26 Jun 2023

Is Israel a Moral Nation?

For many years I’ve heard people—even supporters of Israel—grumble that Israel is a “secular state” or “Israel tolerates unbiblical views” in its society. Some point out that Israel was founded by some people that were communists or socialists in their native countries before emigrating.

All true.

I have a photo of legendary Prime Minister David Ben Gurion in a yoga pose. Several other premiers were very secular. In fact, Menachem Begin’s regular favorable comments of the Bible were out of the norm for most leaders.

Further, Israel operates much like every other country in terms of civil matters. Abortions are performed. Left-wing groups can march and demonstrate.

And homosexuality is lauded in many circles. In fact, a story emerged today that is very interesting on that note.

Yair Lapid, no fan of the Bible or spiritual matters (his father, Tommy, was famously non-religious), this week in the Knesset stood to defend the “LGBTQ” community from Orthodox criticism. Oddly, he wore a kippah when he spoke.

From the Jerusalem Post:

“Opposition head and Yesh Atid MK Yair Lapid gave an impromptu Torah lesson on the Knesset floor on Wednesday, in response to United Torah Judaism MK Yitzhak Pindrus, who the day before had called the LGBTQ community the country’s greatest danger.

“Yesterday MK Pindrus said of the LGBT-community: ‘It’s more dangerous than the Hamas and Hezbollah’, Lapid said, before pointing out a Torah quote made by Pindrus, suggesting that the Jews would be at risk of getting thrown out of the country because of it.

“Pindrus had said that ‘The most dangerous thing for the State of Israel, more than ISIS and Hezbollah is the LGBTQ+ community,’ adding that ‘If it were up to me, I would prevent not just the pride march but also the whole movement.’”

Lapid, in his remarks, resorted to what the Left considers a clever rejoinder to conservatives by pointing out that the Torah condemns many sins, not only homosexuality. Too, recall that another “way around the Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality” is to simply reframe the narrative. For example, Paul had quite a bit to say about this abomination, but modern critics claim Paul was himself either a frustrated, closeted homosexual, or his writings on the subject are somehow less valid than other issues he addressed.

“He [Lapid] mentioned the death penalties for eating khametz (leavened bread) on Pessach or for disagreeing with the Sanhedrin, among others. He especially described the death penalty for cursing one’s parents, joking that ‘I hope my sons are listening to this right now… Why don’t you [Haredi MKs] propose a bill like that?’”

Lapid was prepared for this battle, pointing out that the Seven Deadly Sins listed in Proverbs do not mention homosexuality, and that further mention in Proverbs of those that sow conflict accurately describe what he said the Haredi MKs of doing now.

Some of what Lapid employed was simply PR strategy, and he also ignores other factors. He also used the Argument from Silence.

The religious authorities and political wings in Israel rightly understand that societies that fully embrace homosexuality eventually pass from history. It is a moral capitulation that occurs near the end of civilizations. The Greeks, Romans, and Babylonians come to mind.

In Henry Morris’s Defender’s Study Bible notes, Morris made I think an important point as to a source of unbiblical practices in a society:

“The descent into evolutionary paganism is always soon followed by gross immorality, specifically including sexual perversion, such as described in Romans 1:26-29. Ancient Sodom was so notorious for homosexuality that its practice has long been known as sodomy (see Genesis 13:13; 19:4-9). The practice became so widespread in ancient Greece that it was considered normal and even desirable. Other examples are abundant and, of course, it is quickly becoming accepted—even encouraged—here in America. Not surprisingly, this was preceded by widespread return to evolutionism in science and education.”

As has been pointed out by others, homosexual practice undermines the creation order; man was created for woman and vice versa. Taken to its logical and extreme conclusion, widespread homosexuality would so severely deplete the earth’s human population that our own extinction would surely follow. Despite the literally insane proclamations today in some quarters in America, men cannot bear children.

And if proponents of homosexual practice attack by saying we are unreasonable by “singling-out” homosexuality while ignoring other sins listed in the Old Testament, let’s turn their argument around on them. Are they really saying that if we accept homosexuality, we also affirm stoning and beastiality and child sacrifice?

Back to the topic at hand: Israel, like all other nations, operates in a fallen world. I’m struck by the fact that those that condemn Israel for allowing/celebrating homosexual behavior evidently wish to hold the country to a standard that cannot be met currently. Perfection is not attainable for nations now, and I would add that Israel is not what she will one day become.

I don’t agree with Yair Lapid, but if we want to criticize Israel, why not equally criticize other nations? Why not Italy? Brazil? Belgium?

Is the Jewish state moral? That isn’t for us to judge. We aren’t the Judge. Certainly, the country fights wars with at least one hand tied behind its back in order to reduce even the civilian casualties of its enemies. Israel also sends massive amounts of humanitarian aid in the event of disasters. Also, Jewish doctors routinely perform life-saving measures on even their enemies, such as Hamas! So those that want to criticize them because they don’t measure up in our moral universe are, to my mind, practicing selective outrage.

Until the Lord returns, we will live in the tension of our world. One day the Lord will usher-in righteousness forever. Until then, cut the Jewish state some slack.