Pastor Mike Fryer
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Who is the greatest threat to Israel?
When we think about the enemies of Israel and the threat that exists of another major war against Israel, Islam is always in the forefront of our minds. Today a ceasefire is in place between HAMAS and Israel, yet Kassam rockets are being fired daily from Gaza into Southern Israeli communities which have been established on land that has, until now been undisputed.
Increasingly more sophisticated rockets are fired by Muslim fundamentalists based in Gaza under the oversight of HAMAS, which is a universally recognized terrorist group governing the region. HAMAS have said, and still maintain the position, that they will not end violence against Israel until every Jew has been forced into the sea and all Israel becomes an Islamic state. There are many other terrorist groups that hold similar aspirations such as Hizbullah and Al-Qaeda.
However aggressive these fundamentalists are I must ask the question, in light of historical and current information, who is the greatest threat to Israel? Before I progress I want to clarify that, when I go on to refer to “Christendom”, I am referring to Christianity as a religious system accepted and authorized by the State. I am not referring to Bible-believing Christians who follow the governance of God rather than the governance of the state and the accepted religious traditions and social practices of their nation. Christendom does, however, include many mainstream church organizations and, of course, it’s leaders.
As a student of Christian anti-semitism I can write much about the early church Fathers, efforts to destroy the Jewish roots of Christianity. I can spout the wrongs of the removal from Christianity of God’s Appointed Feasts and Festivals in favor of pagan Feasts and Festivals, the motive for which was anti-semitism. I can speak about the early Christian Apostles who taught and practiced “Torah” (regulations given by God in the first five books of the Bible) and were murdered or beaten for doing so, just as was the Apostle Paul.
The constant referencing to Palestine and not Israel by Christian Scholars has over centuries, established in the minds of ordinary people an end to the state of Israel. The Crusades and the Inquisitions, the blood libels and forced conversions all took place under the umbrella of Christianity but the most horrific fact is that, without Christianity, the Holocaust could not have taken place.
So what about Christendom now? Since 1948 and the establishment of Israel, those Christian theologians who once taught that God had finished with the Jews and Israel and that the church has replaced them, are now faced with the fact that He obviously hasn’t.
Christendom in the 21st century is neither able to use violence as she has throughout history, nor to advocate violence. It is not accepted practice to repeat some of the pre-second World War rantings of European church leaders who, at the end of the 19th century published in papers such as the Vatican Daily Osservatore Romano, which reported, “Antisemitism ought to be the natural, sober, thoughtful Christian reaction against Jewish predominance.” The article continued, “True antisemitism is and can be in substance nothing other than Christianity, completed and perfected in Catholicism.”
I ask the question however, what is the acceptable practice of Christian Anti-Semitism today? Many in Christendom today are using charity and good works to re-enforce in the minds of many Muslim fundamentalists that Islam has the right and even a duty to take land from the Jewish people and establish a homeland for themselves. They are referring to land, which the Jewish people by right, by International law and by religion are entitled to possess.
“Christian” organizations such as Sabeel and Christian Aid speak openly in favor of a Palestinian homeland and use terms such as an “oppressive Israel regime” and “Israeli Occupation”; Church denominations such as the church in Wales, the Anglican Communion, Methodists and Presbyterians have all spoken of divestment of Israel and support the Palestinian cause to create another state within the confines of the land of Israel. These and many other church organizations, such as the Vineyard, are encouraging governments to negotiate with terrorists to bring about a two state solution, and they do so in the name of peace. They have eagerly moved away from the term anti-semitism and now use the term anti-Zionism. What is the difference? By using the former you can be called a racist and prosecuted but the term anti-Zionism is not perceived in the same way and although it means the same it is, in this current Political climate, “acceptable”.
Many Christian organizations seem to ignore the plight of Jewish communities who are the target of air strikes every day. Many thousands of pounds are collected monthly by some church groups in order to send aid to a Palestinian Arab people who, in reality, would be far better off living under an Israeli social system instead of the system they have today, which has been proved to be corrupt by aid and finance going directly to their leaders instead of it being given to ordinary families. What message does all this give to the terrorists who are bombing and launching air strikes against Gods chosen people?
For the last two years Bloomsbury Baptist Church London has hosted a Christmas carol service by the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign who wrongly and unjustly slam Israel and her efforts to defend herself. This year St. James Church Piccadilly also hosted the PSC. PSC changed the words of christmas carol’s to insult Israel and these two Churches readily gave PSC a platform for such blatant anti-semitism. Despite Christians for Zion members writing over sixty letters to Bloomsbury Baptist Church these two large well-known churches representing Christendom today simply collaborated with the PSC to abuse a nation that God calls the Apple of His Eye.
In the town in which I live an anti-Israel play was performed at our local theater. I led some other Christians for Zion supporters as we stood at the door to the theater and gave out leaflets, not criticizing anyone but stating facts. Many local church leaders and Christian groups attended the play and were obviously opposed to our stance. We found it difficult that many who teach from their pulpits that we are always to seek truth actually ignored the truths in our message. Sir, Winston Churchill said “Men occasionally stumble over truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.” This seems to be what many who hear the message about God’s plans for Israel actually do today.
Christians supporting Palestinians and a Palestinian state say that they are acting in the name of humanitarianism. If humanitarianism was a real issue then their criticism would be against HAMAS who have only one goal and that is the murder of every Jew in Israel. There would be at least some recognition that the plight of ordinary Palestinians is caused by their own terrorist leaders. There would also be some discussion about the plight of the Jewish communities who are trying to live in peace on undisputed territory near Gaza.
The opposite is the case however; one Quaker leader told me that HAMAS was a good charitable organization in need of full support and that Israel was the aggressor. What was her motive for such a statement when we hear James Lindsay, former legal counsel for UNRWA, who issued a report recently, which included the following; “No justification exists for millions of dollars in humanitarian aid going to those who can afford to pay for UNRWA services. In addition, UNRWA should make the following operational changes: halt its one-sided political statements and limit itself to comments on humanitarian issues; take additional steps to ensure the agency is not employing or providing benefits to terrorists and criminals; and allow the UN Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organization (UNESCO), or some other neutral entity, to provide balanced and discrimination-free textbooks for UNRWA schools”.
You won’t see this report published by Christian Aid or expounded by Stephen Sizer the Anglican vicar heading up Sabeel here in the UK. He wont report the facts that UNRWA is funded by the U.S. (31%) and the European Union (nearly 50%) — only 7% of the funds come from Muslim sources and that huge amounts of this aid from both Government and Christian sources are diverted into the pockets of terrorists. These Christian anti-Israel organizations won’t publish that UNWRA has been stopping aid going into Gaza recently because HAMAS is stealing it. However they still collect monies from Christian congregations and send it to Palestinian organizations who do not keep account of it’s final destination and are known to use it to manipulate ordinary Palestinian Arabs to hate Jews.
Three years ago I attended a meeting at which a church in Wales Canon was speaking about the situation in Israel. There were a number of clergy present, none of whom knew me. I listened to lie after lie encouraging the audience to sympathize with Islam and the Palestinian people, and to see Israel as an aggressive regime, hell bent on persecuting the Palestinian people. At the end of the presentation there was a time for questions. At the conclusion of a stream of pro-Palestinian questions, I asked some pertinent questions which showed that the speaker was aware that he was not telling the truth about the actual matters he was referring to. The meeting was immediately stopped and worried clergy, thinking I was a journalist surrounded me in an effort to find out what the purpose of my attendance was.
On another occasion I was asked by a large Christian organization, the Iona community, to speak at their Annual conference. They had been given information that I was a regular visitor to Israel and, as the theme of their conference was Israel, they thought I might have something to say. The first three speakers presented their anti-Israel rhetoric and then I stood to speak. When I began to outline my presentation the meeting became hostile and after a short time the conference organizer stopped my presentation and apologized that they didn’t know they had invited a “Christian Zionist” to speak.
I don’t believe it is the case that Christendom has changed its spots and put 1700 years of anti-semitism behind it. If it were true that Christendom has changed then churches and Christian organizations all over the world would be uniting to condemn the terrorists who are trying to take land by violent means. They would be doing all they could to support the Word of God through the prophets and supporting the legal right for Israel to live in peace.
Christendom remains the largest faith organization in the world with 2.1 billion Christians, the next largest being Islam with 1.5 billion. The Christian West has authority and power over some issues concerning Israel and certainly the ear of many of the Worlds Governments, including the U.S. and the U.K. and yet Europe and the USA are bowing to a call by Islamic countries for a two state solution, which in effect is giving in to terror. Is this again Christendom expressing through various governments and Fundamental Islam her old prejudices?
Replacement theology and succesionism teaches that the church has replaced Israel. The Jewish people, having established a Nation in Israel as a Biblical and legal homeland, opposes the churches teaching at all levels. Therefore, if Christendom continues to support a Palestinian State and curse Israel, we can only conclude that the motive is the same as it always has been, and that is to destroy the right of Jewish people to live in Israel and persecute them as the underdogs, in order to support the argument that God has left and forsaken them. This time however Christendom appears to be using Islamic terror to do it’s dirty work.
I can only conclude that Fundamental Islam is another weapon in the armory of Christendom that for nearly two thousand years has attempted to destroy the Jewish nation and their right to a homeland.
The book of Zechariah tells us that the nations who punish Israel beyond the punishment allotted by God will be destroyed. Joel tells us that God will judge the nations that divide Israel. I am a Bible-believing Christian who on the face of it, may seem to many of you anti-Christian, in truth I have such a fear that the offense we cause God will bring us into the most severe and dreadful judgment and I want Christians from all around the world to unite and Bless what God is doing rather than curse His work.
During the years preceding, and during the entire period of the Holocaust, the majority of Christians in Europe remained silent and became bystanders as the worst atrocities in history took place. We cannot afford to stand by in our churches and allow Israel to be ignored, abused or opposed by a twisted or misinterpreted theology. We cannot stand by whilst ministers in Christian churches or Christian organizations encourage and fund a concerted effort to destroy Israel and those who support her.
Please be brave enough to speak out and activate your beliefs because today we make our history. Unless we change our position, Christendom will continue to be seen as the world’s greatest threat to Israel.