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hmmhmm
Member



Joined: 2006/1/31
Posts: 4991
Sweden

 What does the Bible say about Palestine and Israel

Did God give the land to Israel?

Scripture asserts that God promises land to the people of Israel. Some biblical texts suggest that God gives the land with no conditions or expectations.2 Other passages place conditions on the gift. The Book of Deuteronomy, for example, details calamities which will harm the land or separate people from the land, if they break the covenant with God.3 Texts such as Leviticus 25:18 and 26:31-34, Amos 5:6-9 and 6:1-7 and Jeremiah 7:1-7 concur with this idea of conditionality.

Scripture also asserts that the earth belongs to God.4 Land is a gift linked to covenant responsibility in relation to God and others. Meanwhile, both Palestinians and Jewish people have deep connections to the historic land of Palestine.

Aren't the people of Israel God's chosen people?

In the Bible, we see God depicted as forming a covenant with Abram and Isaac, while also blessing Ishmael.5 Other texts show destruction, not blessing, for non-Israelites.6 Yet Israel is to be a light to the nations, so that God’s salvation will reach “to the end of the earth.” In other words, “chosenness” does not negate God’s love and blessing for all people.7 God’s definition of “citizen” is expansive, not exclusive, embracing the alien or sojourner8 and naming consequences for those who harm sojourners.9 In Ezekiel, God says that sojourn - ers are to be treated as citizens in land inheritance.10

Christians embrace Jesus’ words to love God, neighbor and enemy, and to pray for those who persecute us.11 Jesus, the Jewish teacher, says that on love of God and neighbor hang all the law, or Torah, and prophets.12 As in all matters regarding a theology of land and chosen - ness, followers of Jesus are called to love all people, the Jewish neighbor as well as the Palestinian neighbor.13

What about the claim in Genesis 12:3 that God will bless those who bless Abram’s descendants and curse those who curse them?

For biblical prophets,14 acknowledgment of God’s promise to Abram includes a call to practice jus - tice. Genesis 12:3 notes God’s purpose in giving the land to Abram’s descendants so that through them “all the families of the earth” would be blessed.

Whether reading Genesis 12:3 as intended solely for the Jewish people or for all of Abram’s off spring (Jewish, Christian and Muslim), blessing Abram’s descendants includes a call to love mercy and do justice,15 while holding ourselves accountable to that same standard in our own contexts.
Is biblical Israel the same as the modern state of Israel?

The state of Israel has a beginning point, May 1948. For some, it is clear therefore that modern Israel and biblical Israel are two distinct realities – the state a contemporary secular, political entity, and the land a geographical place promised, given and repossessed by God in the Torah and prophets. Others see today’s state as part of an enduring promise of Jewish sovereignty in the land.

Whether one views this question from a modern human rights perspective or through the prism of biblical covenant, all people are to be regarded as created in the image of God and as citizens, with security on the land and the other rights that implies.

What is Christian Zionism?

As noted in the section on recent history, Zionism emerged in the 1890s in Europe as a mostly secular Jewish movement working for a safe homeland and to fulfill the dream of restoring Jews to the land of their birth as a people. However, the home was established on land inhabited by Palestinians for centuries. Christian Zionists believe that the 1948 creation of the state of Israel fulfills Old Testament prophecies and is essential for Jesus’ second coming. They interpret God’s land promise to include support for the state. Most Palestinian and other Middle Eastern Christians find this support troubling. Such support usually impacts their own local work and presence negatively (see Palestinian Christians). Some other Christians share these concerns. For instance, a number of evangelical theologians “… see a complex relationship between the Old Testament and New Testament covenants” when it comes to Israel, Palestine and theological implications.16

What is an Anabaptist perspective on a Jewish state?

Anabaptists have long upheld the separation of religion and state. As some Anabaptists have experienced, states which favor one faith or ethnicity frequently discriminate against minority groups. In general, statehood is not seen as an end in itself. States can sometimes help guarantee basic human rights. Governments are judged according to the extent that they deter evil conduct and approve the good.17

A sovereign state, Jewish, Palestinian or otherwise, is a potential tool to realize the ultimate goal – the wellbeing of all people, including Jews and Palestinians.

MCC works with both Palestinians and Israelis who are committed to nonviolence, whether they believe that peace, justice and reconciliation are best secured in the context of a two-state solution, or that this will be best achieved in the framework of one, bi-national state of equal citizenship. Because Scripture says that all are made in God’s image, Christians work for the rights of all to be respected in a nation-state of any form.
What is a Good News theology for both Jews and Palestinians?
All people are created in God’s image.18 In God’s kingdom inaugurated in Jesus, none are elevated above others or granted privileges at others’ expense.19 The Bible articulates God’s love for the whole world20 and desire for everyone to experience new and abundant life.21 The Lord requires that we “do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God.”22 This imperative stirs the church to act. Where the Spirit of God is at work, injustice cannot be ignored.

In the context of Palestine and Israel, this includes recognizing that “the land happens to be the homeland of two peoples,” as Rev. Mitri Raheb says. “Each of them should understand this land to be a gift of God to be shared with the other. Peace and the blessing on the land and on the two peoples will depend on this sharing. Only then will the biblical promises be fulfilled.”23


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CHRISTIAN

 2007/5/1 14:44Profile
crsschk
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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: Directions for the holy spending of every day- Baxter MUST READ!

Outstanding brother. Much to meditate on here, thank you so much.


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Mike Balog

 2007/5/1 15:53Profile









 Re:

Agreed...

 2007/5/1 15:58
HopePurifies
Member



Joined: 2007/4/12
Posts: 181
Georgia, USA

 Re: Directions for the holy spending of every day- Baxter MUST READ!

These are very good and helpful instructions. I am guilty of wasting time often.


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Melanie

 2007/5/1 16:13Profile
hmmhmm
Member



Joined: 2006/1/31
Posts: 4991
Sweden

 Re:

yes.....one of the things i try more and more to get a hold of is wasting time... how much of it just goes by to never ever come back again.... every minute is precius... and when i look at my life i see several areas that could be spent more "wisely" in view of eternity.


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CHRISTIAN

 2007/5/2 8:22Profile
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: Directions for the holy spending of every day- Baxter MUST READ!

Quote:
Direction 9. Be thoroughly acquainted with your corruptions and temptations, and watch against them all the day; especially the most dangerous sort of your corruptions, and those temptations which your company or business will unavoidably lay before you. Be still watching and working against the [b]master sins[/b] of unbelief, hypocrisy, selfishness, pride, sensuality, or flesh-pleasing, and the inordinate love of earthly things. Take heed lest, under pretense of diligence in your calling, you are drawn to earthly-mindedness, and excessive cares or covetous designs for rising in the world.


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Mike Balog

 2007/5/2 8:26Profile
PaulWest
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Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

Quote:
Take heed lest, under pretense of diligence in your calling, you are drawn to earthly-mindedness, and excessive cares or covetous designs for rising in the world.



One of the numerous battle strategies that master chess tacticians will employ is the smokescreen, or ghost attack. This is where you give an illusion that you are attacking on a certain front, yet all the while preparing for a massive, surprise invasion on a different unguarded front. Kind of like what happened at Ai.

I have found that fleshly inticements are the most potent when we are ardously absorbed with Christian labor. I always remember that Satan is a master battle technician, tactician. He'll let you labor and build up strength in one area and then strike suddently at an Achilles heel. When our fleshly deeds are being mortified, we need to post an even greater sentry over our heart and mind, for it is in these dark and secret areas the enemy is planning subtle infiltratation. I have learnt by the Spirit of God that the more fervor and exuberance and diligence I have in persuing the things of God, the more liberty I have in prayer, the greater and unrestricted flow I have in revelations of Scripture, the more I am beseeched by God to beware. Wolves aren't a threat unless there's herd to steal. The herd, O brethren, is our joy in the presence of God, our vibrant, abundant life in Jesus Christ. The true, resurrected life that not many experience.

How often have we been denuded of these, in a single hour, sometimes after weeks, months, even [i]years[/i], of unbroken victory. When we stand we are to take heed, lest we fall. Young and confident Christians (by the grace God has been imparted to draw close and excel in prayer) should ideally learn this truth from the written Word and the battle scars of older, wiser brethren, but, sadly, this is not the case. Knowledge puffs up, zeal blinds, but love and humility in Christ conquers all.

Brother Paul


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Paul Frederick West

 2007/5/2 9:24Profile
Compton
Member



Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re:

Very edifying article. I'm thinking about posting this by the back door that I walk past every morning on my way to my car. (er, my horse...)

Quote:
All your labor must be as the labor of a traveler, which is all for his journey's end; and all your respect or affection to any place or thing in your way, must be in respect to your attainment of the end; as a traveler loves a good way, a good horse, a good inn, a dry cloak, or good company; but nothing must be loved here, as your end or home.



Just out curiosity...when did Baxter fit in television? ;-)

Thanks hmmhmm,

MC


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Mike Compton

 2007/5/2 9:28Profile
hmmhmm
Member



Joined: 2006/1/31
Posts: 4991
Sweden

 Re:

Direction 15. If any temptation prevails against you, and you fall into any sin, presently lament it, and confess it to God; and rise by a true and thorough repentance, immediately without delay. [i]Spare not the flesh[/i], and daub not over the breach, and do not by excuses palliate the sore, but speedily rise, whatever it cost; for it will certainly cost you more to remain impenitent. And for your besetting sins, make not too light of them, but confess them, and daily strive against them; and examine what strength you get against them, and do not aggravate them by impenitence and contempt


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CHRISTIAN

 2007/5/2 9:58Profile
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Not of this world

Quote:
How often have we been denuded of these, in a single hour, sometimes after weeks, months, even years, of unbroken victory. When we stand we are to take heed, lest we fall. Young and confident Christians (by the grace God has been imparted to draw close and excel in prayer) should ideally learn this truth from the written Word and the battle scars of older, wiser brethren, but, sadly, this is not the case. Knowledge puffs up, zeal blinds, but love and humility in Christ conquers all.



Well said brother. Much of this you mention is something that I am trying to give some voice to, putting down perhaps a bit differently, it would bounce off of;

Quote:
I have learnt by the Spirit of God that the more fervor and exuberance and diligence I have in persuing the things of God, the more liberty I have in prayer, the greater and unrestricted flow I have in revelations of Scripture, the more I am beseeched by God to beware.



And how that translates out into the world of circumstances and ... settings. It's based around a great difficulty I still find, that of being in the worlds 'atmosphere' everyday. Along the same lines that MC mentioned, but after going through that door.


_________________
Mike Balog

 2007/5/2 10:30Profile





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