My fondest wish for the Israelis is that they ALL convert to Christianity, according to plan. They would have to repent, as is necessary to be true believers. (Won't that be a hoot because up until now, they assert, they have done no wrong.) Assuming they do, maybe the Second Coming will commence. But what if it doesn't? What if the prophecies were wrong and there is no Second Coming? We will be faced with serious theological and ethical and legal questions: are the conversions invalid if predicated on a chance to go to Christian heaven; if that was part of the bargain, do they have to stay Christians if they didn't get an Armageddon - i.e., isn't a deal a deal?? Sans Armageddon, won't we still have the need for a Homeland for the Converted Jews or Reverted Converteds: will it be Oklahoma? the plains of Texas? Or will they still bear ill will to the Palestinians and continue their holdout for the creation of the Greater Isr- er Chr- er - CHRISRAEL, in Palestine?
(ASIDE) If we ARE Armageddon'd, the Evangelical Christians are certainly to be thanked for their efforts on behalf of the rest of the world. Although we have been unable to create peace on earth, through their efforts at creating Christians, we may yet end up in Paradise. (Let's hear it for the Goys!)
There is also a second contingent of Evangelicals in Iraq who are frantically working to convert Muslims to Christianity before "the window of opportunity" as they call it closes (put that way, there must be a timetable). Perhaps they will be able to convince the errant Muslims that once they are Christians they will no longer get smite-ed by other Christian nations, they will of necessity love the Chrisraelis and no longer have to wear headscarves. Will there be time to save the rest of the Arab world? Will the domino effect come into play and one by one, all Arab nations be Christianized, just as they are all being democratized? Much to ponder.
If a Jew converts to Christianity and a Muslim Converts to Christianity, are they now brothers? Weren't they always? Will they get along?
Some other questions that occurred to me on the way to enlightenment and death . . .
As the Right-ers attempt conversions of Israeli Jews, and the Christian Left does not, is a Christian Right-er a GOOD Christian or a BAD Christian. Are the less Conservative Christians BAD Christians? How can a Christian be BAD? (Gandhi said Christianity is a most wonderful religion; but he could not find the Christians. But maybe now as their tribe increases . . .)
Is anyone working on American Jewry? Otherwise, won't they be surprised when everyone else is saved and they are not, and they bought the Right-ers the plane tickets!
When Christ said spread the word, I believe He told us what it was. I do not believe it was steal, kill, rape and plunder, and do it in My Name. Was it?
Wasn't it love, (love the Lord thy God with all they might...) of God and Fellow Man, (love thy neighbor as thyself); show mercy and do unto others as you would have them do unto you; and do not covet they neighbor's possessions and not kill, or steal. Oops, I foresee a lot of mandatory forsaking if the great commandment is still required.
Many a born-again Christian I have met remained just as ornery and aggravating as before, but now it is in God's name. I always ask them post-epiphany or conversion or "born-again" experience that brought them closer to God: "Then how come you aren't nicer?
Do not worship idols - (isn't the wanna-be pure racist State of Israel an idolatrous invention?).
Do not be rich. (It's in the Book: it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get to Heaven). Ouch. I see REAL problems ahead.
It is not going to be easy, when Barry meets Mary, so to speak but there will be places of no-conflict. All the Commandments (we share them) stress "good" character traits and fortunately neither Christian nor Israeli Jews seem constrained to abide by all of them. Mayhap as in war, some of them are considered "acceptable losses."
Or, like the dieter who cheats on his doctor-ordered diet. "It doesn't specifically SAY no pecan pie...." (or no shooting at kids) and fools himself with selective adherence.
The above partial mercy quote from Luke preceded the parable of the Good Samaritan, where the "good" neighbor was deemed by Jesus to be the one who showed mercy. Go thou and do likewise, He said. Mercy mercy mercy! But not in the Holy Land (so far).
Didn't Jesus say what ye do to the least of men ye do to Me? Having made the Palestinians the least in their own country, aren't then the Israelis humiliating, shunning, starving, robbing, denouncing Jesus? Where is their mercy? What Would Jesus Say? I know, I know, hate the sin, love the sinner -- handy little cop-out. Christianity treats sinners with compassion. Everyone ought to jump at a chance to convert. Christians can even sin, confess, do penance, and SIN AGAIN!! Hallelujah!
Would the Christian Right be as welcome to Israel if they had no money (didn't Jesus throw the money-changers out of the temple?) and offered only -- prayers? Prayers can move mountains (but a Caterpillar is faster).
When Jesus returns to the hills of Judea, will they still be there, or rearranged for optimum settlement development?
Is there really, (G-D and God and Gawd forbid) a worldwide conflict between Jews and Muslims? One may imagine the Christians mounting a jihad against Islam, perhaps (and is that Christian?), but I see the Muslims as sort of queuing up on the sidelines of the Jewish-Christian marriage (although I don't think it has been announced generally that all the Israeli Jews are under conversion-deadline), and wondering on whose side of the church they should sit. They are not really friends of either.
The idea of the Second Coming and the End of The World surely must concern the Palestinian Muslims and Christians: just when they are making plans to get their own place, will there BE a place?
I wish I could be smart enough to figure this out. If the bargain has been struck (The American Christian Right will swear to the Bible's validity on the matter of real estate rights if the Israeli Jews will swear on Revelations, to become Christians) then why are they still building settlements? Are they leaving some Jews behind -- but, there won't be a behind if the world ends, will there?
Pat Robertson (I cannot in conscience call him The Reverend) insulted the Jewish bankers as power mongers; he apologized. Now they love him. Is that like Catholic confession? Is his penance to support Israel?
If Robertson has now come to see the light, in a year or so will he see The Light differently? How do the followers keep track of the positions of Falwell and Robertson and fallen evangelists (and we won't go into that) as they maneuver serpentine-like through government, society, international politics and morality and last year hated the Jews but this year are kissing their Torahs?
If racism is good today, why was it bad when the Klan was doing it? Come to think of it, weren't many Klan members also Christian Right-ers?
If it's religiously historical, is it okay? Take the Inquisition: the accused had no rights, no counsel, no appeals, were tortured as a means to get at "the truth" before they were condemned, lost their lives and their property was confiscated. Does the Christian Right support the practices of Israel that today are not even AS democratic or humane as the Inquisition, i.e., arbitrary imprisonment without charges with torture to induce confessions; or street-justice assassinations without trial; there is no appeal after death, but at least during the Inquisition there was a trial!
If Jewish scholars really believe that "because God is infinitely good and goodness creates while evil destroys, God's nature prompted him to create" -- Israel destroys. So, Is Israel good, or evil? How can the Chosen People not emulate God's creative goodness? Did he know when he chose them they would wimp out on the goodness part? So, are they Good Jews or Bad Jews? Can a Bad Jew be a Good Christian?
How do Christians justify the evils of the illegal occupation? Are they (pre-conversion) giving surely-goodness-and-mercy classes or just hoping (post-conversion) they will behave better in the sweet by and by, as Christians, because axiomatically Christians are good? Aren't they?
Vengeance is mine, sayeth The Lord. Does the Christian Right realize they are supporting a regime that usurps God's authority in daily "avenging" past "wrongs" with death and skillfully, routinely, provoking more incidents to avenge?
Let us pray on it, as we join hands and sing Jesus Loves Me This I Know, For The Bible Tells Me So.
Is the God of Israel the same as the God of the USA? As the God of Switzerland? As the God of Christianity? Shouldn't it be the God of Judaism? Is Israel God's only country? Is the Christian God the God of Christianity, or the God of the US? Isn't God God, longitudinally and latitudinally?
Isn't religion basically the means to social order? If the Bible is The Path to Social Order, and social order in Israel is racially determined, is the Bible wrong, or is Israel?
Well, despite my other certainties, I do know that the evil men do lives after them (Shakespeare). Unless the world ends.
I always confuse quotes from Shakespeare and the Bible. Whose was the quote about strange bedfellows?
Lane Pope is a "retired angry woman" living in Miami, Florida.