Property Ownership in the Promised Land
And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. [Gen 17:8]
On Sunday, February 25, the world woke to the shocking news that the Heads of Churches in charge of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, had locked the doors for an indefinite period of time to protest proposed legislation being tabled in the Knesset. Their argument? That a “systematic campaign” was being waged “against the churches and the Christian community in the Holy Land…” Their defense? The “existing status quo…”
The Greek Orthodox Patriarch, Theophilus III, even went so far as to liken the proposed legislation to “…laws of a similar nature which were enacted against the Jews during dark periods in Europe.” A protest poster nearby the Church of the Holy Sepulchre featuring MK Rachel Azaria (top left) and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (top right) (Mab-CTS), declared “STOP The Persecution of Churches”.
This tense drama finally ended Tuesday afternoon when Prime Minister Netanyahu intervened and placed the legislation on hold – a direct result of heavy International pressure from the Vatican, Russia, Greece, as well as from some Evangelical Christian groups.
Since when is paying ones taxes persecution? Are the Church leaders oblivious to - or think they are somehow above the principle established by Jesus – the very one they claim to emulate as he said;
“ Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny.  And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?  They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.” [Matthew 22:19-21]
What is the real root or core of the problem the Churches have with the proposed legislation? Financial distress because of reduced income from their commercial property holdings? Mayor Barkat assured the Church leaders that places of worship and teaching will remain “tax free”. Is their issue with protecting the rights of those to whom they have leased their property to? Is it about providing the Government - the tax money they are due? Or does this stem from an underlying issue of far greater historical consequence?
In defense, Patriarch Theophillis called for an observance of “the existing status quo…”. Is he referring to the heady years of the Churches prior to the establishment of the State of Israel? The time when the Church acted as a land baron that Carl Hoffman described; “…was thus particularly driven to “regain” the Holy Land”…not only in Jerusalem but also in Haifa, Lod, Ramle and Jaffa.
[Cf: WHO OWNS THE HOLY CITY? THE JERUSALEM QUESTION; Hint: It’s not who you probably think…
BY CARL HOFFMAN; MAY 13, 2017 : http://www.jpost.com/In-Jerusalem/Who-owns-the-Holy-City-484366 ]
“Would it surprise you to learn that the Knesset – sits on land that the State of Israel does not in fact own? That the same thing can be said about the Prime Minister’s Residence……the Chief Rabbinate and the Great Synagogue…and others?
Then 70 years ago God’s providence was miraculously proven with the reestablishment of the Nation of Israel. The return of the Diaspora accompanied by the victory of four major wars, set in motion an immense paradigm shift which continues to reverberate around the globe. A paradigm which many refuse to accept…
It is time for the Churches to recognize this. The “status quo” in reference is obsolete. It must be abandoned – and along with it – any past “Crusader” ambitions that may still be lingering. The Church community world-wide must acknowledge, respect and honour the preexisting covenants of God made to Israel, lest they be at odds with the very One Who entrusted the land to them – long before the first church was ever erected in Jerusalem!!
And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession;” [Gen 17:8]
It is time for these church leaders, along with a host of others, to embrace a scriptural, more honorable position in respecting the Jewish rights to the land. After all, isn’t this part of the command to render “unto God the things that are God's”, as He gave the land unequivocally to the Jewish people?
What blessings would be forthcoming, if the church not only righted this wrong of opposing and evading taxes, but in a further effort to rectify sins of the past, embarked upon extra initiatives in respect to the God of Israel and His people? What profound global transformations and era of peace would be ushered in if efforts were made instead, to help restore His chosen people to their spiritual order with building the third Temple that is promised to be a House of Prayer for ALL nations!BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS