Does God approve of Palestinian deaths?

How can we apply our faith?

One of the problems Christians face today is in applying their faith to the world around them. For faith to be real, it must start at home, and I am not talking about going to church on Sunday. I am talking about our relationships with others, our family, those whom we love, our friends, associates, work colleagues, and those whom we encounter in everyday life.

It is in these conversations, these encounters, these decisions, these actions within this small group of people which really defines, expresses, and proclaims the kind of faith we have, the sort of values we hold, and the character of the God we claim to follow.

Do you pray? Do you bring God into your conversation with those whom you love? Do you seek to be the best person you can, not because this will get you something, but because God is watching, and he knows everything. What do your children think of your faith? Do they pray and if they pray, do they understand what they are doing? Are you, in your little circle, your assembly of friends, being a witness to God and his Son Jesus Christ, or are you a closed book?

How can we make sense of Jesus?

Looking back, we make sense of Jesus because others made sense of him, or he made sense to them, and they wrote about him. They distilled what they thought the people around them might find useful, helpful, and illuminating. These days, we can record all that we say and do, but in those days, they could not. John tells us that Jesus did far more and said a lot more than is recorded in the Bible.

That is not surprising. We have the condensed version, we have the best quotes, we have the most remembered encounters. Much of what we have is copies in triplicate, recorded in three versions of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. We have the gospel of John, a very different book, in style, substance, and spirituality. We have the letters of Paul, John and Peter, and one from James, and Hebrews, whose author is lost to us.

These letters were copied and copied and many thousands of fragments of these letters and gospels remain today. These copies, fragments, and letters, form the corpus or basis for our New Testament. These fragments, letters and parchments survived down through the centuries in various places. Soon, the teachings of Jesus became politically incorrect, became inconvenient, became inconsistent with the political version of Christianity promoted by the church within the European city states they now controlled.

The truth about Jesus became a political problem

They happily kept the Bible in Latin because no one understood it and this was a good thing, because the moment anyone opened it, and read it, they would discover that the church lied constantly about God, the Son of God, and the life Christians are to lead. The truth about God was lost, the life about God was denied, the way to God was closed. For centuries, the Spirit of God moved in the hearts of people drawing them to Christ, and the church was there to kill them.

I truly believe that the Spirit of God has never stopped moving amongst his people, even though the church has done its best to stop him. He worked through men and women, shrouded by tradition, drowning in ritual and confused by language, by pointing them back to the Bible, to the words of God, and to the life of Jesus Christ.

One of the great moments in Western Christianity was the coming of the Bible in the local language, a repudiation of the official church text, a rejection of church authority, a retreat from church tradition. The men who did this, were murdered by the church, and eventually, the Protestants decided that their spiritual reformation would be based primarily on a Bible, on what the Bible said, on what it expected, and how it spoke to them about who God was, why Jesus came, and what he did.

A Readable Bible became a threat to power.

This was the turning point for Christianity. A Bible they could read, a text they could understand, and a God who seemed very interest in speaking clearly to them about himself, themselves, and others.

Until recently, Catholics kept their Bible closed.

The Roman Catholic Church until the 1960s sought to destroy the Protestant faith by murdering as many as they could, and they did not support the Bible in the local language until that time. There have been since then, a number of great Catholic thinkers, but they cannot, on the whole, disentangle themselves from church tradition, rituals and the hocus pocus of the Mass. Their theology is a dead end because it does not allow God to speak outside of their traditions, their rituals and their laws. The Pope is the boss, priests are special people, and people should pray to Mary.

The letter to the Hebrews is the antidote to the nonsense of Catholic theology that is stuck in a system that does not allow God to speak. There is nothing wrong with traditions, we all have them, but the starting point and the end point of understanding the Bible must be the text of the Bible itself. If tradition is wrong, then it should be discarded, or given lower status in the life of faith.

The Catholics are still emerging out of the Middle Ages. They are stuck in tradition, in the quagmire of Papal teaching, and the inconsistency between the vast wealth of the church, and the poverty of Christ. The Russian orthodox church is a church about which I said little. They too, are on a journey out of darkness, but a very different kind, a Communist one, and they are groping in the dark, in a perilous world, amongst a deeply traumatized nation. I leave them in the capable and wonderful hands of God.

Protestants love ‘theological systems’

The Protestants also have a problem with their theology. Their tendency is to get themselves tied up in knots, unable to move, unable to speak, and unable to change. Unlike Catholics, whose problem is located in tradition, and the orthodox in Russia who suffer deep trauma, going back a century, Protestants pick up on a theme from the Bible to explain the current situation, but this theme becomes a stumbling block for them, and the more they seek to define it and defend it, the more it twists and turns them inside out, to the point where this theological system collapses.

The fall of Southern Calvinism due to the slavery question

The first theological system to collapse was Southern Calvinism. This was the spiritual backbone to the Southern states that supported slavery and the institution of slavery. They took the doctrine of predestination, that God has chosen people from the beginning to be his people, and somehow they took from this the idea that God had ordained some to be slaves and some to be free. The theologians of the South held that the Africans were slaves, and this had been ordained by God, and it could not change.

Critics would say that the Bible does not condemn slavery. I agree, but nor does it condone it. Slavery in the ancient world was commonplace, it was not racially bound, anyone could be a slave. Point taken. But, the early Americans went to war against the Barbary Corsairs, the north African pirates in two sea-based wars. These pirates sought human cargo, especially Europeans for sale in Africa. The Americans opposed this and fought against white slavery. According to Southern Calvinism, this was a sin, and the American government should have let the pirates take as many white people into slavery as they could, after all, God ordains slavery, or is it only black slaves he ordains.

Southern Calvinism never recovered and most who hold to it today, cannot really escape the historical problem of African slavery in the American tradition. This theological system was stuck and could not accommodate a God who loved all equally, who had no favorites, and who died for all, regardless of the color of their skin. The Civil War remains unresolved in America mainly because of the failure of Christians to embrace the Christ of the scriptures, to listen to the Spirit who moves across all creation, and follow the Father, whom Christ saw worthy for his constant obedience.

End-Time Theology and American Foreign Policy

The current situation in Israel is another example of a theological system invented by Protestants which cannot accommodate the God of the Bible. It is a creation of men and women, it is not especially Christian, and it does not flow from the scriptures, but from the vanity, imagination, and delusion of man. I do not say women, because only men would be stupid enough to invent such a theological system.

This system of belief is that the creation of the state of Israel in 1947 is the first sign of the End Times, and that what will happen next is written about in the Bible. It is the belief that God speaks about a clear, step by step path towards the plains of Armageddon where God’s enemies will be defeated. Israel is on God’s side, Russia and Iran are doing the bidding of diabolos and America has been appointed to defend Israel against all evil. What is happening is of no importance except that it all points to the clear Rapture of all believers which will happen soon.

Let me be perfectly clear. This theological system prevents any humane discussion of the conflict in Palestine, it prevents any compassion for the suffering of the innocents, and it also teaches that genuine faith in Christ can also mean obedience to and submission to Satan. Many Palestinians are Christians, many Arabs are Christians, many Iranians are Christians, many Russians are Christians, but according to this theology, none of this matters because the Bible teaches this clear step by step program to the end of the world.

The problem is it doesn’t. It is complete and utter, unbelievable rubbish. Every theological tradition invented by the American church has been shown to be complete and utter rubbish because they cannot disentangle faith and flag.

I am not talking about the Founding Fathers. That was and is a pragmatic political project. The Constitution is the product of many people thinking about the kind of society they want America to be, and in many ways, this document continues to shape the character, shape, and future of America. I would not call it a Christian document, but it certainly was influenced by men who called themselves Christians.

Too much theology means too little compassion.

America’s enemies are, according to this view, God’s enemies. Iran, Russia, the Arab states, China, they all feature in this fictitious make believe of America’s End of Days Scenario. All of these nations are the enemies of America or were at one stage in the recent past. How convenient it is that the Bible so clearly agrees that everything America does is according to God’s will and revealed purpose in the scriptures. Not even the British were this arrogant, not even the Spanish under Franco.

Foreign policy aside, this theology traps Israel as much as it does the followers of Jesus. Israel did not become a nation in 1947. Israel has always been a nation, from Israel to now, or if you don’t accept the historicity of Israel, Jacob, then from the Exile until now. Israel, whether in the promised land or out of it, did not cease to be a nation. The diaspora, spread across the world are the people of the Torah, the people of the Law and the Prophets, whether they live in America, Russia or Israel.

End-Time Theology is Dead-End Thinking

In Revelation, the word nation is mentioned 22 times and every time it refers to the nations, where we get our word, ‘Gentiles’ though this word is incorrect. Israel is mentioned 3 times, and none refer to the present time. Jerusalem is mentioned 4 times and in every case it is speaking of the New Jerusalem, the one that all of God’s people will inhabit when Christ returns. Where are these specific references to the popular Protestant theological system that neatly packs the step by step process to the battle of Armageddon? It is not there.

These liars who make a lot of money from lying to people about the Bible, then go to the Hebrew Bible and to obscure passages like Ezekiel 38, where they allege, falsely, that Russia is Gog and Magog, the enemies of God. These liars don’t even bother to do proper Biblical exegesis, they are so convinced, so full of their own self-importance, and so full of the expectation that they will get your money, that they don’t bother even doing the hard-yards to work out if it makes any sense.

Christ will return and that’s the end of it

Christ will return. He will return when we least expect it. His return will be sudden and swift, and we can look forward to the New Jerusalem, a New Heavens and a New Earth.

In the meantime, anyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved, anyone who calls Jesus Lord is part of God’s family, and all made in the image of God, whether Israeli or Palestinian, or Arab, are those whom God loves, and has shown love, and especially, we believe, in the words, actions, and identity of Jesus.

Does God approve of Palestinian deaths?

I asked a question at the beginning: Does God approve of Palestinian deaths? Most of these fake Christians would say, yes, he does, because if you stand against the state of Israel, then you stand against God, and since the state of Israel is central to the return of Jesus, those who seek to hurt Israel, or even question the policies of Israel in Palestine, are fighting against God and God’s plan for humanity.

I have listened to so many of these liars and they will not even come out and say the words that Jesus said, blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called Children of God. Might I also quote the torah, you shall not commit murder, or I might even go further and go to Deuteronomy, and say, ‘vengeance is mine, I will repay,’ says Yahweh.

I believe that the theological system that many American Christians hold will collapse as decisively as did Southern Calvinism in the past, as it cannot hold itself together. There are many brothers and sisters in Christ in Gaza, but according to these religious fascists, they are all the kin of Satan. How convenient a theology that writes their humanity out of existence, who denies their identity, and who says that because of some obscure theology, no compassion for them ought to be extended.

Does God welcome the death of innocent women and children? Does God laugh at the calamity of the nations when the missiles fall onto hospitals, schools, playgrounds, and churches? Is the life of one Israeli worth more in God’s sight than the life of one Palestinian? If you answer yes to any of these three questions, I am sorry, I am truly sorry, but it is probably too late for you.

God is not on the side of genocide. The missiles that fly into Gaza are not engraved with the words ‘From God with love.’ This is man’s doing, and man is responsible for it. It is, like all wars, sordid and sinful, and blaming God for it, or arguing that God is one anyone’s side is a sin. God never takes sides in war. Wars are the result of human desires to have what is not ours, and to seek what we do not have.

The insistence of churches to ‘Stand with Israel’ is also a sin against God, for we are called to tell others about the good news of Jesus, not to promote war, enlist in conflict, or take sides in a complicated, historical mess that the West created and continues to shape for its own sinful interests.

There are legitimate grievances on both sides. This is a war of vengeance and revenge, in a culture of vendetta and blood, where the future is shaped by the past, which is an endless cycle of violence. The only future is forgiveness or total death. I have spoken about this before on the Hrvoje Moric show. You can listen to this interview here.

Forget End-Time Theology, follow Jesus instead

I have shown that the most popular Protestant theological system to offer blanket and open support for Israel in Palestine is not Christian, not Biblical, and not coherent, in other words, it does not make sense. Whether you want to take a side or not, that is your choice, but if you do, then all wars must be short, and a bad peace is better than a good war, and war must be conducted with compassion, and respect non-combatants, and all soldiers must fight with honor for God honors the day and nothing can escape his thought.

I have watched many of these guys on the internet. They have hundreds of thousands of subscribers, they are all very wealthy people, they live well in America, they drive nice cars and have nice houses, and I am sure they are all looking forward to giving it all up when Jesus returns and they have to spend eternity with the people they condemn daily on their programs. Do these guys want Jesus to return? Course not.

Have you ever met a poor American Christian celebrity? There is your answer. Do you think these liars have all the answers? They are laughing all the way to the bank with your money. They offer no compassion to the victims of war, they are blinded by their own prejudice, and they have no interest in talking about Jesus Christ.

The best way forward is to expand your circle of friends to those with whom you disagree, and pray for them, walk with them, share with them your faith and your life. Put the fake theology aside, open the Bible, and rediscover the truth about God, forget the rambling, hateful speech of these liars, and follow Jesus instead. For God loves all he made, he cares for all who live, and he expects us to walk with all made in his image.

Remember, freedom matters today, because you matter to God.

Michael J. Sutton

1 Comment

  1. Joan sutton says:

    Thank you. Indeed “blessed are the peacemakers for they are the children of God.”

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