I’ve noticed lately in my part of the country some Christian churches flying the Jewish flag, the one with the two triangles, outside their buildings. Could someone explain why that flag is flown in front of a Christian church and for what purpose? Isn’t it kind of disrespectful of the Jewish tradition.
I don’t know why the Israeli flag is being flown except maybe to show solidarity. Are these Christian Churches or Messianic Jewish Congregations? If they are the latter they are trying to confuse the issue of who they are. A follower of Jesus is by definition a Christian.
BTW- the two triangles are a Star of David.
It is normally done in my area because of a belief in radical dispensationalism, that the Jewish people are the people of God and main plan of God, and that the modern state of Israel is God’s nation.
They see themselves as being in solidarity with Israel, spiritually and politically. This is a big part of modern Evangelical theology, but it’s now entering the Catholic stream of consciousness as well. (For example, Pope Benedict offered a cautious evaluation and endorsement of “dual-covenant” theology in volume 2 of his Jesus of Nazareth.)
It’s symbolic: they see themselves as “the new Israel”, an image which the Church has used from her earliest days.
This would almost never be done by a mainstream Church unless it was a congregation of Messianic Jews or some other like denomination that felt Christians supplanted Jews or Israel in some form. Messianic Jews are an evangelical sect of Christians that adopt Jewish practices and engage in proselytizing Jews.
However the flag with the Mogen David (Star of David) on it is not a religious symbol but a secular one. It is the flag of the modern State of Israel. While it could be a political statement, it is likely just a sign of ignorance that many of these “Jews for Jesus” groups adopts because they have little real knowledge of the Jewish culture. Though a Roman Catholic, I am of Jewish heritage myself. Actions like these done out of ignorance only make me sigh and scratch my head.
Of interest may be information on the USCCB site under Lenten Resources about how the Church’s current relationship with Jews: usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/liturgical-resources/lent/questions-answers-catholic-jewish-relations.cfm
These are evangelicals who are trying to force God’s hand by restoring Israel. Some even have repatriation programs for Russian Jews, funding their re-settlement in Israel. By their private interpretation of the scriptures, when Israel is “restored” (apparently by any means), it may somehow help bring about the rapture, or whatever they are calling it.
some of them even support efforts to rebuild a third Jewish temple even though those Jewish people behind that kind of effort certainly would view Jesus as a false prophet.
The churches that do this are either Messianic Jews, or evangelicals that want to show their support and solidarity to the nation of Israel for the purposes of their own hope of hastening Christ’s return.
Where are you located?
I live in the heart of Evangelical America and have never seen Evangelical Churches fly the Israeli flag. Most of my Evangelical friends distance themselves from the modern state of Israel for many reasons.
Maybe it is a regional thing.
Thanks for all the responses, I thought it was just me who thought odd.
I’ve never heard of that before.
Just Google “Christian Zionism” and see how far off the rails evangelicalism has run.
Or read a Chick tract. I personally recommend “Be Kind To The Jewish People”, it’s a riot!
This is incorrect. Evangelical Christians (who are mainstream by the way) do not believe that Christians supplanted the Jews or Israel. They believe that Jews remain “God’s chosen people” and Israel his chosen nation. They take quite literally and seriously Genesis 12:3, “I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” So, they do show solidarity with the Jewish people and the nation state of Israel by symbolic action, such as flying the Israeli flag, as well as more material assistance like voting for pro-Israel politicians and giving to charities meant to help the Jewish people (particularly those who want to return to Israel).
I think you read my statement that you quoted in an incorrect manner.
You quoted that I said that such “would almost never be done by a mainstream Church unless” it was for some reason that went against what most mainstream Christians believe.
The only mention of evangelicalism was in reference to the Messianic Jewish movement and not to other evangelicals, such as Pentecostals. Generally speaking Messianic Jews consider themselves to be part of the mainstream evangelical Christian movement, but most evangelical Christians do not consider them in the mainstream since many oblige Christians to observe the Mosaic Law and believe that Jews must be converted into Christians. Except for this group, if you read my comments, I was not saying that evangelicals as a whole believed that Christians supplanted them.
In saying that it “would almost never be done by a mainstream Church,” I also left room for legitimate reasons like you mention.
Could you explain to me more on what may have caused you to read my statements the way you did, especially in the face of your quoting them? Perhaps my grammar could have been better. Any help would be appreciated as I was not intending to give the impression you came away with.
Oh, I don’t recall ever claiming that Evangelicals are not part of mainstream Christianity, but I would appreciate your pointing that out as well.
If I don’t learn to improve the way I write, I will continue to give the wrong impressions and I don’t wish to be doing that at all. Thanks.
The OP didn’t mention any specific group, only that the flag was flying outside Christian churches. You wrote, “This would almost never be done by a mainstream Church unless it was a congregation of Messianic Jews or some other like denomination that felt Christians supplanted Jews or Israel in some form.” The way I read this sentence, it meant that you believe the only mainstream churches that would fly an Israeli flag would be those that believed Christians had supplanted the Jewish people. This is incorrect since evangelical Christians who are pro-Israel are pro-Israel specifically because they believe that the Church never supplanted the nation of Israel.
You may already know this, but I wanted to clarify that supplanting Israel is not the only reason that a Christian church, mainstream or not, would fly an Israeli flag.
While I believe that there is a difference between “almost never be done by a mainstream Church” and “never,” it appears from your comment that the way I wrote it was just poorly done. If I believed that only those who believed they supplanted Israel would fly the flag then I am not sure how “almost never” leaves room for “only.” As I mentioned in my previous post, in saying that it “would almost never be done by a mainstream Church,” I also left room for legitimate reason.
That being said, I am very truly sorry if my words caused offense. They were not meant to. The way I wrote it was never meant to bring you to the conclusion you have about what I wrote.
I also mentioned that being a Jew I am often puzzled by the practice as it is not always clear why other people who are not Jews are doing this. While solidarity is always appreciated, not everyone who flies the flag of my people does it for the same reason. I cannot claim to speak for them, as I was hoping that making such an admittance in my post made clear. Apparently it did not.
Again, my apologies.
I’m in Georgia. I encounter a lot of support for the State of Israel. But, if you are interested in knowing the particular Church you can PM me and I can send you to there website.
I am thinking that perhaps “messianic Judaism” could be another fad in the fundamental Protestant theological ‘fad de jour’ lineage. Along with the Rapture Left Behind, dispensationalism type of thing.
Because if you believe in Jesus as messiah you are Jewish no longer, you are Christian.
This is the latest evangelical/fundamental fad. Even in my tiny less than 10,000 population town there is an Evangelical church with a name something like: BUILDING, A CONGREGATION OF NOT HAVING DOUBT IN JESUS THE MASCHIAC. It is a tumble down type of place.
You have to be Southern and fundamentalist to really figure this out. But they are Christians with kosher dressing.
No offense meant since I am Southern and raised fundamentalist.
Mainstream? By whose definition? Are we lapsing into relativism here?
Being nominally Christian does not make one mainstream by default. Attempting to force God’s hand by artificially reconstituting Israel seems to take one out of the mainstream, does it not? Please explain.