By Rev Ted Pike
6 September 2007
Yesterday, our staff writer Harmony Grant commented on how 34 evangelical leaders broke ranks with their “Israel-first” brethren and requested President Bush more even-handedly approach the Palestinian dilemma.
Their letter to the White House includes an astonishing assertion: “Blessing” Israel does not necessarily mean praising her and providing the horrific and maiming weapons of war. It does not mean reflexively taking Israel’s side against Palestinians. Rather, these leaders assert, to bless Israel is to encourage her to a higher ethical standard - a standard achieved by the Hebrew prophets.
“As evangelical Christians," say these leaders, "we embrace the biblical promise to Abraham, ‘I will bless them who bless you.’ (Genesis 12:3)" What is spiritual blessing? These leaders reply: “Genuine love and blessing means acting in ways that promote the genuine and long-term well-being of our neighbors. Perhaps the best way we can bless Israel is to encourage her to remember, as she deals with her neighbor Palestinians, the profound teaching on justice that the Hebrew prophets proclaimed so forcefully as an inestimably precious gift to the world.”
What? No more blessing Israel through tanks and goliath bulldozers to flatten West Bank towns and olive orchards? No more Apache helicopters to rain hell-fire missiles and canisters of debilitating nerve gas stamped “Made in the U.S.A. ” on hapless Palestinians? (See, "Why the Mid-East Bleeds" video) For most evangelicals, "blessing" Israel has meant carte blanche approval, money and military hardware. Some like John Hagee want us to “bless” Israel by precipitating war with her enemy, Iran.
Yet 34 evangelical leaders now agree with the Bible that the greatest blessing we give anyone, Jew or Gentile, is to exemplify God’s love by speaking the whole truth and even rebuking evil. Why is this spiritual blessing of truth so important? We all have eternal souls which need, more than anything else, to be blessed by learning of Jesus Christ's love and justice - a gospel whose compassion immediately extends caring hands to the physical needs of a suffering world.
Well done, evangelical leaders! You do precisely what the National Prayer Network has advocated for decades: return to a Biblical definition of what it means to bless anyone. This contradicts the century-old, Zionist-dictated definition of blessing Israel which only curses America , the entire Mideast , and Jewish and evangelical souls.
These 34 leaders request a personal meeting with the President to discuss their enlightened perspectives and explore others. Let us pray he grants their request!
I pray also that countless evangelicals and their leaders will support this pioneering initiative. Those who signed this letter to the President, in seeking true Biblical values and proclaiming them in the face of certain controversy, have done the right thing. Millions of Christians and Americans should come forward and do the same.
Rev. Ted Pike is director of the National Prayer Network, a Christian/conservative watch dog organization.
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