Thursday, August 31, 2006

Why Christians Are Called To Bless Israel and the Jews

In the comment section of my former blogpost called And The Criticism Goes On...And On... which was a discussion about the documentary Darwin's Deadly Legacy, one commenter named Boo said the following:




Because, as everyone knows, Jewish survival depends on fundamentalist Christians slandering Darwin. If Darwin is not slandered, the Jews shall surely perish from this earth. Someone's being a lapdog alright, but I don't think it's the ADL.


and this:




Lapin's comments only make sense if he sees fundamentalist Christians as "the priceless vase of Jewish survival." One might concede that he doesn't recognize Coral Ridge Ministries' false witness as slander, but that only means he didn't bother to educate himself, but just let himself be trotted out as The Jewish Token. And that is quite lapdoggish.


These comments show a complete misunderstanding of God's Word regarding the special part that the Jews are involved in Biblical history and the proper relationship that should exist between born-again believers in Jesus Christ, our call to support Israel's survival, and the special blessings that are given by God upon the Gentiles towards those who bless Israel and the Jewish people.

In chapter 16 of John Hagee's book Jerusalem Countdown, there is an excellent summary that points out the fact that God blesses gentiles who bless Israel.

Hagee starts out with some history and writes:




The inability of the Jewish people to recognize Jesus as Messiah benefitted the Gentiles by bringing them the opportunity of salvation.

Rom 11:11 I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles.


Rom 11:12 Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness!


The salvation of the Gentiles was intended by God to "provoke the Jews to jealousy," exciting them to seek and claim a share in the blessings of the new covenant.

In Luke chapter 7, a centurion's servant was healed by Rabbi Jesus of Nazareth, who, being an observant Jew, would not enter the house of a Gentile. The Roman centurion asked the Jewish elders what he could do to get Jesus of Nazareth to enter his house and pray for his sick servant. The elders went to Jesus and pled with Him earnestly, saying that the Roman centurion deserved to be helped. (See Luke 7:1-10.) Why did he deserve to be helped?

The elders said to Jesus, "For he [the centurion] loves our nation, and has built us a synagogue" (v. 5).

The point is this: a practical act of kindness on the part of a Gentile provoked Jesus to enter the centurion's house to heal his sick servant, fulfilling Jesus' covenant with Abraham: "I will bless those that bless you..."

The tragedy of history has been that for two thousand years, recognized Christianity has not provoked Jews to jealousy by their kindness but has produced a harvest of hatred that caused the Jewish people to recoil in fear from those who waged war beneath the cross.

When the Roman Catholic Crusaders entered the city of Jerusalem in 1099, they trapped more than nine hundred Jewish women and children in their synagogue and burned them alive while they sang "Christ We Adore Thee." This kind of "Christianity" is no different from a member of the Taliban who straps himself with a bomb and murders Jews who refuse to believe in Islam.

In the twentieth century, six million Jews were systematically slaughtered by Adolf Hitler. Hitler and his Nazi monsters were never even slightly scolded by the pope, let alone excommunicated from the church for their crimes against humanity.

It's time for Christianity to reach out to our Jewish brothers and sisters, demonstrating the unconditional love of God, which is what Saint Paul commended in Romans 15:27:

It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things. (NKJV)


What riches came to the Gentiles because the Jewish people stumbled over the stumbling stone, which was Jesus of Nazareth?

Riches for the Gentile Believer

* As Gentiles, we recieve the unsearchable riches of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

* We receive the riches of the blessings of Abraham, which know no measure and have no limit.

* We receive the riches of repentance through which each of us becomes a child of God.

* We receive the riches of His love, joy, and eternal peace in the Holy Spirit.

* We receive the riches of salvation by grace through faith.

* We receive the riches of adoption and the riches of being heirs and joint heirs with Jesus Christ.



Now. Contrast these "riches" which were brought to the Gentiles because of the Jewish people "stumbling over the stone," which was Jesus Christ, with the "human tradition and waged war" that the Catholic Church happened to use as an excuse to hate the Jews (and thus), misuse the Christian religion in attempting to convert the Jews! They didn't listen to the Scriptures, and thus took matters into their own (unfortunately, bloody!) hands!

God has an eternal purpose in the Jewish people stumbling over the identity of Jesus Christ. Christians who know the Word of God know and recognize this! How do we know? The Bible reveals it!

Hagee continues:


Life From The Dead

For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? - Romans 11:15

Saint Paul is making a prediction that in Israel's future there will be a national spiritual resurrection that will be so dramatic it will be like someone coming back to life from the dead. How could such a thing happen? Remember, my friends, "With God all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26). How and when God will cause a spiritual resurrection to come to Israel is known only to God.

In Ezekiel 37, Ezekiel describes that very thing when God showed him the nation of Israel as a valley full of very dry bones. The bones were "very dry," meaning they had been dead a long time. Israel as a nation was dead for almost two thousand years. God commanded Ezekiel to prophesy to the dead bones. Ezekiel instantly obeyed the voice of the Lord, for obedience is better than sacrifice.

The valley of dry bones began to come together miraculously as Ezekiel spoke. Then came the sinews, the flesh, and skin, and those bones stood up an exceedingly great army. There is no doubt this is national Israel, for the the scripture reads:

Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel - Ezekiel 37:11

Israel is reborn and thrives today as a mighty democratic nation. We are now awaiting the Jewish people's spiritual resurrection. Ezekiel describes it as follows:

Eze 37:23b... so shall they [Israel]be my people, and I will be their God.


Eze 37:24 ¶ And David my servant [shall be] king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.


Eze 37:25 And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, [even] they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David [shall be] their prince for ever.


Eze 37:26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.


Eze 37:27 My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people.


Eze 37:28 And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.

Count on it! God's love for Israel and the Jewish people is boundless for the patriarch's sake. This spiritual awakening, which is very clearly predicted by Ezekiel, is now beginning and will soon explode into a global reality. It is God's time to pour out the spirit of grace upon the house of Israel and the Jewish people.



I wish I had time to include the sections in the book that discuss The Jewish Root Is Holy (Romans 11:16) and The Wild Olive Tree (Romans 11:17-24) But you can look up these verses for yourself.

Hagee offers a review of the spiritual anatomy of this olive tree:



First, its roots are the patriarchs Abrahan, Isaac, and Jacob. The branches that have been broken off are generations of unbelieving Jews, and the branches that have been "grafted in" are the believing Gentiles. Please remember that there are Jewish branches that are still attached to the olive tree (e.g. like Rabbi Daniel Lapin).

Theologians debate that wild olive branches (Gentiles) cannot be grafted into a natural olive tree. While this is true as a fact of nature in horticultural science, Paul clearly states in verse 24 that the wild olive branch being grafted in is "contrary to nature." This means the grafting in of the Gentiles is a supernatural act from the hand of God.


It's interesting to me that during a segment on Larry King Live, Larry was asked by Billy Graham that if Jesus Christ returned today and Larry had the chance to ask him one question, what would he ask? Larry said something similar to this, "I would ask him if this was his first or second visit to the earth." I thought that was a fascinating answer to that question; especially coming from a Jewish person! I must confess, I don't know how religious King is, but he has stated that one of his favorite guests has been when Billy Graham has sat in the guest chair! I'm sure that if Larry felt threatened in any way, including any "fear of conversion," he wouldn't have invited Rev. Graham back so often!

There is a huge trust developing between Christians and Jews. I think that the Jewish people are gradually realizing that the support of evangelical Christians is not so much for the purpose of attempting to convert them, but for the purpose of obeying God's Word regarding their nation and people. The misunderstandings (and, unfortunately, horrors) of the past have, for the most part, dissipated, and more trust and bonding has been the result.

I'm skipping over a lot, but I hope you will get the idea of what I am trying to show through these verses.

Hagee writes:


In Romans 11:30-31, Paul is referring to the salvation of the Jewish people at some point in the future.

Paul makes it clear in Romans 11:25 that Israel's blindness to the identity of Messiah will end when "the fullness of the Gentiles has come in." The fullness of the Gentiles will endure until Christ returns to earth. Then Paul plants the blockbuster verse of all the Book of Romans: "All Israel will be saved" (v. 26)


Notice the progression in Romans 11:


Pattern Of The Future For The Jews

* The possibility that the Jewish people could be grafted in at some point in the future: "God is able to graft them in again" (v. 23)

* The probability that the Jewish people will come to redemption in the future: "How much more will these, who are natural branches [the Jewish people], be grafted into their own olive tree?" (v. 24).

* The absolute fact that, at a time in the future, redemption will come to all righteous Jews: "And so all Israel will be saved" (v. 26).


Isn't this fascinating!? But there is so much more to share!

Next time, I will share the mystery of Israel's future and the seven mysteries of God. A mystery in Scripture concerning a future event can be known only through divine revelation. These seven mysteries recorded in Scripture are explained, and they should be known by the body of Christ. Yet they are strangely ignored by the vast majority of Christians.

I will end with a personal story. Isn't it true that there are some events in one's life that can easily and clearly be recalled while others just fade away and a friend or relative has to remind you when, where and how it happened?

This may seem trivial to readers here, but it made a profound impact on me. When I was a teenager (yeah...back in the caveman days heh heh! ;-) ), I can recall being invited by a girl friend to another high school's dance. I met a really handsome Jewish boy there and he offered to walk me home! He was really cute (must have had the "good looks genes" from Joseph of Biblical fame!), friendly and very likable. As we walked home, we got to know each other a bit. When he found out that I was Catholic, his entire demeanor changed. It was like a Romeo and Juliet moment...our families would never allow us to date! I didn't know why, but when I walked in the door and told my mom about this Jewish boy, it was like I commited a type of sacrilege or something! Her attitude changed from a happy one that I had such a good time to an angry one that I would do such a thing! I was only "guilty" of just talking and walking home with him! I didn't understand why at the time, but my studies in the Bible (and in history) have shown me why both of our parents would not allow us to date.

It was sad. I never saw him again. We talked on the phone a few times but then one day he got caught by his mom and that was the end of it.

That relationship just wasn't meant to be, but it stirred my curiosity to examine Roman Catholicism, as well as other religions (in later years).

But it was studying the Bible that changed my life completely because that is where I met my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! I continue to learn about Him every day and the more I learn, the more grateful and humble I am for the forgiveness, grace and mercy bestowed upon me through Him!

Until next time...

Christine

6 comments:

Boo said...

Again with the misrepresentation! You've got quite a habit to kick here, Christine.

So let us recall where this started: the ADL put out a press release stating that James Kennedy's documentary falsely blaming Darwin for the Holocaust trivializes the Holocaust.

In response to the ADL, Rabbi Lapin wrote an article essentially stating that Jews should never criticize fundamentalist Christians because fundamentalist Christians support Israel, and making the false assertion that by criticizing fundamentalist Christians, the ADL must believe that they are a "far greater peril" to Jews than Islamic extremists. It took me roughly 5 seconds to find this page in a Google search:

http://www.adl.org/main_Arab_World/default.htm

Their webpage on antisemitism in the US doesn't currently mention any fundamentalists except for one church which put up a sign saying Jews killed Jesus, and commending the National Association of Evangelicals for joining the ADl in condemning the church that did so, so Rabbi Lapin's claim is either deliberately slanderous or negligently slanderous. Given his misunderstanding of evolution, I'm inclined to believe the latter, but he's still making an ass out of himself.

Lapin further stated:

"Why is it necessary to insult so harshly one of America’s most prominent Christian leaders? Or to put it more bluntly, how exactly does it help Jews when the ADL humiliates an Evangelical leader whom as many as forty million Americans revere? Especially since Christian conservatives are virtually alone in acting benevolently towards Jews and standing with Jews in support of Israel. "

Translation: if you support Israel, Jews should never ever ever question anything you do. Sweet.

*ahem* I support Israel!!!

If you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go steal Rabbi Lapin's tv.

Christinewjc said...

Wow. You are the one who ignores her own writing!!

Boo said, "Lapin's comments only make sense if he sees fundamentalist Christians as "the priceless vase of Jewish survival."

I put it in bold this time so that you couldn't possibly miss it!

I did an entire post that refutes your silly statement, and all you can claim is misrepresentation?

This particular post didn't have anything to do with the evolution one. It was posted because it separately addresses your misconceptions about what you (incorrectly) perceived about Rabbi Lapin. Simultaneously, it covered why the persecution of Jews by the Catholic Church back during the Crusades was done as a result of them not adhering properly to Scripture.

Boo said, ""Why is it necessary to insult so harshly one of America’s most prominent Christian leaders? Or to put it more bluntly, how exactly does it help Jews when the ADL humiliates an Evangelical leader whom as many as forty million Americans revere? Especially since Christian conservatives are virtually alone in acting benevolently towards Jews and standing with Jews in support of Israel. "

Translation: if you support Israel, Jews should never ever ever question anything you do. Sweet."

Sorry, but your "translation" is undeniably skewed. Lapin was talking about not attacking the man, not the idea(s) Kennedy was putting forth in the documentary.

So, the ADL happens to disagree with what was presented. So be it. So what! The point Lapin was making was that the ADL whipped themselves up into a frenzy for no good reason. They incorrectly viewed "blaming Darwin" as the reason for the deadly legacy. The documentary wasn't about "blaming Darwin" for the Holocaust. It's goal was to show that ideas (even scientific ones that eliminate God from the picture) have additional social, historical and even racial consequences. Darwinian beliefs were shown to lead to an ideology that helped Hitler have, and excuse, the actions he took. ADL looked at it as some sort of 'blasphemy,'which, IMO, was a ridiculous take on the matter.

Taking Darwin's theory to its ideological conclusion shows how the eugenics movement came about to promote the "favored races" and exterminate the "unfavored ones." The modern day abortion movement was an outgrowth of this because Margaret Sanger held these same views. Aborting (as well as eliminating) the "undesirables" (e.g. the sick, infirmed, mentally ill, imperfect, etc.) from society was another outgrowth from the philosophy that resulted from the theory of evolution. it led to the desire to "hurry evolution along" by trying to eliminate the weak, undesirables from the gene pool and thus (they thought)creating that Aryan, "master race."

The documentary showed that because the Aborigines resembled one or two steps back in the evolutionary "ape steps to man" (in the faked "ape to man" evolutionary figures created in the minds of evolutionists and displayed in museums)and for this reason it was believed that they could be eliminated. They were viewed as "subhuman" and not at the same "human" level as Aryans.

The Jewish race was viewed as "subhuman" too, and it was necessary to exterminate them to "clean the blood lines" from humanity.

Back to Lapin.

Lapin was right on the money because the disproportionate anger and rhetoric leveled at Kennedy by the ADL showed, in his opinion, evidence that, "the ADL must believe that they (Christians believers from Coral Ridge Ministries) are a "far greater peril" to Jews than Islamic extremists."

No Boo. When you said this, "Translation: if you support Israel, Jews should never ever ever question anything you do. Sweet," you got the translation wrong.

Knowing how you are, and your arrogant attitudes in your posts here, shows me that you would never, ever admit it.

Boo said...

"Boo said, "Lapin's comments only make sense if he sees fundamentalist Christians as "the priceless vase of Jewish survival."

I put it in bold this time so that you couldn't possibly miss it!

I did an entire post that refutes your silly statement, and all you can claim is misrepresentation?"

Um... where in your post do you even address the issue of what Lapin said? You put up my comments, then you said Christians are called to support Israel, then you spent the rest of the post pasting stuff from John Hagee and discussing it. You never even mentioned Lapin or his article. I wasn't talking about what the proper attitude of Christians to Israel ought to be, I was talking about Lapin's article and what he says in it. If I agree with everything you quote Hagee on that still doesn't refute the claim that Lapin said in his article that fundamentalist Christians are the priceless vase of Jewish survival. Lapin's article claims that the ADL is endangering Israel by criticizing Kennedy. What the heck does John Hagee have to do with that?

"So, the ADL happens to disagree with what was presented. So be it. So what! The point Lapin was making was that the ADL whipped themselves up into a frenzy for no good reason. They incorrectly viewed "blaming Darwin" as the reason for the deadly legacy. The documentary wasn't about "blaming Darwin" for the Holocaust."

Really? Even in light of:

"Producer Jerry Newcomb said the show is about the social effects of Darwinism, and the bloodshed that can be attributed to those beliefs. He said before Darwin, the basic concept was that man was made in the image of God, and was therefore valuable. But Darwin changed all that."

and

""To put it simply, no Darwin, no Hitler," says Dr. Kennedy."

Whether they blame Darwin or blame Darwin's scientific ideas, they're still trivializing the Holocaust with spurious accusations. If Kennedy had said Hitler got the idea for the Holocaust from magic space bunnies, that would also trivialize the Holocaust.

"Taking Darwin's theory to its ideological conclusion shows how the eugenics movement came about to promote the "favored races" and exterminate the "unfavored ones.""

Science is not ideology, Christine. How many times are you going to keep making that incorrect assertion? Natural selection has nothing to do with anyone's personal preferences. Does taking electromagnetic theory to its "ideological conclusion" mean shooting everyone with lasers? After all, electromagnetic theory says it should be possible to build a laser powerful enough to kill people, and ideas have consequences.

"The documentary showed that because the Aborigines resembled one or two steps back in the evolutionary "ape steps to man" (in the faked "ape to man" evolutionary figures created in the minds of evolutionists and displayed in museums)and for this reason it was believed that they could be eliminated. They were viewed as "subhuman" and not at the same "human" level as Aryans."

Much like how the KKK and their ideological cousins view blacks as subhuman because of their Biblical interpretations. But of course, that's the fault of the KKK and their ideological cousins, not Christianity. When someone perverts evolution though, that must be evolution's fault. One standard for thee, another for me. Or should I be eagerly awaiting Coral Ridge's documentary on the deadly legacy of ideologies that have sprung from the Bible? No Bible, no witch burning. No Bible, no flaming Branch Davidians. No Bible, no Children's Crusade. No Bible, no Inquisition. Never mind whether or not the Bible is true, according to the standard you have established whatever can be perverted must be done away with.

"Lapin was right on the money because the disproportionate anger and rhetoric leveled at Kennedy by the ADL showed, in his opinion, evidence that, "the ADL must believe that they (Christians believers from Coral Ridge Ministries) are a "far greater peril" to Jews than Islamic extremists.""

And if that were true one would expect to find the ADL criticizing fundamentalist Christians far more than extremist Muslims, but if Lapin had actually bothered to look at the ADL's output he would have discovered the opposite is true. He either knew this and lied about it or couldn't be bothered to check on whether his own claims were actually true.

Lapin said:

"Some American Jews may believe that Christian conservatives pose the biggest threat to Judaism. Therefore Jews should insult and attack Christians and suppress dissent by constantly evoking the Holocaust while darkly implying anti-Semitism."

There is nothing in what the ADL said that even remotely implies they believe fundamentalist Christians are the biggest threat to Judaism. Furthermore, the ADL didn't evoke the Holocaust, Kennedy did. I know I don't have the same standing to speak on this that a Jewish person would, but I don't think support for Israel should earn one free credits to spend on slander.

limpy99 said...

The important question here is: does Rabbi Lapin's TV get "Angel" reruns?

Phronk said...

I agree with Limpy.

Boo said...

Angel's got nothing on Babylon 5.

Oooohhhh... my nerd quotient just went WAY up!

Still, you gotta admit there's nothing quite like seeing aliens sing gospel songs.