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God, the Israeli State, and Conservative Christianity

Updated on July 25, 2014

Against Israel, Against God?

With the outbreak of renewed conflict in Gaza, I've been seeing many facebook posts about Israel, and wanted to share some observations and thoughts.

Many Christian circles (predominantly including evangelicals) believe on the basis of Biblical interpretation that Christians are morally obliged to support the State of Israel, and "to be against Israel is to be against God".

Some common Biblical verses that I have seen used are:

Psalm 83

2 Chronicles 20

Genesis 12:2-3

From Pat Robertson: "Of course, we, like all right-thinking people, support Israel because Israel is an island of democracy, an island of individual freedom, an island of the rule of law, and an island of modernity in the midst of a sea of dictatorial regimes, the suppression of individual liberty, and a fanatical religion intent on returning to the feudalism of 8th Century Arabia." (Emphasis mine).

It seems Christians that are strictly Pro-Israel will often forcefully assert that, since Israel is the "first born child" of God, that 1) they will always be protected from defeat, and 2) they have a right to land that God promised them (the Israeli State) regardless of the claims that Palestine may have to it.

So the questions are... are Christians morally obligated to be Pro-Israel? Is God Pro-Israel? Is it ok for Israel to use war to fulfill what is "rightfully theirs"?

What did God Promise?

Did God promise the Jewish people that he would make them a nation state? That's what it appears to be on the surface--God promised Abraham that he would make of him a great nation and his descendants would be more numerous than the stars. And indeed, it seems that this is the primary justification that Israel has used, for 4000 years, to claim the land they now inhabit has rightfully theirs.

But what if God's promise shouldn't be taken at face-value? What if God was promising Abraham something more, something beyond a physical nation. What if what God was promising to Abraham was a metaphysical reality--he would have many spiritual sons and daughters?

Then the claim becomes much less about the land that the Israelites were promised, and more about handing on and living the faith that continually blessed Abraham and all who kept the covenants after him.

Did God promise a savior or a messiah to the Jews? Yes, he most certainly did, and for me this is where the greatest amount of confusion comes from about Christians who so vehemently defend the State of Israel. The Jews missed the promised Messiah. They were expecting a political leader who would establish a state of Israel. Many of them missed Jesus as the messiah because he was more about the spiritual kingdom (that God promised the Jewish patriarchs like Abraham), and advocated peace with the local government (wait... he wasn't a revolutionary?!).

This fact seems lost on some Christians--God does not need to establish the Israeli state to fulfill his promises to Israel. He has already done so through the sending of the Messiah, and he will continue to do so as he reconciles his Jewish children to himself at the time of his Second coming. To equate the State of Israel with the fulfillment of God's covenant to the Jews is to confuse Politics with Theology.

Promoting Violence

One of the risks that Christians take when they are un-waveringly pro-Israel is that whether they mean to or not, they are implicitly endorsing the violent means by which the State of Israel maintains its land.

That area of the world has a rich history of violence and war, and Israel does not bear all the blame in the exchanges of violence. But this ongoing war is NOT something that God desires. To assert that it is, is to restrict your understanding of God to only the Old Testament. Regardless of whether or not the Jewish people have a right to populate or exclusively own the land, they have no right to the violence which is currently being used, and in fact, to conduct themselves in such a way would, in fact, be grounds for God to NOT fulfill their covenant which they believe they are entitled to. Covenants are a give and take... not just a take.

Therefore, if you really are going to say you are "Pro-Israeli State" please try to make sure you are not endorsing the means by which they are obtaining that state.

Moral Obligation?

Please don't try to pressure other Christians into being 'Pro-Israel', it is NOT some moral imperative derived from a reading of Biblical Covenants. In fact, it is derived from reading the Bible apart from its Typological intent and imposing one's own POLITICAL beliefs on a theological matter.

Do Jews need an Israeli State to be "saved"? Is the State the fulfillment of their covenant with God? No, it is not.

Jesus came so that we could have life to the fullest, and life everlasting--not so that we could take life in God's name.

You can be Pro-Israel if you want... but leave me out of it, I just want peace. And even if that comes at the expense of an Israeli State, it may just save some souls.

For more information on my beliefs about Jewish-Christian relationship, and the relationship I believe that Jews have with God, please read here.


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    • rdlang05 profile image

      rdlang05 2 years ago from Minnesota

      Thanks MM,

      I think our common "ancestry" does make it difficult to distinguish our relationship from both the Jews and Muslims sometimes.

    • Make  Money profile image

      Make Money 2 years ago from Ontario

      Good hub rdlang05. "Know ye therefore, that they who are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham." (Galatians 3:7) "To Abraham were the promises made and to his seed. He saith not, And to his seeds, as of many: but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ." (Galatians 3:16) "And if you be Christ's, then are you the seed of Abraham, heirs according to the promise." (Galatians 3:29)

    • rdlang05 profile image

      rdlang05 3 years ago from Minnesota

      Thanks! I'll check that out.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 3 years ago from West By God

      It has nothing to do with GOD. If you want to know the truth and who owned that land before the fighting you can learn lots here:

    • rdlang05 profile image

      rdlang05 3 years ago from Minnesota

      I do agree they have a right to defend. They do not have a right to instigate or use unjust tactics though. And they need to treat the Palestinian refugees better. Thanks for your comment!

    • Ann1Az2 profile image

      Ann1Az2 3 years ago from Orange, Texas

      I agree with you on the spiritual side of this. The Promised Land belongs to the believers in Christ and it will eventually be the new earth. "The meek will inherit the earth."

      I also agree that we shouldn't be condoning violence. However, Israel has the right to defend itself as any country does.

    • rdlang05 profile image

      rdlang05 3 years ago from Minnesota

      Great comment! I agree neither side is acting in love.

    • lone77star profile image

      Rod Martin Jr 3 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Too many Jews and Christians are thinking physical power and forgetting the lessons throughout the Bible of spiritual power.

      They don't know that the Bible was written by Kabbalists in code.

      And "Israel" means "straight to God." In effect, this means "path to God." Those who are against the path to God are against God and His purpose. Modern Israel seems to be against the path to God. How? God is love. The actions of the current government are not Love! They are egoistic -- selfish -- self-concerned. Ego is the source of all evil.

      I support the Israeli people. I support the Palestinian people. I am against the ego on both sides. I fully support the path to God.

      The news media and Corporate Party are doing a good job of mixing up the meanings of words -- Orwellian doublethink and Newspeak. War is now a peacekeeping activity. Yeah, right. America is the new Evil Empire and many Americans are too blind to see it. That's ego -- the original blindness.

    • rdlang05 profile image

      rdlang05 3 years ago from Minnesota

      Agreed! I think a lot of times people support a position without thinking about everything that means

    • lovemychris profile image

      Cape Wind Girl 3 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

      Many of those Palestinians being massacred are Christians. So--you would have to be saying that it's OK for Christians to be killed by the state of Israel.