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Should We Love Israel?
Israel - Middle East
Friday, July 07, 2017
Alf Cengia

Should we love Israel? It should be a no-brainer, right? 

Go to Genesis 12:3, 27:29; Num 24:9; and Rom 15:27. If in doubt hop over to the "Christianly" New Testament Matt 5:44 verse about loving your enemies. Yes, even the really nasty ones. Then do a quick scan back up to Matt 5:9. You know; the one about being a peacemaker. 

There! You have your answer, Social Justice Warrior. "No!" you protest! "Social Justice Warriors do their S J Warrioring under very strict guidelines. Israel isn't on the List because...well, they're unlovable!"

There must be special guidelines about Israel in the Common Social Justice Grievance Catechism. Earnest SJWs pass these gripes around as if their salvation depends upon it. Somehow the list trumps the Bible verses mentioned above. These grievances include genocide, apartheid, oppression, occupation and the rejection of Christ.

How does that maxim go? Repeat a lie often enough... Constant repetition appears to function like a get-out-of-jail card. You can make accusations without qualifying them because "everyone knows they're true."

Someone in a Facebook group recently asked about an anti-Israel rant on the ecumenical Patheos website. It was titled: No, The Bible Doesn’t Command We “Stand With Israel.” Yes, I hear you say, "Loving and standing with someone isn't the same thing."

Don't buy it - I sniffed a lot of animosity in that article.

I'd just completed a review of Alistair Donaldson's anti-Zionist book "the last days of dispensationalism." So my iron was still hot. Donaldson writes from the same Playbook as Gary Burge and Stephen Sizer. Even Historic Premillennialist Craig Blomberg paid homage to Burge and advised against blindly supporting the oppressive "Israeli state."

The Patheos author (B. L. Corey) identifies as a "scholar in the areas of Theology and Missiology." He's "a prominent figure within the Emerging Church Movement, Progressive Christianity, and radical Christianity." Of the EMC, John MacArthur notes:

The Emerging Church Movement is an amorphous sort of loose-knit association of churches that have decided that there is value, there is even virtue in uncertainty about Scripture...

That being the case, responding biblically to assertions made about ethnic Israel's broken relationship to God's covenant promises to ECM types is practically futile. This isn't because these Bible verses aren't clear and valid, it's because they are willfully rejected.

SJWs are happy to cite Rom 2:29, 9:6 (as per the Patheos article) etc to demonstrate their theological acumen. Yet they'll diligently avoid icky passages such as Isaiah 60:12; Jer 31:31-37; Zech 2:8, 12:2, 9 and Zech 14:3.

Of course, that's unless they want to caution the reader against taking those horrid OT verses literally or seriously because... Well, because the OT doesn't play nice with the S. J. Catechism. Kairos Palestine, Sabeel and the Christ at the Checkpoint chaps use that strategy to great effect.

Even the New Testament gets a revision by some. Palestinian Christian activist Mitri Hareb has bashed the orthodox view of the Atonement because he thinks it doesn't do enough to highlight the plight of his people. He opines that:

We’ve replaced liberation with salvation and the cross became nothing but atonement. I think we have to put the cross in its original context of political and religious violence…

The S.J. Manual gives the Emerging-Emergent Warrior plenty of creative flexibility. For instance, Corey has defended Jen Hatmaker's pro-LGBTQ+ stance. Their theology is determined by the grid of cultural tides.

In another column, he redefines the meaning of genocide. This is necessary because Israel isn't actually committing the kind of genocide one finds in other parts of the world. The article portrays a photo of a bombed Gaza city. No further details. Allegedly, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Elsewhere Corey warns against the "American Christian Taliban." That'd be you, Franklin Graham. Apparently Graham thinks it'd be a great idea "for the government to force unwed couples to get married if they live together." I disagree for a bunch of reasons. And I presume the Taliban would do some beheading or stoning in these situations, rather than go the wedding way. But maybe I'm splitting hairs.

This brings me to Israel's lovable neighbors, Hamas and The Palestinian Authority. Hamas are always revising their Mission Statements and Charters. They've just finished a New Document. Here's what's on their current wish list:

1) Reliance on Islam as the sole source of authority

2) Denial of the Jewish right to self-determination in the Land of Israel

3) Conferral of a sacred Islamic character on all of Palestine

4) An armed struggle to liberate Palestine is legitimate and must continue

Samir Qumsieh is also likely to have some sage advice to those Emergent Missiologists intending to practice theology in Palestinian territories. According to Gatestone Institute

The plight of the Christians living under the Palestinian Authority and Hamas is a subject truly taboo. Yet Qumsieh perseveres – and pays the price. He regularly receives death threats, and he has been the target of a petrol bomb attack. Muslim extremists have also distributed leaflets in the Bethlehem area condemning him for his outspoken views and activities on behalf of persecuted Christians.

"Once, 5,000 Christians lived in the Gaza Strip. When Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in 2006, Christians began to be harassed and discriminated against. Today, only 1,100 Christians live there." ~ Samir Qumsieh

Do I really need to go on? Well, maybe just a bit more.

Don't lie about Israel. It isn't perfect but it's not the demon portrayed by Social Justice Critics. Moreover, telling fibs flies in the face of the self professing "Peacemakers" (Matt 5:9). It harms any peace efforts.

Should we stand with Israel? Absolutely! Its Human Rights record is far and away better than any of its neighbors. And it is the only true democracy on the area.

Should we love Israel? Yes, it needs the Lord! We should also love and pray for Muslims, Palestinians, Hindus, Hamas, the PLA, ISIS and the Taliban etc.

Most importantly, God loves Israel. And so should we.

Blessed be the LORD your God, who delighted in you, setting you on the throne of Israel! Because the LORD has loved Israel forever, therefore He made you king, to do justice and righteousness. 1Kings 10:9

"For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins." Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. Rom 11:27-29

One day - perhaps very soon - Christ will return and redeem Israel.


About Alf Cengia

Last week: On the Road with Lewis and Tolkien

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