by Pastor Tim Burt
I have written about Israel at different times in the past and the need for every Christian to support Israel and the people as a nation. We recently returned from the 9th Annual CUFI Washington Summit. It was an amazing conference and the timing never ceases to amaze me. We were there just as the Israel/Gaza war broke out. We visited with every Senator and Congressperson’s office on Capital to share the need for our nation to support America’s greatest ally in the world – Israel. Today’s post we written by a friend of mine who came out to Washington. I hope it will enlighten and bless you.
Thoughts on the Christians United for Israel 2014 Annual Washington Summit by Liat Browne
The 2014 Christians United for Israel (CUFI) annual Washington summit was encountered with expectation and excitement as five thousand advocates for Israel gathered from all over the United States, as well as countries around the world. Crowds flocked to the Washington D.C. convention center to listen, learn, and ultimately, lobby for Israel.
This year marks the ninth annual CUFI summit, and yet again—the crowd was not disappointed. The quality and eloquence of each speaker was both remarkable and riveting. Names such as Dennis Prager, Pastor John Hagee, Erick Stackelback, James Woolsey, and Dr. Charles Krauthammer took the stage. Also, despite not being able to address the crowd live this year (due to the situation in Israel), Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recorded a message of gratitude to summit attendees, which aired during the first night of the conference. In addition, several US senators and congressman appeared and wowed the crowd with pro-Israel exhortations and exclamations.
Considering the current circumstances in Israel, the conference couldn’t have occurred at a more important time. It was apparent that attendees who felt strongly about their support of Israel upon arrival at the convention center were, indeed, fired up by the time they left. Malcolm Hoenlein, a Jewish guest and speaker at the summit, said it this way: “Even if I wasn’t invited, I would come. I come to get recharged and when I look back to this, I know that we will be okay.”
Upon reading the above, one may ask: “Why should we get recharged for Israel? Why travel across the nation for Israel’s sake? Why should we care? We have our own problems, right?”
Answers to the above questions can come in the form of one simple statement: western civilization is being threatened, and therefore, the liberty and equality we so freely enjoy is at great risk. “Isn’t that going a bit far?” one may respond. Without a deeper understanding of the relationship and similarities between America and her greatest ally, Israel, it would seem so. However, in the words of Bill Kristol, summit speaker and editor of the Weekly Standard: “When we fight for Israel, we stand for our own best principles.” In addition to this declaration and to echo its truth, Gary Bauer, President of American Values, reiterated: “The state of Israel is not just an ally to the United States; Israel and America are the two pillars of western civilization.” From these declarations, we begin to understand that the very values our nation was founded upon are being attacked. Though Israel’s battle is not fought on American soil, it is, indeed, an American issue worth fighting for.
To put it simply, America and Israel share a common foundation; they are both instituted upon the Judeo-Christian ethic. Because of this, they fight a shared battle against an enemy who is driven by a different ideology—one of “Holy War” fueled by fanaticism. The common occurrence of our enemies chanting “death to America,” whilst they burn American and Israeli flags in public places proves it to be painfully apparent by their actions and consistently convincing by their own admission, that our enemy sees us (America) as the big Satan and Israel as the little Satan. For this reason, we owe gratitude to Israel for fighting America’s battle on the forefront. They do so with their own soldiers—the prime of their population—making the ultimate sacrifice to protect their citizens and to perpetuate the only democracy in the Middle East. Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, keynote speaker at the summit’s Night to Honor Israel, noted: “Israel deserves more than the support of the international community; Israel deserves the admiration of the international community.”
Reality warns us not to accept the pseudo notion that says in siding with our enemies, we will be spared. Although the truth can sometimes be dismissed due to the distractions of life and the misinformation of the media, we cannot allow ourselves to be fooled. Our enemies are honest in their threat to wipe Israel off the map, and they are serious about their plan to come after the greater of the two evils afterwards. Undoubtedly, we are as much their enemy as Israel is. To encapsulate the wise words of the brilliant Dennis Prager: “Good is good and evil is evil. Good must not and cannot be confused with evil, neither the converse.” In a world where good and evil seem to be a matter of opinion and easily interchangeable, the light still shines brightest during the deepest darkness. Therefore, we are encouraged to stand for Israel during what seems to be the depths of her despair, because in so doing—we stand for our own values, and yes, for our very selves. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann said it this way, when she exclaimed on the final day of the conference: “Let your light shine! Let your light shine! Let your light shine!”
The culmination of the convention came as every constituent met with their congressional and senatorial representatives. Thousands of advocates filled the offices of Capitol Hill with one clear message: Stop Iran. Stop Hamas. Stop Hezbollah. Gratefully, the group was received well and after a long day of lobbying on the Hill, CUFI executive director, David Brog, announced that the bill calling for an end to Hezbollah’s use of the international banking system (one that the group had appealed for during the day), had passed with a unanimous 404 – 0 vote. This victory, although small, gave the group hope as the conference came to a close.
As thousands of Christians from different denominations made their way home, the highlight of the summit was clearly captured by Pastor Mac Hammond’s remark earlier during the convention: “The sleeping giant of Christian Zionism is indeed awake.” This pronouncement speaks to unity amongst Christians standing together and supporting each other for Zion’s sake—but also to the solidarity expressed with and for the Jews, of which we know is somewhat lacking in history. Dr. Dror Eydar, leading columnist for Israel Today (a popular Israeli newspaper) and speaker at the summit, gave heartfelt notice and consideration to this fact when he explained that Sabras (those born in Israel) have come to realize that evangelical Christians are true friends. If CUFI has
accomplished anything thus far (and it has), this testimony fro m an Israeli Jew is something to be proud of.
Would you like to take your first step in supporting Israel beyond prayer? Simply join CUFI. It’s free, quick, and yet gives you the opportunity to have a meaningful impact quickly! Click here:
Isaiah 62:1 (NLT) “Because I love Zion, I will not keep still. Because my heart yearns for Jerusalem, I cannot remain silent. I will not stop praying for her until her righteousness shines like the dawn, and her salvation blazes like a burning torch.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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