From the Editor Sep/Oct 2014
Going to church with my family is among my favorite things to do. So when I visited one of my daughters a while ago, I was thrilled to go to church with her and her family.
I knew I wasn’t going to hear the great hymns of the faith I love so much. Yet this was a good Bible-believing church. I was prepared to make concessions. What I wasn’t prepared for was the message.
The pastor told us he was going to talk about the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus, he said, went up to a mountain “that today is in modern Palestine.”
I quickly turned to my daughter. She quickly turned to me. Leaning across her husband, who sat between us, she whispered,
“Mom, I have no idea where that came from. He’s never said anything like that before.”
Therein lies the problem and the reason we are devoting this issue of Israel My Glory to the evangelical battle over Israel.
More and more Bible-believing churches in North America are embracing the Arab narrative that the Israelis are illegal “occupiers” of a land that belongs to “Palestinians.” However, the Bible teaches God gave the land to the Jewish people as an “everlasting” possession.
Yet perception is everything. The late Arab terrorist Yasser Arafat (who, incidentally, was born in Egypt), cleverly changed the world’s perception of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Palestine was never an independent country. It was either part of a large empire or was ruled by Great Britain. During British rule, passports were stamped “Palestinian Jew” or “Palestinian Arab.”
At the 1939 New York World’s Fair, the Jewish Palestine Pavilion was a history lesson in what Palestinian Jews accomplished by reclaiming swamps, irrigating the desert, and cultivating farmland.
However, the Arabs have written a new narrative that depicts them as “Palestinians” and the Israelis as interlopers. Now the Arab-centered Sabeel Ecumenical Center for Liberation Theology in Jerusalem is attempting to change the church’s perception, using the Arab narrative and an Arab twist on biblical interpretation.
Three of us from The Friends of Israel attended the Friends of Sabeel–North America conference and report on it in this issue. We encourage everyone to read the articles carefully, remembering God’s promises to Israel and that “the word of our God stands forever” (Isa. 40:8).
Waiting for His Appearing,