Friday, November 11, 2011

Israel (17) - Britain and America

A strange doctrine has taken hold among Christians that claims that God blesses nations that support the nation of Israel. The biblical basis for this doctrine is Genesis 12:3.

I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse.
The verse is quoted as final proof, without any discussion of who should be blessed. It is not clear that it would apply to a desolate house. There no discussion of what blessing means. Providing military support may not be what God had in mind.

The historic proof of this doctrine is that Britain lost its empire when it stopped supporting Israel. America has been blessed, because it has provided military and political support for Israel.

A closer look at history shows that this doctrine depends on a re-write of history. The British were always ambivalent about the Jewish people, so how did they get such a large empire in the first place? If their policy did not change, why did they lose their empire. For most of the twentieth, the United States was ambivalent about the Jewish cause. During the 1930s, many Jews trying to escape Nazi Germany were refused entry in to the United States. Some of them died later in the death camps. During the Second World Ward did very little to stop they death camps. They could have bombed the rail lines going to them, but chose not to. During the 1950s and 1960s, America was not the main supporter of Israel. Israel's strongest support came from France, trying to perpetuate their role as a big noise in the Levant. The Israel Air Force flew French Mirage fighter planes. Israeli tanks were armed with French guns. If God blesses nations that support the nation of Israel, France should be humming. Instead, they have continued the decline that began earlier in the century and has never stopped.

American support for Israel only got serious in the 1970, when Evangelical Christians got stirred up about the issue and the Middle East became an important theatre of conflict in the Cold War. The Russians were getting involved in many Arab countries, so America supported Israel as a counterweight. America experienced a huge grow in military and economic power during the period from 1917 to 1965 when its support for Israel was weak. The 1950s were probably its best years. When America got serious about supporting Israel, it went into decline, experienced a defeat in Vietnam and long period of stagflation in the economy.

The doctrine that God blesses nations that provide military and political support for Israel does not make sense. God blesses nations that serve and honour him.

The idea that nations can gain blessing by blessing the nation of Israel undermines the cross. It is salvation by good works. Salvation and security come through faith and repentance. A nation that sins freely cannot be kept safe by from evil by blessing the Israeli nation.

Using this doctrine as a prophetic lens will create prophetic confusion. True prophets use a much broader standard for assessing the performance of a nation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have been really enjoying this series keep up the good work! -Sam