An excellent article by Tiffany.
There are obvious differences and obstacles to overcome (if ever) but the fact remains that there are incredible evil forces aligned (axis of evil) to disrupt and subvert modern (now traditional) evangelical support for Jews and the State of Israel. There’s a mighty big difference in delivering a polite ”no thank you” to unwanted religious advances, and running for your life from a screaming jihadi bent on murdering yourself and your family. Smart people realize that.
H/T: Brian of London (Israellycool)
The Case for Reconsidering American-Jewish Opposition to Evangelicals
Historically, many American Jews have a less than favorable view of Evangelicals. A walk through the minefield of social and foreign-policy questions that could lead to a new relationship.
We live in a world that is hostile to the Jewish people. Few ethno-religious groups have ever been so embattled for so long, having had to endure persecution, intolerance, war, and exile for millennia. This still holds true today, in all its old and new incarnations, particularly as anti-Semitism sweeps across the “tolerant West” with renewed vigor. Following the Holocaust, we questioned how so many could turn a blind eye or, worse, actively participate in the savagery of those dark days. Conversely, we honored the brave souls who rescued Jews from certain death and hailed them as “righteous gentiles.” In either case, one constant remains: Historically our enemies have always outranked our friends, and this is a sobering fact that we rightfully lament. It’s odd, then, that many American Jews are so wracked with ambivalence toward millions of people who are doggedly trying to extend a hand of friendship and offer their support to the Jewish state.
Of course, I am referring to Evangelical Christians; a demographic which comprises nearly 100 million people in the U.S. alone, and whose mere mention invokes reactions ranging from warmth and appreciation to outright repudiation among members of the Jewish community.
For the most part, despite Evangelicals’ support for the Jewish state and desire to embrace the Jewish people, their affection has often largely gone unrequited. In fact, only one-third of American Jews view Christian Zionists in a favorable light. This harsh reality, however, has not deterred Evangelicals from trying to befriend the Jewish people both at home and in Israel. According to a recent Pew poll, 69 percent of Evangelicals view American Jews positively, while 64 percent of American Jews view Evangelicals with skepticism or even negativity. In fact, Jewish Americans trail only atheists in their coolness toward Evangelicals.
What is at the root of this stark imbalance?
The answer is hardly obvious. While divergent theological beliefs certainly play a role, as does Christianity’s history of anti-Semitic transgressions, the root of some American Jews’ modern-day distance from Christian Zionists may actually lie in the two communities’ often polarized political and social ideologies.
On matters of faith, there is no doubt that American Jews, especially those on the liberal end of the religious and political spectrum, are somewhat at odds with Evangelicals. While many Evangelicals, like most Americans in general, support the Jewish State because they believe it to be the morally and geopolitically correct choice, it goes without saying that religious belief plays a meaningful role in this stance and in the Evangelical community in general.
Much of the American Jewish community, however, seems to believe that these basic religious and geopolitical underpinnings are merely a pretense, believing that Evangelicals only support Israel in order to usher in the Second Coming of Christ, and that all Jews who fail to accept Jesus will ultimately be left to perish in an apocalyptic event known to Christians as “End Times.”
While some of these concerns do have a scriptural basis, others do not. For those unfamiliar with Christian eschatology, “End Times” is an apocalyptic period said to immediately precede the Second Coming of the messiah, who for Christians is, of course, Jesus Christ. But there are several eschatological views within Evangelical Christianity, and not all adherents agree on how the messiah will return to Earth and what the circumstances surrounding his return will be. Those who adhere to a dispensationalist view—that is, a more literal interpretation of scripture—are perhaps more likely to believe in a possible Armageddon to come, but they certainly do not comprise all Evangelicals.
Regardless of which theological distinction one follows, an important point all Christians agree on, scripturally speaking and otherwise, is that humans are powerless to influence when and how Jesus’ return will take place.