David Brickner, the leader of Jews for Jesus, was invited to speak last month to the faithful at the Wasilla Bible Church, Sarah Palin’s fundamentalist congregation.
In his talk at Wasilla on August 17, 2008, with Palin in the audience, Brickner described terrorist attacks on Israelis as God’s “judgment of unbelief” on Jews who have not converted to Christianity.
“Judgment is very real and we see it played out on the pages of the newspapers and on the television,” Brickner said. “It’s very real. When [my son] was in Jerusalem he was there to witness some of that judgment, some of that conflict, when a Palestinian from East Jerusalem took a bulldozer and went plowing through a score of cars, killing numbers of people. Judgment — you can’t miss it.”
In his Hebrew-laced sermon, Brickner also told the congregation that “Israel is an example of what all humanity has been saying to God since the beginning of time, shaking its fists at the heavens and saying ‘You’ll not rule over us’.”
At the conclusion of Brickner’s sermon, the congregation contributed money for Jews for Jesus’ mission of converting the Jews.
Brickner, who was not born Jewish, has led Jews for Jesus since 1996. Like most evangelicals, Brickner would strongly deny that he, or his group, are the least bit anti-Semitic. On the contrary, they’d argue, they love the Jews and believe that God has given them a special role in his plan of the salvation of the world.
In fact, the common position among evangelicals — including Jews for Jesus — regarding the Jews is both that the Jews are punished by God for their rejection of Jesus and also that they are the Chosen People of Israel with a special role in the world’s salvation. That’s why preachers like Brickner and Hagee can say, and believe, that they love the Jews while also saying that God has, and will continue to, punish them for their obstinate refusal to accept Christ as their savior.
John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin as his vice presidential candidate has already cost him the vote of at least one prominent Jewish politician — former New York City Mayor Ed Koch.
Koch, who endorsed George W. Bush in 2004, said that McCain’s choice of Palin has led him to endorse Barack Obama.
“She’s scary,” Koch said.