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Many of us are finding ourselves engaged in conversations about the crisis in Israel, therefore, I thought it might be useful to offer some pastoral advice as to what you might wish to say in that situation.

Your first couple of sentences should probably go something like this:

First of all, I categorically condemn these horrific attacks by Hamas. The killing of women, children, and the elderly is barbaric in the extreme. I support Israel’s right as a nation to defend her people and her territory against her attackers.

If you are offered the opportunity for further comment, you may wish to respond as follows:

That being said, I believe that it is the responsibility of the international community to hold Israel accountable to the rules of war. All reasonable attempts must be made to minimize civilian casualties in Gaza.

If you are offered the opportunity for further comment, you may wish to respond as follows:

It is important for us to remember that not all Palestinians are aligned with Hamas. Hamas is an oppressive, terrorist nation that often uses innocent Palestinian civilians as human shields. To oppose Hamas is not to hate Palestinians. In fact, there are many Palestinian Christians with whom we share a particular solidarity as followers of Jesus.

If you happen to be speaking to a Christian and are offered the opportunity for further comment, you may wish to respond as follows:

It is important for us to remember that Israel as a nation is no longer the special locus of God’s redeeming work in the world. Christ is the fulfillment of the promises made to Israel and the New Covenant community is made up of both Jews and Gentiles together. A person is not saved merely on the basis of being genetically related to Abraham, as per the clear teaching of the Apostle Paul in Romans 9. While I look for and expect a great turning of the Jewish people back to God through Christ, we, as Christians, must be clear in our conviction that no one enters the family of God and no one enters into the blessings and favour of God apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ.

I hope that helps.

Let’s pray for peace in Israel and let’s pray for a great outpouring of God’s grace unto salvation to fall upon all peoples, both Jews and Arabs, across the entire region.

 

SDG,

Pastor Paul Carter

 


If you are interested in more Bible teaching from Pastor Paul you can access the entire library of Into The Word episodes through the Audio tab on the Into the Word website. You can also download the Into The Word app on iTunes or Google Play.

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