Thursday, October 21, 2010

With God On Our Side

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"With God On Our Side," is a film that will be touring the country aimed at evangelical audiences, challenging the Christian theology which teaches that because the Jews are God's chosen people, they have a divine right to Israel.

The film argues that to give uncritical support to Israel leads to suffering among Muslim and Christian Palestinians. It portrays pro-Israel Christians as mindless zealots indifferent to Palestinian suffering and Palestinians as victims exclusively of Israeli oppression.

The banner carriers for the film are Jim Wallis, Tony Compolo, Brian McLaren and Steve Haas, vice president at World Vision, to name a few.

Stephen Sizer, an Anglican priest who is prominently featured in the film and along with producer Porter Speakman is touring the film saying it is incredulous that Christians would, "justify on theological grounds the theft of land, the demolition of homes, the destruction of property, the creation of ghettos and the denial of fundamental human rights, in order to create what is increasingly becoming a racist state."

Sizer deplores Christian Zionism as a heresy conclusively refuted by the New Testament.

Tony Compolo says the film, "is brilliant, challenging and the church desperately needs it."

The film was scheduled to be screened on October 27 in the US Capitol Visitor Center, but has been rescheduled to be screened in a nearby Washington DC Lutheran church.

They screened the film at Wheaton College, often considered the leading evangelical college in America, and Christianity Today, a flagship evangelical magazine, favorably reviewed the film this summer.

Mark Tooley, President of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, says it is an anti-Israel movie produced by an evangelical pastor, aimed at evangelical audiences, with the purpose of turning churches against Israel.

I strongly recommend you read his
linked article.

Steve Haas, vice president of World Vision, says the film delivers a clear assessment of the conflict in the Middle East. The film's challenge, he says, will be "obtaining an audience, often steeped with established notions."

So what are Mr. Haas' established notions?

Pastor John Hagee has long been a strong supporter of Israel. He
told a gathering of 4000 Christians and Christian leaders earlier this year, "When flotillas filled with militants seek to turn Gaza into an Iranian port, we proudly proclaim I am an Israeli. When the world condemns Israel for defending yourself from thousands of missiles and mortar attacks, we proudly proclaim I am an Israeli. When terrorists threaten to kill you, we proudly proclaim I am Israeli."

Hagee told the gathering, "Israel is America's closest and most trusted ally. We are committed to steadfastly supporting the Jewish State."

But Hagee's passion for Israel runs deeper than appreciation for their political alliance with America.

He regularly advocates that churches across America learn about God's enduring covenant with Abraham and the Jewish people, including God's promise in Genesis 12:3 that He will bless those who bless Israel.

I have linked an article that was published by Hagee this last summer following their Support Israel rally in Washington DC.

This film will likely appear in a church or theater in your area sometime over the next year. Please be aware that it is aimed at changing the end-time views of evangelicals and their theology.

As for Mr Haas' "established notions" regarding Israel, the following list gives 7 reasons why Pastor Hagee and every other biblical evangelical supports Israel: (source: Hagee Ministeries)

Why Christians Should Support Israel
The Apple of HIS Eye...

Everything Christians do should be based upon the Biblical text. Here are seven solid Bible reasons why Christians should support Israel.

Genesis 12:3 "And I will bless them that bless thee and curse him that curseth thee; and in thee shall all nations of the earth be blessed." Point: God has promised to bless the man or nation that blesses the Chosen People. History has proven beyond reasonable doubt that the nations that have blessed the Jewish people have had the blessing of God; the nations that have cursed the Jewish people have experienced the curse of God.

St. Paul recorded in Romans 15:27 "For if the Gentiles have shared in their (the Jews) spiritual things, they are indebted to minister to them also in material things."

Christians owe a debt of eternal gratitude to the Jewish people for their contributions that gave birth to the Christian faith. Jesus Christ, a prominent Rabbi from Nazareth said, "Salvation is of the Jews!" (St. John 4:22) consider what the Jewish people have given to Christianity:

a) The Sacred Scripture
b) The Prophets
c) The Patriarchs
d) Mary, Joseph, and Jesus Christ of Nazareth
e) The Twelve Disciples
f) The Apostles

It is not possible to say, "I am a Christian" and not love the Jewish people. The Bible teaches that love is not what you say, but what you do. (1 John 3:18) "A bell is not a bell until you ring it, a song is not a song until you sing it, love is not love until you share it."

While some Christians try to deny the connection between Jesus of Nazareth and the Jews of the world, Jesus never denied his Jewishness. He was born Jewish, He was circumcised on the eighth day in keeping with Jewish tradition, He had his Bar Mitzvah on his 13th birthday, He kept the law of Moses, He wore the Prayer Shawl Moses commanded all Jewish men to wear, He died on a cross with an inscription over His head, "King of the Jews!

Jesus considered the Jewish people His family. Jesus said (Matthew 25:40) "Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren (the Jewish people… Gentiles were never called His brethren), ye have done it unto me.

"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, they shall prosper that love thee." (Psalm 122:6) the scriptural principle of prosperity is tied to blessing Israel and the city of Jerusalem.

Why did Jesus Christ go to the house of Cornelius in Capernaum and heal his servant, which was ready to die? What logic did the Jewish elders use with Jesus to convince Him to come into the house of a Gentile and perform a miracle?

The logic they used is recorded in Luke 7:5; "For He loveth our nation, and He hath built us a synagogue." The message? This Gentile deserves the blessing of God because he loves our nation and has done something practical to bless the Jewish people.

Why did God the Father select the house of Cornelius in Caesarea (Acts Chapter 10) to be the first Gentile house in Israel to receive the Gospel? The answer is given repeatedly in Acts 10.

Acts 10:2 "a devout man, (Cornelius) and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always." Who were the people to whom Cornelius gave these alms? They were the Jews.

Again is Acts 10:4 "… thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God."

Again in Acts 10:31 "… and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God."
The point is made three times in the same chapter. A godly Gentile who expressed his unconditional love for the Jewish people in a practical manner was divinely selected by heaven to be the first Gentile house to receive the Gospel and the first to receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

These combined Scriptures verify that PROSPERITY (Genesis 12:3 and Psalm 122:6), HEALING (Luke 7:1-5) and the OUTPOURING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT came first to Gentiles that blessed the Jewish people and the nation of Israel in a practical manner.

We support Israel because all other nations were created by an act of men, but Israel was created by an act of God! The Royal Land Grant that was given to Abraham and his seed through Isaac and Jacob with an everlasting and unconditional covenant. (Genesis 12:1-3, 13:14-18, 15:1-21, 17:4-8, 22:15-18, 26:1-5 and Psalm 89:28-37.)