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Israel and The State of Israel are not the same thing.

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  • Israel and The State of Israel are not the same thing.

    The country the jews are currently referring to as 'Israel' is not Israel. No Christian ought to support The State of Israel, thinking he's thereby taking part in fulfilling a commandment of God.


  • #2
    The actual biblically defined boundaries of the "original" state of Israel were much broader from a geography standpoint.

    (And, yes, I have seen some modern Christians argue that this land needs to be turned over.)
    "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

    Comment


    • #3
      I think we should support Israel because they are the only halfway sane country in the middle east.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Leonhard View Post
        The country the jews are currently referring to as 'Israel' is not Israel. No Christian ought to support The State of Israel, thinking he's thereby taking part in fulfilling a commandment of God.

        Edited by a Moderator
        Last edited by Bill the Cat; 04-06-2015, 04:32 PM. Reason: restricted forum
        Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
        Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
        But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

        go with the flow the river knows . . .

        Frank

        I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Sparko View Post
          I think we should support Israel because they are the only halfway sane country in the middle east.
          That's for Civics. This is about whether there is any theological reasons to support The State of Israel.

          I say nay.

          Comment


          • #6
            Here is a great discussion on Christian Zionism by two scholars I really enjoy listening to, check it out:

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Sparko View Post
              I think we should support Israel because they are the only halfway sane country in the middle east.
              Halfway sane by what standard? To the best of my knowledge, experts on International Relations don't have a great deal of trouble fitting the actions of various middle eastern countries into the rational actor model.
              Don't call it a comeback. It's a riposte.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Leonhard View Post
                That's for Civics. This is about whether there is any theological reasons to support The State of Israel.

                I say nay.
                The most defensible (i.e. not based on niche readings of apocalyptic texts) theological endorsement of the modern state of Israel is predicated on a rejection of supersessionism-- that is, it depends on the belief that the New Covenant did not render the Old entirely null and void from then on. For what it's worth, the Second Vatican Council, in the document Nostra Aetate, cited Romans 11:28-29 as support for a rejection of supersessionism, though it is not immediately clear, even from a Catholic perspective, whether there are limits to the covenant's staying power with respect to certain grants or stipulations. Do we, for instance, interpret international actions against Israel as divine punishment for failure to live up to the vision of justice put forward by the Mosaic Law, or even its rituals? Should the Church recognize and push for the Jewish people's unconditional claim to that whole geographical area?

                But even granting as much as we can to the continuation of the Old Covenant (and disregarding the anachronistic application of modern nation-state ideas to a pre-modern society), given the fact that the Church has recognized the independence of the temporal (i.e. political) sphere, it seems that we should not use religious arguments as our primary justification for an alliance with a particular nation-state.
                Don't call it a comeback. It's a riposte.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Spartacus View Post
                  Halfway sane by what standard? To the best of my knowledge, experts on International Relations don't have a great deal of trouble fitting the actions of various middle eastern countries into the rational actor model.
                  By Western standards. What Sparko means by 'sane' are actions, intentions and underlying beliefs comprehensible to a Western mind. Unsurprising, Israel would be the most 'sane' under such a standard. Trying to project alien Western perspectives onto Middle Easterners will only result in incomprehension.

                  Before I address the theological question, there is one important point that must be settled: an common underlying idea under the political and theological questions is that the state of Israel is oppressed and victimised; while this was so at one point of time, it is clearly not so now. Israel has the strongest military in the Middle East, with at least a hundred nuclear warheads. It is technologically advanced compared to most of its neighbours and has one of the strongest economies in the region. It is absurd to continue to paint it as oppressed, yet there is much currency to be gained from playing the victim card.

                  Spartacus has made very relevant points about the distinction between State and people, so I will just address if the question if there are any theological reasons to support the Israelis: Christians do not have any special responsibilities to the Jews in general - have rejected their Messiah and a large number their God. What Christians do have is a special responsibility towards their own - the Body - and who are more persecuted currently worldwide, the Jews or the Christians?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Paprika View Post
                    By Western standards. What Sparko means by 'sane' are actions, intentions and underlying beliefs comprehensible to a Western mind. Unsurprising, Israel would be the most 'sane' under such a standard. Trying to project alien Western perspectives onto Middle Easterners will only result in incomprehension.
                    sort of right. Most of the arab countries still act like they are living in the 1600's, with tribal fighting. They also tend to hate the west and try to destroy us, even though we are the largest consumer of their product: oil. They consider us "the great Satan" and want to impose Muslim law on everyone. Their mentality is conquer in the name of Allah. Left unchecked, they would do just that.

                    Before I address the theological question, there is one important point that must be settled: an common underlying idea under the political and theological questions is that the state of Israel is oppressed and victimised; while this was so at one point of time, it is clearly not so now. Israel has the strongest military in the Middle East, with at least a hundred nuclear warheads. It is technologically advanced compared to most of its neighbours and has one of the strongest economies in the region. It is absurd to continue to paint it as oppressed, yet there is much currency to be gained from playing the victim card.
                    They might be powerful, but their hands are tied. They are locked into a defensive position.

                    Spartacus has made very relevant points about the distinction between State and people, so I will just address if the question if there are any theological reasons to support the Israelis: Christians do not have any special responsibilities to the Jews in general - have rejected their Messiah and a large number their God. What Christians do have is a special responsibility towards their own - the Body - and who are more persecuted currently worldwide, the Jews or the Christians?
                    I agree with that. But as I said, at least the Israelites are reasonable and are our allies. We don't have much support in that region so while we do not have a theological reason to support Israel, --other than even though the government is secular, the population is largely religious (Jews and Christians) and as the bible says, one day God will graft them back into the body-- we do have political reasons to support them.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Pap, I think you're attributing a (nonetheless) valid point to me which I do not think I made, or at least did not make as clearly as you suggest. That said, you seem to be endorsing a fairly strong form of supersessionism. The only theological (as opposed to moral/ethical) argument (that I know of) for support of the modern state of Israel in the context of strong supersessionism is the suggestion that the existence of the state of Israel is a prerequisite for the Parousia.
                      Don't call it a comeback. It's a riposte.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                        sort of right. Most of the arab countries still act like they are living in the 1600's, with tribal fighting. They also tend to hate the west and try to destroy us, even though we are the largest consumer of their product: oil. They consider us "the great Satan" and want to impose Muslim law on everyone. Their mentality is conquer in the name of Allah. Left unchecked, they would do just that.
                        Perhaps internally, but the point i made above still stands: the actions of the central governments with respect to foreign policy are generally intelligible. Whatever you may say about their domestic politics (and whatever they themselves may internally say about Israel), they seem to be rational actors on the international stage.
                        Don't call it a comeback. It's a riposte.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm going to preface this by saying I'm aware there are massive human rights issues with the other countries in the Middle East and I don't wish to minimize them. I know Christianity is suppressed by most Muslim countries over there, and I condemn it. But that isn't my main point.

                          One of my main practical concerns with the attitude argued against the OP is that it may lead some to give a free pass to literally anything Israel does, or even to applaud actions that are considered human rights violations by most standards. Some Christians (nobody here to my knowledge) have even urged the precipitation of wars to hasten the end; obviously there is no theological basis for thinking one can control the timing of the parousia, and blessed are the peacemakers...
                          "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Spartacus View Post
                            Pap, I think you're attributing a (nonetheless) valid point to me which I do not think I made, or at least did not make as clearly as you suggest.
                            It seemed clear to me that you were implying that the state is not the people, and that even if one had a duty to support the people that doesn't necessarily translate to support for all the state does.
                            you seem to be endorsing a fairly strong form of supersessionism.
                            These labels are often ambiguous and can obscure a lot of nuance.
                            supersessionism-- that is, it depends on the belief that the New Covenant did not render the Old entirely null and void from then on.
                            I consider that the Old Covenant is still binding on the non-Christian Jews, so not entirely void.
                            Last edited by Paprika; 04-07-2015, 10:01 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                              sort of right. Most of the arab countries still act like they are living in the 1600's, with tribal fighting.
                              At least it isn't at destructive as the sort of fighting between 'enlightened' 'modern' nations in WWI and WWII.

                              They also tend to hate the west and try to destroy us, even though we are the largest consumer of their product: oil. They consider us "the great Satan" and want to impose Muslim law on everyone. Their mentality is conquer in the name of Allah. Left unchecked, they would do just that.
                              What Spartacus said.

                              They might be powerful, but their hands are tied. They are locked into a defensive position.
                              I don't think I agree with this, but we are agreed on the main point: they are no longer victims, they are no longer oppressed.

                              Comment

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