Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Standing up to the 'unthinkable'

 


A presentation by Pastor Blake Lorenz about “Survival and Promise,” sponsored by the Zionistas on Sunday, May 17, became an informal group discussion about the “Unthinkable.” After introductions were made and Lorenz spoke briefly that the “Unthinkable” is here now, he opened discussion about what can we do to stop it?

Before we can stop it, what is the unthinkable? Jew hatred, the open proclamation to destroy Israel, the killing of anyone who does not believe a certain type of Islam. Is the unthinkable the Muslim people? No. It is the movement across the world of those who seek to destroy the Jewish people, Christians, Israel and Muslims who do not follow original Islam.

For a little over an hour attendees (Christians and Jews) shared their feelings and concerns about Muslims, Christians, Messianic Jews, proselytizing, and how to work together to stop hatred. The consensus was that we need to build bridges of love and trust between all faiths, including Muslims.

Lorenz shared that he recently spoke on the Book of Esther and how the conditions in Persia at that time are similar to conditions today. Anti-Semitism is rampant in Europe. Although it isn’t as obvious here in the United States (with the exceptions of Michigan and Chicago, Ill., and many college campuses), anti-Semitism is growing and this country is not immune to the disease of hatred.

“We are like Esther, living life separate—detached—from European anti-Semitism, and the anti-Israel hatred spewing around the world. Esther was the queen, living like a Cinderella,” Lorenz said. She had to come to the decision that she would step up and do something—even if it meant her death—in order to give the Jewish people a fighting chance against their enemy Haman, who wanted all of them to be killed.

There is a united front of those who want to destroy America, Israel, all Jews and Christians. Much like the time of the Third Reich, changes came gradually. Lies were told over and over again until the lies became truth.

School textbooks are changing history and lies become the truth. It is up to those who recognize anti-Semitism and untruths to not be afraid and speak out.

“To not speak out is a sin,” said Sandi Solomon, a Zionista member. “We need to call a spade a spade.”

Blake Lorenz and his wife, Beverly, understand what it means to put their lives and lifestyle on the line for someone else. Six years ago, they took in a 16-year-old girl, Rifqa Bary, who had converted four years earlier from Islam to Christianity. She fled from her family who live in Ohio because they wanted to kill her. It is called an honour killing in the Islam faith.

Because she was a minor, the Lorenzes retained a lawyer to make sure everything was done legally. However, they were accused by her family of kidnapping and brain washing. Eventually Lorenz lost his position as pastor of the church he’d led for more than 16 years. At that time, Lorenz stated that he isn’t anti-Muslim, and he isn’t today.

“We have to recognize the value of human beings,” he told the group.

Jews, Christians and Muslims who see the unthinkable evil must join together and not let belief differences get in the way. “We can agree to disagree,” said Solomon, who also shared that we should view relationships like a marriage. “You don’t marry someone and then try to change them. You have to accept that person just as he or she is.”

This, of course, doesn’t mean to accept evil. Original Islam wants to take over the world. It can been seen in the form of ISIS. Does this sound dramatic? Hitler had the same idea. Those who saw it coming and spoke out against it weren’t believed, others saw it coming and saved themselves. The unthinkable can happen again unless wise people see it coming and speak up against it.

Another person shared one of the Holocaust Center’s mottos to encourage young people to speak up against bullying, “don’t be a bystander, be an upstander.”

There are several individuals and organizations within the Jewish and Christian communities that stand as watchmen, speaking up against injustice in the Central Florida community.

The Zionistas is a coalition of Christian and Jewish women who support Israel, advocate for justice, bring awareness to the community and encourage activism.

The Jewish Federation’s Jewish Community Relations Committee (JCRC) engages in public policy issues on the basis of Jewish values and promotes and defends equal rights; fosters amicable relationships among ethnic, racial, national, religious and other groups in our community; promotes better understanding between the Jewish community and the community at large.

Fellowship Church and Encounter Global Outreach also are supporters of Israel and bring awareness to the Christian community of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel actions in the community.

 

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