Any serious intercessor understands the importance of praying for Israel, yet most of the Church remains blind to the reality of God’s ongoing plan for the Jews, says Steve Maltz
In all the many years I have been on Facebook I have never ‘unfriended’ anyone…until now.
He was a casual acquaintance, a Christian from the far left. My unfriending took place on the day when the massacre at Kibbutz Kfar Aza was discovered, and this person had created a series of anti-Israel posts with no mention of the Hamas atrocities.
I felt my anger bubbling under. This was not healthy and I texted a couple of prominent ministry leaders to warn them not to react in the same way. One replied, regretfully admitting the anger he was also experiencing.
I admit it, I’ve been provoked by the reaction of the ‘established’ Church to the current crisis in Israel. I realise that I must channel this into positive action, because helpless anger is also hopeless and what both Israel and the Church really need at the moment is hope. For the Church to get hope it needs to align itself to God’s real purposes and agenda for our world.
It is significant that you will fail to find a serious intercessor who doesn’t pray for Israel and the Jewish people and who doesn’t have a clear biblical understanding of God’s continuing love for his Jewish people (see watchmen.org, lydiafellowship.org, intercessorsforbritain.co.uk). They understand this. (These intercessors also recognise that Israel as a secular nation is as flawed as any other and praying for the Jewish people does not mean endorsing political decisions made by Israel’s leadership.)
Unfortunately, the mainstream Church doesn’t share God’s heart for Israel. They are too distracted by politics, social concerns and secular agendas. Many of the Church’s spokespeople are too eager for acceptance by secular society to speak prophetically. When it comes to ‘difficult’ issues, such as concern for the unborn, marriage and, yes, Israel…they are painfully silent, beyond the occasional sound-bite. When pressed, they’ll toe a careful line, not wanting to offend the establishment (which, when you think about it, is not a very Christ-like attitude).
When Russia invaded Ukraine how many churches showed their solidarity to the Ukrainian people, often visibly through flags, declarations and sermons. When George Floyd was murdered, almost every church leader you could name was tweeting #blacklivesmatter.
Where is the similar solidarity to Israel from today’s Church?
Evidence abounds that the Church still has issues with the Jews.
In 2002 The Spectator featured an article entitled ‘Christians who hate the Jews’, reporting on a meeting of Jews and prominent Christians brought together to discuss the churches’ increasing hostility towards Israel. It stated, “The real reason for the growing antipathy [to Israel], according to the Christians at that meeting, was the ancient hatred of Jews rooted deep in Christian theology and now on widespread display once again…The hostility to Israel within the Church is rooted in a dislike of the Jews.”
The Jewish people are hated. Included by some Christians. One must wonder, why?
The Christians at that meeting affirming this view included the editor of the main Church of England newspaper, the Archbishop of Wales and the head of a Christian relief organisation, who remarked “What disturbs me at the moment is the very deeply rooted anti-Semitism latent in Britain and the West. I simply hadn’t realised how deep within the English psyche is this fear of the power and influence of the Jews.”
This gives me great sadness for the Church as nothing has changed since then. Does it not realise what it is doing?
In the past few days, we’ve seen protesters in Australia shouting “gas the Jews”. Closer to home, a Jewish bakery in north London was smashed by protesters, and a student activist in Manchester has praised Hamas’ terror attack.
Make no mistake, the Jewish people are hated. Including by some Christians. One must wonder, why?
Similarly, how have the Jews managed to survive for so long despite being hated by so many people?
The answer will uncover a drama that has been unfolding for thousands of years, but hidden to most. The drama is a classic conflict between good and evil, between two great powers that have been in opposition since time began. The God of Israel and the evil one.
The reason that the Jews have survived for so long is that a great power has been protecting them, and the reason that they have been hated for so long is that another great power has been attacking them.
God against Satan, the devil. No contest.
Now the Church must choose its side. Hamas certainly has. If dead babies and the kidnapping of elderly women can’t sway minds to the reality of the utter hatred of Hamas for the Jewish people, then how can we get through to God’s church?
Palestinians as a whole, as with Israelis, are free to choose. Many of them have chosen life and we must commend them for this.
Whose side are you on?
For more information visit blindspot.chur