Sunday, March 25, 2007

Persecution in Israel: Does Our Theology Shut Our Ears and Mouths?

Every time we release a story or two on the persecution of Christians in Israel (like we did last week), I am nervous. When we added Israel to our prayer map this year, I also expected to get questions about it (and we did). It seems that evangelicals in Canada just can't grasp the fact that Israel is not nearly as friendly towards evangelicals as we are towards them. Oh sure, they love for us to come and visit as tourists. And Israel understands full well that evangelicals in much of the western world will exert great pressure on their governments to support Israel politically. And so, in the West, Israel makes great overtures to evangelical leaders while, at the very same time, refusing to protect their own Christian population adequately.

The plight of the Messianic believers in Arad is a case in point. For the past three years, these believers have experienced almost continual harassment and violence against them. Yet, little has been reported in the Christian media concerning this. I wonder why. I suspect that it has a large part to do with a theology that is bandied about that suggests that to criticize Israel is to not bless her. Christians are admonished to have almost a blind loyalty to Israel.

And so my nervousness every time we fulfill our calling and report on persecution in Israel. If we report on the persecution of Christians by Muslim Palestinians, there is no problem, of course. But to suggest that Israel might be less than angelic in their treatment of Israeli Christians (to say nothing of Palestinian ones) is something many would rather not accept or hear about.

1 comment:

healtheland said...

The reason is clearly the so - called "Christian Zionism." Not only does it cause us to be silent concerning the treatment of Messianic Jews by rabbinic Jews, but it also prevents us from speaking of the real animus that a great many Jews have towards Christianity. For instance, no one is willing to discuss that Simcha Jacobovici made his recent "Jesus tomb" movie specifically to cause Christians to abandon the claims that Jesus Christ is God and that He resurrected because such claims offend his own religious beliefs. And no one talks about how during all of these "interfaith discussions", Jews are quite effective at, over time, getting pastors and even whole denominations away from teaching the truth and inerrancy of the New Testament. I do not know how long this has been going on and how widespread it is, but I do know that for at least the last 100 years, non - Messianic Jews have been actively working against the Christian faith, and I am not just talking about stuff like working with the ACLU to ban Christmas trees and nativity scenes from public places (which truthfully Id no not mind much since such Christmas traditions are contradicted by the Bible anyway), but being hard at work trying to get Christians to surrender their faith. I saw a chilling comment in a Jewish magazine recently where this rabbi who holds a chair in New Testament studies at an American university (which of course he uses to rail against the New Testament and Christianity as false) stated that the real reason why Jews have now embraced evangelicals was that they were upset at Catholics over "The Passion of the Christ" (they asked Catholics not to show it in their schools, but they refused) and because of the anti - Israel direction of the mainline denominations. After only dealing with John Hagee for a short time, he is now been seen at his "Nights to Honor Israel" claiming that Jesus Christ was killed by the Romans for his political beliefs. It will only be a short time for evangelicals who were nowhere near as fundamentalist in their beliefs as John Hagee once was to begin with to start abandoning Christ's deity and resurrection and start teaching Christianity as politics and philosophy, just as the mainline denominations have lnog done.