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This Month's Scripture Verse:

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
2 Timothy 3:1-5


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Has Israel Become America's Pope?

Perhaps the article from the Atlantic Wire, Israel Is OK with Hagel as Secretary of Defense, was the last straw. After all, all through the election, Republicans used how Israel views Obama as a campaign ploy to wrestle votes away from Obama. Also, those speaking before the media in America have less freedom to criticize Israel than their Israeli counterparts. And finally, us Christian Fundamentalists are told that we should never criticize Israel or we will merit the judgment of God and the label of anti-Semite. I have had enough with those who tell us that from all of America's foreign policies to every attitude should be judged by the question, "What would Israel say?" This is such a paradoxical situation for the land of the free.

Though what grabs our attention are issues dealing with Israel and a selected use of anti-Semitism, Palestinians are Semites too but nobody ever cries "anti-Semitism" when they are denigrated, the real issues are much broader. The real issues include tribalism and blind obedience to propped up authorities and the ramifications of such not being challenged. One such possible consequence should we continue in our current tribalism addicition is that, in combination with an ever advancing and accessible technology, our very existence is being threatened (see article).

We should note that a Get Out Of Hell Card Free makes the end of human life on earth, as well as massive human suffering, seem trivial to the "real" Christian. And the more we embrace tribalism, such as the tribalism we see by both those who support Palestinian terrorism or carte-blanche use of the Israeli military, the more we embrace moral relativity. Though the word tribalism is a bit archaic, it has us cling to gang warfare in the name of survival.

All of this should make all Christians stop dead in their tracks and reconsider what they are doing when they offer unconditional support for any nation let alone Israel, but it doesn't. We have been conditioned to see tribalism as part of our spiritual heritage. We read of God lending some support for tribalism in the Old Testament and because of that, we assumed that He also supported a similar tribalism as European settlers began to practice ethnic cleansing here in America.

But we should note that nowhere in the New Testament is tribalism spoken of positively. The reasons for the difference from one testament to the other is not important here, but that such a change has taken place is. Whereas in the Old Testament, belonging to God's chosen people was determined by lineage and ceremony, it is decided by faith in the New Testament (Galations 3:6-10). And we should add here that God does not show partiality to those who do either good or bad (Romans 2:11). So with the New Testament, the age of tribalism has been vanquished. To continue to cling to it is to practice an aggrandizement that leads to idolatry.

But, as one believer said to me right before Church one time, our own cultural bias often overrides any objective attempt to understand the Bible. And so tribalism lives, though it does so unrighteously and as an affront to God. Thus to feel confident in a nation's decisions simply because another nation, in this case Israel, condones it leads us to boldly entwine oneself to sin.

But tribalism is not the only problem here, blind submission to authority figures also comes into play.  We should note that Christian Fundamentalists are suckers for anyone with authority. We are always told to, almost, unquestionably submit to every authority figure. And what could be a more fitting example of this addiction to submission than to be pleased that one's own sovereign nation's decisions are to be judged by reactions of another  nation? Such a devotion to authority reminds us of past Church failings when adherence to authority made it deaf and blind to reason. History tells us how that the overemphasis on authority and the minimizing of reason discredited the Gospel rather than glorified God.

In addition, there is no human authority figure or institution that merits blind obedience. Only God's Word does. And that Word is replete with examples of how human authorities had to be respectfully corrected rather than unconditionally obeyed. To do the latter, just to practice tribalism, is to engage in idolatry. And that is the most basic issue here. Blind obedience to human authorities can lead to a multitude of sins and a plethora of suffering. And such is the case in the world today.


Anonymous said...

Israelis nothing beyond an occupation force maintaining control over the Suez and a beach head to capture the oil fields of the middle east. Their Mossad was foundedby and works for the Rothschild bank. Israel is the Rothschild 'Jonestown mercenary farm' brain washed on bastardizations of Scripture to create absolute loyalty. Queen Elizabeth II, by being "Grand Patron" over all freemasonry and subject of loyalty by America's Skull and Bones Society(going back over 300 years)is head honcho in the numerous epic, sloppy attacks against all humanity and the world. Britannia is obsolete as a cinder block being handled by a true mason going for a swim. Get rid of queen lizard and the Central bank, the children will sing. Israel is minor, and cruel. The pope is as obsolete, and utterly fails as a moral beacon as well.

Curt Day said...

To Anonymous,
You have expressed a great deal of hostility toward Israel without signing your name to a post whose focus is on how the American public is being manipulated by a fear of Israeli disapproval. That is unfortunate.

Certainly the gov't of Israel merits much criticism for their cold-hearted treatment of the Palestinians. And the motives for this treatment are the same as the motives of others who have looked to expand at the expense of those who were weaker and more vulnerable: greed and ambition. So at this point, let's realize that Israel has no monopoly on vices that are shared by all.

Also, please note that there are many very courageous Israelis who oppose their gov'ts treatment of the Palestinians to the extent that some are willing to go to jail for while others risk being ostracized by their own people. And some Israelis who support their gov't's actions against the Palestinians do so have being hardened and embittered by Palestinian terrorism just as there are Palestinian terrorists who are embittered by the brutal Israeli occupation.

But a group that shares a significant degree of responsibility is Western Civilization from the 1st to the 20th century AD which, by how it rejected Jews who wished to be citizens in European countries, rejected and even harshly oppressed the Jews and this doesn't include what happened during the Holocaust. So Western Civilization has laid down a model that the Israeli gov't seems to follow in how it oppresses others.

These points are important if you are going out of your way to criticize Israel.

Yes, some Western gov'ts are using Israel to maintain control over resources. But the group that this article targets is Americans. This includes those who have power and influence as well as those who listen and read without sufficient understand of the situation and history.