Columns Opinion Richard Mouw: Civil Evangelicalism

To my fellow evangelicals: What you’re cheering in Jerusalem is shameful

Palestinian medics and protesters evacuate a wounded youth during a protest at the Gaza Strip's border with Israel, east of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, on May 14, 2018. Thousands of Palestinians protested near Gaza's border with Israel as Israel prepared for the festive inauguration of a new U.S. Embassy in contested Jerusalem. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

(RNS) — Of the two evangelical pastors who offered prayers Monday (May 14) at the ceremony for the opening of the American Embassy in Jerusalem, Robert Jeffress received most of the publicity. And understandably so.

Jeffress is known for making controversial religious pronouncements. Mitt Romney has rightly criticized President Trump’s choice of a “religious bigot” to participate in this event, pointing to Jeffress’ condemnatory comments about other religions — including the pastor’s characterization of Romney’s own Mormon faith as “a heresy from the pit of hell.”

Pastor Robert Jeffress of  First Baptist Dallas Church speaks as he introduces President Trump during the Celebrate Freedom event at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington on July 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The most theologically significant prayer at the ceremony, however, was offered by John Hagee, a megachurch pastor from San Antonio. Hagee, a longtime supporter of Israeli policies, thanked the Lord on this occasion “that Jerusalem is and always shall be the eternal capital of the Jewish people.”

“Eternal” covers a long timespan. It is not often that presidential administrations get to make decisions with that kind of staying power, but for those evangelicals who endorse the theology that informed Hagee’s prayer, Trump was simply doing God’s will in relocating the embassy in Jerusalem. They see the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 as a fulfillment of an ancient prophecy.

Many Jewish people of Jesus’ day, of course, did not accept the claim that he was the promised Messiah — a refusal so serious in Jeffress’ mind that those who continue in the Jewish religion are on a path to hell.

But Jeffress, Hagee and others who hold to this version of the “Bible prophecy” scenario also insist that when Jesus returns the Jews as a people will recognize him as their true Messiah, and Jesus will establish his eternal kingdom in Jerusalem. Israel, in this view, has a great future, and the event this week is yet another step in the unfolding of God’s plan for the ages.

Texas evangelist John Hagee, of Christians United for Israel, addresses a crowd of his followers and Israeli supporters at a rally at the Jerusalem convention center on April 6, 2008. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

Those of us in the evangelical world who have on occasion publicly criticized the policies of the Benjamin Netanyahu government have been quickly reminded of the ways we are evoking God’s displeasure with us. My hate mail regularly features the promise that God made to Abraham when he informed the patriarch that he would be the father of a great nation: “I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee” (Genesis 12:3).

Well, let the hate mail keep coming, but this needs to be said: It was a shameful thing for evangelical pastors to be celebrating the opening of the embassy in Jerusalem while just a few miles away the Israeli army was killing dozens of Palestinian protesters against Israeli policies. (The death toll stood at 60 as of Tuesday, Palestinian officials said, and more than 1,700 people had been hospitalized.) It’s shameful, not only because they use their theology to make the moving of the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem a matter of “eternal” significance, but also because they refuse to hold the Netanyahu government accountable for Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, some of whom are themselves evangelical Christians.

Do I fear being cursed by God for saying that it was a shameful thing for these two pastors to join in the celebration at the opening of the Jerusalem embassy? No, because those who so easily invoke that ancient promise fail to think about what it covers. I do want God to “bless” Israel, as did the ancient prophets who regularly delivered divine messages to their compatriots.

But those prophets never called for an uncritical acceptance of whatever happened to be the current policies and practices of Israel’s leaders. Here, for example, is a typical one of those ancient messages from the Lord: “So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners among you of justice” (Malachi 3:5).

God is not indiscriminate in handing out blessings to Israel. God wants the leaders to promote the cause of righteousness, which has to do with, among other things, how they treat “the stranger in the land.” The ancient Hebrew writers were consistent in emphasizing his point: And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him. But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:33-34).

If we want God to “bless” Israel we should keep calling the present Israeli government to treat the Palestinians as those who are “born among you.” We do Israel no favors by praying at its celebrations while ignoring the grave injustices taking place not far away.

The evangelicals who send angry messages quoting the biblical passage about blessings and curses are right to insist that God both blesses and curses nations for what they do. And the time is long past for us as evangelicals to talk seriously together about God’s concern for justice in the Middle East. And while we are at it we can also talk, as evangelicals, about God’s concern for “the stranger” who is within and at our own American borders. It is always important to attend to these things. They are matters for which divine blessings and divine curses are at stake.

About the author

Richard Mouw

Richard Mouw is Professor of Faith and Public Life at Fuller Theological Seminary, where he also served as president for twenty years. He is the author of twenty books, including Uncommon Decency: Christian Civility in an Uncivil World. He earned his PhD in Philosophy at the University of Chicago.

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  • Hamas itself has admitted today that 54 out of the 60 “protestors” killed were members of Hamas. While the IDF could always do more to minimize casualties, Hams made no secret of its desire to breach the border and “take back” Palestine. There are Israeli communities a few hundred meters — not kilometers — from that border that would have been overrun by the “protestors.” Perhaps you’d be okay with 60 dead Israelis, but Israel is under no obligation to make that sacrifice. Regardless of the mistakes that brought us to this point, Israel has every right to defend itself against an invasion.

  • To your fellow evangelicals, Mr Muow…

    What They cheerr in Jerusalem is shameful.

    What they cheer in the office of president is shameful.

    What the cheer in their attacks on gay people and our participation in society is shameful.

    What they cheer in their aattacks on science is shameful.

    What they cheer in their attacks on women and families is shameful.

  • Sorry, but aside from the two chosen to speak, there is no reason why Jerusalem should not be the capital of Israel. It gets so tiring to hear people distort the situation, and appalling to see someone chastise their own with superficial examples.

    So no one is going to address Hamas in their columns? No one is going to address the violence at the border that was brought by “protesters”? So what we are dealing with is another case of false labeling where those who seek the destruction Israel are called “freedom fighters”? Again no mention of the concessions given by Israel, such as removal of settlements, releasing of prisoners only to have palestinians renege on any peace deal? No mention of the ant farm of tunnels all through Israel to run weapons to palestine?

    Then there is the obvious that people like the author do not want mentioned. The equitable division of Israel/palestine from the beginning only to be attacked time and again from their so called “neighbors”? When their aggression cost them land they now want to rewrite history. People want so desperately to rewrite the truth to satisfy their own agenda. Is Israel infallible? No, they have made mistakes, but any other country who would be in their situation would be lauded for defending themselves.

    All the propaganda people have been fed over the past years is crumbling and they cannot handle being told they were manipulated. They think they are too smart for that. So those who want to double down on their perceived interpretation of what has been going on will find only terrorists on their side.

  • BUMMER. For so that’s how brother Richard Mouw handles this highly problematic, Christian Zionist mantra: “God will bless them that bless Israel, and curse him that curseth Israel” (Genesis 12:3, SUPPOSEDLY). Well, “I do want God to ‘bless’ Israel”, quote unquote”, Mouw says, but remember: “God is not indiscriminate in handing out blessings to Israel.” It all depends, you see, on “how they treat ‘the stranger in the land’, i.e. “the Palestinians as those who are ‘born among you.'”

    WELL, there’s just one problem with that Messianic Prophecy which says, “God will bless them that bless Abraham & Family, and curse him that curseth Abraham & Family” (Genesis 12:3). That’s right, it NEVER refers to Israel! Not only that, that Messianic Prophecy had already been fulfilled. By the Messiah, of course – DUH. Here’s how that went down, according to apostle Peter, in Acts 3:

    “12 Men of Israel, 13 the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Jesus, the one whom you delivered and 14 asked 15 to put to death the Prince of life, the one whom God raised from the dead, a fact to which we are witnesses. 22 Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brethren; to Him you shall give heed to everything He says to you. 23 And it will be that every soul that does not heed that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’ 24 And likewise, all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and his successors onward, also announced these days. 25 It is you who are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham [in Genesis 3], ‘And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ 26 For you first, God raised up His Servant and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways.”

  • “The death toll stood at 60 as of Tuesday, Palestinian officials said, and more than 1,700 people had been hospitalized.”

    Not to be forgotten: the people cheering all of this on call themselves “pro-life.” They talk louder and meaner than anyone else in the world about the “pro-life” values that led them to elect the moral monstrosity now occupying the White House.

    The hypocrisy is astounding.

    John Judis:

    But I’d say something more now — in the wake of Israel’s passionate embrace of Trump and rejection of an international Jerusalem (as decreed by the UN at Israel’s founding and with Israel’s support), in the wake of continuing settlements on and theft of Palestinian land in the West Bank and of Israel’s economic strangulation of Gaza, in the wake of growing Israeli attempts to squelch any dissent to the occupation, and of the disintegration of the Labour bloc as a moral alternative to Likud, and in the wake, finally, of Israeli troops firing on and killing Palestinian demonstrators who posed no mortal threat at the same time as the Trump children frolicked on the cobblestones of old Jerusalem. I’d say that Israel has become as bad an actor, period. And that upsets me to no end….

    [W]hat’s clear today is that Israel now resembles one of those ancient kingdoms that God rained down his wrath upon.

    https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/israel

  • It is important not to let the events in Jerusalem distract us from the larger picture. This is all part of God’s plan, using his Chosen Servent Trump, to Make America White and Evangelical Again. It’s in the Bible somewhere.

  • Yes, this all highlights the dangers of unsound Biblical exegesis and the heterodox teachings of “Christian” Zionism.

  • Yes, but it should also be remembered that many pro-life people are definitely NOT cheering this.

  • Perhaps you didn’t notice that Israel had a well equipped modern army on their side of the barbed wire. All the pictures of those on the other side show unarmed people throwing stones. Oh, yes, kites meant to set fire to farm fields. There have been some reports of weapons, but no wounding or damage on the Israeli side. I find it hard to believe that there was any real danger to the nearby Israeli communities. One presumes that if Hamas wanted a real battle there would have been real weapons and genuine soldiers attacking the Israeli military.
    I say all this because the killing and wound of so many people, ostensibly civilians, is all out of proportion to the risk. Therefore, commenting as a Christian, I find the Israeli action to be in serious violation of Christian just war theory and therefore to be condemned by Christians. Quite a contrast with the “blessings” of the evangelical prayers.

  • Actually this article is a legitimate critique of a certain brand of Christian theology. In that sense you can disagree with his facts or present a counter theological argument representing another legitimate Christian point of view. He is a Christian speaking to Christians. Nothing he says is presented as representing Islamic thinking or point of view, unless they happen to agree with his brand of Christian theology.
    Islamofascist is a made up word; essentially meaningless. You need to look up the word propaganda. It does not apply here.

  • I had to track down this information to verify and from what I gather the number killed who were Hamas – with their role unspecified – was actually based on a Facebook post. However, since March 30, Hamas has organized weekly border protests to draw attention to ongoing border control and access issues. I do know that front line responders were also shot at – medical personnel. I also know that Israelis in Tel Aviv also protested the Israeli government response. so presumably not all see the protests as a bona fide threat. So I agree whole heartedly with your assessment.

  • Nobody’s cheering the fact that Israel is forced to defend itself against a major Hamas Terror Circus, that directly attacks Israel’s borders and openly shoots at Israeli soldiers (see video below). Does America allow terrorists to do such mess to us? Nope.

    Netanyahu informed CBS News’ Jeff Glor that “They’re pushing civilians, women, children into the line of fire with the view of getting casualties. “We try to minimize casualties. They’re trying to incur casualties in order to put pressure on Israel, which is horrible.”
    No cheering there, either.

    https://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/VIDEO-IDF-thwarts-terror-attacks-as-40000-take-part-in-Gaza-protests-556386

  • What does the current PLO charter state in regard to the status of Israel? Peaceful neighbors?

  • See the video below. I’m sure Hamas appreciates all your kind words, but it’s clear now that these terrorists are genuinely attacking the actual borders, soldiers, and border communities of Israel. They ain’t playing. They want Israel dead on the installment plan.

    If you and I lived near that border in one of those Israeli communities, we’d have already reached for our carbines by now. NOT because of a lust for violence or racial injustice, but simply to stay alive and keep our families alive, knowing that THESE particular terrorists fully mean business.

  • It’s sad to see an evangelical be totally oblivious to the role that the terror organization Hamas is playing in this bloodshed. They arm their own people with weapons, looking for opportunities to cross the border and wreak havoc on Israeli citizens with kidnapping and murder, and they incite their own followers to try to knock over the fence and cause as much damage as they can. Meanwhile, the leaders keep most aid for themselves, which means it doesn’t get to the people who need it, and sometimes even outright refuse to accept aid. The blockades wouldn’t be there if the Hamas/Palestinian leadership actually worried about taking care of their people instead of trying to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth. Israel is merely trying to protect their borders and survive while trying to live surrounded by countries who want nothing more than their total elimination. Unfortunately, the media does their best to make Israel look like the bad guy and the Palestinians as the poor, persecuted ones. And what’s even worse, is gullible evangelicals such as yourself fall for it hook, line and sinker.

  • ok commander; what are your orders when the fence is breached? What do you tell your men?

  • Oh yes, absolutely peaceful neighbors. An easy 3-step gig.

    Step One: “Destroy the Zionist and imperialist presence” (Article 22)

    Step Two: “Destroy the Zionist and imperialist presence” (Article 22)

    Step Three: “Destroy the Zionist and imperialist presence” (Article 22)

    There you go. 100% Peace in the Middle East !!

  • I never thought I’d read someone on RNS that called for the humane treatment of the Palestinian people. All of Christendom seems arrayed against them, and is willing to let them suffer and even die. Israel does collective punishment against the people in the camps, cutting off their food, water, and electricity. Yet Evangelicals in particular say nothing. There is massive child hunger in the camps, yet Evangelicals ignore those starving children. If your religion justifies the wholesale mistreatment of a people group, it’s a worthless religion. If your religion justifies keeping people in what are basically concentration camps for decades on end, your religion is worthless. If your religion justifies ethnic cleansing to give the land to your favorite people group, your religion is worthless.

  • I noticed the number of Palestinian men that were shot in the legs and wonder if they did that on purpose to stop them without killing them as I suspect the snipers to have good aim. I think the Israelis are justified in protecting their borders and I wouldn’t trust Hamas’ story at all. Israel has a lot to answer for but so does Hama’s.

  • “All of Christendom seems arrayed against them.” Actually, no. Evangelicals/Christian Zionists are by no means all of Christianity, but are rather a small faction. Many Christians support the humane treatment of the Palestinian peopel, and also oppose the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem. In fact, a small percentage of the Palestinian people actually ARE Christians.

  • “keeping people in what are basically concentration camps”
    “cleansing to give the land to your favorite people”

    This cannot come as a surprise. At the very core of Conservative Christian theology is the ultimate “cleansing” that leads to the ultimate “concentration camp” – Hell. For the Conservative Christians, what has happened to the Palestinians over the past few decades is just a warm-up for the final event.

  • It’s nice to quote bible verses about treating foreigners equally but please remember that foreigners as well as Israelites had to obey the laws if the land. Charging the boundaries of Israel, a sovereign state, to do harm to the land and the people, is not a peaceful protest. It’s an invasion inspired by the terrorist leaders of Garza. It’s a war crime to incite civilians to take up arms against Israel. It’s shameful for any believer in Yeshua, Jesus, to give credence to the actions of those who lead the Palestinians or follow their orders. Jesus and the Apostles were Jews who lived in Israel and everyone will face them at some point in time. Time to get on the right side of Heaven.

  • There is no current charter as there is no current PLO. After the fratricidal split in 2003, Palestinians are led by two distinct groups. Islamist Hamas and Kleotocrat Fatah.

    Fatah has all but given up any effective efforts against Israel. The blood money from Saudi Arabia has dried up.

  • Thanks be to God that the IDF stopped that eight-month old girl who was carrying an assault rifle and screaming “Death to the Jews”.

  • Deploy 1500 riot police in protective gear. Deploy the usual non lethal methods to bring order. Arrest those who resist. This is not the first riot that needed to be managed by a municipality.

  • When you are encouraged as a civilian to invade another country and kill the Jews and you bring your kids that’s not only a war crime but its child abuse and criminally negligent homicide.

  • Hi Father. What about Jews who believe in Jesus? Are they Christian Zionists too or followers of the word of God that we brought to the Gentiles? Are you saying that we have unsound biblical exegesis? Try to remember that “All scripture is inspired by God” refers to what you call the Old Testament. Adonai is drawing a line in these times and it’s important for believers to be on His side and not on the side of those who don’t get the prophetic meaning of the return of the Jewish people to Israel.

  • All this mess built on one giant lie!

    Under the heading of “A brief History of the Terms for Jew” in the 1980 Jewish Almanac is the following: “Strictly speaking it is incorrect to call an Ancient Israelite a ‘Jew’ or to call a contemporary Jew an Israelite or a Hebrew.” (1980 Jewish Almanac, p. 3).

  • Please notice. The author is not writing a dissertation on the troubles in the Middle East, therefore it’s not reasonable to assume he is “totally oblivious to the role that terror organization Hamas” is playing. Please notice. He’s an Evangelical talking to Evangelicals here in the US. He’s making a theological argument to counter their theological position. He’s countering their Bible quotes with his Bible quotes. Basically he’s addressing the religious question: How does God want Christians to behave in these circumstances. He’s not arguing politics or history; it’s theology. He’s certainly not asking our government to do this or that, only that Christians remember to act like Christians.

  • I believe you are over-reacting. Faith drives out fear, but fear drives out faith. Which is it with you?

  • Surely the IDF is just doing God’s work. If the Bible is to be believed, during the first Israeli takeover of Canaan the warriors of God slaughtered a lot of women and children. There is nothing new under the sun.

  • Well, the ones cheering this are primarily the Evangelical “Christian” Zionists, who are a distinct minority of the world’s Christian population. The great majority of anti-abortian Christians (hence “many”) do not belong to their camp, and are not cheering this at all.

  • “Many Jewish people of Jesus’ day, of course, did not accept the claim that he was the promised Messiah — a refusal so serious in Jeffress’ mind that those who continue in the Jewish religion are on a path to hell.”

    It’s a shame that Jeffrees’ education and belief system does not permit him to accept the fact that God made an everlasting covenant with the Jewish people. Yes, Jesus was a Jew, but his coming as our Messiah and living a pure life that showed us how to live, then dying on the cross to bring us Christians eternal life, created an entirely different covenant. It neither replaced nor negated the earlier covenant exclusively for the Jewish people.

    I’m just a fairly well-read Christian layman, and I know that much about this matter. It’s a shame that Jeffrees has a really large pulpit from which to broadcast such wrong-headed thinking. NOWHERE in the Christian scriptures can one find any backing for such a preposterous statement!

  • To quote our friend Tom Downs above, then expand on his statement a bit, “Please notice. The author is not writing a dissertation on ABORTION!”

    That’s a different discussion for an article by a different writer!

  • REALLY? Where is that in the Bible?

    And Trump is God’s Chosen Servant? Where in the Bible does it say anything like that?

    And if he’s out to “Make America White and Evangelical Again,” then why did so many blacks and Latinos, Asians and non-Evangelical Christians vote for him in November of 2016?

    It’s really catching! Alwayspuzzled now has ME really puzzled!

  • I can’t speak to Christian just war theory and I doubt Israel cares and why should they? You must not have seen all the pictures — the ones showing the “protesters” carrying machetes and meat cleavers. We have been living in an age of asymmetrical warfare for over two decades. I’m sure Hamas would have problems sustaining an air-to-ground bombing campaign over Tel Aviv. That doesn’t mean they can’t inflict real damage on the civilian population. Is waiting to be attacked part of this just war theory?

  • Well, that’s one way to look at the history of the land. Another way is that the Canaanites did such abominable things, like throwing their babies into a fire to appease their god, that they were kicked out of the land by God who gave it to Abraham and his family forever. Yes, the Israelites were also kicked out for their sins and were slaughtered as well, but were permitted to return by the one who gave them the ownership of the land for His purposes. Of course, this requires faith to believe and if you don’t believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob this makes no sense to you. The alternative is to see history through the eyes of Hamas, Hezbollah and UNESCO. Even the Koran says that the Jews should live in Israel.

  • Why are WE — all safe and cozy with big money, big military, big missiles, and geographically separated from Israel’s enemies — apparently trying to tell Israel to rely on “faith” to repel a serious terror attack?

  • Actually the book of Acts says myriads of Jews (tens of thousands) followed Yeshua. Some historians say one third of Jerusalem did, so Jeffries was wrong on the numbers. Also it was the Jewish followers of Yeshua who brought the Gospel to the known world. Thank you would be a better response from Bible teachers.

  • Comments here from that crowd seem to point in the other direction. But I will take your word on it.

  • The fact that “myriads of Jews followed Yeshua,” doesn’t negate the fact that they already had a perfectly sound covenant with Yaweh through their Hebrew roots and Jewish religion. They were presumably free to seek other paths then, just as there are Christians who choose to follow the Jewish faith now.

    No one’s locked into continuing on in the original religion of their parents–then or now!

  • I’m a bit puzzled where you are coming from. Do you believe Jesus was the first Christian and those who follow him who are Jewish have left the faith of their fathers? What point were you trying to make in your last comment?

  • How many protestors were there at the border? Do you really think 1,500 border police (if Israel has that many) could handle tens of thousands of protestors. This isn’t DC in the 60’s and 70’s. This is the Middle East. Hamas is not inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. They are inspired to kill all the Jews of Israel and eliminate it from the earth. This line of thought is typical western mentality that has no comprehension of the reality of what’s going on. Probably you believe that one day man will not be selfish and all we need is love. The blood lust for Jewish blood has to stop before there can be peace. Israel does not have to justify self defense of its people and its territory. No other country on earth would do less to protect its people.

  • My reply was to Parker 12 who asked: “ok commander; what are your orders when the fence is breached? What do you tell your men when 500 angry protesters are headed to the nearest settlement?” I gave him 1,500 riot police. Israel has a real army; they can put as many people at the fence as they want.
    Beyond that you make a lot of assumptions about me. You know what they say about those who ass-u-me: “you make an ass out of you and me”.

  • i think alwayspuzzled is employing ‘sarcasm’ so that’d put the two of you in the same camp.

  • sarcasm. he/she was using sarcasm to make a point. incidentally, when you say, “many,” what do you mean?

  • But a lot of places in the NT, you can find ocndemnations of the Jews as being the children of satan, deicides, and so forthj. 1900 years of such garbage, magnified by Martin Luther, led to the murder of 6 millions in “Christian” Europe.

  • F. Bailey Smith, the now infamous 1980 statement from then-Southern Baptist Convention President Bailey Smith: “God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew.”

  • They ALL do. “There is none righteous. No, not one.” I’m Jewish and a supporter of Israel. My family is in this country solely because of anti-Jewish persecution in Europe 150 years ago. Hardliners on both sides are using people as their human shields. They have no good will.

  • Like so many thing evangelicals say, it is nowhere to be found in the bible, but only in the thoughts, beliefs, and actions of evangelicals. Google “thank god for president trump.”

  • Fake news. Netanyahu is a liar. Israel has no intention to live in peace with the Palestinians. They’ve gradually and intentionally encroached on the Palestinians’ land. They actually think “God” gave them this land.

  • Floyd, I keep pointing back to the article which I see as a theological debate over how Christians are call by God to behave. Its evangelical arguing with evangelical. Both sides argue from the Bible. The particular situation that occasions the debate is important but largely beside the point. It’s a question of what God wants us to do? My contribution is to ask which is the right point of view.
    Of course, neither of us is in Gaza today; you don’t need your carbines. So is it unfair to ask if you are over-reacting? For me an essential spiritual question always need to be asked Does faith drive out fear, or fear drive out faith?

  • Who says so? Christians means Christ in you. It doesn’t mean a denomination or a different religion. Actually believers in Yeshua should be called Messianists meaning Messiah in you. Jesus is the Messiah to the Jews and Savior of the nations. Don’t tell me you’re a follower of Constantine, the sun worshipper! The early “church fathers” taught you couldn’t be Jewish and believe in Jesus. Funny because the 1st century “Church” was predominately Jewish and it was the Jewish evangelists and Apostles who brought the Gospel to the nations. Try reading Romans 9 to 11 to get an accurate picture of God’s plan for redemption of the world through the Jewish people.

  • Jews who believe in Jesus, who accept Him as the Christ -the Only Begotten Son and Word of the Father – and are baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, are most certainly Christians. They may or may not be Christian Zionists. I have known a number of Christian Jews (one of then a Priest) who reject Christian Zionism, as well as the dispensationalist theology and Biblical (mis)interpretations that undergird it.

  • Which Church Fathers taught that Jewish people couldn’t believe in Jesus (i.e., be Christians)?

    Constantine worshiped the one who created the Sun (i.e., the Lord).

  • There is not a single reference to the Jewish people as “being the children of satan” in the New Testament.

  • If you visit the Christians of India, China, Ethiopia, and some of the other early Christian communities, you find menorahs, kippahs, kosher, and other accoutrements of Judaism.

  • This is not merely a riot.

    This an assemblage organized by professionals who surround themselves with innocent civilians and obtain media coverage suitable to their purposes.

    Simply put, this is an asymmetrical war.

  • Google “Hamas Gaza 50” and you will find the CNN and NBC News articles about it. I did get the numbers wrong, it was 50 out of 62, not 54 of 60. But Islamic Jihad today claimed three of the remainder as their own, so..

  • John 8:39-47, NIV: Lesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. ”

    so, strictly speaking, you are correct. but actually, of course, you are wrong. The Devil, the father of Lies, and satan– all the same person, according to so many Christians who believe in devils.

  • David, I was making a rather simple point, and I’m surprised you didn’t grasp it.

    My point is, there are two different covenants here for people living at two different points in time. The earlier one was with the Hebrew children who we call the Jewish people now, and the newer covenant with believers in the life and death of Jesus Christ, who we call Christians. Since God allows full free will and freedom of choice, people from either group may–for their own reasons, try out and become adherents to the belief system and covenant of the other group. That’s all.

  • The “original sin” of the holy hypocrites is to twist every Bible statement about judging between right and wrong as a mandate to interfere in the lives of others. They try to claim that interfering with and trying to block the civil rights of others is just “warning them” in a “godly way” to “avoid evil.” But all that the scriptures actually ever allow them to do is opine not actually intervene against or block the civil rights of others.

  • “God is not indiscriminate in handing out blessings to Israel. God wants the leaders to promote the cause of righteousness, which has to do with, among other things, how they treat “the stranger in the land.” So you are condemning Saul (easy to do) and David for cleansing the land for the Lord then?
    Hamas and the gang often use women and children as shields, but that is acceptable now?

  • John 8:30-38 “Even as he spoke, many believed in him. To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word. I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you are doing what you have heard from your father.”

    It certainly helps to know who the man was speaking to.

    Your claim: “you can find ocndemnations (sic) of the Jews as being the children of satan”.

    No, you can find zero condemnations of the Jews as being the children of satan. In this case the prelude to your quote demonstrates he is speaking to those looking for a way to kill him.

    So, strictly and actually you are wrong.

    Luke 22:3-4 Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus.

    So, those who plan to kill him are inspired by Satan, not all Jews.

    http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/5085-demonology

    http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/13219-satan

    https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/satan-the-adversary/

    Of course historically in Judaism and currently in some schools both demons and Satan were and are still believed in, the emphases being different in Judaism and Christianity, although the kabbalistic and Hasidic views and Christian views are close.

  • I think you’re wrong. Your obviously not familiar with his standarized responses…

  • that may be. i don’t know. first time i’ve read his response.

    as i review other comments, it seems like sarcasm. but that’s not something i’m going to argue about.

    peace.

  • If there are none righteous, doesn’t that mean that **everybody** has got a sin problem, hence everybody needs a Savior?

  • Since his position is that he does what does, and then “poof!”, a savior does not seem to fit into his program.

    Of course getting his facts straight doesn’t seem to fit into his program, either, so go figure.

  • And yet again to put it all in proper perspective for the 21st century CE: (only for the eyes who have not seen),

    Putting the kibosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    “The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother’s womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. “

  • “Messiah . . . created an entirely different covenant. It neither replaced nor negated the earlier covenant exclusively for the Jewish people.”
    You would be an even better-read Christian layman, and would gain knowledge of God’s plan, if you pore over Hebrews 8:8-15.

  • By Gosh! Imagine the audacity of them wanting the land that the Lord gave them!

  • Religious psychosis. Murdering others who stand in your way isn’t the best way to resolve the issues.

  • The Lord’s gifts, including the land, were to bless the Lord’s people, whom he foreknew, and those were just the faithful remnant of Israel. Citizens of the state of Israel generally are not heirs of people the Lord gave the land to, but you and I and others who have faith in the Lord’s Messiah are those heirs.
    Are you audacious enough to want the land? If you want the land that the Lord gave only to you and to me and to all other believers in Messiah Jesus, are you willing to take it away from those without faith who now live in it?

  • There are evidently some persons who are not loving their neighbor (the 2nd greatest commandment; Matthew 22:39), nor loving their enemies and praying for those persecuting them (Matthew 5:44-45).

    We are evidently living in the “last days” of a wicked era (Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21) by the “signs” Jesus gave us.

    That means God’s kingdom, or heavenly government (Matthew 4:17), will soon put an end to and replace all human governments (Daniel 2:44).

    That government is referred to as “the city of the living God, HEAVENLY JERUSALEM, and to countless thousands of angels” (Hebrews 12:22), which is where its King (Isaiah 9:6,7), Christ Jesus, will rule from when he returns, and NOT from earthly Jerusalem.

    Jesus will then start his millennial rule over all meek mankind, after destroying all wicked ones (Isaiah 11:1-5). There will finally be worldwide peace and complete brotherhood of man (Micah 4:1-4).

    Hopefully, all meek mankind will gratefullyq accept Jesus’ rule over us, when the end of this wicked era finally comes, including the nation of Israel, who is still waiting for the Messiah’s first appearance. Time will tell.

  • One slightly injured Israeli after six weeks of protests puts the lie to the nonsense spouted by the Israeli government and Trumpvangelicals about all those armed Hamas terrorists.

  • Which lord? There are somewhere about 3k today.

    Ancient tales aren’t a basis for laws.

  • Actually Ricky Bell, I actually AM a rather well read Christian, because I take the trouble to read those references in small print at the bottom of the page. The passage in Hebrews that you refer to, proves my point brilliantly. It’s a direct quote from the book of the prophet Jeremiah, chapter 31, verses 33-34. Again, it’s about Gods original covenant with the Hebrew people.

    Go read it for yourself.

  • One side (Israel) has the greatest weapons that money can buy, including some of the deadliest weapons known to humankind. And on top of that, they also have nuclear weapons that could exterminate human life on Earth. They also have the greatest military power in the world (the USA) and their nuclear arsenal to back them up. They also have a huge standing army, and tanks and planes and all the rockets they could ever want.

    Meanwhile, the other side (Palestinians) has sticks, stones, some burning tires, and occasionally a few homemade rockets and bombs. They have no military hardware nor a standing army. It’s basically young men and children throwing stick and stones at one of the most formidable militaries in the world.

    Yet, the conflict is basically a stalemate. Why is that given the overwhelming disparity in resources? Because one side is fighting for their freedom (Palestinians), while the other side (Israel) is determined to keep the Palestinians enslaved in concentration camps. As George Bush famously said, you can’t stop people’s desire from freedom. Israel and the United States fail to understand how great the desire for freedom is among the Palestinian people.

  • Maybe you yourself should read again that passage in Hebrews, all the way to the last verse. It is clearly talking about a “NEW covenant”, which is rendering the old “obsolete”. This is one of the basic themes of the epistle, as well as of the Apostolic witness generally, a theme which was foretold by the prophet Jeremiah.

  • Even a rock can kill some one, why does it matter what weapon was used? The point was, you have people who shout for the death of Israel, want to charge the fence and kill everyone in there. You had people who were violent, people throwing molitovs, starting fires. These people were not peaceful. If those IDF did not shoot, what would those people have done to the Israeli people when they broken through those lines? Do you think they would have walked up to shake their hand and offer them food? No, they would have beaten and killed people. Israel has the right to defend their nation.

  • Lets see… sniper rifles against rocks… how far can you throw a rock? Over reaction and disproportionate means isn’t the way to quell a riot. Israel has an army on its side of the fence; its citizens were never at risk from this. We see the pictures, innocents are hurt along with the bad actors. No Israeli is harmed. It’s all perfect for propaganda. The world is shocked and Israel looses some more international support. So Israel wins the battle but looses the war. It’s not so hard to understand.

  • If you are referring to me, I assure you I do support the International Cricket Council.

  • No, I was not referring to you.

    And the Interstate Commerce Commission was abolished with the ICC Termination Act of 1995.

  • Just War Theory was established hundreds of years ago to describe how and when a religious group that followed the Prince of Peace could practice war. It has, for the most part, provided the assumptions that undergirded the way the US has practiced war. For instance, Christians may respond to an attack but not initiate an attack first. Ask yourself why we think the attack on Pearl Harbor was immoral. If you listened to the President’s speech announcing Desert Storm, you would find him ticking off the requirements for justifying war according to this theory. Sadly, his son didn’t seem to understand the difference between a just war and an unjust war.

  • You may always read the small-print references at the bottom of pages, but you have not read to the end of the passage I cited or you have not understood what you have read. Verse 13 is: “In speaking of ‘a new covenant,’ [God] has made the first one obsolete. And what is obsolete and growing old will soon disappear.”
    That teaching about the covenant not only fails to prove your point (brilliantly or in any other way), but that squarely contradicts your assertion. God’s original covenant with the Hebrew people is indeed negated and replaced. It is superseded by the new covenant in Christ’s blood, which God promised by the prophet Jeremiah.
    Do you think the writer of Hebrews got it wrong? If you think that, why?
    The new covenant in Christ’s blood, like the earlier obsolete covenant, is “for the Jewish people” but it is also for all other people. Anyone who believes in his heart and confesses with his lips that Christ is Lord becomes a member of Israel and a partaker in the new covenant. Anyone else, “Jewish” or other, is a stranger to it.

  • I am new here, but it seemed pretty obviously satirical. It’s in the Bible somewhere was a giveaway.

  • Hamas has to claim something like that, given that thousands of civilians were shot, including women, children, and medics. Hamas was encouraging this, so they would look like cowards if some of their own people weren’t shot.

    The problem with your argument is that far too many clearly innocent people were shot far from the fence.

  • In the real world Israel shot over 1000 people confined inside the world’s largest prison. They are not the innocent victims here.

  • There was no equitable division. People have a fairy tale version of the history. I think more and more this is something intrinsic to conservative evangelical Christianity, with some honorable exceptions. The actual history which is complex and reflects badly on both sides, is ignored and turned into a comforting myth.

  • It applies here, but not to the original post. Both sides in the Israeli Palestinian conflict have committed atrocities over the decades, but evangelical Christians adopt a childish and dishonest one sided view so as to put the blame for everything on the Palestinians.

  • Well, Good Father, the passage from Jeremiah also mentions that IT is a “new covenant.” The wording of the two versions of scripture is somewhat different, but the meaning there is essentially the same.

    Assuming you’re a Christian priest of some kind, you no-doubt have noted the absence of any reference to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the central focus of the Christian “covenant.” Actually it’s not a covenant at all! A covenant refers to an agreement between one entity and a GROU of people (such as a city council stating the rules and regulations for the care and treatment of property by property owners, to relate a secular example.)

    In John 3:16–18, the writer only refers to one group, “the whole world, and no subsets thereof. Then the focus shifts to the individual, “whosoever.” So the focus of the NEW covenant isn’t between God and a group of people (the Hebrew people, the Baptists, Catholics, Presbyterians, etc.) but to INDIVIDUALS of whatever race, nationality or tribe.

    A NEW covenant, indeed!

  • All evangelicals believe that Jews are going to Hell. Not just Robert Jeffress. I don’t know why Richard Mouw is pretending that they don’t all believe that.

  • Fifty of 62 Palestinians killed were armed members of Hamas or terrorists. I don’t agree with Israel’s policies, but let’s have some balance and be honest.

  • There isn’t any such thing as “Christian Zionists.” They want a Jewish state with no Jews in it. That’s not Zionism.

  • There aren’t any Jews who believe in Jesus. They’re not Jews. They were decieved or are deluded.

  • No, it wasn’t. Christians read the “Old Testament” backwards looking for proof of what they already believe. You’re a supresessionist who thinks Judaism is obsolete.

  • There is a great difference between following Jesus as the Messiah and following Jesus as the son of God and a personal savior. Jews didn’t think the Messiah was the son of Giod or a personal savior.

  • That’s fine, Susan.

    Suffice it to say that the people living under the two separate covenants will follow their dictates in the manner their separate religions have taught them.

    Names and descriptions are not important in the least.

  • Technically Christians believe that the events in the New Testament fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament in the person of Jesus Christ.

    From your perspective that constitutes “read(ing) the ‘Old Testament’ backwards looking for proof of what they already believe”, but they already believe it before they read the Old Testament.

  • We should not be sending theologians to pump prophecy in the name of the United States at any embassy in another nation.

  • Or to put it another way, you would not consider a Jew who believes in Jesus a Jew.

    What do you make of the mashichists among Chabad Hasidim who have not accepted the Rebbe’s passing and regarding him as the living “King Messiah”?

  • It’s probably more complex than that.

    Exceptionally complex is the view of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints towards Jews.

  • How do you know The Lord wasn’t just punking the Israelites the way he punked Abraham when he told Abe to murder his own son?

  • They are becoming indistinguishable from the fascist state they fled decades ago.
    The settlements are the Israeli version of lebensraum.

  • Israel is becoming indistinguishable from the fascist state the founders fled from decades ago.
    The settlements are the Israeli version of lebensraum.

  • Just war theory is more than hundreds of years old.

    Augustine of Hippo wrote:

    “They who have waged war in obedience to the divine command, or in conformity with His laws, have represented in their persons the public justice or the wisdom of government, and in this capacity have put to death wicked men; such persons have by no means violated the commandment, ‘Thou shalt not kill.'”

    His argument was based on natural law, supported by revelation. God has given the sword to government for good reason (Romans 13:4), therefore Christians, as part of a society, need not be ashamed of protecting peace and punishing wickedness when done as part of governing society by legitimate authority.

    President Bush’s son was exercising police power under a standing resolution of the Security Council from the preceding conflict, Desert Storm, which required Iraq to make available any and all facilities for inspection.

    This illustrates one of the quandaries proponents of “international law” face:

    if you’re going to have international laws, you’re going to have international police, and policing does not require reference to just law theory.

  • They are a tiny minorty, but only time will tell if Schneerson was really the messiah. The messiah was supposed to restore the Jewish kingdon and restore the Temple. The messiah was also supposed to bring about an age of peace, love and understanding. That hasn’t happened and I doubt it will.

    It’s not just me personally, its the entire Jewish community. It’s something that all denominations agree on which is rare.

  • Not complex at all. They even try to convert the dead even thoufh they promiased not to.

  • That’s my point. They already believe it so they read the “Old Testament” incorrectly. That’s what I meant by reading the “Old Testament” backwards.

  • Yes.
    Now, go on. Think about who are the people belonging to Israel blessed by God. If you think they are citizens of the state of Israel, you may be victim of unsound reasoning that has caused misunderstanding of God’s will at least since the time of Jesus.
    God’s promises of salvation and all that comes with it – including possession of the Land – were made to “Israel” and the first-century Jews generally knew that. But, in their ignorance, far too many people had assumed that, because the covenants of God were with all tribal Israelites, all ethnic Jews were beneficiaries of God’s promises. The assumption was not foolish. “Israel” (along with other expressions, like “Zion” and “Jerusalem”) appears throughout the OT Scripture and it is natural to assume that “Israel” (or any of the other expressions) refers to one and the same entity each time it appears. But the assumption was false. Some uses refer to a tribe, some to a political organization, some to an alliance of tribes, some to an ethnic group. Other times, “Israel” refers strictly to God’s people, to those saved by faith. Failure to apprehend that “Israel” is ambiguous caused people, in their ignorance, to assume that their membership in a tribe, or a political organization, or an alliance of tribes, or an ethnic group, made them God’s people – beneficiaries of God’s promises of salvation and all that comes with it, including possession of the Land.
    Paul must have been vexed by this false assumption, because he takes pains to explain who it is that God made promises to and who it is that God chose to be his people. Look only at Paul’s letter to the Romans. He described the “true” Jew as different from the Jew who was only instructed by the law and was circumcised in the flesh; the true Jew had a “circumcised heart” and fulfilled the law under the direction of the Spirit. Rom. 2:17-29. Correspondingly, Paul wrote that not all physical descendants of Israel were truly Israel; nor, because they were Abraham’s offspring, were they all his true children (and heirs). Rom. 9:6-7. Abraham’s true offspring, the true Israel, are those born through the promise to Abraham and elected by God in his mercy, which includes the faithful remnant of Israel in the natural line and Gentiles who have the same faith. Rom. 9:8-29 and 11:1-5. In all this, Paul was following Jesus exactly; see John 8:37-47.
    As I said above, God gave the Land to us only. Only we are truly Israel because only we have faith in Israel’s Messiah. I suspect that the vast majority of citizens of the state of Israel do not belong to the true Israel blessed by God.
    I hasten to add that the state of Israel may be legitimate under secular international law and that citizens of the state may have legal rights to live in the Land; I refute only reasoning that the state of Israel is justified by God’s gift.

  • Palestinians receive $600M/year from the US and about that same amount from other countries. From that they give $350M to terrorist and the families of terrorist who kill Israelis in their war of liberation, The Palestinian Charter asserts that all of Palestine should be theirs and that Israel and all Israelis should be wiped off the map, genocide . Te refugee camps are maintained to keep the Palestinians angry and willing to fight and die to massacre all Jews. The Israelis have attempted to negotiate a peace agreement, but the only agreement Palestinians will accept if the annihilation of Israel; they back away from every agreement or undermine any that is signed. So Richard, what is your answer for peace in Palestine?

  • Ah, Bob, we seem to be corresponding a lot lately.
    Perhaps you are right about the second President Bush, but my point that he did not lay out the principles of a just war in his explanation still stands. I’m not sure modern just war theory would distinguish between war and police action, when taken to the scale of conflict between the US and the likes of Iraq or Korea. Which is it at the fence, a war or police action?
    I think of the conflict at the fence as a riot requiring police action. But if we insist on talking about it as a war, then the rule of proportionality will apply. Sniper rifles against stones, well organized and led army against civilian mob, is not proportional. It also fails in the requirement that all other means be tried first… preferably peaceful negotiation.
    However, if this is was it’s asymmetrical warfare, like judo where you let the other guy’s power work against him. The headlines and photos of the dead and wounded are as potent for the Palestinians as the Israeli bullets…maybe more so. Israel can be described as acting unjustly and made to suffer abuse at the UN and in the court of public opinion. Even if it’s war it would be better treated as a police action to quell a riot.
    I’m done with this one. Nice exploring the arguments with you.

  • He did not lay out the principle of a just war because it was not a just war, it was a “police action”.

    Different things use different criterion.

    Israel is not operating under a UN Security Council Resolution.

    Judaism does not subscribe to the just war theory or natural law theory.

    So, from the standpoint of Israel is not neither a police action nor a just war, it is a response to an attack.

    As far as I am able to determine, since Judaism does not subscribe to natural law theory, proportionality is not a component of Israel’s consideration.

    For the same reason I don’t believe it believes it is necessary “all other means be tried first”, but if pushed would probably make the case that they have.

    The difficulty with trying asymmetrical warfare, as we did in the Revolution or Ho Chi Minh did in Vietnam, is your opponent has to have the option of leaving.

    Israel is not going anywhere.

    As the Palestinian “allies” (a nice word for opportunists) leave it one by one, the Palestinians are going to be faced with an existential choice, because there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Israel is not going to pull any punches at all.

  • Well, omigoshmygolly! Bloodthirsty, aren’t you? Another Good Christian (TM) boy wishing death and destruction on The Enemies.

    You’ll know we’re christian by our love…

    Tra la la la la.

  • I was living on a shoestring budget with limited prospects. More that 15 years ago I sent a $50 unsolicited donation to Israel’s embassy in the United States, telling them that I was certain I would be blessed because I blessed them, even in that very tiny way. Now I am retired with lots of money. If I described how I legitimately came by all this bounty, you would likely agree that supernatural blessings were involved in prospering me, despite strong odds to the contrary.

  • I was living on a shoestring budget with limited prospects. More that
    15 years ago I sent a $50 unsolicited donation to Israel’s embassy in
    the United States, telling them that I was certain I would be blessed
    because I blessed them, even in that very tiny way. Now I am retired
    with lots of money. If I described how I legitimately came by all this
    bounty, you would likely agree that supernatural blessings were involved
    in prospering me, despite strong odds to the contrary.

  • “Your’re a supressionist (sic) who thinks Judaism is obsolete.”

    Yes, as a Christian I believe – as the New Testament teaches – that the Old Covenant (Judaism) is “obsolete” and “ready to vanish away” (Hebrews 8:13). Christianity 101.

  • So one’s motivation is financial gain.

    Prosperity “Gospel” meets “Christian” Zionism.

  • I am happy to be generously supporting evangelical missionary work in Africa and elsewhere. There is one “say it all day” verse in the Bible, “The Lord delights in the prosperity of His servant.” Psalm 35:27b. One reason I have money is I actively DESPISE money, as Jesus said I would (Luke 16:13). Money only has value when it fits into abiding in God’s will, abiding in the Vine. That is the “surpassing riches” described by Paul in Phil. 3:8—the surpassing value of being found abiding in the Vine, Who is Jesus.

  • I tend to agree with you on that point. And for the USA as a nation to be endorsing any interpretation of prophecy is completely inappropriate.

  • The New Testament, a product of Jews who accepted Jesus as the Messiah, is anti-Jews-who-did-not-accept-Jesus-as-the-Messiah. One sect of Jews vs another sect of Jews.

    On the other hand, Talmudic/Rabbinic Judaism is anti-Christian.

    And in other breaking news, the sky is blue and grass is green.

  • Are you saying that 60 Israelis had to die to make this situation fair. It’s a war crime to use civilians as human shields and to send children into battle.

  • Please tell me where the New Testament,/covenant which was promised by the prophet Jeremiah was anti-Jewish and the read Romans 9-11 which negates your conclusion.

  • That’s right – use BS propaganda to turn your enemy into sub-human monsters so that you can feel justified in your killing spree.

  • So calling something “BS” negates war crimes? You probably don’t believe the Holocaust happened.

  • The New Covenant was promised through Jeremiah. to the Jews. Jesus is the Messiah of the Jews and Savior of the nations. Paul described himself as an israelite of the tribe of Benjamin. I’m surprised that you can’t grasp the message of the New Testament, especially if you read Romans 9 & 11. The gifts and calling on the Jews is irrevocable. Get with His plan and you’ll be able to see the big picture.

  • “Not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel” (Romans 9:6)

    As the Apostle Paul later notes (Romans 11:17), some of the branches of Israel (those who clung to the observances of the Old Covenant instead of accepting the New Covenant Gospel of the Messiah Jesus) were cut off. Those branches developed into Talmudic/Rabbinic Judaism, and to this day remain cut off from Israel.

  • Davey-boy, my point still stands: THEY ARE TWO SEPARATE RELIGIONS, even though the newer one has it’s roots in the older one!

    What’s so hard to understand and admit about that?!

  • And the book of Acts says that myriads of observant Jews zealous for the law were believers.

  • And wild branches will be cut off depending on how they relate to the natural branches. The New Covenant promised in Jeremiah was filled by the Nesdiah to the Jews. If Jesus is not the prophecy fulfilling Messiah to the Jews He’s not your savior. You have too much invested in replacement theology to see the truth. God help you when you face 12 Jewish Apostles and the Meddiah of Israel.

  • Jesus is indeed the prophecy fulfilling Savior, for both Jews and Gentiles alike. And the 12 Jewish Apostles are, of course, Christians. They were part of the branches that were not cut off from the root of Israel (unlike the later and contemporary followers of Talmudic/Rabbinc Judaism). With their prayers they intercede for all Christians, the true Israel of God, both Jews and Gentiles alike.

  • Ironically, the Holocaust happened because it was the Jews and others who were targeted for elimination — which is what the State of Israel wants for the Palestinians.

  • Thank you for the article. I grew up in segregated Miss. and saw the same type of biblical justification concerning racial issues.

  • Mormons in their “Doctrines and covenants” book teaches that Jesus and Satan are “brothers”
    So Romney’s savior is Satan’s brother. this article condemns those who expose this heresy as
    “the pastor’s characterization of Romney’s own Mormon faith as “a heresy from the pit of hell.”
    So I guess the author of this article agrees that Jesus is Satan’s brother. Hmmm

    Paul writes: 1 Corinthians 16:22 – If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema (CURSED) Maranatha. so where does that leave the Jew?

  • Some good Bible scriptures: King James Bible book of John 5:16 – And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.

    Jhn 5:18 – Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.

    Jhn 7:1 – After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.

    Act 9:23 – And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him

    Act 23:12 – And when it was day, certain of the Jews banded together, and bound themselves under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul.

    Act 26:21 – For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me.

    Mat 23:15 – Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees (Jews) , hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

    Q: Did Jesus take the Kingdom of God from the Jews?

    A: Mat 21:43 – Therefore say I (Jesus speaking to the Jews) unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

    1 Thess 2:14, 16 – For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, EVEN AS THEY HAVE OF THE JEWS: WHO BOTH KILLED THE LORD JESUS, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and THEY PLEASE NOT GOD, and are contrary to all men: Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: FOR THE WRATH IS COME UPON THEM TO THE UTTERMOST.

    1 Cor 16:22 – If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema (CURSED) Maranatha.
    There is only one door and it is Jesus and any Jew who rejects Jesus is rejected of God.

  • We believe that God has chosen to reveal himself to the jewish people as noted in the sacred scriptures. Jerusalem is and has been a city for people of faith. Christians see Jesus as more than a historical figure. More than a prophet or spiritual leader. Jesus is God incarnate. Jesus says in the New Testament, that obedience to his sayings are necessary to live the abiding life now in the holy spirit with God our Father. Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven is within us. Scripture defines this kingdom by the fruit of the Spirit. This is the New Jerusalem. This is our always new, miraculous salvation experience. This is our home. God is with us in an intimate, miraculous, moment to moment personal relationship.

  • So if Jesus came and overturned the old ways and is the messiah and 1/2 the Jews became Christian and the other half stayed Jewish and refused Jesus wouldn’t that make Christians the true “Jews” and therefore the true Israelites? Then also wouldn’t the prophecy have been fulfilled with the Franks conquest of Jerusalem during the crusades? The argument that modern Jews are the true inheritors of Israel and Jerusalem and will bring back the kingdom of Jesus is whackadoodle. Christians who are the lords chosen Jews who accepted Jesus than must fulfill the prophecy…this is nuts.

  • Killing 60 civilians who are armed with nothing but slingshots isn’t “defending your self”.

  • They know the world is watching. And they depend on financial help from other countries.

  • Even granting your premise — then they don’t intend it. It doesn’t matter what your motives are, if you do not intend to do it, you don’t.

  • Of course they intend it. They’ve essentially imprisoned the Palestinians. They don’t seem to recoil from wanton killing.

  • Macabre irony that European converts to what is essentially a Palestinian religion are using it against Palestinians.

  • Susan, though I don’t believe that for a minute (sociopathy pity play propaganda trying to justify msssacres is seriously unhinged) it wouldn’t matter what political affiliation refugees belong to they have an inalienable right to return to their homes and lands codified in international law. They are being denied their land and have every reason to protest that denial. I would in their shoes.

  • Defies logic you can defend yourself with the 4th largest arsenal in the world against a people you deny the land you stole from them. Their right of return home is an inalienable right codified in international law yet has not been adhered to for 70 yrs now. As a Christian I see how wrong that is.

  • Let’s be clear: the people who died were not evangelical Christians. Hamas admitted that 50 of them were their own members and three more were members of Islamic Jihad. It is the height of hypocrisy to invoke your Christian faith to defend these butchers.

  • If Israel wants to annihalate the Palestinians, they are doing a piss poor job of it. Where is the Israeli version of IG Barben? Where are the crematoria? Who is the Jewish Joe Mengele in your twisted fantasy?

  • Not civilians. Hamas put out a statement admitted fifty of them were their own members. This isn’t propaganda. This is from Hamas themselves. Islamic Jihad admitted three more were their people. Again, anyone who cares about facts instead of insane Jew hatred can find them.

  • Pure fiction. Israel supplies food, water and electricity to Gaza. It is only because Israel does this that they have anything at all. In fact, Hamas deliberately turned away medicine offered by Israel because it came from Israel. In fact Gazans deliberately sabotaged the transfer station allowing natural gas into Gaza to power the electricity station there.

  • A-n-n-i-h-i-l-a-t-e. They go about it in underhanded ways. The Israelis especially excel in taking land that doesn’t belong to them, building walls and choking the Palestinians off. Gaza and other areas are essentially prisons.

  • “five star hotels, luxury car dealerships and first class shopping malls” LIES

  • Irrelevant. Unemployment in Gaza is the highest worldwide. Hotels and luxury cars are not for typical residents of Gaza. What is your point? How does this change the injustice occurring in Gaza?

  • Point is, you claimed I was a liar. Now that you have been shown up you change the goal posts. Typical. BTW, you can thank your friends in Hamas for high unemployment. They steal millions for terror tunnels instead of development it was meant for.

  • Right, you are a liar. You spin this as if the territory of Gaza was a luxury paradise. Oh yes, Israel is the perpetual victim.

  • Hagee is a total wack-job! He is utterly confused and wrong about God. Check out the YouTube video where along with Benny Hinn, he prays for war IN THE NAME OF JESUS. If that is not the total opposite of what Jesus came to do, then I have totally misunderstood the Prince of Peace. And yes I’m aware of the verse where Jesus speaks of division among people because of commitment to him. Sadly, Hagee’s extremism swirls like poison in a church with 22,000 members. I just don’t get it.

  • How am I a liar? You claimed I lied about five star hotels, luxury car dealerships and shopping malls. You were caught in your pathetic effort to lie so you tried to dodge. Now you try to dodge yet again. Truly pathetic.

  • I did no such thing. You called Gaza an open air prison. I called you on that and pointed out that I have never heard of an open air prison with five star hotels, luxury car dealerships and shopping malls. You claimed I was lying. I called you on your pathetic lie. Now you desperately try to spin things because your sick hatred of Jews means that you can’t take the facts.

  • What part of “open-air prison” do you not understand? The residents are surrounded by barbed wire and walls, armed guards, and are not allowed to leave. Also, I have Jews in my family. I do not hate them. There’s a reason that you’ve become so defensive. Grow up.

  • Oh I see — so if there is a border between two countries then that makes it an open air prison. Guess that means that when Trump erects the border wall that will make Mexico an open air prison?

  • Mr. Mouw, You fail to mention that those “protesters” became terrorists when they followed the directives of Hamas to hurt or kill Jews. That is why the actions they performed (including sending incendiary devices into Israeli territory) qualified them to be shot at as terrorists. End of story (that by the way no liberal will every mention).

  • Yes, sniper rifle against a rock, yes, they are stupid enough to poke a bear with a twig expecting it not to get annoyed.

    Thank you for clarifying that. Maybe if they would stop rejecting the offers for the land back when they give them, they would stop being angry about the land taken…. oh wait… they just want Israel all dead, it was never about the land to begin with.

  • Even if what you said was true less than 1% of Palestinians could afford to use such amenities and they would have gone out of business quickly.There are 2 million people in the Gaza Strip and not 1 is allowed to enter Israel, Egypt or leave by boat or plane with out filing to do so years in advance. If Gaza is not a prison what is?

  • Nothing but sorrow and pity in my heart for ANY PERSON who actually thinks the following:
    1. Jerusalem was EVER the capital of ancient Israel. No it NEVER EVER was. Judah and Judah ONLY was EVER the capital of ancient Israel. You all show your utter ignorance of ancient Israel when you claim Jerusalem was “the eternal capital of Israel” … Nope. Judah not Jerusalem was THE ONLY Capital of ancient Israel. Period.
    2. Modern Israel has NO CONNECTION WHATSOEVER to ancient Israel. Just because “they” call it “Israel” and just because the land is where ACTUAL Hebrew Israelites once lived thousands of years ago is MEANINGLESS to modern Israel. 97% of Ashkenazi so called “Jews” are European!!! They ARE NOT a Semitic people!!! But ALL Arabs ARE a Semitic people!! Including Palestinians!!! Ashkenazi so called “Jews” ARE NOT A PART of Abraham’s Covenant because they ARE NOT Hebrew Israelites from Abraham’s son Jacob!!
    3. Modern Israel IS NOT and DID NOT “fulfill Biblical prophecy” by becoming a nation again!! There are NO Bible prophecies about a THIRD Gathering of Hebrew Israelites to the land in Palestine and a 3rd Temple!!! Our Lord Jesus WARNED HIS OWN PEOPLE of the coming destruction of Israel and the Hebrew Temple and that not one stone would be left upon another and to FLEE IMMEDIATELY when this day came. The day DID come…and the early followers of Jesus called it THE GREAT APOCALYPSE!!! It happened in A.D. 70 and signified THE END of the Old Covenant and the beginning of the New Covenant made in Christ’s own blood. And for 250+ years following this event there was NO MENTION by ANY early believers of another gathering of Israel or mention of “Jews” because the word “Jew” and its MODERN meaning (and people called “Jews” DID NOT EXIST until the 1700’s!! And when the word “Jew” was first introduced into American culture it meant ONE THING: a resident of Judea (in ancient Israel) without regard to race or religion. If you lived in Judea you were a Ju. If you lived in Galilee (like Jesus did) them you were a Galilian!! So even by THIS definition Jesus was NOT “a Jew” He was a Galilian!! In all our Lord Jesus was a Hebrew Israelite from the tribe of Judah (not a Judean!) and from the tribe of Benjamin.
    4. Modern Israel was manufactured into a country of the same name as the ancient one NOT BY God Almighty through the powerful assertion of His Holy Prophets but by the sick occultist Rothschilds family and ALL of their agents and proxies and cutouts in the sick evil disgusting and vile Zionist world apparatus in cooperation with Endland and the United States whose leaders at the top obeyed the powers of the Synagogue of Satan to set up a one world government with this “New” so called “Israel” which is FAKE Israel with NO Biblical connection WHATSOEVER to ancient Israel.
    as FAKE as it gets!! And its so called capital of Jerusalem as the power center of a one world government. But according to all the early followers of our Lord Jesus that ALL HAPPENED and ALL Biblical prophecy has been fulfilled EXCEPT the 2nd Coming of our Lord Jesus and THAT EVENT is coming VERY SOON. The rest of the prophecies were fulfilled in 70 A.D and this modern version of Israel and the Zionist interpretation of prophecy IS MAN MADE prophecy to FOOL the MASSES!!

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