MOD NOTE: Folks, this is not a pro- or anti- Israel or Palestinian post. It’s about dispensational theology and the dangerous mixture of such theology with international politics. I’d prefer that you stick to this subject in your comments.
From today’s Jerusalem Post, these strong words from Michael Freund in his column, “Fundamentally Freund”:
IN CRITICAL times such as this, run-of-the mill diplomacy just wonâ€™t do. Generating a few press releases, writing a couple of op-eds and mobilizing Jewish organizations wonâ€™t be enough to turn the tide that is heading straight for our shores.
Instead, we need to reach deep into our arsenal and harness one of the most powerful, and underutilized, weapons at our disposal: faith-based diplomacy. For far too long, we have relied solely on military, geopolitical and historical arguments when making our case abroad.
Hesitant or even ashamed to invoke our biblical right to this land, many of our spokesmen and diplomats have failed to deploy the moral and theological arguments which are the underpinning of our very presence here.
And just look where that has gotten us.
The fact is that our largest, best-organized and most powerful friends â€“ namely US Evangelical Christians â€“ stand by us not because of some UN resolution from 1947, but because of what God promised Abraham more than 3,700 years ago. And that is why we need to start quoting Genesis far more often than the League of Nations or the Balfour Declaration.
. . . And that is why it is all the more essential to be cultivating faith-based Christian support, both in the US and elsewhere. Because unlike fair-weather friends, whose backing depends on fluid and constantly-shifting political or economic interests, Bible-believing Christians stand with us out of solid belief. Their friendship is like steel â€“ highly durable and resistant to breakage.
Thankfully, various Jewish and Christian groups are stepping in where the government has failed to act. The Knesset Christian Allies Caucus, for example, is building an extensive network of international parliamentary caucuses which mobilize support and coordinate various pro-Israel activities. From the US to Japan to the European Union, it has forged sister caucuses around the world.
Christian organizations in America are also leading the charge. Pastor John Hageeâ€™s Christians United for Israel has built a nationwide grassroots movement that reaches more people and decision-makers than any communiquÃ© from the Foreign Ministry ever did.
[In subsequent paragraphs, Freund mentions other Christian groups that support Israel in the way Freund is suggestingâ€”the Christian Broadcasting Network, Rev. Robert Stearns of Eaglesâ€™ Wings, the International Christian Embassy, Bridges for Peace and Christian Friends of Israel, Christians for Israel International and their paper, Israel and Christians Today.]
. . . Now more than ever, we need to rally our â€œChristian baseâ€ in America and elsewhere. A few simple steps, such as organizing a Prime Ministerâ€™s Conference for Christian Leadership, developing the equivalent of a Birthright program for young churchgoers and establishing â€œIsrael prayer battalionsâ€ would serve to reinforce this critical bond.
We should also appoint a roving ambassador whose responsibility would be to fortify and strengthen relations with Christians in America. This should not be an honorary title, but a position with real substance and meaning, manned by a person of faith and not just another political appointee.
With the world increasingly breathing down our neck, it is time that we embrace faith-based diplomacy, and not shy away from it in the heat of debate. As proud Jews who have returned to our land by divine right, we need not be embarrassed to assert our claim to our patrimony by relying on the Book of Books.
Nor should we fear that in doing so, we will stand alone. As recent years have shown, there will be millions of Christians ready to stand with us.
Despite a move away from dispensationalism, the pre-trib rapture, and “Left Behind” theology on the part of most Biblical scholars today, it seems to provide a major voice among those who are advising the decision-makers in the halls of power of the U.S. and Israel. In the process, it seems to me that Christians can easily fall prey to those who want to use them for purely geopolitical ends.
I find this greatly disturbing. How about you?