Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Banned Book?

"Does your organization support the existence of the land of Israel?" "Describe your organization's religious belief system toward the land of Israel" was representative of questioning posed by IRS agents to a Jewish group as documented in a federal court filing earlier this week. The interrogation was uncomfortably reminiscent of Himmler's SS agents and the haunting legacy of the Roman church's questioning of Jews: "Be baptized"? or "Burn"? However, IRS agents have yet to compete with Himmler or Rome, but that affords little consolation long term.

Of immediate concern is the current administration's spiritual "profiling" and the legal precedence it sets; a precedence affecting not only Israel but also the church. The Bible is the Book of the church, and provides "support" for not only the "existence of the land of Israel" but also establishes an unrivaled "belief system" affirming the Israel of God (Yisrael). Peter, to Jews of the Diaspora (dispersion), writes: "ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people" (cf. 1Peter 2:9). The Bible explicitly and implicitly ascribes promise and blessing to Israel as a people and a nation in hundreds, if not thousands, of passages. If it is not politically appropriate for Jews to support the "existence of the land of Israel," then their Book must be far less appropriate, as well as those who read and believe it.

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