Why is Israel criticized, not ISIS?
by Nelson Price
August 02, 2014 08:33 PM | 1688 views | 5 5 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As Moses led the Israelites from bondage in Egypt, it is said “God hardened Pharaoh’s heart.” In that expression we can gain an understanding of why Hamas in Gaza is responding as it is. Against all military odds and amid the heartbreaking destruction of country and loss of lives, it continues adamantly to resist and fight back. Every line of logic seems to suggest it would be practical to reach some truce.

The Scripture in chronicling the exodus from Israel notes God gave Moses guidance and hardened Pharaoh’s heart. Superficially that seems unfair. The answer is found in the way God hardened the heart of the ruler. Moses had more insight shared with him by God than anyone. The person thereafter who had more of His will expressed to him about letting the children of Israel go was Pharaoh.

The more God revealed to him, the more belligerent he became. The more belligerent he became, the more God revealed to him regarding His will. Had God not revealed His will to him, it seems it would have been unfair. The only way he could do God’s will was to know it. Yet, the more of it he understood the more adamantly he resisted.

Pharaoh and Hamas are like children — the more they are disciplined in an attempt to get acceptable behavior, the more reactive they become.

It was a bootstrap relation. Once one side is laced up, the more the other is laced up, and the process continues. If one ratchets up, so does the other. It was action, reaction over and over.

The more rockets Hamas fires into Israel, the more they pound Gaza. The more they pound Gaza, the more aggressively Hamas responds. It is a tit-for-tat situation.

War is horrible. The good suffer with the bad. The children, elderly, women, infirm, sick and uninvolved citizens suffer along with the terrorists. The secular national press is showing more and more pictures of the uninvolved who are suffering in Palestine and criticizing Israel. It is grievous such suffering is the collateral result of war.

However, Israel sees as the alternative the sworn desire of Hamas, their annihilation. The Hamas constitution states the annihilation of Israel is one of their objectives. That would entail more death, carnage and pillaging than now going on in Gaza.

Meanwhile in Iran, ISIS is marching across the country and as they do they are giving Christians in the occupied territory the alternatives of converting to Islam, leaving the country or being killed.

Mosul, Iraq, is an example. Several months ago, there were 60,000 Christians in the city. Today there are none. These people are being uprooted losing their homes, jobs, investments and possessions in a different way than those in Gaza, but just as definitely. ISIS has already slaughtered thousands.

The Quran gives non-Muslims three options when conquered: one is to be heavily taxed in support of Islam, second is to convert to Islam and the third is to be killed.

ISIS is seen as being merciful in light of this by given the people the choice of moving out of the region. This is causing as much loss and suffering among these Christians as the citizens of Gaza are suffering.

Why then is Israel being criticized and ISIS not?

The Rev. Dr. Nelson Price is pastor emeritus of Roswell Street Baptist Church in Marietta.

Comments
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anonymous
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August 03, 2014
I loveya sir, but in your first paragraph you assert that Hamas is "resisting" and "fighting back." In reality, they started all this violence, for weeks lobbing explosive after explosive towards Israel's neighborhoods!!! They've been planning this "summer war" for months if not years, digging tunnels under UN sponsored buildings, caching explosives in the walls of hospitals and other buildings. They in no way are "fighting back" when they are the bully here. Perhaps I misread or you misspoke, but just for the record...
anonymous
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August 02, 2014
Bad theology - reading St Paul before the Gospels! Or the OT instead of the New.

The early market demographic, growth share, and philosophical/theological basis of Christianity was Greek, not Jewish. The guts of the thing were worked out by Greek-speaking monks and hermits within the first 100 years A.D. or so; the Jews continued on their own way. The New Testament - written in Greek, not Hebrew - supplanted the old as core scripture, the beginning of John's gospel (Hellenic metaphysics unapproachable via Jewish mysticism) became the single most read passage of writing on the planet, and the entire ritual and law and praxis remembered of Judaism faded overnight.

Christianity is Greek, not Jewish.

But Christianity has been widely subverted by something called Evangelicalism. Evangelicalism is a perversion: modern Christianity infiltrated by archaic Judaism, a strange sort of hybrid in Gnostic magic. It's harder for a conservative Evangelical to believe that his religion has been compromised than to believe the Jews are controlling even that very thing. But the outcome is that the Evangelical feels a specious, non-Christian, connection to Israel, and some sort of duty to defend the Jews.

Zionism and Evangelicalism both share the attribute-value that who you are is more important than what you do. The "who you are" is always an archetypical image which grants power or supremacy over others, and varies by cultural context. "I am an [entitled] victim of G-d", or "I am an [empowered] heir of God" are the corresponding images. Radical Feminism, with its "I am [superior] Woman!", likewise. Under guise of these artificial self-images, one can justify just about any action.

Thus comes together the absolute effort to justify absolutely whatever Israel might do. Or in the case of this article, blame someone else as a distraction from Israel's war crimes and inhumanity.

Christians are not beholden to Judaism in religion - that was the point of Christ's whole trip here - neither should they be beholden to Israel in politics.

anonymous
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August 03, 2014
Israel has the right to defend itself. You want war crimes? Look at the way Hamas straps bombs to its own women and children, hides explosives and weapons in hospitals and schools and forces the innocent to the rooftops while they hide in tunnels and bunkers.

War crimes, indeed! Who are you, some Hollywood actor commenting at the MDJ?
Get Smart
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August 03, 2014
Mr Anonymous, your psycho-babble is exactly what is being taught in college theological classes, complete nonsense, masquerading as a supposed scholarly work. Many religious people today call themselves Christians, maybe you too? Religion can be found in many places in America today, often it is the religion of good works or preaching of the social gospel. There is even the religion of feminism, which is why we have female preachers.

God was the same yesterday, the same today, and will always be the same, but most importantly is the fact that Christianity is NOT religion.

If your head was stuck in the King James Bible, versus liberal scholarly theology, you would correctly understand what is going on in Israel today. None of what is going on right now in Israel has caught Bible preaching Bible believing Christians by surprise. Do yourself a favor and get rid of your NIV Bible and start reading the King James Bible, and you will sound more credible.

Modern liberal religion is NOT Christianity. Your mistaken views on Israel could not be more incorrect.
anonymous
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August 02, 2014
Are you seriously trying to suggest that ISIS has not been criticized?

And I wouldn't worry too much about what the Quran says or doesn't say - you're a Christian Reverend justifying the deaths of innocents - clearly not everyone follows the teachings of their religions.
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