31 Aug 2020

“Christian” Anti-Semitism

I received a communication recently from someone that clearly has some skewed views of the Jews’ attitude toward Gentiles. I’ll leave that at that.

We can wonder why self-identifying Christians see Israel and the Jews through the wrong lens. Today I’d like to talk about one of those reasons, one that isn’t talked about a lot.

I realize there are differing views in the Church regarding origins, but I’d like to give you my view, for what it’s worth.

For 10 years, I was senior editor for Master Books, the “creation-evolution” publisher. Co-founded by Henry Morris and Tim LaHaye, Master Books presented the “creationist” perspective in science. It was the first professional effort of its kind. I always found it interesting that Morris, a strong creationist, also loved Bible prophecy and LaHaye, the prophecy icon, embraced creationism.

Over the years, I’ve noticed that much of the leadership in either camp views the other warily. Not these men; they blended what I believe to be a biblical worldview: Scripture speaks plainly about both our origins and where we are going.

I knew both men and will always be grateful to them for their uncompromising beliefs.

Interestingly though, I have also noticed many more leaders over the years that fully embraced creationism yet gave the cold shoulder to prophecy, or vice versa. I could name them, but you know most of them. I did have a top creationist whisper to me once at a conference that he believed as I do about prophecy; he just couldn’t say it publicly!

Why? His constituents are, for the most part Lutherans, Presbyterians, and evangelical groups that are, in my view, “good” on creation but lacking in prophecy understanding.


As I’ve written before, my good friend Dr. Thomas Sharp of Creation Truth Foundation, said something to me 10 years ago that was profound.

He was researching his latest book and said that he felt in his spirit that he was guilty of only teaching “half the Bible.” One of the top creationist speakers in the world, he said to me, “Jim, I cover Genesis 1-11 just fine. It’s Genesis 12-50 that I need to shore-up!”

It hit me like a thunderbolt. It explained this oddity to me, creationists cool to prophecy and vice versa.

In essence, Doc was telling me that the two camps so emphasize their respective biblical passions that they minimize the other. I think he’s entirely correct.

We’ve been taught in this country for the last 95 years (since the Scopes “Monkey Trial”) that evolution can be compatible with the Bible. Today, many evangelicals identify as “Theistic Evolutionists,” those that harmonize the Bible with “modern science.”

I think this is a serious error for many reasons, but for our purposes today, this view severely impacts how we see the Jews, both in history and prophetically.

It’s fine for us to disagree and dialogue, but to me it is very clear that the Bible’s early chapters are very clear. In fact, as a journalist, I see them as a strict piece of news reporting. In the beginning, God did this, and that. It isn’t complicated and more importantly, it isn’t open to a harmonizing with the philosophy of naturalism, that everything we see came about through random processes. This is classic Darwinian philosophy.

What I’m attempting to say is this: if one makes any allowance for some of Genesis to be myth, then that opens a door for the rest of it. If we say that Genesis 1-11 is partly true history, then the same holds true for Genesis 12-50.

And what is Genesis 12-50?

None other than the beginnings of the Jewish Nation.

It is all history, rooted in revelation we would not otherwise have access to. God told us how He made the world, and He told us then how He brought His Chosen onto the stage of history.

I have no problem at all believing that God created the world in six days, just as I have no problem believing that a man, Abram, was called out of Ur. I have no problem believing that a 600-year-old man and his sons built a rescue ship to ride-out the judgment of God’s worldwide flood, just as I have no problem believing Joseph set the stage for the 12 Tribes of Israel.

It’s all history, and it’s all true.

A faulty understanding of our origins puts us on a slippery slope of not understanding the Jews in history. We can then believe that they are “Christ Killers.” If we open the door to Adam and Eve being partly or wholly myth, that mindset easily can continue through Jonah, Solomon, and even Christ Himself.

In my years at Master Books, I had many, many conversations with young people that had been influenced to believe in evolution. Their logical outcome was that it is now difficult to believe that Jesus had ever existed. Or that He was indeed resurrected from the dead. The list goes on of bedrock beliefs jettisoned on the ocean of Darwin.

Edward J. Young, a wonderful scholar a couple generations back, once stated something profound about Genesis:

“Genesis one is the prelude to a severely historical book, a book so strongly historical that it may be labeled genealogical.”

Wow! This one statement is the clearest rebuke to theistic evolution, or full-blown Darwinian philosophy, that one could make. It also maintains the centerpiece of the Jewish people in God’s Redemptive Plan.

All this is fodder for further discussion, I know. But I hope you can begin to think that what I’ve written here this week has some foundation. One certainly can believe in Theistic Evolution and be saved. I have never conditioned salvation on one’s view of either origins or prophecy.

What I want you to consider is that when we allow any part of Scripture to be called into question historically, we bad outcomes await the Jewish people.

Think about it.



24 Aug 2020

(Today marks my 14th year writing for RR. It has been and continues to be a privilege afforded me by Todd and Terry, two swell guys. Each week I feel like I’m talking to family with this column. Here’s to more years if the Lord so wills. Thank you for reading!)


Well, Well, Well


It didn’t take long for the underlying issues to surface only a couple days after the “historic” Israel-UAE agreement.


Scores of observers, including evangelicals like Joel Rosenberg, have touted this kind of deal for years. It’s been claimed that not only will it usher in a New Middle East of economic nirvana, but that in fact the Arab states have “gotten sick of” the Palestinians and their shenanigans. The prevailing wisdom has been that the Arab/Gulf states are interested in economic ties with Israel and have put the Palestinian cause behind them.


That was last week.


Now, Saudi Arabia has announced that they aren’t interested in formal ties with Israel until the Palestinian rights are met. And—right on cue—the UAE says that now they expect a Palestinian state to be established!


So much for them abandoning their Palestinian brothers. 


I want to make two points here:


•Peace will not come to the Middle East by human means. The ancient, satanic hatred that manifests itself in Jew hatred is too deep to be cut-out by secular diplomacy (although international diplomacy is a sort of religion). Jesus Christ will bring peace, hopefully sooner rather than later.


•The lurid tales of Arab-launched pogroms against Jews in the Holy Land cannot be overlooked. Some of the most famous accounts come from the years between the world wars, when Jews were slaughtered in Palestine by…their neighbors! That’s why I don’t put much stock in modern peace agreements between Israel and her neighbors. I’ve read many accounts of Jewish residents being attacked and murdered by people they’d lived next to for decades. Former dinner companions, business colleagues. The Arab hatred for Jews in that region is satanic in origin.


According to a report in Al Jazeera:


“Saudi Arabia’s price for normalising relations with Israel is the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, a senior member of the Saudi royal family reaffirmed on Friday.


“Prince Turki al-Faisal was apparently responding to US President Donald Trump who said on Wednesday he expected Saudi Arabia to join a deal announced last week by Israel and the United Arab Emirates to normalise diplomatic relations.

“The UAE is only the third Arab state in more than 70 years to forge full relations with Israel. Under the US-brokered deal, Israel temporarily shelved plans to annex settlements in the occupied West Bank, which Palestinians seek as part of a future state.”


Did anybody really believe “normalization” was not going to include the very thing we think we’ve moved past—a fulfillment of the disastrous Oslo Accords?


And in the Times of Israel, there is this:


“In his second op-ed for an Israeli newspaper, the United Arab Emirates’s ambassador  to the US said the new normalization agreement with Israel would allow for ‘direct’ advocacy for the Palestinian cause, including the establishment of a sovereign state, now with ‘stronger’ tools.


“’As we have for fifty years, we will forcefully advocate for these ends,’ Yousef Al-Otaiba wrote in the piece for Yedioth Ahronoth. ‘Now, we will do it directly, face to face and empowered with stronger incentives, policy options and diplomatic tools.’”


Yes, indeed. People can bare their fangs in a variety of ways, whether overtly menacing or by smiling. But their goals don’t change; they want to eat you. 


Let’s continue to pray for Israel, with the knowledge that their God watches over them always. I will continue to pray for the physical safety of the Israelis.