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Affirm the truth, but tread lightly

Reader comment on item: Islam, Jews and the Temple Mount

Submitted by Kepha (United States), Dec 18, 2021 at 15:50

The "Palestinian" narrative that writes the Jews out of the history of the lands between the Jordan and Mediterranean is a malicious and historically untenable lie. Not a penny of American tax money should support UNESCO's perpetuation of this propagandistic falsehood; nor should any tax money from any decent nation support this. Indeed, this is among the reasons why the UN is useful only as a forum to air international issues, and should by no means be seen as a quasi-world government or moral authority.

Yes, I regard the Old Testament as sacred Scripture (and, by this terminology I show my Christian colors). But I also honor it as a testament to how history is not necessarily written by the winners (cf. II Kings 25). But not all of us Evangelical Christians believe that the re-establishment of the state of Israel is a harbinger of the Eschaton (even if we wish Israel well); nor do we encourage any thought of a Third Temple, for the atonement made by the Messiah on the cross is sufficient for all time. We see the Olivet Discourse as referring to the events of 66-70 A.D. (even while, against the modernist critics, we note that it does not see the event as a fait accompli). We note that Eusebius (using older sources) reports that the ethnically Jewish Christians of Jerusalem had this view, and left for the Decapolis and Gaulanitis as the Roman army approached.

For us, while we recognize Mt. Moriah as the likely site of Solomon's Temple, Mt. Moriah is at present in Islamic hands (save for the Wailing Wall, which is Jewish). To encourage the building of a Third Temple would be theologically irresponsible, as well as politically irresponsible. At the same time, it is enough to recognize that a modern Israel is a fait accompli, that the area inside Israel's pre-1967 borders is the only part of the Middle East where the indigenous Christian population is increasing (although it seems there are now an unprecedented number of ex- Muslim Christians in Iran, too), and that Israel is the only Middle Eastern state where anything approaching true liberty for religious minorities exists.


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