If I changed my name to Jesus, would more people listen to me?

Maybe if I moved to Nazereth, I would get even more attention. This is an absurd notion, obviously, but it seems akin to Michelle Bachmann supporting the current nation of Israel because of Genesis 12:3, which states, “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

I take this verse seriously, too. I take it so seriously that I refuse to apply it to a secular nation that happens to have the same name as the theocratic nation described in the Bible. If the current state of Israel were the same state as the biblical one, wouldn’t they have a monarchy instead of a parliament with a prime minister? Perhaps my covenant theology doesn’t allow me to read the situation in the same way as Bachmann’s more prosperity gospel, but her reading seems quite simplistic to me.

Does she only support Israel because of its name and geographical location? She seems to conflate “the Jews” with “Israel,” which is even a bit dubious biblically speaking. The Jews came from Judah, which split from the nation of Israel during the monarchy. There were Jews and there were Israelites, and now there are Jews and Israelis. You don’t even have to be a Jew to be an Israeli and you certainly don’t have to be Israeli to be a Jew. But whether you are a Jew or an Israeli, you are not an Israelite.

It’s semantics, I know, but it’s still much more complicated than Bachmann is making it.

But another question: What constitutes supporting Israel? Does our support always have to increase? Does it always have to be unconditional? And let’s go back to that Genesis quote. In the second half of the verse, God tells Abram, “all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” What happens if the people God is referring to do not act as a conduit for God’s blessing? How do we determine what that blessing will look like and how it is envisioned?

Lastly, when will someone ask Bachmann or Palin or another of these conservative-evangelical-republican-zionists what will come of the Jews in Israel at the end times?


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