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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Why I Stand with Israel

A definite rift has occurred in the Christian community with regard to Israel. Conservative Christians tend to see the issue from a purely historical-Biblical perspective in which the nation is described as 'God's chosen people.' Moderate or liberal Christians tend to discount such a designation, leading some, such as former President Jimmy Carter, a liberal Baptist, to openly support the 'Palestinians' while denouncing Israel.

Other than the fact that politically and strategically Israel is one of our closest allies (she is the ONLY western-styled democracy in the entire region), from a spiritual point of view I cannot support Israel-bashing or minimizing the importance of the nation in God's plan for the world.

Israel was chosen to represent God's message to the world in ancient times. The land she occupies was given to the Hebrews (Jews) by God many centuries before there was any such thing as Islam. And the Bible never withdrew her designation as God's chosen people, even though she rejected Jesus Christ as the Messiah. Even when they were wayward, God considered her to be His, and that included those times she was punished for her infidelity.

There is a long history of suffering on the part of the Jews. Throughout her history she has been overrun by enemies, her citizens taken as hostages and slaves to foreign lands--IF their lives were spared. Such was the case when the Roman Empire took over the region, although the Caesars allowed the Jews at least some freedom in governing themselves, under the careful supervision of local Roman Governors.

The Jews remained a people in exile, a people without a country, until 1948 when the newly-formed United Nations, under intense pressure from President Harry Truman and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, restored Israel as a legitimate, viable nation of the Middle East.

Truman believed that the Bible teaches that the land belongs to Israel and that this land had been stolen from them over 2000 years ago, which, according to the Bible, is true. Truman also believed that God's ultimate will was that the Jews be provided a homeland to which they can return--restoring Israel to its former occupants, as foretold in the book of Revelation.

Yet from the time this decision was made, controversy has dominated the region, often erupting into violence. Islamic forces in the region claim that ALL of the land is theirs, although the religion was not even started until nearly 2000 years after God first gave the Hebrews the land.

Prior to the restoration of Israel to the Jews, Muslims dominated the area from around 650 A.D. until 1948 and prevented Christians and Jews alike from gaining access to their most holy sites in the area of Jerusalem known as 'old Jerusalem.' The proposals made by such terribly misguided politicians such as Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and even George W. Bush would return old Jerusalem to Muslims, where once again Islam would no doubt prevent Jews and Christians from accessing their holy sites.

The oft-misnamed 'Palestinian people' are a red herring--a ploy of Islam to seize control of all the land and eventually destroy Israel as a Jewish state. The original 'Palestinian state' is Jordan. Is that not enough? Why is a 2nd 'Palestinian state' needed?

A look at the region, making a comparison between how much land Israel possesses with how much land Arabs and Muslims possess will reveal a shocking fact. Muslims begrudge Israel's control of a tiny strip of land in the middle of a vast ocean of Muslim nations.

And Islam is well-known in the Middle East and beyond for violence against non-Muslims. They kill Christians and Jews, and burn down their churches and synagogues. This is pure evil. And Christians must stand against it.

That is why as a Christian I support Israel. Jesus was a Jew, and as a former professor of theology told me while I was working on a post-graduate degree years ago, "Christians are Jews first. We share a common heritage and history."

Thus, Jimmy Carter is flat wrong. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and George W. Bush are flat wrong.

And the Bible makes one thing perfectly clear--those who would oppose the chosen people of God are opposing God Himself, and such a thing is evil and carries dire consequences. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

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