Now, right from the start I want to make my position clear so there can be no misunderstanding from what I’m about to say (I hope!). I am Pro-Israel. I believe that God chose to work through this people group in order to bring forth the Messiah who would save those who put their trust in Him – that’s what Genesis 12:3 is about – “all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” But being Pro-Israel does not mean two things:
1. That I agree with everything Israel does, and
2. That I am anti any other nation
I believe it is vital that our Pro-Israel stance does not blind us to these two very important truths, because some Christians I have spoken to are so Pro-Israel that, in their eyes, Israel can do no wrong. These same people often speak disparagingly of nations that Israel is at enmity with, such as the Palestinians.
Regarding the first issue: Blessing Israel does not mean I have to agree with everything it does. I love my kids; I love to bless my kids; but that does not blind me to their faults and it does not stop me from exacting appropriate discipline when they do the wrong thing. In the Old Testament God often punished the nation of Israel for their wrong actions. Over the years Israel has been guilty of some dreadful injustices to others. We have some Palestinian people at Bayside Church who have recounted to me the horrors their families were subjected to by Israeli soldiers many years ago. My point here is that just because Israel does it doesn’t mean it’s right.
Secondly, being Pro-Israel does not mean I have to be anti any other nation. I am not anti-Palestinian; I am not anti-Arab; I am not anti-Lebanese – and neither is God. Jesus came to save people of all nations. Glimpses of heaven in the Book of Revelation refer to there being people of all nations worshipping around the throne of God.
One of the things I love about the church is that we start to get a glimpse of heaven on earth. In the Church we see Jews and Palestinians worshipping side by side as well as people from Lebanon, Iraq and other nations. We see Protestant and Catholic Irish people loving each other. This is why heaven will be heaven. The Church’s task now is to bring heaven to earth: that’s what Jesus told us to pray for in the Lord’s Prayer. Supporting injustices of one nation against another or being anti any nation creates hell on earth rather than heaven and ultimately works against the plan and purpose of God for the World He loves.