A fifth-century Greek historian once observed, “Most people will not take the pains to get at the truth of things, and are much more inclined to accept the first story they hear.” This explains today’s widespread acceptance of such absurdities as: (1) The moral equivalency between the terrorist attackers of Israel and Israel’s taking up of arms against them in self-defense (2) The myth that Israel unlawfully confiscated a country named Palestine and uprooted from their homeland a people called Palestinians (3) That the world is at war against terrorism—a mere tactic employed by an enemy—and not in a religious war and clash of civilizations, and (4) That Islam’s hatred of America (the Great Satan) is due solely to our monetary and military support of Israel (the Little Satan).
In a world so dumbed-down by intellectual laziness, today’s media and politicians enjoy unprecedented power. They can just about spin any world event into evidence that proves whatever they want to persuade us to believe. As a consequence, the world’s unthinking masses are being unwittingly indoctrinated by brainwashing journalists and politicians. Were it not for alternative media, which is being increasingly censored, and the world’s few remaining thinkers, who are becoming as scarce as chickens' teeth, all the world would be in a fog and walking in a trance-like state to the tune of today’s Pied Pipers of propaganda.
In hopes of helping you to escape the spell of today’s spin-master sirens, I’m penning this article on Israel, Islam, and the Middle East, which is the last in our series of articles entitled: The Truth About the Palestinian Israeli Conflict. Such a piece is most apropos in light of the current Middle East crisis. If, like most of our world today, you prefer to be told what to think rather than going to the trouble of thinking for yourself, then, this post is not for you. However, if you’re willing to go to the trouble of getting to the truth about things, you should keep reading.
To understand the Middle East and its age-old conflict between Arabs and Jews one must go back to the story of Abraham, the father of the faithful (Romans 4:16; Galatians 3:9). It is from this pivotal figure of world history that the world’s three monotheistic religions trace themselves. Judaism teaches that the Jewish people are the true heirs of God’s promises to Abraham, since they are the direct descendants of Isaac, Abraham’s son by his wife Sarah. Islam teaches that the Arab people are the true heirs of God’s promises to Abraham, since they are the direct descendants of Ishmael, Abraham’s son by Sarah’s handmaid Hagar. And finally, Christianity teaches that all men can become heirs of God’s promises to Abraham by believing in Jesus Christ, who is the promised Seed of Abraham to whom the promise was actually given (Galatians 3:6-9, 16, 26-29).
According to Judaism, God is a respecter of persons, preferring the Jewish people over all others. Likewise, Islam also teaches that God is a respecter of persons, preferring the Arab people over all others. Islam’s founder, the Prophet Mohammed, actually taught that Arabs are the most “honorable among people” and should be loved for three reasons: (1) Because he was an Arab (2) Because the Koran is in Arabic, and (3) Because the language of paradise is Arabic.
Contrary to the other two monotheistic religions, as well as to all other religions with their partisan pantheons, Christianity teaches that “God is no respecter of persons” (Deuteronomy 10:17; 2 Chronicles 19:7; Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11; Galatians 2:6; Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 3:23-25; 1 Peter 1:17). The Christian God is a universal God made conspicuous from all others by His unconditional love and impartiality. According to Christianity, it was God’s love for the whole world that led Him to give us His Son, and Christ’s love for us all that led Him to give His life on the cross of Calvary for “the sins of the whole world” (John 3:16; 1 John 2:2). Therefore, Christianity is a universal faith for all men everywhere, not a sectarian faith differentiating between its adherents.
Christianity teaches that Christ’s acceptance of us is not predicated upon our pedigree or skin pigmentation, but on whether or not we accept or reject God’s gracious invitation: “Whosoever will may come.” If we accept and come to Christ, then Christ promises to receive us and not turn us away, regardless of our ancestry or ethnicity (John 6:37). On the other hand, if we turn our nose up at God’s gracious invitation and trample His Son’s shed blood under our feet, we have nothing to look forward to but certain judgment and the fiery indignation of God (Hebrews 10:26-31).
Unlike Judaism, with its inherent second-class status for all gentile proselytes, or Islam, which is often peddled as the peculiar religion of a particular ethnic group (e.g. Islam’s proliferation in today’s African-American community as “the black man’s religion”), Christianity is unique, uniting all men on level ground at the foot of the cross. As the Apostle Paul put it: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).
In light of the above, one unmistakable conclusion may be reached; namely, Christ is the only solution to the world’s ongoing Middle East conflict. No United Nation’s resolution or peace keeping force can bring peace to our world’s most war-torn region. Neither can America, the world’s only remaining superpower, broker a peace between ancient peoples with such longstanding animosities. The only hope for peace in the Middle East is the Prince of Peace, and the only place for Arabs and Jews to come together peacefully is at the foot of the cross.
While I realize that Christ is the only hope of peace in the Middle East, I’m not naive enough to believe that Arabs and Jews will soon be deserting their mosques and synagogues for churches. Hoping that the descendants of Isaac and Ishmael will soon be joining hands across the Middle East for a rousing chorus of “Kum Ba Ya” may be laudable, but it is also foolhardy and flies in the face of Scripture, which forewarns us of an escalating Middle East conflict that ultimately climaxes at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
Many will protest that my throwing in the towel on Middle East peace in deference to Biblical prophecy is not a Christian option. Such protest, however, is predicated on a misunderstanding of the proper Christian position on the Middle East. To begin with, facing the fact that Middle East peace plans void of the Prince of Peace are exercises in futility is the only Christian position that one can possibly espouse on the Middle East. To foolishly join with the world in supposing that peace in the Middle East is obtainable through U.N. resolutions, Camp David Accords, Oslo Peace Agreements, or the Abraham Accords, is to call into question the integrity of the Word of God. On the other hand, dedicating oneself to the proliferation of God’s Word to all people everywhere, including Arabs and Jews in the Middle East, is to pledge oneself to the only pursuit that can possibly bring peace to this troubled region, as well as to all of our world’s other hotspots.
As Christians, we must never get caught up in the pipe dream of Middle East peace, but face the fact that the Bible predicts perpetual conflict there until Christ’s Parousia. Only by believing Biblical prophecy rather than political hoopla can we become like the “children of Issachar”—men and women who understand the times and know what ought to be done (1 Chronicles 12:32). Otherwise, we’ll end up numbered among those foolhardy folks in the last days who say, “Peace, peace; when there is no peace” (Jeremiah 6:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:3).