Read this Article

Friends, 

All I’m going to say is that you should hit this link and read the article. There is a great deal of misunderstanding on the topic this article addresses.

http://www.christianpost.com/article/20070807/28794_Christian_Zionist_Leader_Denounces_Evangelicals%27_Pro-Palestinian_Letter.htm

How should Christians respond to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine?

If you read it, and/or have an opinion, please post it here so I can get some feedback on this topic. I’m interested.

jerry

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  1. GE 17:7-8 – I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.”

    What part of “everlasting” is unclear?

    As for support of “Palestinians”, what had originally been slated in the Mandate for Palestine (which, as a nation or people, did not previously exist – Palestine, that is), and was to be a “Jewish National Home”, was reduced by more than 75%, creating the area of “Trans-Jordan”, or Arab Palestine (witheld from Jews). The two-state solution was the ORIGINAL solution, and was rejected by the Arabs, even though it was their Ottoman leadership that granted the land legally via the Treaty of Sevres to Britain. Why anyone thinks that creating another Arab state out of the Mandate territory would work any better now than in 1922 is beyond me. The Qur’an hasn’t changed in the intervening 85 years, so to the Muslim Arabs (the vast majority) the Jews are still the descendants of apes and Pigs (Qur’an 5:59-60).

    Yes, the Arab people in “Palestine” are suffering, but it is a suffering born of their own, or at a minimum their leaders’, intransigence.

    ~GdB

  2. Well, I’m not sure who you think you are talking to. I’m not sure at what point you think I offered an opinion one way or another. But since you have assumed my opinion, here’s more for you to consider.

    [Furthermore, I didn’t say anything about Arabs, but I am concerned about Christians.]

    To the point, Israel rejected the covenant. Consider:

    Hear, O earth:
    I am bringing disaster on this people,
    the fruit of their schemes,
    because they have not listened to my words
    and have rejected my law.
    Jeremiah 6:19

    Read also Amos 2

    “All day long I have held out my hands
    to a disobedient and obstinate people.”
    Isaiah 65:2

    And only about a 100 other passages similar to these. One might be able to make a political case for ownership of that land, but a religious case cannot be made because Israel rejected the covenant, and they rejected the Messiah. But even a political ownership is dangerous because often it is built upon a really bad theological proposition (which I don’t have time to get into here).

    So, I think your quotation of Genesis 17 is rather out of place here, but that’s your opinion. I’d rather have Israel on my side, but that doesn’t change the fact that they have rejected the covenant. In fact, the Church is God’s chosen people:

    “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy” (1 Peter 2:9-10, NIV).

    dg

  3. Sorry – I guess I responded more to the comments in the article than I did to your question.

    I agree that there are many instances in which God chastises the Jews for their adultery – however, I have not found a Biblical passage in which He states that he has disowned the Jews. After all, the passage I cited says I will establish the everlasting covenant – God did it, who can undo it? The only stipulation in this agreement was that the descendants of Abraham get circumcised…which they still do. And, when God sent the smoking firepot and consumed the offering in Ge 15, He was agreeing to fulfilling the requirements of BOTH sides in the agreement.

    So…to try to get back on topic (sorry again)…I believe that as Christians we should be supporting the Jews and Israel insomuch as they are remaining true to God. There are many practices and policies that the Israeli government has executed that are against the Torah, not to mention commands of Jesus – these are justly condemned. They are still guilty of the trespasses enumerated in Amos – is anyone innocent? Yet there are Godly actions being taken by the people as well. The truth remains that they are still God’s people…an everlasting covenant is just that – everlasting. That we drink the cup of the “new” covenant, and that we are “a chosen people” does not mean that they have been cast aside. Jesus did not condemn the Jews either…for he said “salvation is of the Jews” (JN 4:22)

    So…I don’t know that Jesus would be a Zionist, and He probably weeps at the atrocities by both sides of the current conflict (irrespective of other, older conflicts), but I’m certain that He would find Arab control of Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, etc. just as distasteful as Roman control, and that He believes that Israel is still the home of the Jews.

  4. Well, I respect you for having an opinion, but I think that the New Testament clearly teaches in Ephesians the following: “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by One Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit” (Ephesians 2:14-22, NIV).

    Israel was chosen for service not necessarily for salvation–this is the key difference between your particular theology and mine. And I think that a lot of your theology is what guides a lot of practice in the Middle East. I think we should help in the Middle East, but for political not religious reasons. (See also Ephesians 4:4-5, “There is one body…”.)

    Furthermore, if you can find no Scripture that says ‘he disowned the Jews’, well good! However, there is no passage in the New Testament that says they are ‘God’s chosen’ people. The Church is God’s chosen people, drawn from every tribe and nation. If there is only ‘one’ body, then there cannot be two: Jews and Gentiles. There is no parallel track for salvation between these two different groups. There is only one path of salvation for Jew and Gentile, there is only one body, there is only Christ. I think to diverge from that is a dangerous theology that leaves Jews exposed to damnation. Their only hope is in Christ Jesus, not the land.

    I think Jesus finds it distasteful that the entire world is under the control of satan. Jesus did weep over Jerusalem once–when he announced his sorrow that they had rejected the day of God’s visitation.

    So, I’m not saying that the Jews don’t have a right to the land. I am saying that the war between Israel and the Philistines has been going on for a long, long time. It is a political war wrapped in the guise of religion that’s being fought. I say, turn Israel loose. Let them wipe out whoever they want, but that is political expediency and not a religious, or covenental right. But, there are Christians in those lands that will suffer because of this. They are the ones for whom our prayers and sympathies ought to be lifted: Jewish and Arab Christians alike.

    May God have mercy on his elect in the Middle East.

    jerry

  5. Jerry,

    You and I seem to on different wavelengths, as it appears that my meaning repeatedly fails to get through. My theology is no different than yours; Jesus said “I am THE way, THE truth, and THE life. NO ONE comes to the Father except through ME.”

    My support for Israel is not really about the land – it’s about the people, the Jews. They are our history, our ancestors of a sort. They have not been adopted as sons like we have, but they were still chosen with an everlasting covenant.

    I don’t disagree that the persecuted Christians need our prayers, and I submit that MT 5:44 indicates that the Muslims (primary persecutors) need our prayers as well.

    A couple other items before I drop this so I won’t irritate you further. First, it’s not a political battle, it’s a religious issue that has been going on since the first conquest of Jerusalem in the 7th century…my basis for this assertion is not relevant to this discussion, but we can discuss elsewhere if you’re so inclined. Second, the “Palestinians” are not the Philistines – the Philistines came from over the water, not out of the desert like the Arabs, and are long gone.

    Blessings…
    ~GdB

  6. GF:

    You are not irritating me. I just don’t share your convictions as to the nation of Israel, and I don’t hold the Jews in any higher need of Christ than any other sinner in this world. All have sinned and fallen short. I recognize the heritage from Israel, but as far as it goes, there is the Church and the world. All who belong to Christ belong to the Church, the rest to the world–regardless of their being Jews ore Russians or Germans or Canadians or, well, you ge the point.

    Please keep reading. I asked for conversation and I’m not offended that we don’t see eye to eye on this. Thanks again.

    jerry




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