As we get ready for the third installment of the iMonk book club (Paul Copan’s Is God A Moral Monster? You have read it, haven’t you?), I wanted to start us off with a question. A question that touches the deadly third rail for many evangelicals.
I was taught from the beginning of my Christian faith that the nation of Israel was, and still is to this day, the chosen people of God. That Jews have special favor with God. And that those who support Israel will be blessed by God. Inherent in this belief was the idea that Israel can do no wrong, and any nation that opposes Israel is at peril of being destroyed by God’s wrath. Today, many evangelical churches participate in “Support Israel” services, where speakers come and talk about how the tiny Middle Eastern David is being targeted by Middle Eastern Goliaths intent on taking over the land and eliminating all of the Jews. John Hagee, for example, has made a career of carrying the Israeli torch in the United States.
Over the weekend, Israel attacked Hamas in the Gaza strip in retaliation for what the Israeli government says are repeated attacks from the militant Islamic group operating in the West Bank. Many evangelicals have called for Israel to completely wipe out the Palestinians and retake their land. I’m sure this was the topic of sermons over the weekend in many churches.
So my question for you today is this. Should Christians offer a blanket support of Israel? Is that what God requires of his people? And I suppose a deeper question is, Is Israel as it stands today still God’s chosen nation?
I think as we will see in our discussion of Copan’s book, God does not operate in our ways or ideals. How do you think the Lord wants us to think, act and pray regarding the nation of Israel today?
Ok, iMonks, your thoughts?