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Christianity Today’s humanist approach to the Israeli-Arab conflict

September 16th, 2007  ·  39 Comments

The popular Christian magazine Christianity Today recently lent its support to a letter signed by 34 US Evangelical leaders urging President George W. Bush to continue down his path of dividing the Land of Israel. The magazine then carried an article defending its decision to support that call.

With all due respect, it appears Christianity Today has, like so many American churches, allowed secular humanism to creep in and influence its views on the current conflict.

The author of the recent Christianity Today article says a lot that I can agree with pertaining to the continued position of the Children of Israel as the apple of God’s eye and of the necessity for us as Gentile believers to realize that we have been grafted into Israel’s tree of faith.

We cannot read the New Testament without seeing that the Jews continue to have a place in God’s economy. Gentile Christians do not replace the Jews, but are joint heirs and wild branches grafted onto the Jewish olive tree. God’s ultimate purpose in saving Gentile Christians is to save the Jews (Rom. 11).

OK so far, but that is where it starts to break down for me.

The author goes on to suggest that while the Bible may deed a far greater area of land to Israel than what it today has full sovereignty over, our Christian obligations toward others forbid us to support Israel’s rule over a “Palestinian” population that does not desire it.

While the most vocal Christian Zionists call for Israel to possess all of the Davidic “Greater Israel,“ such goals come at too high a price.

The author justifies this position by noting that the majority of Israelis, even those who do dream of possessing all of the Promised Land, realize they cannot rule over such a large population of Arabs and therefore must abandon the hope of a complete fulfillment of God’s promises. They must abandon the borders that God Himself drew for Israel because of the sensitivities and protests of the Muslim world.

This is a very wrong position for a Bible-believer to take. The Israelis who think this way, even if they are a majority, are failing to fully put their faith in God and in His promises. We should not be encouraging them to behave in such a way, and we certainly should not be joining them in doing so.

Fortunately, David Ben Gurion and his contemporaries did not allow themselves to be influenced by such demographic nonsense and declared independence despite the Jews being a minority west of the Jordan River at the time. Trust in God and in His Word should cause us to stand firm on His promises even when present circumstances don’t appear to be in our favor.

The editors of Christianity Today, while they seem to recognize the continued central importance of Israel and her restoration in God’s plans, apparently fail to realize that the enemy is naturally doing everything in his power to thwart or at least stall the fulfillment of those plans. That means hindering the restoration of the land to Israel and of Israel to the land.

It is not wrong to hope and pray for and even try to facilitate a better life for the Arabs, though their salvation from Islam should be our first concern. However, by giving succor to the Arab “cause” of dividing and eventually overrunning the Land of Israel, these Christians are in fact aiding the schemes of the enemy of our Lord.

Another couple of biblical points I would like to make that contradict the position Christianity Today has taken are these:

  1. The Lord clearly warns against efforts to divide “My land,” and speaks of severe judgement for those who do (Joel 3:2). By urging Bush to press on with his “two-state solution,” these Christians are urging their leader to become one of those the Lord speaks out against.

  2. As Christians, we should recognize that there will be no peace in the Middle East between Israel and her neighbors until Messiah returns (Isaiah 2:2, 4) and establishes his rule with an iron rod (Psalm 2:9). We are called to be peacemakers, but not in a manner that runs contrary to the rest of God’s Word and puts us in the camp of those scorned by the prophets and destined to suffer severe judgement.

That last point speaks to an issue regarding the Church in America that has bothered me for some time, and that is the fingerprints of secular humanism that can be seen in so many of the Church’s views regarding the Israeli-Arab conflict.

God has determined quite clearly that this land belongs to Him (Leviticus 25:23), and that His intention is to restore it to Israel (Amos 9:14-15). While God does care about each of us personally, the fulfillment of our personal desires is far less important than the fulfillment of His divine will. That the Palestinian Arabs desire to have their own sovereign nation on this small piece of land should for us pale in comparison to the expressed will of God. It is secular humanism that denies Israel its biblical birthright as a result of Arab whining. Those Arabs refuse to accept the word, promises and will of God. We should not join them.

The Palestinians’ plight is not rooted in Israel’s restoration, but rather in their failure to accept the Lord God of Israel and get in line with His will. At present, they are pawns of the enemy in his effort to thwart and hinder God’s plans. It is wrong for us as Christians to help keep the Palestinians in this state, when we should be seeking their salvation from Islam and the clutches of Allah.

The position represented by the editors of Christianity Today and those other Evangelical leaders who signed that ill-advised letter to Bush is more in line with politically correct secular humanism than with the Word of God.

Also see:

Christianity Today’s Israel-Bashing: This is Loving Israel? by Jan Merkel of Olive Tree Ministries

Christianity Today? Or Politics Today? by Joseph Farah

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39 comments so far ↓

  • 1 Dona Frederick // Sep 17, 2007 at 6:50 am

    To give to another, what GOD has already given to the Jews, invites GODs great displeasure, & brings His wrath on those that would do such a thing!!! That means all that live in America, would pay dearly, for pushing the accursed & ” so called,” roadmap to peace, to be carried out!!!How our leaders go, , can bring GODs great wrath on our country, & I’d far rather fight against ANY, one else, then GOD!!! He never has & never will, loose a battle, & it is stupidity in it’s highest form, even to give a moments thought, to such a terrible thing!! How would YOU, like it if YOU, were given land, & someone chip away at it piece by piece, until they had it all>????? You wouldn’t like it one bit, & NO ONE, has any right whatsoever, to tell Israel to let them get away with it!!! We best be praying for GODs mercy & guidance, to show our President how utterly wrong, he is, to even give it a minutes thought!!!Maybe you, dont fear the wrath of the One & Only, TRUE & LIVING GOD, but I do, & I don’t want my family or nation, to dare to defy GOD!! & suffer the consequences for it!! The HOLY WORD of GOD, is full, of what happens when a nation comes against Israel, & I want no part of it!!!!! More Katrina’s’ are not to m y liking.There’s a lon g list of what we’ve already paid, for such nonsense, & anyone in their right mind, doesn’t want more devastation, on them, those they love or their nation!!!!GOD created this earth, all that is therein, & He has every right to do what He jolly well pleases, to do with it!!! What man or woman is able to do better then HIM??? Christianity Today, why don’t you read the Word for yourself, & see just how wrong you are?? I’d rather make the Arabs mad, then GOD!! They can keep their oil!! We have enough here, if we KEEP, it HERE!! With GOD, on our side, we can accomplish ANY, thing, so why fear them or kiss their tush??? Pray, for our President to repent, for what he’s done, to our nation, by continueing to pu sh Israel into something that will bring the wrath of GOD, on our nation!!!!!!!! GODs Word tells us to!!! That alone, makes it a necessity!!! GOD is never wrong, & He ‘s much smarter then we mere mortals are, & not to forget, how much bigger!!! GOD Bless America, Israel, & all that do good, to YOUR, Chosen people, The Jews!!! P.S. Look at all the land the Arabs have, Why don’t they, give some of their, land, to their own people, the Pal istinians???? Why should Israel, do it??? The person that wrote the article I’m replying to, gave Scripture,EVERYONE, should read– & REMEMBER!!! There;s plenty more, where they, came from too!!! GOD, is the Only One that can send us to heaven or hell, so it only makes good ole’ common horse sense, to listen to HIM, then to be “politically correct” & oh so wrong!!!!– in my opinion, & I’m as entitles to it as you are to yours, C.T.Magazine!!

  • 2 Pastor Matt // Sep 17, 2007 at 4:26 pm

    This was a very interesting article. I believe I rather enjoyed this one. In particular, the following two excerpts were quite valuable.

    “It is not wrong to hope and pray for and even try to facilitate a better life for the Arabs, though their salvation from Islam should be our first concern.”

    “The Palestinians’ plight is not rooted in Israel’s restoration, but rather in their failure to accept the Lord God of Israel and get in line with His will. At present, they are pawns of the enemy in his effort to thwart and hinder God’s plans. It is wrong for us as Christians to help keep the Palestinians in this state, when we should be seeking their salvation from Islam and the clutches of Allah.”

    While I did not read the Christianity Today article (excepting, of course, the portions you quoted) it seems the author was motivated primarily by compassion for the Palestinian people who, as you rightly pointed out, are pawns of the Enemy, not to mention their own Arab neighbors. If one has to be guilty of anything, surely compassion is one of the better vices.

    Though you disagreed with his conclusion you seemed to do so in a way that recognized the legitimate plight (spiritual and material) of Israel’s Arab population, highlighted the answer to that plight (salvation and obedience to God’s will) and managed to refrain from demonizing the CT author (which cannot be said of many Christian Zionists when they are speaking of other believers who disagree on their Israel beliefs). Well done.

    Blessings, and

    Shana Tova

  • 3 Pastor Matt // Sep 17, 2007 at 4:27 pm

    This was a very interesting article. I believe I rather enjoyed this one. In particular, the following two excerpts were quite valuable.

    “It is not wrong to hope and pray for and even try to facilitate a better life for the Arabs, though their salvation from Islam should be our first concern.”

    “The Palestinians’ plight is not rooted in Israel’s restoration, but rather in their failure to accept the Lord God of Israel and get in line with His will. At present, they are pawns of the enemy in his effort to thwart and hinder God’s plans. It is wrong for us as Christians to help keep the Palestinians in this state, when we should be seeking their salvation from Islam and the clutches of Allah.”

    While I did not read the Christianity Today article (excepting, of course, the portions you quoted) it seems the author was motivated primarily by compassion for the Palestinian people who, as you rightly pointed out, are pawns of the Enemy, not to mention their own Arab neighbors. If one has to be guilty of anything, surely compassion is one of the better vices.

    Though you disagreed with his conclusion you seemed to do so in a way that recognized the legitimate plight (spiritual and material) of Israel’s Arab population, highlighted the answer to that plight (salvation and obedience to God’s will) and managed to refrain from demonizing the CT author (which cannot be said of many Christian Zionists when they are speaking of other believers who disagree with their Israel beliefs). Well done.

    Blessings, and

    Shana Tova

  • 4 kim segar // Sep 17, 2007 at 5:13 pm

    It doesn’t matter what anyone says, only what G-d has said. READing Genesis 12 on how we are to bless Israel(G-d’s word doesn’t change, no shadow of turning) those who do not bless her is cursed, even the ones who take her lightly. No fear of G-d in the world today. The Olive Tree will always belong to the Jews. Ezekiel tells us G-d will destroy all who are against her and who take the land called by His Name !! The apostasy that has to come is here. Scripture interpets scripture , not man. The old T reveals the new T. The new T is concealed in the old T. What G-d did once He is doing again. Most churches have thrown out the truth and have turned to humanism. So many thing the old T is history, yes but it is so much more. There is NO such thing as Palestinans. Even they laugh and say they know they do not own the land. But the rocks are crying out as they dig under the Temple Mt. Obediah tells us those who stand with Israel will rejoice with Her in that day…Hosea tells us HE is coming back to take HIS WIFE back..and we are His bride…We received Salvation thru the Jews…All the ones who teach lies of apostasy will get double punishment. When I hear they are boycotting Israel..I ask myself how they can rebell against G-d’s Word…For all you who don’t know history like the word tells us, His Kingdom is not of this world. He has not come and won’t till its been fulfilled. He is not in Jerusalem sitting on the Throne of David. And when He comes it will be the LION of Judea , not the man you think of in sandles walking around..love , love , unity with the world ..NO, he is coming to destroy all of Israel’s enemies and take down the nations who come against Her. All the lies on media are lies..And when they say…Peace , Peace , then comes sudden destruction. The last war is coming soon…all over the world. And old Al Gore and his global warming..It is Global Warning ! G-d is going to shake the earth like never before. He told us he would move the earth off it’s axle. He did that in Asia..NOw is the time you should get in the word, and leave the apostasy churches..He is coming ! Israel is my heart, and I will stand with them forever !! So will the G-d of Israel..there is NO other G-d to stand with..

  • 5 Marsha Carol Watson // Sep 17, 2007 at 10:48 pm

    Ryan, this is journalism at its very best. Truthful—accurate in every sense of the word. You proclaim God’s Word and His truths with love and compassion. You also present the true picture with fairness and objectivity.

    It is always a special time to come to Zionist.com. We can count on you.

    The posts are each excellent….it is most apparent that Dona, Pastor Matt and Kim know the Lord, and are led by the Holy Spirit. God bless you all, dear brothers and sisters in Christ. To be a part of the Bride of Christ is wonderful.

    “Heavenly Father, annoint each of us with Your favor, that we might be greater witnesses with each passing day. Place in our daily paths, souls who need you, and who are receptive to our witness to them. I pray this in the precious and holy name of my Saviour and LORD, Jesus Christ. amen and amen

  • 6 Ed // Sep 18, 2007 at 12:55 am

    I used to get Christianity today email, but they have rather childish stories so I stopped. I do have some of their emails on my system yet. I will remove them.

    George W is a man that claims he was called by GOD to head this Country. He may have been, but since he insisted that Israel divide their land, he is no longer a good leader. He has gone the same way King Saul did. What is going to happen to George W is not told me, but I doubt any blessing with be upon him.

  • 7 Victor Passenheim // Sep 18, 2007 at 4:53 am

    To ‘Pastor’ Matt:

    There’s no question that the ‘Pals’ are being used as a tool of the enemy. That in NO WAY merits describing their current political condition (whether spiritually or materially speaking) they find themselves in as a “legitimate plight”. It is anything but. To say so is the most twisted justification of a people who are hell-bent on annihilating another people, and who are willing to do so unabashedly, in a thoroughly orchestrated and methodical way. I’m speaking about the Arabs and I’m speaking about the ‘Pals’.

    The Arabs have NO legitimate claims to the land, regardless of how you break it down. At every turn they have stolen, murdered, maimed, and terrorized a nation that has bent over backwards to live at peace.

    What’s worse, is that cowards and thugs, such as yourself, who hide behind titles of respectability, have not only done nothing to turn the tide of justice, but have actually helped build its momentum.

    God’s got your number. He is not a man that He should lie, except that is exactly what you make Him out to be by twisting the facts and saying good is evil and evil is good.

    Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.

    By that definition alone the ‘Pals’ are a disgrace, for they embrace their sin wholeheartedly. And neither you, nor they, can say that they didn’t know any better (Romans 2:13 – 16).

    If you truly loved these people, you would enforce justice, because without justice there is no mercy, and without mercy there is no love. But you have shown that that is something you do not hold in high regard.

  • 8 Al // Sep 18, 2007 at 5:34 am

    I’ve posted this with another article but I think it’s worth repeating.

    The issue of a “Palestinian” state is both simple and complex.
    The plight of Arab refugees who call themselves Palestinians in the Land of Israel is tragic. Yes, we should show them compassion. We should pray for them because like everyone else in the world, they are lost and need to know that God sent His Son into world to save them from sin.

    However, we should not lose sight of the fact that it was the Arab nations who created the “Palestinian” problem. This problem has been dumped on the lap of Israel after being attacked and almost destroyed by those very nations since 1948. There is absolutely no accountability from the world and in part by the church that the Arabs help their brothers in a constructive way. Instead they are encouraged by radical governments to wage jihad and commit acts of terrorism against Israeli citizens. So if Israel, as a sovereign nation, acts to protect its citizens from attacks and violence, why should we criticize them?

    As far as a “Palestinian” state is concerned, one already exists. It is called Jordan, whose territory was originally part of the British/UN mandated state once called “Palestine”. This state was supposed to be divided into two, one for the Jews (Israel) and one for the Arabs (the Hashemite kingdom of Transjordan). When the Arabs refused to recognize Israel, Arabs living in the land were told to leave Israel until after the new Jewish nation was driven into the sea. Then the Arabs who had left could simply come back and take over “Palestine”. Unfortunately for those Arabs who left Israel, they became refugees when Israel successfully repelled the Arab invasion. The only reason they continue to be refugees is to be used as a propaganda tool to make Israel look bad in the eyes of the world, even to this day. The most compassionate act anyone can make is for Arab nations to absorb these refugees and take of the problem they started. That’s not playing politics. That’s simply the most equitable thing to do.

    No, Israel does not do everything perfectly. Believers in the land of Israel, especially those who happen to be Jewish take a lot of heat from the mainstream Jewish community. That phenomenon actually happens all over the world, not just in Israel. As believers we should remember not to patronize Israel and the Jewish people. But we need to remember and act accordance with the promises given to the patriarchs, Moses, David, etc. We need to recognize that it is God’s program to restore the Jewish people to covenant relationship in the land of their forefathers. It is actually to the benefit of the Body of Messiah that they be restored in full measure.

  • 9 Marsha Carol Watson // Sep 18, 2007 at 4:59 pm

    I realize now that I did not have a proper understanding of the Palestinians. Thank you for helping me to put things into proper perspective.

  • 10 Pastor Matt // Sep 18, 2007 at 5:02 pm

    Dear Mr. Victor,

    On the comment thread for the article “Christians called to help save the Temple” Ryan blocked one person from commenting on this site because he expressed a personal, insulting remark against someone whom he did not know and therfore had no way of justifying his nasty comment.

    Perhaps you should be careful, since you have chosen to personally attack me and my character (you called me “cowards and thugs”) even though you have never met me, have no idea who I am or what I believe, and have drawn your libelous conclusions based on one short comment that I made on this thread (the jist of which was simply to complimate Ryan on having written a nice article–did you actually read my post before spouting out your vitriolic bigotry?). It appears that you were even calling into question may claims of being a pastor, since you saw fit to refer to me as “pastor” (I noticed you tend to put qoutes around things you do not believe). Afterwards you make the outlandish claim to know the very mind of God (since you assert that He “has my number”–is this meant to be some sort of divine threat?). Fortunately for me my calling in ministry is from God and does not need your validation, and I have no fear of standing in judgment before God, resting my hope on Him who is able to save me.

    If you continue in this same angry, unedifying and malicious way Ryan may see fit to ban you as well, and save his other readers from running the risk of arousing your angry, hate filled rhetoric.

  • 11 Victor Passenheim // Sep 18, 2007 at 8:04 pm

    To ‘Pastor’ Matt,

    I have to confess, I am sick and tired of hearing representatives of God, as you say you are, twist the message of Scripture in such a way that can only lead to the downfall of the listeners.

    In your original statement you concluded it was ‘compassion’ that motivated the CT author to directly defy God’s directives regarding the land of Israel. This is NOT compassion, but rather an evil that God has promised to curse and punish (Genesis 12:3; Psalm 2; Ezekiel 38).

    The ‘Palestinians’ (because there never was such a thing – look into the history of that term, Palestine, it’s an eye opener), as a people (really the greater Arab nation that has manipulated them) have only been cowards and thugs, which is the reason they have been able to steal, murder, maim, and terrorize without compunction. You would have your readers believe that theirs is a ‘legitimate plight’. Basically, your post had 3 points to it: to assert the ‘Pals’ have a legitimate plight (which is something Ryan did NOT say), to purportedly ‘praise’ Ryan for his good article, and to discourage others from criticizing the horrific message behind the CT article.

    If you really believe that the ‘Pals’ have a legitimate plight, that compassion is the primary motivation behind dividing the land of Israel and giving it to a terrorist entity (which is precisely what the author of that article advocates, sans all the rigamarole), then you have thrown your lot in with their cause, which makes you in no uncertain terms a coward and a thug. Scripture echoes this very same sentiment.

    The statement “God’s got your number” is a reminder, which we should all take to heart from time to time, that even though we may have fooled ourselves to believe that our cause is just, God knows our hearts and His Word is the plumbline by which our thoughts and intentions can be measured (Isaiah 55:9,10; Jeremiah 17:9,10).

    Next time you set out to edify, use the Word of God, not distortions.

    To Ryan,

    If my posts don’t line up with Scripture teaches on this subject, then by all means ban me. I believe it grieves the heart of God, and it makes Him angry, that so many have come out in opposition to His clearly expressed desires, and are in contempt of His Word.

  • 12 Pastor Matt // Sep 18, 2007 at 9:50 pm

    Mr. Al,

    Your post was excellent. Thank you for sharing that with us. If more people had your understanding of the situation, and how we as Christians should respond to the people involved, both Jewish and Arab, then the Middle East would perhaps be a much nicer place to live. There are far too many radicals, on both sides, who attempt to use God (by whatever name they call him) as an excuse for anger and hatred towards their fellow man.

    God has definately given Israel to the sons of Jacob, but we are all made in His image, and we all have value in His eyes. Thank you again for your thoughtful remarks.


  • 13 ROBERT BARRETT // Sep 18, 2007 at 10:31 pm

    I am glad I do not subscibe to that magazine. If you do I would encourage you to cancel your subscrption. This just flies in the face of what God has said in the Old Testament. Israel is suffering because of its fear of its enemies and that is the only reason why they are giving up thier land. We saw what happen in the Gaza mess. Peace? not hardly at all for those who live where the rockets fall. If they give up any more land, i promise you that those who live close by in Isarel will suffer the same fate. It is a shame that those in Israel that encourage giving up thier God given land are showing no faith in thier God, the God who restore Israel in 1948. May President Bush stay away from this like a nasty germ. If President Bush encourages Israel to give up any more land then USA will suffer a fate as bad or worst than hurricane Katrina.

  • 14 Bobbie // Sep 19, 2007 at 3:49 am


  • 15 Dilhan // Sep 19, 2007 at 7:55 am


    We all have different opinions when it comes to Israel and the Palestinian issue. But, the opinion of God, is what matters here. The Bible in genesis clearly states that the “Land of Israel” belongs to the Lord and Israelis are tenants. If the Land belongs to the Lord what right has others got to divide the land or even to suggest. President Bush a gentile has no right to divide the land nor does Prime Minister Olmert a Jew has the right. The Lord’s covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob stands upto date for an un-divided Israel.

    The Palestinian refugee problem was caused by the Arabs themselves. I agree with Al and also with others who said that it is our duty as Christians to bring the Palestinians into salvation. If we can succeed in bringing not only the Palestinians but also the entire Moslem world to “Jesus”, then we all can live in peace and harmony. However, this is only an illusion; PERFECT PEACE will not come until Prince of Peace, “Jesus” comes and cause “every knee to bow, and every toung to confess” willingly or by force that “Jesus Christ is Lord”.

    Whatever we do in our own effort will not bring peace in the “Land of Israel”. Therefore until Jesus returns, what can we as Christians do?

    The Bible in Psalm 122 vs 6 clearly says, “Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem” until His return and be a watchman posted on the walls of Jerusalem crying day and night.

    We are being called to pray. I am on my knees right now “Praying for the Peace of Jerusalem” and urge all Christians to do so.

    May God bless Israel and all of you. Amen.

  • 16 Frank In Haifa // Sep 19, 2007 at 8:18 am



  • 17 Al // Sep 19, 2007 at 8:58 am

    First of all, let us remember we are supposed to be on the same side. Maybe we need to really pause and consider who our real enemy is: HaSatan.
    He has everything to lose when Israel is finally exalted through her Messiah. He hates Israel far more than all of her other enemies combined. He is the one that has blinded both believer and non-believer alike to the simple truth that God is not finished with Israel as a chosen people. When I say “believer”, I try to give the benefit of the doubt to that person who claims to know the Jewish Messiah and the God Who sent Him into the world to provide atonement for our sins and reconcile us back to God and yet does not recognize:
    a) the significance of the Jewish people
    b) and the restoration of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel
    We need to remember and understand, Messiah CANNOT return to the earth until this restoration takes place. Not just a physical restoration, but a true spiritual restoration to the God of their fathers. They need to be restored back into covenant relationship with their God. This means that when they are following the Torah, they do so with the same attitude, understanding and approach that the first century Jewish believers had. When they celebrate the Passover which Yeshua said to do in memory of Him, that they would see Him in the Affikomen of the Seder as the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53. That they would see the New Covenant spoken of by Jeremiah when they lift up the Cup of Redemption and know He did not come to do away with the Torah, but to write it in their hearts. And that believing in Yeshua is the most Jewish thing to do since He is the promised Messiah. As long as we continue to separate the Gentile believers from Jewish people, Israel will not receive the support she so desperately needs. It is extremely vital that Gentile believers understand that the olive tree of Israel (Romans 11) supports us and makes legitimate our faith in the Messiah. Jewish believers should pray that the Gentile believers be grafted in not only in quantity but in quality as well, hence the fullness of the Gentiles. In other words the Gentile believers will finally understand their role to provoke Israel to jealousy when we identify with her in full measure. Shaul says that when this happens, then “all Israel shall be saved”. It will also be the time when Zechariah’s prophecy will be fulfilled. When they shall look upon Him that was pierced. Shaul specifically says in verse 26-27 “There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.” It will be like life from the dead on that day when the Gentile believers cry out on behalf of Israel, “Maranatha”, come quickly Lord Yeshua. Then a fully redeemed Israel will respond with their own cry, “Baruch haba b’Shem Adonai, Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord”

  • 18 Frank // Sep 19, 2007 at 12:32 pm

    If Christians spent more time on the meaning of ‘being grafted into the ancient Olive Tree’ than on justifying their usually uninformed views concerning Palestinian’s ‘rights’, they would end up on much surer footings than they are now.
    Through Messiah we become citizens of Israel and members of HaShem’s people. For this fact alone it is treasonable to promote views that see ‘Palestinians’ share the land that was given to the Patriarchs. Are you aware that a large number of these Palestinians are not even pure Arabs, but their forefathers were implants from the Balkans under Turkish rule. The Jewish People themselves were referred to as Palestinians until the State of Israel was declared and they began to refer to themselves as Israelis. If you need more details just contact the Jerusalem Post and ask them when they changed their name from Palestinian Post!
    In case you are feeling a sense of compassion for Palestinian Christians, then consider the activities of the SABEEL CENTER in Gaza, which is busy rewriting biblical history and in establishing a Palestinian Christ who was born to Palestian parents, rather than Jewish ones!
    The Christian world is perishing because our people do not receive the right information from their leaders, who are usually afraid of loosing members from their congregations when too much of Israel is served up.
    Pastor Matt, perhaps you could become an activist among your fraternity for your fellow Pastors to begin informing their people what the true facts are concerning Israel, the so-called Palestinians (who did not exist until 1964 when Arafat formed the PLO) and Islam.
    I fully agree with Ryan and Al that the Arab people and the Palestinians need our prayers, but Magazines like Christianity Today are not worthy to be found in Christian homes and hands – I have for a long time held it as spiritually corrupt. I wonder what their view is on Allah being held on par with Yahweh Elohim? No doubt they will see no problem with it, since Arab Christians and Christians in Islamic lands call Him Allah.

    Maranatha Yeshua l’yisrael!

  • 19 David // Sep 19, 2007 at 2:54 pm

    Al (Post # 17),

    Amen and amen! I believe what you have written is truth from the Word of YHWH. I stand in agreement. Come quickly Messiah Yeshua.


  • 20 Deborah Coughlin // Sep 19, 2007 at 4:30 pm

    I think the best way to provoke Israel, the Arabs or any other Nation to jealousy is to enter in (Song of Solomon). YHWH is calling us to some sup with HIm. To let Him shine through us – to follow him into the streets. There are many scriptures that prophesy the days ahead. We are all waiting for the fullfillment of all thing. Now more than ever we must speak and do only what the Father tells us. That includes laying aside things that may hinder us and radical obediance. Every day, every moment He is with us. If He is for us whom shall we fear?

                                                      Netsach Yerushalayim
  • 21 Victor Passenheim // Sep 19, 2007 at 7:58 pm

    To Frank #18,

    Thanks for the information. Unfortunately, most people don’t want to hear it, which is only to their own detriment. The stage is being set for a world that is more and more intolerant of Israel, and which will culminate in them seeking her total destruction.

    Two years ago there was a survey across Europe asking which country is the greatest impediment to world peace. The number one answer: Israel.

    Not Saudi Arabia, not Iran, not Iraq, not North Korea …. Israel.

  • 22 Rev. Daniel H. Shaffer, Jr. // Sep 19, 2007 at 11:18 pm

    Although Pres. Bush is one of the best Leaders of the U.S. since Pres. Regan, He is wrong on the Road Map. I am very much opposed to the division of Israel. No Bible beliving Christian should support this dividing of Israel.

  • 23 Charles // Sep 20, 2007 at 4:31 am

    I think that most people that voted for what they thought was a Christian party will be as surprised after the truth comes out . No one likes to be fooled but that is exactly what polititions are good for and not much else . The ” Log Cabin Republicans” come to mind as a direct conflict to the morals that we expect from the Moral Majority Republicans . But that was kept quiet along with the missing military records . Karl Rove did what ever it took to get his man elected . Talking about fooling people the Antichrist is really going to make people think that he is the Savior . Bush may have a job to do as did Judas Iscariot and it may not be what we think is good .

  • 24 Pastor Matt // Sep 20, 2007 at 5:22 pm

    Mr. Frank,

    And everyone else who may be interested. Perhaps if you would actually read my post you will notice that I never advocated the dividing of the land of Israel. I never suggested that the Palestinians should be given their own state. I never even defended Christianity Today or their article (which, you may have noticed, I said that I did not read—I can hardly defend something that I did not read).

    In fact, all I really said was that the author was perhaps (notice I said perhaps) simply feeling compassion for the Palestinian people and, frustrated that peace never comes to this land, thought that making two states was a good idea (notice, again, I never claimed to agree with him about the issue of a Palestinian state). I like to attempt to give a fellow believer the benefit of the doubt (which does not mean I agree with his politics) when it comes to matters of the heart. Some people on this post thread believe that they can read other peoples’ minds and hearts, and right them off as “cowards and thugs.” I claim no such ability.

    Other than that I only made the remark that Palestinians have a “legitimate plight.” For example, most of them are poor; the children especially are not to be envied, as they are taught hate, violence, anger and lies about history from their infancy. Would you desire that for your children? Furthermore, and most importantly, they are in bondage to a religious lie that has enslaved their souls and promises them nothing but hell in return for their obedience. I never blamed Israel for any of this. In fact, I said their plight was the work of the enemy and to a lesser degree their Arab neighbors.

    For those remarks a certain person on this thread has saw fit to attack to me, making personal accusations against me, though he does not know me.

    Perhaps he, and anyone else interested should read the book of Jonah a few times. The Ninevites were every bit as bad and evil as Hamas and Fatah, and yet God still loved them and had compassion on them. Jonah did not. Many evangelicals today have Jonah’s heart. They would rather see Palestinians judged than see them saved. The plight of the Palestinians today is that of the Ninevites–wickedness and impending judgment. I simply am more interested in seeing them saved than seeing them judged.

    The problem here is that many people think only of God’s justice, and not His mercy (well, except in their own need for mercy-which they are happy to receive) and then they become angry with any person that they perceive as disagreeing with their own views. They have forgotten that:

    “the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God” – James 1:20

    In reality, my point is simply that God is just as interested in the salvation of the Palestinian people as He is in the restoration of the nation of Israel.

    I leave with you a couple more verses:

    “Do I have pleasure in the death of the wicked,” declares the Lord God, “rather than that he should turn from his ways and live?” – Ezekiel 18:23

    “For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,” declares the Lord God. “Therefore, repent and live.” – Ezekiel 18:32

  • 25 dauda danjuma // Sep 21, 2007 at 10:57 pm

    Our God has made His chioce concern’g the land of canaan.The deed is for Israel.It’s an ETERNAL PROMISE.my brothers & sisters the Palestinian people have the chioce which is Christ Jesus period. I hope they consider HIM and not the land of Israel. CHRIST is our inheritance.

  • 26 Victor Passenheim // Sep 21, 2007 at 11:29 pm

    Pastor Matt,

    You have just done what you accuse me of doing.

    Nobody would disagree with the comments that you made:

    “In reality, my point is simply that God is just as interested in the salvation of the Palestinian people as He is in the restoration of the nation of Israel.”

    I do take issue with comments like “Some people on this post thread believe that they can read other peoples’ minds and hearts…”, because it’s not about “reading other peoples’ minds and hearts”, but rather about judging between right and wrong, which God has made abundantly clear to us, and not ascribe pure motives to actions which God clearly forbids and condemns.

    That can definitely be interpreted as “reading peoples’ minds and hearts”, even if it would be “reading” incorrectly (“out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks” Matthew 12:34). What you believe, what is in your heart and mind, comes out in what you say.

    As far as the ‘Palestinians’ being a pawn of the Enemy. That can be said of anyone who doesn’t know the Lord: rapists, murderers, thiefs, etc. (the list goes on). Legitimate plight is NOT in the lexicon of Scripture for sinful man.

    The sin condition can never be described as a “legitimate plight”. Nevertheless, it is the grace and mercy of God which is extended to all of us who are undeserving. Naturally, it is received by way of repentance. All that said, we are still commanded to stand up against evil, especially when it is in opposition to God’s chosen people Israel, and in opposition to His purposes for the world through His people (Genesis 12:3). There is a “legitimate plight” by a people in this conflict. However, you did not identify the correct choice. It is Israel who has bent over backwards, time and time again, only to see innocent men, women, and children being murdered, maimed, and otherwise terrorized, as a result of their innumerable attempts at making peace with an enemy that regards them as less than human and fitting only to be annihilated.

    As for the Ninevites, they were given 1 opportunity to repent, and that message was carried out by 1 Jew in a proclamation made by Jonah in a 1 day’s walk through the city (even though it was so large as to require 3 days walk to traverse it; Jonah 3:3,4). And what was that proclamation? Nothing less than an ultimatum to repent or be destroyed within 40 days. I doubt that I would have been ready to respond given that ultimatum. Yet you compare nearly 60 years of peace efforts by Israel (which happens to be backed by Evangelicals, and who therefore, by extension are backing these same peace efforts, as nutty as some of these efforts have been) as demonstrable proof of Jonah-like willingness to condemn and judge a people, rather than desiring their salvation. Thankfully, unlike you, God who is “a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity.(Jonah 4:2)”, knows how to draw the line where evil is concerned. You, on the other hand, are more interested in hilighting the “legitimate plight” of the 2nd coming of the Nazi regime.

    The ‘Palestinians’ are poor due to their obsession with terror and other evil practices. With regards to how they abuse their children (it can be called nothing less), Jesus had this to say: “but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!” (Matthew 18:6, 7).

    On the same note, was it an uncompassionate God who directed Israel to destroy the pagan inhabitants of the Promised Land, because He warned them if they not do so, they would become a thorn in their sides? (Number 33:52-56; Deuteronomy 12:29,30; Psalm 106:34-36) Would you have us believe that God has changed – that whereas He was once an “angry” God, He is now the loving God? And could you, in your infinite wisdom, tell us exactly when did that occur?

    The CT author advocated dividing the land that God promised to Israel for perpetuity, but you would have us believe that it would be inappropriate for us to strongly rebuke such heresy.

    You know what all this reminds me of? It reminds of that occasion in the Garden of Eden when the serpent (Satan) tempted Eve, making insinuations of “Did God say?…” and rationalizing the disobedience. Your casual analysis and dismissal of something that is so central to the heart of God, and which inevitably is so central to the administration of peace and justice in the world, should NEVER go without being met with sharp rebuke.

    Please stop droning on in the erroneous bent that you would like others to believe is Christianity. It totally misses the mark.

  • 27 Charles // Sep 22, 2007 at 1:27 am

    Now Boys!

  • 28 Pastor Matt // Sep 22, 2007 at 8:17 am


    Please note that 60 years of peace efforts by Israel (which I do not take lightly or deny) is in no way the same thing as witnessing the gospel to Palestinians. As I seem to notice, most of these peace efforts are condemned by many Christians because they involve recognizing a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria. You cannot claim that such efforts violate God’s word on the one hand, and then turn around and say those efforts are substantially equal to following God’s command to make disciples of all nations and to love your enemies. That is double talk.

    I am sorry to hear that you think the natural sinfulness of mankind is not a “legitimate plight.” It was legitmate enough for Jesus to die on the cross to rescue us from it. Again, it seems that you are happy to recieve grace from God, but do not want that grace extended to certain people (Palestinians, rapists, murders, etc.) as though your own sins are somehow less repugnant to God than theirs. That sounds a little like the Pharisees in Jesus’ day to me.

    As far as your reference to the Canaanites go I’ll simply remind you that Palestinians are not Canaanites (if I said they were you would mostly likely accuse me of being a liar and say I was attempting to twist history to undermine Jewish claims to the land). There is no command in scripture to drive them out of the land, especially not one for Christians to do so (notice–before you make the accusation, that I am not saying that Israel is attempting to do so. In fact, Israeli Arabs, as full citizens of Israel, have more basic freedoms than any arab people in the MIddle East). Again it is simply double talk. When Palestinians claim to be descendents of Canaanites and Philistines they are called liars, but then those same people liken them to Canaanites when they won’t to approve of evicting them from the land.

    Of course God has not changed, His redemption plan however has progressed over the years. If you are wearing a shirt made of mixed fibers then you have broken one of the Levitical commands—should God punish you or not? If you say yes, then you clearly don’t undertsand the work of Jesus on the cross, if you say no then you are apparently saying God has changed. Which is it?

    God is angry at sin, and there is a great and terrible day of wrath and judgment coming for all of those who do not obey the Gospel of Jesus Christ. However, God is consumed by love for lost and sinful people (whom He made in His image). So much so that he came to earth and died on the cross to redeem them from that sin. (even murderers: Moses, David, Saul, to name a few). However,your post proves my point exactly. You seem to want to rush that judgment upon people, not mention your apparent ability to decide who is worthy of God’s grace (yourself and Israelis in particular) and who is not (Palestinians, murderers, other Christians who do not agree with you). God still does not delight in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 18).

  • 29 Pastor Matt // Sep 22, 2007 at 9:46 am

    Mr. Victor,

    Here is what we have:

    I make the claim that God is just as interested as seeing Palestinians saved as He is in seeing Israel restored. You seemed to agree with me. Okay. I’ll accept that. Though I do not agree with you some of your opinions (I think sin is a “legitimate plight,” sufficiently so that Jesus was willing to die on the cross to rescue us from it), I will make no further assumptions about your heart with respect to the salvation of Palestinians.

    You make the claim that Israel has an eternal right to the land, as promised by God, that He is the one who has brought them back into it, and that He is angered by sin. I agree with those remarks with my all heart. If you would extend the same generosity to me that I have shown you, and accept my statements at face value. I would greatly appreciate it.

    In light if this I will say that there is not, or should not be a contradiction between the two positions. They are not mutually exclusive. God’s redemption plan includes restoring the people of Israel to their land and bringing them to salvation through the Messiah, and it also includes the saving of people from every tribe, tongue and nation, including Palestinians. They are both fruits of the work of the cross.

    I will also say this: there are very few Christians engaged in ministry efforts among the Muslims people, including Palestinians (noted author Ron Rhodes estimates that only 2% of missionaries work with Muslims–even though Muslims make up roughly 25-30% of the population of the world). Unfortunately, many of those few are from Replacement Theology types of churches, which sometimes makes matters worse (read Mr. Caner’s article “MBB’s Dirty Little Secret–in Israel My Glory, November 2005, I believe). I can only assume the reason for this is that Evangelicals are not as interested in this type of ministry as they should be. Moreover, for those of few who are actively engaged, in one form or another, in reaching out to Palestinians (even those of us from churches who’s love for Israel could scarcely be doubted) we are often accused by other Evangelicals as being liars, cowards, pro-terrorist and anti-Israel. Sir, I suggest to you that working to see Muslim Palestinians become Bible believing (even the parts about Israel) Christians is perhaps the greatest, most tangible (not to mention difficult, dangerous, and often underappreciated by the church at large) way to bless Israel there is. It is certainly at least as much of a blessing as those people who’s only involvement in this issue is writing politically charged pro-Israel messages on chat forums.

    Since we are able (it seems) to agree about Israel being God’s promised people, and that God earnestly desires Palestinians to be saved, perhaps we would be better served if we each spent less time pointing out the sins of others, and more time considering our own. Especially as today is Yom Kippur.

    Blessings, from the God who is not a respecter of persons.

  • 30 Al // Sep 22, 2007 at 5:47 pm

    If it was simply a matter of two peoples not being able to get along, ala the Hatfields and the McCoys, that would be one thing. But that is not the case here. The heart of the matter is this: what brings glory to God? When God is glorified, those that love Him are blessed. Those that hate Him are cursed. Muslims that hate Israel do so because they hate the God of Israel. They claim that “Allah” is the one true god. They want “Allah” to replace YHVH. If you look at the Temple Mount, they have done a good job so far. So the idea that their plight is legitimate is nonsense.

    Is this simply a feud or is there more to consider? Much more. What is at stake is not simply a dispute over land. Actually if you believe what the Bible says, there is absolutely no dispute. God gave the land between the rivers Euphrates and Nile to Israel. Period. One day this become a reality whether the world likes it or not. When Yeshua returns in His glory, He is not going to ask whether people disagree with His right to rule the world from Jerusalem. He will simply do it.

    Read Psalm 83. David is speaking about a future time when Israel’s enemies come against her. What is a stake is God’s reputation. Why does David call for severe judgment against the surrounding nations in Psalm 83? These nations want to wipe Israel off the map. Ironically, the very same nations Israel faces today. That is their sole intent. Israel’s destruction. God’s reputation is forever tied to the existence of Israel. David understood this. David wanted the whole world to know that the God who brought Israel out the land of Egypt with a mighty hand needs to be acknowledged as the One True God. When you really think about it, when God is glorified, those that belong to Him and love Him will be blessed. Consequently, those that hate Him will receive the curses.
    When a sinner repents and serves the God of Israel, he or she receives blessing and God receives the glory. They in turn will be a blessing to those around them. Those dedicated to Israel’s destruction will bring curses upon themselves. If God allows Israel to fall to the Muslims, that does not glorify Him. It will bring glory to a false god by the name of Allah. The Arabs need to repent and turn to Yeshua. That should be our prayer for them. But if they don’t we should not paint them as victims at Israel’s expense. If we say they are victims as a result of their sin, then we are actually supporting their sin. We should never support those who actively engage in sinful practices. End of part 1.

  • 31 Al // Sep 22, 2007 at 5:48 pm

    part 2

    To be fair, if Israel were to engage in sinful practices, she will bring judgment upon herself as well. This is true of any nation. I happen to live in America. I know it is only a matter of time before God’s judgment falls upon us as well for all the things that we allow in our country. We all face the same choice that Moses presented to Israel centuries ago. I have set before you life and death. Choose life. This isn’t about being nice to people or wishful thinking based on our limited human reasoning. It’s about doing the right thing. The right thing is to believe what God says is going to happen.
    Yeshua is coming back. He will restore the borders of Israel according to the promises given to the sons of Israel. If this is inconvenient to the surrounding nations that fail to acknowledge His Lordship, quite frankly that is their problem, not Israel’s.

  • 32 Victor Passenheim // Sep 22, 2007 at 8:50 pm

    Pastor Matt,

    Hopefully, this will be the last go-around. I do not equate 60 years of peace efforts by Israel to witnessing the Gospel to Palestinians. I do equate it to 60 years of opportunities for the Palestinians to REPENT (Jonah didn’t preach the Gospel either). There are plenty of churches in Israel whereby Palestinians have had the opportunity to hear the Gospel. In Bethlehem, the once predominant Christian population is now a small minority as they have been run out. All that said, nobody can say more than the Israelis that they have loved their enemy. Loving your enemy doesn’t mean you enable their efforts to terrorize you, of course. Loving your enemy doesn’t mean you let them steal your land. Any “peace” efforts that involve recognizing a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria should rightfully be condemned. Turn the other cheek doesn’t mean let them beat the heck out of you. God’s unmerited love to undeserving sinners (that’s ALL of us and I would never think or say otherwise) was not given because the Lord was somehow convinced by man’s righteousness that his was a legitimate plight. I think of the verse in Scripture, Genesis 6:5-7. Legitimate plight doesn’t come to mind.

    I pretty much agree with everything in post 29, and I feel I have said what needed to be said.


  • 33 Pastor Matt // Sep 22, 2007 at 9:19 pm

    Mr. Victor,

    And Shalom to you sir. I look forward to the day when the God of Israel dwells again in His Holy City, and all of his people, Jews and Gentiles, come together to worhsip at His feet. In that day all Jews and Palestinians who have been united in the blood of Jesus will lift their voices together in praise. I will strive to do whatever small part that God has given me to bring that day to pass, and I am sure you are attempting no less. Bless you.

    Mr. Al,

    You seem a thoughtful man, and I enjoy your posts. God has indeed set that choice, life or death, before us all. But you know, as someone who has lived in the West Babk in the past, I can assure you that a great many Palestinians have never really been shown that choice. Most have not heard the real messege of the gospel, regardless of the fact that there are many Palestnian Christians (who actually do not witness much to Muslims–hundreds of years of Dhimmi status scared the church in this part of the world away from the great commission). Its my desire that they will all hear: the decision they make then is their own.

    Shalom sir, and may the LORD bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you.

  • 34 Ryan // Sep 22, 2007 at 9:31 pm

    Good discussion here, fellas. I want to commend you all for ultimately keeping cool heads and finding our points of common agreement, despite some heated discussion on this topic.

    Matt, I very much agree with you that part of our efforts as believers in battling the enemy’s plans to divide this land and erase Israel should be drawing as many Arab Muslims out of Satan’s clutches as possible.

    Do you personally, having lived among the “Palestinian” Arabs, have ideas on how greater evangelism can be accomplished? I too have witnessed that the true believers among the Arabs are often very afraid to evangelize on a wide scale, and certainly do their best to not be public about it for fear of death. How do you feel we as outsiders, as Western Christians can have greater success?

    I think the main problem at this point – the reason why there is not greater Western Christian evangelism among the Arabs – is that it is politically incorrect in our Western society to convert Muslims to Christianity. The popular trend today is to pretend that Muslims and Christians are already serving the same deity, etc. For a church to openly engaged in evangelizing Arab Muslims, especially in the Middle East, would gain that church the ire of the Christian and political establishments in America.

    That is not to say true believers should not engaged in this kind of activity, but the job will be twice as hard as missionizing in a place like Africa or China, where such activity is encouraged by our own Christian society.

    I am very interested in your thoughts on this, as I plan to make a future post on this issue.

  • 35 floyd // Sep 23, 2007 at 12:53 am

    Daniel 11:14==The angel told Daniel, that he called the Arabs, robbers of your people (because they are trying to rob the Jews of their homeland.)

    And Daniel 11, the angel proves the president of Iran, (todays president) is the false prophet , in the mark of the beast ,is the 4th and last president, when Jesus comes to destroy them at armageddon…….

    Verse 25– notice that this president, and Iran’s rockets come into view about the same time.. The rockets, being called forecasting his devices against them.

    In the olden days when at war, they would bend trees over , and stake them to the ground, then build a platform, and fill it with rocks.. Then they would cut the rope, and it would throw the rocks up and over and then come down on the targets.. These rockets, work the same way, they go up and over, then come down on the target.

  • 36 floyd // Sep 23, 2007 at 12:59 am

    In Daniel 11- The angel, told Daniel, that 4 kings would stand up yet in Persia, s0, this 4th king would have to be the false prophet.. Because he acknowledges a god above himself, ( the beast) so he would have to be the false prophet..

  • 37 Pastor Matt // Sep 23, 2007 at 10:06 pm


    My answer to your question ran a little long, so I sent it to you through the contact link on the web site.


  • 38 Mike // May 31, 2008 at 3:23 am

    President Bush is evil.

  • 39 Suzy // Apr 20, 2010 at 11:11 am

    What about the children who died (murdered) in 2008..Thye were Palestinian…..can you justfy that.. Does God murder little ones to fulfill His will????Yes they need Jesus there is no denying that..