Christian Support for Israel
Dr. Michael L. Ford
10 April 2007
Recently I read an article saying a prominent American preacher told a gathering of Jews and Christians to send the message to Israel: “You are not alone.” He claimed fifty million American evangelicals stand with Israel. The problems begin at that point. Barna Research, using some basic criteria, estimates the true number of evangelicals at only eighteen million. So even though eighty-four million people might describe themselves that way does not mean they truly are. Not only is it unclear how many evangelical Christians are in the United States, it is equally uncertain how many believers in Jesus Christ of whatever stripe remain in the country.
What is loosely called Christendom may include a little less than a third of the world’s population according to Henry Morris’ figures in the book Many Infallible Proofs. But as he points out the figures are almost meaningless since it would include most of the population of Europe, and North and South America. Dr. Morris estimates that the number of genuine Bible believing Christians, regenerated through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is probably more like only five percent of the earth’s population. Whether we are talking about Christians in America or in the rest of the world we have to recognize that a great many are ignorant of Israel’s place in End Time Prophecy or the demand Scripture places on believers to “bless” the Children of Israel.
The total number of Jews, or practitioners of Judaism, in the world is actually very small. Only about fifteen in every thirty-five hundred persons worldwide might be considered “Jewish.” And, these people do not fit the stereotypes of Jews that is commonly presented by anti-Semites. Small groups of Jews can be found among every racial type quietly practicing their faith within the cultural setting in which they live. In many places, like Japan for instance, the number of Jews is so miniscule the fact there is a strongly anti-Jewish sentiment is the thing worthy of notice. But in the United States, where the Jewish population still exceeds that of the State of Israel, prejudice against people of Jewish heritage does exist even within the leadership of churches that consider themselves evangelical. Even so, most of these people do not even know a Jew.
Let me make my own position perfectly clear. I am one of those much maligned Fundamentalist Christians. I am also a Zionist. I view the matter of Christian support for Israel from that perspective. For those who have been misled by the intentional obfuscation of the meaning of the word Zionist let me explain that a Zionist is a person who believes in and supports the concept of a homeland for the Children of Israel in their ancient land as part of the will of God. A Fundamentalist Christian is simply a Christian who believes the Bible and takes it literally except where it clearly indicates otherwise. From this position I am keenly aware of prejudice against people because of their religious belief
A large majority of Americans oppose the approach taken by their successive administrations, including the present one, towards solving the Israeli-Arab conflict. But most of the lawmakers are really not concerned with doing more than making pro-Israel noises because they do not receive a consistent message of support concerning Israel from Christians. Their tendency is to lump all Christians into twp groups that supporting and opposing them. They view each group as fairly static in what its values are.
Evangelical Christians, the type who are active in churches, more and more see themselves as under attack. They see enemies in the media, even local politics, political correctness and paganization in society, public education, and in antagonism to religion. Feeling beset on all sides, and with a sense of betrayal by what was supposed to be conservative leaders, some are so busy wondering how persecution will be avoided in this country they are taking little note of what is happening in and to Israel from day to day. In such an environment many are likely to compromise on issues related to Israel when the choice comes down to choosing between things related directly to their lives and those impacting Israel.
In too many countries Christian support for Israel has been waning for years and in America the support has been ineffective because it has failed to stem the government policies that endanger the tiny nation. Israel may not be along in the regard some people have for it, but it is alone effectively. It has been years since I have heard of a church having prayer meetings for the sake of praying for Israel. This is to me a sure indicator that the focus of thought is not being directed to the concerns of that nation and people.
P. O. Box 752
Buchanan, Georgia 30113