It is a sadly familiar sequence of events. And it demonstrates how profoundly difficult it is for peace of any kind to be established once hatred has taken root. The situation seems hopeless to almost everyone. Almost everyone…
This last weekend was profoundly instructive as to the real source of peace. In God’s providence, the Elav Youth Conference was already scheduled in Haifa, Israel. It is a gathering of young Arab and Jewish disciples of Jesus.
These young people have been reconciled to God and to each other through faith in Jesus/Issa/Yeshua the Messiah, who came to save each and all of them. They demonstrated to the hostile world around them, not how things must be…but how things can be when the Kingdom of God begins to be formed in the hearts and minds of the community of His disciples.
It is to this kind of work that CMJ has committed itself for over two centuries. And it is for this kind of peace that CMJ in Israel and around the world is asking believers in Jesus to pray. Not just a ceasefire…not a cold war…but the lasting peace that comes only when the Messiah is recognized and followed. We are instructed to pray for peace, because peace is when God is most able to demonstrate His desire for all people to know him.
If you would like to join us in this prayer effort for peace and change in Israel, you can sign up for regular prayer alerts from CMJ. From your mobile device, send a text message to the number 59769 with cmjapp as the message content. You will receive a link to download the app, from which you can sign up for prayer alerts or newsletters (or both), as well as view the News and Events section for recent reports from our CMJ contacts in Israel.
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Now he wants to help re-unite the sons of Abraham
A Turkish Muslim who made a pilgrimage to Mecca in a desperate attempt to get his life back on track returned as a Christian to the great astonishment of his family. Now a pastor, Ali Pektash has been addressing a [CMJ-sponsored] conference in Jerusalem called At the Crossroads, and sees it as part of his mission to help re-unite the sons of Abraham.
Ali, a Kurd, suffered from alcohol addiction when friends persuaded him to make Hajj (pilgrimage) to Islam’s holy city. It was in Saudi Arabia, where liquor is banned, and the religious ritual might cure him, they suggested.
When he got there, he cried out to God for help (if indeed He was there) and fell asleep.
Jesus then appeared to him in a dream and touched him, saying: “You believe in me now; leave this place.”
After taking a shower next morning, he discovered what he thought was dust on the part of his chest Jesus had touched, but in fact the hair on his chest had turned white in the shape of a hand!
At the traditional celebration marking his return from Hajj, he announced to his incredulous family that he had seen Jesus in Mecca and had come back a Christian. He burst out crying in front of his wife and asked forgiveness for the way he had treated her, clearly demonstrating a dramatic change in his life. But for three years he had no access to a Bible and it was seven years before he met another Turkish Christian.
No issue illustrates it more acutely than the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, a topic as current as yesterday’s headlines. The shift from a God-centered to a human-centered perspective dominates most current discussions of the issues surrounding Jewish people, Palestinian Arabs, and the Land. Those reports and opinions, whether theological or secular, focus on the attributes, rights, and prophecies from the perspective of the consequences for Jewish or Arab people. The arguments presume, sometimes unwittingly, that humanistic concerns are most important. The reason for God (or theology) has far more to do with human rights and preferences than His intentions and will.
We affirm our belief in historic Christianity as revealed in the Scriptures and summarized in the three Creeds (the Apostles’, the Nicene, and the Athanasian) and the Thirty-Nine Articles. We recognize the need today for reaffirming the following beliefs: