The rise and fall of leaders — political and spiritual

The rise and fall of leaders — political and spiritual
Mike Evans at a press conference in Jerusalem, June 7, 2021 (Photo: screenshot)

An American Christian evangelical leader has recently made negative headlines here in Israel over scathing remarks that he made to the apparent incoming Prime Minister of Israel, Naftali Bennett.

Israel is not answerable to him, even if I believe that humble genuine believers who love the Jewish people because of Jesus could speak up more for their brothers and sisters living here to be “appreciated” more.

I am not saying that he is an antisemite, but his remarks could well be spoken by someone who at heart is, Christian or not, Gentile or not. Listen to the first video of 1 1/2 minutes of him answering a reporter that I know personally, where he even makes a false comparison of what he has done to what Corrie Ten Boom and Dietrich Bonhoeffer did in speaking up against the Nazis. Not even apples and oranges! Mike Evans is harming our own position as evangelical believers in Israel vis a vis our people and government, his arrogant denials to the contrary.

I have written myself in the last months that Trump and Netanyahu have both been “targeted”, both for their conservative policies and for their personalities. God can use anyone, and He can also dispose of anyone, according to His own unsearchable judgment.  God has His plan to fulfill, and these governments and their rulers are put, or allowed, in power to bring about things written long ago for our learning and admonition. The Father has His own timetable to keep, and things need to be in place that facilitate being on schedule. And, more often than we might like to admit, He does it with a wisdom and in a way that is higher and better than ours. Not to mention that maybe He wants both Trump and Netanyahu to repent and be saved in truth! Evangelicals have puffed them both up to where they don’t think they need to! I have witnessed that first-hand.

The gospel is not partisan, and I try not to be. I am neither right nor left (but right-leaning as a believer, whereas I was a left-leaner before) because the gospel requires us to be on the narrow road leading to life, learning to accept and get along with others that God brings into that way from whichever side we may have been, and from whatever camp we may have been part of.

For all of the good that Netanyahu has accomplished, and his doing much to make the fig tree blossom, he has done nothing for the intentional benefit of local believers, despite his courtship and very welcome support of evangelical Christians who profess to love Israel.  Many evangelicals do not. Many Jewish believers have been denied the right to immigrate and become citizens during his years in office. He always appointed ultra-orthodox parties and ministers into the Ministry of Interior, which controls these matters. Israel-supporting Christian ministries have had to deal with too many turnovers of volunteers, because Israel has reduced the duration of visas granted to them. Some Gentile believers married to Israeli citizens who are believers have been told to leave the country, rather than be granted citizenship due to their marriage.

This is all “okay” with me, for it proves the Scripture that Israel is the enemy of the gospel for the Gentiles’ sake, while still beloved for the sake of the fathers — Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The more of a “Jewish” state Israel becomes, the more difficult they will make it for followers of Yeshua/Jesus. This is good for us, too, for it helps us not to be lukewarm. 🙂

Harry Truman once said that whoever wants to be President is a dangerous man.  Someone else has said that power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. We locals have seen that here; it is just human nature, especially when it is political power and machinations. It is not likely that the newly forming government coalition will last full term, but the Lord will use that to bring more Gentiles to salvation — including many Arabs — and to bring more Israeli and diaspora Jews to repentance, and to choose in their heart what Israel means to them, whether or not they immigrate here. (Ps 137) God is also accumulating the prayers of the saints pleading for His righteous judgments against those opposed to Him, and to His Messiah and people. The gospel is our message till the end of the age to whomsoever, regardless of who is PM of Israel or President of the USA. In the Spirit it is pretty exciting to see prophecies being fulfilled right under our noses in our lifetime; in the flesh it is pretty frightening.

This article originally appeared on Streams in the Negev, June 10, 2021, and reposted with permission.