- Every ten years since 1635, the small alpine town of
Oberammergau, Germany has produced a six-hour Passion Play memorializing
the final hours of Jesus Christ. About half the town's citizens help produce
the play. Amateur actors fill the stage. The citizens are fulfilling their
ancestors' 375-year-old vow to God to produce the play every decade since
He delivered them from the bubonic plague.
- Over the past two decades, the town has been the stage
for a different kind of passion play. Few places in the world more perfectly
present the drama of Jewish power and aggressive intent to deny public
expressions of Christianity.
- For the past two decades, the Jewish Anti-Defamation
League-ever-ready to stifle any virile expression of Christianity-has taken
its editing scissors to the play's script. Jewish crimes have been expunged.
Today, the Jews play a bleached and sanitized role in the death of Christ.
(What did Jesus say of the Pharisees? Whitewashed tombs?) Romans now stand
guard outside Jesus' first entrance to Jerusalem, "making it clear
who is really in control." The Jewish high priests debate theology,
many siding for Jesus. The infamous blood oath-"His blood be upon
us and our children"-has been axed from the script. Even Judas, incredibly,
is pure at heart. He wants "to facilitate dialogue with the priesthood
and is duped into betraying Jesus. It is one of the best roles in the play.
When Judas understands that he has been manipulated, he storms the Temple,
demanding Jesus' release." ADL even wrote in a new scene in which
Jesus stands outside the Temple, holds up a Torah scroll and leads His
followers in reciting in Hebrew " the major Jewish prayer known as
"Sh'ma Yisroel" "Hear O Israel, the Lord is God the
Lord is One.""
- AJ Goldman in <http://www.forward.com/articles/128345/>Forward
<http://www.forward.com/articles/128345/>says the play has become
a lovely and moving piece of art, now " less about Jesus and more
a rare chance to experience a legendary tradition." He protests that
it is no longer anti-Semitic.
- Yet for ADL, even the censoring and trashing has not
been enough. Its <http://www.adl.org/PresRele/ChJew_31/5755_31.htm>experts
attended a preview May 8 and reported, " the play continues to depict
damaging stereotypes of Judaism and presents Jewish leadership as deceitful,
legalistic, vindictive and xenophobic." Goldman's Forward article
explains the locus of the conflict: Jewish leaders hate the Gospels, basically.
Before the 2000 production, the play's dramatic advisor tried to convince
ADL head Abe Foxman that the play was about love and redemption. Foxman
bitingly replied, "If you want to give me love and understanding,
there are a lot of other Christian subjects. Give me another play; if it's
about a Crucifixion in which the Jews kill Christ, you can never clean
it up enough."
- For Foxman, t<http://www.truthtellers.org/alerts/ntantisemitic.html>he
Gospel itself is anti-Semitic and dangerous, as is Christian evangelism
to Jews. His book, Never Again? The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism, alleges
that "with every annual reading or reenactment of the story of the
death of Jesus in Christian churches, millions of Christians imbibed the
notion that the Jews had been guilty of the worst crime in history. Into
our own time, the deicide libel has been used to justify hatred of Jews
and violence against them, including from Christian pulpits." Violence
from Christian pulpits even includes the commission to witness to Jews,
according to Foxman, which is seen as attempted genocide of their souls!
- Jewish leaders, captained by Foxman, have been radically
successful in their assault. In Oberammergau, the gospel has been stripped.
Its testimony is unspeakable in public. A 375-year-old religious tradition-vowed
by a city, to thank God for deliverance-has been knifed of its content.
(What happened to the sovereignty of old culture? What happened to the
sanctity of traditions?) Nothing could more clearly state unbelieving Jewry's
intent to make the New Testament itself unspeakable, unacceptableillegal.
- And still, it is not enough. This year the <http://www.adl.org/PresRele/ChJew_31/5759_31.htm>ADL
led a 16-page report from interfaith experts, denouncing the play. They
want it decimated completely. The report, "supported by the American
Jewish Committee, B'nai B'rith International and the National Council of
Synagogues," calls for "a totally new script using contemporary
biblical studies and historical research in order to eliminate continuing
damaging negative stereotypes of Jews and Judaism."
- This is about the Bible, plain and simple. The original
passion play was lifted from the pages of the Christian Scriptures. The
text was taken to the stage. Germans simply dramatized the Pharisees' vengeful,
unrelenting persecution from the book of John; Judas' ugly, searing betrayal
which Matthew witnessed; the Jewish masses' homicidal contempt, retold
by Mark; the agony of Christ, gut-wrenchingly recorded by Luke. History
proves what happened. After Jesus' return to the Father, Christians were
persecuted relentlessly. The Jewish Talmud, to this day, records Christ
as an evil bastard, now in hell, writhing in boiling semen. (Gittin 56b-57a)
- What happened is really not debatable. But it is unacceptable
to speak. Anti-Christian Jews can be blamed for nothing. Their leaders
must be portrayed as always wise, balanced, good and moderate. As a people,
they were never xenophobic or legalistic. And they had nothing, nothing,
to do with Jesus' death. The nails went through His hands and feet as if
by magic. There was no murder.
- Isn't it interesting? Jewish leaders allow others no
- In Germany, there is no such convenient bleaching of
history. A radically different situation prevails. There, no one can be
free from their ancestral guilt. No reparations can be enough. It is actually
illegal to deny German blood guilt, their culture of hate, their cries
through complicity of "Gas them! Gas them!" Under Germany's Holocaust
denial laws, only Jews may revise German history (as in Oberammergau).
A person who even questions the Holocaust can go to prison. It is illegal
to deny the intentional, mechanized murder of six million Jews. It is illegal
even to question the methods used by the Nazis. In Germany, the streets
themselves are painted with the memories. Black tulips are grown in memorial
sites. Every year on Holocaust Memorial Day the whole of Europe grieves
for its guilt and vows it will never be repeated. A timeline of some of
the billions spent on Holocaust memorials can be seen here: <http://timelines.com/topics/holocaust-memorials>http://timelines.com/topics/holocaust-memorials.
- History, we know, is written by the conquerors. There
can be no remaining doubt about Jewish power in the western world today.
Jewish leaders are the scripters of history and Christians are silent and
cowed, submitting our sacred Gospels and traditions to Jewish scissors
as if they mean nothing.
- The world would look vastly different if this weren't
true-if Jews enjoyed less power, if they mourned or even admitted what
they did to Jesus and then to Christians. Picture it.
- If Jerusalem were Germany, there would be monuments on
every corner. In the concrete graven words would say, "This is where
Jewish crowds jeered Christ up the streetThis is where Jews cried, "Crucify
Him." Plaques and columns would stand between black tulips to announce,
"This is where Steven was stoned because he was a Christ-followerLet
us never forgetNever againNever again."
- If such awareness were alive in the world-if Christians
themselves were vigilant to Jewish antagonism, to the cosmic conflict-perhaps
hate crime laws would not have passed. Perhaps we would not be so far down
the road to criminalizing Christianity. That day is coming fast, largely
because Christians meekly submit to Jewish leaders' powerful agenda, always
defended by the myth of Jewish innocence and victimhood against the ever-present
and irrational "anti-Semitism" of Christians and Gentiles. We
have submitted to this myth. We have refused to expose the Talmud. Also
ADL. We have surrendered the Gospels to Jewish excising. We have signed
contracts when entering Israel, promising not to evangelize. We have underwritten
the Jewish state with tax donations and religious offerings. We have lionized
the Jewish tradition. We have drunk the Kool-Aid. Even before Jewish activists
took scissors to the crucifixion stories, we ourselves used White-out on
the words of Christ.
- We ignored His timeless warnings,
- Be careful, be on your guard against the yeast of the
Pharisees and Sadducees. (Matthew 16:6)
- Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!
You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter,
nor will you let those enter who are trying to. Woe to you, teachers of
the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to
win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much
a son of hell as you are (Matthew 23)
- We ignored Paul,
- Beware of the concision [the Jews].... For we are the
circumcision which worship God in the Spirit(Philippians 3:2-3)
- The problem is that it can't be had both ways. Stand
behind the Bible or don't. Accept its warnings-all of them-or admit you
are an unbeliever.
- Evangelical Christians hold to Biblical literalism yet
ignore its most vibrantly relevant truths when they reflect adversely on
Judaism. The Bible explains why Oberammergau has been butchered. It explains
why Germany is lined with blood yet Jerusalem can continue, without censure,
its vendetta against Christianity. Yet Christian leaders themselves need
no coaching to ignore these verses.
- Unless they stop this willful blindness, Jewish power
will continue to grow and someday soon the Bible itself will be replaced-like
the Oberammergau script-with the tradition of those who nailed Jesus to
- Harmony Daws is a staff writer and researcher for the
National Prayer Network, a Christian/conservative watchdog organization.
Rev. Ted Pike is the director of the National Prayer Network.
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Call (503) 631-3808.
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