Reports have been pouring in that Evangelicals in USA were instrumental is getting President Trump to stand by his election promise and declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel (1).
However, Christians are obliged to do the right thing. In this Post Modern era reflected by “Fake news” on the one hand and “politically correct” attitude on the other, this mandate is still true and even more important. If we want to be Jesus’ followers then we should be blameless and need to “shine among them like stars in the sky” (2) . His followers are also ambassadors of Jesus (3) and while He is the Truth Himself (4), they should reflect the Truth themselves. All this is immersed in the clear instruction that the Apostle Paul gave to the believers “to test everything and hold on to what is good” (5).
Therefore, Is this the approach taken by the overwhelming majority of Evangelical Christians in US compatible with the Truth?
Sadly, it is not.
How do you find this Truth? We will it in the Scriptures including direct quotations and in values that Scripture holds high, in authorities that the Bible refers us to and in common sense backed by the human understanding that God had installed in our brains and compatible to the spirit of the Gospel.
Here are 10 Reasons why this act by President Trump is far from being the Truth. The reasons are not in any particular order of importance or priority:
1- UN Resolutions: God asked us to honor and obey the authorities of every country (6). In the UN are imbedded all the countries of the world therefore the resolutions taken by the UN should be seen as binding, except in extra-ordinary cases.
The UN has declared that the annexation of East Jerusalem to Israel as void repeatedly by UN Security Council Resolutions 252, 267, 271, 298, 465, 476 and 478. (7).
A Christian needs heavy proof and reason to disobey God’s instruction to obey a ruler. It will surely need enormous evidence to do it when we talk about numerous decisions and by all the world’s authorities combined!
2- The reason that Israel is so eager to get international recognition of Jerusalem as a whole is its religious importance in their eyes. However, Jesus made it clear in His conversation with the Samaritan women (8) that He did not see any importance in Geography and holy places where people think that their prayers will be better answered. Jerusalem in that regard has the same importance in His eyes like Bora Bora, like Kaboul, Afghanistan and Kaboul, Israel and even Marcy, France.
3- Jesus brought about a fresh concept of putting the human being in the middle. Man is important and not stones or symbols (9). Jesus wants the human being to live the life He intended for him and to be reconciled with his maker and savior. By Trump’s declaration, another stumbling stone is positioned in front of the life He intended the Palestinians to live. The difficulties will just increase by the continual challenge of bringing peace.
Here Man is set aside for the sake of political ideologies. Man is not in the main focus and interest. God’s heart is sad.
4- God calls us to be agents of peace. He calls the peacemakers “blessed” (10) and asks us to be in peace with one another (11). Trump’s announcement furthers peace even more. By supporting this announcement, we are diverting from what Jesus asked us to be.
5- When Evangelical Christians support such act, they put a stumbling stone in front of hundreds of Millions of Muslims and others who love Jerusalem. When they see this one sideness, they do not want to hear any message these Christians have for them. By this, the great commandment is compromised.
How many people will go to Hell because of the blockage of the Gospel in their eyes as a result of the stumbling stone of claiming Jerusalem promised to the Jewish people only? Will their blood be asked from every Christian that supported this stumbling stone?
6- American Evangelical Christians supported this act on the basis of so called Biblical promise in the past and so called Biblical prophecy for the second coming in the future.
These Biblical interpretations are just wrong. Most Christian theologians and denominations in the world reject this as an unfounded interpretation. The leap of several thousand years forward (from a promise to Abraham for example to the modern Israel for example that these Evangelical Christians are doing) is huge and impossible. This fouled theology has serious and harmful political implications on real people.
This interpretation puts the new covenant with Jesus as savior of all, in a ridicules light. It ignores the specific words that Jesus as the fulfillment of the Old Testament promises through the Gospel that: the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus (12)
7- This decision ignores the Christian brethren on the ground in Jerusalem, the West Bank and even in Israel. It ignores their needs and feelings and puts them in an awkward situation to say the least. They are seen as collaborators with this so called Christian nation and its president who work tirelessly to undermines their dignity and position. As a result, they and their faith and affiliation are looked down on and smeared.
8- The right wing government in Israel has done all it can to prevent peace. No negotiations talks have been held for years and Israel has been building settlements illegally in the land occupied in 1967.Today more than 600,000 Jewish settlers live in these occupied territories, making the prospects of reaching any peace agreement slim. In short, Trump’s declaration gives a prize to this hawkish government that does not seek peace.
9- Our God is just . He is righteous and hates the sins of discrimination, exploitation, and the robbing of other people’s assets and resources. This is manifested in the story of Nathan and David. Israel acts today like the man in the parable that Nathan shared. He stole the lamb from the poor man. Today Israel steals from the poor man (the Palestinians) and God tells him: You are the Man!!(13)
10- This favoritism to the Jewish people based seemingly on the Bible brings about this support to Israel to expand and take land from the Palestinians by might. This type of theology shows God as a tribal God and not a universal God that loves all people. It ignores the fact that Paul calls Gentiles as sons of Abraham (Romans 4:13). A large number of American Evangelicals from the south justified slavery in America on Biblical grounds and were the last to accept its disappearance and they had to apologize repeatedly. Will that be the their fate here?!
2- Phil 2:15
3- 2 Cor 5: 20
4- John 14:6
5- 1 Thes 5: 21
6- Rom 13:1, 1 Pet 2:13
8- John 4: 20-24
9- Mark 2:27
10- Matt 5:9
11- Mark 9:50, 1 Thes 5:13
12- Eph 3:6
13- 2 Sam 12:7