Israel, Bad Theology, and The Resultant Quagmire

"For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God." Romans 2:28-29 (ESV).

The Jews were God's chosen people to bring about God's will on earth. That does not mean they were automatically right with God because of their ethnicity. Throughout the Old Testament, we see many ethnic Jews who were enemies of God and many Gentiles (non-Jews) who were exalted. Some Gentiles were even recorded in the genealogy of Jesus: Rahab the Canaanite and Ruth the Moabite.

Israel is now the Church. Or to put it another way, the Church is now Israel. God's people are now, and always were, all the faithful people form all the various races. That does not mean that we hate Israel or have the right to be anti-semitic. Our Savior was a Jew. Jews are made right with God the same way we all are, through the blood of Jesus. They are called to the same sacrifice that we all are, to surrender their lives to Jesus and bring about His kingdom here on earth. 

Politically, the bad theology that the ethnic Israel is still God's kingdom and that the promised land still belongs to them has led to problems in our attempts to restore an earthly, boundary-bound kingdom of Israel. We need to realize that our bad theology has put us in an extremely difficult situation. Holding onto that bad theology, even after seeing what it has caused, will lead to more hatred and violence. If those who claim to be followers of Jesus would acknowledge that our bad theology has empowered atrocities - some even in Jesus' name - and combine that with with prayer, repentance, and seeking a peaceful way through the quagmire we find ourselves in, God will be faithful and provide a way through.

As Christians, we are citizens in a kingdom without boundaries and ethnic barriers. Our goal is not to take over and profit off of the rest of the world but to serve others and transform, as best as we can, the world into what God designed it to be. We do that through grace, peace, and love.

This will not happen until we stop allowing ourselves to be manipulated by the powers of this world into attacking and killing others for the advancement of these earthly powers. Under the guise of freedom and security, we are tricked into falling lock, stock, and barrel with those who don't know Jesus in advancing their temporary and earthly kingdoms.

As Christians, we are called turn the other cheek. We are called to love our enemies. We are called to be known by our love. We we will never bring about God's kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven if we continue to invest our lives in fighting for the twisted kingdoms of this world.

Let us avoid bad theology that causes us to condone actions that are contrary to the will and the kingdom of God.