May 17, 2021
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — To the shock and horror of millions around the globe, Israel is experiencing the worst violence it has seen in years—violence that is ethnic, religious and nationalist in nature. The mixed Jewish-Arab city of Lod, once viewed as a symbol of coexistence, is at the center of conflicts that openly exploded a week ago. Lod’s mayor even compared the latest hostilities to a civil war.
Israel’s national police commissioner called the violence unprecedented. On Friday, the Israeli military said troops struck Gaza with perhaps the heaviest attacks yet against Palestinian militants. Blasts jolted civilians awake.
Dr. Doug Potter, Assistant Professor of Apologetics and Theology at Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES, www.ses.edu), analyzed the recent events from a biblical perspective.
“Christians and Jews hold the Old Testament as Scripture which clearly demarcates the Jews, which now constitute the Nation of Israel since 1948. The Jews are and will always be God’s chosen people with which God made an unconditional covenant with their founder Abraham to give the Jewish people, among other things, the promised Land and a promised blessing on people who blessed them (the Jewish people) and a curse on those who cursed them (Genesis 12:1-3).”
Potter continued, “As Christians we should recognize this covenant promise as yet unfulfilled and pray for them as a nation in peace and times of war. Given the democratic political ally Israel has been to the United States and many other nations, any attack on the people of Israel should be condemned in the strongest sense.”
Dr. Michael L. Brown, adjunct professor of Christian Apologetics to Judaism at Southern Evangelical Seminary said of the ongoing violence, “This very difficult and volatile situation in Israel is putting the region on the brink of war.”
Dr. Brown also shared five vital points about what is occurring: “First, the Palestinian propaganda machine has accused Israel of raiding the Al-Aqsa mosque and claimed that Jewish settlers were trying to evict Arab families from their homes in another part of the country, which gave Hamas a pretense to start bombing Israel. Second, through Iranian funding, Hamas has shown a great capability to reach different parts of Israel, sending rockets as far as Tel Aviv and the Galilee. Third—and perhaps most worrisome—Arabs and Jews are now fighting each other in different cities in Israel, having previously lived side by side for years. Fourth, this has stalled any talk of a new, anti-Netanyahu government forming in Israel, since the nation must unite behind him for the moment in the war with Hamas. And fifth, the Palestinians living in Gaza Strip are victims as well, subject to harsh living conditions due to Hamas policies—yet thinking that Israel is to blame.”
Dr. Brown added, “Christians need to pray for God’s will to be done, for His mercy to be poured out. They need to ask Him to restrain the forces of evil that want to bring about a massive war before its time.”
The mission of SES is to train men and women, based on the inerrant and infallible written Word of God, for the evangelization of the world and the defense of the historic Christian faith. SES offers a range of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees (along with several for-credit certificates) that uniquely integrate theology, philosophy, and apologetics to build a complete and systematic Christian worldview.
To interview Dr. Doug Potter or Dr. Michael L. Brown of Southern Evangelical Seminary, contact Hamilton Strategies, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Jeff Tolson, 610.584.1096, ext. 108, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.