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Russell Moore After Synagogue Shooting: ‘If You Hate Jews, You Hate Jesus’

This weekend, a gunman killed 11 worshippers in a Pittsburgh synagogue. The suspect, Robert Bowers, made anti-semitic comments during the shooting and was known to target Jews online. As he was receiving medical care, he told a SWAT officer he wanted all Jews to die. (h/t CNN)

In the wake of the tragedy and the gunman’s hate speech, theologian and evangelist Russell Moore has written a column condemning Bowers’ actions and comments. The headline reads: “If You Hate Jews, You Hate Jesus.”

Moore takes a hard look at a world and culture he writes is “surging with ‘blood and soil’ ethno-nationalism. As Christians, we should have a clear message of rejection of every kind of bigotry and hatred.”

The preacher goes on to write without frills: “We should especially note what anti-Semitism means for people who are followers of Jesus Christ. If you hate Jews, you hate Jesus.”

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Moore backs up his claims with biblical and theological evidence. He points out that Jesus’ Jewish ethnicity and identity did not end at the Cross or after the Resurrection. He writes Jesus is alive now, still a man, still transfigured and glorified, still a Galilean and still Jewish—”present tense.”

[lborder]The reason this is critically important to reassert is because the blood-and-soil movements often want to claim the word “Christian.” The way they define this, you will notice is in opposition to some other group. They are “Christian” instead of Jewish, or “Christian” instead of Muslim or some other religious identity. What they usually mean is “European white identity” defined in terms of “Christendom.” This murderer had posted social media rants not only against Jewish people, but also against Jewish people’s efforts to help refugees and migrants fleeing Latin American persecution.[/lborder]

Moore ends his statement with the assertion that it’s right to mourn and weep at this time, but it’s critical, too, to reassert the Christian stance against these attacks: “When you lash out at a synagogue’s rabbi, you are attacking our rabbi as well.”

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