Hous asked the following on twitter. “Do most Americans misunderstand Israel and Palestine?” and then linked to a really cool blog post. While the blog entry itself is interesting, the ongoing comments are where things really rock.
Some themes spin out of this.
- The need to distinguishing between the religious and the political aspects.
- The need to distinguish between modern and ancient Israel.
- There is WAY too big of a gap between ways of thinking and cultures for people in the West to say what they say without understanding the people in the East who are in the heart of it.
Hous’ comment on Mar 23 really hits home. Some bits from it.
….you really have no idea how bad it can get. They “straight line equate” biblical Israel with modern Israel, believe God wants them to displace all of the Palestinians, believe a lot of bizarre apocalyptic things about rebuilding the temple, etc., and categorically reject everything Palestinian and Arab, even faithful Palestinian Arab Christians. This line of thinking is very real and held by tens of millions of Americans.
Such is a problem, a huge problem, and its not one thats easily solved. If it were just an area of theological dispute, greater emphasis on proper Biblical exegesis would solve it organically.
Instead for far too many, mere mention that such beliefs could be in error come across as an attack on their entire faith structure, and they may well dismiss further Biblical study on the matter.
In a lot of ways, I think the whole “left behind” industry holds the blame for this mess. Much more so than Darby, or even Schofield for that matter. (While I find pretrib to be a huge error, in and of itself it doesnt have to lead the wild beliefs which Hous writes about). Its a sad deal, that far too many Christians know more left behind trivia than they do of the scriptures.
Perhaps a direct counter to the left behind industry based upon rock solid scriptures and theology, (perhaps even if it includes pretrib eschatology) may be part of the answer.