Israel’s war is our war

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By Charles Gardner —

D-day invasion

It’s time to turn the tide of this worldwide spiritual battle.

As we approach the 80th anniversary of D-Day – a military invasion that saved the free world – we are reminded how the Jewish state is currently performing a similar task on our behalf.

The Nazi spirit is still alive, not only in the Middle East but also on the streets of major cities in the West. Yet where are Israel’s allies? All those countries built on Judeo-Christian foundations should be right behind them. But they are mostly in appeasement mode once again.

Isn’t it time we realized that Israel’s war is our war? Christians, in particular, are directly affected and should take this opportunity to stand up and be counted.

There was an initial awakening of concern for Israel’s plight among believers here following the October 7th massacre, but things have since gone quiet.

The war itself continues to make media headlines on a daily basis, but Christian concern has retreated to spiritual navel-gazing, remaining silent in the face of the most serious antisemitism since the 1930s.

In fact, it’s worse than that era, according to Bournemouth pastor Werner Oder, the son of a Nazi war criminal, who says it was at least contained within the European sphere in pre-war days whereas it has now spread to cities across the globe.

Werner Oder

I have been reading an extraordinary book by Michele Guinness called The Guinness Spirit (published 25 years ago by Hodder & Stoughton). She writes of how Henry Grattan Guinness (great-grandfather of her husband Peter) and his contemporaries, including Charles Spurgeon, Hudson Taylor and William Booth, made headlines in the mid-19th century. Not for the wrong reasons like Christians sometimes do today, but because of the power of their preaching and witness. The papers even raved over their sermons.

Michele wrote of the time: “A population sunk in despondency and gloom, with no hope, was ripe for religious revival, and it came, sweeping through England, Scotland and Wales, affecting every rank and class, giving birth years later to some of the greatest pioneering movements for social reform.”

I believe we are in a similar position today. And that if we aligned ourselves with Israel, as we should, we could well see a similar response to the claims of Christianity.

The early martyrs made a huge impression as they literally sacrificed their lives for the truth of the gospel. Christians who stand for the nation that effectively provided the umbilical cord for our faith would clearly become targets for Jew-hating Muslim and secular fanatics.

Some may be called to die for their Jewish brothers. But costly identification with those who first preached the gospel to us is bound to arouse the media’s attention.

Yes, we could make headlines again as we demonstrate how precious is our God and his “treasured possession” (Exodus 19:5, Psalm 135:4). All who truly follow Jesus should be prepared to die for his sake and, as they raise their heads above the parapet in defense of our Jewish brothers, we may well get a hearing for the gospel.

As Opposition Leader Sir Keir Starmer asked in an election campaign speech, “Whose side are you on?”¹ However, our country’s future won’t be decided at the ballot box, but on our knees. To whom do we pray, and to whom do we bow the knee?

For an example of how to stand up and be counted, I refer to the aforementioned book. Harry Guinness, son of the famous 19th century evangelist Henry Grattan Guinness, was persuaded to attend a debate at the outset of his medical studies in London, assured by his new friend (who did not know his background) that religion was banned from discussion.

But when someone made an offensive remark about Jesus Christ, he got to his feet to protest at the slight against “one who is my Lord, my Savior and my King”. A moment’s stunned silence was followed by thunderous applause.

Today we ought to be protesting antisemitic smears against those who gave us the precious Scriptures, and our Lord and Savior. But we are more likely to be violently assaulted than applauded for doing so. Yet we must not stay silent. Insulting a Jew is an offense against Jesus, “the Lion of the tribe of Judah” (Revelation 5:5).

¹ Daily Mail, May 28, 2024

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