Christianity, Israel, and Foreign Policy

So there is a huge movement in Christianity that encourages a kind of carte blanche support for Israel.  The reasoning goes like this:  God instituted the state of Israel with his blessing.  Christians who support Israel take part in that blessing, and those that don’t won’t.  This movement terrifies me, because you don’t have to dig very deep to find scary little artifacts of terror.  Google around and you’ll find Christians supporting preemptive strikes, Christians saying that Jerusalem indisputably is the Capital of Israel, and so on.  Even Mitt Romney seems to be on that boat, given his remarks about Jerusalem during his visit to Israel, and the fact that he’s hinted he would support a preemptive strike on Iran.

But are Christians obligated to support Israel in everything it does?  I doubt it.  If that belief is based off of the fact that Israel is the “Chosen land” promised to Abraham I feel the need to go no further than Israel’s history of being captured, burnt to the ground, decimated, imprisoned and exiled throughout the old Testament.  God never gave the nation of Israel carte blanche support when they ignored His leadership, why should we?  If the argument is that in the New Testament you see Christians that honored the Jews receiving the greatest/first blessing, my response is with Romans 10:12 and Galatians 3:28- there is no longer Jew or Gentile.  We are all the chosen children of God, and that includes all of the Christians in Iran, too.  Would God really want His children in Israel given thoughtless approval to kill His children in Iran?  I really don’t think so.  If the argument is that Jerusalem itself is sacred and Jesus went to Jerusalem “first”, I would like to point out that the curtain in the temple was torn at Jesus’ death and that the amazing thing about Jesus sacrifice was it got rid of the need for a sacred home for God’s presence on earth.  Jerusalem is no longer the holy seat of our faith, our own seat is so to speak.  We are the temple of God, now.  His holy city is all around us.

The problem with uniform, thoughtless support for Israel is that it ignores the wide reaching implications of our choices. Israel as a nation does not get a free pass to flout the laws of God in favor of self-preservation.  Christians that support such actions risk doing evil in the eyes of God.  If Israel’s actions lead to a preemptive strike against Iran and the death of tens of thousands, can we really, truly believe that is in God’s plan?

For those that believe the Israeli/Arab conflict is part of the Book of Revelations and that this whole thing is inevitable anyway, all I can say is that no man can know the time or the place.  Such devastation is nothing that any man should wish for or pray for or support, and should it come in our lifetime I wouldn’t consider it a blessing.

I support the faith.  I support my Christian brothers and sisters.  I support the cause of love, peace, stability, constancy, grace, sharing, and comfort.  I do not support war.

That’s all I can say.