In the last few days here in Jerusalem we’ve seen large demonstrations by two groups of people who claim to be protesting against the “injustice” that the Israeli government has subjected them to.
The one you’ve all heard about are the Muslim Arabs and Palestinians, who reacted with (what else?) outrage and indignation when the government responded to a shooting attack on the Temple Mount that killed two Israeli police officers by setting up metal detectors at the entrances to the Mount and installing security cameras to monitor the area.
These common-sense security measures were deemed totally unacceptable by the leadership of the Muslim communities in Israel, who ordered their followers to refuse to submit to the “indignity” of passing through the metal detectors in order to enter the Mount and pray in the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
It was an insult, they explained, and it was also a “conspiracy” by Israel to “take control of the Al-Aqsa Mosque” and the Temple Mount. So, they ordered their followers to refuse to cooperate and they incited violent riots when Israel didn’t back down to their outrageous demands.
I have no doubt that, on some level, the men who took these actions and made these ludicrously absurd statements knew it was all nonsense and that they were being dishonest. The metal detectors did absolutely nothing to diminish anyone’s “dignity” any more than the metal detectors people have to go through when they visit an airport, a government building or even some of Jerusalem’s shopping malls. Everyone knows that, and everyone knows that everyone else knows it.
So why did they do it?
Well, I have a theory, but first let’s take a look at the other group that demonstrated in Israel this week in response to what they declared to be an unacceptable “injustice” and “humiliation” that they weren’t going to put up with.
This group included homosexual activists and their supporters, who managed to get a few thousand people to gather in Tel Aviv on Thursday, near the IDF military headquarters, to protest the government’s opposition to legal action currently being taken in Israel’s Supreme Court to try and ease restrictions on homosexual couples adopting children.
There is already a legal mechanism in Israel whereby homosexual men or women can adopt children but the adopted child is placed, legally, in the custody of a single person. The plaintiffs in the Supreme Court case are asking that the law be amended so that a homosexual “couple” would have the legal right to have joint custody the same as a heterosexual couple does when they adopt.
The practical difference this would add up to is almost non-existent, but that hasn’t stopped the largely pro-homosexual media and leftist political factions in Israel from setting on the lack of enthusiasm the government is showing to allowing the homosexual community to score yet another “moral victory” as evidence of monstrous levels of “homophobia, ignorance, intolerance and hate” in the government and society at large.
Editorials in several of Israel’s leading daily newspapers bemoaned what they described as the “endless intolerance” that is supposedly making the lives of Israeli homosexuals miserable and contributing to the high rates of suicide, emotional stress and mental illness that the community is undeniably suffering from.
Once again, on some level, even among those whose consciences have been seared by long years of swimming in the currents of high-octane cynicism and deceit which are the pillars of Israel’s political and cultural discourse must know, that this is all nonsense.
The objective and observable truth is that homosexuals in Israel have been indulged and accommodated to a phenomenal degree. A book with 500 pages would scarcely be adequate to list all the ways this has been done, from the government to the military to private industry and the economy to schools and universities and even in the Synagogue.
And yet, it’s not enough.
Homosexuals still declare that they feel like “second-class citizens” who suffer never ending abuse and bigotry from everyone from the government to their fellow Israeli citizens.
All this begs a question.
What would satisfy Arab/Palestinian Muslims and Israeli homosexuals?
The answer to that question is…nothing.
No concession, no accommodation, no act of contrition or apology or “tolerance” by Israel’s government, society, or anyone else will ever be enough for these two groups of people to no longer declare themselves to be the victims of oppression, bigotry and hate.
This is because being a victim is baked in to the communal identity of both of these groups and if they ever got to a point where they didn’t feel like they’re victims any more than they’d have to start acknowledging their own responsibility for their problems. It is the avoidance of that outcome which drives them to stay perpetually outraged and make these never-ending complaints.
This is evident from the fact that following each and every concession on any issue or in any area, a new declaration of outrage is made on some other issue or some other area, and some new demand that this outrage be satisfied, somehow, is made.
But all the problems, from the high rates of depression and emotional stress in the homosexual community to the high levels of domestic violence in the Palestinian Muslim community, all have reasons which are going to continue to exist no matter what anyone else does or doesn’t do.
This is not only the case here in Israel, but around the world. EVERYWHERE you go, both Muslims and homosexuals have all kinds of problems which they never stop blaming on “bigotry and hate” with religiously observant and/or socially conservative Christians and Jews being the two groups of people who they will always say are the most responsible for this “bigotry and hate.”
This narrative is used to justify increasing violence against Christians and Jews, sometimes kinetic violence like the riots in Jerusalem in recent days and sometimes non-kinetic violence, like laws which have been passed recently in Canada that allow the government to kidnap children from parents who don’t want to allow them to have surgery to change their gender.
The Bible makes it very clear that this violence and persecution against Christians is only going to increase as the time for Jesus’ return to this Earth draws closer.
So what is to be done?
The answer is, pray. Simply pray. Pray earnestly and continuously.
This is a spiritual battle, and it will NOT be won or lost with physical means. We bless and thank the soldiers and police who protect us from terrorism and kinetic violence on the street, but they can’t be everywhere at once.
The battle against legal, political and cultural persecution of Believers will not be won or lost in school board meetings or court houses or legislative chambers or in the editorial section of newspapers or on Facebook, although it is vitally important for Christians to be engaged in all those places.
Instead of thinking about these people who are lashing out at us and our families with increasing ferocity and violence as enemies, think of them as what they are, people who are held in spiritual bondage to The Enemy.
Don’t pray for them to perish, but rather pray for them to be liberated. They are making our lives difficult and uncomfortable for a short time, but they’re facing an Eternal life of torment themselves. God is deeply grieved by this, and we should be too.
May the Lord give us all the wisdom and grace we need to pray for those who are persecuting us.