Wednesday, February 24, 2010

We'll Cross That Bridge When We Come To It

Evelyn Gordon has a great piece in Commentary's blog where she points out how a recent argument against the Israeli-Evangelical Christian alliance (on the grounds that the Evangelical Christians are only friends of Israel because they believe that Jews need to control Israel for the second coming of Christ to occur and when that happens, will try to convert the Jews), makes no sense:

But in this case, the eventual conflict is a trumped-up bogeyman that has no chance of ever occurring in reality — because according to evangelical theology, it is due to take place only at the end of days. There are only two possible scenarios for what this end of days can look like, and contrary to the doomsday crowd, neither leads to Jewish-Christian conflict.

The first scenario is that the Jews are right and Jesus is not the Messiah. In that case, there will be no second coming, so the end-of-days demand that the Jews convert will never arrive, and fruitful cooperation between Jews and evangelicals can continue for all eternity.

The second is that the Christians are right, and Jesus is the Messiah. In that case, when he comes again, the Jews should all convert. After all, if they’re right, they’re right.

Needless to say, I believe the first, and my evangelical friends believe the second. But as long we can agree to disagree until the end of days arrives to settle the question, there is no conflict, and no potential for one.

Clearly, that would not be true if evangelicals wanted to forcibly convert the Jews before the end of days arrives. But so far, not even their harshest critics have found any grounds for suspecting them of that.

Even if Israel were awash with allies, it would be foolish to spurn friends as loyal as the evangelicals have proved to be over a trumped-up conflict that will never actually materialize. But to do so when Israel is besieged on all sides, with supporters few and far between, is nothing short of suicidal insanity. Israelis ought to have better sense — and so should their American Jewish supporters.

No comments: