Here are 13 examples of peace seeking initiatives within Israel and Gaza. Cross Palestinian and Israeli. There is for example one that involves former Israeli soldiers and former Palestinian militants, who ‘decided to put down their weapons and fight nonviolently for peace’.
‘Theophilus’ at Dover Beach yesterday posted ‘a short video about the violent history of the Holy Land. A history that is a long orgy of violence carried out by a broad assortment of ethnic groups, often intoxicated with the belief that they are doing God’s work by killing the other. The video didn’t take any sides but merely implied by the end that it is really satan who is being served by the whole sordid mess. In response I was the recipient of some of the most ignorant and bigoted comments that I have received in the four and a half years of this blogs existence’.
We are called to pray for the kingdom to come, not sit back and suggest we are in the last days because of ‘wars and rumours of wars’; we are called to love even our enemy, not rejoice at bloodshed. Warped eschatology is damaging and anything that leaves us no longer praying for reconciliation does not seem in line with the ministry given to us. Abraham was not promised the land but the globe (Rom. 4:13). If one wishes to see a continuation of Israel’s divine right to the land so be it, and even in that situation the land was to be a place for the alien to reside in peace. There is something bigger though that Paul is going for. A Creation that is filled with peace from heaven. Surely the land of Israel carries a gift for reconciliation? After all this is the geography where a life was given to break down the wall of hostility.
As per Theophilus I am not suggesting a ‘good’ and a ‘bad’ side. We know the line of good / evil never runs between us but through us all. This is about much more than theology, though a half-baked theology will not help us, it is about lives, regardless of race or faith being lost.
I do intend to get back to a few posts on pre-determination: the place of prayer, Judas and his role etc., but the current situation in Gaza is not too far removed from what we believe also about what is considered pre-determined.
I understand the many posts / facebook statuses about Israel. They are a unique people (loved because of the patriarchs) and have been a persecuted people, and there are those who would wish them into oblivion. However…
In the present – and future conflicts we have to move beyond the blanket support for Israel, as if they could do no wrong. If there is a straight line from the Israel of the Bible (an imperfect theocracy) to modern day Israel (a secular state) we need to ask what would a biblical prophet be saying. Seems to me that the two critiques of the prophets were to do with protection and provision (same issue Jesus presented to his disciples). Who are you looking to protect you and who will provide for you? I also think that no Jew past – and certainly the orthodox ones today – would see a straight line. The debate was always over ‘who was Israel?’ Not all of those descended from Abraham were considered to be truly Israel: hence the disobedient were always in danger of being cut off from Israel.
My point in this blog is more in reference to the video I posted than to a theological statement. We have to get beyond the blanket support for Israel. There are those in the image of God – Jew and Palestinian who are losing their lives, and because of fire-power more Palestinians than Jews.
Please before simply saying ‘bless Israel at all costs’ consider:
Who is Israel? The appeal to the Jews of the NT era post-resurrection was:
- And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.”
- Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out,
- And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
Did Paul need to respond to Christ for salvation – if not then what did he mean by ‘righteous under the law’, and yet ‘chief of sinners’?
This has nothing to do with ‘replacement theology’, as I suggest that a blanket approval of Israel is one of the most effective replacement of Jesus theologies known. Hold to a future eschatology for Israel by all means, for a fulfilment of the land promises etc., but let us not simply slip into a justification of Israel – justification is in Christ and in him alone.
The NT was clear that Jews needed the Messiah for their future, they were not so sure about where the Gentiles fitted in. The modern church has tended to reverse that position. Clear that Gentiles need Christ but unsure about the necessity of Jews to respond in that way.
So my plea is not do a simple change of theology but please do not take biblical verses in isolation, read the internal critique that is within the pages and the ongoing dialogue that the Jewish Christians were a part of. And then in the horrific situation many people face today in Gaza and beyond let our prayers be for a humanitarian (and therefore God-like) way through, with blessings on all those who are risking their lives to care for the vulnerable and wounded. This is not about ‘taking sides’ but about longing for manifestations of the New Creation realities that are in Christ.
About this site
I am the main contributor to this site, though there are guest writers from time to time. Hopefully, what is presented are perspectives not the final word!
I am currently developing a part of the site with a focus on the 'gates of society'. That section will develop more as a forum with links to other articles, so that it becomes a resource for the future. I will also be looking for other contributors into the various subject-areas.
In my spare time(!!) I enjoy putting together wordpress sites, and also coaching people to make their own - open to hearing from you on that too.
Just some more blogs? No, of course not, nothing even similar... well maybe very similar indeed, but hopefully you can use them differently. At the foot of this home page you will find 10 more blogs, these ones are grouped together, they will only be replaced every few months with a new set of 10. They can be downloaded as an emagazine, or read here as blogs (click on one and read, or use the 'emagazine' link in the menu above). Here on this site you can also add your comment.
Their core focus will be toward the gates of influence in society. They will not be the final word, hopefully provocative with some practical aspects thrown in.
The first four volumes will be uploaded here in quick succession, after that a breather before the next one. You can access earlier volumes from the emagazine page using the menu at the top of this page.
So you see - nothing like a blog!!
I develop WordPress based web-sites specifically made for your site. This site here is based on WP and uses a theme that I have developed. It can be as simple as a set of posts and some pages, or a few additional elements can be added such as this animated set of tabs that are activated here. I also plan the sites so that they are mobile-friendly, being responsive, they adjust to the device being used to view them.
If interested in a site feel free to make contact. I also have various courses on WP theme development. If interested in taking one of them online, or indeed you would wish to contact me about presenting a course to a small group.