Maranatha Chapel in San Diego, under the leadership of Pastor Ray Bentley, is known to be a church that stands behind Israel—even when few others do. Just this week Maranatha Chapel hosted an unprecedented keystone event: the first West Coast conference for The Jerusalem Call.
The Jerusalem Call, launched by the Israel Allies Foundation (IAF), is an initiative to unite Jews and Christians together in the common cause of blessing Israel because this is what the Bible—the same Old Testament Scriptures that Jews and Christians share—mandates (Genesis 12:3).
The IAF is a faith-based, frontline political advocacy for an undivided Jerusalem and, as such, The Jerusalem Call provides a global platform to bring together faith leaders from across the nation—and even around the globe—to proclaim the urgency to stand for Israel and, more narrowly, for an undivided Jerusalem.
Introduced by Dr. Daniel Williams, IAF’s Chief Strategy Officer, speakers for The Jerusalem Call event on Monday evening at Maranatha Chapel included: Jurgen Buhler – Executive Director of ICEJ, Yaki Lopez – Consul for Political Affairs at the Consulate General of Israel, Los Angeles, and Josh Reinstein – Director of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus.
I asked Dr. Williams—an amiable fellow who describes himself as “just a preacher from Jacksonville, Florida”—to talk about The Jersualem Call. He explained that we often overlook the fact that the Jews’ picture of a Christian is negative because the German Nazis claimed to be Lutherans. Says Williams, “You have to climb over a huge mountain to the heart of the Jew. Many have lost grandparents and relatives in the holocause. They don’t forget that Nazis sang Christmas carols while leading people to the gas chambers.”
Williams added, “We must pray for the Jews, work toward peace and bless them.” He recommends that we put aside our Christian stuff – our “evangelical agenda” – and try to work together on what we can agree on rather than trying to Christianize the people.” The Jerusalem Call is a picture of this mindset as they gather together Jews and Christians to pro-actively seek to prevent the division of Jerusalem.
Josh Reinstein, who was named as “one of the fifty most influential Jews to unite,” echoed William’s sentiment and added, “We cannot be silent. We are here for such a time as this. Jerusalem is the most important issue of our time.”
Given the biblical mandates to bless Israel, and in light of the stark lack of support the world gives to Israel in the midst of increasing attacks (just this week, an act of terrorism by Palestinians caused the death of six people in an Israeli synagogue), Reinstein says, “We must keep the Holy Land united. Jerusalem is not on the market. It will not be divided.”
The problem is not just about the Arabs wanting to claim half of Jerusalem for themselves: Jews and Arabs have lived side-by-side in Israel for years enjoying the freedom of religion that the nation allows. The problem lies in the fact that the world wants ancient East Jerusalem, with its biblical landmarks and Old Testament history, to be allocated to the Arabs and for the Jews to content themselves with West Jerusalem—a measure that ignores the Bible’s claim over ancient Jerusalem.
Jurgen Buhler and Yaki Lopez also underscored the issues pertaining to Jerusalem and the urgent call to unite and help while there is still time. This call includes contacting our representatives to support a united Jerusalem.
The call is urgent. More than ever, Israel needs Jews and Christians worldwide to take a position by their side. We have the opportunity to turn the tide if we act now.
Find out more about this historical event here. Find out more about The Jerusalem Call here and look for upcoming conferences in other states here.
This week’s enlightening and compelling conference ended on this note quoted by Josh Reinstein, “May we meet again next year, but in Jerusalem.”
This story will also appear in Assist News Service.
Janey DeMeo M.A.
Copyright © November 2014