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Posted on: 
28 Sep 2015
It’s Sukkot in Israel; the season where thousands of evangelical Christian pilgrims descend on Jerusalem from the four corners of the globe bringing with them hearts filled with love and support for Israel and her people. For Israelis of all backgrounds it is a welcome sight. Evangelical, Bible-believing Christians have distinguished themselves over the years as Israel’s most faithful and reliable friends.

This is why it is with dismay that we have seen the work of the ICEJ come under increasing pressure from anti-missionary groups who want to force us to disown the messianic community: Israeli Jews who believe in Jesus as their Messiah. This pressure culminated with a harsh public criticism from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.

It is criticism that, in our view, crosses the red line. Why? Because it attacks the very roots of the Christian faith. The first church was Jewish; the Apostles were Jews; our Bible was written by Jews; and our Savior, Jesus, was Jewish. In other words, the roots of first century Christianity are found in the early messianic Jewish church that started here in Jerusalem.

It was not until several hundred years later when Constantine convened the council of Nicea, that the Church disowned the Jewish roots of its faith. This opened the door for the destructive influence of replacement theology and the centuries of Christian anti-Semitism that followed.

That’s why to ask us today to dissociate us from our messianic brothers and sisters is not just asking us to deny the very roots of our faith, it is also asking us to turn back the clock to the dark ages of Christian anti-Semitism. And the ICEJ will not do this, whatever the cost! 

For decades we have travelled to churches on every continent raising up Christian support for Israel and fighting anti-Semitism in all its forms. What’s more, we have consistently demonstrated through our words and our deeds that our support for Israel and the Jewish people is real, sincere and comes with no strings attached. We stand on our record of extensive humanitarian aid to every sector of Israeli society and we are proud of our partnership with esteemed Israeli institutions such as the Knesset and Yad Vashem.

Yet for the past 35 years we have embraced both the messianic Jewish and Arab Christian communities here in the land, bringing Jewish and Arab believers in Jesus together at the Feast of Tabernacles. To distance ourselves from those who share our love of Jesus would be a betrayal of who we are. And a relationship with Israel that is built on anything else than honesty and authenticity is no relationship at all.

For more than 35 years this has been our track record. It is, after all, what makes us Christian. And it is because we are Christians that we are here this year, standing with this nation, praying for this nation, and seeking to bless this nation, as we always have, and always will.


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