By now it’s an old story, but a destructive one nevertheless. On February 6, the Church of England’s highest decision-making body, the General Synod, heeded “the call from our sister church, the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East, for morally responsible investment in the Palestinian occupied territories and, in particular, to disinvest from companies profiting from the illegal occupation, such as Caterpillar Inc., until they change their policies.”1
To smooth the waters and decipher the gobbledygook of the decision, the archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, who supported the motion, wrote to British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks to express “deep regret” that “distress has been caused, especially to our Jewish friends….The synod has not, by its action, resolved to disinvest,” but rather, he wrote, “to register our concern.”2
The day after the synod vote, former archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, told The Jerusalem Post he was “ashamed to be an Anglican” and that the decision was “a most regrettable and one-sided statement” that “ignores the trauma of ordinary Jewish people” in Israel who endure terrorist attacks.3
The rap on Caterpillar, a responsible and legitimate heavy-equipment manufacturer, is that their bulldozers have been used to level the homes of some Palestinians. Never mind that this same machinery was also used by Israelis to knock down Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip, northern Samaria, and Amona on the West Bank. What is at issue here has little to do with moral justice; but it has much to do with radical, liberal, leftist obsession.
Not in the Picture
For leftist zealots of instability and chaos, the matter is not based on the facts of the case, but rather on a predisposition to denigrate the State of Israel and its people for their simple desire to stay alive.
The reason Israel demolished the homes of suicidal Islamist radicals is well documented. In the Gaza Strip, Israel destroyed homes having tunnels that were used as conduits for weapons. Elsewhere, the homes of Palestinian suicide bombers responsible for slaughtering innumerable civilians—Israeli, Muslim, and others—fell to the blades of the dozers. The question is, “What civilized country under attack would not have done the same?” The answer is obvious.
Attacking Caterpillar and others doing legitimate business with a sovereign state is nothing more than a diversionary attempt to mask a true agenda and violently held prejudices.
It’s a Matter of Theological Bias
Let it be understood that the entire left wing of the Protestant mainline establishment is hostile to the very idea of a literal fulfillment of the biblical promises to Israel. It contests Israel’s future restoration, as well as the promises of the Millennial Kingdom and a reigning Messiah over a reconciled Israel and subdued Gentile world system. In fact, a literal, resurrected Jewish Kingdom is wholly beyond mainline Protestantism’s concept of what new world theology is all about. It considers the Scriptures antiquated, unacceptable, and passé and contends that those who believe and accept the Scriptures as written are ignorant, uninformed, and far removed from contemporary realities.
For such Protestants, the biblical promises, themes, pronouncements, and mandates are old and irrelevant. Biblical revelation for them is an aberration—particularly when it touches Israel and the Promised Land.
Why Israel Is an Offense
Logically speaking, it doesn’t make sense for objectively sane people to portray little Israel as a militant, apartheid state panting to commit genocide against innocent Palestinians.
Consequently, the bottom line must be something else. In my opinion, it is what I term theological anti-Semitism. Israel’s very existence is an intolerable offense to people who allegorize and spiritualize God’s Word and attempt to impose on it the theology that the church has replaced Israel as the true heir of Abraham.
This school of thought has drawn an increasing number of gullible, uninformed people to its side. It has abandoned the literal, historical, grammatical interpretation of Scripture and forsaken Scripture’s clear dictates regarding end-times events and the glorious, future reconciliation of the Jewish people and nation of Israel to the Messiah.
To say it plainly, we Gentiles are not the be-all and end-all in the plan of God. And to infer as much is to assume a degree of self-induced arrogance and self-esteem wholly inconsistent with anything the Bible has ever taught.
Israel’s very existence is a glaring contradiction to everything left-wing, theological pretenders believe and endorse. In fact, I believe the entire liberal school of rejectionist thinkers would suffer no angst or disappointment if the State of Israel passed off the scene.
Aid and Comfort
What is perhaps most distressing in the entire episode of bashing Caterpillar, the United States, and, in the process, evangelicals is the aid and comfort passed along to the enemies of, in essence, you and me.
Here we are in a time of war. And whether you believe it or not, it is a very real and protracted conflict. Muslims affirm continually that they are waging an all-out jihadist war that will end in triumph over the democracies of the West and in the establishment of an Islamist, global caliphate.
The first step in realizing their dream is Israel’s destruction. Why? Because Israel represents the only true, viable democracy in the Middle East. It is a democracy imbued with all of the attributes of a functionally free state. To Arab demagogues, its existence is an insufferable anomaly—one they cannot tolerate. Thus we witness the invasion of Islamist fanatics from other Muslim countries to wage war against the forces of freedom and democracy in Iraq. From their point of view, freedom for their people is simply insupportable.
All of which raises a serious question. Why would Americans side with an avowed enemy that is determined to subjugate and destroy everything we hold dear as a free people? It is indeed strange that those campaigning to destroy Israel, a democracy attempting to survive in a hostile area, would themselves be the first on the chopping block of those whose cause they champion. No, it doesn’t make sense. Sanity and legitimacy belong to those who stand with Israel and the establishment of democracy, freedom of religion, and the rights and privileges of the individual everywhere in the world.
Proud to Be a Zionist
Unfortunately, today we live in a world of “posts”—the post-Christian era, the post-Zionist era, etc. Strange, isn’t it, that the “post” definition being popularized by secular and liberal religious elitists repudiates everything positive in the history of Judaism and biblical Christianity? But it is, after all, merely the evidence of the chaotic, confused state of the world we live in.
What does it mean to be a Christian Zionist? Simply this: It means to believe the Jewish people have an inherent, God-given right to possess a homeland sanctioned under international law in the land divinely given in perpetuity to the Jewish descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Such a belief is not radical or subversive; it simply accepts what the Scriptures have declared about the rights and legitimate possessions of the Jewish people. It’s as simple as that. In so saying, we do not diminish any of the rights or privileges of believing Gentiles during this interim Age of Grace in which the gospel is extended to all people everywhere—Jewish and Gentile.
Having said that, we have nothing to apologize for in declaring ourselves, based on biblical dictates, to be Christian Zionists.
Yes, I am aware that the Presbyterian (PCUSA) hierarchy, in its infamous decision to disinvest from companies operating for profit in Israel, took a swipe at those “ill-informed” evangelicals who identify themselves as Christian Zionists and are so woefully out of step with reality. However, we ill-informed Christian Zionists have the light of biblical revelation and historical reality on our side. It is, rather, the deserters from biblical truth who should declare what they really are and retreat from the field.
Leaving Your Friends Behind
When former Archbishop Carey told The Jerusalem Post that the General Synod’s decision made him “ashamed to be an Anglican,” he spoke for many thousands of Anglicans, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Disciples of Christ, and others who felt utterly betrayed by leadership that does not in any sense share their sentiments on the issue.
The beneficial aspect of the synod’s vote was that, for the first time, it definitively unveiled to the people in the pews the anti-Semitic proclivities of its corrupted leaders.
Their agenda is radical and political. If you doubt this fact, study the decisions they have made over the last few decades. They have made themselves clear. Now they have officially gone on record, and members can see the true commitment of their leaders and those who control the expenditures of the believing laity.
For thousands of people, there is an awakening to the realities of what is taking place. Israel is a tiny entity in a sea of militant nations devoted to its destruction. American and coalition forces are fighting and dying to create conditions conducive to the spread of freedom and democracy in the Middle East.
The forces that defame the efforts and sacrifices of people who are paying the ultimate price for our survival and freedom are not the friends of liberty. In fact, they are quite the opposite. They are giving aid and comfort to enemies who are out to destroy not only tiny Israel but all free people in the Western world.
I cannot forget the poignant words of humorist Art Buchwald who commented on the September 11, 2001, attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. Although he had served on the European front in World War II, Mr. Buchwald said that, on that morning, for the first time in his life, he realized there were people out there who wanted, above all else, to kill him.
That’s the fact of life in our times, friend. There are people out there who are enemies of everything we represent, and they want to see us dead. We must not give them any encouragement to accomplish their objective.
- Ruth Gledhill, “Synod in Disinvestment Snub to Israel,” February 7, 2006 <www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2028504,00.html>.
- Ruth Gledhill, “Rowan Williams Writes to Chief Rabbi,” February 10, 2006 <timescolumns.typepad.com/gledhill/2006/02/caterpillar_row.html#more>.
- George Conger, “Lord Carey ‘Ashamed to be an Anglican,’” February 8, 2006 <www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1138622572920&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FshowFull>.