Here would be my personal tot regarding the war , an article written to another group of friends and I want to share with you. The old testament is full of God’s promise of protection for an obedient & God fearing Israel. And the writer obviously only quoted from there and perhaps do not believe or want to us teachings of Christ/ new testament . ( even the linking of Iran and Persia is wrong as 1) Persia is modern day Iraq which already is invaded by US 2) Esther and Daniel shows God’s plan for the exile and for Persia which is described. And Daniel 6 onwards talked about the future kingdom of Persia / Persia Medi and not about the bombing of Lebanon , Palestine nor the ‘evil’ Iran ). Never the less, lets ignore this assumption and focus on the important fact – that this is an unjust war of preemption.
Many times in the bible the Israelites uses their own intelligence in decision and then cry out to God. Many times in history people uses the name of God to wage war or to justify their means. I am not sure of God’s plan in this but I believe that only Christ can bring real freedom and love. Not through bullets nor gun , through aggression nor pride , man’s ability nor armies etc. And most of the time , in may involve humility , submission, love & repentance. Yeah , the picture of Christ’s suffering &” weakness” vs the conquering & strong David / Solomon. When I see these news , I keep reminding myself that it is the former’s picture that I should be constantly reminded of.
I was reminded again of this “ No to War” sticker on my car a few nights ago while driving. I remember that as a church , we went to Bukit Jalil with a handmade banner crying “ Blessed are the peacemaker” against the propaganda war against Iraq. It was then a time when the ‘general evidence” and moral obligation deemed that the war is justified. People began to have visions of the return of Jesus , victory of Christians etc. Of course, the evidences obviously are not and there is a general anger that the moral ground has crumbled. ( And it also hurt us Christians ) For us , we tot that the teaching of Christ did not seemed to be reflected by the political-religious determination then.
Which brings me to this write-up from a writer that I suspect may most probably be a liberal. Read this thru and think about the issue of Israel bombing Palestine and Lebanon. We are the ‘face’ of Christianity to our friends – what would you say ?
Excerpts from We’re being set up for a wider war – By Craig Roberts. ( www.antiwar.com )
Evangelical "Christians" are part of the propaganda show. Three thousand of them, under the lead of the Rev. John C. Hagee, are heading to Washington for a "Washington/Israel summit" to demand, needlessly, that the neocon Bush regime show "stronger support for Israel."
It is difficult to see how Bush could show any stronger support without using the U.S. military to assist Israel in its attacks, which is, of course, what the "Christian" Rev. Hagee intends when he declares: "There's a new Hitler in the Middle East [he doesn't mean Bush or Olmert]. The only way he will be stopped will be by a preemptive military strike in Iran."
Present at Rev. Hagee's "Washington/Israel Summit" will be Israel's former Minister of Defense, Lt. Gen. Moshe Ya'alon, Israeli Ambassador Daniel Ayalon, Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman, Republican Senators Sam Brownback and Rick Santorum, the Rev. Jerry Falwell, and Gary Bauer.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the most powerful lobby in Washington, expressed its thanks to Rev. Hagee for demonstrating "the depth and breadth of American support" for Israel. Recently, AIPAC has been under investigation as a suspected nest for Israeli spies.
David Brog, former chief of staff for Republican Sen. Arlen Specter, has gone to work for Rev. Hagee. Brog, who is Jewish, says he works for Hagee's evangelical enterprise because "we're bringing into a pro-Israel camp millions of Christians who love Israel and giving them a political voice. Israel's enemies are our enemies, and this group instinctively understands that." Brog goes on to say that Hagee's evangelicals understand that they are not supposed to talk about Jesus, only about saving Israel: "Christians who work with Jews in supporting Israel realize how sensitive we are in talking about Jesus. They realize it will interfere with what they are trying to do."
Gentle reader, is this an admission that evangelicals have set aside Jesus for war? Do these bloody-minded evangelicals really believe they will be wafted to Heaven for helping Israel involve the U.S. in more war? Have evangelicals forgotten that "an eye for an eye" is Old Testament? "Turn the other cheek" is New Testament.
On July 14, Reuters reported that alone among Christians, the "Vatican condemns Israel for attacks on Lebanon."
Quite surely , what are they trying to do? And when JC is omitted from any of our actions ( like the group of evangelicals , so that they can be politically correct ) .. what does it mean ?
For me , even before stumbling on this article .. my thoughts are somewhat changed. Well , Israel is of course God’s chosen people in the bible and whosoever believed are now called the ‘sons of God”. However , I believe again on the approach of integrity , fairness and compassion described in the bible. Heck the political entities. The crux of the issue is that Israel is attacking civilians and that is not right nor fair. And if we are not defending the powerless and the suffering , those who are killed without justice or maimed for life ..
This is my stand , which somehow seemed to only be verbalized by two entities ( other than some Muslim countries ) . The nation of Switzerland ( the human rights nation ) , who dared to speak out when Europe prefers to be quiet .. and the Catholics who were also right when it protested against the Iraq war . ( and the Pope refuses to change his opinion even when ambassadors were sent to see him ) . Of course , these are more of a political statement than a religious per se . Just because the victims here are majority Muslims does not mean that we cannot defend them. If Mr Samaritan can do it , I guess we can too.
Dear Intercessors,The Book of Esther focuses on the attempt of Persia (Iran!) to wipe out the Jewish people. An unchangeable edict is made demanding their destruction. The power and authority of the Persian Empire is aimed at (exiled) Israel's total destruction. This attempt is foiled when the King's wife, whose Jewish identity has been hidden, appears before the king after calling her people to a breakthrough fast. In the process, Esther's mentor Mordechai utters these immortal words:Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king's palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this? Esther 4:13,14Here are some gripping parallels with Israel's situation. 1. The principality seeking Israel's destruction was Persia---modern day Iran.2. Esther, representing believers in Israel's God (Jesus' true followers of today), had a choice whether to speak up, identifying with the Jews, or be silent.3. The cost of not speaking up and interceding for the salvation of the Jews at a time of catastrophic danger, would be their own demise.4. Implied in Esther's timing and availability was the dimension of God sovereignly choosing her to bring God's deliverance.5. Esther went before the King, who alone had the authority to stop the murderous attack upon the Jews. Being his bride (!) she had favor.Beloved friends, I believe this comparison is given for our instruction and inspiration. Those who love Yeshua must now arise and go before the King to secure Israel's physical and spiritual deliverance. I cannot possibly write these words or send out this e-mail fast enough to keep up with the developments in the war on my nation of Israel. The entire region around Haifa is under bombardment. Many 100's of rockets have fallen throughout northern Israel, the Galilee, where I and thousands of Messianic believers live, work and worship. Akko, Upper Nazareth, Tiberias area, Haifa and the Kryot (nearest the large oil refinery Hizbollah is targeting)----these are the exact locations of the congregations I serve. Towns that have never been hit this way, or at least not for decades, are experiencing the wickedness of Hizbollah, propelled to this madness by Iran (Persia). Israeli citizens have been killed in their own homes, after our government has gone to sacrificial extremes to withdraw from conflict. But conflict is obviously not withdrawing from us.In recent years the Spirit of God has been arousing Christians on every continent to love and pray for Israel. It would seem that you have been brought to the Kingdom for just such a time as this, when there is a life and death need to intercede before the King for Israel's enemies to be destroyed. How then, shall we pray? Here are a few simple suggestions. May God guide you and take you to an unprecedented place of identification with Israel, intimacy with Himself and intensity in spiritual warfare.* LET GOD ARISE. LET HIS ENEMIES BE SCATTERED; LET THOSE ALSO WHO HATE HIM FLEE BEFORE HIM. (Psalm 68:1) This is God's battle. Let us call on Him who loves Israel and has established her for His testimony in the earth. We can authoritatively pray confusion and dissolution upon Israel's enemies. Pray utilizing passages like Isaiah 41:8-14 in which God makes clear that He has brought Jacob back to his land and that He will uphold us with His righteous right hand. Those who were incensed against you shall be ashamed and disgraced; they shall be as nothing, and those who strive with you shall perish. Isaiah 41:11 It is entirely biblical and would grab the attention of our nation if this war were to be decided through overtly miraculous intervention on God's part. Let us pray so. * SALVATION BELONGS TO THE LORD. YOUR BLESSING IS UPON YOUR PEOPLE. (Psalm 3:8) This entire chapter is vividly relevant to our situation. It also speaks of the danger we are in, of God arising and of the enemy being broken. But God's interest is always ultimately in the salvation of His people. How shall we look to Him whom we have pierced (Zechariah 12:10) unless we are surrounded by enemies and pressed to look beyond our previous national conclusions about who or what Messiah is. It is time to pray for our eyes to be opened to Yeshua. This is not the final battle, but it is a prelude. Please pray for fresh BOLDNESS, FAITH, LOVE, UNITY and the SUPERNATURAL LEADING of the SPIRIT for all of Israel's Messianic believers. * BUT YOU, O LORD, ARE A SHIELD FOR ME, MY GLORY AND THE LIFTER OF MY HEAD. (Psalm 3:3) Clearly, we need god to be our shield. Some missiles have been falling into the Mediterranean Sea. Another hit a grove of trees inside a very crowded residential/commercial area in Haifa. I just spoke with the leader of the Akko Messianic congregation who told me that the 3 story building that was destroyed in Haifa today was EMPTY! He said a synagogue in Akko was wiped out only 10 minutes after its worshipers walked out. Angelic protection is an established reality in the history of Israel's conflicts...both in bible times and in recent history such as the Six Day War in '67. Father, we call upon you to release angelic hosts to deflect weapons aimed against us and to place shields over our soldiers and over our citizens. And may those who are truly innocent in the territory we are having to counter-attack be spared as well. Eitan ShishkoffTents of Mercy (Ohalei Rachamim)