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Friday, July 18, 2014

David Barton Is a Doofus about Israel

I know.  David Barton’s a doofus.  It’s hardly worth mentioning him – except that he gets so much attention from many of the Christians I know, and that he expresses many of the opinions that I hear coming out of their mouths or sharing on the Facebook.   He’s a doofus who says dumb things.  But let me interact with him for a moment.

“The way that you treat the Jews shows the degree of civilization that you have.  Any time you go after the Jews, God comes after you. And by the way, the deal that we’re fighting now with Israel – they need to give up land or this, we’re told in Acts, God says I am the one that establishes the boundaries of nations. God told us in the Bible exactly what the boundaries of Israel are to be.  And whenever a politician gets involved and says well you need to give up this land or that land you better get God’s permission first ‘cause he’s one who drew the lines.  He’s the one that made the covenant for those boundaries, you start messin’ with that, you’re messin’ directly with God.  This is not like other nations.  This is a covenant nation.

“…and so you look at what’s going with Israel. If you side Israel, God can bless that.   If you don’t side Israel, God’s going to have trouble with that.  And how does he express that?  Well, one of the things he often did in the bible was weather phenomenon.  Other things that he did was that productivity would go down. Or agricultural crisis. Or drought. Or…  And suddenly you’re not as prosperous as you were…there are things that have happened….”

“Any time you go after Israel…”  I hear this one a lot from some of my friends.  They assume that any criticism of Israel is an attack on Israel.  By this standard, all of the prophets (save Jonah, who was an Anti-Prophet) must have hated Israel.   The promise (which was given to Abraham, and not the modern nation of Israel by the way) to bless those who bless and to curse those who curse – cannot be understood as a get out of jail free card.  Israel is not exempt from criticism.  Israel is not allowed to act with impunity.

“We’re told in Acts, God says I am the one that establishes the boundaries…” Okay, David, but that statement (found in Acts 17: 26) includes both boundaries in geographical space – and – time. So if you want to appeal to that verse, then you might have to allow that the removal of the Jews from Israel was part of that Divine establishment.

Whenever a politician gets involved…” Pretty sure that this one cuts against your argument as well since there were numerous politicians involved in the creation of the modern state of Israel and its borders.

“This is not like other nations. This is a covenant nation.”  And this is the granddaddy of errors here.  The mistaken idea that the modern nation-state of Israel has any equivalence to the biblical nation of Israel.  It doesn’t.  It’s not. 

One can love Israel, and the Jewish people and still call them to act with justice.  One can love the people of Palestine without hating the people of Israel.  Criticism of Israel’s cruelties and criminal acts is not an automatic endorsement and justification of the cruelty and criminal acts of groups like Hamas. 

and, one last time… David Barton is a doofus.

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