John R. Houk
© September 15, 2014
Senator Ted Cruz was the keynote speaker at the In Defense of Christians (IDC) summit held in Washington DC on September 10 of 2014. The IDC summit was a bit historical due to the attendance of some Eastern Rite clergy leaders that do not always see eye to eye on matters of theology. In order to make a long story summarized Senator Cruz not only stood with the solidarity for the plight of Christian genocide executed by ISIS but made a stand for Israel as a friend for Christians in the Middle East. This didn’t go over so well with the Eastern Rite Christians visiting the summit away from their homelands in the Middle East.
So at this point it might be a good idea to look at the IDC Awareness and Advocacy page to see what they are about:
Awareness and advocacy are the two fundamental components of IDC’s work. Awareness is broadly focused on bringing attention in the United States and the western world to the plight of the ancient Christian communities of the Middle East. Advocacy is narrowly focused on the U.S. foreign policy community, influencing policymakers to promote values abroad that are consistent with the universal human rights of religion and conscience.
These values are not exclusively Christian, nor does IDC seek only to protect the human rights of Christians, but all religious groups. These rights are universal, applicable to all human persons. In this sense, “Christian” refers not only those who confess the Christian faith, but also Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, Baha’i, and even the freedom to confess no religious belief at all.
IDC believes that America’s foreign policy apparatus, especially the State Department, too often projects indifference on the question of persecuted religious minorities in the region, especially Christians – a policy that only invites further violence. In some instances, the U.S. government even provides significant foreign aid to regimes that persecute Christians, as with Pakistan and now Egypt. With a vigorous and sustained public awareness and advocacy campaign, IDC believes this can change.
So to be clear, the IDC peers through the eyes of a diverse Christian perspective that is inclusive of the civil rights of other religious faiths. As one of those kind-of-guys that Christ is the only way to God I may have a bit of a problem of the inclusiveness of other faiths, especially Islam. I don’t have a problem with diversity within Christianity as long as long as those diverse sects, Denominations and Rites follow the basics of Christian faith, viz. Jesus was crucified, died on the Cross, was in the grave for three day and arose in Resurrection to Redeem humanity from this wicked world. As well as include that Jesus Christ is the one and only (First Begotten) Son of God and devoted to the mystery of the Trilogy – Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three persons consisted simultaneously in ONE God. All the other theological mumbo jumbo – in my humble opinion – will not affect one’s Salvation.
On the other hand it is a righteous thing to defend the civil rights of a persecuted people. If Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Baha’is or other religious people are being singled out for violence and/or extermination; it is a Christian godly move to denounce the persecutors for heinous acts. Nevertheless I am suspicious of Christians that water down their faith to be inclusive rather than respectful of religious faiths.
And just for clarity’s sake I nearly always give a pass to Jews that are suspicious and critical Christian motives. Jews have been the recipients of heinous persecution for thousands of years. NONETHELESS, I refuse to denounce Jews or Judaism for its insularism or it dislike for outsiders for one primary reason: Salvation is of the Jews.
I realize this is a reprehensible thought among Jews but I believe Jesus Christ is as much the Messiah to Jews as he is to non-Jews. I believe it was a part of the God’s plan for the Redemption of all humanity through Jesus who was born as a sinless man to provide the remittance price that brings humanity back to God Almighty. I believe because of the Abrahamic Covenant Jesus the Messiah was born a Jew and ministered the Good News of His coming to the Jews because as the Apostle Paul says, “To the Jews first and then the Gentiles.”
From the Christian perspective here is a summary that fits my belief that Israel is a Promise of God to the Jews and eventually the Jews will recognize Christ as their Messiah:
From the first human beings God created and placed in the Garden of Eden, to the very last person born on this earth, our gracious God has offered salvation to sinners on the basis of faith in the promised “seed,” Jesus Christ. Before Messiah’s birth, Old Testament saints admitted their sin and trusted in the “seed” who was to come, and they were saved. Adam and Eve were given the promise of deliverance through their “seed” (Genesis 3:15), and they believed (see Genesis 4:25-26). So it was with Abraham as well:
After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; your reward shall be very great.” And Abram said, “O Lord God, what wilt Thou give me, since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “Since Thou hast given no offspring to me, one born in my house is my heir.” Then behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir; but one who shall come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.” And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” Then he believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:1-6).
Jesus answered, “If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God’; and you have not come to know Him, but I know Him; and if I say that I do not know Him, I shall be a liar like you, but I do know Him, and keep His word. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” The Jews therefore said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am” (John 8:54-58). THE ENTIRE ESSAY IS ILLUMINATING – READ IT (The Promised Seed: The Source of Blessing in God's Perfect Plan; By Bob Deffinbaugh; Bible.org; 5/17/04)
So I am a Jesus-is-the-only-way kind of guy and all the Promises to the Jews from God are still effective and one day the Jews as a religious people will recognize Jesus Christ as their Messiah. I will never condemn Jews with idiotic conspiracy theories and the Promise of Land is a restoration miracle that shows the time of Jesus Christ’s return is closer in time than any other time in history.
Now in affirming my faith in Christ and God’s Promises to the Jews I do get a bit disturbed when I read of Christians that are antisemitic. AND I am disturbed that there are still Christians out there that place blame on Jews for crucifying Christ. This is idiotic considering Christ’s death, burial and Resurrection is what brings Salvation to those who believe in the Redemptive act of the Lord Jesus Christ. How moronic is it to hate Jews or Roman Gentiles for that matter for killing Christ when the Lord’s death was a necessary sacrifice to transfer humanity out of the dominion of Satan and into the Kingdom of the Father’s dear Son?
Since the days of Islamic conquest of the Christian lands of the Middle East that were formerly a part of the Christian Roman Empire, Muslim brutality slowly shrank the Christian majority making the faithful a minority in their own land. Even in seasons of tolerance Christians and Jews were required to submit to the rules of Islam. This meant an absolute acceptance of Islamic Supremacist Sharia Law. Part of Sharia was to enforce rules regarding non-Muslims living under Islamic rule. This meant the rules which can be anglicized as dhimmitude based and later expanded upon the ... READ MORE on the development of Eastern Rite Antisemitism at SlantRight 2.0