It is normally easy enough for me to dismiss with a smirk some of the simplistic comments that I constantly read or hear from Christians around the world as pertains to events that are going on in the Middle East. These comments hit much deeper at a time when my country is once again hurting beyond pain, under the murderous aggression of Israeli armed forces for the past five days.

It is striking how normally highly reasonable and spiritually aware people can suddenly lose any sense of ethical, let alone Christian, balance when it comes to Middle East conflicts involving modern political Israel.

“Great. All we need is a nuclear-armed Iran led by a messianic president who hates Israel and believes that apocalyptic destruction is a precursor to global salvation,” writes David P. Gushee in a recent Christianity Today online column, in reference to Iran’s president Ahmadinejad. On the whole, Gushee’s article is fairly balanced from a certain point of view, and I suppose within the limits necessary to avoid being attacked and branded by those in our churches who have but disdain for Arabs.

But how is it that he, like so many others, fails to notice that world events in the last few years—even decades—have had as their main catalyst tens of thousands of evangelical Christians with a “messianic” mentality who believe that apocalyptic destruction of all but their beloved Israel will be “a precursor to global salvation”? —– Evangelical Blindness On Lebanon by Martin Accad.

I can’t hide my growing disappointment and dismay with Israel any longer. I have a pastor who has a special love for Israel and it naturally spills over to the congregation as well. So yes, I too share the same affection. But the recent military offensive in Lebanon has moved beyond what is acceptable and ethical. I understand Dr Accad’s cry against evangelical blindness. I have been guilty of it myself. We have often been overly bias. An alternative voice is much needed, especially from one who is, not only caught in the middle of the conflict, but also our brother-in-Christ. So I encourage you to finish the rest of the article here. Israel still has a special place in my heart, which is why I pray they will do the right thing.

See also, David Gushee’s open letter to Dr Accad and Accad’s follow-up response. Both contain a wealth of lesson for us. You can find more related articles and links within.

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