Daoud Kuttab on Christ at the Checkpoint 2012, Bethlehem

Hi All,

Well, if you are anywhere in the Arab world then you have heard of this meeting. It was sponsored by Palestinian Christians living in the occupied West Bank mostly, though some are Israeli citizens and live in Israel. They tackled a lot of thorny topics, and I plan to write something about it for St Francis Magazine, so make sure to add SFM to your RSS feed so when it comes out you can read it.

There were several key points presented, including a robust argument that a) the State of Israel as it exists today is NOT in continuation with the Israelites of the Bible, and b) that evangelicals have misunderstood the meaning of words like 'Jew' and 'Israel' in the New Testament, especially when used by Jesus and (more importantly for American evangelicals) St Paul. Also, there was a statement of fellowship towards Messianic Jews (and equally tiny and despised group of people, at least in Israel-Palestine). And also an affirmation of non-violence.

Anyway, will go more into it in the April article, but for now here is a journalistic summary of the events from Palestinian reporter Daoud Kuttab (who was there).
Christian Zionism challenged in Bethlehem, Palestine

I am curious to know where my readers stand on this topic. Do you see the State of Israel today as the fulfilment of biblical prophecy? Do you believe that Jews are saved by the covenant of God with Abraham, apart from faith in Christ and incorporation into the Church? These are thorny questions, I know. But do leave your comments and keep it civil, please.

--Abu Daoud

Christ at the Checkpoint
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Comments

John said…
Do I see the state of Israel today as the fulfilment of Biblical prophecy? Probably not.

Do I believe that Jews are saved by the covenant of God with Abraham, apart from faith in Christ and incorporation into the Church?

No - I see that as completely incompatible with Paul's handling of the question in Romans 9-11. It seems likely that a great many Jews will be saved, but only through faith in Christ. Of course, after the first few centuries of the church, a great many folks are biologically descended from Israel without knowing that they are...
Mother Effingby said…
Even if you dispense, pardon the pun, with whether or not Jews and Israel are a fulfillment of Biblical prophesy, these truths remains. There are Jews. They have maintained their identities throughout the centuries in exile, just as they have done in exiles past.
Jews are hated the world over. They continue to be scapegoated, murdered, hounded, driven from land into sea, as some in the world would have it.
There is no safe place. Not even Israel.
But at least, in Israel, they have a fighting chance.
And John raises an interesting point. Just as there were a great many Christians being biologically connected to the Jews from the beginning, there are also many Christians now who have found that their more recent ancestors were also Jews who converted in order to avoid persecution.
Not that it really matters.
An interesting note. Palestinians are not an actual ethnic group, but are Arabs. Those Arab Christians in Samaria and Judea who bemoan Israel's occupation, seem to forget that they themselves are persecuted far more viciously by their fellow Arabs who are Muslims, than those Hebrew offshoots they rile against.
But, all things are not black and white in the Muddled East. And neither is this.
It all comes down to this:
Does Israel have the right to exist? Do Jews have the right to exist.
Many people don't think so.

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