No weapon formed against Israel shall prosper

No weapon formed against Israel shall prosper

By STAN GOODENOUGH— I feel to write a brief but direct letter in the face of resistance that will almost certainly come from some quarters to the ‘Australia Initiative’ that has now gone out to raise up Christians – beginning in Australia and going around the world, to stand strongly and unequivocally with Israel’s right to her land. As we know, too many Christians shy away from what is perceived political when it comes to standing with Israel or withstanding the enemies of the Jews. Please permit me to make a crystal clear point that I hope will help us identify the evil and the danger confronting Israel today, and help make us resolved as to how to position ourselves in relation to it. Many of us recognize that Christians by and large failed the Jewish people by keeping silent and/or looking the other way during World War Two. We have pledged, either in our hearts or even verbally or by our actions to the Jewish people today, that we will never be silent again. And yet, we are opting for silence. For 25 years now, I have watched a weapon being developed whose purpose is to destroy the Jewish state. This weapon has been shaped and maneuvered and pushed ahead with until today it stands on the brink of production. Virtually the whole world supports – and many nations have lent a willing hand to assist in – the manufacture of this weapon, even though its raison d’être to ensure Israel’s eradication has been openly and clearly declared. More than this, we can all testify to the fact...
Why some Jews will never trust evangelical Christians

Why some Jews will never trust evangelical Christians

By ROBERT STEARNS, EAGLES WINGS— Evangelicals, while maintaining their view of Scripture and their faith in Jesus as the Messiah, are largely motivated in standing with Israel and the Jewish people worldwide. As someone who has spent the last 20 years of my life at the intersection of Jewish and Christian communities worldwide, I have been asked countless times by Jewish friends: “Why do evangelicals possess such love for the Jewish people and the land of Israel?” The question is usually presented with a mixture of perplexed amazement when a Jew first encounters this unwavering support along with an often unspoken skepticism attempting to uncover the real reason for this phenomenon and this unique offer of friendship. The skepticism is due, of course, with concerns regarding the evangelical agenda, the proselytization of the Jews, or relating an awareness of an apocalyptic theory that all Jews must return to Israel before the Second Coming of Christ. The skepticism is well understood. Christian history has not been good for the Jews, and though many Jews welcome this commitment of friendship, nonetheless, it comes with deserved suspicion. Pundits who would write off evangelical support to a cloaked, conspiratorial strategy for mass proselytization or wide-eyed hyper-apocalyptic theories simply do a vast disservice to reality. Reporting evangelical support for Israel as such is willful ignorance and shoddy journalism at best. It is blatant misleading of the public at worst. Consider the brief history of evangelical support. It can be argued that modern organized Christian Zionist movement has found its structure and voice only over the past 35 years or so. Without question, the movement...
Evangelical support for Israel? Look to the east

Evangelical support for Israel? Look to the east

By ROBERT STEARNS— There has been a great deal of press lately regarding the supposed rapid waning of evangelical support for Israel. It seems that at very nearly the same moment in which portions of the global Jewish community in general (and in Israel specifically) have become more fully aware of and connected with evangelical support and friendship, numerous pundits are suggesting that this support is unraveling. Various reasons are suggested for this, including a general move toward a more “social justice” mindset among younger evangelicals, in which the Palestinians are viewed as the underdogs and Israel as the aggressor. Events such as the now infamous Christ at the Checkpoint conference and the lesser known Telos Group based in Washington, DC, are pointed to as the J Street and Peace Now of the younger evangelical set. As someone who has spent the past 20 years in almost daily Jewish-Christian dialogue and cooperation, I understand the fear that evangelical support may appear fragile right now. But I would like to offer another perspective. I don’t think global evangelical support is waning. In fact, I think we are just beginning to see its strongest expressions. What indeed is happening, is that the global center of evangelical Christianity, which is by far the most rapidly growing stream of Christianity, is no longer North America. It has shifted. It has moved. Evangelicalism is experiencing explosive growth in Asia, India, Africa and Latin America. Prof. Philip Jenkins delineates this in his brilliant work The Next Christendom. And, true to form, wherever this evangelical brand of Christianity expands, its philo-Semitic theology is evident. Because the...
Evangelical Christian Prayer Vigil Blocked by Rabbis

Evangelical Christian Prayer Vigil Blocked by Rabbis

By NIR HAR-ZAHAV, ARUTZ 7— Pressure from the Chief Rabbinate and the Derech Emuna Rabbinic organization has succeeded in causing police to cancel an evangelical Christian prayer service, that was planned for Wednesday at the Southern Wall of the Temple Mount, near the Hulda Gate. International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) organized the prayer vigil for the “restoration” of Jesus and called on Christian attendees to invite as many Jews as possible to a prior interfaith event. Aside from being a breach of halakha (Jewish law) as interfaith worship, the vigil particularly rankled as it was scheduled for the morning of Hoshana Raba, the last day of the Sukkot holiday, and would have been the first time such a service was held at the holy site since the liberation of the Old City in the 1967 Six Day War. Derech Emuna rabbis praised the cancellation, saying in a statement “we thank the many rabbis who took action on the issue, and the government of Israel that paid attention to preserving the Jewish character of the Old City.” According to the rabbis, if left unchecked the evangelical interfaith prayer service would have turned into an annual tradition attended by thousands of Christian pilgrims to the Southern Wall, and would have further spread the control of the Church in the Old City. “The open prayer was supposed to deal with the resurrection of ‘that man’ (Jesus – ed.), as part of a process of bringing Christianity back into the Holy Land. The matter is most severe, and we must thank G-d that the public prayers on the border of the Temple Mount...
Israeli president thanks evangelical Christians for support or Israel

Israeli president thanks evangelical Christians for support or Israel

By JEREMY SHARON, JPOST— President Reuven Rivlin addressed the massed ranks of delegates to the 35th annual Feast of Tabernacles event at the Jerusalem Payis Arena on Monday night, and thanked them for their support of the Jewish state, saying that the connection of Zionism to the Christian community had “deep historical roots.” “Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for your dedication. Thank you for your consistent trust and support,” he said. The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, a pro-Israel Evangelical organization, organized the five-day event, which brought more than 5,000 delegates from 80 countries to the capital. World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder spoke at the event, and said the international community is ignoring the plight of Christians in the Middle East, and that entire communities had been wiped out. Lauder and ICEJ Executive Director Dr. Jürgen Bühler have written a letter to world leaders calling on them to speak out against the persecution in recent years of Christian communities in the region. “We as Jews know how important it is to speak out. In the 1930s in Germany when Jews were deprived of their rights and persecuted the world was silent. We know what happens when the world is silent, so today we are standing up and speaking out,” Lauder said. He decried global silence on the fate of Christians in the Middle East, and accused the UN of failing to bring attention to the issue while frequently condemning Israel, for example during the recent conflict in Gaza. The letter decried “the frightening situation facing Christian minorities in Muslim countries,” and said that the “executions, persecution and...
Israel, you have true friends

Israel, you have true friends

By DAVID PARSONS– The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, the largest Christian Zionist organization, will conduct its annual Sukkot conference in Jerusalem next week. Now, 34 years after it was founded, is the time to recount one of the architects who strengthened the relationships between the State of Israel and Christian Zionism — late Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin. Begin stands out as the first premier to publicly welcome Christian Zionist support and to seek to harness it in defense of the Jewish state. Others before him may have had connections to individual Christian figures, who shared the mutual goal of resettling Jews back in the historic Land of Israel. When Theodor Herzl published his book Der Judenstaat in 1895, he was quickly befriended by Rev. William Hechler, chaplain to the British Embassy in Vienna. Hechler soon became a sort of “foreign minister” for the Zionist movement, opening doors for Herzl to the German Kaiser and other European leaders. Israel’s founding prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, also had encounters with Christian Zionists, as noted Southern Baptist leader Dr. W. A. Criswell claimed to have had a relationship with Ben-Gurion. Later, Dr. Pat Robertson and others made attempts to reach out to Yitzhak Rabin. But Menachem Begin holds the unique distinction of being the first Israeli prime minister to warmly embrace Christian Zionist support in an open manner. He, too, had developed personal friendships with individual Christian leaders like author Dr. David A. Lewis. But Begin went further than his predecessors by actively seeking Christian support and acknowledging its value in public. There are several reasons why. First, Begin came to realize...
A friendship grown less warm

A friendship grown less warm

By MARK TOOLEY, WEEKLY STANDARD— Senator Ted Cruz’s vigorous defense of Israel at a recent conference for persecuted Middle Eastern Christians in Washington, D.C., provoked jeers from a loud minority in the audience, made up largely of Catholics and Orthodox, many of them from the region or of Middle Eastern background. In June, the Presbyterian Church (USA) voted to divest from three firms doing business with Israel to protest Israeli policies towards Palestinians. More politically significant than those events, however, is a shift underway among some evangelicals, who traditionally have been Israel’s strongest Christian boosters in America. The late Rev. Jerry Falwell, a founder of modern conservative religious activism, often boasted that America’s Bible Belt was Israel’s safety belt. But Falwell’s zeal for conservative red meat causes has become passé for much of the current generation of evangelical elites, who eschew the confrontational politics of the old religious right. Polls show that evangelicals remain strongly pro-Israel and are America’s strongest pro-Israel demographic by far, with the possible exception of Jews. But there are few if any pro-Israel evangelical leaders today as outspoken and prominent as Falwell. And an increasing number of evangelicals in parachurch groups and evangelical schools are endorsing pro-Palestinian activism or at least a more neutral stance between Israel and its foes. Often the new evangelical perspective is premised on concern for Palestinian Christians, who number about 50,000, or just over 1 percent of the West Bank and Gaza Palestinian population. One relatively new voice for evangelicals is the Telos Group, based in Washington, D.C., and winsomely advocating a “pro-Israeli, pro-Palestinian, pro-American, pro-peace movement.” Its founder is...
Is God through with the Jews?

Is God through with the Jews?

By EARL COX— Anti-Semitism is spreading around the world at an alarming speed. In case you don’t know what anti-Semitism is, it is a Jew-hating attitude of discrimination against, or hostility towards, Jewish people. Some might conjure up images of goose-stepping Nazis, Germany and the Holocaust, but these images cause us to miss today’s subtle, new anti-Semitic messages that are cropping up everywhere. Hating people because they are Jewish is diametrically opposed to Christian principles and teachings. When we as decent, law-abiding westerners, particularly church-going Christians, only see “anti-Semitism” as associated with Nazis, Germany and the Holocaust, it becomes difficult for us to see that, collectively, we might be guilty ourselves of being anti-Semitic. There is a rising tide of anti-Semitism flooding our own local communities, churches, families, and even inside our own hearts and minds. “When good men do nothing, evil prevails.” As an ancient evil found in writings as far back as 270 B.C., anti-Semitism is nevertheless based in religion. Modern day anti-Semitism stems from those who point to a concern for social or moral justice; it does not show the religious element. You know and I know that countless Jews were slaughtered in recent history. In truth, only a handful of Christians participated in Jewish pogroms (massacres). Christians were caught up in these pogroms because a huge portion of society had become convinced the pogroms were valid because Jews were deemed to be guilty. “When good men do nothing, evil prevails.” This phrase cannot be repeated too often, because history is repeating itself right now. Right now, today, anti-Semitism has a new face and is gaining...
Spot Report: Christian Zionist support encourages Israel

Spot Report: Christian Zionist support encourages Israel

Think on this: “All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me.  I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them.” (John 16: 2-4) Pray on this: Heavenly Father, please preserve and protect the growing friendship between Christians and Jews. As Israel’s friends grow fewer, help Israelis to be encouraged by the support that Christian Zionists offer to the Jewish state.  Amen. Share...