Posts Tagged ‘Christian Zionism’

A Christian Pacifist’s Open Letter to a Christian Zionist

November 10, 2019

An open letter to a spokesman for Friends of Zion, Phoenix, AZ, sent 11/10/2019:

Dear brother in our Lord Jesus Christ:

Thank you for your choosing me to represent residents of Richmond, Indiana in your survey, and for appealing to me to “help raise a shield of protection over God’s chosen people,” which I indeed wish to do. But your survey asks me for knowledge or opinions I dare not pretend to have (for example, “Do you think recent events in the Middle East are a sign of the End Times?” – see Mark 13:32). Rather than fill out your survey, therefore, I prefer to speak to you from my heart.

Jesus Christ, in washing me clean of my sins and granting me membership in Himself, has also disarmed me of carnal weapons forever, even to the point of forbidding me to use my tongue or pen to hurt others. I may and do, however, rebuke many, in hopes of helping souls return to the God who takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but, being Love Itself, wishes for the repentance and salvation of all. Please consider this seriously, and if you doubt it, ask the Lord to reveal the truth of the matter to you. In cases where sinners persist in behaving foolishly enough to repeatedly choose evil over good, it must be by their own will, and not God’s, that they flee from the Light into the outer darkness (John 3:19-20). I say this with confidence because Jesus has commanded me to forgive others their trespasses against myself, *all* others and *all* their trespasses, if I want my Heavenly Father to forgive my own trespasses (Matthew 6:14-15). Think: would our Heavenly Father expect us to hold ourselves to a higher standard of forgiveness than He Himself keeps to? It’s written that Jesus Himself forgave His own murderers (Luke 23:34). Would He exhibit a more all-forgiving character than the One whose will He came to do (John 6:38)? It is this very kindness of God toward sinners, Paul notes, that is meant to lead us to repentance (Romans 2:4).

I do not vote. Because Christ has disarmed me of carnal weapons, and forbidden me to urge others to use them on my behalf, I can’t use the ballot box to put Caesar’s sword into one would-be commander-in-chief’s hand rather than another’s. Neither can I, in good conscience, help American Christians empower fear-driven bullies in Israel’s government and military to engage in cruel injustices to the Palestinians with whom they are obliged by international agreements to share territory and resources. Neither would I encourage Palestinians, however hurt and angry, to be vengeful. I would say to the people of Israel, with Balaam, “Blessed is everyone who blesses you” (Numbers 24:9). But I would say the same, in the spirit of Jesus Christ, to all the nations round about Israel. If and when the people of Israel behave themselves like a righteous people of a merciful God, I have no doubt that the prophecy of Micah 4:1-2 will be fulfilled, with neighboring peoples streaming uphill to a Mount Zion established in divine truth and justice. But there can be no streaming through the checkpoints and razor wire currently in place.

I believe that Jesus Christ rebukes the State of Israel for its militaristic and oppressive stance toward its non-Jewish neighbors that makes enemies of them and keeps them enemies. I would advise fellow Christians to show love for God’s people, the Jews, by serving as peacemakers in the Middle East and not arms suppliers. But as for those Christians who see things otherwise, I don’t presume to judge them. I merely warn them that we have a Judge to face, they and I alike, and may our Judge be merciful to us all. As for you, M. E., a brother in Christ to whom I owe nothing but love (Romans 13:8, John 13:34), I hope you are a wise man who, if you feel rebuked by me, love me for it (Proverbs 9:8b).

In Christ’s love and truth,

John Jeremiah Edminster