Jan 23, 2012Epic FailI am continually amazed by the inroads anti-Israel evangelicals are making in the Church—and equally amazed that so many people don’t realize it yet.In March, the so-called “Christ at the Checkpoint” conference will be held in Bethlehem, hosted by Bethlehem Bible College, but featuring speakers from America. There are the usual suspects: Tony Campolo, Gary Burge, Stephen Sizer, Lynne Hybels, etc. But there is a more expanded, eye-opening list:•Bob Roberts, pastor of NorthWood Church, Keller, Texas•Joel Hunter, pastor of Northland, A Church Revisited,•John Ortberg, pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, Menlo Park, California•Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership ConferenceThese are not people without influence. The Palestinians are making a move to internationalize Christian condemnation of Israel, and “Christ at the Checkpoint” (can you imagine a conservative group getting away with such a noxious, political label? The politicizing of Jesus Christ, by left-wing groups, should be roundly condemned, but don’t hold you breath) will feature both Hispanic and Asian speakers, as well as known anti-Zionists from Europe.Louis Lapides recently wrote the following on his “Thinking Outside the Blog”:I ask you to be the judge of whether Reverend Sizer, who appears at almost every Palestinian Christian conference, is an anti-Semite. Based on the company he keeps and the authorities he quotes, I have good reason to tag this Christian pastor as both anti-Israel and an anti-Semite whose writings help fuel the enmity of Israel's enemies against the Jewish nation.You see, here is a key point. Sizer, perhaps the most aggressive critic of Christian Zionism in the world, goes to great lengths to portray himself as not anti-Semitic. Yet Lapides understands the implications of Sizer’s work: it fuels “the enmity of Israel’s enemies against the Jewish nation.”If you talk with Palestinian terrorists—as I have—and ask them what they think of changing American Christian attitudes toward Israel, they are well aware of many of the people I cite in this edition of “Israel Watch.” They know who their friends are.A few days ago, prominent writer/activist/speaker Brian McLaren favorably cited a Christian Post blog by George W. Sarris, entitled: “Jacob I Loved—Esau I Hated.”Now here is where the pro Palestinian propaganda gets really juicy, and I want you to see this. The old Palestinian leadership was schooled in propaganda by the Soviets and their friends in eastern Europe and southeast Asia, and they in turn have fed it to liberal Americans like cotton candy is fed to a seven-year-old.Sarris writes about whether God shows favoritism, specifically to different people groups (you see, McLaren and Sarris and their friends want to discuss the issue of whether God “favors” the Jews over the Palestinians. It’s an effective way of portraying Israel in a bad light, yet again).I want you to take note of a paragraph in Sarris’s blog:“While Scripture specifically says in several places that God is fair and impartial, and encourages us to act in like manner toward our fellow man, our traditional understanding of how God deals with mankind would have us believe that He definitely shows favoritism.”Wow, let’s get to it!Do you see what he’s doing?Sarris cleverly places himself (and, by extension, his liberal friends like McLaren and the Palestinians) on the side of Scripture. Where does that leave us idiot Christian Zionists? Now, get this: on the side of “our traditional understanding.”In other words, we made it up. We allowed our feelings and traditions and biases to favor Israel over the poor, beaten-down, gigantic, pan-Arab nation.Sarris, though, well, he’ll stick with Scripture. He wants you to believe that God never intended to “give” Palestinian land to the Jews. He doesn’t show favoritism.(As an interesting aside, Sarris’s bio tells us that he has a Master of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary—where he was no doubt schooled in anti-Israel thought. He is also “the narrator for the 2011 revision of The Holy Bible, New International Version by Zondervan Publishing House.” A “revision” of the Bible!)It’s that rabble-rousing, anti-intellectual—plain mean—Christian Zionists who are helping oppress the Palestinians.But Sarris and Friends are on the side of Scripture, that is, they are on the right side of History.So they brag.It is clear from Scripture that God gave the land in question to the descendants of Jacob. He also promised to make a great nation from Esau and so He has: the Arabs are huge in numbers and land area in the Middle East.People today have a problem with “a” God that would “show favoritism.” Yet he most certainly does, as He wills it. God is sovereign and so He does what He wants, when He wants.The land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people for all time. But even in this, God explained why He did it, such as in Ezekiel 34:25-31:“‘I will make a covenant of peace with them and rid the land of savage beasts so that they may live in the wilderness and sleep in the forests in safety. I will make them and the places surrounding my hill a blessing. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing. The trees will yield their fruit and the ground will yield its crops; the people will be secure in their land. They will know that I am the LORD, when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from the hands of those who enslaved them. They will no longer be plundered by the nations, nor will wild animals devour them. They will live in safety, and no one will make them afraid. I will provide for them a land renowned for its crops, and they will no longer be victims of famine in the land or bear the scorn of the nations. Then they will know that I, the LORD their God, am with them and that they, the Israelites, are my people, declares the Sovereign LORD. You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign LORD.’”Further, in Ezekiel 36, the Lord has this to say:“Therefore say to the Israelites, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: It is not for your sake, people of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I am proved holy through you before their eyes.’”Don’t you see? This is the biggest story of the last 2,000 years. God has rescued His people from their exile and has returned them to their ancestral land. This is a feat of unequaled detail, an act so visible and so aggressively reactionary to the will of hard-hearted humans that one wonders why it isn’t talked about 24/7, by news outlets around the world.In time.Why do the Sizers of the world not see? As an exercise, read the 36th chapter of Ezekiel and see if this does not make elementary sense to you. It’s language, in plain form. It’s a straightforward story of the Jewish people, and why God does what He does where they are concerned.But the clever writers and honey worded speakers and activists of our day are certain that God does not play favorites.They are wrong and wrong for all-time. In the words of today’s young people, those who oppose the Jews are “epic fail.”It is time pro Israel Christians recognize the left’s bias, and the propaganda techniques in their communications. When someone who appears to have some authority says something dumb and dangerous, us Christian Zionists don’t have to hide under a table.The time of the Lord’s favor for the Jewish people is in full swing. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.