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Is There a Biblical Reason for There to Be a State of Israel? No. Political? Yes.

October 25th, 2010 1 comment

I picked up this interesting story from Religious News Service, and found myself agreeing completely with the Roman Catholic Archbishop. Many American evangelicals, fundamentalists and well as other well meaning Christians might think that the modern day state of Israel is somehow based on a Biblical foundation for its existence, but it is not. The New Testment makes very clear that there now is only one “Israel of God” (Galatians 6:16), and it is not the modern state of Israel: it is the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church. Having said that, I think there are compelling reasons to support the modern day state of Israel. They are an important ally of the United States, but their existence has nothing to do with Holy Scripture.

SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER URGES POPE BENEDICT XVI TO DENOUNCE ARCHBISHOP WHO DENIED JEWISH PEOPLE’S LINK TO LAND OF ISRAEL

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is urging Pope Benedict XVI to immediately denounce a statement by Melkite Catholic Archbishop Cyrille Salim Bustros at a Vatican Synod on the Middle East wherein he asserted that, “We Christians cannot speak about the promised land for the Jewish people. There is no longer a chosen people. All men and women of all countries have become the chosen people. The concept of the promised land cannot be used as a base for the justification of the return of Jews to Israel and the displacement of Palestinians.” He added that, “[t]he justification of Israel’s occupation of the land of Palestine cannot be based on sacred scriptures.”
“This political stunt, wrapped in theological garb, not only insults every Jew but flies in the face of the statements and actions of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, both who have visited Israel and expressed solidarity with her people,” charged Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, dean and founder and associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, respectively, who have had audiences with both Pontiffs. “The Archbishop’s statement comes at the end of the conference wherein the so-called “Palestine Kairos Document”—which openly denies the right of Israel to be a Jewish state—was presented at the Vatican for the first time. These developments demand immediate action by the Pope. Hopes for peace in the Middle East will only come when both sides recognize the rights of the others. These latest moves, left unchallenged, will damage interfaith relations and embolden anti-Semites and terrorists,” they concluded.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

For more information, please contact the Center’s Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter page or mobile device.

Don’t Be Afraid: Wise Words in the Aftermath of the National Health Care Vote

March 22nd, 2010 21 comments

Excellent words from Dr. Russell Moore:

“Now these three abide: anger, outrage, and fear—and the greatest of these is fear.”

That’s not in the Bible.

But sometimes I wonder if I think it is.

The United States House of Representatives just passed a health care reform bill that I and lots of other Christians opposed. Such legislation should concern us. There are some bad consequences for the weakest and most vulnerable among us, principally unborn children. But should it also concern us that so many of us are talking today about how afraid we are?

Is it a problem that some of us who are tranquil as still water about biblical doctrine and ecclesial mission are red-faced about Nancy Pelosi and the talking heads on MSNBC? Is it a problem that some who haven’t shared the gospel with their neighbors in months or years are motivated to vent to strangers on the street about how scary national health care will be?

It’s not that I think Christians should be disengaged from issues of justice (God forbid!). It’s just that I wonder if we wouldn’t represent Christ and his kingdom better if we did it with a certain tranquility of Spirit, a tranquility that signals we’re not afraid of the rise and fall of temporal kingdoms and their policies.

Read Dr. Moore’s entire post here.

Categories: politics

Discomforting Questions

November 23rd, 2008 61 comments

Question
So, I've been thinking quite a lot, about what has struck me as a complex set of contradictions for a long time. Even as we are passionately against abortion, should we not be passionately in favor of universal health care? Why is America the only industrialized nation on earth that doesn't have universal health care? Why do we have the highest infant morality rates of any industrialized nation and our health expectancy the lowest?

If we can spend billions, and trillions of dollars, to kill people around the world, all for perfectly justifiable reasons, I hope, can't we figure out a way to spend even half as much to heal and care for the sick and the poor in our own nation? Why is socialized medicine acceptable in the United States military, but not for the whole nation? Isn't a healthy nation in our national best interest? We have socialized our fire safety long ago. Why are our police forces not privatized? Why is health care based on the availability of cash, not need? Why are sick people treated as customers of health care, not persons in need of it? Why should the Presidents/CEOs of our nation's largest private health insurance company be millionaires and in at least one case, a billionaire, when we have, across our country, chronic lack of health care insurance, or worse yet, chronic underinsurance? Why do we pay more attention to the Dow Jones average than we do the neighbor in need?

I've been reading Luther's Large Catechism, on the fifth and seventh commandments, and these and other discomforting questions came to mind.

Categories: politics

A Prayer for our President-Elect, Barack Obama

November 4th, 2008 2 comments

Gracious Heavenly Father, we ask you to bless Barack Obama. According to your good and gracious will, help him be a good president for our nation. Guide President-elect Obama into all truth. Give him wisdom to choose the right, and reject the wrong. Help him bear the sword of justice fairly, defending the innocent and punishing the guilty. Give him strength and courage to defend our nation against all enemies, foreign and domestic. We pray that you will lead President-elect Obama to do all he can to protect human life, from natural conception to natural death. Protect him as he serves our nation and give all who serve with him wisdom and insight. Use this man to provide for the external safety and security of your Holy Christian Church in this land, so that we may preach the Gospel unfettered, for the salvation of many souls. We ask these things in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Categories: politics

Is it a sin not to vote?

February 5th, 2008 33 comments

People who do not vote have no right to complain about any government official, ever. Period. End of story.

Did you vote today? I almost did not. Then I realized that not voting is a sin. Why do I say that? Because our vote is our way of being good citizens. It is a sin against the fourth commandment if we fail to vote, when this is our right under the government God has given us. Not to mention the fact that if you can’t get your lazy self to your voting place, when there are countless people around the world who literally die for the right to vote, or never have that right, and that there have been hundred of thousands of your fellow Americans who have made the ultimate sacrifice to keep you free and to preserve your right to vote, well, then…I do not know what to say to you other than: repent.

Do you agree? Is it a sin not to vote?

Why, or why not?

Read more…

Categories: politics

Nine more months of this?

February 5th, 2008 3 comments

Scream_2
As I scan blog sites and notice the deluge of posts on the upcoming presidential election, which is nine months away — nine months! — I’m moved simply to say, "Somebody, please, make it stop!"

How are we supposed to put up with nine more months of this? We’ve already heard all that the candidates are going to say. Yes, we know that they will bring in the kind of change that will transform this nation and lead us once again into the future as the greatest nation on earth. Yes, we know they have the solution for every problem that we face. Yes, we all know they are the ones who will bring change. Yes, we all know that each candidate has the best ideas in the world about how to change the world. In other words, I’m bored beyond my ability to describe it. I’ve heard all this ridiculous rhetoric before.

Do we really have to drone on about all of this for nine more months? Can’t we just have the election next week and be done with it? As I read the fever-pitch tone of all the blog posts talking about politics, a Bible verse keeps going through my mind:

"Do not trust in princes, in mortal man, in whom there is no salvation" (Psalm 146:3).

Categories: politics