Author Topic: Protestants & Israel  (Read 6798 times)

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Offline JamesR

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Protestants & Israel
« on: April 11, 2012, 06:38:21 PM »
I hate to generalize, so everything I say here is based off of my own personal experience. So, I am asking, why do so many modern Protestants in America support Israel so much? Nearly every Protestant friend I have, some being ministers, tries to urge people to support Israel and tells me that I might go to Hell if I do not support it because the Jews are "God's people" and that it is the Holy Land. Every time I tell them that Israel has committed horrible atrocities against Palestinians, to be specific, Orthodox Christian Palestinians, and forced many of the native Orthodox Christian population to relocate to Palestine, they usually just do not care or ignore it. I think that the simple name factor is what fools many of them. They hear the name 'Israel' and immediately associate its population as being the "Chosen People" or think of it as the special nation God is still watching over and has a Covenant with. 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; likewise, there is no getting by what they have done to Orthodox Christians over there. So, my question is to any Protestants out there who may support Israel, why do you do it? And how do you justify your support despite all of this?
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Offline Nicene

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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2012, 02:13:58 AM »
It comes from an understanding that God has not ended his covenant with the jews and this is based on some passages by Paul and revelation. Some people are truely fanatical about it, ive seen one who was so convinced about this every time he would speak he couldn't help but say it and eventually it got to the point where he basically was saying he thought that those who dissagreed with him on Israel and the place of the jews were damned.
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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2012, 02:34:56 AM »
I don't think Christian Zionism comes from, nor is supported by, all of Protestantism.  Mainly it's the Evangelicals.  But why do they believe it so fervently?  Nicene covered it nicely.  Plus, they see the return of all Jews to Israel as the prerequisite to Jesus' second coming.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2012, 02:39:27 AM by GabrieltheCelt »
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2012, 03:10:42 AM »
JR,

I would say the explanation you gave in your OP was OK.

Like you said, when I was 9 years old I just heard the name, and from that had a favorable view. I went to an Evan. middle school for alittle bit in the mid-90's, and don't remember it being really discussed. My guess is that some of it is more recent and has to do with their government being a close US ally, instead of, say, considering the early Christians' relations with the nationalists of their own time, the Zealots.

In any case, just because you care about someone doesn't mean you should support whatever decisions they make, or should care less about others.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2012, 03:21:47 AM by rakovsky »

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2012, 09:56:27 AM »
I don't think Christian Zionism comes from, nor is supported by, all of Protestantism.  Mainly it's the Evangelicals.  But why do they believe it so fervently?  Nicene covered it nicely.  Plus, they see the return of all Jews to Israel as the prerequisite to Jesus' second coming.
As I've experienced it, it seems to me that this Christian Zionism is virtually a dogma of the dispensationalist Fundamentalist Christian churches, the kind of churches with which Hal Lindsey and Tim LaHaye affiliate themselves.
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Offline Doubting Thomas

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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2012, 10:31:58 AM »
Back in my SBC days, we used to hear a steady supply of teachers who would make such claims that (1) we (Christians/America) have to stand with the nation of Israel since God would "bless those who bless them and curse those who curse them", and that (2) Palestinians really have no claim to that land over there.

Suffice it to say, nowadays I certainly would dispute claim #2 and the assumptions behind claim #1.  8)
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Offline acts420

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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2012, 12:40:48 PM »
As a former Southern Baptist, my short answer to your question is this:  It is because of demons and disbelief.

Here is the long answer.  Some of these deceived pastors you refer to are very sincere in their faith but have been mislead by demons.  Others, however, are probably insincere.  They are hypocrites who are in it for the money.  There is probably a mix of people who are half sincere but half in it for the money.  Israeli politicians also probably foster this.  They probably pay for these men to come take grand vacations in "the holy land" and fill their pockets with all sorts of things while telling them what to tell their congregations about the nation of Israel.  This sort of thing goes on all the time in our government.  The majority of our Congress has been brought to Israel for free tours, and they've been politically indoctrinated while there.  This probably happens with many Protestant churches too. Israel's political leaders are not stupid.  They know that the churches in America are the root of the political power in America.

Step aside with me for just a moment from the topic of Israel to the topic of demons.  The teachers who emphasize a need to support the modern state of Israel are often the same teachers that
1) forbid or hinder alcohol use (despite the many passages in holy Scripture that say alcohol is blessing in moderation),
2) forbid or hinder cannabis use (despite Genesis 1, "all seed bearing plants" are for all men to consume in moderation if they they want),
3) forbid or hinder the use of sexual passion for the formation of marriage (despite the fact that reading Song of Solomon twice will teach you in no uncertain terms that sexual passion is part of what forms holy marriage; when you forbid sexual passion prior to marriage and you are hindering marriage itself).  

Basically, they fit perfectly into the prophecy given in 1st Timothy chapter 4.

Quote from: The holy Spirit through the holy Apostle Paul
The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.  Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.  They hinder the formation of marriages and order people to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth.

The main point I'm trying to make is this:  Demons are trying to influence our behavior by influencing our thoughts not just about the things in 1 Timothy 4, but about everything.  Many of us, and especially many of our church leaders (even in orthodoxy but especially outside of orthodoxy), are following those demons in one way or another.  The Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica rightly taught that "most of the thoughts which torment us from the inside are not ours at all; they come from the demons." (quote from Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives, the life and teachings of Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica, page 48, printed by the St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood in 2011)

Although these "pro-Israel" pastors you mention may think their teachings come from God through their own rational observations and thoughts about Him, they don't.   They probably often come from Israeli politicians also from demons.   Israel's political leaders have accomplished a lot of evil in this world.  I'm not trying to say I'm better than them.  I'm the chief among sinners.  But I do honestly suspect the goal of many leaders in Israel is to take over America from the inside out in order to accomplish their own selfish desires.  They are not our allies; they pretend to be.  If you've never looked up the U.S.S. Liberty Incident (when Israel attempted to destroy a U.S. military ship, murder its crew, and leave no evidence)... do it.  Read about it, and especially read the first hand accounts and explanations written by the U.S. sailors involved and their loved ones.  That was no mistake.  Israel's military leadership knew exactly what they were doing as is obvious from a detailed examination of the facts.  Israel's military apparatus has been caught stealing from America too many times to count in various "spy" cases.  Also investigate the facts surrounding the "dancing Israelis" (the group of Israeli Mossad agents that filmed the 9/11 attacks in New York city while dancing and shouting for joy).  Their leaders own many of our politicians, and I wouldn't be surprised if they own many of our church leaders also.  

That's politics.  As far as spirituality, even if corrupt people don't "own" these Protestant leaders you refer to in the sense that a bribed politician is "owned," I think the same demons own their minds.  Scripture says Satan masquerades as an angel of light, and many of these church leaders would probably tell you that "God" has told them to support the modern political state of Israel.  "God" is not the one telling them to rely on misunderstandings of old testament passages about Israel.  The holy Apostle Paul clearly taught that Israel has been "broken off" from God and the gentiles have been "grafted in" in their place.  But many of these pastors refuse to believe the Word of the True God.  With the help of demons who pretend to be God, many of these men ignore the Apostolic teachings about Israel.  Their own sinful desires probably also push them down the wrong path.  In the same manner that Israel wanted a physical king, these men probably want to be able to see a physical "nation of God."   Therefore, they are easily deceived into thinking modern Israel is it.  

However, the truth is this:  Jesus Christ is the new Moses, old Israel is the new Gentile, and the Church is the new Israel.  No Christian has any duty to support any political, national entity that calls itself Israel, and no American has any duty to support the atrocities that Israel's military commits.  However, many Americans have been thoroughly deceived on both of those points.  

We, Americans, have been deceived by demons and by corrupt men.


I hate to generalize, so everything I say here is based off of my own personal experience. So, I am asking, why do so many modern Protestants in America support Israel so much? ...
« Last Edit: April 12, 2012, 01:09:10 PM by acts420 »
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Offline Cognomen

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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2012, 12:58:51 PM »
I don't think Christian Zionism comes from, nor is supported by, all of Protestantism.

Agreed.  As you said, it's mainly among the evangelicals. 

That said, there are secular counterparts as well (the ones I'm referring to are primarily found among culturally Protestant populations in America).  Rather than the whole Armageddon bit, they believe a series of far sillier things.  I really don't want to derail the thread and go down the politics line, but suffice it to say that it's equally as rabid and distorted.

Regarding "mainstream" Protestants, many do not buy into this stuff, from either side.   

Offline Cantor Krishnich

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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2012, 02:13:49 PM »
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Offline J Michael

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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2012, 03:20:13 PM »


I nominate this for post of the year  :laugh:!
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Offline lovesupreme

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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2012, 10:34:25 PM »
I hope to stop prefacing all my posts with this, but "as an ex-Orthodox Jew..."

I was told that many Christians support Israel because the Jews need to return en masse in order for the Messiah to come. Jews also believe this (different Messiah, though), but not all support Israel. On the contrary, some Hasidic groups, chiefly the Satmar, vehemently oppose Israel as a secular abomination; they believe that a proper return to the holy land will be guided by god and god alone.



Anyway, although I have never been pro-Israel, I never liked the idea of a people being patronized and encouraged by their so-called "successors" into "retaking" the holy land so that the rapture could happen and they would all be sent to their collective eternal damnation. It's like, you agree with me, cool, but you want me to do what afterwards?!

Offline HabteSelassie

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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2012, 12:21:54 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I'd say its a blend of semantics errors and fanatical ignorance of historicity.  Further, I wouldn't discount the influence of disillusioned pseudo-Christianity grasping blindly for some, any, kind of authority, continuity, and legitimacy. 

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Offline josephgodleski1966

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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2012, 06:14:31 PM »
dear sir i am eastern orthodox christian in my area in northern new jersey there is a local messanic Jewish congregation that has a monthly publication called sappahires it is a bunch of articles  from its pastor / rabbi leader in the april 2012 i came across this article called
the iconoclast and it reads in english we have the word iconoclast . an iconoclast is someone who goes against the flow or breaks the rules or traditions . but the word goes back centuries. it comes from a great controversy which took place in the middle ages in the eastern orthodox church . the eastern orthodox church was covered with so called holy images - called icons but thier arose a movement that said the hallowing of icons as idolotry . they began smashing the icons they were called the breakers of icons or in greek iconoclast but all believers are called to be iconoclast that is we are not to serve honor or ackowledge any idol of man whether of secular man or of the church but it can not stop there a true believer is a iconoclast in that he or she continually smashing the idols in your life and heart are thier any idols in your life is anything your putting your trust your love your hope your attention in when it should be in god if so then it is your job to smash that idol and be a iconoclast

from message 1232
the holy lawbreakers
hope of the world ministries
po box 1111
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a outreach of
beth israel messanic
worship center
wayne nj  07470

my question is how do you answer such  slander and lies from people who do not know the whole issue on the iconoclast subject and write articles out of context to what really happen
and the fact it was the 700's not the middle ages and the early church council was the one who restored the glory of the holy icons only 100 years later
« Last Edit: April 29, 2012, 06:20:38 PM by josephgodleski1966 »

Offline FormerReformer

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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2012, 07:28:01 PM »


Anyway, although I have never been pro-Israel, I never liked the idea of a people being patronized and encouraged by their so-called "successors" into "retaking" the holy land so that the rapture could happen and they would all be sent to their collective eternal damnation. It's like, you agree with me, cool, but you want me to do what afterwards?!


In all fairness, Dispensationalist Evangelicals believe that after the Rapture that the Jews of Israel will be the 144,000 and as such pretty much guaranteed salvation.
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2012, 01:13:30 AM »
Anyway, although I have never been pro-Israel, I never liked the idea of a people being patronized and encouraged by their so-called "successors" into "retaking" the holy land so that the rapture could happen and they would all be sent to their collective eternal damnation. It's like, you agree with me, cool, but you want me to do what afterwards?!


In all fairness, Dispensationalist Evangelicals believe that after the Rapture that the Jews of Israel will be the 144,000 and as such pretty much guaranteed salvation.
I suppose they started with about 4-5 million and worked their way downwards?  ???
« Last Edit: April 30, 2012, 01:19:32 AM by rakovsky »

Offline laconicstudent

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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2012, 01:16:57 AM »


Anyway, although I have never been pro-Israel, I never liked the idea of a people being patronized and encouraged by their so-called "successors" into "retaking" the holy land so that the rapture could happen and they would all be sent to their collective eternal damnation. It's like, you agree with me, cool, but you want me to do what afterwards?!


In all fairness, Dispensationalist Evangelicals believe that after the Rapture that the Jews of Israel will be the 144,000 and as such pretty much guaranteed salvation.
I suppose they started with about 4-5 million and worked their way downwards?

It's in the Left Behind series. The 144,000 are all Messianic Jews, one of whom explains to the other protagonists quite pompously that that is because they are from the First Covenant and the people God prefers, being His first choice after all, and that the rest of them were just grafted in.

He rushes to explain it wasn't meant to be condescending or elitist, but for the life of me I can't see how it wasn't.

But anyways, it was in Left Behind, so for many it must be true.

Offline rakovsky

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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2012, 01:29:17 AM »


Anyway, although I have never been pro-Israel, I never liked the idea of a people being patronized and encouraged by their so-called "successors" into "retaking" the holy land so that the rapture could happen and they would all be sent to their collective eternal damnation. It's like, you agree with me, cool, but you want me to do what afterwards?!


In all fairness, Dispensationalist Evangelicals believe that after the Rapture that the Jews of Israel will be the 144,000 and as such pretty much guaranteed salvation.
I suppose they started with about 4-5 million and worked their way downwards?
My point is that when this movement was growing in the 1980's, the country's population (not including the West Bank or Gaza) was at most 4-5 million, so I think LoveSupreme's criticism of the ideology makes sense. Today, it's even more- 7.8 million.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2012, 01:42:19 AM by rakovsky »

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2012, 03:37:48 AM »
As I read the OP, the question is why Protestants support Israel, which is fundamentally a question of the doctrines of some Protestant sects, NOT a political question. If you want to discuss the state of Israel and its relations with the neighboring Palestinians from a political point of view that doesn't consider Protestant perspectives and therefore does not address the question in the OP, I need you to do so only on the private Politics board. If you don't have access to that board, please PM Fr. George to request such access. Thank you.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2012, 03:38:01 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #18 on: April 30, 2012, 06:58:16 PM »
Perhaps Support for the Political State at root comes from Politics, not Christian Tradition?

During the US Civil War, some of the most fervent abolitionists, based more in Northern Free States, justified their opposition to slavery on the Bible and religion. Meanwhile, more often in Sourthern Slave states, proponents of Slavery justified slavery based on religious claims. Now looking back, we can see that what caused this division was really that at least one group was motivated at their base by their own societal and political backgrounds.

I am unaware of any cases where proponents of one view stated that they believed Christianity told them one thing about slavery and they demanded another. Considering the stark alignment of religious and political beliefs, the slavery advocates or abolitionists were apparently unknowingly directing their religious beliefs based on their own political desires and preferences.

When we look at some Calvinists' very strong loyalty to the Israeli State, it doesn't appear to come directly from New Testament or early Christian traditions. The Christians were a separate group from the nationalist Zealots. While the early Christians viewed the Kingdom as a spiritual one, the Zealots were still focused on creating an earthly Israel based on military force. While St Paul considered nonJewish Christians part of God's people, nonChristian Zealots I'm sure still considered them heathens. In fact, Christian communities, even up to, including, and long after Calvin didn't consider the creation of a Single-Ethnic state over all the Holy Land a religious goal.

Granted, some Calvinists have articulated religious justifications for loyalty to the political State. But like the religious Slavery debates of the Civil War era, it appears the root inspiration is politics. We rarely see, for example, those Calvinists proposing religious loyalty to the political system at the same time they strongly criticize the State's political system (eg. demanding more democracy or racial equality). Contrast this with the Israelite prophets who actually felt inspired to criticize the country's government despite- if not because of- their religion and love for Old Testament Israel.

It seems to me likely that if the State was not a political ally of the US from the mid-1960's on, and those strong Calvinists placed less emphasis on their own nation's supremacy in their own political views, then they would not have so strongly developed such religious beliefs from the 1960's on.

Thus, Peter ends up reminding us, based on our forum rules, that to discuss politics we should go to the Politics Section. That is because the conversation naturally goes in the direction of Politics. Once you realize there is no rock-solid religious justification shared by Christians for religious State loyalty, then what are you left with?

You eventually end up saying you are loyal to the State because its political system is good or bad, its policies are good or bad, or other political motivations.

For example:
instead of sniggering at "protestant" eschatology, maybe you should start considering the effects of muslim eschatology on the middle east... added to all this is the rise and rise of sharia immorality throughout the muslim world.
In other words, don't look too hard at the supposedly "Protestant" religious claims being made, instead, focus on how bad an Islamic political State could be. And based on those fears, give strong approval to another political State.

And thus we end up discussing whether in reality, the State's policies are good or bad.

Am I right?
« Last Edit: April 30, 2012, 07:09:19 PM by rakovsky »

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2012, 01:07:50 AM »
^
Thank you, rakovsky, for articulating perfectly what I'm thinking and trying to say. JamesR asked us to discuss why Protestants support the state of Israel, which is fundamentally a discussion of Protestant doctrine. You have done so beautifully in the above post. The politics of which you speak you mention only as a neutral recognition of how Israeli-Palestinian relations is essentially a political issue and of how many pro-Israel Protestants support Israel more out of political persuasion than of any faithfulness to any Christian tradition. You, better than anyone on this thread, seem to understand how difficult it is to discuss Israeli-Palestinian relations without delving into the political discussion deemed inappropriate for this public area of the forum. That's why I'm leaving your post here after splitting so much of this thread off into Politics. You have just posted the epitome of what I would like to see here on this public thread.

Otherwise, the political tangent has been moved to Politics. If you don't yet have access to the private Politics board but would like to follow that tangent, please send Fr. George a private message requesting access. Further political discussion on this public thread will not be tolerated and will incur formal warnings.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=44421.0
« Last Edit: May 01, 2012, 01:19:22 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline Indocern

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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2016, 12:43:15 PM »
I hate to generalize, so everything I say here is based off of my own personal experience. So, I am asking, why do so many modern Protestants in America support Israel so much? Nearly every Protestant friend I have, some being ministers, tries to urge people to support Israel and tells me that I might go to Hell if I do not support it because the Jews are "God's people" and that it is the Holy Land. Every time I tell them that Israel has committed horrible atrocities against Palestinians, to be specific, Orthodox Christian Palestinians, and forced many of the native Orthodox Christian population to relocate to Palestine, they usually just do not care or ignore it. I think that the simple name factor is what fools many of them. They hear the name 'Israel' and immediately associate its population as being the "Chosen People" or think of it as the special nation God is still watching over and has a Covenant with. 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; likewise, there is no getting by what they have done to Orthodox Christians over there. So, my question is to any Protestants out there who may support Israel, why do you do it? And how do you justify your support despite all of this?

The jews are God's people and the Christians are God's children.

Offline rakovsky

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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #21 on: July 24, 2016, 01:43:07 PM »
The jews are God's people and the Christians are God's children.

Dear Indocern,

Of whom was Peter writing when he declared:

1 Peter 2:9-10
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #22 on: July 24, 2016, 02:07:37 PM »
Indocern, the Jews aren't God's people anymore. They are descendants of the old nation of Israel, which was indeed the people of God, but they lost the covenant for the Church. The Church is the new Israel of God. See St. Matthew 3:9, Acts 10:28-43, Romans 10:12, 1 Corinthians 12:13 Galatians 3:28-29...
"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." (Psalm 90:1)

Offline Greg

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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2016, 11:05:06 PM »
I had presumed it was because some Protestants threw out everything but the Bible. With only the Bible, they miss out the richness of the history of the New Testament church, her saints, her prayer life, or even the secular history surrounding religious life in A.D. times. Combined with the weird idea that "you read nothing but the Bible," the only holy thing some Protestants know is "Israel," "Jews," "Jerusalem," etc. Though that doesn't explain why they so easily miss the New Testament explanations that the Church is the true Israel, unless they're doing nothing but only reading the Old Testament.

I think acts420 and rakovsky have a better explanation than me though. Not all Protestants are modern-day Evangelicals, so my explanation probably doesn't work by-and-large for Protestanism.

Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #24 on: July 24, 2016, 11:08:59 PM »
With only the Bible, they miss out the richness of the history of the New Testament church, her saints, her prayer life, or even the secular history surrounding religious life in A.D. times. Combined with the weird idea that "you read nothing but the Bible," the only holy thing some Protestants know is "Israel," "Jews," "Jerusalem," etc.
Actually, this makes a lot of sense, although I'm sure they don't do it consciously. Good point.
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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #25 on: July 25, 2016, 12:42:44 AM »
With only the Bible, they miss out the richness of the history of the New Testament church, her saints, her prayer life, or even the secular history surrounding religious life in A.D. times. Combined with the weird idea that "you read nothing but the Bible," the only holy thing some Protestants know is "Israel," "Jews," "Jerusalem," etc.
Actually, this makes a lot of sense, although I'm sure they don't do it consciously. Good point.

According to some historians, Afrikaners did essentially the same thing except that they saw themselves as Israel.
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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #26 on: July 25, 2016, 12:46:28 AM »
When I was an evangelical/charismatic I was a huge fan of Israel and all things Jewish. It was because I wanted continuity with the past. There was the early church then nothing til the reformation so we imagined the early church was like these goofy messianic groups. It seemed to be more Jewish meant to be more Christian.

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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #27 on: July 25, 2016, 01:00:59 AM »
When I was an evangelical/charismatic I was a huge fan of Israel and all things Jewish. It was because I wanted continuity with the past. There was the early church then nothing til the reformation so we imagined the early church was like these goofy messianic groups. It seemed to be more Jewish meant to be more Christian.

Well said.
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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #28 on: July 25, 2016, 05:51:00 AM »
Combined with the weird idea that "you read nothing but the Bible," the only holy thing some Protestants know is "Israel," "Jews," "Jerusalem," etc. Though that doesn't explain why they so easily miss the New Testament explanations that the Church is the true Israel, unless they're doing nothing but only reading the Old Testament.
This is probably a good explanation.

Also, the New Testament references to the Church being the spiritual Israel's assembly (Qahal/Ekklesia) come across more cryptically or are dealt with in less length than the Old Testament's portrayal of a national Israel under the Torah. In the New Testament this concept of the Church as a continuing Qahal/Ekklesia has importance, but it comes across to me as an issue treated as one of secondary emphasis compared to the importance that the Torah and national Israel receives in the Old Testament. So I understand how someone who reads the Bible a few times without a commentary from the Church Fathers and then makes up their own theology can end up with something much different than what Christians actually thought in the 1st century on a range of topics, including this one.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2016, 05:52:34 AM by rakovsky »

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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #29 on: July 25, 2016, 11:37:15 AM »
With only the Bible, they miss out the richness of the history of the New Testament church, her saints, her prayer life, or even the secular history surrounding religious life in A.D. times. Combined with the weird idea that "you read nothing but the Bible," the only holy thing some Protestants know is "Israel," "Jews," "Jerusalem," etc.
Actually, this makes a lot of sense, although I'm sure they don't do it consciously. Good point.

According to some historians, Afrikaners did essentially the same thing except that they saw themselves as Israel.
Interesting. I believe some other peoples, mostly in the East, have done this historically, either openly or as some incipient Christian ethnocentrism, but I don't want to point fingers and guess out of my mere impressions.
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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #30 on: July 25, 2016, 11:39:17 AM »
Quote
But it had not been in Tess's power - nor is it in anybody's power - to feel the whole truth of golden opinions while it is possible to profit by them. She - and how many more - might have ironically said to God with Saint Augustine, "Thou hast counselled a better course than thou hast permitted."
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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #31 on: July 25, 2016, 01:38:44 PM »
Indocern, the Jews aren't God's people anymore. They are descendants of the old nation of Israel, which was indeed the people of God, but they lost the covenant for the Church. The Church is the new Israel of God. See St. Matthew 3:9, Acts 10:28-43, Romans 10:12, 1 Corinthians 12:13 Galatians 3:28-29...

Yes it is so, I readed this again, we are jews by spirit, so the Church can be called new Israel of God and God is same for all, even more after Christ has been raised from death, so we can all be saved through Christ.

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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #32 on: July 25, 2016, 01:52:48 PM »
Indocern, the Jews aren't God's people anymore. They are descendants of the old nation of Israel, which was indeed the people of God, but they lost the covenant for the Church. The Church is the new Israel of God. See St. Matthew 3:9, Acts 10:28-43, Romans 10:12, 1 Corinthians 12:13 Galatians 3:28-29...
Yes it is so, I readed this again, we are jews by spirit, so the Church can be called new Israel of God and God is same for all, even more after Christ has been raised from death, so we can all be saved through Christ.
Yes.
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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #33 on: July 27, 2016, 04:14:26 PM »
This is probably a good explanation.

Also, the New Testament references to the Church being the spiritual Israel's assembly (Qahal/Ekklesia) come across more cryptically or are dealt with in less length than the Old Testament's portrayal of a national Israel under the Torah. In the New Testament this concept of the Church as a continuing Qahal/Ekklesia has importance, but it comes across to me as an issue treated as one of secondary emphasis compared to the importance that the Torah and national Israel receives in the Old Testament. So I understand how someone who reads the Bible a few times without a commentary from the Church Fathers and then makes up their own theology can end up with something much different than what Christians actually thought in the 1st century on a range of topics, including this one.

Hmm...good point. It always made sense to me back in my Southern Baptist days, but then again, I initially became interested in Orthodoxy for theological reasons. I guess I missed those facts. Thanks.

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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #34 on: July 27, 2016, 06:50:30 PM »
This is probably a good explanation.

Also, the New Testament references to the Church being the spiritual Israel's assembly (Qahal/Ekklesia) come across more cryptically or are dealt with in less length than the Old Testament's portrayal of a national Israel under the Torah. In the New Testament this concept of the Church as a continuing Qahal/Ekklesia has importance, but it comes across to me as an issue treated as one of secondary emphasis compared to the importance that the Torah and national Israel receives in the Old Testament. So I understand how someone who reads the Bible a few times without a commentary from the Church Fathers and then makes up their own theology can end up with something much different than what Christians actually thought in the 1st century on a range of topics, including this one.

Hmm...good point. It always made sense to me back in my Southern Baptist days, but then again, I initially became interested in Orthodoxy for theological reasons. I guess I missed those facts. Thanks.

I understand. It was only several years after becoming Orthodox that I heard this for the first time, even though actually even mainstream Protestant teachings would agree on this point about the Qahal. It did not seem that relevant an issue in practice to me until I found out about the situation of the native Christians living in Palestine under another religion's national system. Without going into politics, as you might understand there are certain real life implications of dividing and militarily empowering a society along Old Testament lines at a time when the New Testament has already appeared and created a new community of Christians who are not part of the preceding mold.

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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #35 on: July 27, 2016, 07:54:14 PM »
Indocern, the Jews aren't God's people anymore. They are descendants of the old nation of Israel, which was indeed the people of God, but they lost the covenant for the Church. The Church is the new Israel of God. See St. Matthew 3:9, Acts 10:28-43, Romans 10:12, 1 Corinthians 12:13 Galatians 3:28-29...

Yes it is so, I readed this again, we are jews by spirit, so the Church can be called new Israel of God and God is same for all, even more after Christ has been raised from death, so we can all be saved through Christ.
Unfortunately, the last few Popes have been saying the opposite, that the old Covenant still stands, and that the Jews are still God's People though still rejecting Christ, Who I guess they will finally accept at the Second Coming or something. Further confusing things are that the (Talmudic) Jewish religion and the (Hebrew) Jewish ethnicity tend to be conflated so that you're never quite sure which is meant by "Jews".

On the other hand, as above the teaching of the Church seems very clear: God's People are those in the Church, descended from Jacob/Israel or not, who confess Jesus as the Son of God. Those who do not are not God's People, though it should be said that that does not equate to guaranteed eternal punishment. {Silly thought of the day: Maybe He replaces apostates with special guests from outside the Church, so that the banquet room has no empty spaces :P}

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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #36 on: July 27, 2016, 08:30:05 PM »


Anyway, although I have never been pro-Israel, I never liked the idea of a people being patronized and encouraged by their so-called "successors" into "retaking" the holy land so that the rapture could happen and they would all be sent to their collective eternal damnation. It's like, you agree with me, cool, but you want me to do what afterwards?!


In all fairness, Dispensationalist Evangelicals believe that after the Rapture that the Jews of Israel will be the 144,000 and as such pretty much guaranteed salvation.
I suppose they started with about 4-5 million and worked their way downwards?
My point is that when this movement was growing in the 1980's, the country's population (not including the West Bank or Gaza) was at most 4-5 million, so I think LoveSupreme's criticism of the ideology makes sense. Today, it's even more- 7.8 million.
"144,000" as in the "12,000" from each of the 12 tribes of Israel in the Apocalypse of St. John. They probably aren't taking that number literally, though maybe they are and figure all but the exactly 144,000 to be saved in Israel will be killed or driven out or start worshipping Baal or something in a war before then...or something.

My guess is those are actually the Old Testament righteous waiting for the rest of us to get there, but it's only a guess. (aka I haven't read any Fathers on that point)

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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #37 on: July 27, 2016, 09:58:19 PM »
There is plenty of evidence within the Christian tradition, some Fathers notably, that although many Jews deny Christ, God still holds a special place for them. This belief is particularly pronounced in the exegeses on Revelations, whereby a large number of Jews are said to convert to Christ in the final days by the sending of Elijah and Enoch, which were thought to be the two witnesses. Probably the best known proponent of this belief is Bede, although there are many others such as Pope Gregory the Great. This belief is generally attributed to the fact that God has not forgotten the Jews and still hold some sort of special place in his heart for them.
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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #38 on: July 27, 2016, 10:07:52 PM »
There is plenty of evidence within the Christian tradition, some Fathers notably, that although many Jews deny Christ, God still holds a special place for them. This belief is particularly pronounced in the exegeses on Revelations, whereby a large number of Jews are said to convert to Christ in the final days by the sending of Elijah and Enoch, which were thought to be the two witnesses. Probably the best known proponent of this belief is Bede, although there are many others such as Pope Gregory the Great. This belief is generally attributed to the fact that God has not forgotten the Jews and still hold some sort of special place in his heart for them.

Well, that's a sweet and sentimental way to put it, altho I don't know whether that picture really jives with what we know of Orthodox Christian views of Judaism through history. However, it's more likely that exegetes expect a large number of Jews to convert to Christ in the last days due to Scriptural allusions, such as the two prophets who appear in the vicinity of the temple during the period the "Gentiles tread" on Israel and work miracles, or the bemusing statement of St. Paul, apparently contradicting its own context, that "And so all Israel shall be saved."
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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #39 on: July 29, 2016, 04:46:15 PM »
One cannot support unrighteous acts by any nation, and I hope none of us Evangelicals would. But I have a general desire to support Israel, including its right to defend itself and to protect its citizens. Why? Firstly because the Old Testament is very clear that they are the race specially selected by God as his people, and the New Testament nowhere negates that. The Church has not "replaced" Israel: rather we Gentile believers have been grafted in to Israel, so that in Christ, spiritually, there is no distinction between a Jewish and a Gentile believer in Christ. The Scriptures clearly predict a scattering of Israel to the four corners of the earth, which didn't really happen till 70AD and following, and predict their re-gathering to their God-given land, which is happening now, and has been especially since about 1880. Their claim to the land of Israel is by divine gift and cannot be reversed: the gifts and call of God are irrevocable. The Palestinians have been offered equal citizenship, I believe, but prefer to reject the offer, and other Arab nations play on that. The return to the land, the treading down of Jerusalem till the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled, and before the Second Coming of Christ a large turning to Christ as Messiah by the Jewish people, bringing new life to the Church, all seem to me to be prophesied. And yes, the promise has been given to Abraham and his descendants that those who bless them will be blessed whilst those who curse them will be cursed. I would rather be blessed! So in general I support the Jews' claim to the land, their return to it, their right to live there in peace - as it is written in the Psalms, "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem" - which I follow to mean peace with God through faith in Christ, and peace from their enemies who deny their right to the land.
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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #40 on: July 29, 2016, 07:27:31 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?

I understand the importance of nations protecting themselves and am glad you do not support unrighteous acts.

I would like to ask you about your explanation critically:
One cannot support unrighteous acts by any nation, and I hope none of us Evangelicals would. But I have a general desire to support Israel, including its right to defend itself and to protect its citizens. Why? Firstly because the Old Testament is very clear that they are the race specially selected by God as his people, and the New Testament nowhere negates that. The Church has not "replaced" Israel: rather we Gentile believers have been grafted in to Israel, so that in Christ, spiritually, there is no distinction between a Jewish and a Gentile believer in Christ. The Scriptures clearly predict a scattering of Israel to the four corners of the earth, which didn't really happen till 70AD and following, and predict their re-gathering to their God-given land, which is happening now, and has been especially since about 1880. Their claim to the land of Israel is by divine gift and cannot be reversed: the gifts and call of God are irrevocable. The Palestinians have been offered equal citizenship, I believe, but prefer to reject the offer, and other Arab nations play on that. The return to the land, the treading down of Jerusalem till the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled, and before the Second Coming of Christ a large turning to Christ as Messiah by the Jewish people, bringing new life to the Church, all seem to me to be prophesied. And yes, the promise has been given to Abraham and his descendants that those who bless them will be blessed whilst those who curse them will be cursed. I would rather be blessed! So in general I support the Jews' claim to the land, their return to it, their right to live there in peace - as it is written in the Psalms, "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem" - which I follow to mean peace with God through faith in Christ, and peace from their enemies who deny their right to the land.
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?

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

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.

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.”

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?

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"?

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?
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http://www.wrmea.org/2001-april/evangelicals-for-middle-east-understanding.html
« Last Edit: July 29, 2016, 07:29:41 PM by rakovsky »

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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #41 on: July 29, 2016, 10:40:05 PM »
I hate to generalize, so everything I say here is based off of my own personal experience. So, I am asking, why do so many modern Protestants in America support Israel so much? Nearly every Protestant friend I have, some being ministers, tries to urge people to support Israel and tells me that I might go to Hell if I do not support it because the Jews are "God's people" and that it is the Holy Land. Every time I tell them that Israel has committed horrible atrocities against Palestinians, to be specific, Orthodox Christian Palestinians, and forced many of the native Orthodox Christian population to relocate to Palestine, they usually just do not care or ignore it. I think that the simple name factor is what fools many of them. They hear the name 'Israel' and immediately associate its population as being the "Chosen People" or think of it as the special nation God is still watching over and has a Covenant with. 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; likewise, there is no getting by what they have done to Orthodox Christians over there. So, my question is to any Protestants out there who may support Israel, why do you do it? And how do you justify your support despite all of this?

Hi James,

If it helps, 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.

A Protestant will just refer you to St. Paul the Apostle, who is said to have written that there is a "time of the Gentiles" yet to be fulfilled. If he or she is particularly well informed, he may refer you a Dr. Alva J. McClain's "Daniels Prophecy of the 70 Weeks" (available at a very low price on Amazon, however my affiliate status has expired.)


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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #42 on: July 31, 2016, 09:32:40 AM »
Thank you for writing about your views, David!

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

Wow! That needs rather a lot of long, hard thinking. I'll try to get back to it in a day or two.

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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #43 on: July 31, 2016, 10:03:27 AM »
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.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2016, 10:04:53 AM by Cyrillic »
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Re: Protestants & Israel
« Reply #44 on: July 31, 2016, 11:21:57 AM »
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.

Hamas used to blow up plenty of buses and pizza shops.

Guess some people miss those days.
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