In 2020 hindsight history reveals without too much difficulty that religious belief has been the well-spring of philosophical thought so as to engage in military conflict. The ancients let alone the Old Testament reveal this as did Rome.
English history and it's the War of the Roses and the Magna Carter is just two of many political examples which ultimately three hundred years later gave Henry VIII the virtue to go “independent'.
We might even consider the Spanish conquests of Latin America where a very clear stated purpose was to bring the Roman Church's Salvation to those peoples. We might even be so bold as to suggest the British rule of India accompanied by so many Christian missions might be somewhere along that same philosophical thought.
That the Muslim fighters were stopped at the gates of Vienna in the 14th century historians are of no doubt saved Europe for Christianity from Islam. The carve up of the Ottoman Empire after WWI had as much political as religious considerations.
Perhaps not WWI but certainly WWII had a “freedom” as opposed to “Nazi slavery” religious context to it and if that could in any be contested at the time, the concentration camps left no doubt as to its varsity.
In the current climate the call for an Islamic Caliphate has all these same characteristics, where politics and religion are in the thick of it, but more so, in that in Islam the politic is the religion determined for the Muslim for their religious life / political life. It is characterised and exhibited as being one and the same.
Protestants call all this ‘the providence of God’ in order that the freeing Gospel of Jesus Christ illuminates people's hearts and minds to greater justice for all, and therefore the philosophy stands good to fight the good fight for both Salvation of the soul and salvation from all but slavery.
Why is Israel any different
Turning our attention to this current era, there appears to be very different rules when it comes to Israel and its right to have a continuing existence. Even some Christians have labelled Israel as apartheid, when any alternative policy would see the Jews lose control of their own country.
So it was with much interest therefore to read Israel's Ron Prossor's speech to the United Nations. This is just a snippet.
I stand before the world as a proud representative of the State of Israel and the Jewish people. I stand tall before you knowing that truth and morality are on my side. And yet, I stand here knowing that today in this Assembly, truth will be turned on its head and morality cast aside.
The world’s unrelenting focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an injustice to tens of millions of victims of tyranny and terrorism in the Middle East. As we speak, Yazidis, Bahai, Kurds, Christians and Muslims are being executed and expelled by radical extremists at a rate of 1,000 people per month.
I stand before you to speak the truth. Of the 300 million Arabs in the Middle East and North Africa, less than half a percent are truly free – and they are all citizens of Israel. Israeli Arabs are some of the most educated Arabs in the world. They are our leading physicians and surgeons, they are elected to our parliament, and they serve as judges on our Supreme Court. Millions of men and women in the Middle East would welcome these opportunities and freedoms.
Nonetheless, nation after nation, will stand at this podium today and criticise Israel – the small island of democracy in a region plagued by tyranny and oppression. Our conflict has never been about the establishment of a Palestinian state. It has always been about the existence of the Jewish state.
Sixty seven years ago this week, on November 29, 1947, the United Nations voted to partition the land into a Jewish state and an Arab state. Simple. The Jews said yes. The Arabs said no. But they didn’t just say no. Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon launched a war of annihilation against our newborn state.
According to the United Nations, about 700,000 Palestinians were displaced in the war initiated by the Arabs themselves. At the same time, some 850,000 Jews were forced to flee from Arab countries. The difference is that Israel did its utmost to integrate the Jewish refugees into society. The Arabs did just the opposite.
The worst oppression of the Palestinian people takes place in Arab nations. In most of the Arab world, Palestinians are denied citizenship and are aggressively discriminated against. They are barred from owning land and prevented from entering certain professions.
Every European parliament that voted to prematurely and unilaterally recognise a Palestinian state is giving the Palestinians exactly what they want – statehood without peace. By handing them a state on a silver platter, you are rewarding unilateral actions and taking away any incentive for the Palestinians to negotiate or compromise or renounce violence. You are sending the message that the Palestinian Authority can sit in a government with terrorists and incite violence against Israel without paying any price.
The State of Israel is the land of our forefathers – Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It is the land where Moses led the Jewish people, where David built his palace, where Solomon built the Jewish Temple, and where Isaiah saw a vision of eternal peace.
For thousands of years, Jews have lived continuously in the land of Israel. We endured through the rise and fall of the Assyrian, Babylonian, Greek and Roman Empires. And we endured through thousands of years of persecution, expulsions and crusades. The bond between the Jewish people and the Jewish land is unbreakable. Nothing can change one simple truth – Israel is our home and Jerusalem is our eternal capital.
We are ready for peace, but we are not naïve. Israel’s security is paramount. Only a strong and secure Israel can achieve a comprehensive peace. Hamas’s genocidal charter calls for the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews worldwide. For years, Hamas and other terrorist groups have sent suicide bombers into our cities, launched rockets into our towns, and sent terrorists to kidnap and murder our citizens.
As I stand before you today I am reminded of all the years when Jewish people paid for the world’s ignorance and indifference in blood. Those days are no more. We will never apologise for being a free and independent people in our sovereign state. And we will never apologise for defending ourselves.
ISIS and similar entities
ISIS (Death Cult) and similar entities are wanting to destroy the existing status quo of Middle East politics and establish their own caliphate for all Muslims but also the utter destruction of Israel.
If anyone tells you that politics and Christianity should be separate, you might just ponder that Christianity at its core of true justice for surely the Cross of Calvary is front and centre of a loving justice that is both bewildering and marvellous.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 25 books, and enjoys writing. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand. Dr Mark Tronson’s Press Service International in 2019 was awarded ‘The Gutenberg’ - the Australasian Religious Press Association’s premier award. In September 2020 Summer Moore presented her commission portrait of Dr Mark Tronson holding the Gutenberg plaque. He and David Chang editor of Christian Today together bought the young writer ministry into fruition in 2009. In 2011 Mark established Laguna Quays Respite (Whitsundays) for missionary respite and replicated at Aldinga Beach 2016 (Adelaide) and Greens Beach Bass Straight (TAS). His ministry is honoured all these years by Christian philanthropist Mr Basil Sellers AM. He is married to Delma (44 years), with four adult married children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html