Martin Luther and the Jews
Martin Luther is a hero who comes with baggage. He is one of the most influential theologians of world history. His ideas kicked off the Reformation and he took on the pope and the medieval church and he lived to tell the tale.
But he has also a dark side. Especially in his writings about the Jews he decends into the netherworld of hate and injustice.
Christians have always been puzzled by the fact that the Jews had the audacity to exist. In the Christian mind the Messiah had come. The deed was done and the question was: why wouldn’t the Jews convert?
This is a question that nags self-righteous Christians to this very day. And the fact that there are many more religions who do no accept the claims of Christianity as the one and only truth.
From our present understanding, Luther’s writings about the Jews are inexcusable and sinful. But Luther is not Jesus Christ. He is not a saint, but a sinner who was frequently wrong and who made questionable decisions. We are called to not follow him in his sinfulness, but to take inspiration from his insights and work for a world that has is room for all of God’s children; no matter how they call upon his name, or not call on God at all.
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