If, as a Jew, you want to have a feel-good moment — make that a couple of feel-good hours — all you need to do is make the annual trek to Arvada for Faith Bible Chapel’s Israel Awareness Day. There’s nothing like 3,000 Christians gathering to express their unbridled love for Israel and the Jewish people, while much of the world’s population is hostile — or at least indifferent — to Israel or Jews in the Diaspora.
Israel Awareness Day is a public expression of Faith Bible Chapel’s fundamental acceptance of the Bible with an emphasis on this verse from Genesis 12:3: “I will bless those who bless you, and him who curses you I will curse . . . ”
In all honesty, the members of Faith Bible Chapel, as well as other evangelical Christians, also believe that their messiah, Jesus Christ, will return once the Jews have been gathered in Israel. That’s what’s in it for them to support Israel and the Jews.
While Jews reject this theological premise — that’s the fundamental difference between Jews and Christians — they have begun to let their guard down and shed their mistrust of evangelical Christians who passionately and materially support Israel.
Faith Bible Chapel, led by Pastor George and Cheryl Morrison, have been doing Israel Awareness Day for 35 years, as of last Sunday’s “A Night to Honor Israel.”
That night, Pastor Morrison graciously gave credit to his predecessor Pastor Robert Hooley, the founder of Faith Bible Chapel, and the man who, in the early 1970s, first pointed out Genesis 12:3 to the young Morrisons and the rest of what would become a mega-congregation. Pastor Hooley pioneered the idea of taking Christians to Israel, and planted the passion for such support in the Morrisons’ hearts.
Each year, Israel Awareness Day’s “Night to Honor Israel”:
• entertains, with song and dance by the International Singers and Dancers, who, by the way, entertain the Israeli troops and the infirm every year in Israel;
• educates, with original dramatic performances which portray different aspects of Jewish and modern Israeli history;
• acknowledges, with introductions of political and Jewish officials in attendance and, most poignantly, Holocaust survivors; and
• enlightens, with important keynote speakers — this year, IJN columnist and radio host Dennis Prager.
Most of all, Israel Awareness Day and A Night to Honor Israel gives Christians a chance to ease Jews’ stress in a world part of which has never really accepted Jews. Thank you, Faith Bible Chapel.
Copyright © 2013 by the Intermountain Jewish News