Recently, I went to a local church to hear a man speak on what life was like in Bethlehem, Israel. This talk was sponsored by three local ministers, all of the same denomination. Since I have been to Israel several times, I was interested in the talk.
I was very much surprised to hear the man introduced as being from Bethlehem, Palestine. Although the man claims to be a Christian, he apparently is unaware of the Scriptures and a land being born in a day, May 14, 1948. The place where Jesus was born, the place where King David was born is still Bethlehem, Israel.
The individual brought slides of the wall that Israel put up and the long lines of people waiting to go through security check points from Bethlehem to Jerusalem. The response from the audience was in sympathy with the Palestinians. The man never once mentioned why security was needed. One individual kept saying this was outrageous. I wonder what she would say if in Wheeling her child's school bus was blown up and children were killed. Or if a daily occurance of rockets were being fired on kindergarten, schools, restaurants, etc. I was in Jerusalem, Israel, in February 2004 when a bus was bombed with many high school students being killed or injured. Security is needed.
The facts the gentleman was producing were so distorted. He showed Christmas Eve in Bethlehem of the residents having their parade. Manger Square, a few years back, is where Arafat unfurled a huge banner of himself. People could not get to Rachel's tomb because of Palestinean soldiers blocking it. Many Arab Christians have left their shops and the man seemed to imply it was because of the Israelis, never mentioning what Arafat and his henchmen did to the Christians.
Do you recall a few years ago when terrorists occupied a church in Bethlehem with the Franciscans still in it? There is a valley by this church that goes in Jerusalem where apartments are occupied by mostly Soviet Jews. Also, in February 2004, we were there for the purpose of prayer. The Jewish people who occupied the outer apartments had to move into the inner complex because of the all the bullets being fired at them from the church. I saw the bullet holes in the buildings. The man from Bethlehem claimed the Israelies were firing on them.
I brought up all these situations to the speaker. I asked what he thought of God's Covenant to Abraham and God miraculously bringing them home to their land. At first he began to mock me and finally said, "the Jews had their chance and it was too late."
The Scriptures speak of the Jews returning to their inheritance. God is not a man that He should lie. He is merciful. He speaks in Genesis, Isaiah, Jeremiah 33, Ezekiel, Zachariah, Jesus Himself speaks of rebuilding Jerusalem. It is not popular to be anti-semetic, but it is popular to be anti-Israel and anti-Zionist. It is so tragic to hear of Christians who say they love Jesus, but then hate His people.
Carol A. Conlin