Christians Oppose Blindly Supporting Israel Over Israel-Hamas War

A picture of Israel and Palestine Flags
A picture of Israel and Palestine Flags (photo:
By Ruo WangDecember 4th, 2023

On October 7, 2023, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict reignited, drawing attention from Christian communities.

Among some Evangelical, Pentecostal, and Sabbatarian denominations, there is staunch support for Israel with a leaning toward Zionism. To them, Jews are God's chosen people, and the modern establishment of Israel validates Jesus' prophecies. The building of the Third Temple by Jews is considered a sign of the Lord's return. They believe in the unity between Christians and Jews, advocating mutual support. Therefore, regardless of Israel's foreign relations, they strongly back Israel's strikes against Hamas.

Within this group, there's also a strong inclination towards Judaic faith practices. They show less enthusiasm for church holidays like Christmas but persistently observe Jewish festivals like the Passover and Sukkot. They adhere to dietary principles outlined in the Old Testament. Their extreme support for Israel becomes inevitable.

Others, not necessarily followers of Zionism, hold clear political tendencies or harbor hatred towards a certain religion, hence supporting Israel. For instance, one male believer, after a friend was killed by terrorists at Kunming Railway Station, harbored resentment towards a specific religion and believed Israel must eliminate Hamas.

However, many Christians oppose blind support for Israel. Most of them belong to traditional churches (such as Reformed, Lutheran, Anglican, and Catholic denominations). They see Judaism and the Christian faith as distinct. Though Jews were chosen, they didn't accept Jesus. Moreover, there's a long history of antisemitism in church history, with theologians like Martin Luther strongly criticizing Jews.

Due to these faith differences, they can't blindly support Israel. They claim that this secular state not only hasn't accepted Jesus but also discriminates against and sometimes persecutes Christians. Tel Aviv, Israel's capital, is renowned as a "homosexual haven," further challenging Christians to support such a rebellious nation.

One male believer even said, "I used to have a positive view of Jews, but living in Israel, I discovered they aren't friendly towards Christians. There's rejection and discrimination. I even find some of the actions by a certain leader' understandable."

These believers contend that the term "new Israel" used in the Bible does not refer to Jews but rather to the Jesus-founded church when discussing the issue of Israel's restoration. True restoration for Jews doesn't involve building a secular state, but the entire populace turning to Jesus (even Orthodox Judaism shares this belief and waits for the Messiah). The concept of a Third Temple is deeply flawed because Jesus said the temple is a Christian’s body, not a physical structure.

Concerning the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, these believers mostly maintain an objective stance, condemning Hamas' terrorist actions while pointing out Israel's injustices that provoke Palestinian resistance. However, it's the ordinary people who suffer the most and warrant attention. It's not about supporting either side but praying for peace to prevail.

One female believer mentioned, "Both sides in this conflict lack righteousness; there must be an early ceasefire. If we truly love the Jewish people, it's not about supporting them on the wrong path but praying for their repentance and acceptance of Jesus as their Savior. That's genuine love."

Additionally, some believers neither explicitly support either side nor hold much interest in theology. They view war as suffering and killing as contrary to the Ten Commandments, believing that Christians must pray for world peace.

These are the views of some Christians I've encountered recently regarding the Israeli-Palestinian issue. As a strong supporter of the catholic Church, I agree with the viewpoint that Jewish repentance and belief in Jesus are necessary, and Zionism doesn't align with the spirit of the New Testament.

- Translated by Abigail Wu

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