One of the difficult tasks of this ministry is monitoring college campuses for anti-Israel bias. It’s not enough that our finer seminaries—Moody, Dallas, Talbot, etc.—are cancer ridden with anti-Israel sentiments and doctrines; the secular universities are downright hostile.
Our webmaster, Greg Hartwig, submitted the following report concerning folks who are trying to help. I have previously told my own stories of being rebuffed at many universities where I volunteered to speak free of charge, not even carfare. As far as I’m concerned, American universities, including my alma mater, Indiana University, have gone beyond political correctness (contrary to real education, as I understand it). They have utterly lost their common sense. They are in no way interested in diversity, the free exchange of ideas, etc. They are citadels of Israel-bashing, Christian baiting, and self-promoting “intellectualism.” In brief, they’re a bunch of fakes resting on past laurels.
Here is Greg’s report:
Supporting Israel on College Campuses by Greg Hartwig
“Share your ‘passion for Israel’ with your friends, children and grandchildren.” That was the advice given at a recent lecture by Jonathan Kessler, the Leadership Development Director of AIPAC (www.aipac.org)—The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel lobby.
The problem they’re trying to confront is the increasing attacks on the State of Israel on college campuses. Students face lectures and literature that defame the State of Israel, delegitimize support for Israel, and push for divestment from Israel. It is also being suggested that supporting Israel represents some kind of “dual loyalty” and that supporters should simply disengage from the discussion because it’s not really their battle anyway.
This anti-Israel rhetoric seems to be working. This past January, the Faculty Senate of University of Wisconsin at Plattsville recommended that the University of Wisconsin Trust Fund divest from companies that sell to Israel. Simply debating with the opposition is no longer enough. A passion for Israel must be instilled in students to inoculate them against this disease.
What surprised me was that, although this lecture took place in a Jewish synagogue, several in the audience asked about Christian involvement in this cause. AIPAC is finding the greatest participation in this cause from “intentionally Christ-centered” universities. These schools don’t just have a pro-Israel organization to draw from—the entire university is pro-Israel! Apparently, at a recent AIPAC conference, only around one-third of the attendees were Jewish while the rest were Christians. Yes, they are definitely noticing that many Christians are standing up for Israel with them.
“Why do you support Israel?,” Kessler asked one of the Christian supporters. Many of his peers are also curious about the motives of these pro-Israel Christians. Such a creature seems contrary to the experience of many Jews. They assume that they only support Israel because their religion says they’re supposed to—because of End-Times prophecy or the coming of the Messiah or some other belief.
The student looked down and, after a long pause, looked up and answered, “Who would I support besides Israel? The terrorists?” Kessler has come to realize that these Christians don’t support Israel out of some sense of obligation. They don’t support it because of their religion. They support Israel because they have a passion to do so!
“What do I say to them? I say ‘Thank you!’” Kessler said in reply to questions from his peers.
Why can’t this happen in our churches? Why can’t someone in a liberal or “lukewarm” church speak up and say, “Who would I support besides Israel? The terrorists?”
Now I’m not referring to churches filled with born-again Believers which I visit all the time. Their hearts are perfectly right about the Chosen People and the Promised Land. These are places where people arrive four hours early or drive 200 miles to hear me speak on prophecy. But there are other churches, sometimes right across the street, where they’d rather assassinate me for what I say. I guess I’m not talking about those churches because they are a lost cause. The churches I have in mind are more like the ones where folks send us weasely answers from their pastors when they are asked about Israel. “Well, we’re not into the Jewish thing,” or “We try not to get distracted by controversy.”
Those are the churches I would target for some real Biblical “ambassadors” to speak up for Israel and prophecy—even at the cost of that terrible accusation: “You’re a Jew lover!”
Let’s face it. Churches are on a bell-shaped curve, with most of them somewhere in the middle. Pastors trained in the last twenty years by our “great seminaries” have only the haziest grasp of Israel and the End Times. And they lead flocks around like those feel-good TV preachers with their beautiful suits, terrific haircuts and dazzling smiles. That is not the faith of our Lord—or Peter or Paul, for that matter. Those three were not attractive (“He hath no form nor comeliness… there is no beauty that we should desire him.” Isaiah 53:2). But they got under people’s skin. This faith is supposed to convict people and make them change. Just as Jonathan Kessler of Greg’s good article above, we are to cause “intentionally Christ-centered” congregations and to raise a real “passion for Israel.” That would certainly be refreshing, and it would give Zionists like me a lot more places to speak!
The same goes for the synagogues, by the way. I know that a great many Jewish people are reading this letter, and you are not all Messianic. But you should all be, above all, wholeheartedly pro-Israel. It’s almost a scandal in the American Jewish community how little real support our homeland gets. Unscriptural rabbis and assimilated Americans just have their minds and their hearts elsewhere. And that is simply not right. In fact, it’s un-Jewish.
So, as far as I’m concerned, godly people everywhere should speak up for the Holy Land.
Stir your own passions for Israel on our upcoming tour. You will see over there that all we have been telling you for the past 26 years about this clean, modern, progressive democracy is totally true.
Our next tour of Israel is in November, when the temperatures are mild, and the fall harvests provide bountiful feasts for the table. You can choose Israel only (November 6–16), Israel with the Petra extension (November 6–21), Greece and Israel (November 1–16), or experience it all—Greece, Israel, and Petra (November 1–20). To request a brochure on this tour, please contact Tony Derrick at (214) 696-9760 during office hours, 1-800-WONDERS (1-800-966-3377) anytime, or go to www.levitt.com and click on Zola’s Tours, where you can download a copy.
Or, if you prefer to stay stateside, then join us in Orlando the weekend of December 30 to January 1, as we celebrate the New Year, enjoying good Christian fellowship. The Holy Land Experience has become one of the “must see” places in Orlando. You will be pleasantly surprised at the authentic first-century atmosphere that has been created. Sandra and I look forward to seeing you there. For more information, please contact Tony at the numbers mentioned above.
And as always, we covet your gifts and support and prayers to keep this ministry going. As we foresaw in a previous newsletter, we are running in the red now that summer is here. Please prayerfully consider going above and beyond with us in our outreach. Thank you so much for the twenty-six years. We’ll stay at our posts if you’ll stay at yours.
And remember to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.