Christians Need Some Clairification on Modern American Jews and he Nation of Israel
I support the modern nation of Israel. And I abhore the growing anti-Semitism in America and Europe.
After making that clear, I want to address the tendency for Evangelical Christians to romanticize Jews and the state of Israel.
During my undergraduate degree, I studied in Jerusalem for one year. During that year I found myself complexed about the following two things.
On one hand, I discovered that the majority of Jews in Israel (around 7 million) are very secular, some mild and some hard core. I can’t give you an exact percentage. But I do know that the government is made up primarily of people who have no belief in God or a god. I was still young and naive and this surprised me.
The Jews in Israel seem friendly to Christians. They love Christian tourism. And because Jews in Israel use symbols like the book of the Torah (five books of the Old Testament) and the menorah, and celebrate Jewish holidays, Christians think they are actually very religious. But as I said, the vast majority are not.
On the other hand, I was living in Jerusalem when Hal Lindsey’s book “The Late Great Planet Earth” was released. And I found Evangelical Christians going wacky over the modern nation of Israel. At least the imaginary nation of Israel they had bouncing around in their heads. I would meet many of them visiting Israel when I was living there. Many of them seemed to think the end of the world was coming soon. They were sniffing around looking to see where the third temple would be built. It is a lot better today in the Evangelical world, but this Hal Lindsey impulse is still around.
My conclusion is this: Christians can support the nation of Israel, without romanticizing it. Without protraying it as something it is not–a religious nation practicing Judaism. And following the ethics that we read about in the Torah.
Now let’s turn to America. Have you ever asked yourself why the high percentages of Jews in the U.S. (around 5 million) vote Democratic, even though Republicans are much more supportive of Israel? When the U.S. embassy was recently opened in Jerusalem, I do not believe one Democratic politician attended the opening. I think 80% of Jews voted for Barak Obama, even though he did a lot to undermine Israel.
Let me tell you why.
The vast majority of Jews in America are very secular (they don’t believe in God) and are very left politically. I think only around 40% of American Jews have ever visited Israel. Probably more American Christians visit Israel than American Jews.
Most Amrican Jews are big on remembering the holocaust, but a low percentage are really into Israel. Very few attend a synagogue, except on special occasions. Most American Jews embrace an ethnic identity, but not a religious identify.
My conclusion is this: Christians should stand up against all anti-semiticism, without romanticising an religous image of American Jews. They are primary secularists and are often very left politically.
Please don’t accuse me of saying something I did not say in writing this post. I wrote this post in attempt to help Christians understand reality for what it really is.