Original post at http://sacredise.com/blog/?p=1217
Today I celebrate that Palestine has been recognised by the United Nations as the world’s 194th state. I am saddened, though, to acknowledge that some of my Christian brothers and sisters are not so excited.
A couple of years ago I was challenged by a man who was deeply convicted that a Palestinian state would go against God’s purpose for the Middle East, and would violate the promise God had made to Israel in giving them the "Promised Land". I must confess that I was so taken aback that I couldn’t question which of the Bible’s boundaries he thought should be restored. Nor did we have the time to go into any depth around the difference between the nation of Israel and the theological idea of the "chosen people" (what theologians call the "Israel of God"). So, I know that this man is grieving today. He feels that it is somehow God’s will that Israel should illegally occupy Palestinian territory. He feels that Palestine’s acceptance as a state is simply one more thing which will delay the return of Christ. I cannot judge this man, but I cannot stand with him in his beliefs – which, to be honest, I consider both dangerous and lacking in compassion (which I guess is a judgement of sorts – so be it).
What fascinates and disturbs me is how strongly the theological position represented by this man has taken hold of the one super-power left in our world. Take a look at the voting map above (click to enlarge) which I found on the Avaaz site. It makes you think, doesn’t it?
Anyway, today I, along with millions of other citizens of this one world, welcome Palestine as its own state. May this be the beginning of a path to justice and peace for you – and for your neighbour, Israel.