Israel (2)

Earlier in the week I came across a quote by Billy Graham, posted on my Facebook page by the pro-Israel group – Christians United for Israel: “The Jews are God’s chosen people. We cannot place ourselves in opposition to Israel without detriment to ourselves”. My response was: “I rarely disagree with the great man. But here it depends on your definition of Israel. If you mean the Jews, then I agree – they are special to God and have a place his unsearchable purposes. If you mean the state of Israel, then I disagree, for God opposes unrighteousness and injustice, and some of what I see happening in Israel today is just that. There is my conundrum – but I will continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem – see my previous Israel related blog”. The same day I received another posting by “Prophecy News Watch” that launched into a tirade concerning all the bad things the USA are doing, thus making them ripe for God’s judgment. While I could agree with much that was written, it also cited America turning away from Israel as a reason. It occurred to me that while my attitude is not so dissimilar to that of many fundamentalist, pro-Zionists Christians – as there are many things I agree with them on, yet I regret their often rose tinted view of Israel is not one of them. Having a few weeks back re-visited the subject of Israel, I thought I would add further thoughts here.

One of my pro-Palestinian friends posted a day later, again quite separately, a post with the title: “Criticizing Israel is not anti-Semetic … it is anti-racist”, which I shared on my own page, along with a warning I may not agree with everything, although this statement essentially I do agree with. This led to some lively discussion with other Facebook friends, offering a wide range of views. Refreshingly, these were offered respectfully and showed in many cases that people had thought through some of the issues. During the course of the discussions, the name Stephen Sizer, author of “Christian Zionism” came up (I had already discussed this book in a previous post). I was referred to two video presentations, one by Sizer with the title: “Seven Biblical Answers to Popular Zionist Assumptions Israel/Palestine” and the other a debate, hosted by Revelation TV with the title: “Has the Church Replaced Israel? – Calvin Smith vs Stephen Sizer”. I found myself agreeing with some things that Sizer said and disagreeing with other things. It is not my purpose to offer a reasoned critique of the arguments put forward, but it did get me further thinking, prompted by the discussion that took place, on how I view Israel. In essence, many of my views are not so dissimilar to when I was a young Christian in my late teens, although I have studied a lot more of the Bible since then, observed what is going on in and around Israel and have been exposed to all sorts of arguments ranging from vehemently pro Israel to vehemently anti-Israel. While not elaborating on what I believe about Israel in this posting, this is in essence what I believe:

  1. Regarding the Church replacing Israel, my view is it has not.
  2. God’s promises starting from those to Abraham, regarding the Jews, still apply.
  3. Jews are the natural descendants of Abraham and those who choose to identify themselves as Jews.
  4. While some may rightly talk of spiritual Israel, the term used in the Bible is usually natural Israel.
  5. The term Israel in the Bible may apply to land or people, and we need to distinguish which.
  6. Many Bible prophecies regarding Israel and the Jews remain to be fulfilled.
  7. The principle of blessings and curses (on Israel) relates respectively to obedience and disobedience.
  8. There is a glorious future for Israel, preceded by still more opposition and suffering.
  9. Jesus is “the Way, the Truth and the Life” both for Jews and Gentiles”.
  10. While Jewish people in the main do not believe in Jesus, there will come a time when they will.
  11. Anti-semetism, like any racism, is sinful.
  12. In principle, the Jews were right to be given the land of Israel to govern, back in 1948.
  13. In practice, many loose ends regarding the Palestinians, were not dealt with satisfactorily.
  14. This has contributed to many of the troubles we are now seeing.
  15. The state of Israel has done much wrong to the Palestinians (and YHWH is angry).
  16. I agree with the principle of the Palestinian homeland, free from all oppression.
  17. Those opposed to the state of Israel (within and without) have also done much wrong to Israel.
  18. Palestinians have been used as political pawns.
  19. The Western media tends to disproportionately focus on wrongs perpetrated by Israel.
  20. And ignores wrongs, just as bad, perpetrated against Israel and those inside Muslim countries.
  21. Many radical Muslims hate Israel and want the Jews to be driven from that land.
  22. The last great battle (Armageddon) will likely involve Muslims and Jews on opposing sides.
  23. I am a pre-millenialist but not a dispensationist.
  24. I am neither pro-Zionist or anti-Zionist; I am pro-God.
  25. The “Israel” question / conundrum will only be full resolved when Israel’s Messiah returns.

One thought on “Israel (2)

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