The following is a guest post by Ray Montgomery:

When I first approached Bob with the idea that Root Source should “do something” about the sins of our Christian past on the 9th of Av, I never expected that I would now be telling you my own story. But I do believe it is important to share a second example of the impact that the truth can have. I found that this story was painful to write, which surprised me. I had thought that having gone through this process a few years ago I could now consign it to an intellectual enterprise of simply writing an article, but revisiting it brings back those same feelings. Not as vividly perhaps, but definitely ever-present, disquieting, and humbling.

“A picture is worth a thousand words.”

Two weeks ago Bob described how in 2013, God used the Blood Moons as “cheese” to send him off to learn Jewish history. My story began in 2009, and it began with a request from a friend to explain a complex teaching from our pastor about how the 7 Churches in Revelation 1-3 and the 7 Parables of Jesus in Matthew 13 have had an historic fulfillment covering the last 2,000 years. While I understood it intellectually, it was difficult to convey in an easily understandable way, so I decided it would be easier if I presented it in a spreadsheet. This way he could get a quick visual impression at first glance – a picture being worth 1,000 words.

But that was only the beginning, for the project quickly took on a life of its own. I decided to add columns for centuries, 99 rows for individual years within each century, and next to the year a brief description of the event, such as:

312 Constantine embraces Christianity

1065 Westminster Abbey consecrated

1483 Martin Luther born

1870 First Vatican Council: Papal Infallibility defined

and so on. I filled in empty cells with general historical information (e.g. “1666 Great fire of London”), and noticed that as I went on, a lot of items were related to the Jews, such as Titus destroying the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD. As Christianity wouldn’t have existed were it not for its Jewish roots, I started to research Jewish history as well, in order to flesh out my own Timeline and start filling in a few more gaps. Little did I know where this largely intellectual pursuit would lead.

 

Jewish History

I began by finding several websites that documented Jewish history, and went through them one by one. This was a long process, for I had to determine if there was room to add the event into my Timeline, and if so, somehow condense that information into a description of about 50 characters. This meant there was a lot of reading to do, a process that eventually ended up taking a few months of evening study to finish.

I focused on the smaller websites first as they were relatively quick and easy to get through. But one website was particularly comprehensive, so I left this till the end. As I went through this website, year-by-year, century-by-century, I noticed that I began to feel quite depressed. Given that I was only up to the year 1000 at this point, and knowing some of the “biggies” to come (Spain expelling the Jews in 1492, and the horrors of the 20th Century culminating in the Holocaust for starters), I wondered how much worse it could get. But I plowed on.

And of course it did get worse. Much worse! Jews have been faithfully recording, transcribing and copying their scriptures for millennia, so it made sense that they would faithfully record their history as well. And as the centuries went on, it seemed that every year there was yet another atrocity that had been carried out against them. And what I began noticing was that a good many of these atrocities had been carried out by Christians.

 

Christian History and Replacement Theology

It was one thing to have learned of the horrors the Jews have faced throughout history, but I couldn’t believe how much had been perpetrated by Christian hands. What was worse was how little of this I knew. While most of us are aware of the broad brushstrokes of our bloody history covering the Inquisition, the Crusades, Jewish expulsions, and finally the Holocaust, how many of us know, for instance, about the other atrocities committed against the Jews over the last two millennia? Worse yet, how many of us even truly care to know?

To take one example from many I could list after my research, how many of us know that it would only take about 100 years after the deaths of the apostles before someone would accuse the Jews of deicide? In 167 AD Melito of Sardis wrote:

“The Lord is insulted, God has been murdered, the King of Israel has been destroyed by the right hand of Israel.”

His preaching would later inspire pogroms against the Jews.

How many of us know that the seeds of what became known as Replacement Theology (which teaches that the Jews are no longer God’s chosen people and that the Church has replaced Israel in God’s plan for mankind) were sown just 13 years later (180 AD) by Irenaeus, a Greek cleric who helped develop Christian theology, when he wrote:

“The Jews have rejected the Son of God and cast Him out of the vineyard when they slew Him. Therefore, God has justly rejected them and has given to the Gentiles outside the vineyard the fruits of its cultivation.”

A doctrine that was to take shape under St. Augustine, a Doctor of the Church, who wrote in 415 AD:

The Jew can never understand the scriptures and forever will bear the guilt for the death of Jesus.”

A doctrine that would reach its full expression in Martin Luther’s anti-semitic writing “On the Jews and Their Lies” – yes, that same Martin Luther who was responsible for launching the Reformation in 1517 – in which he advocated:

  • burning synagogues (which is what happened on his birthday in 1938 in Germany during Kristallnacht, the “Night of Broken Glass”)
  • that Jewish people should be confined to their own homes and neighbourhoods (which the Nazis did when they quarantined Jewish families in ghettos in Poland before shipping them off to the death camps for extermination)
  • their “houses should be razed and destroyed”
  • their “prayer books and Talmudic writings, in which such idolatry, lies, cursing, and blasphemy are taught, be taken from them”
  • their “rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb”
  • that “safe-conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews, for they have no business in the countryside”
  • that “usury be prohibited to them, and that all cash and treasure of silver and gold be taken from them” (think of all the Jewish bank accounts and artworks looted from private Jewish collections during WW2 which has only just begun to be addressed in recent years)
  • and finally he wrote “I recommend putting a flail, an ax, a hoe, a spade, a distaff, or a spindle into the hands of young, strong Jews and Jewesses and letting them earn their bread in the sweat of their brow … But if we are afraid that they might harm us or our wives, children, servants, cattle, etc., … then let us emulate the common sense of other nations such as France, Spain, Bohemia, etc., … then eject them forever from the country …”

This work, written in 1543, contributed to the rise of anti-semitism in Germany, and led Himmler to write admiringly of Luther’s writings and his sermons on the Jews in 1940, which ultimately led to Hitler and the Final Solution!

Nazi’s Pose Outside of a Death Camp (Photo: Public Domain)

This doctrine, as comprehensively detailed by Luther, would lead the philosopher Karl Jaspers to summarise:

“There you already have the whole Nazi program.”

 

The Scary Truth

Bob pointed out in his article last week that “that which is spoken or written about Jews in one century, becomes an action in a later century.” My own independent research confirms this. And no one sums it up better than Stephen Covey’s famous aphorism, which says:

Sow a thought, reap an action;

Sow an action, reap a habit;

Sow a habit, reap a character;

Sow a character, reap a destiny.

And what a hideous destiny the Jews have reaped from our original Christian thoughts and doctrines!

More to the point, how could I not have known any of this? Why had it taken years of personal research of Christian history, and a painful 3-month examination of Jewish history, to discover? It’s almost as though it has been a shameful secret so terrible that we simply don’t want to face it, lest we be confronted with the horrors of the past and have to do something about it. Has it been, essentially, a conspiracy of silence? And now that I knew about it, what was I to do with it? To remain silent would be to give tacit approval to it. So how was I to process this?

When I finally finished, I was undone. For days I could say nothing. I felt sick to my stomach. I descended into a deep depression. Each evening spent researching yet more atrocities had had a compounding effect on me, and was something I didn’t know how to process. I couldn’t even console myself with the vain thought that although I hadn’t committed any of these acts myself, I therefore wasn’t responsible. So why was I feeling so guilty? But I did, and I couldn’t shake it. All I could think of was Exodus 34:7:

“Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.”

 

The Beginning of Repentance

I finally realised that my spiritual forefathers had committed untold atrocities against the Lord’s chosen people, the Jews, and therefore what was now weighing heavily on my shoulders was their collective guilt. What had started out as an intellectual curiosity had now become personal. All I could do was to start crying out to the Lord in repentance and ask for His forgiveness. And it would take weeks of repentance to shift two thousand years’ worth of guilt. In some small way I think I was feeling something of the grief that the Lord had had to witness throughout history, His creation turning on itself and tearing itself apart. And I was broken.

Onward and Upward

However, my story does not end there, and neither does Bob’s. Both of us found our way out of this dark place, that metaphorical dark cave of Jeremiah, into a place of life and joy and peace. We will both be telling those parts of our collective stories as well, but not until the 9th of Av has passed.

Would you be willing to join us and examine the truth for yourself on the 9th of Av – that is to say, beginning sundown on Saturday July 21, through sundown on Sunday July 22?

If so, please sign up below to receive our materials.

https://root-source.com/9av

8 thoughts on “Studio See: 009 – Ray Tells His Story”

  1. Avatar
    Louise Brislane

    Ray, did you go through history & note how many times the Roman Catholic church murdered true Christians down through the centuries since its beginning? I have done some research on this & was totally undone by the millions slaughtered because they wouldn’t accept the roman catholic faith. So we need some perspective on this subject I think! Many thousands, possibly millions of my past forebears of the true way of the cross murdered alongside of their Jewish brethren for believing that Jesus alone was their Saviour & Lord, that works & following idols, believing that the Lord’s supper was a memorial feast to be taken in remembrance of the finished work of the cross. They were not responsible for what happened to the Jewish people. It needs to come out into the open! The real truth needs to be exposed to the world that the roman church is a SECT & never has been the true church of the Living God. I for one am heartily sick & tired of having the true church of Jesus Christ blamed for the atrocities committed by the roman church down through the ages & right up until today, July 2018 & it is going to get worse as the last days come upon us as Jesus tells us both in Matthew & Luke’s gospels. As far as Irenaeus is concerned that statement is totally taken out of context. If it wasn’t for his diligent work, we wouldn’t have our New Testament that we have today. My cousin has just done his doctorate on Irenaeus & been sharing with me the things that he uncovered over the past 4 to 5 months of diligent research for his paper. We have both learnt things that we didn’t know & this man is underrated for his contribution to the true church of Jesus Christ.

    1. Avatar
      Ray Montgomery

      Hi Louise,

      Thanks for your comments. Perhaps I should’ve made things a little clearer in the article. My research began as a Christian Timeline, and I was well aware of Christian on Christian persecution throughout history, just as you are (and not just perpetrated by the Roman Catholic Church either, but by ALL our collective Church ancestors regardless of denomination or affiliation). The Crusades, the Inquisitions etc are well known to most people, and I already had these in my Timeline. Long ago I came to terms with acknowledging our appalling history of the way we have treated each other, and the various schisms that have resulted in a myriad of Church denominations today. This was never the Lord’s intention.

      And to be fair, the Catholic Church has been acknowledging the sins of its past. In 1965, for instance, Nostre Aetate was passed by the Second Vatican Council, which, among other things, repudiated the charge of deicide against the Jews, and decried anti-semitism in any form (http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decl_19651028_nostra-aetate_en.html). I still remember in 1992 when the Catholic Church admitted that Galileo was right! (about his theory that the Earth revolves around the Sun). Other corporate Catholic Church confessions made by Pope John Paul II can be seen here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_apologies_made_by_Pope_John_Paul_II. These confessions are an essential first step in Catholics “owning their past”, and it is my hope that Catholics have begun to do this individually too.

      But it was only when I began to specifically research Jewish history – in order to fill in gaps in my timeline – that I was struck by how much Christian persecution of Jews there had been across all denominations. While I was aware of general historical persecution against the Jews, I was not aware of how much had been perpetrated by “Christians” (other than the “biggies”, like Spain expelling the Jews in 1492 of course). And it was the vitriole that went along with it from Church leaders (not just from the Roman Catholic Church either) that I hadn’t anticipated, and which found its way into Christian theology.

      I agree, the Catholic Church has a terrible history, but laying blame is not the answer. But we need to start somewhere, so I would ask that you join Bob and me in our call to repentance this weekend, to begin by acknowledging our collective history of persecution against the Jews collectively, and by repenting individually. Will you join us?

      Blessings, Ray.

  2. Avatar
    Marite Castro

    As God brings kindred spirits together, my story is similar to yours. In 2010, I went on my first tour of Israel and a desire was born within me to go back to the Jewish roots of Christianity. In the process, I read about the Spanish Inquisition and Holocaust in depth, and, at the same time, was also researching my family tree (a government requirement for tax clearance on land). My daughter, who was helping me, found a website of Sephardic Jews who were exiled during the inquisition. Knowing that my ancestors come from the Basque country, she typed in my father’s surname, and lo and behold, she was led to the Spanish Jew with the same name and a coat of arms so very similar to my family’s, with the same 7 stars and blue background, withe the exception of a whole sword in the middle. She showed the coat of arms to me and gave me a big shock. As background, I used to be ashamed of our coat of arms because in our family’s version, a broken sword clutched by a hand is prominently at the center, surrounded by 7 stars on a blue background. It gave me an impression of defeat. I didn’t understand why my aunt had this hanging at her ancestral home.
    On the Sephardic website, the name is listed gives with a short description of the Spanish town of origin. Then, at the bottom of the Spanish Jew’s coat of arms is an inscription in Spanish that reads, “Though this sword may break, my faith will continue.”
    I started asking my old aunts about the origin of our ancestor and they told me that all they knew was that he came to the Philippines from Spain via Mexico. I told them about my research and it surprised them because they never had an idea that our ancestor was a Spanish Jew. I went on to inquire where many of the Spanish nationals resided and learned that they initially lived in Pampanga, in a town they named Mexico, Pampanga. A revelation came that these Spanish Jews had integrated themselves fully with the general population and converted into Catholicism to avoid the “auto da fe” as they were being hunted by the authorities. They never disclosed their Jewish backgrounds, the reason why our family never knew our real origins. As far as the community was concerned, they were Spanish nationals who came to the Philippines seeking better opportunities.
    One thing that is striking is that that my grandfather was a lawyer and he later became a circuit Judge of our town and neighboring municipalities in Batangas. His brother became the town’s Mayor. The favor and hand of God was with them.

    1. Avatar
      Ray Montgomery

      Thank you for sharing your story Marite. It is amazing at how liberating researching our past can be.

  3. Avatar
    Joan Davidson

    But it wasn’t the Jews who nailed Jesus to the cross – it was the Romans. I know it was the Jews who called for the thief Barabass to be released and for Jesus to take his place, but was not that all part of God’s redemptive plan? I know from history lessons at School that Martin Luther was extremely anti semitic but have never understood how a (supposed) man of God who had meticulously studied his Bible could be like this. I think, also, that the holocaust jolted the Christian world into reality – incidentally, I am old enough to have some vague memories of all this occurring. I was only 3 years old when my Mother and other family members were laughing at me saying ‘she thinks she is reading the newspapers’. The thing is – I just knew how to read – I had not been taught – had the relatives known about this, that paper would have been whisked away – quick smart! I never did let on (perhaps I was just sneaky).

    1. Avatar

      Joan, Thank you for sharing these memories and about the gift of reading you had been given directly from God! Blessings, Bob

  4. Avatar

    Today, we sang the familiar and beloved hymn, Great Is Thy Faithfulness, in church. This hymn is based on Lamentations 3:22 – 24, which I thought was so appropriate for this time. I would like to encourage everyone after they have read Lamentations to sing this hymn and praise our Father in heaven for his mercies to the Jewish people as he has proven himself faithful.

    Great Is Thy Faithfulness – Thomas Chisholm – 1925

    Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father!
    There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
    Thou changest not. Thy compassions, they fail not
    As Thou has been Thou forever wilt be.

    Refrain:
    Great is Thy faithfulness.
    Great is Thy faithfulness.
    Morning by morning new mercies I see;
    All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
    Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!

    Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest
    Sun, moon, and starts in their courses above,
    Join with all nature in manifold witness
    To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

    Repeat Refrain

    Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
    Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide.
    Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow
    Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

    Repeat Refrain

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