“So then,” he explained to the gathering who enjoyed a barbeque as the sun set over Jerusalem, “we decided to take it up a level...”
We need to define our terms. What is war? One definition is that war is an armed conflict between one nation and another or between sizable factions within the same nation. The various conflicts in the Middle East certainly qualify as war under that definition. What is unique in these conflicts is that where one of the members of the conflict is Muslim, the ultimate aim of the Muslim party is conquest, that is, to establish Sharia Law over both parties of the conflict or in extreme cases the utter obliteration of the non-Muslim party.
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.
Now he wants 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.
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: