A few days ago the United States opened its embassy in Jerusalem, recognizing the city as the rightful capital of Israel. The move, which recent presidents vowed to do but somehow never got around to it, sparked a number of controversies, two of which I want to consider today. At issue in both is the difference between what is true and what some want to be true.
The first controversy is the opposition of the Palestinians. According to them, the Jewish people have no right to the land of Israel, much more the city of Jerusalem. The political correctness of the day wants Israel to return at least part of the land that belongs to them (and they have complied) if not most or all of it because it does not belong to them. But is that contention true? From a theological perspective, the land is unquestionably theirs. But unfortunately, many will not recognize the authority of God to rule the world He created and accept only the dictates of man to govern the issues of life. So then, what has man decreed concerning Israel? The following is a summation of the arguments put forth by Randall Ice in an article written a few years ago entitled Israel’s Legal Right to Its Land, “The international legal basis for the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948 was the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine. That document gave the Jewish people the legal right to sovereignty over Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, as well as all the land Israel took control over during the 1948-49 War of Independence, Not only did the Mandate give the Jewish people the legal right to the areas, it enjoined the British Mandatory authorities to facilitate ... close settlement by Jews on the land, including state lands and waste lands not required for public purposes." The testimony of man concerning the legal possession of the land says it belongs to Israel.
The second controversy was over Rev. Robert Jeffress who led in prayer at the dedication of the embassy. He has been labeled a “religious bigot” because of his proclamations concerning various religious groups and their conformity (or lack of it) to genuine Christianity. One such group was Mormonism. Jeffress labeled it a cult, which infuriated many Mormons, particularly Mitt Romney who called him a “religious fanatic.” But is Mormonism genuinely Christian with possibly a few peculiar but insignificant beliefs, or is it truly a cult? The following comparison shows major differences.
Nature of God
Genuine Christianity- eternally existent, monotheistic, Trinitarian
Mormonism- eternally progressing, polytheistic, non-Trinitarian
Person of Jesus Christ
Genuine Christianity- eternal
Genuine Christianity- naturally depraved needing salvation
Mormonism- naturally good awaiting godhood
Genuine Christianity- by the grace of God on account of the finished work of Jesus Christ received by faith alone
Mormonism- by good works
Genuine Christianity- the 66 books of the Old & New Testaments alone
Mormonism- the Bible (their own version) plus 3 of their own writings
The contrast between these two religions can be illustrated this way. Suppose you want to buy a Chevy. One option is to go to the Chevy dealer and purchase a car that rolled off the assembly line from the Chevy plant. A second option is to go a mechanic who has fashioned a car from a Ford frame, installed a Dodge engine, with a Toyota transmission, and a Volkswagen body but then added the Chevy V logo to the front grille. With the second option you might have a car, but the logo does not make it a Chevy.
With increasing regularity, today’s world is attempting to redefine truth in order to satisfy personal desires. If you don’t like the gender you were created with, declare yourself to be the other and the rest of the world will be forced to accept it as “true”. While the world may accept it, DNA will always declare the former to be true. No matter what man may do to be politically correct, truth will always be truth. (Romans 3:4)