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"It is better to take refuge in Adonai than to trust in human beings; better to take refuge in Adonai than to put one's trust in princes." -Tehilah 118:8-9

We Made it to the Front Page

Religious Affairs: Jesus's Zionists in today's Jerusalem Post is a pretty even-handed article that portrays Messianic Jewish Israelis in a favorable light regarding their Zionism and military service.

It's interesting to note the confluence of culture evident in the paper's interpretation of Messianic Judaism, as well as in the Messianic Jewish Israeli expressions of faith. For instance:

"As believers, we are obligated to love and respect our enemies. But we are also citizens of Israel, which obligates us to serve in the IDF."

Why is there a but in that comment? Why is it automatically assumed that military service implies hatred and destruction of your enemies? Since when does the IDF fire on any of their opponents without first being provoked and then taking every precaution to avoid conflict and unnecessary casualties?

"Days are coming when the Jewish people will be forced to realize that Yeshua is the only solution to all our troubles," said Bar-David, using the Hebrew name for Jesus.

The sense of eminent apocalypse expressed by the Messianic believer here is interesting. I was recently at a dinner with an Israeli doctor who told me of his two jobs and his wife's three. When I commented on his insane workload, he said it is the same for all Israelis- they work all the time to keep their mind off the constant stresses of living in what is essentially a 24/7 war zone. Why would an Israeli believer in Yeshua, who lives in this war zone on a daily basis, focus his apocalyptic vision on days that are coming instead of the ones he is already living?

Moreover, why would you ever use the term "forced" when talking about coming to faith in Messiah? That is the antithesis of faith-- it cannot be forced. What? Trauma will worsen to such an extent that Israelis will be "forced" into believing in a Messiah in order to obtain salvation from the horror? That mindset assumes 1 of 2 things:

1. A forced belief in a false Messiah, since true faith cannot be forced, and if Messiah is Truth, then there can be nothing false about faith in Him, or;

2. Tying in the apocalyptic vision, this belief that Israelis will be "forced" into faith rings a note all to similar to the ones being sung by the Evangelical Christian Church in America, which--excuse the phrasing--is hellbent on being raptured so they can see the "Jews" duke it out in the tribulation until "Jesus" comes back to save His chosen.

Strange. Especially coming from an Israeli. Could it be that the translation from Hebrew to English wasn't that great, or does Christian eschatology have the same kind of influence on Israeli Messianic Judaism that it does on American Messianic Judaism?

Still, though, a fair report coming from the largest-read English daily in Israel on the eve before Shabbos. Should be interesting to see what the Messianic world thinks.

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posted by Shoshana @ 1:30 PM

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