Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. 1 Peter 3 v15
Are we arguing for Israel (right or wrong) or are we arguing for a proper understanding of God's plans concerning Israel ?
Even if we do not take our arguments to those who oppose them, we will find our beliefs and the Gospel under attack. We need to be able to critically examine every view that is thrust at us and not just accept what we see on TV. ( or even what we hear in church ) Holocaust Denial is another, disturbing, attack on the truth but what is the wise approach ? How we understand the tactics and counter them? Holocaust Denial
As Christians, our task is to contend for the Kingdom of God and the Gospel of Jesus / Yeshua, the Messiah and saviour of the world. If we get sidetracked into political dispute on the side of the nation / state of Israel and its secular government, ( or on the side of the Palestinians ) we are in danger of losing the plot.
However, having said that, the coming of the Kingdom of God and the truth of His word concerning His purposes in the remainder of this age involve Israel; both the land and the people. To contend for the truth of God's word, it is necessary to challenge wrong doctrine and teaching. Replacement Theology, Anti-Semitism, Liberation Theology and various other beliefs are errors from which the Church needs to escape. How can the Church be ready for the Bridegroom's coming if it is looking to belief systems that have no place for the land or the people to whom He is coming?
Where, from Biblical advice, should we strike a balance in arguing our cause ?
Philippians 1 v27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you.
Jude 1 v3 Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.
Titus 3 v9 But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.
2 Timothy 2 v. 23 Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.
Colossians 2 v. 2 My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.
Are we contending for important gospel truths or for divisive issues? Does the attitude of the person with whom we are in discussion make a difference? It would seem that our cause is important and profitable to those who are open to consider the truth and the depth of God's counsel, but would count as unprofitable arguments or quarrels with those whose minds are closed.
The folk without a clear grasp of Christianity, who believe that other religions are equally valid, including those that seek the destruction of Israel, are also not in line for God's blessing and salvation. It is a necessary part of proclaiming the truth of God's word to point out where other beliefs are in error.
It seems that arguing for the place of Israel in the Gospel requires an understanding of the viewpoint of those who are advocating against Israel. Experience shows that avoiding argument is not always an option, since those who despise Israel will engage anyone who has a place for Israel in his heart. It seems that it is necessary to understand the arguments that these people bring if we are not to make Christianity appear to be illogical and indefensible.
David Silver has written an excellent introduction to the arguments, entitled "A Slow Train Coming"
Beyond Images is a website which provides facts and resources to help people to argue Israel’s case in an informed and coherent way, and to explain the context for Israel’s actions. www.beyondimages.info
For instance, when challenged about Israel's "Apartheid Wall" (Security Barrier) show people all the other walls around the world to make the point that Israel is not an isolated and evil neighbour. One of the best presentations is a pdf document about Walls going around the Internet. From my office window (on a clear day) I can see the ridge along which runs Offas Dyke, built by the English to keep out the Welsh. There is also Hadrian's Wall, built to keep the Scots out! See also Walls around the World
That is not our problem. Just remember Isaiah and his commission. Everybody knows the passage in Isaiah 6 from v1, ending with verse 8, "
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!".but few remember to look at the whole passage. It continues at verse 9,
He said, "Go and tell this people: " `Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.' Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed." Then I said, "For how long, O Lord?" And he answered: "Until the cities lie ruined and without inhabitant, until the houses are left deserted and the fields ruined and ravaged, until the LORD has sent everyone far away and the land is utterly forsaken. And though a tenth remains in the land, it will again be laid waste. But as the terebinth and oak leave stumps when they are cut down, so the holy seed will be the stump in the land."
This is not for fun. This is a battle.
See Against Christian Zionism to see how many Christians see us as heretics, racists and bigots. And see Christians against Israel to see how many church denominations are, at best, indifferent to the truth which we are endeavouring to share within the body of Messiah (the Church). So how are we to react? We need to remember that, while we may be able to see where much of the Church is in error, we have not been appointed to judge, criticise or condemn the Church. We are part of the Church and the revelation, such as we have, is not to our credit or because of our merit. We have been given an insight to work with - like the word which came to Isaiah and the other prophets. We can not condemn the church for its lack of repentance if it has not yet seen a need for repentance. If we have been made aware the need for repentance, it is we who should be crying out to our Heavenly Father and seeking His mercy and a wider revelation of the truth we have received.
This is a very difficult area to get right, and very easy to get wrong. Your pastor may be having to cope with issues of which you are completely unaware. Wayne Hilsden is both a pastor and a lover of Israel. He made his insights and his advice available at the 2007 Feast of Tabernacles, and they are available from the ICEJ web site . Please listen to this before tackling your pastor!
If wildolive.co.uk is giving the impression of beating up the Church and our fellow Christians who do not agree with us, it is an error for that the editor is very sorry for. The information about the error which is found within the church is offered to enable "wild olive" Christians to work and pray effectively, through a fuller understanding of the situation.
We certainly can not expect to be popular with the world outside for taking a stand for the truth about Israel. The editor had a colleague who could not even bring himself to respond to a "Good Morning" greeting.
A Paradigm Shift, a piece by Daniel Pipes that explains the complete lack of understanding between the friends and the opponents of Israel. We have a completely different worldview / paradigm.
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