Chaim Ingram

Acute Angles: Should We Embrace Christian Support for Israel?

Hi Rabbi! There’s a lot of Christian support for Israel and Zionism presently. Should we welcome it or should we be wary that they are out to proselytize?

Dear Y.M.

While in the course of my rabbinate I have had some interaction with Christians as well as former Christians (several of whom have been conversion students) and so have some degree of insight, I don’t consider myself an expert on Christian theology. However it is well-known that Christianity is a missionizing faith, seeking to inculcate belief in Jesus of Nazareth as either the “son of God” (whatever that may mean) or “God incarnate” through whose exclusive agency man may be “saved”. Its attempt to reconcile the “holy trinity” with their credo of belief in one G-D remains incomprehensible to all who are not “true adherents”.

It is a fact that some contemporary Christians (mainly Protestant evangelicals) have at last denounced the church’s historical persecution and forced/coerced baptisms of Jews, and have even renounced publicly the supersessionist theory, otherwise known as “replacement theology”, i.e. that the church has allegedly superseded Judaism and become the new covenantal peoplehood (or “the new Israel”). I personally witnessed a very moving “Nations Bless Israel” evening (held in an Orthodox Sydney synagogue) where such Christians, including senior church figures, stood up and solemnly vowed that they would never again missionnize amongst Jews. And I actually do believe their sincerity!

However, Christianity today encompasses a very broad range of theological and ideological views. There are Christians who are pathologically antisemitic while many others are strongly philosemitic. There are ‘Zionist’ Christians like those I have mentioned who not only love Israel but genuinely believe that we are, and remain, G-D’s chosen people with a Divine entitlement to the entire Land within its Biblical borders. And there are those who support Israel passionately but do so because they believe our return as a nation to Erets Yisrael is the precursor to the so-called “second coming” of Jesus when all Jews will, Heaven forfend, embrace their savior as the messiah.

Many contemporary Christians seek out the Jewish roots of their faith. They call their savior “Yeshua” (like the Jews for J.) and attempt to teach themselves Hebrew. Still others are convinced that the Torah is true but because they were so indoctrinated as children with the belief that hellfire awaits those that do not accept Jesus, they cannot bring themselves to take the ultimate step and renounce him. (I have this on good authority from a Noachide lady who did take that ultimate step but has many friends and associates who wanted to but couldn’t.)

Some Christians living in Israel are there to missionnize and we must be very wary of them. Others are there – particularly since 22/7 – out of a sincere and altruistic desire to help the country and to show their support.

So should we embrace Christian support for Israel. Absolutely yes! At this time when we have our backs to the wall, when our fair-weather “friends” have deserted and betrayed us, we need all the support and the love we can get! As long as Christians are not actively missionizing us, I don’t believe we need to examine their theological motives. We have nothing to fear. Ultimately the verse in Zephania (3:9) will be fulfilled – I (G-D) will make the nations pure of speech so that they will call upon the name of G-D and serve Him with one purpose!

We may reasonably hope that this blessed day will come very very soon!

With continued heartfelt and passionate prayers for the wellbeing and success of the IDF, the imminent and safe return of the hostages and the physical and spiritual healing of the wounded.

About the Author
Rabbi Chaim Ingram is the author of five books on Judaism. He is a senior tutor for the Sydney Beth Din and the non-resident rabbi of the Adelaide Hebrew Congregation. He can be reached at
Related Topics
Related Posts