Who remembers Mary Whitehouse?
Why doesn’t the Church get Israel?
At the time of writing (2017) there are two initiatives, one national and one global, that are surely beyond understanding, beyond the limits of rationality and common sense. My reaction is not directed to the people who have created these initiatives, because they are governed by their view of the world, but by the good, honest and fair-minded people who actually believe the nonsense being propagated.
Both initiatives have the same motive of delegitimising a small sovereign nation, Israel. The national initiative is an attempt to belittle and call into question a series of historical acts, centred on the Balfour declaration, that led to the formation of the modern State of Israel. The global initiative, sponsored by the United Nations, the very body that brought this modern state into being in 1948, is to cast doubt on verifiable historical facts legitimising its ancient claim to the land. One has to concede that there is an “unholy alliance” of political and religious forces that is driving this, but that is not our immediate concern. Our concern is that, for people to go so far as to meddle with truth, there is appalling acquiescence among the rest of the World. People just don’t seem to have the drive or interest to check out the facts for themselves or wonder what exactly is going on here?!
It’s the elephant in the sanctuary, to stretch a metaphor. Some can’t stop talking about it but most haven’t yet started and if you fall into that latter category, I feel that it falls to me to tell you why that is so.
It has been a running sore in the Western Church for at least eighteen centuries. At the beginning of that period it was patched up and ignored, in the middle period it has been prodded and poked, but now it sits there like a festering wound and is considered an irrelevance. A horrible picture, but is it a fair one? It is because the Church needs to wake up, examine its record and … do something about it.
But until that happens, it is up to individual Christians at least to be aware of the facts and act according to where their conscience and promptings of the Holy Spirit takes them. Here are the facts:
- God revealed Himself to a certain people, the Jews. They became His representatives on Earth. They were not perfect, because human beings are not perfect but God used His relationship with them as a model of both His love and His righteousness.
- God was born a man and lived with the Jews, showing them how to live in an acceptable way and to be reconciled with Him. Most rejected Him but after His return to heaven some accepted His message, as did a growing number of Gentiles.
- These Gentiles processed this message in three different ways:
a) Some incorporated these teachings into their existing systems and created an entity called Christendom, that became a power base and a ruler of nations.
b) Some lived by the original message.
c) The majority lived their lives in ignorance of the message because they had never been told about it.
- The first group persecuted the second group and enslaved the third group through false information and superstition.
- The first group also turned against the Jews, in both thought and action, culminating in massacres, expulsions and attempted genocide. The pretext was that they were doing God’s work.
- The second group has never really gone away and has had a great positive impact on the World throughout history. The second group has not had issues with the Jews.
- The third group no longer has ignorance as an excuse to hear and act upon the original message.
- The modern Western Church has inherited much of its structure and practices from the first group, though there have been many inroads made by the second group.
- The modern Western Church still mostly does not get the Jews.
There it is in a nutshell. Any negativity or apathy towards the Jews has been inherited from the first group, the modern representatives of Christendom, the system that fused together the original Hebraic faith of Jesus and the apostles with Greek philosophy, and added a few vices such as lust, greed and hatred into the mix. It was the system that gave us the Crusades, the Inquisition, holy wars, persecution of Christian minorities, purgatory, the adoration of relics and saints. It was reformed by Martin Luther, but only partially so, with many of the Greek systems still left in place and the “Jewish issue” not dealt with.
The second group has shown us what the Gospel can actually achieve, if God’s Word is read and acted on, in the power of the Holy Spirit.
More of this next week …
This is an extract from the book, Livin’ the Life, available for £10 at https://www.sppublishing.com/livin-the-life-151-p.asp