This Op-Ed/Analysis is the author’s personal opinion and does not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of JerusalemOnline.com if you would like to send us your op-ed to be published – [email protected]
Writer Jackie Goodall claims that more Christians need to start supporting Israel and protecting the country from the various forces that seek to destroy it. Among the reasons Goodall lists in support of her claim is that Christians owe the Jewish people an enormous debt for giving them the Old Testament.
The Western Wall in Jerusalem Photo Credit: Amit Vuldmun/Channel 2 News
The first time I visited Israel was in the summer of 2003 when I was invited by a New Zealand friend to join her on a ten day tour. Traveling there as a tourist and returning a Christian Zionist, I had only the vaguest idea what the term meant and little or no understanding of the political and spiritual dynamics in Israel or the wider Middle East.
Prior to that visit, I may have had visions of Israel being the land of the ‘Christian’ baby Jesus and sentimental Christmas card type images of three wise men following the Northern Star. Thankfully, all such nonsense was quickly dispelled as I experienced the reality of a modern, vibrant, diverse, multi-ethnic and high-tech nation, albeit constantly on its guard against attack from within and on its borders.
Since then, I’ve become painfully aware of the tightrope of appeasement that Jews have been made to walk these past two thousand years, leaving in their wake a trail of tears and bewilderment that continues to the present day.
There’s no doubt that vicious anti-Semitism has been rising sharply within Europe and the U.S. since the outbreak of the 2014 Gaza War, the early 21st century variety directed mainly towards the tiny homeland of the Jewish people – Israel, a beacon of light surrounded by darkness, chaos and confusion.
Nothing the Jews do is ever good enough to placate this anti-Semitic spirit that continues to grow in all its varying and inventive guises; from the crudely drawn swastikas on synagogues and in children’s playgrounds to the malicious Boycott, Divest, Sanction movement and absurd United Nations resolutions… the list goes on!
It could be argued that Christians are the only true allies that Jews have today, although many Jews would disagree as they don’t recognise the difference between the various religious sects and true Christianity. However, thanks to the efforts of organisations such as the ICEJ, (International Christian Embassy Jerusalem) and others, attitudes are beginning to change.
Historically, the Church has a shameful history of antisemitism, believing itself to have replaced Israel in God’s plan of salvation, a concept known as replacement theology, and which was further perpetrated by the Lutheran reformist Martin Luther King in his book The Jews and their Lies in 1543. The Church will commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation in 2017. Let’s hope they’ll also address this darker side, as well as celebrating the many positive aspects of the Reformation.
In truth, Christians owe the Jews an enormous debt. Jews gave Christians the Old Testament, the prophets and the patriarchs. Jews gave Christians the disciples and the apostle Paul, but most of all, Jews gave Christians their Messiah. The Bible is written by Jews. Every time a Christian hears a message from the Bible, it’s a message from God, written by the hand of a Jew.
The Jews also gave us our system of civil liberties. The ancient nations rarely had an adequate sense of justice and a lesser concern for mercy; the sacredness of human life and the dignity of humankind were barely recognised. The concept of liberty and justice for all was unheard of in the ancient world until God gave the Jewish people the civil laws, many of which pertain to marriage and the family; marriage being the basic institution that God ordained beginning with Adam and Eve. He gave laws in order to preserve marriage and keep it from corruption.
He also gave laws that dealt with crimes against the person and society, against property and against the state. The purpose of these laws was to reveal the moral character of God and ensure a high degree of peace and stability within the Jewish nation.
Subsequently, all nations that have a Judeo-Christian heritage have enjoyed a greater degree of civil stability and liberty than those without it. Those nations without that heritage have always relied on a strongman dictatorship to keep a degree of peace and stability; when the strongman falls, or is rendered impotent, chaos ensues.
Much of our valued Judeo-Christian heritage is being fast eroded by a number of factors – namely humanism, (the doctrine which emphasises a person’s capacity for self-realisation through reason, and which rejects the divine) political correctness, which aims to silence the mouths of Christians for fear of being stigmatised, as well as the aggressive growth of Islam throughout the Western world and the developing nations.
The phrase ‘what starts with the Jews never ends with the Jews’ is one that Christians need to take to heart. History has shown that rising tides of intolerance, hatred and brutality are not satisfied once they have rid society of its Jews, or in the case of the early 21st century, with the destruction of the State of Israel. The hatred will only mutate, seeking to devour everything in its path.
Up until now, Christians have not taken a strong enough stand against these forces. They have a duty to do so – to pray and to act.