Author Topic: Protestants & Israel  (Read 10991 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Cognomen

  • Ungrateful Biped
  • Site Supporter
  • Archon
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,139
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Wanderer, but Antioch and All the East
Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #45 on: July 31, 2016, 12:51:49 PM »
Interesting topic. Please don't get this moved to politics, folks.
If anything I have posted has been illuminating, please remember that I merely reflect the light of others...but also it's me.

Offline Cognomen

  • Ungrateful Biped
  • Site Supporter
  • Archon
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,139
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Wanderer, but Antioch and All the East
Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #46 on: July 31, 2016, 01:12:11 PM »
And thank you, David, for presenting your views. I always appreciate your contributions to this website.

These beliefs were, however, hard for me to understand, through no fault of your explanation. While I obviously have Orthodox-tinted glasses, even without the guidance of that tradition, I find it difficult to reach many of the same conclusions through reading Scripture. And apparently all of our forefathers, Protestant and Orthodox commentators alike, failed to interpret things the way current ministers such as yourself do.

I recognize that world events have influenced this belief--rightly or wrongly--but it does seem to be something of a reinterpretation of Scriptural understanding regarding the place of Jews who reject Christ. In other words, they do not appear to be held in much esteem in the New Testament, and historically, they have not been viewed as retaining a special place. Would you disagree that this is something of a reinterpretation, even if it is necessary and correct in your eyes?

Speaking to this, don't those who specifically and intentionally reject Christ forfeit such a place of honor and protection, much like the unfaithful Hebrews in the OT?
If anything I have posted has been illuminating, please remember that I merely reflect the light of others...but also it's me.

Offline David Young

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,027
  • 2015, Baptist chapel, Llay
    • Some of my sermons preached at Bradley Road
  • Faith: Baptist
  • Jurisdiction: local church, Wrexham
Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #47 on: July 31, 2016, 04:10:10 PM »
Thank you for writing about your views, David!

I would like to ask you first: Are you aware of Israeli policies toward Christian villages?

No. I don't follow politics closely, either in the Middle East or here at home.

Quote

1. When you say that you "support Israel", are you aware that it defines itself as a Jewish state and defines Jewish to mean those who have not converted to another religion, including Christianity?

No.
Quote
2. If as you say gentile believers have been grafted into Israel, such that there there is "no" spiritual difference between Jews and gentiles, then how is that commensurate with a system that rejects your thesis?

We need to pray that they will recognise their Messiah. I am aware that at present the majority reject him.

Quote
Do you support such a system any more than, say, a half-Christian state like Lebanon?

I do not take the view that it is illegitimate for Christians to be involved in politics - and some, of course, go so far as to say we ought not even to vote. But I believe in the separation of church and state, and I do not look for a Christian government anywhere. That does not mean I am unaware of our Lord's words that "a little leaven leavens the whole lump" and thus that a sufficient percentage of Christians in society and government can exercise a leavening influence.
Quote
3. Since you refer to "their God-given land" and say " the promise has been given to Abraham and his descendants that those who bless them will be blessed", do you agree with Paul's understanding of what it means to be Abraham's seed and those to whom the covenant and blessing was made in Galatians 3:
  • 15 Brethren, I speak in the manner of men: Though it is only a man’s covenant, yet if it is confirmed, no one annuls or adds to it.
    16 Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made.
    29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Hmm... a difficult one. The promise to Abraham has found its fullest fulfilment yet in the blessing of the Gospel, through his "seed" Jesus, coming to the Gentiles worldwide. I do not think that annuls the promise of the land to his biological descendants.

Quote
4. When you teach that God said to Bless Abraham's descendants, you are referring to Genesis 12:
"I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Yes. And similar reiterations of the promise elsewhere.

Quote
First, if you see this as a promise to a "race" as you say, of biological descendants, do you think that it applies to Esau and Ishmael? Or do you accept Paul's explanation that the definition of who was a descendant/"seed" under this promise was always spiritual, such that in Paul's opinion this verse applied to Christians but did not apply to Esau and Ishmael?

I believe the promise was to find fulfilment through Abraham's legitimate son born in wedlock according to God's promise regarding barren Sarah. The line born out of wedlock, via Hagar, was not what God intended when he made the promise.

Quote
Second, do you agree with Paul's teaching that "in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed" shows that the "seed" under the blessing and promise are not just about one earthly nation, but about all "families of the earth" being made Abraham's seed as Paul writes: "to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made"?

I probably wouldn't have expressed it like that, as (it seems to me) this way of saying it introduces confusion. The promise was for the descendants of Isaac, and thus Christ, and thus those who believe in him whether Jew or Gentile: the promise that all nations will be blessed through them. The promise of the land was (I believe) irrevocably made to the Jewish race and is not conditional upon when they turn to their Messiah.
Quote
5. What do you think of Evangelical pro-Peace groups who sympathize with and give aid to the native Christians like Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding?
http://emeu.net
http://www.wrmea.org/2001-april/evangelicals-for-middle-east-understanding.html
I confess I haven't looked up these websites, but as the Scripture commands us to do good to all men, "especially to those who are of the household of faith," I am heartily in favour of giving aid to Christians in need for whatever reason, in whatever place.
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Offline David Young

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,027
  • 2015, Baptist chapel, Llay
    • Some of my sermons preached at Bradley Road
  • Faith: Baptist
  • Jurisdiction: local church, Wrexham
Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #48 on: July 31, 2016, 04:18:25 PM »
a Protestant might properly perceives the state of Israel as a sign of the times.

Now, I'm aware of the heretical overtones implied therein, and I hope to dispel any accusations of Chilaism, or even neo-chilaism.

This is a good point. Not all Protestants take the same view as I do, and I wouldn't preach it from a pulpit except in a church where I was the minister (I am retired now and simply preach wherever invited), as I consider it discourteous to disagree, or knowingly risk disagreeing, with the minister in charge. However, that said, I think there are three matters one can watch as one ponders the matter of the Lord's return: the church; the world; the Jews. As regards the church, one pointer is that the Gospel will be preached to all nations, then the end will come; the world will continue to slide into violence, lawlessness, distress, &c; the Jews will return to their land.

I do not believe in chiliasm - a 1000-year earthly reign of Christ following his second coming. That, taken from Revelation, is, I believe, a figurative phrase. Chiliasm (or premillennialism as it is perhaps more often called) is today (I believe) largely an American belief, and has fallen out of favour here in Britain. A church in Sunderland had it in its trust deed: the minister must be of premillennial persuasion. I was told they had to seek an American minister in order to fulfil that requirement.
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Offline David Young

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,027
  • 2015, Baptist chapel, Llay
    • Some of my sermons preached at Bradley Road
  • Faith: Baptist
  • Jurisdiction: local church, Wrexham
Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #49 on: July 31, 2016, 04:26:19 PM »
Jews who reject Christ ... do not appear to be held in much esteem in the New Testament, and historically, they have not been viewed as retaining a special place. Would you disagree that this is something of a reinterpretation,?

Speaking to this, don't those who specifically and intentionally reject Christ forfeit such a place of honor and protection, much like the unfaithful Hebrews in the OT?

I cannot comment on whether it is a reinterpretation, for my knowledge of historical theology is far too meagre to express an opinion. One would need a deep and wide knowledge of the evolution of eschatology from the patristic period onwards. You may be right: I simply do not know.

Yes, no man comes to the Father but by Jesus Christ; there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. Each individual Jew or Gentile who, hearing the Gospel, rejects it, is not born into the kingdom of God. However, the gift of the land to the Jews is a pledge God has not (to my knowledge) revoked.

It seems odd to say that the scriptures do predict a scattering of the Jews throughout the four winds, followed by times of severe persecution, and finally their regathering to the land of Israel, and then to say that the events from 70 AD to this day only happen to fit into that pattern but are not really a fulfilment of prophecy. It seems simpler to believe that God (through his prophets) said it, and it is happeeing by his hand.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2016, 04:27:48 PM by David Young »
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Offline Cognomen

  • Ungrateful Biped
  • Site Supporter
  • Archon
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,139
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Wanderer, but Antioch and All the East
Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #50 on: July 31, 2016, 06:22:52 PM »
Thank you for answering my queries and further clarifying the position. I think I better understand yours and others' perspective.

I would praise the humility in your posts as well, but that might go to your head. And we wouldn't want that now, would we?

Regards
If anything I have posted has been illuminating, please remember that I merely reflect the light of others...but also it's me.

Offline rakovsky

  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,154
  • St. Mstislav I
    • The Old Testament Prophecies of the Messiah's Resurrection and Orthodox Christianity's roots in the Holy Land
  • Faith: Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #51 on: July 31, 2016, 07:45:15 PM »
Are you aware of Israeli policies toward Christian villages?

Would the policies of Hamas towards Christian villages be any better? Christians in the Holy Land get a raw deal either way. At least the Israelis don't kidnap and behead Christians. It's better to choose the lesser of two evils.
First, did you know that there is a Non-Hamas Non-Israeli Palestinian Authority, in which Christmas is an official holiday and they have Christian mayors and legislators and the leaders attend Churches and Orthodox functions at the main holidays like the Holy Fire?


Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad at the Holy Fire reception on right, Bethlehem, 2010.

To give an analogy, in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan we secular or interreligious Muslim governments that tolerate or protect Christians from massacres, but there is also a another force that does not even tolerate Assad or Hamas, called ISIS. It's not as if these countries have a dilemma of two "evils" of either the Israelis invading or ruling these societies destructively as in 1967 or of ISIS massacring their Christians so that we must as pro-Christians support one of what you call those two "evils".

Why do you feel that way?
« Last Edit: July 31, 2016, 07:50:53 PM by rakovsky »
The ocean, impassable by men, and the world beyond it are directed by the same ordinances of the Master. ~ I Clement 20

Offline minasoliman

  • Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
  • Section Moderator
  • Stratopedarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 19,703
  • Pray for me Sts. Mina & Kyrillos for my interviews
  • Faith: Oriental Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Coptic
Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #52 on: August 02, 2016, 10:21:48 AM »
The point is discussing theology.  Yes, factually, Christians suffer in both sides, but perhaps, we should concentrate on theology rather than policies so as to avoid unnecessary moving of the thread.  Let's not turn this into a Palestine vs. Israel discussion.

Dear David,

I have a nuanced perspective on this issue.  Besides political reasons, a theological reason can be Judaizing.  To unconditionally support a theological reason for Jewish right to have the land of Israel seems to me contradictory to the spirit of the teachings of the Apostles and especially St. Paul against Judaizing.  The Law is fulfilled.  Therefore, to support the land as Jewish right would be akin to supporting circumcision.

Don't get me wrong.  I think it's important to have an affection and love towards the Jewish people in the same way as St. Paul showed affection to them in Romans 11.  We received from them their spiritual tradition through Christ, and we are indebted to their laws in spirit.  We agree in a theological kinship, because it is through them we are engrafted into Christ.  So like St. Paul, we should sacrifice ourselves so much so that we would hope some of them (if not all) may be saved.  But I don't think this affection should necessarily extend to an idea that we unconditionally support a theological reason for Jewish right to the land of Israel, and it's very misleading to me as it would be the antithesis to true love and evangelism.

In other words, bringing them to Israel does not accomplish bringing them to Messiah.  That only makes it harder to evangelize.  The point of being against Judaizing is to show the futility of the Law for salvation, and opening them up to the Messiah who came and fulfilled the Law.  In a way, it is Christ's will that the Temple is no more to show the futility of the Law, and that the new Temple is the "ekklesia" gathered in the name of Christ, not the old.  To support their theological right to the land is akin to saying, "let them rebuild the temple and it's okay not to acknowledge the True Shekinah Incarnate."
« Last Edit: August 02, 2016, 10:34:50 AM by minasoliman »
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline David Young

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,027
  • 2015, Baptist chapel, Llay
    • Some of my sermons preached at Bradley Road
  • Faith: Baptist
  • Jurisdiction: local church, Wrexham
Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #53 on: August 02, 2016, 11:30:41 AM »
I would praise the humility in your posts as well, but that might go to your head. And we wouldn't want that now, would we?

Regards
I believe it was 19th century Baptist preacher Charles H. Spurgeon to whom someone said, as he left the pulpit one day, something like "Let me be the first to congratulate you on a wonderful sermon." Spurgeon replied, "You're not the first: the Devil already has."  ;)
« Last Edit: August 02, 2016, 11:37:49 AM by David Young »
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Offline David Young

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,027
  • 2015, Baptist chapel, Llay
    • Some of my sermons preached at Bradley Road
  • Faith: Baptist
  • Jurisdiction: local church, Wrexham
Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #54 on: August 02, 2016, 11:37:26 AM »
To unconditionally support a theological reason for Jewish right to have the land of Israel seems to me contradictory to the spirit of the teachings of the Apostles ... against Judaizing.   ... bringing them to Israel does not accomplish bringing them to Messiah.  That only makes it harder to evangelize.  The point of being against Judaizing is to show the futility of the Law for salvation, ...

Very good points. It is to be feared that some Evangelicals, Pentecostals, and Charismatics have allowed that particular pendulum to swing too far, so that they almost (but no doubt not quite) seem to say that there are two ways of salvation: faith in Christ, or thoroughgoing Jewishness of race and ethos. It must always remain fundamental that "no man comes to the Farther but my me," as our Lord so clearly declared.
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Offline rakovsky

  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,154
  • St. Mstislav I
    • The Old Testament Prophecies of the Messiah's Resurrection and Orthodox Christianity's roots in the Holy Land
  • Faith: Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #55 on: August 02, 2016, 02:52:22 PM »
In other words, bringing them to Israel does not accomplish bringing them to Messiah.  That only makes it harder to evangelize.  The point of being against Judaizing is to show the futility of the Law for salvation, and opening them up to the Messiah who came and fulfilled the Law.  In a way, it is Christ's will that the Temple is no more to show the futility of the Law, and that the new Temple is the "ekklesia" gathered in the name of Christ, not the old.  To support their theological right to the land is akin to saying, "let them rebuild the temple and it's okay not to acknowledge the True Shekinah Incarnate."
Nice exegesis, Mina.
The ocean, impassable by men, and the world beyond it are directed by the same ordinances of the Master. ~ I Clement 20

Offline Onesimus

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 451
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: GOA
Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #56 on: August 02, 2016, 03:00:33 PM »
Having per used some of the comments I think the issue is really who is the true Israel.   Too many Christians, orthodox as well as Protestant see Christianity as something different than Israel.   The church is Israel.   

Put another way, many fail to see that it is more proper to refer to the religion of Israel before the incarnation as the "Hebrew religion" of which the "Jews" or judiaizers were only one sect of many.   The arrival of the messiah brings to the head two streams which survive today; Christianity and rabbinic Judaism (the legacy of the Pharisees without a temple).   

The church is Israel and lays claim to being Israel; and Gentiles are "grafted in" to the Hebrew faith.   There is complete continuity.

Looked at from this perspective, Jews are a heretical sect of the Hebrew religion that denies the messiah.   Christianity is the true Israel who accepts him.   

Since many Protestants can't see this (many orthodox too), we get confused about the relationship of Judaism and Christianity, and this the whole issue of territorial Israel today and Zionism / Judaism. 
« Last Edit: August 02, 2016, 03:04:58 PM by Onesimus »

Offline Minnesotan

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 3,329
  • Milo Thatch is the ONLY Milo for me. #FreeAtlantis
Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #57 on: August 02, 2016, 03:48:59 PM »
But names mean nothing; the people who started a nation in only 1947 and decided to call it Israel does not really make it the true Israel

You do have a point about the naming thing. One can imagine an alternate history where the Puritans had achieved complete hegemony in America and established a theocracy, naming it Israel (in keeping with the covenant theology popular amongst them).

Then, several generations later, their descendants are being taught that "Israel" (the alternate theocratic version of the USA) is God's chosen nation and that all Christians living elsewhere must support it or else they will be cursed by God, according to the Bible. Yet, just because this alternate America was called "Israel" wouldn't make it the true Israel.
I'm not going to be posting as much on OC.Net as before. I might stop in once in a while though. But I've come to realize that real life is more important.

Offline rakovsky

  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,154
  • St. Mstislav I
    • The Old Testament Prophecies of the Messiah's Resurrection and Orthodox Christianity's roots in the Holy Land
  • Faith: Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #58 on: August 02, 2016, 03:57:30 PM »
You do have a point about the naming thing. One can imagine an alternate history where the Puritans had achieved complete hegemony in America and established a theocracy, naming it Israel (in keeping with the covenant theology popular amongst them).

Then, several generations later, their descendants are being taught that "Israel" (the alternate theocratic version of the USA) is God's chosen nation and that all Christians living elsewhere must support it or else they will be cursed by God, according to the Bible. Yet, just because this alternate America was called "Israel" wouldn't make it the true Israel.
This reminds me that there is a group called "British Israelites" that imagine that they are racially the Jewish people, which to them seems to entail  apocalyptic implications. Here is one example of British Israelite thinking:
Quote
The word Brit-ish is Hebrew and means "the man or People of The Covenant" in other words "the True People Israel" and the "House of Israel".

Elizabeth the Second is a direct descendant of David as have been all of the British- Israel monarchs since David himself, backwards in time through all of the English kings, ... preceded by king Zedekiah of Jerusalem and all the kings back to David himself. They have all been crowned sitting upon the Throne of David, which is the "Stone of Destiny" - Jacob's Pillar-Stone now wrongly called the "Stone of Scone", except for Elizabeth the Second because she became the monarch AFTER 1948, when Christ had already returned. God would not allow her or anyone except Christ himself; to be crowned upon that Stone; whilst His oldest Son, Prince (St.) Michael, The Rightful King, Christ is upon the Earth, incarnated inside a new human English body.
http://jahtruth.net/emmau2.htm
« Last Edit: August 02, 2016, 03:58:00 PM by rakovsky »
The ocean, impassable by men, and the world beyond it are directed by the same ordinances of the Master. ~ I Clement 20

Offline rakovsky

  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,154
  • St. Mstislav I
    • The Old Testament Prophecies of the Messiah's Resurrection and Orthodox Christianity's roots in the Holy Land
  • Faith: Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #59 on: August 02, 2016, 05:00:15 PM »
Hamas used to -------------
Key words.

Let me know what you think about the non-Hamas Palestinian Authority making Christmas a holiday, having Christian legislators and mayors, having its officials attend ceremonies like the holy fire, and otherwise showing respect for Christians and Christianity, Biro?

What do you think of the fact that Christianity is protected in Jordan and Lebanon?
« Last Edit: August 02, 2016, 05:00:55 PM by rakovsky »
The ocean, impassable by men, and the world beyond it are directed by the same ordinances of the Master. ~ I Clement 20

Offline RaphaCam

  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 4,278
  • It is honourable to reveal the works of God
    • Em Espírito e em Verdade
  • Faith: Big-O Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Exarchate of Gotham City
Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #60 on: August 02, 2016, 06:36:05 PM »
I wouldn't say Christianity is protected in Jordan (as it is in Lebanon). It seems "ethnic Christians" make second-class citizens, while proselytism is moderately suppressed and converts will go through hard, hard times.
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

Check my blog "Em Espírito e em Verdade" (in Portuguese)

Offline rakovsky

  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,154
  • St. Mstislav I
    • The Old Testament Prophecies of the Messiah's Resurrection and Orthodox Christianity's roots in the Holy Land
  • Faith: Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #61 on: August 02, 2016, 07:18:44 PM »
I wouldn't say Christianity is protected in Jordan (as it is in Lebanon). It seems "ethnic Christians" make second-class citizens, while proselytism is moderately suppressed and converts will go through hard, hard times.
Yes, unfortunately proselytism is suppressed in Jordan, and although it's criminalized in the Israeli state too as a felony, I imagine it's more strictly enforced and penalized in Jordan.

As you pointed, Lebanon allows it, making its system more pro-Christian than the Israeli State or Jordan.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2016, 07:19:30 PM by rakovsky »
The ocean, impassable by men, and the world beyond it are directed by the same ordinances of the Master. ~ I Clement 20