Seeking justice with the logic of love

Seeking justice with the logic of love

As an Arab citizen of Israel, Yohanna Katanacho knows a bit about loving his Jewish neighbor.  He has shared his personal testimony more than once on this subject: http://www.evangelicalsforsocialaction.org/faith-and-public-life/muscular-love-yohanna-katanacho/

For his message at CATC this year, Dr. Katanacho opened with a familiar theme.  We are to seek justice with the logic of love: “Hatred cannot be cured with hatred, but with love.  We re-humanize people with love.”  Then he went on to describe what the logic of love expressed in justice and righteousness in the Holy Land might look like.  He outlined his presentation in 10 key points:

1.Every Jewish and Palestinian person is created in the image of God and is a gift from God.

2.Every righteous ruler is the servant of the Triune God—whether Christian, Muslim or Jewish.

3.Palestinian Christians should accept that all truth is God’s truth.  Any truth claim that is in agreement with scripture should be celebrated, wherever it is coming from.

4. Despite the sin (“Yes, I call it a sin.”) of the occupation and inequality in Israel, we are to love the Jewish people in ways that are compatible with Jesus.

5.Palestinian Christians should celebrate what they have in common with Jewish Israelis.  We celebrate the Jewishness of Jesus Christ, for example.

6.God, in His sovereignty, chose Palestinians and Jews to live here together.  He expects Muslims, Christians and Jews to bless each other.

7.I do not see the modern state of Israel as a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy, but I support its right to exist—with justice and equality for all. A functional diversity must be embraced here.

8.Injustices perpetrated by nation-states must be resisted with biblical love and justice.

9.Christ is the climax of God’s plan and His followers are the light of the world.

10.The future of Palestine and Israel can be changed if we seek peace and justice. We need to first seek holistic peace more than political peace. We must all follow the path of forgiveness.

Dr. Katanacho then closed his message by casting a powerful vision of what the Middle East might look like if the Kingdom of God was reigning here.  “I hope my dream is not your nightmare!”

I dream of a Middle East in which I have my breakfast in Jerusalem, my lunch in Beirut, and my dinner in Syria. I ride my car and drive to Iraq, to the Gulf, and I enter into Africa in the same car. I dream of a Middle East in which people choose their own religion without fear. I dream of a Middle East in which there is no bigotry, radicalism, and hatred. I dream of a Middle East in which all human beings are equal, the ones who wear a Hijab and the ones who put a Kafiyyah are equal. I dream of a Middle East in which Jews love Arabs and seek to uphold their rights, a Middle East in which Arabs love Jews. I dream of a Middle East without poverty, hatred, wars, and massacring human beings. I dream of peace, peace with God and with all of our neighbors; peace with self and the angels. I dream of a Middle East without weapons, without traffic jams, without pollution, without discrimination because of sex, religion, age, or weight.

My dream is not an illusion, but a step forward as I follow Jesus Christ the prince of peace. My dream is not something that can be fulfilled in a moment, but it is a celestial kingdom that comes through many generations and many sacrifices, prayers, and tears. Before the dawn there is darkness; before joy there is the victory of sadness, before laughing weeping dominates, before the dominance of the Kingdom of God the kingdom of the devil dominates. O Lord! May your Kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. May your Kingdom come through my words, thoughts, decisions, and relationships! Turn me into a peacemaker.