Monday, July 03, 2006

The Israel Connundrum

A week or so ago, the locals Christian Leaders gathering for the area I pastor in, was visited by a Jewish gentleman. When I say Jewish I mean 2 things: first I mean it ethnically. Second I mean he was a true Jew, one who has recognised Christ as the Messiah. These people are commonly referred to as Messianic Jews.

Anyway, the guy works with a Messianic church in Israel and they do a great job helping Jews find Jesus as Messiah. I always find that stuff interesting.

But the reason for his visit was something different. He was there to convince us that if we really want to be blessed as pastors and churches then we need to support Israel as the modern nation which is the continuation of the Israel talked about in the Old Testament: God's chosen people. Bible believing people will understand this as truth. Now this raises many issues, some of which were pointed out to the gentleman! Not least was his lack of any knowledge on other legitimate biblical views ie he didn't have the tools to even discuss other views. Thats another story...

The point for me is this: I can't help thinking about the certainty of this man's claims as I watch the scenes unfold on TV this week. The Israeli sledgehammer cracking the peanut of a small terrorist cell. All the while the innocent casualties, people and infrastructure, mount.

I know the Jews left a trail of destruction behind them in the OT, but I just can't help but think that this is not the way God's chosen people should really behave...just a thought.

1 comment:

servant said...

Could it be said that it was such behaviour that landed them in exhile in the OT?

I've heard many Messianic Jews pushing the same ideas and it makes me wonder if they're falling into the same trap that was occuring in the NT when the Jewish Christians were pushing themselves and their practices as being more favoured than the Gentiles, thus trying to make the Gentiles more Jewish.

It surprises me how many Christian individuals and organisations are pumping money into Israel in one way or another because of their eschatological understandings. There seems to be a blind support for Israel that willingly ignores some great evils in relation to the Palestinians.

Essentially they're dealing with a nation of refugees angry at the annexation of their land to form the nation state of Israel post war. They are dealing with the poor, the alien etc etc. From the way I see it, the Palestinians are pawns of anti Israel states who are using their anger and hurt to stick a thorn in the side of Israel.

Both sides need to sit down and stop the chaos. Israel needs to remember that people were forced out of their homes and have been living in abject poverty since Israel was formerly established (such circumstances would push many people to violence and an unreasonable want to crush that which they see as their oppressor) and the Palestinians need to realise that Israel is there to stay and has some powerful allies to ensure that they do stay. They need to understand that suicide bombings and terrorism aren't the solution.

Compromise isn't a dirty word.

(how's that for an extreme over simplification of the situation?)