Should Christians support Israel?

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On Wednesday Night, Jul 23rd, we will try to answer the question – Should Christians encourage the USA to support Israel? Once again as we watch the news, we see conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis. We see the Palestianians firing rockets into Israel. We see Israel entering Gaza with airstrikes, artillery, tanks and ground troops. Identifying the “good guys” from the “bad guys” depends on which news network is spinning the news for you. The conflict dates back thousands of years and no peace plan seems to be on the horizon.

In the past, Israel could always count on the USA to be an ally. Since the State of Israel was established back in 1948 with the help of President Harry Truman (who was a Baptist), Israel has enjoyed billions of dollars in aid primarily through the lobbying of evangelical Christians. This interest in Israel is motivated by a variety of beliefs and thoughts among Christians. For some it is compassion because of the Holocaust during WWII, for others it’s because Israel is the only “democracy” surrounded by dictatorships, and for others the establishment of Israel as a State seems to “fulfil” their interpretation of the Bible as it relates to the End Times.

The more liberal mainline Christian denominations have always criticized US support for Israel. But in recent months, news reports are surfacing of a generational shift in support for Israel among younger evangelicals. Wheaton College, Bill Hybels and the Willowcreek Megachurch, Rick Warren and the Saddleback Megachurch, World Vision -to name a few- are advocating a more neutral position on Israel that is “Pro-Israel, Pro-Palestine, Pro-Peace.”¬† Mart Green from Hobby Lobby backed a film called “Little Town of Bethlehem” apparently designed to make Christians rethink their support for Israel. Dr. Russell Moore who represents Southern Baptists at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention seems to have a less traditional Baptist approach to Israel. His position may be studied at http://www.russellmoore.com/2009/01/09/is-there-a-future-for-israel/

Many Evangelicals who are familiar with Dispensational Pre-millennialism as presented in the Scofield Reference Bible or in Tim Lahaye’s “Left Behind” series believe that the re-establishment of Israel in the Last Days is necessary for the fulfillment of Biblical Prophecy. Many other Christians believe in something called “Replacement Theology”. ¬†Replacement Theology claims that Israel broke the Abrahamic Covenant when it rejected Jesus Christ at His first coming. God may save individual Jews, but He has no present or future program for Israel as a nation. He has rejected Israel as His people and replaced it with the church. The church is now the “Israel of God.”

What do you think?

Should Christians support Israel?

  • Yes (93%, 26 Votes)
  • No (7%, 2 Votes)
  • Not Sure (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 28

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