Thursday, July 31, 2014

Religious support for Israel

Religious support for the modern state of Israel typically involves a commitment to dispensationalism. However, that can distract us from the fact that a religious motivation for supporting Israel isn't confined to dispensationalism. There are, in principle, more generic religious reasons, independent of dispensationalism.
i) Religious Jews and Christians share a fundamental theological solidarity. Both groups believe in the OT. And, of course, Christians inherited the OT from the Jews. So we have that basic common ground. That common foundation. 
ii) Moreover, there are Messianic Jews, some of whom live in Israel. As fellow Christians, that's stronger that solidarity–that's identity. That's supporting persecuted Christians. 
iii) Furthermore, you don't have to be a dispensationalist to believe in a future Christian revival within Judaism. Amils, postmils, and historic premils can (and sometime do) believe that.
iv) Of course, the religious angle isn't limited to Jewish/Christian relations. We should also be concerned about the plight of indigenous Christians (e.g. Arab Christians) in the Mideast. They have a claim, too. I'll admit, however, that I'm put off by how often Arab Christians side with Muslims against Israel. 
Now, perhaps some of that is explicable due to the fact that Arab Christians aren't at liberty to express their true feelings about Islam. Even so, there's a difference between not saying what you believe and saying what you don't believe.
Finally, the church should maintain a vigorous missionary outreach to Muslims. Unfortunately, many Muslims and Muslim regimes make that extremely difficult. 

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