Playing with matches

There is a dangerous campaign to undermine evangelical Christian support for Israel being conducted by pro-Palestinian groups.

matches 521 (photo credit:
matches 521
(photo credit:
In a column in last month’s issue, Abraham Cooper and Yitzchok Adlerstein of the Simon Wiesenthal Center warn of the mounting campaign to undermine evangelical Christian support for Israel being conducted by pro-Palestinian groups, including even by some fellow Evangelicals (“Palestinians to Evangelicals: Zionism is a sin,” December 2011). Sadly, certain evangelical Christians have indeed joined the World Council of Churches on this bandwagon to nowhere. Not only do they rewrite history in collaboration with their Palestinian allies, but, embarrassed by the Word of God itself, they have called for the “de- Zionisation” of Scripture.
Theirs is what I call a “waffle-iron theology” – meaning, they want to cut away those parts of the Bible that contradict their views, just as one cuts away the batter which does not fit in the waffle iron. In short, they are playing with matches and thus should not be surprised if they start a fire.
The column correctly states that, in this game, “extreme Palestinian political ambitions are often cloaked in theological garb.” Scripture is twisted and denied in an attempt to overcome its very clear statements about the Land of Israel and the return of the Jews. These people will never be convinced by a balanced, biblical exposition of Scripture. They have made up their minds and will not be confused with facts.
In their deluded world, Jesus is a Palestinian freedom fighter entirely divorced from his Jewish identity. He was, of course, nothing of the sort, and he came to Israel because of God’s faithfulness to the Abrahamic Covenant (Luke 1:46-55). It is this covenant that is at the crux of the issue, and therefore they have tried every trick in their theological box of matches to burn it up.
Their problem is compounded even more because the New Testament everywhere fully affirms the Abrahamic Covenant and nowhere changes or abolishes it. Indeed, in the Book of Hebrews it is held up to wavering New Testament believers as a sure example of God’s faithfulness (Hebrews 6:13-20).
Paul, too, establishes it in Galatians, chapter three, which he ends by saying that “if you are Christ’s then you are Abraham’s children according to the (covenant) promise” (Galatians 3:29).
Jesus was always the object of the covenant, but his people were always the context and platform out of which he came. For precisely this reason, God promised the land of Canaan to them as an everlasting possession (Genesis 17:7-8).
This really sticks in the throat of the “matchstick players.” They would much rather expunge the Abrahamic Covenant from Scripture, for this would free them from their problem and empower them to continue their real agenda, which is the elimination of Israel.
The conflict in the region is really not about so-called “social justice.” I wish it was, but sadly it has everything to do with the dismantling of the Jewish state.
New strategies are embraced all the time in the pursuit of this singular agenda. Christians without a proper biblical grounding fall for this intrigue, and sadly have no fear of God.
Now, this is not to say that everything that Israel does is right. But you cannot say everything is Israel’s fault, as they do, and be deaf and blind to Palestinian terrorist atrocities against Jews. Yet even prominent Evangelicals travel to Iran to meet with Muslim clerics and declare biblical Christian Zionism to be sin.
In truth, great Christian ministers who have had a profound impact upon our world have held Christian Zionist views through the centuries because they were, in the first instance, men and women who honored God. Theirs was a biblical position first; then, secondly, a question of living in the fear of God; and thirdly a recognition of Israel’s unique place in redemption history.
No amount of trickery, debunking of the Scriptures, or rewriting of history will change the outcome. The Jews have returned to the Land of Israel to stay! That is final, and Christians who want to have an honest and godly influence on world events should quit the blame game and encourage both parties to settle their differences within this context.
Rev. Hedding is vice chairman of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem;