In order for the fire of terrorism to be burning in the Islamic community there must be fuel. Terrorist organizations can thrive only in a society that generally support their ideologies. The terrorist themselves become the ideological heroes and purists of a pervasive mood .
We have heard that the reason for the Jihad is that terrorists “hate freedom loving people. Others have suggested that the hatred flows from a class envy struggle—they hate us because we are the rich Americans who supposedly control the world economy. This is surely a contributing factor, after all, the human species has always had this problem of finding scapegoats to excuse personal failure.
And then there is this idea of America as the “Great Satan,” corrupting the world with its licentious culture. Certainly, this has not helped foster endearment for America, but do moral scruples alone inflame Islamic fundamentalist to murder the distant American infidels?
Although few care to admit it , we all know the real root of this hatred–ISRAEL. If it weren’t for America’s support of Israel, terrorism would have never reached our shores. Support for Zionism is where our nation touches the sore point of the Islamic world. Political ideology, class envy, or American culture issues may fan the flames of terrorism; but the fuel itself is America’s support for Israel
Once again the center of world conflagration is Israel–that little country the size of New Jersey and with almost half the population. This is no surprise to students of the Bible. Both in the past and in the prophetic future, the Bible speaks of Israel as being the thorn in the world’s side. The prophet Zechariah writes,
“It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.”
The Bible does not picture this world indictment against Israel as righteous vindication for any crime of Israel, but as a subconscious hatred for the theology of the Jews. Herein lies the problem Islamic Fundamentalists have with the Jews. Islamic Fundamentalists despise Jewish exclusiveness as the people of God; they despise the Jewish belief that the Messianic promise was to come through the line of Isaac and not through the Arab sons of Ishmael; they despise the writings of the Jewish prophets. And according to Biblical prophecy, it will not be long until the rest of the world joins the Islamic world in despising the Jews. The conflict is not simply about real estate in Palestine, but about religious pride. After all, if the Jews are right, then the foundations of Islamic beliefs are in jeopardy.
To make matters worse, in addition to the human element there is a dimension that people are either unwilling to believe or afraid to admit. The Christian tradition has long held that there are demonic forces–powers of darkness–that stir terrorism and hatred. According to Scripture, elements of the unseen spiritual realm seek to destroy the Jews and, hence, God’s future plan for the world. Christians have long held that it is no coincidence that the Jews have always been targeted for destruction, the Nazi regime being a prime example.
Among the many passages that foretell this hatred is the teaching of Revelation 12 which depicts the serpent (Satan), seeking to devour the woman (Israel) and her child (Messiah). The passage ends with this solemn warning. “Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.”
Humanists contend that religions cause wars. Surprisingly, Evangelical Christians answer with a hearty AMEN. Mankind’s diverse ideologies, which are often systematized into world religions, are obviously a source of conflict. However, the Bible teaches that this is a sign of man’s fallen nature. Because of sin, mankind has concocted self-serving religions and perverted simple Christianity in an attempt to justify hatred and self-righteous pride. But Christians still contend that there is a true revelation from God that can bring peace and healing to the world. This revelation is the Word spoken by the Son of God.
What can America now do? We may see American support for Israel begin to erode once it becomes obvious that the fuel for terrorism is Zionism. How easy it would be to abandon Israel and confine ourselves to problems in our own hemisphere. The Middle East would sing the praises of an America that minds its own shores. But Americans live and die by the principles of “justice for all.” We would be a pathetic people if our only reason for existence is personal peace and affluence. God raised up this nation to be a defense for the oppressed. The Jews are a persecuted people group who justly deserve our support for a homeland.
The influence of our Christian heritage has molded the United States into one of the few countries that heartily supports Israel. A core belief of the Christian community is that the blessing of God will come upon the nation that supports Israel.
“And I will make you (Abraham) a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing. And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” Genesis 12:2-3
Call it superstition if you will, but this American religious heritage makes the Evangelical Christian community the best friend the Jews could ever hope for. The New Testament also encourages the Christian to love the Jews despite any human failures.
“From the standpoint of God’s choice they (the Jews) are beloved for the sake of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” Romans 11:28-29
But Christians are not only friends of the Jews, but also friends of the Arabs. For Christians believe the prophecy that God loves all the nations in the Middle East, and He has a blessing for them in the prophetic future.
“In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrians (the empires north and east of Israel) will come into Egypt and the Egyptians into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians. In that day Israel will be the third party with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth.” Isaiah 19:23-24
“For then I will give to the peoples purified lips, that all of them may call on the name of the Lord, to serve Him shoulder to shoulder. “From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia My worshipers, My dispersed ones, will bring My offerings.” Zephaniah 3:9-10
Bin Laden would love nothing more than to foment a bloody Jihad, so that the Arab world would be anything but a “blessing in the midst of the earth.” The American people are being called upon at this time of human history to be God’s instrument for truth and justice. God’s will shall be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Rev. Bradford E. Winship
Harbor Bible Church
Laurence Harbor, NJ