November 1, 2014

When Bad Theology Gets Scary

By Chaplain Mike

MOD NOTE: Folks, this is not a pro- or anti- Israel or Palestinian post. It’s about dispensational theology and the dangerous mixture of such theology with international politics. I’d prefer that you stick to this subject in your comments.

From today’s Jerusalem Post, these strong words from Michael Freund in his column, “Fundamentally Freund”:

IN CRITICAL times such as this, run-of-the mill diplomacy just won’t do. Generating a few press releases, writing a couple of op-eds and mobilizing Jewish organizations won’t be enough to turn the tide that is heading straight for our shores.

Instead, we need to reach deep into our arsenal and harness one of the most powerful, and underutilized, weapons at our disposal: faith-based diplomacy. For far too long, we have relied solely on military, geopolitical and historical arguments when making our case abroad.

Hesitant or even ashamed to invoke our biblical right to this land, many of our spokesmen and diplomats have failed to deploy the moral and theological arguments which are the underpinning of our very presence here.

And just look where that has gotten us.

The fact is that our largest, best-organized and most powerful friends – namely US Evangelical Christians – stand by us not because of some UN resolution from 1947, but because of what God promised Abraham more than 3,700 years ago. And that is why we need to start quoting Genesis far more often than the League of Nations or the Balfour Declaration.

. . . And that is why it is all the more essential to be cultivating faith-based Christian support, both in the US and elsewhere. Because unlike fair-weather friends, whose backing depends on fluid and constantly-shifting political or economic interests, Bible-believing Christians stand with us out of solid belief. Their friendship is like steel – highly durable and resistant to breakage.

Thankfully, various Jewish and Christian groups are stepping in where the government has failed to act. The Knesset Christian Allies Caucus, for example, is building an extensive network of international parliamentary caucuses which mobilize support and coordinate various pro-Israel activities. From the US to Japan to the European Union, it has forged sister caucuses around the world.

Christian organizations in America are also leading the charge. Pastor John Hagee’s Christians United for Israel has built a nationwide grassroots movement that reaches more people and decision-makers than any communiqué from the Foreign Ministry ever did.

[In subsequent paragraphs, Freund mentions other Christian groups that support Israel in the way Freund is suggesting—the Christian Broadcasting Network, Rev. Robert Stearns of Eagles’ Wings, the International Christian Embassy, Bridges for Peace and Christian Friends of Israel, Christians for Israel International and their paper, Israel and Christians Today.]

. . . Now more than ever, we need to rally our “Christian base” in America and elsewhere. A few simple steps, such as organizing a Prime Minister’s Conference for Christian Leadership, developing the equivalent of a Birthright program for young churchgoers and establishing “Israel prayer battalions” would serve to reinforce this critical bond.

We should also appoint a roving ambassador whose responsibility would be to fortify and strengthen relations with Christians in America. This should not be an honorary title, but a position with real substance and meaning, manned by a person of faith and not just another political appointee.

With the world increasingly breathing down our neck, it is time that we embrace faith-based diplomacy, and not shy away from it in the heat of debate. As proud Jews who have returned to our land by divine right, we need not be embarrassed to assert our claim to our patrimony by relying on the Book of Books.

Nor should we fear that in doing so, we will stand alone. As recent years have shown, there will be millions of Christians ready to stand with us.

Despite a move away from dispensationalism, the pre-trib rapture, and “Left Behind” theology on the part of most Biblical scholars today, it seems to provide a major voice among those who are advising the decision-makers in the halls of power of the U.S. and Israel. In the process, it seems to me that Christians can easily fall prey to those who want to use them for purely geopolitical ends.

I find this greatly disturbing. How about you?

Comments

  1. The Seeker says:

    Whatever we might feel about this from my reading of scripture I get that Israel has a right to exist and it is a land promised to the Jewish people. That seems to be a hard edge when we want to be nice Christians and not give offence to others.

    I do not know if any of us know what it is like to live somewhere where all your neighbours hate you. For eight years I lived in the Middle East in a large Arab country and the hatred of Jews was palpable.

    This does not mean we should support everything Israel does. It does mean that Christians may be able to play an intermediary role, I believe we can be a friend and a critic at the same time.

    • I support Israel’s right to exist and live in peace. I also believe in working for peace and justice for all concerned. And I understand that there are fanatics and hardliners on all sides and there are no simple solutions.

      As to your comment, for Hagee and company, being a friend and critic of Israel are incompatible. It’s simply all or nothing.

      • The Seeker says:

        I must admit, I do not know Hagee.

        I have met some people here in Canada that have the attitude Israel can do no wrong. I think that is completely misguided and unhelpful.

        To my mind, real friends try to calm the situation, not exacerbate it.

        • He is on TV up in Canada too.

        • “To my mind, real friends try to calm the situation, not exacerbate it.”

          Well, yes, The Seekers says, I agree.

          I find the “Bomb, bomb, bomb…” attitude of many of my “brethren” discouraging and frightening in the least. Or, to what you said, the attitude that Israel can do no wrong is not helpful and misguided…. it is just horrible.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

            I wish someone had turned these guys on to Warhammer 40K instead of the Book of Revelation/Late Great Planet Earth. Then they could “bomb bomb bomb” everything on the WH40K gameboard into Nihilism without dragging us into the game.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        That’s because of the Anti-Semitic Zionism you find among Dispies. Goes like this:
        1) The Jews are back in The Land.
        2) This fulfills End Time Prophecy.
        3) So Israel is God’s Anointed and Can Do No Wrong and all criticism of Israel is Rebellion Against God.
        4) But all Jews will burn in Hell (and be slaughtered during the Tribulation) unless they walk the aisle and Accept Christ.

        (Arabs and Muslims have it even worse; they’re the Dark Lord’s Orc Horde, replacing the Communists after the Second Russian Revolution.)

        Israel is nothing more than a checked-off entry on the End Time Prophecy Checklist, the tripwire among Christians For Nuclear War.

        This also opens up American Evangelicals to manipulation by Israeli politics/politicians. All they need to do is hint about Rebuilding the Temple or something from the Checklist and American Christians will back anything they do, thinking it Fulfills End Time Prophecy (and speeding along the Second Coming).

        Add to this the Gnositicism of X-Treme “This World Is Not My Home, I’m Just Passin’ Thru…” to eliminate any stake in the game, Secret Rapture to beam them up before anything bad can personally happen to them, and similar Grinning Apocalyptic thinking in the Islamic world and you get a REAL dangerous combination. I am not kidding when I call some of these guys “Christians for Nuclear War”; I encountered that — literally — during the heyday of the Gospel According to Hal Lindsay. These guys messed up my head but good back then.

        • Well, yeah, HUG. Good summary.
          This attitude disgusts me.

        • David Cornwell says:

          “This also opens up American Evangelicals to manipulation by Israeli politics/politicians.”

          And it opens American Evangelicals up to manipulation by American politicians. It has in the past and it will in the future.

          • Josh in FW says:

            this is my concern about many churches being too involved in politics. I see both sides manipulate Christians and am uncomfortable that many Christians have more in common with non-believers in their political faction than they do believers that identify with other political factions.

        • That Other Jean says:

          The Rapture-fanatic Christians aren’t into Israel for Israel’s sake, they’re in it to help bring on the Apocalypse. HUG’s right–“Christians for Nuclear War” sums up their attitude pretty well. Does some segment of Israeli politicians fail to understand this, or are they willing to use whatever rubes they can find to further their own ends? It’s dangerous foreign policy for either side.

          • That’s something I’ve learned from many my Jewish friends, family, and acquaintances: they see the Evangelical support as somewhat mercenary and then return the sentiments in kind. I.e. the Evangelicals in question are only friends of Israel because of Israel’s prophetic value and the Jews in question are only friends with the Evangelicals because of the Evangelical profit-ic value. Both sides have ulterior motives.

          • cermak_rd says:

            It seems to me it’s a case of the disingenuous using the disingenuous. Each side knows they’re being used but is willing to use the other for their own purposes. Really, I don’t think it reflects well on either side.

          • Christiane says:

            There can be no doubt of the contempt of fundamentalist Christians for Judaism and for the faith of Jews. The fundamentalist doctrine of ‘exclusivity’ even denies that Jews worship the same God as Christians worship . . . the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It’s scary the amount of contempt these fundamentalists have for those who don’t see things their way.

            Israel’s supporters need to be very vigilant and not to trust the Christian fundamentalist extremists. It would be like riding the back of a tiger. I am fearful for what may come of that mis-placed trust.

        • You have got this exactly right.

          DSY

        • I’m really glad you wrote this….

          I’ve been trying to tell some of my friends that Christian Zionism is simply a another mask for a old evil: anti-semitism.

          God almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew.
          – Bailey Smith, former president, SOuthern Baptist Convention

        • Andrew Zook says:

          Well said – so opposite of what Jesus was like. No wonder some american evangelicals are so loathed by many – especially abroad. And not for imitating Jesus but for being more like little anti-christs. I know that’s strong language, but I think it’s appropriate for some of the extremists. They hate the Jesus revealed in the NT. They want the one the Pharisees thought was prophesied in the OT…the gun toting Rambo Jesus who would set up a special kingdom just for them where they would be the world’s top dogs living in luxury and military/political/economic power over everyone else. Sickening…

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

            They want the one the Pharisees thought was prophesied in the OT…the gun toting Rambo Jesus who would set up a special kingdom just for them where they would be the world’s top dogs living in luxury and military/political/economic power over everyone else.

            Just like Left Behind Volume 12?

        • Not to mention that the other 99% of Christians in the world who haven’t a clue about the whole Rapture/Tribulation/End Times prophecies (as I myself hadn’t a clue until I started hanging around American Protestant blogs and haring all this stuff about ‘dispensationalism’ and ‘the millenium’) take one look at this and are both appalled and incredulous that American foreign policy in the Middle East is open to being influenced by people who think that breeding a red heifer calf is fulfilling the will of God (or even if they don’t accept artificially breeding for it, still it’s necessary):

          http://www.haydid.org/redcow.htm

          Trying to force the end of the world has (1) a technical name: to immanetize the eschaton (2) is a bad idea – thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God (Matthew 4:7)

    • do the Palestinians have a right to exist??? you say imagine living where all your neighbors hate you. Imagine having your home taken from you, your business destroyed & now your way of life is gone. You may end up with hate in your heart too.

      • …and many of those displaced Palestinians are Christians – well, not of the dispy flavor that would please Hagee. That must make them expendable.

      • One of the problems with that argument is that the who-took-what-from-whom happened generations ago and ultimately neither side ends up smelling very good. Generational feuds are of absolutely no value in trying to fix the problem. Also, I’d submit that the Palestinians have a right to exist by virtue of, well, existing. Jesus died for the Palestinians as well as for the Israelis, Americans, and everyone else. The idea of someone wanting to exterminate the Palestinians or turn them all into refugees should be just as horrifying as pogroms, the Holocaust, or Hamas’ charter saying that the Jews should be driven into the sea. As Christians, we should be supporting justice for all people, not just those who we think might be important for prophecy.

    • Andrew Zook says:

      Isn’t the hatred for arabs and palestinians also ‘palpable’ among nationlist Israeli’s?

  2. Dispensational theology is horrendous. I have been glad to see it’s prominence fading, but the fact that it is still the fall back position of so many involved in foreign policy is troubling.

    It’s very disturbing that our leaders have for the most part been silent about the great suffering of Christians in the middle east but are still pushing positions that lead to their persecution. I was shocked but happy to see Sarkozy (not spelled right I’m sure) actually speak out about the suffering of Christians in the Mid East.

    • That’s a great point, Austin. Rarely have I heard dispensational teachers stand up for Middle Eastern Christians, especially Palestinian ones.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        That’s because Palestinian Christians, Arabs, even Israeli Jews are not people for the Dispies — only expendable pieces to move around on their End Time Prophecy gameboard.

        It’s just the Christianese version of Iran’s Twelfth Imam cult — start Armageddon and Christ will Rapture us up to our catered box seats in Heaven to watch The End before anything bad can happen to us personally. The original Internet Monk pointed out how this goes synergistic with radical Islam’s own version of Left Behind.

      • Thank you for your reply, Chaplain.

        I am dismayed and appalled at the blood-thirsty attitude of “my brethren” when Israel is the subject. They become war-mongering haters of anyone who doesn’t support Israel.

        I am not the scholar many of you on this forum are, but end-times aside, Jesus just didn’t promote killing. So, while I am truly concerned about the Christians in Palestine, for they are my brethren, what about the lives of the non-Christians?

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

          Because Palestinian Christians are caught in the middle of what’s become a Middle Eastern Blood Feud to the Death (literally — an inheritance fight over whether Isaac or Ishmael is heir to Abraham’s legacy), and both sides count them as The Enemy.

          To the Israelis, they’re ARABS. The ENEMY.

          To Palestinian Muslims, they’re CHRISTIANS. The ENEMY.

          • And Christ died for all of them, right?

          • Spot on, HUG. And unfortunately, they’re also considered the enemy by all to many Western Christians because they’re Palestinians and thus standing in the way of Christ’s return. Yeesh.

          • Well, the PLO is a secular-nationalist movement which embraces Palestinian Christians. (There even used to be a Palestinian convert to Judaism who held some high office.) Hamas, on the other hand, is based on popular Islam. This doesn’t mean that they oppose Palestinian Christians, just that they’re not integrated into the group.

            Religious Israelis, on the other hand, routinely spit upon and throw rocks at Christian pilgrims, and the government does nothing. Religious people of all types, other than Orthodox Jews and secular Jews, are treated as second-class citizens–even their allies the Druze.

      • FollowerOfHim says:

        In the dispensationalist world — and beyond, unfortunately — Arab = descendents of Ishamael = opponents of Israel = Muslim.

        This, despite the fact that :

        1) nothing in the Scriptures indicate Arabs even are children of Ishmael (though it’s possible);
        2) nothing in the Scriptures say that Ishamel is accursed (“wild ass of a man” is about as bad as it gets) but, to the contrary, on four separate occassions a promise is made to Abraham or Hagar that Ishmael will be blessed;
        3) Ishmael in any case buries Abraham, standing alongside Isaac;
        3) the Ishamelites disappear from the pages of Scripture almost entirely after Genesis; and
        4) many Arabs were Christians for centuries when my Northern European ancestors were still pining for Valhalla.

        Moreover, Christian Zionists:

        1) don’t really think about investing in Israel’s booming economy but, oddly, prefer that Uncle Sam (!) handle the funds because Israel is just a charity case, poor Nobel-Prize winning things;
        2) demand that the US give $2 billion per year in military aid, while Israel $200 billion GDP economy is content to supports 6% of its population on welfare (ultra-Orthodox men who study Torah full time);
        3) take a dim view of universal health care when Israel has precisely that;
        4) appear oblivious that one can convert to Judaism, preferring instead a view of Jewishness as tied up with bloodlines;
        5) can’t explain why a Jew who becomes a Christian is still a Jew, when Jews don’t seem to feel that way; and
        6) can’t explain whether a Jew should first emigrate from the US to Israel and then become a Christian (straightforward) or instead become a Christian first and then try to see if he can settle in Israel (probably not so straightforward nowadays).

        But in any case, I don’t think it’s really be about American Christians being manipulated. To the contrary, my impression is that many American Christian Zionists view themselves as trying “to save Israel from itself” whenever it might tiptoe up to the point of deciding in the course of its democratic process to “give land away.”

        Jesus’ last words to His disciples when they were wanting to know whether he’d kick Roman boo-tay was basically: “You’re thinking small. Go beyond Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria and instead go to the ends of the earth.”

        Christian Zionists are just thinking small. There is neither Jew nor Greek; all who believe are descendents of Abraham. But that’s just St. Paul talkin’ in Galatians. Maybe he was tired when he wrote that or something.

        • the END-times justify the MEANS. ;-)

        • Andrew Zook says:

          Again – well said.

        • A Jew who becomes a Christian is a Jew according to Jewish religious law, or hallakhah. (The principle goes, “A bad Jew is still a Jew.”) However, such a person would not be Jewish according to the Law of Return of the State of Israel. (Other people–for example, someone with a Jewish father but a gentile mother–would be considered Jewish according to the Law of Return, but not according to Jewish religious law.)

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

          Jesus’ last words to His disciples when they were wanting to know whether he’d kick Roman boo-tay was basically: “You’re thinking small…”

          Problem is, a LOT of Evangelicals DO think small.

  3. Dan Allison says:

    Hagee is the very worst kind of Christian preacher, and the writer’s subtext is “let’s develop friendships with Christians and then exploit them for worldly purposes of politics and empire.

    Dispensationalism is something American Christians desperately need to reject once for all time. I stand with NT Wright, I’m paraphrasing here, “Since the first Easter, this entire planet is the Promised Land.”

    All that being said, I support Israel’s right to exist. If Israel put down it’s arms, it would be destroyed. If Israel’s enemies put down their arms, peace would break out. It’s just that simple.

    • Dan, I couldn’t have said it better.

    • Good quote from Wright. Thanks.

    • Hagee is dangerous religious kook of the most scary kind… :(

    • “All that being said, I support Israel’s right to exist. If Israel put down it’s arms, it would be destroyed. If Israel’s enemies put down their arms, peace would break out. It’s just that simple.”

      Exactly. It IS that simple.

      Folks do not realize that Israel even picks up the Palestinian trash after funding it for the PLO to do it… who for years could not make it happen. I guess the money ended up in Arafats account.

  4. American Protestants seem largely oblivious to the actual politics (and religion) of Israel / Palestine, and are being led along by the former Likudniks of AIPAC. Many seem unaware of, or unconcerned about, the situation of Palestinian Christians. (Perhaps they are the wrong kinds of Christians, being predominantly Catholic and Orthodox.)

    Either there will be a two-state solution (now increasingly unlikely), or Israel will continue under a form of apartheid which promises to end badly, i.e. with a Lebanon-type situation at best and some sort of ethnic cleansing at worst. (Who knows in which direction, though.)

  5. “we have relied solely on military, geopolitical and historical arguments when making our case abroad” – just what Jesus orders in the great commission ;-(

  6. Concerning this topic I would HIGHLY recommend Gershom Gorenberg’s amazing book “The End of Days” about the dispute over “holy” land by Jews, Christians and Muslims and their accompanying eschatologies. Obviously scary reading considering the geopolitics involved, but I’ve rarely see a better analysis. Here’s the Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0195152050/ref=ed_oe_p/104-4262528-3420709?v=glance&s=books&st=

  7. Important too to distinguish between Dispensational theology vs. Dominionist theology…

    Dominionism is thee new theological darling of the charismatic/prophetic/spiritual warfare types. It is this war-like concept that has a militant fervor intended to raise up super-duper spiritual storm troopers to conquer the 7 mountains of culture: government, education, arts & entertainment, media, family, religion, & business. There’s is a “Kingdom Now!” using all means necessary power play to wrest control of the 7 key areas of influence by religious strategy. That makes the old Dispensationalist look like a teddy bear to today’s Dominionist.

    Bickle, Hagee, Engle, NAR, Extreme Prophetic types all have bought into the Divine Power Ranger mantra of subdue & conquer in Jesus’ Name of course. They will dabble in very questionable spiritual incantations (translation: intercessory prayer) & detailed spiritual warfare (translation: alternate universe imaginings) & very specific political activism. This is not a odd trend that is simply a Christian curiosity. This is very serious stuff intended to establish a neo-theocracy on this earth for Jesus to receive upon His happy return. Hagee & his followers will be the first in line hoping for the Brought About Armageddon Medal from the Triumphant One. He thinks he will be safe there in Texas while the rest of the world is nuked to oblivion. Yeah. Scary. Really scary…

  8. Back in my Messianic days, I was once at the national conference for the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations and a little incident occurred that will stay with me the rest of my life. It was the opening night, and a bunch of folks were hanging out in the area where the vendors were gonna set up shop, and I noticed a particular well-known fellow (this guy happened to be the author of the then-most-widely-used Messianic prayer book) take off his yarmulke and don an Arafat-style keffiyeh. After getting considerable stares, someone asked him what he was doing. He said, “This is the love test. I wondered if we could love this guy [points to his arab-style hat] as much as this guy [he re-dons his yarmulke].” Some folks REALLY didn’t appreciate that, but I sure did.

  9. There needs to be a strong voice against the Hagee agenda from other Christians that are very concerned with his brand of religious propaganda & political influence.

    There has been a serious trend in the past 10-15 years from fringe/weird Christian stuff that was once a thought-provoking curiosity to becoming mainstream & infecting world view from a gospel one to a violent take control one.

    Tolerance, as it is shouted back by those that are clearly Hageeites have to be told in no uncertain terms that bat-shit crazy theology has no place in the gospel of Jesus. And there has to be a deliberate move away from the extreme types & start labeling them as the cult they have chosen to become.

    Until then simply letting these kooks run fast & loose with God’s reputation & that of how the world looks upon Christians in general, there will be greater justification for the world’s response to them. And frankly, I do not wish to be collateral damage to Hagee’s self-importance & end time religious views…

  10. IMO, the State/Nation of Israel was doomed from the start. Look at the U.N. partition plan:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Partition_Plan_for_Palestine

    How the heck do you create a united defendable Jewish State out of that? Even though the Jewish partition was based on where the Jewish settlements were at the time, the Partition Plan looks like those pictures chiropractors and naturopaths use to show what a diseased diverticulated colon looks like after decades of low-fiber foods.

    When you have to have walls on your borders and within your borders and zig-zagging throughout your country to contain or restrain the neighboring population, eventually something will give.

    It’s long-term unworkable and always has been.

    IMHO.

    • Any conceivable two-state agreement would have to include strict controls over the Palestinian military.

  11. Reading THE ISRAELIS: Ordinary People in an Extraordinary Land by Donna Rosenthal and WHAT SHALL I DO WITH THIS PEOPLE: Jews and the Fractious Politics of Judaism by Milton Viorst might take a bit of the shine off some Evangelicals’ blind worship of all things Israel and Jew.

  12. We should support Isreal because they are the only real democracy in the ME. There are people who do not realize there are non Jewish Arabs elected to the Knesset and have been for many years. Compare that to other countries surrounding Israel. Compare that to the PLO.

    • Ah, but to what extent should we be supporting them? Do we take the Sanctified position that their fecal matter hath no malodorous qualities, simply because they are Israel? Or are we willing to acknowledge that perhaps there are problems in Israel, including their poor treatment of ANY Palestinian, even Christians, and that maybe a more balanced approach would be appropriate?

      Would it be too extreme to perhaps admit that there are two sides to this sad little saga?

    • I would like to hear what would happen if there were no democracies in the ME. What would be the consequence? Would they not still sell us their oil? The only sad thing I can think of is possibly the end of travel/tourism in Israel. But how is having this democracy there helping us in the West?

      DSY

    • A sort of democracy. South Africa in 1970 was a democracy, too. Oh, and so were we in 1840.

      • I know this is a bit off topic, but the “Israeli apartheid” meme distorts reality enough to be slanderous. Arabs living within the pre-1967 borders of Israel can vote and hold political office. Palestinians–who are exactly the same people as Israeli Arabs, except they live outside of the green line–do not have these political rights within Israel, because they are not Israeli citizens. If there is eventually a one-state solution, Palestinians and the occupied territories would both become part of Israel–it’s a package deal. If there is a two-state solution, Palestinians would get their portion of the land and have political rights (such as whatever form of government they end up with affords) within their own country. That’s how occupations work.
        Does the US give Iraqis voting rights in the US? No, because they have no intention of keeping Iraq and incorporating it into their country; it’s a temporary occupation, not a permanent conquest. Similarly, I’m sure we can agree that the Israeli occupation has been too long, but the final status of the West Bank and Gaza strip are still pending, so for Israel to extend the same political rights to Palestinians as to their own citizens (some of whom are Arab) would be to assume a certain outcome. Compare this to the situation in the Golan Heights, which Israel is more likely to hang on to. The Arab residents there have been offered Israeli citizenship, although they haven’t accepted it yet (if they ever do, I don’t see how Syria could even try to make a case for getting the Golan back).
        In summary, it’s misleading to compare an occupation to apartheid. Extending the same political rights as citizens to occupied territories sounds nice, but is actually equivalent to imposing a certain final settlement (i.e. incorporation into one’s own country) on the occupied/disputed territories.

        • “Arabs living within the pre-1967 borders of Israel can vote and hold political office.”

          Not that it helps them, demographics being what it is. As their population increases, some of the less scrupulous Jews are trying to find ways to disenfranchise them, e.g. with this recent talk of loyalty oaths to Israel as a “Jewish state.” Out-and-out populatio expulsions are sometimes mooted, though not yet openly, and are one likely end result of the conflict.

    • And here is where the problem arises, because Israel the state is touted as a secular state, the only real democracy in the Middle East and so forth.

      Great, I’m glad, that’s very good.

      On the other hand, there do seem to be some internal political tensions between secular Israel (complete with all the trappings and appurtenances of liberated Westernism, including pitching tourism on the lowest common denominator of sun, sex ‘n’ sand) and religious Israel.

      If you’re going to base an argument for the location of your state on “This is the land God promised to Moses” and use the Bible as a foundation document to prove ownership, then you’re not strictly speaking a secular state. If you’re going to mix the religious and the secular, then you’re going to have a mess on your hands*. And if you’re going to appeal to theology in a cynical way (e.g. ‘we don’t believe this guff about end-times prophecy but those dumb Yanks eat it up with a spoon’) then it will backfire on you in a very bad way.

      Does Israel have the right to exist? Yes. Do the Israelis have the right not to be bombed? Yes. Is there a problem left over from past colonialism, when the collapse of the Ottoman Empire left all these inconvenient Arab peoples on the same territory, and does this have to be addressed? Oh, yes.

      * You guys probably have all about the Papal States and the Pope interfering in the affairs of kings on the tips of your tongues. I’ll just drop in the nugget that some of the Presbyterian** Scots settlers planted in Ulster (the north of Ireland) regarded it as a “New Canaan”, themselves as the “New Israelites” and the native Irish as the old Canaanites, more or less. And you all know what the children of Israel were to do to the Canaanites, yes? This is why we’re still tip-toeing through a peace process after three hundred years of mutual massacring.

      ** There’s a reason I’ve adopted for myself one of the eminent Dr. Boli’s New Year Resolutions:

      “6. You resolve to make a real effort to be more tolerant of Presbyterians, in spite of the obvious difficulties.”

      • Some of those Presbyterians don’t even believe in God. Like Mark Twain.

      • cermak_rd says:

        Bingo on the battle between religious Israel and secular Israel. Did you know Jewish women in the US have more rights than Jewish women in Israel? Anat Hoffman was arrested for reading a scroll at the Western wall. My temple had a woman from Israel come visit recently. She read the Torah portion for the day and it was the first time she ever had because it’s not done in Israel. Also, people are hassled in Israel for working on Shabbat and eating or selling non-kosher food, even if they themselves are not particularly religious.

        All in all, I say a prayer everyday in thanksgiving that I get to live in the Diaspora.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        I’ll just drop in the nugget that some of the Presbyterian** Scots settlers planted in Ulster (the north of Ireland) regarded it as a “New Canaan”, themselves as the “New Israelites” and the native Irish as the old Canaanites, more or less. And you all know what the children of Israel were to do to the Canaanites, yes?

        You saw the same pattern in New England regarding the Puritan colonists (fresh from their own Exodus from Godless Egypt) and the indigenous tribes (AKA “Heathens”). It didn’t start out that way, but it drifted into it over a couple generations — especially when the Godly Puritans cast an eye on the Heathens’ tribal lands. Sort of the Dark Side of the American folk attitude of being “the City on the Hill”.

  13. The PLO was formed prior to the 6 day war in June of 1967. Question – What “Palestine” were they wanting to liberate since the “occupied territories” were still under Syrian, Jordanian and Egyptian control?

    Also prior to the occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Golan Heights how many Arab nations recognized Israel’s right to exist? I’ll answer that question myself, ZERO. So, whenever we hear one of these over-educated experts on the Middle East tell us that the Israeli settlements are an impediment to peace we should remember that prior to the settlements and even prior to the so called occupation no Arab state recognized Israel.

    Often Arabs (as well as European leftists) refer to the Jewish settlements as illegal. My response to that is who says they are illegal? The response is of course the almighty United Nations. Oh ok, so when the UN recognized the state of Israel in 1948 of course all the Arab nations bended the knee to the almighty UN right?

    For the record I’m not a dispensationalist (at least not in matters of eschatology), but I support Israel for much the same reason that I support South Korea over North Korea and Taiwan over the PRC.

  14. This is a serious matter, especially for this forum. Separating American Evangelicalism from dispensationalism is a difficult matter. But we need to understand what created John Nelson Darby was the claim by the church to be the Kingdom of God. Eschatology had fallen into error before Darby plunged it even deeper. Breaking free of the influence of Darby and Scofield is a giant leap into the post-evangelical wilderness, but a long journey toward a biblical and healthy eschatology remains. The way forward is not as simple as going back to church teaching prior to 1830.

  15. I distinctly recall seeing on the evening TV news — (before many folks had computers, including me) — that Pres Bush, Sr. had met with Billy Graham and began talking about a “New World Order.” It seemed apparent, to me anyway, that the Pres had become convinced by Graham that the Bible ‘requires’ that there would ‘have’ to be a ‘one world government’ before Jesus could come back … and so on, as things go in the dispensational-scheme-of-things. I’ve not been able to locate this report which, I think, was on CBS Evening News with Dan Rather. I’d like to see it again, because it seemed to *very* clear that the Pres had bought into dispensationalism and, somehow, thought he was ‘taking a part of fulfilling Bible prophecy’. I could be mistaken, but I don’t think so….

    TBN regularly features John Hagee’s program, and it’s not infrequent that you hear him teaching dispensationalism. What SCARES and angers me is: TBN is broadcasted into many Middle East/ Muslim nations: Just where the radical fundamentalist-terrorists of Islam can see his inflammatory rhetoric (as well as really bad ‘theology’). The most upsetting thing of all is: Hagee portrays the USA as a ‘Christian nation’. So it’s not much of a surprise that we have a jihad coming at us. It may as well be the Middle ages, Crusades times again….(sigh upon sigh after sigh)….

    My personal feelings about all of this is: Israel and the Palestinians are there. I do not believe the modern nation of Israel is a ‘fulfillment’ of biblical prophecy. Real political problems need to be addressed for all the people in the Middle East. But as a Christian, I believe that Jesus Christ is the only ‘person’ who can change the way things will be for anyone, anywhere. (Right now I’m thinking about Jewish-Christians and Palestinian-Arab-Christians who are worshiping together in Israel, even if, and if in spite of the fact, that they may have some political and theological differences. Jesus is The Prince of Peace)!

    • I believe that Brent Scowcroft, who was National Security Advisor to Bush senior, used the term “new world order” before the president did. As I recall, Scowcroft later said that it was a kind of toss-off term; he was shocked at the notoriety it soon garnered.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        And don’t forget both Bushes’ tin ear when coining department and policy names and acronyms.

  16. P.S. A resounding Amen! for — What for N.T. Wright says!!!!

  17. Joe Rutherford says:

    I’m an eye witness of Messiah Jesus. I’m a watchman for Israel, which is the Church. I’m called to be a prophet.

    What the people in the country of Israel do not know, is that God is angry with the secular Americans. God is not angry with the Church. The Church in America should leave America for their safety. In the future America will cease to exist. There will be great tribulation in the world, that which is spoken of by our Lord, and is written in the scriptures. I have seen the anger of God. As I looked upon this awesome site, God spoke to me and said, “This is the anger of God toward the secular Americans, God is not angry with the Church.”

    My Master Jesus Lord told the Jews long ago, ” Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” The same is still true today and forever. The same is true for all people in the entire world. Jesus is the Way. Jesus is the only Way. Jesus is the Truth the Light the Way.

    The people in the country of Israel must trust in the Lord Jesus entirely. If they follow any other way, they will die in their sins and suffer also the second death. The same is true concerning all people in the whole world. Jesus died for our sins and arose for our justification. Come to the Messiah Jesus Lord and be given eternal life. Stay faithful unto the end.

    If you would rather there not be a prophet at your site, just say so. I’m a man of peace, but being a prophet, I can not keep the word of the Lord inside of me. That being said, bless all who call upon the name of the Lord Jesus in truth and sincerity!

    • Whoa, dude.

      DSY

    • uh, um…God is not angry at America anymore than He is with sin. Sin it all its forms. Knows no national, ethnic, social, economic, historical exemptions. God poured out His wrath on a cross 2000 years ago. He is not going to be selective now over men’s agendas or categories that are simply subsets of the overall issue He came to address thru Jesus.

      “I’m called to be a prophet. Well Joe, no you are not…

      I hope you understand that such talk is the reason most believers that have exited the prophetic-rhetoric dog-and-pony-show now speak out against the silliness being carried out with the “Thus sayeth the Lord” supposed stamp of approval. In this instance then, I am the one being ‘prophetic’ making the call against such silliness that has passed itself off as the very oracles of God.

      Hey, don’t get me wrong, you are probably a most likable fellow. However, when one goes around claiming they are a Prophet of God, that implied verbal representative of the Almighty gets to be very overused & abused today.

      Simply remove the prophet claim, repost your perspectives, & hey, the conversation can be engaged in by others posting here also. Once the ‘mantle’ of prophet is thrown over your perspectives they are automatically relegated to the “get over yourself [sigh]” bin of the wild & wacky world of uber-spirituality…

    • I suspect America might do fine if the “church” left. I’d probably have universal health care, my kid wouldn’t be paying for a couple of senseless wars, and gay teenagers would not be committing suicide right and left. The “church” is responsible for a lot of deaths.

      In other words, the Kingdom might be closer if the “church” were further away.

  18. Sounds like they’re one step away from shipping Palestinian Arabs off to the gas chambers because God told Joshua to massacre all the Canaanites in the Promised Land. I mean, if we’re going to apply the Bible that way, that’s the only logical conclusion.

  19. P.S.S. It’s late here, I’ve made grammatical errors, and in order to try to at least make a little difference (in something more than posting on the web)—I’m going to write TBN and ask if they could ever, by any chance, offer a program or programming that offers other views on biblical prophecy (that is, from non-dispensational POVs). I’ve seen a couple ‘specials’ where they hinted at other views, but always returned to their default dispensational position without being objective/fair in their analysis. Perhaps they will do more, If even for educational purposes. Who knows? They might oblige. God bless!

  20. BTW, that’s a great article that you referenced on patheos.com. My heart goes out to any pastor who stands in front of an average congregation to preach anything contrary to pre-trib. dispensationalism.

  21. “If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities” – Voltaire.

  22. Oh brother, this kind of stuff gets me all riled up. When I was at Bible school ten years ago, my Old Testament professor was all in to this stuff and it came up nearly every class. I couldn’t stand all the Israel talk and it single handedly convinced me that dispensationalism is seriously messed up.

    But if anyone wants to watch an excellent documentary on this very topic, I recommend seeing Waiting for Armageddon. It was released last year and it’s very well done.

  23. Hi Chaplain Mike,

    As a neo-Anabaptist I support nonviolent peacemaking efforts in the Middle East that promote social justice for both the Palestinians and the Israelies. I am appalled that dispensationalism might be used for political purposes to promote an Israel only position on the future of the Land of Palestine based on a tendentious view of eschattology.

    Although Dispensationalism is losing groung among academics, what is the situation among ordinary Evangelical Christians? The New Atheist Sam Harris seems to think that this is a very popular view in the USA amongst the population and, if so, I see it as appalling that many of these otherwise good folks could want a nuclear war to come because Jesus will come and rapture them out of the world before this occurs.

    As the now retired Princeton Seminary theologian Dan Migliore pointed out this kind of view is nothing but ‘ “apocalyptic terrorism” entirely lacking in any sense of solidarity with creation and with humankind groaning for emancipation from sin, suffering and death’ ( Faith Seeking Understanding, p.236).

    Shalom,

    John Arthur

    • dispensationalism – a theological beleif w/o:
      -forgiveness
      -equality
      -love
      -peace
      -frankly, it has no cross for the righteous! – only pie in the sky when everone you hate dies!
      it must be thrown away if the evangelical church wants to fulfill the great commission!

    • Wow. Dispys are taunting nuclear war, because they are going to be gone before it happens? Sounds like tempting God (Deuteronomy 6:16). It’s like picking a fight with a giant bully, because you are expecting Superman to swoop down to save you at the last minute. The Plymouth Brethren, from which Darby came, were quiet, pietistic people, compared to the brazen arrogance of modern dispys. This is scary stuff. It makes the dispys of the 60’s and 70’s, who ran up their credit cards because Jesus was going to return before they had to pay them off, pretty tame.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        Dispys are taunting nuclear war, because they are going to be gone before it happens?

        And then some. During the 1975 Rosh Hashanah Rapture Scare, the Rapture was supposed to take place while the warheads were cutting atmo over their target cities, the very instant before the thermonuclear detonation sequence.

        “God’s Judgment for America’s Sins Sits Ready and Waiting in the Missile Silos of the Soviet Union!!!!” — Actual radio-preacher quote from that period

        It’s like picking a fight with a giant bully, because you are expecting Superman to swoop down to save you at the last minute.

        And if you dared to point this out, the best you could hope for was a condescending “Satan has blinded you and hardened your heart; I’ll Pray for You.” The more common reaction was a foaming-at-the-mouth Bible-verse counterattack. (It’s one of the reasons why the word “Scripture” makes me physically ill.)

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        The Plymouth Brethren, from which Darby came, were quiet, pietistic people, compared to the brazen arrogance of modern dispys.

        I think this is because of the continuing trauma of World War One. Followed by the Roaring Twenties, Great Depression, World War Two, the Cold War, and The Sixties. Before WW1, post-Mil dominated the Protestant churches; after WW1, everybody just gave up and hunkered down in the basement keeping themselves squeeky-clean so God could beam them up from this Big Bad World. Sort of the Born-Again version of “Turn on, Tune in, and Drop out.”

        Then the trauma of The Sixties — when these sealed-away Christians realized things were flowing away from them — caused a “Take Back America and Restore Our CHRISTIAN Nation” grievance culture. Before this, Christian Reconstructionists were Post-Mils; the idea was that as more and more were converted, eventually the nation/world would become Christian and voluntarily accept a Christian Theocracy. After this, the Pre-Trib Pre-Mils came on board the Reconstructionist bandwagon; since Time Was Short, they went to the endgame immediately — Takeover and Theocracy. (Never mind that if The World Ends Tomorrow, what does it matter that you’ve taken over in Christ’s Name?) Result: Handmaid’s Tale for Real boyos, with a Christian Republique of Perfect Virtue beckoning from the other side of the “regrettable but necessary” Reign of Terror and/or a funhouse mirror reflection of “Just like Ayatollah Khomeini, Except CHRISTIAN(TM)!”

        And the “Twinkle Twinkle Coming Christ/Beam Me Up To Paradise” and “Take Over And Make A CHRISTIAN Nation” are pulling in way different directions; put them together (like Pre-Trib Reconstructionists) and you get two opposite pulls in internal conflict with each other. And one of the ways to reconcile such conflicting pulls is to go farther and farther into Pure True Believer. (“I reject your Reality and substitute my/GOD’s Own!”) We’ve seen this in Islam with the Twelfth Imam cult and al-Qaeda.

  24. I worked as an Arabic linguist with the military for the better part of 10 years. I’ve been all over the Middle East for all sorts of reasons. I was privy to all kinds of situational information…I know what the Israeli Defense Force did to peaceful Palestinian protestors. I was there, right there in Israel, when the Al-Aqsah intifadah broke out in 2000, and I saw what the IDF did on a daily basis. The IDF is never content to just put down a revolt; they want to make a point. They’ll go into a village and level the whole thing for the acts of a single resident. I’ve seen them fire live rounds into a crowd. I’ve seen them shoot Palestinians in the head with rubber-coated “riot” rounds.

    Now, on the Palestinian side, if they’d only learn to be totally non-violent, to just sit in a big circle down in downtown Jerusalem somewhere, then they’d get somewhere. The thing is, the Arab mindset works a particular way. They are a very “expressionate” people; they’ll often raise their voices and pound on a table during a discussion, and you have to learn that they’re not *angry*. They just believe in what they’re saying. If you don’t do the same, they’ll figure that you’re not very serious about your argument. In other words, there is now, and always has been, a HUGE element of face-saving involved in Arab relations, between themselves and with non-Arabs. As long as everybody knows how to play the game, then lots of wars are over before they begin. Nobody loses face, and everybody goes home. That said, the bombings, the shootings…it’s all reprehensible and has to stop before anyone will get anywhere.

    Besides, which Israel are we supporting? There are really three of them:

    1.) Israel the ethnicity.
    2.) Israel the geo-political entity.
    3.) Israel who follows God.

    The vast majority of Israelis are in groups 1 and 2. It’s not like it is here in the US…the diaspora. Here, it comes down to religiously Jewish or not *for the most* part. That’s always been true the further you get from Israel. N.T. Wright actually makes a similar point in his book “The New Testament and the People of God”. We are called to support group 3 as far as I can tell.

    My point is, unqualified support for Israel is immoral. Can we support them? Sure, but not in a blind, do-as-you-will sort of way. UN resolutions are, literally, a joke. Israel laughs at them. By the way, you do know what “Philistine” means in Arabic right? Palestinian. Connect all the dots. Those two peoples have been at this for at least 3500 years. This is not about post WW2 Israel; this is an old blood-fued. I’m pretty sure it’s not what God has in mind for his covenant people.

    In terms of covenant, someone will have to explain to me how God’s covenant to Israel can be void while the covenant under Christ is not. Don’t quote bible verses out of context and make illogical arguments either. God makes eternal covenants, right? He has to because he’s God. He actually explicitly states as much in scripture. That’s what immutability is all about. If the covenant to Israel is no good, then neither is ours. I’m not saying that Jesus isn’t the only way; he is. I’m saying that Israel will find their way there somehow, though I have no idea how that all shakes out.

    • Thanks!

    • Andrew Zook says:

      Those are some good points Frank. Your first hand experience says a lot. (To me it confirms that both sides have some repenting to do).
      Here’s my thoughts concerning your last point and I don’t want to be argumenative, but more to present a different slant. I believe much of the nationlistic Israeli’s problems stem from their continued rejection of Jesus Christ and His kingdom/covenant. Was Jesus very concerned about establishing an earthly Israel? No and that’s one reason the religious leaders hated Him so much. That’s why they still don’t believe in Jesus because Jesus wouldn’t support their land-based aspirations. Something to think about IMO.

      Final point along those lines. I’ve heard and maybe you can say ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ but isn’t Israel highly restrictive of any Christian proselytizing? In other words don’t they treat anyone preaching/sharing Jesus similar to their Arab/Muslim neighbors? If this is true then I find American evangelical political support for Israel the nation…to be astoundingly two-faced…

    • Simply, I believe that Jesus the Messiah fulfilled the calling and mission of Israel after the nation failed. Therefore “the Israel of God” consists of those who are in Christ, who is True Israel. This is the Gospel for both Jew and Gentile.

      • That reasoning makes sense, but what do you do with Romans 8-10 and Hebrews 11? As you can see I’m more of a parallel theology kind of guy with respect to the ultimate fate of Israel.

        • Frank, I’m not sure what you mean by referencing Hebrews 11. I don’t see how that passage contradicts anything I said.

          As for Romans 9-11, in those chapters Paul indeed affirms that God has not rejected his people Israel. And the example Paul gives of that is himself! (see Rom 11:1ff) Paul’s salvation is proof that God has not abandoned the Israelites. If you read through these chapters, it becomes clear that the hope of Israel is Christ through the same Gospel that the Gentiles have received. If, as many think, the end of Romans 11 predicts a fuller salvation for Israelites in the latter days, then it will happen only through them putting their faith in Christ.

          You can read those chapters all you want and you will find absolutely nothing about Israel as a nation, a return to the land, a rebuilt temple, a millennial kingdom, or any of the things that dispensationalists insist will happen in the last days. Jesus alone is the hope of Israel.

          • Goodness no…I don’t think I was very clear. I’m not referring to any of the millennial/dispensationalist stuff. I don’t think any of the last days stuff is valid either. I only mean to make the point that Israel (the one who follows God) will find their way to Christ one way or another. God isn’t through with them yet. Paul didn’t try to solve that puzzle in Romans 9, so neither will I.

            Hebrews 11 is typically trotted out to make the point that the heroes of the faith (as it were) are…what? Not included in the present covenant? That would hardly make them “heroes”. They wouldn’t have been worth the author of Hebrews’ time in terms of their use as examples.

  25. I read the OP and the entire thread. There is a lot of good information here. But I’m still wondering something.

    Why does the writer Michael Freund call these times “critical?” Why does he say the steps he advocates are needed “Now more than ever?” What is the “tide that is heading straight for our shores” that he speaks of?

    I don’t want to derail the main focus of the discussion. But, I’m just wondering if there is any reason why this strident language is justified today.

    • Andrew Zook says:

      I think he’s afraid nobody will cheer for them when they attack Iran. Actually I don’t know if that scenario has a chance…it could be any number of things he’s afraid of. If I were him I’d be afraid of being held accountable for what they’ve done to the Palestinians…especially in the Gaza prison camp.

    • Could it be because of the recent number of South American countries that have recognized Palestine?

      “Israel fears that most, if not all, Latin American countries will have recognized a Palestinian state by mid-February. On Friday, Chile became the fifth Latin American country in the last month to recognize a Palestinian state. It followed recognition of Palestinian statehood by Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador.

      From —
      http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=202727

  26. Frank,

    Good post. To answer your question about God’s covenants. His covenants are actually made fulfilled in Christ, the true Israel.

    See Gal 3:16 “Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ.”

    and

    2 Co 1:20: “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.”

    • Sure, I get that. By “fulfilled”, do we mean “brought to their intended conclusion”, or are we treading parallel tracks?

      I went back to the Greek on 2 Cor 1.20, and I can see how the NIV might render the Greek “hosos” as “no matter how many”, but my interpretation lands on the same side as the NRSV: “For in him every one of God’s promises…” and so on. Secondly, I don’t read “conclusion of covenant” in 1 Cor 1.20; I read immutability in that passage. God has always been faithful and can be counted on to do as he says he’ll do.

      The Galatians passage is a good one…one covenant, one people. Unity in Christ. That’s a productive line of thought for sure.

      What do we do with the “heroes” in Hebrews 11 though? It’s an honest question on my part, and it’s the one that keeps me on the “parallel” track.

      • I really don’t see the problem, Frank. The last verse of the chapter says: “And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.”

  27. I live in the Washington, D.C. area and I’ve encountered dispensational theology in some circles I moved in. Joel Rosenthal (I think it’s him…) preachs and gives seminars on the current state of the Middle East, Isarel, etc. at McLean Bible. One time when I was there (in my born again cage days) and he made a comment about how his sources at CIA confirmed to him about the State of Iran is going to lead an attack on Israel and starts the tribulation process. Today I look at that garbage and think “What was I thinking?” How and why do so many people take it seriously? This kind of theology makes Christinaity toxic, I tired of hearing about the rapture, speculation about Israel’s role in it all, etc.. Not only that but going back to Rpsenthal and the CIA…that is a toxic combination, and if fundegelcials are taking jobs at CIA or other parts of the government becuase they are driven by this theology, then I guess I should fear my own government as well.

    I also noticed when I was a fundgelical that you couldn’t criticize Isarel. Isarel never, NEVER made any mistakes. It was not the proper thing to do. Do they teach this at Liberty University and Pat Robertson’s Regent? Those sewers (Uhh I mean schools…) feed the fundegelical beast out here. I had some interesting talks with a few people and it made me want to go bang my head on the wall rathor than try and talk about liivng in day to day faith.

    My .02 though I am late to this game…

  28. I don’t agree with dispensationalism, but it is a whole lot better than the liberal theological lie that things will get much better and that there is no life after death.

  29. Just an FYI to add to the discussion. I’ll leave my personal thoughts to myself, since I’m sure others have or will say similar things in better ways. This is the best sermon on the issue I’ve ever heard, and by a Christian who considers himself to be a Messianic Jew, Rich Nathan. I first heard the sermon on his church’s website in audio format (vinyard columbus; I don’t attend a vinyard church), but Sojourner’s posted the text at a later date. The link to the text is here: http://blog.sojo.net/2008/01/14/how-should-christians-relate-to-the-state-of-israel-by-rich-nathan/#

    The part toward the end about Biblical justice is what I felt really brought it home. He says that because of Biblical justice, the Jewish people do have a claim to at least a portion of that land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. That because of 2000 years of repeated mistreatment toward the Jews by so many countries in the world, “We cannot read the history of the world without coming to the conclusion that Jews can never be ultimately secure in a nation ruled by others – whether ruled by the Germans, the French, the Russians, the Americans, or the Arabs. As a matter of biblical justice, Jews must have a nation in their own historic homeland….But biblical justice…cuts in two directions. It also cuts in the direction of the Palestinians. And when Palestinians, who can trace their ancestry back 1300 years in the land, are pushed off of their land, and Palestinian children are murdered in bombing raids, when houses are knocked down, and men, women, and children are systematically humiliated and abused, biblical justice stands up for the victim and says this must not continue. We must have justice for both Jew and Palestinian….And any one-sided tilt is less than justice.”

  30. Joshua 21:43-45 “So the LORD gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their ancestors, and they took possession of it and settled there. The LORD gave them rest on every side, just as he had sworn to their ancestors. Not one of their enemies withstood them; the LORD gave all their enemies into their hands. Not one of all the LORD’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.” Jehovah fulfillied His promises to Israel. Jesus’ promise to us today is this, “The meek shall inherit the earth”. Shall the King of all the land not keep his word to us?

  31. Moonshadow says:

    Very simply, God promises Abraham in Genesis 12:3 – “I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee …”

    A true believer would not curse God’s people. Not even Balaam could do it.

    Non-dispensational Christians operate similarly, not speaking out against “their own,” whomever that may be.

    • We have to look at the O.T. promises in light of N.T. fulfillment. Galatians 3:69 So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” 9 So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. There’s the New Testament fulfillment of Gen. 12:1-4. God’s blessing is on those who have faith in God and His promises. Gal. 3:14 “He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.” Contrast this with the truth that God’s wrath is on those of unbelief, for according to John 3:36 “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.”

      • Moonshadow says:

        This discussion is about why the nation of Israel can “do no wrong” by dispensationalists who themselves find direction in the first part of Genesis 12:3 – they bless Israel in order to be blessed by God.

        • I get it. I bless Israel, so God is obligated to bless me !! Exactly the cosmic vending machine approach to God that our beloved Imonk ranted against.

  32. For those that haven’t already done so: the feed near Hagee’s head on “move away from dispensationalsim” goes to Jesus Creed and it’s a discussion well worth the time. Thanks Chap Mike for the link; many thoughtful and helpful posters……reminds me of here…

    GregR

  33. http://www.virtualjerusalem.com/news.php?Itemid=1610

    Yet another example of the Israeli hatred of the Arabs. NOT

  34. Chaplain Mike: I would be beneficial for someone to write an article comparing John 15, where Jesus proclaims that He is the True Vine (Israel), and Isaiah 5:1-7, where Jehovah declares Israel is the vineyard. I agree with you, Albert, and others who have stated that Jesus Christ is the True Israel. Also, would someone care to list for us the Old Testament promises concerning Israel that do not (did not / will not) find there fulfillment in Jesus the Messiah?

  35. Joe Rutherford says:

    One of the things I see in the scriptures and even in my life, is that the Lord gives us revelation of His Word / teachings, then we find ourselves in a trial and test. The Teacher is conforming us into His image by submerging us into the same trials and tribs which He Himself endured and conquered. He promises us that if we endure the trials of our/the faith, remain faithful and obiediant to Him, that we also will conquer.

    John Hagee and millions like him need prayer that God will deliver them from false doctrines. We must point out false doctrines, but we ought to practice the love of God toward those who seem to have little appearance of lovliness in their spiritual understanding and practice. We must pray one for another. Please also pray for me. Pray for the whole Church. Pray for the lost in Israel, in your own neighborhood, and in all the world. Pray that all who know Christ will understand that He is Lord now and is ruling now with all power.

    Bless you all who love our Lord Jesus!!!

  36. Vickie Jacobs says:

    John Hagee likes to quote Genesis 12:1,;
    “Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:”
    LAND in Strongs Concordence is number 776. It means field, ground, nations, wilderness.
    Revelation 10:11; “And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.”
    In II Corinthians 13:1; “………….In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.”
    John Hagee has kepted this scripture in a literal instead of placing it in the spiritual context as shown in these two scriptures. He insists that it is a physical Israel. This is the spirit of Esau trying to gain his heritage back. It is now a spiritual construct. Romans 2:28,29. If you are born again………..you are now a new creature in Christ. The promise to Abraham is still intact only when Christ died it changed from physical to spiritual. Flesh and blood cannot get into heaven. There’s only one fold, one shepherd …not two constructs..of Gentiles and Israels. Gentiles are grafted in if they are in Christ. Gentiles were the uncircumsied and circumcision is of the heart in Christ.
    For 2,000 years the Jews have denied Christ and the bible says that to deny Christ is antiChrist. I John 4:3. God put a restraining order on them till the restrainer was removed in 1947.
    You can now find John Hagee in Daniel 7:20:
    And of the ten horns that were in his head, of of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.”
    When Christians United For Israel came into existence a few years ago there were 13 regional directors but Hagee placed three under one of the ten.
    John Hagee is a man of war not a man of peace. He is the fig tree that bears no fruit(Matthew 24:32) and it is a warning that great perscution of God’s saints is about to start. If you say anything today against physical Israel you better be prepared. Keep to the KJV bible for in it you will find Gods two witnesses. Rev.11 which are the Word and the Holy Spirit.