Saturday 9 January 2016

Israel discussion on Premier Unbelievable show

A few of us were invited to a discussion on Israel on the Premier Radio Unbelievable show with Justin Brieley. This was with Salim Manayer and Lisa Loden, authors of Through my Enemies Eye (Paternoster 2014). This is now online. Is Peace Between Israel and Palestine Possible?

Friday 20 February 2015

Abraham's Blessing - now in and through Jesus Christ

We are told by some leading Christian Zionists that you must bless the State of Israel to be blessed, and if you don't you will be cursed. This seven-fold blessing to Abraham and his descendants is found in Genesis 12. But what is wrong with this analysis?

In effect it is offering a very simplistic view of Scripture, and ignores Paul's interpretation of the blessing. In Galatians 3:14 we are informed that the blessing of Abraham has come upon the Gentiles because of what Christ has done, so that we might receive the promise of the Holy Spirit. This New Testament verse seems very clear to me, so why do Christian Zionists overlook it? Paul further elaborates that Christ is the promised seed of Abraham and the blessing flows through Jesus. Those who are in Jesus become Abraham's seed and off-spring.

The claim that we must bless the State of Israel to be blessed is turning away from sound Christian Reformed teaching. It is turning the gospel into one of works and not one of grace, a grace freely given to those who are obedient to God. It seeks compliance through fear, not love.

It ignores the fact that Jesus has become the universal king of Israel, seated on David's throne (Isaiah 9:7). This well known passage needs no introduction. It reads "Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne   and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and for ever." Is that not clear enough where "The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this."? The kingdom of Israel under the Messiah is to be known as one of justice, righteousness and peace! Scripture knows nothing of a secular Republic of Israel without a king, that rejects the teaching of Jesus, which is what the modern State of Israel is and does.

The belief that divine blessing comes through our thoughts about a modern secular state also overlooks what we are told in the Beatitudes, that: 'blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called son's of God.'
Of course our approach to the State of Israel should be one of love, but Israel needs to hear the voice of its prophets and its king if it is to survive and prosper. We see throughout the Old Testament that when Israel ignores the prophet's voice then there follows a period of exile. God never promised to allow Israel to remain in the land whatever they did, but that it was conditional upon obedience to Him. In love we need to call the Jewish people and the State of Israel to turn to their own Messiah, King Jesus (as well as calling Muslims and Arabs to turn to Jesus), so that there might be peace in the land between the divided communities.

Monday 16 February 2015

Messiah's place - a stone laid in Zion (1 Peter 2:4-9)

It is my belief that all Christians should be new Zionists, in that the Messiah has become central to the life of Zion - the new Zion - in which He is the cornerstone, and we are being built up into a temple of praise, with Him. He was a rejected stone, and yet the chief rock in Zion, that causes some men to stumble, and to others he is a living stone and our hope for life.

The question this passage asks of us is; how can we support a Zionism that does not see the Messiah as being central to the life of Zion, but seeks instead the establishment of Zion apart from Jesus Christ. That is surely to stumble and is to turn away from the living stone. As Peter says (1 Peter 2:4-9), writing to the Jews and Israelites of the diaspora who have come to faith in Jesus.

"Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious,  5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.  6 Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture,
“Behold, I lay in Zion A chief cornerstone, elect, precious, And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”
7 Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient,
“The stone which the builders rejected, Has become the chief cornerstone,”
8 and “A stone of stumbling, And a rock of offense.”
They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed. 9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;  10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy."

Monday 4 August 2014

Christopher Booker has been deleted from the Sunday Telegraph....

Christopher Booker has been deleted from the Sunday Telegraph....personally I would disagree with some of his theology, but what is the reason for this? You decide...

Friday 18 July 2014

Manipulating sentiment as a pretext for war...?

This Jewish news comment suggests the Israeli government knew the teenagers were dead, but covered it up to move sentiment towards a war in Gaza....