Thursday, 26 August 2010

'Two Kinds of Christian' by Bob Westbrook

A March 31 open letter issued by the World Council of Churches denounced “repeated declarations by the (Israeli) government’s top leaders” that “all of Jerusalem will belong to Israel”. This organization, which represents a large portion of institutional Christendom, has for years stood in solidarity with the Muslim Arabs against what they call Israel’s “illegal occupation of Palestine”.
This contradicts the viewpoint of many born-again Christians who hold to a literal interpretation of the Bible. They support Israel’s possession of the entirety of Jerusalem as its eternal capital, with Judea and Samaria as the historical heartland of Israel. This discrepancy in “Christian” viewpoints must appear puzzling to Jews.

Yet for some Jews, the discrepancy is beginning to make more sense. In the progression of Jewish-Christian relations, an interesting development has occurred in recent years. During a conversation I had with a prominent Israeli leader, this person said, “We Jews now understand that there are two kinds of Christians — those who love us, and those who do not”.
This seems to be a new revelation for many Jewish people, who until recently viewed the Christian world as a somewhat monolithic entity. It was an entity correctly viewed as a primary source of extended misery for the Jews over the course of time.
Anyone familiar with history knows the awful record of horrid atrocities committed against the Jews by the “church”. The use of that word in quotes is to distinguish between those deviant religious institutions and the true Church. The latter is supposed to be characterized by love, but somewhere in the process, attitudes towards the Jews were twisted into ecclesiastically sanctioned hatred.
How did this happen? As the concept of the church devolved from the simple, untainted spiritual assembly of believers to the foul, grotesque political monstrosity that dominated Europe for centuries, a theology of animosity towards Jews was fabricated.
The developing church ignored Paul’s clear and authoritative instructions, relayed in his letter to the church at Rome, on how to treat the Jews. Even though they had been resistant to the message regarding the claims of Jesus, Paul directed the Christians to love the Jews regardless. They were “beloved”, declared that erudite metamorphosed Pharisee, because of the promises God had made to the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, “for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”
Tragically, the church chose to ignore this divinely inspired directive, and instead constructed a theology of hatred for Jews. This theology taught the Jews were under God’s eternal curse for rejecting Jesus as Messiah, and were to be actively condemned for the part their leaders played in Jesus’ unjust execution. The church had become the new Israel, replacing the spurned Israel. Therefore, the Jews were to be blamed and scorned as “Christ killers”.
As this warped doctrine pervaded the churches, taught universally for centuries, it incited extensive oppression, expulsion, and murder of Jews. The church, which was supposed to be exemplary in love, became exemplary in hatred.
In modern times, a segment of the church has taken a fresh look at the Bible, and renounced the theological concept the church has replaced Israel, along with all of the resultant viciousness. It has in repentance embraced the doctrine that all Jews are to be loved unconditionally, regardless of any difference in viewpoint on the identity of the Messiah. It has affirmed the message of the Biblical prophets that God still has auspicious intentions for the nation of Israel.
Notice that it is only a segment of the church which has renounced that theology. This is the basis behind my friend’s accurate observation about the “two kinds of Christians”. The replacement theology which was at the root of historic anti-semitism is still prominent in many church organizations and denominations.
Sure, they are now more civilized in the way they present their distorted teachings, no longer inciting the masses to torch Jewish towns. But the rancid core of that theology still remains. Now they incite the masses to tear down Jewish towns in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.
Anti-Zionism is the modern expression of that old rotten creed. Israel has become a nation once again, in marvelous fulfillment of the pronouncements of the Biblical prophets. However, rather than giving the God of Israel his due renown for this momentous act, rather than applauding God’s renewed compassion for the Jews expressed by returning them to their place of refuge, the replacement theologians persist in their hoary spite. They deny any connection between the Israel of the Bible and the Israel of today. They deny its legitimacy as a special preordained accomplishment of God’s sovereign plan.
This is why the World Council of Churches, comprised of members who still promulgate that reprobate replacement theology, consistently issue anti-Israel proclamations. This is why these “Christians”, who deny the Bible is the authoritative, inerrant Word of God, support a Palestinian state on land God promised in an eternal covenant to Israel. This is why these spiritual descendants of the ecclesiastical hate mongers demand that Jerusalem be wrestled from Jewish possession. This is why these clerics find more in common with the descendants of Ishmael, who worship a foreign god and advocate jihad, than they do with the descendants of Isaac.
But no matter. They are grass. What God has said will prevail, regardless how many esteemed reverends contest it. “The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the LORD blows on them. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:7-8 NIV)
Yes, there are two kinds of “Christians”. We are those who stand on the word of our God, who will be unconditionally supportive of Israel, based on the unconditional covenant promises to Abraham.

Source: moriel.org

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