Evil in the Name of God<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
By Jan Markell
It has taken centuries but in the last decade Jews have figured out that Christians are their only friend left on earth. I wrote in June, 2003, that Jewish leaders were encouraging an end to the mistrust of Christianity and Christians. Over 170 Jewish leaders from all branches of Judaism then signed a statement calling on Jews to relinquish their fear and mistrust of Christianity. After all, this isn't 1939 or the 1400 or 1500's when atrocities beyond description were taking place by so-called Christians (emphasis on so-called).
Orthodox Rabbi Daniel Lapin made a profound statement in 2003 that, "Jews have made a colossal error in not recognizing the exceptionally tolerant nature of down-home American Christianity." He went on to say that Jewish assimilation into the non-Jewish culture is a far greater threat.
At the same time the climate for sharing one's faith with Jews was warming. When some barriers went down, Jews found themselves much more willing to trust some Christians who shared about the Jewish Messiah. But action in the last two years has reversed everything back to the fears of 1939 and for some good reasons.
In the last two to three years the religious Left has begun a campaign to literally destroy the Jewish state. One by one, major Mainline Protestant denominations-never known for biblical accuracy-are encouraging their leaders and members to divest funds and stock from any company they are involved with who might be aiding <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Israel's economy directly or indirectly. The denominations that have now spoken out about this include the Presbyterian Church U.S.A., the Anglican Church, the Episcopal Church, United Methodist Church, and United Church of Christ. Others are waiting in the wings.
How about "divesting" from Arab governments that systematically persecute Christians, fly airplanes into our buildings, and hope to conquer America for Islam? Maybe we could divest from brutal regimes such as Sudan, Viet Nam, Nigeria, and dozens of other dark places that persecute just about everyone? If these Mainline Protestants spent as much time on the silent holocaust in Sudan as they do on Israel's imagined brutalization of Palestinians, two million Christians could be saved in Sudan.
At the root of this is not just anti-Semitism which is the quick blame. It is also the pop theology (though it is not new) that the Church is the new Israel-Replacement Theology. When church leaders and members believe that Israel has no present or future role or prominence, it is much easier to demonize them, call them oppressors, and urge the above action. They have also tossed out eschatology and emphasized false "end-time" theologies such as Preterism-that all prophecy occurred in 70 AD with the destruction of Jerusalem. Without exception, false eschatological teachings disinherit Jews and Israel from the land and covenants made to them and put them on the level of prominence comparable to the Canary Islands.
One by one these anti-Israel Protestants, spurred on by the World and National Council of Churches, make friendly visits to the most vile terror groups like Hamas and Hizbullah, heaping praise on them. Do they ever visit Israeli victims of terror? Even once-solid outfits like World Vision send precious little dollars to Israeli children who are victims of terror and direct most of it to deprived Palestinian children-deprived by their PA leaders who pocket all foreign aid for themselves. Does anyone among their ranks remember that it was Hizbollah that killed hundreds of our Marines in Lebanon in 1983? Where is the outrage?
Another factor is at play here: Mainline Protestants wish to separate themselves from Bible-believing evangelicals, Israel's last friends on the face of the earth and the last to hold to sound doctrine on many issues going beyond this one. This is a part of the great polarization going on in the world today.
Is it any wonder the attendance and membership in the churches composed of the religious Left are plunging today and the exact opposite is happening in churches that are trying to hold to more sound biblical truth?
In the last days the Bible says people of faith will be hated and that applies to Jews and Christians. It was hard to imagine, however, that those parading around in religious garb and wearing clerical collars would participate in this.
(Jan Markell is founder/director of Olive Tree Ministries. To learn more or sign up for her e-mail alerts or print newsletter, visit the Web site, www.olivetreeviews.org.)
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