Among the latest exploits of the United Methodist Women’s Division is a children’s book intended to instill anti-Israel themes among Methodist younsters. Innocuously called, “From Palestine to Seattle; Becoming Neighbors and Friends,” the booklet portrays Israel as an oppressor of Palestinians while omitting all mention of terrorism. It was written by Mary Davis, a former United Methodist missionary in “Palestine,” where she led “study tours,” whose political content no doubt was predictable.One of the things this booklet tells teachers to ask their students is, “How would you feel if you were not allowed to visit a certain place?” Gee, I dunno, probably about the same as the millions of Jews who are denied access to the Temple Mount, our holiest site?
One of the discussions that Rabbi Gavriel and I have had frequently lately is the matter of the Christian Church (and here I'm using "Church" to refer to the whole cultural institution, not the Ekklesia of true followers of Messiah) being broken off from the Olive Tree:
But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in." Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either. (Rom. 11:17-21)As I watch Christian groups like the UMC or the PCUSA divest themselves of and attack Israel, I note that it is the spiritually dead denominations that are the first to attack not only the broken branches, but the very root of the tree that they have been grafted into. Or perhaps I should say, that they at one time were grafted into. They have already given up Messiah in all but name (I think that quite a few will be among those who protest, "Lord, Lord, didn't we do all this stuff in Your Name?"), and the attacks on Israel are the symptom, not the cause, of a deep-rooted apostasy from the Scriptures.