Skip to comments.Crisis of Conscience: Anti-Semite Learns He's a Jew
Posted on 08/07/2013 6:41:24 PM PDT by xzins
BUDAPEST, Hungary -- What do you do when you learn you are not the person you thought you were, when you learn you are the very thing you hated?
It was a question Csanad Szegedi was confronted with -- one that led to a remarkable transformation.
Szegedi was once a rising star in Hungary's third largest and most controversial political parties, Jobbik. Jobbik has been labeled fascist and anti-Semitic.
Its leader once asked for a list of all the Jews in Hungarian government. And Szegedi, still in his 20s, was on a trajectory to lead the party someday.
"I joined Jobbik in 2003, when the party foundations were being built," he told CBN News. "I was a member for 9 years. I was vice president for 6 years and I have served in the European parliament since 2009."
Szegedi was also branded an anti-Semite, although he told CBN News that when he joined Jobbik, "I was kind of indifferent toward Jews."
"I didn't care about Jews," he said. "I didn't care about the Holocaust. I didn't consider the Holocaust as a tragedy for the Hungarian people."
Szegedi's Damascus Road
But still, Szegedi was a leader in a major anti-Semitic party, and his public statements showed that, at the very least, he didn't like Jews and was suspicious of them.
But that would all change when Szegedi learned something about himself that would turn his world upside down: Szegedi discovered he was a Jew.
When rumors of his Jewish ancestry started swirling on the Internet, Szegedi went to talk to his 94-year-old grandmother, who he never knew was Jewish.
"She opened up and she talked about her life and how she was sent to Auschwitz and how our family was annihilated," he recalled. "I was shocked. First of all because I realized the Holocaust really happened."
At first, Szegedi tried to hide his Jewishness and act like nothing had happened. But he realized he couldn't stay in Jobbik.
"It started such a crisis in my consciousness," he told CBN News. "I realized I can't take part in any organization that has anything to do with anti-Semitism. And after my Jewish origins were disclosed, they really didn't want to see me in the party anymore."
A Spiritual 'Leper'
So what do you do when you discover you are one of the very things you hated? Szegedi decided to change.
He contacted local Rabbi Schlomo Koves, who first thought it was a joke.
"When I first met with Csanad, I had very, very mixed feelings because on one hand I was sitting across from a member of the Jobbik party, which has extreme anti-Semitic views," Rabbi Koves told CBN News.
"But on the other hand, I was sitting across from a broken person who has realized what he has done and has come to a situation where he figured he had to change but he didn't know how to change," he said.
Szegedi started attending synagogue and jokes that he was treated by some members "like a leper."
"It was very interesting to see how other people viewed it and some stepped back," Rabbi Koves said. "They were shocked."
But Szegedi started taking classes at the synagogue, learning Hebrew and the meaning of kosher and Shabbat. He said his life has completely changed.
"It's changed everything. It's like being re-born, and the changes in my life are still happening," he said. "I had this set value system that I had to change completely. I had had this value system until I was 30 and I had to admit that it was all wrong and to find the will to change."
He also became a politician without a party and has continued to serve in the European parliament as an independent.
"As a politician, now I want to defend human rights for everyone," Szegedi explained. "I am aware of my responsibility and I know I will have to make it right in the future."
One of the high points of his new life was visiting Israel with his wife and visiting the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum and the Western Wall.
"When I landed in Israel, airport security asked me a lot of questions, and when the guard asked me, 'Are you a Jew?' Then for the first time in my life, I could say, 'Yes,'" Szegedi recalled.
"Just to feel like you are on the right way spiritually, and you can get closer to God," he continued. "It's a whole new feeling for me, that I am doing the right thing."
"Since then, my life has been full of incredible miracles," he said. "But I believe everyone who chooses the way of God sees miracles."
The term Jew as we now receive it in either English or Greek forms was capable of being applied in several ways, including (roughly) meanings corresponding more to tribe, to all the 12 tribes, to the religion, to the wider culture inclusive of its religious elements, to a geographical origin, etc.
It seems quite clear in Paul that he is speaking of the Jewish people as a whole (from all tribes and those who joined them)...
... because Paul emphasizes God’s covenant (as continuing, not having been terminated or abandoned or superseded, etc....that being his key point) ... and that covenant exists (and existed then) with all the people we would call “Jews”..... not just the Jews from Judea and not just the Jews with tribal identification as Judeans, but including the Jews from the north such as Nazareth (Jesus’ community, for instance) and the Jews from the disapora of that age, such as Paul himself and such as all the Jews in the several synagogues where Paul went or visited or preached around the eastern Mediterranean... indeed his epistle to the Romans was in response to a situation he observed in those diaspora synagogues .. so Paul was certainly not limiting his teaching to just the Jews who were of the tribe of Judea, or who happened to live in the little territory around Jerusalem.... Paul was plainly speaking of the entire Jewish (as we now call it) faith tradition/belief and people were thus part of the Jewish (as we use the term) covenant.
(Jesus understood the same, as when he rejected the pagan woman’s pleas for intercession.)
Christians are “grafted onto” the Jewish people by virtue of faith in the “Jewish God” as revealed by Jesus Christ (Himself of course a practicing Jew in this world).
Christians are not merely grafted onto one tribe of the 12, but the entire People Israel and their collective understanding(s) of covenant, with its various permutations perhaps, but the entirety of the Jewish People’s ongoing, continuing covenant with the Divine.
or something like that. That’s pretty close for sure...
PS: St Paul was not only a Jew but he was very proud to be one
.. it meant a great deal to him...
I will review Romans 11. It speaks of a “remnant of Israel,” and if you take verse 25 to mean that every single Jew who has ever lived and who ever will live will be saved, then that negates them needing salvation in this life to begin with. The Pharisees are not saved...they rejected Christ. This belief also flies in the face of everyone needing a Savior...does accepting Christ and being saved in this life apply to everyone but the Jews? No. I think your interpretation of that verse is incorrect.
However, if I understand you to be Catholic then I can see where our differences come in. I completely disagree with Roman Catholicism, and its claim to be “The Church.” The Church is the body of born-again believers in Jesus Christ worldwide, regardless of denomination. You are correct when you say: “God is not a liar” and salvation is for all, Jew and Gentile, Catholic or Protestant or Evangelical or Pentecostal or non-denominational or no denomination at all. The only requirement is to believe in Christ. All the other stuff only gets in the way of that.
So I think we will have to agree to disagree on a lot of things.
But thank you for your gracious reply.
Looking at Islam alone should be enough to tell anyone that the Arabs are bent on the destruction of anyone they cannot bend to the will of Allah and Islam. And that extends to themselves as suicide bombers. Completely ungodly and Satanic religion...however, that is not to say that God cannot call some out of that mess to His purpose and will. Few, but there are some.
No other race/religion, especially Israel, even comes close.
There is still discussion of whether there are two Covenants or just one (covering or including, if you will, Catholics/Christians/Jews all). Two Covenants make, I believe, the clearer sense of Scripture as a whole. But there are theologians who understand it as being a combined or single broader Covenant, and this leaves open the possibility that “in the end, it is Jesus who saves both the Christians and Jews, whether they all realize it now or not” ... A Jew would understand his salvation as still coming from God as it is promised to him in his faith, whereas a Christian would see all salvation as being through Jesus Christ. Contradiction? No, because to a Christian Jesus is God .... (I will avoid trying to parse the Trinity here, salvation is sufficient to keep us awake this night).
The thing that does not work is to say that Jews aren’t included (one way or the other) because then Christians not only deny much of Scripture and the Christian context itself, but Christians would then be grafted onto a dead tree...leaving Christian faith in vain (while alienating it from God and His Word).
That there is a Divine complexity, yes. That there can be a Divine contradiction, no. God is not a liar. We must therefore endeavor to give effect to as much of His Word as we can grasp, and trust Him to know it is all correct .. just as Christians (of all denominations) and Jews trust Him as our Loving Creator and ultimate Salvation.
Or something like that.
Nobody has to agree with me. Indeed, it seems as if nobody ever does
so with that...
Good night and Keep Faith (and hope, and charity/love alive)
“Nobody has to agree with me. Indeed, it seems as if nobody ever does, so with that...”
You and John Hagee agree, fhc. He does not believe the Jews need to accept Jesus to be saved and thus does not evangelize them. This is called Duel Covenant Theology, which you named in a roundabout way. :)
This particular Catholic website recognizes Duel Covenant Theology to be error. But, perhaps, they just want them to become Catholic. :)
Thanks for the replies. I enjoyed our small debate!
That same Catholic website, btw, gets it almost right (see below) on the error of Duel Covenant Theology but blows it by being totally wrong on what Replacement Theology is.
Perhaps that is where the Catholic view of the whole thing diverges from truth.
And nearing the end of that first article on DCT from the Catholic website I see they’ve said this: “This does not mean, however, that Jews are automatically condemned to hell if they do not explicitly and consciously accept Christ, for the Church also teaches that those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church but seek God with a sincere heart and try to do His will to the best of their ability can be saved. Nonetheless, the fullness of the means of salvation can be found only in Jesus the Messiah and in the Church He founded (CCC 846-47).”
Okay, I will leave you alone now. :)
There are citations within RCC that agree or tend to agree with dual covenant theology, and others which argue or tend to agree with single covenant theology, it does not appear to be finally determined within RCC yet. What is determined is that Jews remain part of “the People of God” (the others being, of course, RCC believers...nothing too surprising there)....and that, as Pope Benedict put it, “the Jewish messianic expectation (hope for salvation) is not in vain...”.
John Hagee has to be one of the best preachers in world history. I can understand why some would not agree with everything he says, but he certainly brings more faith to more people than any other preacher I’ve seen since, at least, Billy Graham was active. Hagee’s son is taking on for the future it seems, too...and he’s learned a lot at his Daddy’s knee...(though I still like the old man!)
From a Church perspective, the Jews are promised a Messiah, but from a Jewish perspective that did not always mean the kind of Messiah we see, believe in, in the Christian church.
Even in Scripture it was made clear that many Jews, including within Jesus’s own circle of followers, were looking for another type of Messiah, and scholarship is rich in explaining the various meanings that were extant in the Jewish world of that place and time. What the promise to the Jews clearly includes is salvation or redemption...
(Psalm 14 and Isaiah 59 come to mind, but there are many additional verses spanning centuries). The point being, a faith in a particular Messiah or even a particular kind of Messiah as prerequisite for the promised salvation is really not a part of the deal for Jewish believers in the one true God. The Jewish Covenant is clearly (in several variants, to be sure) spelled out in Scripture and to try to force new terms into that “deal” would be most unfair of us, indeed the height of arrogance... considering that the “deal” is of Divine origin. Where Jesus Christ comes in, then, is as a pathway for non-Jews to graft onto Israel and thus share in the salvatory benefits of the Jewish Covenant (or, as we often like to say, a new Covenant.,.. but one that arises from, grows from the Jewish Covenant with God, and either way we parse it... the result is that the Christian graft fails if it kills off its source plant, the Jewish people and the Jewish covenant with its promise of salvation.
or something like that. They liked to use agricultural illustrations back then, because it was mostly an agricultural society...so most people understood such things. Graft a new shoot onto a plant, you need a healthy plant and you definitely need to keep it healthy if the graft is itself to have continued life. (Deny or kill off the host plant and you wind up with a dead graft, too.)
Why do you always say, “or something like that”?
Personally do not care for Hagee. I listen to Dr. Charles Stanley’s teaching ministry in Atlanta, Georgia.
Rock on, Southern Baptists!
Truthfully, if everyone just agreed that Jesus is the way and all have to come by Him and drop all the other stuff...we’d take back the world from the Muslims.
I guess we can let the Way sort it all out in the end. It is His show after all.
I also like Charles Stanley. Good preacher. We agree. Thanks. As for the Islamic problem in the world I am worried we won’t have the will or faith to defend ourselves. Maybe God might still help us. But we will need human leadership more palatable to Him. “Or something like that”. (Sorry I just couldn’t resist). Happiness. Fhc.
The scene when that guy’s head explodes is classic!
One of the best comedy skits ever.
He talked to his grandma, she turned out to be a Holocaust survivor, and for the first time he realized that the Holocaust had really happened. I feel a little better about US public schools now. Thanks xzins.
1. we are taught that there is a Hell, but we do not know of any particular individual who may be resident there. Most assuredly you and I could make some pretty good, discerning guesses, but we still lack actual knowledge.
2. we are taught that faith is a gift of God. A lack of faith in a particular truth or teaching cannot be blamed on an individual.
3. the Pharisees, as Jews, already were in covenant with the one true God, a covenant that had already existed and been affirmed over a 1,000 year course of history (and 3,000 years today). They did not have any reason to accept any “guy” coming and claiming Divine status or Divine authority. That some Pharisees exhibited very human short-comings, including some who were hypocritical and for not recognizing the man Jesus as possessing a novel Divine authority, is both expected and well documented. Indeed, their stance was consistent with their duty to honor their faith in God, His revelations, and His covenant with the Jewish people. This is another way of pointing out that the Jewish people are “different,” at least in the sense of already being in Covenant with God and thus in a very different stance than just anybody out there who does not affirm a faith in Jesus as Divine or a “person” of the one true God. We certainly do not know of any Pharisee who is burning in Hell, just as we do not know of any other person there.
3. If we were to interpret Paul’s teaching that “all” Israel will be saved to refer, instead only to a “remnant,” and that is by no means the only (and certainly not a necessary or patent) reading, then that would still at least recognize the continuing validity of God’s Covenant with the Jewish people, as Scripture, including Paul, clearly attests. We just don’t know which Jews are included, but some are. Note that we also do not know which Christians will be saved, the RCC church teaching is that many will not be saved, that is: it is quite possible for a member of the Church to not make it through that narrow gate. (And a widespread Protestant teaching is that many who claim, or think themselves, to be Christians are in fact not genuine followers of Christ ... and are thus still pagans outside of Covenant with the Lord).
You can, I am confident, cite or find the Biblical verses which would indicate any of these vantages, or are at least capable of being used in support of them.
The bottom line is that any person’s ultimate disposition is not known to us. Therefore, while Hell exists and we should definitely take it very seriously indeed, we cannot say if a particular individual will (or already has, perhaps) taken up residence there. Dante’s Divine Comedy notwithstanding.
4. We are also taught that a sincerely repentant person and one who does all reasonably possible to atone for, correct his transgressions, is forgiven.
5. Christianity also teaches that there is only one sure-fire way to go to Hell, that being the so-called ‘unforgiveable sin.’ This is from Matthew’s account of Jesus’ teachings. Jesus states that:
“... I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come” (Matthew 12).
From this is clear that speaking against Jesus (Son of man, a term usually indicative of Divine status actually)...will be forgiven. Thus, a Pharisee’s failure to accept Jesus as Divine did not condemn him to Hell, per Jesus’ own teaching.
I do not come to FR with all the answers. There remains mystery...both to the Church and to me, personally, things that I do not fully understand. (This is probably quite apparent by now, anyway, ha!) But I do believe it is error to assume that some Pharisee(s) from 2,000 years ago are burning in Hell, just as it is error to assume that any particular... even any particularly evil...person... will wind up there “in the bye and bye” ... it is God’s decision, not ours. I respectfully submit we will be wise to refrain from condemning people, especially people we don’t know. As real and serious as Hell is, God decides and God knows, we just don’t.
And THAT is the very best I can do with your question.
Keep faith alive,
Anti-semites were given a boost by communism — in Hungary the Hungarian Soviet republic in 1919 was led by Bela Kun whose father was Jewish and mother Calvinistic (anti-Semites forget that latter bit and that his father was secular) and post 1945 there was Matyas Rosenberg as the CCP leader (of course anti-Semites forget that he totally rejected Judaism and was anti-Semitic himself)
I think we have different ideas of what hell is....I don’t subscribe to “burning.” I believe Hell is separation from God.
Why would the Pharisees reject Jesus when all thru the Old Testament God is clearly telling them He is bringing them a savior from their people that is both man and God? Any Pharisee who denied Christ is now in Hell.
The Jewish people are different in the sense they were chosen by God to represent Him on earth to all peoples before Jesus was born, and they failed miserably. So He set them aside for an appointed time and turned His attention to the Gentiles.
Not necessarily a remnant...that is what is stated in the first chapter of Romans. I think the disagreement comes in the use of the word “all.” Might help to go back to the original Greek and Hebrew to see how that passage is worded there, but that is well beyond me. :)
Where does it say in Scripture that a “sincerely repentant person and one who does all reasonably possible to atone for, correct his transgressions, is forgiven” outside of placing his faith in Jesus Christ? This sounds to me like salvation thru works.
Speaking against Jesus is not what condemned the Pharisees to hell. Not recognizing their need for a savior to reconcile them to God and accepting Jesus as that savior, before they died, is what condemned them to hell.
I believe Scripture is very clear regarding hell and who will go there and who is there now. Anyone outside the saving grace of Jesus. As real and serious as hell is, people need to be sure and not just guess or think they know. Grab a bible and read up...teach yourself and don’t depend on others words or teaching. Be a Berean and search the Scriptures diligently.
Reckon we have thoroughly hijacked this thread? LOL
Love Dr. Stanley! He is the man God used to teach me everything I know. For three years of my life in the early 90s, it was just me, God, and Dr. Stanley’s teaching. Seems like a lifetime ago.
Islam...what a despicable thing. But then anything of Satan is. They are definitely dealt a crushing blow when they come against Israel in future. But as to now and Him helping the USA against them, I don’t see that happening. Next up on the prophecy timetable is the Rapture and when that happens all is lost not only for this country but the whole world.