We have a choice. Will we, the Church, choose to stand with Israel?
By: Dan Celia
Israel is the land of those who walked before us, bringing us our Christian heritage and the Judeo-Christian values by which we live each day. It is the land of God’s Chosen People. And, of course, it is the land of our Lord. The Bible tells us that those who bless Israel will themselves be blessed, and those who curse Israel will be cursed (Genesis 12:3).
A friend of mine who is an official in Jerusalem recently sent me an update. She explained they were fighting against an enemy hiding behind and among civilians, putting their own people in danger. She went on to say that while this enemy cares nothing for those civilians, Israel is being blamed for the atrocities that are resulting.
Our increasingly anti-Semitic word continues to make Israel the target of demonstrations and biting criticism while ignoring the brutal murders of Christians and others in the vicinity of Israel (and elsewhere). We continue to see politicians around the world who consistently look for political solutions and negotiate with an enemy who refuses to recognize Israel’s right to exist. These mediators are trying to reduce this conflict to political issues instead of an unquenchable vendetta of hate perpetrated by the so-called theology of Islamic extremists.
Along with the constant threat of death and devastation in the land, many Israel tours have been canceled and, of course, this is having a dramatic impact on their economy and affecting everyone in Jerusalem and the surrounding areas. Israel continues to call for prayer and for God’s hand of protection to be upon them.
All these things are extremely disturbing to me as a Christian who loves Israel. We need to be praying continuously. I believe churches need to stand up and to find a renewed and steadfast spirit within them. They need to stand up for Israel, pray for Israel, and find concrete ways to help Israel. I find it most disturbing that so few are doing this. Those who fail to stand with Israel should be praying that God does not cast them away from His presence (Psalm 51:10–11).
Pastors need to speak loudly from the pulpit against the policymakers and media that continue to take the wrong side of the issue or ignore the truth altogether. Pastors and the faithful need to be standing with Israel as never before, and their voices need to be heard.
Unfortunately, the silence is deafening—and it will bring no blessing to the Church in America.
Why are we silent? Could we be afraid of the political ramifications of speaking out? Could pastors and church leaders possibly be afraid that some in the church may be offended and leave to go to a more “easy-going” church? Could it be that tithes and offerings could fall off because of such a vocal stance? Could it be that we would believe for even a moment that he who lives in this world could be stronger and more terrifying than the power of God?
Each day, I hear the Silence of the Church on even more issues. Churches do not want to be politically involved, yet their very silence involves them—in a detrimental way. The Church in America is too concerned about losing the influence of the world to stand firmly as an influence on the world and take their stand on the truths and promises of the Bible. Certainly, there are exceptions out there. Those exceptions need to be even more vocal in encouraging their brethren in the pulpit to stand firmly and speak loudly.
As believers, we are the Church. And we have a choice. We can remain silent and put ourselves in jeopardy of losing everything—everything that counts. Or we can choose to speak out boldly . . . against those who are bombarding Israel with hate . . . against the policy makers and media who present half-truths or no truth at all. To stand steadfastly in every way with Israel. The choice to speak loudly does not come with the possibility of any real losses—at least the kind of losses that matter.
May the grace of God and His mercies and peace be upon the nation of Israel and may God’s people rise up in prayer, faith, conviction, and action for this land. (Psalm 122:6-7 NKJV)
Dan Celia is President/CEO of Financial Issues Stewardship Ministries, Inc. and host of the national syndicated radio talk program Financial Issues heard daily 9 to 11 ET. To learn more go to www.financialissues.org. Financial Issues Stewardship Ministries is a Partner of the American Pastors Network.