One of the main problems we have to overcome in the proclamation of the British-Israel message is the two-sided issue of Christians not studying their Bible or not believing their Bible. And our efforts are made even more difficult because the churches are not fulfilling their responsibilities in this regard.
One of America’s leading archaeologists of the twentieth century was Dr. G. Ernest Wright, author of numerous books and studies, and president of the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) until his death in 1974. It is perhaps no accident that this Christian scholar’s first book was entitled, “The Challenge Of Israel’s Faith,” published in 1944. In this book, Dr. Wright stated that the Christian community needed a revival of interest in the Old Testament, and that neglecting this had led not only to false teaching, but also to a distorted view of God Himself. Indeed, it may be rightly said that British-Israel doctrine itself cannot stand without the Old Testament Scriptures and their prophetic truth. Even more important, the New Testament relies heavily upon the Old and its prophecies in its justification of Christ’s Messiahship.
…that neglecting this had led not only to false teaching, but also to a distorted view of God Himself.
Dr. Wright defined Biblical Theology this way: “A theology of recital or proclamation of the acts of God, together with the inferences drawn from them.” Unlike today’s Christians who doctrinally seem transfixed only upon various nebulous ideas of salvation and little else, Dr. Wright stated that, “acts of God occurred in a specific historical context…because history is the chief medium of revelation.”
In contrast, one of the common attacks on British-Israel has been that we denigrate the importance of salvation by emphasizing Biblical history and covenants. To just such an argument, Dr. Wright responded, “This belief misses the really essential point about the Biblical revelation: that is, God has made Himself known, not primarily in ideas, but in events.” Today’s breed of Christian is almost totally ignorant of Biblical history, largely considers our teaching irrelevant, and their faith suffers as a result. There is certainly a place for salvation teaching in the church, but there is so much more to the Christian life and understanding that is missing from countless church programs.
Things were a lot different in Western lands a century ago. Dr. Ernest Wright championed a religious idea known as “Biblical Theology,” which challenged those who doubted the Bible’s trustworthiness. His goal was to “rescue the Old Testament for the Church.” In the 1920’s the famous archaeologist, W.F. Albright, used the term “extreme radicalism” for those who rejected the accuracy of Biblical revelation. Today these same type of agnostic radicals have turned the tables, and it is those who believe in Scripture who are popularly attacked in the media as “radicals” and “extremists.” Mainstream booksellers, who a century ago gladly sold tens and even hundreds of thousands of copies of British-Israel publications, now refuse to handle them at all.
Today those who spiritualize away the literal promises of God accuse Bible believers of being “ultra-literal.” Critics complain that we have “an odd interpretation of Scripture,” but what is so odd about taking God at His Word? As Dr. Wright said so well, “It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference.” I hope that Christians who refuse to believe the Bible come to realize that fact! For what possible reason should anyone want to “spiritualize” prophecies that have been literally fulfilled?
Things have gone so far with liberal unbelief that the Wall Street Journal (5-25-11, A15) reported that liberal professors at Florida State University are angrily calling anyone who advocates the “political ideology of free markets” to be “a radical ideologue” and “incubator for extremist propaganda.” Yes, America, a nation founded on the principles of political freedom and religious rights and liberty, is now filled with those who have hatred for not only our principles, but for our very heritage itself.
Where do things go from here? God has a way of making Himself known through world events. One way or another, whether through tribulation, trial, political upheaval, or even celestial events, we will see His hand at work in years to come. Yet it has long amazed me that we can show all kinds of B.I. Scripture proofs to Christians who will still reject it because, “my minister (or denomination) does not teach that.” Is their faith based upon God or men? We urgently need to encourage people to return to a Biblical theology, a belief in God and His Word instead of denominational traditions of men.
In our witnessing, we encounter double trouble. There are those today who are afraid to “proselytize” with the New Testament, and others who refuse to believe in the Old Testament. To my mind, we who hold to the British-Israel belief are in the forefront of a latter-day movement of believers who stand for the whole Word of God. We live in an era of compromise in which the Christian denominational leaders are increasingly afraid to stand for Biblical truth for fear of offending anyone. Just this week, I received a mailing from a large evangelical organization appealing for funds for a ministry campaign in the Israeli state “to proclaim the Word of the Lord.” Sounds like a great idea? It turns out that they are spending a lot of Christian money to distribute copies only of the Old Testament in Hebrew to the Jewish people! Have the evangelicals thrown out the New Testament already? Will they soon distribute only the Old Testament in America also out of fear of offending somebody here? (Or perhaps throw it all out?) If it is wrong to “offend” Jews in the land of Israeli with proselytism then I suppose it must be wrong to offend Jews (and others) in America, too!
The British-Israel movement these days is increasingly alone in believing and proclaiming the entire Word of the Lord, and is assailed for standing for a true and complete Biblical theology that is unpopular with both agnostics and shortsighted evangelicals alike. It is sad but true that none of the large mainstream denominations teaches or proclaims all of the wonderful covenant promises that identify the House of Israel in the world today. I hope that my readers will support the B.I. message with your prayers and financial support so that our much needed Bible truth can continue to be proclaimed without fear or favor!