The dangerous nexus of conspiracy theories in the Middle East

Image shows a street view of Jerusalem with the Dome of the Rock in the distance.

(ANALYSIS) A conspiracy theory held widely in the Middle East is that
Israel is planning to destroy the site of Al-Aqsa complex in Jerusalem,
which includes the Muslim holy sites of the Dome of the Rock and the
Al-Aqsa Mosque. Some add this is part of a project to clear the buildings
from the Temple Mount in order to build the Third Temple. A key part of
this scheme is believed to be efforts to breed a flawless red heifer.

Why Russell Moore believes American Christians should stand with Israel now

The flags of Israel and the USA fly side by side.

While we pray for peace, we need moral clarity about this war.
Americans awoke this morning to reports of war in the Middle East, as the terrorist group Hamas attacked the state of Israel in unspeakably brutal ways. As our screens fill with imagery of fire raining down from the skies, of families grieving the kidnapping and murder of their loved ones, we know that—just as for our own country in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks—this evil day is just the beginning of what is to come. As we pray for peace at the beginning of this war, American Christians should do so with the moral clarity to recognize Israel’s right and duty to defend itself.
Some might assume that evangelical Protestants automatically support Israel based on eschatological views that cast the modern state of Israel in some role in biblical prophecy. For some, this is indeed the case. Many of us, though, don’t share those beliefs. We believe the promises of God are fulfilled in Christ, not in the 1948 Israeli Declaration of Independence. Many of us are quite willing to call out Israel when we believe it is acting wrongly. We don’t believe the Israeli Knesset is somehow inerrant or infallible.
But even with those disagreements, American Christians should be united in support of Israel as it’s under attack.

Some Christians, to be sure, are pacifists who believe any military action to be wrong. Most Christians throughout church history, however, have held to some form of just war theory, which holds that war is always awful, but—under certain, very limited circumstances—can be morally justified.
Jesus interacted with soldiers (Matt. 8:5–13) and called them, as others, to repent of sin. But he never spoke of military service itself as a sin. …Continue reading…