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Zeteo 3:16 with Alf and Alesia Cengia

 

 

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Social Justice Warriors, Israel and Prophecy
Israel - Middle East
Friday, February 16, 2018
Alf Cengia

The words - Social Justice Warriors Israel and Prophecy - should be clues that this column will contain the assorted rant and sarcasm. So what's new? God please forgive me.

Recently I came across part of a review of a book A Land Full of God: Christian Perspectives on the Holy Land edited by Mae Elise Cannon. I couldn't read the entire thing as one has to subscribe to the Website. The teaser was called An Appeal to the Center. The reviewer (Gary Burge) wrote:

In one of the book’s liveliest essays, Paul Alexander sums up key points: 1) Israel must end its military occupation of the Palestinians and be less violent. 2) Palestinians need to recognize the state of Israel and stop vilifying Jews. 3) Christians need to give a rest to appeals to eschatology in this entire mess. Alexander sounds exasperated and pragmatic, feelings many of us share...

Burge's "Appeal to the Center" is a misnomer. The whole thing is an exercise using smoke and mirrors to draw the audience over to the Left. He added that it's impossible for one to read such a book with any neutrality.

No kidding! He ought to know.

Paul Alexander is a professor of Christian ethics and public policy. He's a smart guy. I share his exasperation, though not for the same reasons. If you want a sample of how he rolls, read his article Three Ds for Israel & Palestine. But beware of the magician's sleight of hand.

Parsing the Thee Ds is beyond the scope of this article. The phrase "back-handed compliment" comes to mind. For example, he's been told that calling Israel "a pariah nation" and comparing it to the Nazis is unhelpful. He sort of agrees. Then he pulls a rabbit out of the hat and drops the little Israel-indiscretion bombs:

[Israel] using tax revenue to subsidize housing for Israeli Jews in more than 120 settlements on land the Palestinians lay claim to for their future state.

When Alexander makes a "key point" statement that "Israel must end its military occupation and be less violent" etc, you know he's neither neutral nor objective.

The common apartheid accusation leveled at Israel is also erroneous and poisons the well. In 2014 Alexander was chided and schooled by a pastor (Victor Styrsky) who declined an invitation to speak at the Evangelicals for Social Action “Impact: Holy Land” conference:

While I celebrate diversity of opinion, it is immoral to distort facts in order to advance an argument. Regrettably, many of your event’s speakers simply do not approach the Arab-Israeli conflict in an intellectually honest manner.

So there!

Mae Elise Cannon (see above) has a heart for Gaza and its suffering people. Unfortunately, the story she tells tends to be lopsided. Why mention Joshua's OT conquest along with the Israeli blockades? You can figure that one out for yourself. For the record, see Top Nine Gaza Media Myths about Gaza.

Cannon also serves Executive Director of Churches for Middle East Peace. One CMEP article featured a story about how badly stone-throwing Palestinian kids are treated by the Israeli Military. They do encourage stone-throwing over there. All in a good cause, of course.

Congresswoman Betty McCollum introduced legislation to promote human rights for these children. She noted:

“Peace can only be achieved by respecting human rights, especially the rights of children. Congress must not turn a blind eye the unjust and ongoing mistreatment of Palestinian children living under Israeli occupation.”

Ah, the occupation! Can you hear a scratchy violin playing somewhere? I wonder if there are any violin virtuosos playing for Palestinian children recruited as martyrs. Then there's this little tidbit just begging for some new legislative act:

Every day, our children drink from the poisoned well of the internet and learn how to behead and crucify and slit throats. We return to the jahiliyyah and sacrifice our sons and daughters in the name of Allah, as though Allah were a pagan statue with an altar, and had to be appeased with the blood of children.

Next!

So we come to the messy (Christian Zionist) eschatology which Alexander and Burge find offensive and dangerous. I've covered this often enough to feel like a stuck record. Younger readers may need to Google that expression.

Burge is a professor of New Testament who advised Dr Michael Rydelnik that we must think christianly regarding Zechariah 14. In other words find a different meaning from the obvious. Was he still thinking christianly when he sided with the Wheaton professor who stated that Christians and Muslims worship the same God?

Christian Zionists are forever accused of meddling in politics. As if the Left doesn't? It's just as well Esther and Mordechai also indulged in some political meddling in their day, isn't it? If you think about it, not much has changed.

At the time of writing there has been an escalation of conflict involving Iranian proxy Syria and Israel. The Russian presence and the Iranian resurgence have nothing to do with political interference from starry-eyed Scofield Bible groupies.

You may consider having a word to the previous US administration. And while you're at it, perhaps take another look at Zechariah and Ezekiel.

Also the resurgence in Israeli interest in the Temple Mount is growing, as noted by Dexter Van Zile. Did we Christian Zionists organize the ME conflict and hatred of Israel, and then inspire more Jews to return to the Mount?

Shall we take on the whole world next? Heck, we got Donald Trump into office. Or was it the Russians? Or maybe we sneaky Zionists conned the Russians into pulling that coup off.

Aside from balancing the unjust activist portrayal of Israel, Christian Zionists love her because God does. Although Israel is still in pre-redemption phase; God has promised to restore her. We were all once out of fellowship with God. His faithfulness and grace in redeeming us will apply to Israel.

Mike Vlach's article: Paul's Use of Isaiah 59:20-21 in Romans 11:26-27 is timely:

Paul’s use of Isaiah 59:20-21a in Romans 11:26b-27 is contextual. He relies upon Isaiah’s intent. This is an example of a New Testament writer expecting a literal fulfillment of an Old Testament prophetic text that has not been fulfilled yet. ~ Michael Vlach

And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The Deliverer will come out of Zion; and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is my covenant with them, when I take away their sins." Rom 11:26-27 (See also Jeremiah 31:31-33)

We weren't given prophecy so that it would be ignored. One either believes God's plain-sense word, or one doesn't.

Keep looking up! 

About Alf Cengia

Last week: Looking for Future God-Man



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