Saturday, May 28, 2011

Understanding Christian Zionism and It's Roots

It is true that at various times in the past, churches and church leaders have tolerated or incited anti-Semitism and even attacks on Jewish people. Racism is a sin and without excuse. Anti-Semitism must be repudiated unequivocally.

However, we must not confuse apples and oranges. Anti-Zionism is not the same thing as anti-Semitism despite attempts to broaden the definition. Criticizing a political system as racist is not necessarily racist. Judaism is a religious system. Israel is a sovereign nation. Zionism is a political system. These three are not synonymous. [1]

An internet friend I have been corresponding with said it this way:
There is the physical Israel [the land], a modern political Israel [Zionism], a spiritual Israel [the Christian Jews (and Christian Gentiles)[1][2] to whom a promise has been made by God. This is so that we can see a history and prophecy unfold.  We see them through example of sinfulness, and also righteousness as sited throughout the Bible, and by extension we can understand the extent of the depravity that calls for judgment in our own lands. 

God's call upon our hearts has always been to come home out of rebellion, come out of pride, come out of her my people.

Israel represents the good, bad and ugly of it all, but we as believer's understand that by grace we have been saved, and by grace we are grafted in.  Are we grafted into political Israel?  I think not; not anymore than the true church is grafted into American politics. However, politics would graft itself in as a wild branch that, as we are learning, would defile the fruit.

When I say politics, I mean that in the strict sense and yet in the broadest sense. It applies to all compromising unions where people come into agreement, but not on the Word of God.  As I see it, we are in the Babylon system and just waking up through the means God has provided in our personal lives. 
Which Christians have been aligning themselves with political Israel?
The Pew Research Center discovered that 60% of Evangelicals said they supported the State of Israel, and 32% cited their religious beliefs as the primary reason for such support. Most of Israel's support has come from the Evangelical Right. As you will find on this chart, the rest of the Church does not align itself with the Zionist viewpoint.

What is the reason for the divide? Dispensationalism. Dispensationalism is one of the most influential theological systems within the Church today, and based on the hermeneutical principle that Scripture is always to be interpreted literally. It has increasingly shaped the beliefs of Fundamentalist, Evangelical, Pentecostal and Charismatics thinking concerning Israel and Palestine over the past one hundred and fifty years.  

Freemason John Nelson Darby is regarded as the Father of Dispensationalism and its prodigy, Christian Zionism. It was Freemason Cyrus. I. Scofield and D. L. Moody, who brought Darby’s sectarian theology into mainstream evangelical circles. R. C. Sproul stated that dispensationalism is now ‘...a theological system that, in all probability, is the majority report among current American evangelicals.’[3]

Today, virtually all the 'televangelists,' such as the late Jerry Falwell, Jim Bakker, Paul Crouch, Pat Robertson, Jimmy Swaggart, and Billy Graham are all dispensationalists - some of which are known Freemasons. Other leading dispensationalist writers include: Charles Ryrie, Dwight Pentecost, John Walvoord, Eric Sauer, Charles Dyer, Tim LaHaye, Grant Jeffrey and Hal Lindsey. Probably the most significant Christian organizations to espouse dispensationalism have been the Moody Bible Institute, Dallas Theological Seminary, and the International Christian Embassy, Jerusalem.

One of its loudest proponents, Pastor Jerry Falwell, said in 1981: "To stand against Israel is to stand against God. We believe that history and Scripture prove that God deals with nations in relation to how they deal with Israel." They cite part of Book of Genesis 12:3, "I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."

What else has been said about Israel?

The Traditional Interpretation
Let's consider some earlier scholarly interpretations of Genesis 12:3.

Wesley's Notes on the Bible - Written by John Wesley (1703 - 1791)
I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee - This made it a kind of league offensive and defensive between God and Abram. Abram heartily espoused God's cause, and here God promiseth to interest himself in his.

In thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed - This was the promise that crowned all the rest, for it points at the Messiah, in whom all the promises are yea and amen.

Matthew Henry Concise Commentary - Written by Matthew Henry (1662 - 1714) 
I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee - God will take care that none are losers, by any service done for his people.

In thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed - Jesus Christ is the great blessing of the world, the greatest that ever the world possessed. All the true blessedness the world is now, or ever shall be possessed of, is owing to Abram and his posterity. Through them we have a Bible, a Saviour, and a gospel. They are the stock on which the Christian church is grafted.
Geneva Study Bible - Originally printed in 1560.
I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee; In thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed - The world shall recover by your seed, which is Christ, the blessing which they lost in Adam.

What's the Bottom Line?
"This theology is impacting attitudes and opinions in the Middle
East. There is a view that God is blessing because America is helping the nation of Israel, resulting in the demonizing of Islam and the characterization of Arabs as dogs and liars. Giving Israel a geographical home in Palestine may not be the correct fulfillment of God's Old Testament promise to Israel," says Stephen Sizer, " a pastor who is trying to stop Christians from supporting Zionism.

"No U.S. Senator will speak against Israel," Sizer said, "because to criticize Israel would be political suicide." Some people have said Sizer's viewpoint is anti-Semitic. However, he firmly upholds that this is not the case. "I repudiate anti-Semitism unequivocally. Anti-Semitism is a form of racism," Sizer said.[4]

Fear of being anti-Semitic has stopped Christians from thinking critically about Christian Zionist ideas. This strong current is there for a reason.

Perhaps the evidence against Israel being the head of a world conspiracy may be a bit too much for some people to bite off. Or that Israel is an ally in the plan for Freemasons to set up a world government in which Israel is a part of the puzzle. But we do know this one thing. There is an appearance of evil taking place in which the Christian should not be a part of. If Israel wants to be defended, allow it to depend upon the Lord God, as it has always done in biblical times.

So, as we wrap this up, the Bible says:
"And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it" (Zech. 12:3).
With all the conspiracy speculations that are spoke about in the internet, we should take a look at Israel with discernment. Is it an innocent nation looking for help in defending itself, or is it attempting to take dominion in the Middle East in order to make way for world democracy. Will Jerusalem become the center of the world government, and be the reason for being a burdensome stone? How this prophecy will be fulfilled, we can only speculate, but the Christian should steer clear of speeding up the appearance of the return of Jesus Christ.