Last night at church, yet again, we were exhorted to support Israel in its struggle against the surrounding Arab nations. Again I wondered to myself: Why? What reason is there for Christians to support a foreign nation that believes in a false religion, against other foreign nations that believe in a false religion? Do you want me to say that again? Has it sunk home? Judaism is just as false as Islam. Both religions have rejected Christ as saviour. If we are true evangelicals, then there is light and dark, truth and untruth, and truth is in Jesus Christ. No, He IS The Truth! Paul had to make his stand clear and unequivocal when he turned from Judaism and embraced his new faith in Christ. Many tried to impose the law on Christian believers, and make them just a sect of Judaism (the Judaisers), but Paul opposed them to their faces, and wrote what is probably his angriest letter to the Galatians about these people. Read the entire book with the understanding that he is writing with rage. I would recommend The Message, since it captures the anger very well, though be mindful that it is a paraphrase and not a true translation. Christians who start to support Israel often end up trying to justify everything about them, then embrace Old Testament law and trappings, like religious feasts, and finish where John Hagee is now, saying that Jesus never claimed to be the Son of God!! Be wary lest ye trip!
Many cite prophecies in scripture about Israel and the end times, as if that means that Israel the nation is in God’s will, and his eye is upon them. That comes down to interpretation; many others looking at Israel in the end times will point elsewhere, or claim metaphorical identity with the name of Israel. Are we not all Israel who believe in Christ? Meaning those of us who are adopted sons of Abraham, through the promise given by Isaac, as Paul outlines in Romans 9 so succinctly? Interpretation of end times prophecies (eschatology) is so vast and all-encompassing, nobody has a right to stand on their particular stance and deny all others: to do so is vain and narrow-minded (yet another blog!). To this argument I say, if God has a plan for the nation of Israel, let him get on with it; he doesn’t need our assistance or interference with that.
So am I denying succour to the innocents killed by Palestinian terrorists? Not at all! Let me state this: I am pro-right and anti-wrong. The attacks on Israel by whomever, the PLO, Hezbollah, Hamas, etc. should and must stop. Innocents are dying. It is reprehensible and indefensible. But actions taken by Israel against Palestinian civilians is just as bad. Their idea of dealing with a suicide bomber is to find the house where they came from and bulldoze it (and maybe the rest of the street) to the ground. What other army has armoured bulldozers? Or worse still, just blow it to bits with a helicopter gunship. Never heard of this? I’m not surprised, since our media is downright biassed, and NOT on the side of the Arabs. I watched the BBC evening news a few years ago when the headline was how a young Palestinian woman had strapped a bomb to herself and blown up a bus in Jerusalem, killing 6 people. Near the end of the news, the presenter said “today, Israel launched an attack on a house in the Gaza strip by helicopter gunship, destroying those inside. They said it was the centre of a bomb-making operation”, and that was it! No reporting, investigation or analysis! With the miracle of my Freesat rewind live TV, I went back to the start and timed the first report: 3 minutes. The report on Israel’s ‘retaliation’ was barely more than 10 seconds. Had I not seen it myself, I would never have believed it, but there are forces in the world to uphold and bolster Israel at all costs, particularly to the US taxpayer, since Israel receives more US foreign aid than any other country in the world, yet there are poor countries that could do with it. This unilateral bolstering of Israel really is one of the reasons we have such militant Islamic terrorists in this world, hellbent on the destruction of the US.
When I hear of walls erected around parts of the West Bank and Gaza, in order to control the influx of suicide bombers, I immediately think “what if we had erected an 8-metre high wall around West Belfast during our ‘troubles’ for the same reason? Would it have been right to subject all the citizens there to effective imprisonment and security gates 24/7 to justify controlling a violent minority? NO! There is right and wrong, and again I will say I am pro-right and anti-wrong. When I hear Israeli soldiers recounting how they chased down a 14-year old Palestinian boy who was throwing stones at them, and how they beat him to death with their rifle butts, and hear them laugh, should I just say “well, he deserved it”? I may as well say he was just a dirty Arab, and that they’re all guilty by association, or even by birth. That sounds very like many here, who felt that “the only good fenian (Roman Catholic) is a dead fenian” (and some still do).
We need to open our eyes, folks. Such issues are complex, never just a partisan matter of who’s wrong and who’s right, and being informed about it instead of supporting one side unequivocally HAS to be the Christian way. If we follow He Who IS The Truth, then we should always seek and support the truth. I denounce the killing of innocent civilians in a foreign nation by invaders, therefore I support the Israeli people against the militant Arab leaders, and I also support the thousands of innocent Iraqi people killed, against the leaders of the nations that invaded them, including my own.
Postscript: 19th Sept. – I am so glad to have seen on the ITV news how the most recent attack on Tel-Aviv was covered from both sides. People enjoying a sunny day on the beach in Tel-Aviv running for cover from a missile fired from over the border, thankfully shot down by Israeli fire before it could land, AND the scene at a Palestinian hospital where adults and children were severely injured by an Israeli attack (or defence or retaliation – you choose the word you wish, but children were still injured!). BOTH sides were wrong in this situation IMHO.
Grace be with you.
2 thoughts on “Support Israel! Why?”
I am not genned up on the subject of Israel. I would like to be, so please feel free to educate me if I have gotten it wrong:
I believe in “Replacement Theology” which means that Christ’s church is the recipient of the Abrahamis promises. We (the bloodwashed believers) are the Israel of God. We are His people (and we are His children). So, where does that leave the nation of Israel? Well, in John chapter 8 Jesus told the Pharisees that although they were descended from Abraham they were “of [their] (your) father, the Devil” v44. In Matthew 21:43 Jesus told the Chief Priests and Elders that “the Kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it”. In Exodus 19:6 god told Moses “and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and an holy nation” (I believe that is relevant to us in the NT). There are many scriptures stating that the righteous will inherit the Kingdom of God. It is the birthright of His people – those who know and love Him – and who obey His commands. Now let’s be clear about this: the Jews REJECTED Him! They spit at the mention of His name. I therefore conclude that they are no longer His chosen people. We (the church) are!
I have heard people (particularly those who believe in “British Israel”) talking about Israel becoming a nation again in 1938 etc. and then they tell people that they need to believe on Jesus to be saved. It seems to me that some Christians want it both ways. EITHER we are saved by Christ’s blood (and the Jews are lost because they rejected Him) OR salvation is inherited or “of the Jews”.
I accept that I am ignorant regarding some Bible prophecy etc. but I fail to see how modern day Israel could possibly stand in God’s favour.
I wait correction…
Correction shall not come, bro, since I agree with everything you say. There are those who belittle what you believe by calling it ‘replacement theology’ as if they invented that term to denigrate it. There are many scriptures about the change in fortune of Israel, and many warnings beforehand for them to adhere to his commands and accept his chastising. Jesus even said, when told his mother and brothers had come for him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” – Matt.12:48-50. So those who do not heed him or do his will are rejected as NOT of him. There is also the ‘picture’ in the OT of Jacob and Esau – pictures exist there as forerunners of events, like Jesus said about the ‘sign’ of Jonah, who was in the belly of the fish for 3 days, as he was in the belly of death for 3 days – Esau was the firstborn, with the birthright, but was rejected since Jacob pursued the birthright and valued it more. The firstborn who takes not the birthright seriously and treats it well shall lose it to the inheritor. Abraham was told his seed would number ‘as the stars in heaven’: you can’t say that the remnant of the holocaust returning to the Holy Land number like the stars!
And don’t start me on British Israel! There are two main things wrong with it, on top of all the ‘evidence’; first, it implies there is a ‘hidden’ knowledge in scripture that needs to be picked apart to understand, like the early Gnostics suggested, and many more groups have done too (scripture is clear in what it says, and doesn’t have any hidden ‘codes’). Second, it’s a load of baloney. No that’s third! Second, it implies there is something different about the British in regards to God’s plan of salvation, much like Hagee says that Israel has a special place and are not under the gospel.
For me, the ‘nation’ of Israel returning to their old lands IS prophecied in scripture, but there’s nothing to say that they are favoured in God’s eyes. You may as well say that the Antichrist has God’s blessing and favour since its rise is prophecied too! But as I already stated, I just happen to join others in that interpretation of scripture. There are others who can interpret those prophecies differently. I have no exclusive right to the truth over end signs.