Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Anti-Semitism in the Book of Mormon

“Wherefore, as I said unto you, it must need be expedient that Christ—for in the last night the angel spake unto me that this should be his name—should come among the Jews, among those who are the more wicked part of the world; and they shall crucify him—for thus it behooveth our God, and there is none other nation on earth that would crucify their God. “ (2 Nephi 10:3)
Unfortunately, anti-Semitism has been around for a long time, and Christian churches have not been immune to it. Though I hardly agree with those who want to blame the holocaust on Luther, his anti-Semitism has been a source of embarrassment for us Lutherans too. I am not here trying to paint Mormon’s as anti-semites. I merely want to show the blatant anti-semitism of the Book of Mormon, undoubtedly shared by Joseph Smith who plagiarized it, and unfortunately betrays the 19th century sentiments of Spalding, the Congregationalist minister who first wrote it. This is not of God, and is wholly incompatible with the revelation that God has given us in the Bible.
The truth is that every nation is wicked enough to kill their God. There is only one God, he is God of gods, and king of kings, whether he is recognized by them as their God or not. He did not belong exclusively to Israel, though he specifically gave himself to them so that Abraham would be a blessing to all nations. So when the Romans went ahead with the crucifixion of Jesus, they were just as guilty of crucifying their God, as the Jews.
Why God chose the nation of Israel for his plan of salvation will always be a mystery I suppose. Though, Moses the great prophet blames it on love for this nation: "For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. [7] It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, [8] but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. (Deut. 7:6-8 (ESV) The above verse in 2 Nephi does not betray a sense of love, but of loathing.
The fact is God could have chosen any nation for this. All nations are wicked enough to crucify God. As even you and I are guilty of crucifying God with every sin we commit. His love compelled him to be crucified as atonement for our sin. There was no other way for us to be redeemed from our sin. Every sin we commit drives the nail completely through the flesh of Christ’s hand to bite the rough wood that lifted him up, as Moses lifted the serpent in the desert that all who believe in him may have eternal life. Jesus though laid down his own life, he gave it up freely for us. He certainly did use the Jews to bring about his plan of salvation. But he did it of his own free will that we would be saved. “For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. [18] No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father." (John 10:17-18 (ESV) He did not need to find a particularly wicked nation. We are all wicked enough, all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God. Anti-Semitism has no place in the Christian church, our Lord was a Jew, as were the apostles, and we are thankful to them for the making manifest the God of gods, King of kings, that our salvation came from them, for salvation is from the Jews.


Steve said...

"The truth is that every nation is wicked enough to kill their God."

We all play a role in the death of Jesus.

That death was for all of us and we are all responsible.

I'll bet you know a lot better than most Mormons what is in that book, Bror.

Nancy said...

I always find quite interesting in the movie "Barabbas" each time I see it...the scene where Pilot washes his hands of the blood of Jesus and the Jews call Jesus' blood upon their heads and the heads of their children.

Bror Erickson said...

They thought they were asking for the guilt of his death. But the blood they asked to be on their heads, is the holy blood of Christ that forgives all sins. Would that their prayers be answered with a yes! For only in the blood of Christ is salvation found.

Nancy said...