My wife called me yesterday afternoon, practically in tears. She had found an article in US News titled Odd Bedfellows (side note: Was US News intentionally trying to avoid a cliche, albeit in a half-hearted fashion? Or do they honestly not know that “strange” is the generally accepted word-of-choice in said cliche?).
For those too lazy to click on the link: a synopsis, if I may.
Evangellical Christians have poured millions of dollars into Zionist funds, in US News’ view, in order to fulfill Biblical prophecy and hasten the End Times. Many Jewish leaders are extremely suspicious of the motives of Christians and are therefore reluctant to accept the funds.
The article itself struck me as fairly par-for-the-course. A media outlet, either willingly or unknowingly, misunderstands basic Christian philosophy. Jewish groups, more than likely unknowingly, misunderstand basic Christian philosophy. The confluence of the two results in a typically short, poorly-researched piece which adds to the current month’s US News’ page count. On my first reading of it, I had a very hard time seeing why my wife would get worked up over such an article. She even went so far as to say that it was “one of the most anti-Christian things [she had] read in a long time”.
On subsequent readings, I have begun to see what she meant. The not-so-subtle suggestion that Christians aren’t trustworthy when it comes to topics touched upon by Biblical prophecy. The idea that we’d like to hasten the second coming of Jesus by way of making monetary contributions. The notion that the incarnation of a Jewish state signals the End Times being “popularized in the bestselling Left Behind fiction series”. Armageddon featuring a “nuclear holocaust that is stopped at its climax by the arrival of Jesus”. Poor research all around, which can be forgiven, but this seemed more like willful cluelessness.
The biases of the author are simply accentuated by the outright suspicion expressed by the Jewish sources cited in the story.
But where does this misconception come from?
Read Psalm 122:6-9 (NIV):
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
May those who love you be secure.
May there be peace within your walls
and security within your citadels.
For the sake of my brothers and friends,
I will say, “Peace be within you.”
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
I will seek your prosperity.
I draw my inspiration for my views on Israel almost directly from the above passage. Such a strong exhortation is hard to ignore.
I and my wife can both recount many conversations wherein Jewish friends of ours express genuine shock and amazement that Goyiim such as ourselves do actively support Israel and the cause of the Jews. “Why would you support that? What’s your motive?” seems to be the overarching sentiment we encounter. We must want something, right? We’re just Millenialist wackos trying to bring about the end of the world. We just want to convert all Jews on the spot and strip them of their “Jewishness”.
It’s extremely disheartening to realize that we’re not trusted. I couldn’t agree with James Hutchens (of Christians for Israel/USA) more: “The best friends Israel has are those of us whose theology calls for the continued existence of the Jewish people in the land that is rightfully theirs.” Why can’t mainstream Jews see this? Why is there so much distrust?
Ultimately, the article will stand as Yet Another Example of Liberal Media Bias and yet, at least for me, it will remain a sad reminder of a rift that should not exist. I guess the only solution is to continue to be unwavering in our support of the right of the Jewish people to their homeland and to let God take care of others’ hearts and perceptions. Any other course will lead to heartbreak and disappointment, I fear.