Friday, March 4, 2011

John Piper on Israel and Arab Christians...


"American Christians are more closely united to Palestinian Christians and Arab Christians and Jewish Christians throughout the world than we are to the state of non-Christian Israel."


I couldn't agree more.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

as Christian from Palestine I am encouraged to see you write this. came across your blog as I was looking for reactions to Piper's blog post.

Peace to You!

R. H. said...

I have much respect for Dr. John Piper and agree with the quotation of his you have posted here. I would like to also recommend a very good short study (sermon) by John Stott entitled "The Place of Israel" . It was published as a chapter in Stephen Sizer's "Zion's Christian Soldiers?" book (http://www.ivpbooks.com/9781844742141). See also the Rev. Sizer's website, http://www.stephensizer.com.
God bless you and your ministry promoting Biblical truth and Anglican theology.

Jacob M. Aho said...

What are the ramifications of that thought process in the Christian community?

Anonymous said...

In response to Jacob's question: (If I understand you correctly) - All people are saved by God's grace through Jesus Christ and not by their nationality, ethnicity or race.
Gary DeMar has a ministry called "American Vision" (in the Atlanta metro area) that publishes many good articles on theology, politics and eschatology online. Those interested in theology and the conflict in the Middle East today might find it of interest.

Jacob M. Aho said...

It seems to me that most mainline protestants are a mill with that in mind how does the totality of the Christian community deal with the issue of Israel as a nation or the possibility of Israel becoming a Christian nation or does none of this matter in near or far future?

Matt Perkins said...

Hey Jacob, I think it matters but I'm not exactly sure how it does. I know that many people have very strongly held beliefs about the end-times and how that's all going to happen. When I look at the history of the Church and Biblical interpretation I don't see one interpretation (like that of the dispensationalists) that must be embraced in order to be orthodox. I'm content to say and believe with all my heart "Christ will come again," and to know that all the preparation I need for the end-times is a complete faith and trust in Christ for the forgiveness of my sins. If Christ is my Lord and my Savior then no matter how the end-times take place I know that my life is "hidden with Christ in God," and I know I'm safe there. I also know that I need to learn more about eschatology and I do desire to be faithful to Scripture in whatever I believe about the end-times.

On your very practical question about what are ramifications for the Christian community, I would simply say that I think we should be preaching more like what Piper wrote here than a lot of what I see on TBN and within Evangelicalism. I've always thought I must be pro-Israeli and pro-Arab, rejoicing in Christ with my brothers and sisters (those who are Christians) whether they be of Jewish or Arab descent and also desiring the salvation of all those who don't know Christ no matter their ethnicity or present religion. I guess I just think it's a lot more simple than the way a lot of Christians talk about this issue.

Thank you all for your comments!

Jacob M. Aho said...

I tend to agree on your precise answer. However, you are almost saying, now putting words into your mouth "No need to be aware of the world conditions, be oblivious to the events happening in the world" In this day and age I think one of things we need to do is "Keep the Bible in one hand and keep the newspaper in the other hand".

Eschatology - study of things to come - How do we study the end times without getting emotionally overly exuberant?

I read the Wall Street Journal daily. I must admit that there are many events in the world that are happening or have happened that give great pause for concern.

We American's have this idea that "We are the special ones" Not one mention of U. S. is in the Bible as
far as I can see. If I'm right on that point then it becomes incumbent that we open our eyes to the world situations around us as Bible believing individuals.

Now how we deal with that information becomes rather tricky.

The end analysis is: we continue to trust in the Lord, Jesus Christ even when we don't know what will or will not take place. But at the same time be aware of what's happening world wide around us.

Matt Perkins said...

Hey Jacob,

I'm in 100% agreement with you as far as I can tell. And I admit that I am often tempted to say "let's just be oblivious to world events," probably just because I feel like it's easier not to have to try to interpret them. I admit that there have been many times that I thought it would be nice just to form a Christian commune and totally separate myself from the world, although I get no sense in the Bible that that's what we're actually called to do.

I think one underlying idea I have which leads me to post something like this post on Israel and the Arabs is that I don't like it when people start rallying around one interpretation of world events as if that is the only truly scriptural or Christian interpretation of those events. I know that I would tend to err on the side of not even coming up with any interpretation of world events at all because the scriptural evidence often seems weak to me when people try to convince me that the action of this or that modern nation is what is being referred to in some biblical prophecy. I also must strive for greater humility around people who do interpret world events and be willing to learn from them.

I think this also plays into my view of politics. I'm not afraid of calling myself a conservative politically because I am one. But even though I usually vote for them I don't really trust republicans any more than I do democrats and being really involved in politics just seems like a futile effort for me. With that said I am very thankful for my brothers and sisters who put a ton of time and energy into things like the pro-life cause because I think it is crystal-clear where Christians should stand on an issue like that. That's the same issue which basically makes it impossible for me ever to vote for a democrat.

Matt

Jacob M. Aho said...

Thanks for your response