Defining Palestinian/Islamic Terms
©February 13, 2011 by Asher Intrater
When asked how I feel about the Palestinian conflict, I have often found it
helpful to distinguish between several terms. Here are a few brief definitions:
- Palestinians – The Palestinians, or
Arabs in general, are an ethnic group like any other. They have good points
and bad points. They need to be respected for their culture, enjoy basic
civil rights, and be loved as a people. They need the gospel as anyone
else. Despite the conflict between Arabs and Jews, we are actually close
to one another ethnically; we often refer to them as our "cousins" in
the Middle East.
- Palestinian Christians – There are Palestinian Arabs who
are true born-again, Spirit-filled Christians. They are a very special group
of believers who are dear to our hearts. Many share their faith courageously
in an atmosphere filled with Islamic extremism and terrorism. Their lives
are at risk on a daily basis. We see a parallel between them and the Messianic
Jews in Israel. Our ministry (Revive Israel) considers partnership with Palestinian
Christians who share the gospel with Muslims as a top priority. They are
spiritual heroes and we stand with them in prayer, fellowship, and finances.
- Islam – Islam is a religion. Not all
Palestinians are Muslim, but the large majority are. Islam is a false religion.
It is false in historical fact (claiming that Abraham "offered" Ishmael instead
of Isaac, for instance). It is false in its description of the nature of
God, in its treatment of people, in its encouragement of violence, and its
pagan origins (the "Black Stone of Kaaba," for instance). Yet it
is not a crime to be a Muslim. Issues of faith should be addressed with clear
teaching, with intelligent confrontation, and with words of love and truth.
- Jihad – Jihad, the principle of violent
world takeover, is the goal of Islamic extremism. Islam has three levels:
A.) prayers and rituals, B.) works of community service, C.) jihad. New
Muslims who have entered only into level A or B are considered "moderate" by
the West. However, Islam eventually leads to level C, the violent stage.
Therefore, "moderate" Muslims will never be able to control the
extremists. Jihad and terrorism are a crime. Jihad is more than a crime;
it is crime and war joined together. International law does not currently
have the correct measures to stop both the criminal and military aspects
of Jihad. The violent aspects of Jihad must be stopped by force, both judicially
and militarily. All people groups are entitled to civil rights. However,
Jihad is a "war-crime" that disqualifies the rights of those who
promote it. A person who explodes a bomb in a public train station has lost
his civil rights.
- "Beast" Spirit – There is another level
to this conflict that has to do with the Second Coming of Yeshua (Jesus).
He is returning soon to establish the kingdom of God on earth from Jerusalem
(Revelation 19, Zechariah 14, Isaiah 2, etc). When He returns,
He will defeat demonic forces and bind the devil for a thousand years (Revelation
20). Therefore the focus of those satanic forces is to stop the
gospel and destroy Israel. These are the ultimate issues of spiritual warfare,
and only those who understand spiritual warfare can discern them.
A Visit to Amsterdam
By Betty Intrater
This winter Asher and I visited Amsterdam for a short vacation. We enjoyed
the network of canals that flow through the city, the colorful, narrow row
houses, and the over population of bicycles. We also enjoyed visiting a few
of the city’s museums.
I was particularly interested in the Anne Frank house, after being so familiar
with her story as a child. The house, where Anne and her family hid during
the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, has been preserved as a museum.
It is eerie to walk through this building and its hidden rooms, imagining
the horror of the inhabitants, Jews hiding from the Nazis, and their petrifying
fear of being caught.
After the war Anne’s father and the only survivor from the family, Otto Frank,
was active in preserving this house as a museum. He also devoted his life to
standing up for human rights and against racism and prejudice.
Asher and I were a little surprised upon finishing the tour to find ourselves
in an educational room with short films and materials promoting these values.
Unfortunately, the materials inaccurately drew a thread between the inhumane
acts of the Nazi regime and the treatment by Dutch police of illegal immigrants
in Holland. As though expelling illegal immigrants is on par with singling
out and brutally murdering an entire ethnic group!
We were equally surprised as we left the building and waited for transportation
at the canal, to find ourselves standing in front of the “Homomonument.” The
homomonument was designed to ‘inspire and support lesbians and gays in their
struggle against denial, oppression and discrimination’ and directly identifies
with the nearby Anne Frank house in their ‘struggle.’
The Bible warns against calling evil good and good evil (Isaiah 5:20).
In these days, when humanism is replacing godly values and the lines of good
and evil are becoming dim, let us pray to have God’s discernment, that we may
stand in His righteous values and not confuse them with those of the world.
Far East Prayer Update
By Ariel Blumenthal
Our team (Asher, Ariel, Ami, Amir (Pakistan/Thailand),
Matthew (Hong Kong), and Abraham & Grace (Korea) are presently ministering in Seoul, Korea. We
are continuing in our Acts 1 vision to preach the Gospel from Jerusalem all
the way to the ends of the earth. We believe that the Gospel of
the Kingdom needs to be preached to all the nations before the Lord’s return
(Mt 24:14). Please pray for anointing on our meetings here; for
the developing of key covenantal partners in the Far East—particularly in Mainland
Continue to pray fervently for the upcoming television
documentary on Messianic Judaism, which includes interviews with several
members of our congregation and ministry team.
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