Recovering Evangelicalism – Seeking a Justice-based peace in the Middle East –

Posts tagged ‘Christian Faith’

Mistaken Identity

Well here it is, my new book. It feels odd writing that, as if it’s not the first. It is, available here in print and here on kindle – quite why they don’t show up in the same place I don’t know, but getting all the formatting details right has been an exercise in endurance. If you decide to buy it and read it comments and corrections will be appreciated.

What’s it about?

Much or the discussion about Israel has had as a background the notion that the Jews are ‘God’s Chosen People’. Given my experience in Israel-Palestine I wanted to explore the ‘chosen people’ idea without, as far as I could, preconceptions. I have tried, within my limited ability, to write the story of God’s people from the Bible, seeing how it links in to the kingdom good news that Jesus brings. It challenges the system of Christian Zionism, but also I believe challenges Christians to think seriously about our place and our mission in God’s world.

P.S. Sorry you have to pay for it; kindle-Amazon is a business, and the print version has to be printed, packaged and sent. In the unlikely event I become rich – we’ll have a party!  Be blessed.

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Taking ‘the Name’ in vain – 50 years on.

The Third Commandment states,

You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name. (Ex.20)

It is surely ‘wrongful use’ to claim something as a miracle from God which is evidently not a miracle. Christian Zionists and organisations like Christians United for Israel claim that the events of 1948 and 1967 are clear demonstrations of God’s miraculous actions on behalf of Jews. Quite apart from the absence of Biblical evidence for the ‘return’ (required by their theological system), there is overwhelming evidence to show that neither victory of the Zionists was in any way a miracle.

Whilst the victories of the Zionist forces in 1947-9 and 1967 may not have been a foregone conclusion, neither were they victories against all odds. In the case of 1967 every intelligence agency believed that Israel would win a war in a week if attacked by the Arab nations. Given that Israel was not attacked but attacked Egypt without warning; that Syria was unable to engage because they’d culled their senior military staff and their tanks (Russian) were too big to get across the only bridge; and that Hussein (Jordan) fought a defensive battle only when attacked and waited 2 1/2 days before risking his air force against massive Israeli air superiority, the real question is:why did it take Israel so long!

As to 1947-9, the Zionists had been planning for military action since early 1920’s knowing that they only way to a ‘Jewish State’ was to evict (ethnically cleanse) the majority Arab population, and that could only be done by force. Better trained, better equipped, better led, and for most of the time having a larger force in the field, the real question for the Haganah was not ‘Can we win?’, but, ‘how much land can we take before America gets worried and stops us?’

Had Britain i 1941/2 been overrun by the Nazi war machine, would we have fought back with whatever weapons came to hand? Does not every occupied people have the right to resist their persecutor?

50 years on from the ‘6 Day War’ it is beyond time for our leaders, including our Christian leaders, to stand up and speak out. Instead of taking God’s Name in vain, they must stop blaming the persecuted, and avoid insulting God by acting for justice, and speaking Truth to Power. If it costs ….

Election Question

The Tory- led coalition, then government, under Mr. Cameron and Mrs May, have presided over an unnecessary recession. By 2010, following the ‘bank bailout’, the British economy was beginning to recover. That potential recovery, which could have matched that of USA, was knocked on the head by George Osborne’s ill-judged but ideologically driven increase in VAT.
The Tory-led government then demanded across-the-board savings of 40% over the lifetime of the parliament from Local Government. Think it through logically. I’m certain there were councils that were appallingly inefficient and could make 30% savings with relative comfort. But there were many councils already running efficiently for whom even 10% reduction in grant from government (remember that’s our money) would require deep cuts in services. The notion of across-the-board savings makes no sense.
In order to generate the money they needed the government decided to re-organise social benefits. It’s not contended that they needed reorganising; successive governments have created (no doubt with good intentions) a veritable ‘dogs breakfast’. We’ve had the ‘bedroom tax’ with it’s impact upon poorer older people and families. We’ve had benefit cuts for people with disabilities, and we’ve had cuts in policing; thank you, Mrs May, Home Secretary who presided over that; and cuts in Border Agency staff (well done again Mrs. M), and we’ve decided that lone refugee children are not welcome here.
And in the meantime we have given money to set up schools in places where they are not needed, we have privatised parts of the NHS so the money we put in goes into dividends for shareholders and generous pay packets for directors. And we’ve told many of the people who run the NHS that they’re not welcome here.
Does any of that sound like good sense? Does it sound Christian? It doesn’t even sound like Old Testament Israel was supposed to be. Israel got it wrong and we have made the same ‘Maccabean’ mistake. There is no point in electing a ‘strong, stable Christian’ leader who is neither strong nor stable, who has helped lead us into the mess we’re in, and doesn’t act like a Christian when in power.
Christians, ‘swim against the tide’ of common wisdom, but in this case, here in 2017, both common sense, wisdom for the future and thinking Christianity say, “time to change”. Listen to what Jeremy has actually said rather that what the media says he said. Always check your data. As for me, I’m with Jeremy, not for my future, which will likely be brief, but for mine and your children.

UK Election – June 8th – this Christian’s view

I’ve seen a lot of posts on FB and I’m glad to know that some of my friends, now that he’s getting some decent exposure, realise that Jeremy Corbyn is not Satan.  Unfortunately some of my FB friends still think his policies will be a disaster, despite some serious economists thinking otherwise. We’re told that the rich ‘will not work harder’ if they are taxed more than 42%. Funny, ‘cos one of the things the really well-off say is, it’s not about working harder, but working smarter. I suppose the smart thing is to hire a good tax accountant/lawyer; as long as you can afford one/them.

It will come as no surprise that I am voting Labour. I want a country that works for everyone, including those who cannot, for whatever reason, work at all. And I want my country to be one that welcomes people escaping violence, and is generous to those in need. Labour’s manifesto works for those things.

But what about the ‘wealth creators’? The problem is that Capitalism has failed; it hasn’t delivered. Why? because it is an imperfect system operated by human beings. Funnily, that’s the same reason why Socialism has appeared to fail, (although it could be argued that it’s never been properly tried). It is we who are the problem, for any system. Which is why, once this election is over, whatever the outcome, we electors must not shrug our shoulders, complain (or rejoice) & forget about our representatives until they next come calling. That’s not democracy, that’s stupidity. Let us learn from past mistakes and hold our representatives accountable.

And here’s my message for we Christians. Don’t assume that Matthew chapter 25 verses 14 to 30 is a paean to capitalism, (the parable of the Talents), it is the exact opposite. In his final discourses in Jerusalem before his crucifixion Jesus’ mind will have been focussed on getting his message across. The parable is one of four concerning watchfulness and faithfulness, and they are directed to Israel. It’s of a piece with chapter 21 verses 33 to 45; God’s judgement on faithless Israel, more particularly Israel’s faithless leaders – the shepherds of Israel (see Ezekiel chapter 34). Israel – and in this context, the church/Christians – have been gifted with a good message. It is exactly the same as was that required of Israel; justice, mercy, kindness, righteousness, sensitivity to the poor, the needy, the outcast, the foreigner. If you find that in a party manifesto, that’s who to vote for – then, if necessary, hold their feet to the fire (metaphorically & kindly of course) to make sure they do it. Any gifts we have are given us for the benefit of others, to draw them in to a kingdom of grace, mercy and love. If we use our gifts for ourselves – Matthew 25 has an unhappy conclusion!

As a pensioner paying a small amount of income tax, I will happily forgo my winter fuel allowance (given to charity) and pay a little more tax (reduce the tax free allowance) if it will save the NHS & give mine and the world’s children a better future. For me, it’s simple: Vote for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour manifesto and ‘Make Britain Decent’ (possibly for the first time).

Be Blessed.    Dave

The Christian State of Britain

Don’t get me wrong, this is not a diatribe about the state of Christianity in Britain, others can do that as well as or better than I. No, this is different. It occurred to me that not quite 70 years ago the United Nations, under pressure from America, voted immorally and almost certainly illegally to give Zionist Jews land that belonged to Palestinian Arabs. Then, 69 years ago Zionism declared war on the indigenous Palestinian people, which was a bit naughty because they had actually started attacking, emptying and destroying villages at least four months earlier.

Since none of the international ‘big boys’ (USA, China, Russia, EU) or their minions have seemed especially troubled by immoral and illegal behaviour I thought it time for ‘evangelical christianity’ to get a piece of the action. So today I declare the independence of ‘The Christian State of Britain’.

From today Britain will be a Christian State in the same sense that Israel is a ‘Jewish State’. If they can do it, why not we?  We shall benefit from their example and experience, so, our second act is to declare the First Basic Law, ‘1:Christians uniquely have the right to self-determination’.

Our Second Basic Law is an interim arrangement until such time as Christians are a majority, ‘2: Christian citizens shall have a single vote in elections. non-Christians shall be eligible to vote once Christians have achieved at least a 2/3 numerical majority.  To deal with the normal problems of ‘Law and Order’ it will be necessary to enact further laws. Our Third Basic Law sets the tone, 3: the age of criminal responsibility shall be set at 18 years of age for Christians and at 12 years of age for all others’. Experience has suggested a further, related law, so this will be 3.1., ‘3.1: It shall be illegal for non-Christians to purchase knives and carry them home in public. Arrangements shall be made for security checks on knives at all kitchen outlets and non-Christian purchasers will have to arrange for their cutlery to be delivered by a registered Christian secure courier service.’

Since land is vital for any nation our Fourth Basic Law deals with that issue, ‘4: Land not already owned by Christians shall be deemed state land for all purposes. Non-Christians may occupy such land temporarily subject to any decision by local Christians’.

Whilst we are dealing with fairly mundane matters it is vital we make adequate provision for education – for Christians. Therefore, education services for Christian children shall be fully funded up to tertiary level, with exclusions for pacifists. As a sign of our christian generosity we shall fund non-Christian education services up to secondary level at 25% of the fully funded level.

Since it is certain that anti-Christian critics will be upset we declare that ‘Christian Britain’ is in a state of permanent war with whoever dares to criticize us. Anti-Nazaritism will be objected to wherever we can define it.

If you are in favour of this declaration of the ‘Christian State of Britain’, please share widely.

Signed  David ben-Carter

(UKIP, NF & Britain First members need not apply)

Balfour re-visited: Broken promises

This is an edited re-post as we approach the centenary of BALFOUR

The correspondence between the Sharif of Mecca (Husayni, or Hussein) and Sir Henry McMahon, HM High Commissioner in Egypt, is clear: Great Britain…

promised an independent Arab nation in the whole of the Arabian peninsula bounded on the West by the Red Sea and Mediterranean, on the South by the Indian Ocean, on the East by the Arabian Gulf and the border with Iran-Persia, and the North along a line just south of parallel 37, subject to minor exceptions which included  Basra and Bahgdad; the Trucial States, and certain coastal  districts to the west of Damascus, Homs, Ham and Aleppo.

Earl Grey, Foreign Secretary during WW1, stated to Parliament in 1923

“I think we are placed in considerable difficulty by the Balfour declaration itself. … it promised a Zionist home without prejudice to the civil and religious rights of the population of Palestine. A Zionist home, my Lords, undoubtedly means or implies a Zionist Government over the district in which the hoome is placed, and if 93% of the population of Palestine are Arabs, I do not see how you can establish other than an Arab Government without prejudice to their civil rights. … I do see that the situation is an exceedlingly difficult one, when it (Balfour) is compared with the pledges which were undoubtedly given to the Arabs.”  Quite so!

In the same debate Lord Buckmaster remarked,   “I think we ought to say what we mean, and I think we ought to do what we say…. We certainly meant what we said in 1915. We did not do what we said in 1918″ and concluded that the British government should “go back to obedience to the promise that we gave at a moment when we were gravely beset by difficulties, to the relief of which the Arab help in no slight degree contributed”

On April 27th 1920 Field Marshall Viscount Allenby wrote (by telegram) to Emit Feisal:

“As regards Palestine you have always been aware (he was not), that His Majsty’s Government were pledged to creating a national home for the Jews in Palestine, an intention in which administration acquiesced. His Majesty’s Government will regard themselves as under an obligation which will be confirmed by terms of mandate to safeguard in fullest manner the interests of indigenous inhabitants of the country.”

In his reply, amongst other things Feisal points out:

“As regards …  the creation of a national home for Jews in Palestine … all that I have admitted is to safeguard rights of Jews in that country as much as rights of indigenous Arab inhabitants are safeguarded and to allow same rights and privileges.     Arabs of Palestine, both Christian and Mahommedan, have repeatedly availed themselves of every opportunity against any agreement or pledge that they would make their motherland the national home of Israelites.” 

Britain promised Palestine to the Arabs, we lied and we broke covenant. Scripturally, God regards any promise as made through him. We have taken in vain the Name of The Lord. Christ have mercy.

If you who are still wondering why the Mufti hated the British and sought help from Hitler in the 1930’s perhaps you should seek help not from history but from an analyst.

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