WASHINGTON, October 19, 2012 ― Few national elections have as many consequences as the one we face in November. The economy, national debt, first amendment freedoms, and the sanctity of life and marriage are all at stake. Unfortunately, this divisive political campaign has overshadowed the future of our nation’s spiritual soul-mate: Israel.
After millennia of Jewish persecution, perseverance, and unequaled achievements, the re-creation of Israel as a Jewish homeland in 1948 was nothing short of a miracle. While world sympathy after the holocaust provided the catalyst to resurrect this spiritual ground zero, the United States has helped ensure this tiny country’s survival even after numerous wars by countries that detest Israel’s very existence.
The reasons for our loyalty aren’t surprising. We share deep spiritual roots because ancient Israel was the place of the birth, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ - the object of pure Christian faith and hope. Like Israel, our national beginnings were also against overwhelming odds. As the only true democracy in a very dangerous neighborhood, Israel has been a complex bundle of reason, strength and self determination reflecting many of the same principles we cherish as a nation. And, just like us, she makes mistakes in the exercise of power in the pursuit of national self interests. But make no mistake: Israel’s future and our role in her life is hotly contested in both Christian and political circles.
Some believe Israel has no spiritual significance beyond any other nation now that Jesus Christ has completed His first advent. Many others believe Israel figures prominently in the unfolding of the End Times leading up to Jesus Christ’s return. Still others see Jews, particularly those located in modern day Israel, as specially protected and blessed by God in fulfillment of Old Testament promises to Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3; 13:14-15) and New Testament predictions (Romans 11:25-32). While some deny any unique role or significance to modern day Israel, most Christians in our country stand with and defend her right to exist and prosper in spite of any potential consequences to us as a nation.
With that backdrop, the presidential election may well be a tipping point for future world events originating from the Middle-East. Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons may be thought of as irrational, but it’s consistent with blind hatred for the very existence of Israel. The volatility of Syria, Egypt, Libya, the Palestinian territory, and a potential nuclear arms race by Saudi Arabia in response to Iran makes our presence and unwavering support crucial in the high stakes game for regional stability and Israel’s national survival.
Unfortunately, the broader Christian community’s spiritual affinity towards Israel is not shared by Obama and his administration. Recent obligatory words of support contradict a long pattern of obvious loathing towards Israel and its leadership. Conversely, Obama shows a weak and deferential treatment towards Israel’s enemies, which encourages their blood-lust to exterminate all Jews and their allies. By playing to world opinion and an Islamic worldview fundamentally incompatible with ours, we appear to Islamic radicals as weak, inconsequential and not worthy of respect.
Is our love for Israel misplaced Biblically, or is it demanded of us to ensure the fulfillment of future world events? Those within the Christian community that choose to ignore Israel and its obvious spiritual and pragmatic implications are at best naive and at worst irresponsible. However, those who unambiguously support Israel intuitively understand the implications and are rightfully concerned about our nation’s future policies towards the best ally we have in an incredibly violent part of the world.
Clearly, if our nation’s future is affected by our treatment of Israel (Genesis 12:3) then this election is crucial. If Obama is re-elected and turns our national back on Israel, we would be aligning with a world that’s blind to spiritual matters that undoubtedly go far beyond anyone’s comprehension. On the other hand, a man like Mitt Romney who is openly and unashamedly supportive of Israel is a vote worth casting for both our national futures.
Truly, elections do have consequences, and in this case, eternal ones.
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