Antisemitism, abortion and season of repentance in Church — Charles Gardner

Evangelical Sisters of Mary who this week mark 70 years since they rose from the ashes of World War ll to right the wrongs committed against the Jewish people by the Nazi regime

By Charles Gardner, UK Correspondent

I sense we are entering a season of repentance in the Church, which is both timely and encouraging, because we are called to lead the way in the nation. For judgment begins at the house of God (1 Peter 4:17).

It was 75 years ago this week (March 30, 1947) that the Evangelical Sisters of Mary literally rose from the ashes of World War II to right the wrongs committed against the Jewish people by the Nazi regime.

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But the seed was sown on the night of September 11 1944 – Germany’s 9/11 – when RAF bombers sent from Doncaster destroyed the city of Darmstadt in just 18 brutal minutes, much as Mariupol in Ukraine has been pulverised by Russian missiles of late.

But out of death came new life as Christians there sought fresh intimacy with God amid repentance over their nation’s despicable treatment of the Jews. They rightly saw the rubble of their cities as judgment for touching “the apple of God’s eye” (Deut 32:10, Zech 2:8) and within a few years Mother Basilea Schlink had founded what has since become an international movement dedicated to loving and serving God’s ancient people. In fact, the “motherhouse” and chapel were built with bricks scavenged from the ruins of Darmstadt.

It was Mother Basilea, perhaps more than most, who faced many of us in the West with the reality of our being complicit in the mass murder of the Jewish people through failing to be Good Samaritans in their darkest hour.

Summoned before the Gestapo “for proclaiming Jesus – and not Hitler – as the true leader,”1 she had already risked her life by standing up to the Nazis. And although love for Israel is the order’s clear calling, it has always sprung from a passionate love for Jesus.

But it was not until 1954, during a time of prayer, that Basilea was challenged by the question: “Where is your brother Abel? Where is your brother Israel?”2 The enormity of her country’s national guilt had finally broken upon her.

Later, during a 40-day time of prayer at Sinai in 1963, she “saw” the nations of the world losing their bearings (that is, their focus on the 10 Commandments) and heading for destruction.3

And the spirit of death has since led to a new holocaust of children sacrificed on the altar of expedience in what is sometimes euphemistically termed “planned parenthood”. Also taking place this past week was a National Day of Repentance for the “Missing Millions”, referring to the nearly 10 million children snuffed out in the womb since the passing of the 1967 Abortion Act in the UK.

Abby Johnson helped to run a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in America for eight years until she was called in to assist in a procedure and was horrified by what she witnessed. “I saw a baby fighting for his life,” she told Kirk Cameron in an interview with TBN UK.4

She promptly resigned and became an ardent pro-life campaigner, exposing the evil of which she had been part despite court efforts to silence her. She confessed that she hadn’t even been true to herself during her time at the clinic, where she had an administrative role.

“I went to church for the eight years I was at Planned Parenthood. But I couldn’t pray because I knew what I was doing was wrong.”

However, she insists that there is forgiveness from God for those who have had abortions (she has had two herself) and now runs an organisation called Loveline.com to help others caught in this trap. A powerful movie, Unplanned, is based on her story and available on DVD and online.

It is right that we Christians repent of being complicit with the abortion industry as our silence has too often been interpreted as approval, allowing successive governments to pass a host of laws which amount to a total disregard of God’s commandments.

We have also been slow to follow the Sisters’ example when it comes to our nation’s betrayal of the Jews, particularly over the 1939 White Paper that severely restricted Jewish immigration to the Holy Land (then under our jurisdiction), thus preventing their escape from the Nazi death camps. It was a truly shameful period of British history for which we have yet to formally apologise. For when all is said and done, our future as a nation will depend on where we stand with Israel (see Isa 60:12).

It has also been the Church’s silence – and approval in many cases – that has allowed antisemitism to flourish down the centuries. But there is light on the horizon. A Church of England service of repentance has been planned for Oxford Cathedral at 2pm on May 8 to mark the passing, at the Synod of Oxford 800 years ago, of humiliating anti-Jewish laws which eventually led to the expulsion of Jews from England in 1290.5

The move follows their 2019 document God’s Unfailing Word which acknowledged the Church’s role in fostering antisemitic feeling, especially timely amidst an exponential rise in this shocking form of racism.
Another significant step forward has been the recent launch in Rochester Cathedral of a new form of liturgy for Jewish followers of Jesus which fully acknowledges the context of their culture. The expectation that such believers should deny their traditions and be absorbed into a Gentile “Christian” environment has at last been cast aside.

Anglican mission CMJ (the Church’s Ministry among the Jewish people) has clearly had a hand in this development, having already followed this policy for over 200 years.

In conclusion, I would like to say that it has been a great privilege to write for Prophecy Today these past seven years. The Lord is now opening new doors for me to continue speaking out on these issues.
My prayer for the coming days is that we will see a restoration of passionate preaching of the Gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit allied to a dedicated reconnection with the Jewish roots of our faith, without which we will wither and die (Rom 11:17f).

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