Thanks to Janis Siegel and the JTNews for the excellent coverage of the recent Night to Honor Israel event put on by Christians United for Israel. I found out about the event in the spring, and like many Jews, initially had doubts about the true intentions of the evangelical Christian community.
Was this just a ruse to try to convert us to Christianity? Are the Jewish people merely actors in their end-of-days Apocalypse scenario, meaning that their support for Jewish immigration to Israel is just part of the plan to bring about the Second Coming?
Further study served to convince me that this emerging relationship is worthy of our support. The book Standing with Israel by David Brog, a committed Jew and executive director of CUFI, discusses the theological bases for Christian support of the Jewish people, particularly the widespread repudiation of Replacement Theology during the latter half of the 20th century, and the Christian belief that individuals cannot do anything to speed the Second Coming; they believe the timing is solely in God’s hands.
He casts pro-Israel Christians as the next generation of Righteous Gentiles, and provides the religious, historical, and moral foundations underpinning their support. If you’re a skeptic, I strongly encourage you to read the book.
The event itself was carefully crafted to focus on what brings Jews and Christians together: specifically our shared Biblical roots, shared core values, and shared love of Israel. The Jewish attendees were given free VIP tickets and treated to a delicious kosher reception. I walked away feeling deeply touched and supported.
For me, the most troubling part of the experience was the unwillingness of our local community leaders to even talk with CUFI. Let’s bring our doubts, fears, preconceived notions, and policy differences to the table and let’s discuss them. We pride ourselves on being a tolerant community. Can we tolerate, and perhaps even work with, Christians who want to bless Israel? This Jew says yes.