How balanced has the Church been?
What are the top ten arguments for God’s continued favour with the Jewish people?
There is a massive deception in the World today, that has even infiltrated much of the Church. It goes like this: If those stubborn and wicked Israelis give the stolen land back to the Palestinians, all other conflicts will also go away. Apparently the Muslim world would be so placated that such people as the leaders of Iran and Hamas would just down their arms and the World would be a friendlier, happier place. Here are a couple of quotes that put a halt to that particular delusion:
“Our aim is liberating all of Palestine from the River to the Sea.” (Hamas leader, Khalid Mishal)
“When we come to power we shall not allow the Zionist regime to live a single moment,” (Ramadan Abdallah Shallah, Leader of Islamic Jihad for Palestine)
Land for peace? You’ve got to be joking.
Israel has become the scapegoat of the World, a role quite familiar to its Jewish inhabitants. In the Gulf War they were at the receiving end of Scud missiles, the World Trade Centre outrage was blamed on them by the Arab World and the highly anti-Semitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a best seller among Egyptians, amongst others. And the West has bought into this idea, too, though it has often remained unspoken. When it is spoken, the words used are, ‘If you take away the cause of the Middle East conflict then the Muslims would stop hating us’, meaning, ‘Why doesn’t Israel get its act together!’ A demonstration in London against a war with Iraq, had as many slogans, displayed or chanted, concerning the Israel/Palestinian situation as there were concerning Iraq. If Tokyo was hit by an earthquake, I wonder how long it would be before the Jews were blamed?!
We are nearly at the end of our story. This is as good a place as any to provide a short summary of the position held by Mr. Roots (a Christian Zionist), a collection of his best arguments to provide you, at the very least, with food for thought after you finish these articles. So here are his Top Ten arguments:
- Mr. Roots interprets the Bible using principles followed by the earliest Christians, the Protestant Reformers and Jesus himself and that is to give priority to the plain literal reading of Scripture.
- Mr. Roots stresses God’s faithfulness in not breaking His promises (covenants) with the Jews. If He could, then why couldn’t He do the same with Christians?
- Mr. Roots doesn't need to re-interpret Old Testament Scriptures in the light of the New Testament, which leads to confusion, uncertainty and the need to rely on the teachings of theologians (who don’t always agree with each other, anyway).
- Mr. Roots doesn't have to avoid the clear teaching of Romans 9-11.
- Mr. Roots sees the Old Testament and the New Testament as a continuous whole rather than diminishing the importance of the Old Testament.
- Mr. Roots takes a clear, sensible view of Biblical prophecy, with literal rather than vague symbolic fulfilments. He is also able to view current World events through Biblical eyes.
- Mr. Roots doesn't have to ignore the clear teaching in the Psalms and Prophets of God's continuous love for the Jewish people e.g. Jeremiah 31:37, "Thus says the LORD: ‘If the heavens above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth below can be explored, then I will cast off all the descendants of Israel for all that they have done, says the LORD’."
- Mr. Roots offers God's mercy and forgiveness to the Jewish people rather than proving the theological foundation for extreme hatred and persecution.
- Mr. Roots offers reasonable explanations for the continuous existence of the Jewish people, the miraculous formation of Israel and the undeniable contributions of Jewish people to society.
- Mr. Roots considers it more than a co-incidence that God and Israel share the same common foes in the World today.
Jews everywhere are rediscovering the faith of their ancestors (though a revival, as such, has not yet arrived). There is a great hunger for true meaning amongst God's chosen people. There is equally a new hunger among many Christians to return to their Jewish roots. I'm not saying that suddenly it's become fashionable to be Jewish and that Gentiles are mysteriously discovering Jewish ancestors, perhaps finding a great grandfather who lopped off a -stein or -berg from the end of their name. What I'm saying is that they are actually discovering the Jewishness of the Bible and that the early Christians, including Jesus, were all Jewish! There are Christians about, believe me, who still don't realise that Jesus and his disciples were as Jewish as Woody Allen or the Marx Brothers; instead they have re-invented Him as a faux Gentile.
If you go to any Messianic fellowship these days you'll find as many Gentiles as Jews, usually more. More and more are waking up to the need to bring back the Jewishness of the original Christians, to start to read the Bible with Jewish eyes. Many (I hope) will be reading these articles, which is proof in itself, as you wouldn't have got so far if an interest hadn't been kindled.
The current battle over the Holy Land is an important spiritual one. A battle is going to be fought over Jerusalem and don't be fooled into believing that this is a local event, just an Arab-Israeli dispute. It is the God of Israel against all who oppose Him. It is no less than the climax of history, as unbelievable as it seems. We are indeed living in incredible times. Please pray for the peace of Jerusalem and the salvation of the Jews and the Lord will surely bless you.
‘God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth’ (John 4:24).
As Christians the whole point of our existence is to worship the Lord in Spirit and Truth, anything less just will not do. If your conscience is clear and you are being true to the promptings of the Spirit within you and true to the evidence of the written Word of God then you are truly blessed.
Blessings to you all.
For the previous article in this series, click here.
To find out what is my favourite book of the Bible, click here.
You can reach Steve with any comments or questions at the Saltshakers Web Community website.