17 Jun 2024

Failing Israel

This week, I was listening to a Bible prophecy teacher and heard a phrase that would make a tremendous book title. From my days as a Christian book editor, I could just imagine the possibilities for such a book, with this great title.

I contacted the teacher and suggested a book project based on the radio show theme. I was taken aback when I was told that it wouldn’t work, because teachings based on Israel get “record low” response!


How can this be? After more than 50 years of Bible prophecy teaching and emphasis on Israel, the Jews, and their key place in history?

Beginning just after the Six Day War, evangelicals had a tremendous, historic opportunity to educate church goers in all denominations and associations.

I’m going to say something that will upset some of you, but I believe it.

I think there wasn’t enough education about what Israel is, who the Jews are, etc. By contrast, there was too much emphasis on our pet topics and themes, such as naming the antichrist or some such. The antichrist, yet future of course, is a massive topic. So are other popular books and talks. But too many times, these things were discussed exclusively while real, serious education was ignored.

I don’t care who the antichrist is going to be. I do care about God’s Chosen People.

I’m annoyed that I have to qualify this by saying, of course there were and are very good teachers out there doing exactly what I’m talking about. But there weren’t nearly enough of them. Instead, we built whole cottage industries of a certain type of prophecy teaching, and at the same time, most people did not have a grasp of the history of the Jews, and their role in the world.

You see, I have another theory that too many in the pews—if they get any Israel or prophecy teaching at all—have a disconnect when it comes to Israel of the Bible and Israel today. Very bluntly, too many people don’t like Jews on a personal level, but they love the romanticized concept of ancient Israel. As a book industry expert told me once (and I’ve noted here many times), evangelicals like Israel, but they don’t necessarily like Jews.

That in part is why we have huge swaths of the Church world that aren’t truly interested. Of course, the Church Growth Movement and the Rick Warrens of the world bear much of that responsibility (that crowd despises Bible prophecy teaching and are just as likely to attend a pro-Palestinian event as one for Israel).

This leads to our present lament: Israel is being pushed into the much-anticipated war with Hezbollah, and hostages still languish in Gaza torture chambers, but Christians by and large just aren’t interested. They don’t care.

Another factor is something else that will offend, but I’ll also say it. The Southern Baptist Convention was hijacked sometime back by Reformed seminary types that do not like ancient or modern Israel, and they do not like Jews. Just read social media if you don’t believe me. In the hours and days after October 7, I was stunned by the cold, even sinister comments from professing Christians, about modern Israel. As in, “They deserve everything they get.”

That’s almost a verbatim quote I saw many times.

Even when I sounded the alarm about one prominent pastor that uttered just such a cold response…I was attacked! His actions weren’t spotlighted in the responses to my article, but the messenger, quoting him, was attacked.

Nobody cared. I sent an article I wrote about it to six media outlets I’ve written for, for years. Not one would touch it. One editor told that if he said why it was rejected, “I’d lose my job.”

We have a Jew problem in the Church.

Needless to say, I don’t mean that the way the Nazis meant it. Because it isn’t the Jews that are the problem. The problem—the plague, the scourge, the stain on all of us—is that I believe a majority of people in the Church today don’t give a you-know-what for happens to the Jews.

Unless they want to do us all a favor and disappear, right?

The most outrageous, medieval-level anti-Semitic filth is aimed at Israel right now…from the Church. And the level of ignorance spreads.

I would never abandon my faith, because my Jewish Creator is my life. But I would abandon and will abandon former and current friends that have a problem with Jews. If I have to stand alone with my Jewish brothers and sisters, I’ll happily do that and sleep like a baby at night.

The prophecy teacher I mentioned at the outset should launch a loud tirade aimed at the bums in the Church that don’t care about Jews or Israel. Instead, another voice is muted.