The present uproar in Israel over keeping religious coercion out of politics, which is echoed in similar movements in Europe and America, highlights a disconnect between the way we read the Bible and our desperate clinging to what we perceive to be the personal freedoms inherent in modern democracy.
Here in the Holy Land this manifests in the panicked assertions that Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government heavy with religious lawmakers will transform Israel into a religious state akin to the Islamic Republic of Iran. And this, Bibi’s detractors howl, will result in curbs on anything deemed biblically immoral.
To hear secular folks express such concerns isn’t at all surprising. But it’s curious that so many Bible-believing Christians and Messianic Jews similarly seem to put progressive democratic freedoms on a higher pedestal than adherence to the Word of God.
Consider that when we read the Bible, the kings and rulers that we and the text most...
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