Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a regular on cable television, had a message this weekend for scandal-plagued U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, which he sent, quite naturally, via Twitter, according to USA Today:
"Dear Congressman Weiner: There is no effective "treatment" for sin. Only atonement, found only in Jesus Christ."
Weiner is Jewish.
This isn't the first time that Mohler has spoken strongly of his belief that Jews need Christ to be saved. He once compared Judaism to a tumor that needed to be removed. EthicsDaily.com reported in 2003:
While Jewish evangelism is controversial today, Mohler said Christians do Jewish people a disservice by failing to confront them with the gospel. He compared it to a person with a potentially deadly tumor, who would rather have a doctor give a truthful diagnosis than say all is well to avoid offending him.
In the same way, telling a Jewish person she is in danger of hell "is the ultimate act of Christian love," Mohler said. ...
In addition to his comments about the Jewish religion, Mohler has also described Catholicism as "a false church" teaching "a false gospel." He says liberal Protestants have abandoned the Christian faith. ...
Mohler isn't the only Southern Baptist leader holding such views. Strained relationships between Southern Baptist and Jewish leaders date back decades to SBC president Bailey Smith's infamous 1980 quote, "God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew."
Mohler's views are not shared by all Christians. In 1987, The United Church of Christ adopted a resolution that stated in part:
We in the United Church of Christ acknowledge that the Christian Church has, throughout most of its history, denied God's continuing covenantal relationship with the Jewish people expressed in the faith of Judaism. This denial has often led to outright rejection of the Jewish people and to theologically and humanly intolerable violence. The Church's frequent portrayal of the Jews as blind, recalcitrant, evil, and rejected by God has found expression in much Christian theology, liturgy, and education. Such a negative portrayal of the Jewish people and of Judaism has been a factor in the shaping of anti Jewish attitudes of societies and the policies of governments. The most devastating lethal metastasis of this process occurred in our own country during the Holocaust.
Faced with this history from which we as Christians cannot, and must not, disassociate ourselves, we ask for God's forgiveness through our Lord Jesus Christ. We pray for divine grace that will enable us, more firmly than ever before, to turn from this path of rejection and persecution to affirm that Judaism has not been superseded by Christianity; that Christianity is not to be understood as the successor religion to Judaism; God's covenant with the Jewish people has never been abrogated. God has not rejected the Jewish people; God is faithful in keeping covenant.
Mohler's advice to Weiner reminds us that there is still a powerful divide between some Christians and Jews. Christians like Mohler see their faith as superior to the Jewish faith and the Hebrew Scriptures of lesser value and importance than the Christian New Testament. When figures on the religious right like Mohler align themselves politically with Israeli hardliners opposed to peace negotiations with the Palestinians the motive is theological: They hope to usher in the end times by bringing war to Israel to fulfill their fundamentally flawed understanding of biblical prophecy. Likud Party officials court these figures because of their ties to GOP politicians despite the view held by Mohler and others who make up the religious right that the Second Coming of Jesus which would occur during the Armageddon would throw all Jews (and other non-born again Christians) into eternal damnation. Talk about strange bedfellows.
Mohler's view of Judaism is obscene. But what do you expect from a man who compares judges who rule in favor of gay marriage to the 9/11 terrorists? Maybe he can join Weiner in a treatment program for wayward Twitters.
Follow Rev. Dr. Chuck Currie on Twitter: www.twitter.com/RevChuckCurrie