Evangelical Spiritual Confusion on Israel
Recently Jerusalem and Haifa were the scene of Israeli “gay pride parades”. The events were marches through the cities, which concluded in community centers. In Haifa, the event concluded with a concert and closing events at a community center called the “Leo Baeck center”, which is a community center here in Haifa that helps the poor.
We have lived in Haifa for some time, and ‚ to support the Jewish people, one of the first places we went to was Leo Baeck. Knowing nothing about them, we sought their help in finding the most needy individuals living in our district, to help with a food aid project we were hosting. The first question we were asked by Leo Baeck was, “Are you Christians?” The anti-missionary movement in Israel is strong and this question isn’t surprising; nevertheless I didn’t expect it in this instance. We confirmed our testimony for Jesus Christ and were given a lecture by their director and then shown the door.
The director’s lecture included their policy against any group which will be sharing the Gospel. He cited several examples of what he explained to be Christian groups who have made agreements with Leo Baeck and other Israeli organizations: Christian groups who have signed agreements with the organizations to not share the Gospel in any way. One such example was what he called an “evangelical church” in Germany, who sends money each month directly to Leo Baeck, with NO questions asked, done in the name of their own version of “Zionism”.
This is simply wrong, and it isn’t true Zionism at all. What the German church doesn’t know is that the Leo Baeck center sponsors offices for Orthodox Jewish groups who forbid teaching about Jesus and the New Testament, and persecutes any Israelis (native or immigrant) who are believers in Jesus. Now we see Leo Baeck hosting concerts, events, and dinners for the city’s gay pride parade.
The desire of the German church to help Israel is very good, obviously. But Zionism that leaves out the Gospel is not Zionism at all, is not real love for Israel, and it goes against our much higher calling of preaching the Gospel to every person, which of course includes the Jews.
The German church in question would have better served Israel by supporting an evangelical ministry in Israel which helps with practical blessings AND who preaches the Gospel. To not do so is to simply put money in the hands of anti-missionaries and gay pride parties instead of helping those groups who lead people to Jesus, speaking the truth in love, that the Jewish people may be saved, and that the homosexual community may be delivered from homosexuality, bondage, and sin, and find salvation, love, and freedom in Jesus.