything’s Israel’s fault.” Exposing the error of this disguised anti-Semitism was one of my objectives in writing the book. Be aware that those who bless Israel are blessed, and those who curse Israel are cursed (Gen. 12:3).
Did the Jews Kill Jesus? What is your answer to that question? My answer is that all of us who claim Jesus as Savior and Lord, both Jews and Gentiles, are the ones who killed Jesus, because He died for our sins. He willingly gave His life, so we could be forgiven and have eternal life.
 Romans 11:11-32
 Dr. Ron Moseley, Yeshua, A Guide to the Real Jesus and the Early Church (Baltimore: Messianic Jewish Publishers, 1996, p. xviii), p. 11 citing Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical History.
 Based on social justice as seen through the eyes of the poor. Detractors call it “Christianized Marxism.”