Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Between the Rock and hard place

by Donna Diorio

I just read an Op-Ed on one of the most popular Israeli newspapers. Online it is Ynet. The article is Israel and the Christians and it discusses why the ultra-Orthodox Haredim are wrong to oppose all Christian help for Israel saying,
"...devout Protestants were advocating the restoration of a Jewish State with Jerusalem as its capital long before Theodor Herzl." And, "...to label all pro-Israel Christians as “missionaries”, as haredi group Yad L’Achim is saying, is not accurate."

But here is where this 'liberal' Jewish attitude puts pro-Israel Christians between the Rock and the hard place:
"Certainly, some US Evangelicals would like to convert Jews, and Israel must fight them. However, the vast majority simply wants to bless Israel because that is what they believe is the right thing to do."
The Jewish writer goes on to conclude:
"Israel’s leaders urgently need to set up a moral platform rejecting the “Judeo-Christian” blend, which theologically fuses Jews and Christians together without protecting the Jewish faith and maintaining Israel as an independent single-faith Jewish community. But the Bible teaches also that if there is the “gentile” who is jealous and aggressive (Amalek), there is also a “Righteous gentile” who is admiring and willing to help (Jethro.)"
So what is the dilemma for Christians who love Israel? You are being asked to reject "Jewish Christians" or Messianic Jews to retain good standing with Israel.

This writer and many of the Jewish organizations that work with Israel-supporting Christians say they will not work with anyone who supports evangelism among Jews.

I personally believe that it is not the biggest issue at stake for Israel-supporting Christians to say they will not attempt to evangelize Jews in Israel because Israeli Jewish believers are the best witness of Messiah Yeshua anyway, not Christians.  It is illegal for non-Jewish Christians to act as missionaries in Israel, but Jewish believer-Israeli citizens are free to share their faith.

What is the important issue at stake is the willingness of pro-Israel Christians to deny relationship with the Jewish believers in Jesus in order to maintain their relationships with Israeli organizations. That decision puts such Christians at odds with the Head of the Body of Messiah in Israel, who is, of course, Jesus.

Do you understand that it is a popular teaching that the Messianc Jews of Israel and the Christians who support them are enemies of Jews? They are called "Amalek," a hated enemy of Israel. Exodus 17:16 notes that, "Because the LORD has sworn: the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation."  Additionally, it was King Saul’s failure to “utterly destroy” Amalek that triggered God to tear the kingdom out of Saul’s hand and to anoint David for kingship.
For Jews of our day to equate Messianic Jewish believers and the Christians who support them as “Amalek” is an extremely serious sign of the depth of anti-christ (anti-messiah) spirit at work.  The apostle Paul was not just using hyperbole when he said that those who think in this way are “enemies of the gospel.”
In contrast, Christians who are willing to "bless Israel" without understanding that salvation is the ultimate blessing for ALL, including Jews, these are called "righteous Jews" by unsaved Jews.

The Rock and the hard place decision here is summed up in this: "For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God." John 12:43

Too many Christians tell themselves that their good works are making Israel jealous of the Christian faith, but isn't that just wishful thinking?  I've seen enough comments of the anti-missionary activists in Israel to know that what really makes them jealous is any type of Christian support of the Jewish believers in Messiah Yeshua in Israel, and any kind of favor among men that God grants them whether in the courts, on the job, among their neighbors, in the military, in the media and in the public opinion.  These are the ONLY places I have witnessed "jealousy" of the faith emerging in unsaved Jews.

I relate to the desire of non-Jewish Christians to be a part of blessing Israel as the scriptures mandate.  Finding the narrow path that truly does bless Israel is where we end up between the Rock and the hard place.

The apostle Paul staked out the narrow way that we must walk between the Rock and hard place with the Jewish people:  As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes. Romans 11:28
We have to comprehend the election of God is still in force upon the Jewish people – and many will ultimately respond by receiving the gift of salvation in Yeshua.  At the same time it is a NECESSITY to grasp that this people we love in conscience toward God – namely Israel – are also enemies of the gospel.  
If the narrow path between the Rock and the hard place was easy to find everyone would be walking it.