A Night to Honor Israel
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
What a wonderful evening.
Held at Promiseland church (a large pentecostal church), it was almost a packed house. They handed out Israeli and American flags at the door, had Israeli items for sale in the lobby, and had a harpist playing in the lobby.
There was a full choir, an internationally known violinist, some spectacular singers (one of whom looked like she was 16 and had the sweetest soprano voice), and at the end a performance by the Messianic family that had performed in my church that morning. (The Messianic version of the Von Trapp family--there were 10 beautiful children with sweet voices.)
It started with worship, both Christian and Jewish with Jewish dancers circling the auditorium. Those of us with flags waved them, some people clapped, some sang along. Then we had prayer and ....
There were guest speakers; a host announcing the events of the evening, some guest Rabbis, 6 pastors who sponsored the evening (among them my pastor and our worship pastor--who got applause), and the main speaker; the CEO of Christians United for Israel.
His name is David Brog and he's one of the best speakers I've ever heard. He held the audience (2200 seats, almost all filled) in the palm of his hand. It was like he was addressing you personally. He started out by saying, "I just want to make this as clear as possible: I am a Jewish Jew for Judaism. And yes, I work for Christians United for Israel." And then he went on to explain why.
He explained how closely tied the Jewish people are to their history. When they talk about the persecution of the Jews through the centuries, they talk about it as if it happened to them personally. The crusades, the inquisition, the holocaust; all by people who classified themselves as "Christians". Therefore, there is a great deal of distrust and suspicion among the Jewish people towards Christians.
He says it began when the Reformists changed the meaning of one word in the bible: Israel. The biblical interpretation of Israel is the nation of Israel, the people--Abraham and his descendants. However, the Reformists changed the meaning to "the church" meaning that all of the promises of God for the nation of Israel really belonged to the Christian church and not to the Jewish people. With that one change, they disinherited a nation from the bible and the God of their ancestors. It reduced the Jewish people into one single entity: Christ killers. In the 40's when a Jewish person walked down the street people would spit on them and call them Christ killers.
He went on to say that those in the audience today are not the descendants of those people who have for centuries persecuted the Jewish nation. That by showing our support for the state of Israel and the Jewish people, we were the descendants of Casper Ten Boom and his daughter, Corrie.
During world war 2 when others would spit on a Jewish person, Casper would tip his hat in a gesture of respect. He invited many Jewish people to have dinner in his home. Then, of course he became famous for starting the under ground railway and saving the lives of 800 Jews. He died in a Nazi prison. All of his family, except Corrie, died in Nazi concentration camps. When Corrie was asked why her family took such risks and died to save Jews she answered (this is NOT an exact quote), that the Jewish people gave her her two most precious gifts: the Word of God which was penned by Jewish hands, and her best friend, Jesus Christ, her Savior and Lord.
Mr. Brog went on to say that we are the descendants (theologically) of Corrie Ten Boom and her family. That when we see Jewish people we do not see Christ killers, we see the family and friends of Jesus Christ.
And that is why he works for Christians United for Israel. Because when he, a Jew sees us, he does not see little Hitlers, he sees the children of the Ten Booms.
My pastor has called us to be Christian Zionists. There has been a lot of misconception about the term Zionist. However, the basic meaning is that we believe that every word of the bible is true, that the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob has never changed and the promises in the bible for the nation of Israel still apply today. That the Jewish people were given the first original land grant when God told Abraham that he would give him the Promiseland and gave him the boundaries of where that land was. And that because of this the people of the State of Israel have just as much right to independence and autonomy as any other nation in the world; with the right to defend its boundaries when necessary.