By Carol Rushton
Over the last twenty-five years, I have noticed an increasingly disturbing trend among Westerners, especially Americans, who call themselves Christians or are Christian leaders – that of a deep, unreasonable, maddening hatred toward Israel and Jews.
Israel bashing is all the rage in the United States today. Perhaps that’s to be expected when the U.S. has a president and first lady who embrace Muslim terrorists and shun Christians and Jews – unless you’re the politically correct kind, of course. What is so surprising is that some Christians are jumping on the anti-Israel bandwagon with such gusto.
For someone who was raised in a home by Christian parents who were unapologetically pro-Israel and pro-Jewish, the American Christian leaders and pastors who viciously attack Israel and Jews are bewildering. They can write or talk with logic and reason, supported by Scripture, about any other topic in the world. But when it comes to Israel and Jews, the poisonous hatred that drips from their pens would be more appropriate to describe ISIS terrorists than a tiny minority of the world’s population that has been hounded from pillar to post for most of their existence. If you didn’t know any better, you would think it was IDF soldiers who were crucifying and beheading Christian men in the Middle East while raping Christian women and girls 30 times before lunch, not the barbarians who are threatening to impose their Stone Age culture on Western civilization.
My first contact with Anti-Semites who claimed they were Christians was in a Bible study when I was going to a college in the Oklahoma City area right out of high school. The Bible study was nice enough but the man leading the group happened to make a very anti-Israel statement at the end. I didn’t want to get into a heated argument with this man, but I wanted him to know that not everyone in the room agreed with him about Israel and the Jews. I made a simple pro-Israel statement and left it at that.
Unfortunately, this man and his friend could not just “leave it at that.” They hounded me for the rest of the evening. When one got tired of attacking me, peppering me with questions, and arrogantly quoting Scripture, he would get up and the other man would take his place. It was an exceptionally unpleasant experience from these so-called “Christians” that I have never forgotten.
Being that young, I thought that these men were the exceptions to the rule. How could anyone call themselves a Christian and hate Israel, hate Jews? This thought was as baffling to me then as it is today.
As someone who lived in Israel for eight years during the 1990s, I can emphatically say that there is a great difference between the Israeli government bureaucracy and the average Jew that you meet on the street.
Those who work in the Israeli bureaucracy are generally not very pleasant toward non-Jews. This is not true of every Israeli government employee, but it is true of most. You have to understand that they must be suspicious of the intentions of non-Jews toward their country because of their past history. The Israeli government also has a vested interest in protecting the Jewish character of Israel. Too many non-Jews living in the country dilute the Jewishness of the country. And because Israel is the only Jewish state in the entire world, and a very small one at that, the Israeli government wants to encourage Jews, no matter where they are from, to emigrate to Israel.
However, most Jews that you meet away from the Israeli government are deeply appreciative that a non-Jew would deliberately choose to live in their country, share their problems, go through terror attacks, try to learn a very difficult language, and do nothing but want to support them and contribute to their country, especially when the non-Jew has a choice to live in a much more prosperous and comfortable country, like the United States of America.
While I lived in Israel, I was able to learn so much about the daily life of an Israeli Jew that most people never have the opportunity to experience. Having to go to five different stores to do all my shopping – no Walmarts in Israel – was definitely an adjustment. Learning to speak halfway decently in a Semitic language was another challenge. I could also do without the “Middle Eastern” attitude that some Israeli men have toward women.
But I also learned that Jews have the biggest hearts. Rarely was I alone on a major Jewish holiday like Passover or Rosh HaShanah. Even if the Jewish friends I eventually made couldn’t have me over for a holiday meal, they would try to find a family who could.
Then there was the time when some Jews I barely knew and had been working with at The Jerusalem Post newspaper for only a short time called me at my apartment when I was sick with a bad cold. I was shocked. I had worked for Christian organizations and been a member at different churches but never had anyone personally called me at home from either a church or a Christian workplace to check on me when I was ill. They asked if they could do anything for me, get me anything from the store or the pharmacy, or bring me food. I’ll never forget that, either.
I suspect that most, if not all of these “Christian” Anti-Semites have never bothered to learn anything about Israel, must less visit there on a tour. They might risk changing their minds about the country they so love to hate.
While I have many wonderful – and some not-so-wonderful – memories of Israel, this is not the reason why I support Israel and the Jews.
First of all, non-Jews are commanded to love the Jews. God told Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3, “Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee; and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”
One of the reasons Anti-Semitic Christians give for their hatred of Jews and opposition to Israel is that the Jews killed Jesus Christ. At the time the Lord said all of this to Abraham in Genesis 12, did He not know the future? Did He not know that thousands of years in the future the religious leadership of Israel would lead the Jewish nation in having Jesus Christ crucified? Of course He did.
How many times have I sat in church and heard a pastor say that we all killed Jesus because of our sins? How many times have I heard a pastor or preacher say that if I was the only person who had sinned in the world, Jesus would still have come down from heaven and died on the cross for me?
The Apostle Paul is quite clear in Romans 3:23. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” That includes Gentiles as well as Jews.
Although the Jews have rebelled against God at various times throughout their history, they have still remained the apple of God’s eye. Any person or nation who has come against Israel has in the long run come out the worse.
Dr. E. F. Webber, the founder of Southwest Radio Church of the Air, used to say that Christians had no business judging Israel and the Jews. If the Jews needed judging, the Lord would do it, and He could do it better than anyone else.
God’s word in Genesis 12 is without exception. Non-Jews, and this includes Gentile Christians, are to love the Jews. The Lord even promises to bless those who do. This is a no brainer.
Secondly, the modern State of Israel is a fulfillment of end-times Bible prophecy. Below is a small selection of the Old Testament prophecies and promises that God made to the Jews about returning to Israel in the last days.
“For, lo, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the LORD: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it” (Jeremiah 30:3).
“And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face” (Ezekiel 20:34-35).
“Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel” (Ezekiel 37:12).
“Fear not: for I am with thee; I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 43:5-6).
“He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit” (Isaiah 27:6).
“But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come. For, behold, I am for you, and I will turn unto you, and ye shall be tilled and sown: And I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, even all of it: and the cities shall be inhabited, and the wastes shall be builded. . .For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land” (Ezekiel 36:8-10, 24).
“Who hath heard such a thing? Who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children. Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the LORD: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God. Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her” (Isaiah 66:8-10).
What do these Christians do with God’s promises to bring the Jews from all over the world in the latter days to restore them to their ancient lands in the Middle East, as has been done in the 20th and 21st Centuries through the modern State of Israel? What do they do with God’s promise of a Millennial Kingdom for the Jews? Do they believe in Replacement Theology in which the Church replaces Israel? You certainly cannot believe that we are living in the last days as prophesied in the Bible and also reject Israel as being a fulfillment of end-times Bible prophecy.
Thirdly, Christians are commanded to love their fellow human beings, no matter who they are. The Apostle John makes this crystal clear in I John 4:7-11, 20-21:
“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. . .If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.”
Remember that old song, “They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Love”? The hatred spewed out by most Anti-Semitic Christians toward Jews and Israel is so venomous, you would never know they were Christians.
The Apostle Paul warns Christians in Romans 11:17-23 against any arrogant or boastful attitude because they have accepted Jesus Christ as the Messiah while the Jews as a whole have not.
“And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakes of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again.”
God’s word is clear. “For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye” (Zechariah 2:9).
“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee” (Psalm 122:6).
Those who are Anti-Semitic toward Israel and the Jews risk God’s judgment upon themselves. Including Christians.