Call Them Neo-Christians

Statistically, at least one in every five people who walked past our tent at the Denver People’s Fair has been indoctrinated by the Neo-Christian movement.  They sometimes but not always refer to themselves as “Christian Zionists”.  They are the only large Christian sect whose belief system has been formalized within the last 110 years.  In spite of the numbers, only one Neo-Christian stopped during my four-hour shift Saturday morning.  Sarah, not her real name, doesn’t know she is part of a young cult.  She would claim to be “traditional” in her beliefs.  She re-taught me a lesson in dealing with “Bible-believing Born Again Evangelicals”, a term which Sarah would gladly admit to.  In a word I blew my chance to influence her, and I want to share my mistake with you so you will not repeat it.  I have no excuse, for I have been doing this since about 2001.  In a word, I lost my temper and I fell off my plan.  Thus, I lost my hope of helping Sarah see the utter falsehoods about history and life in Israel that she supports.

First mistake:  I tried to talk to Sarah about well-establish secular facts and statistics of war, about Israel’s occupation of the Philistines and what I consider to be its slow-moving genocide of them.  Second mistake:  I allowed myself to show frustration and even anger because Sarah did not accept or believe a word I said.  Nor did she consider for one moment the factual literature we tried to give to her. She went away probably feeling that I was an angry, anti-Israeli (anti-Semite), who simply had been hopelessly brainwashed.

In fact, Sarah thinks much like the leaders of some 50-70 million American Neo-Christians who are indoctrinated in their respective churches and national bible study groups.  I simply underestimated the degree to which she had been indoctrinated.   This is a common error when you think you are talking to an intelligent person of Sarah’s background.

We, who support independence for the Philistines and oppose wars in the Middle East, must also challenge, and never ignore  Neo-Christians because of their large numbers. They can be defined most simply as the sub-cult that believes the political state of Israel is the fulfillment of biblical prophesy. Many, like Sarah, believe Israel’s leaders are God’s messengers.  Consequently, whatever Israel does to the 3.5 million Arabs it subjects in the ancient land of the Philistines, is to her God’s will.  Please note I use the work “Philistine” because it is the Arabic pronunciation of Palestine, the biblical name for the ancient tribe to which some of the present Philistines owes their lineage and language.

Henceforth, I will  use the “Christian Zionist” label more advisedly, only with self-proclaimed, professional Zionists like John Hagee and the late Jerry Falwell, who proudly proclaim they are CZ’s.  I will not use this label to describe amateurs like Sarah, for she was insulted by it and did not understand it.  We, who say we are for peace, must adjust our tactics, but not our message, which is always the same:  Jesus was and is for peace.  We must convince many Sarahs that the Philistines are the indigenous people who lived in that country, just as the many Indian tribes are the indigenous people in America, and that we should protect both from extermination.  Neo-Christians have played a big part in that genocide in Philistine, and they deserve to know it, for God also knows it.  Neo-Christians consider themselves God’s people under His will, care and law.  We need to convince them of their errors for their own sake.  “Thou shall not kill,” apples to Neo-Christians, and their part in the killing should not be kept from them. These facts of occupation seemed obvious to most of those who stopped at our booth at the People’s Fair.  But to Sarah it was a huge lie.  “Where did you hear that?” she asked.  “I listen to CNN and Fox news.”  We need Sarah on our side–she can be the swing vote for peace and for the life of the remaining Philistines, but not when she is pre-wired for war.

It goes without saying that one must never show even a hint of sarcasm or temper when talking to the most brainwashed Neo-Christian, no matter how far-fetched their ideas seem. Sarah talked about the missiles that rain down on Israel from Palestine.  She has been told this, and no one ever told her that Philistines have no “missiles” and never have had any; they only have unguided rockets, which is why their rocket attacks are simply defiance with small damage, if any. 

I broke my own unwritten rule when I showed anger over Sarah’s strange statement that “Palestine does not exist; and never did…there is no such country.”  She went on to tell me very coldly that, those people have forfeited their rights to justice because they are ‘terrorists’ and the Israelis are totally justified doing what they do because Palestinians are the aggressors.  

It is not easy to stay cool for those of us who have watched the penned up Gazans being bombed, but we must or we lose.  Sarah is repeating lies that someone else has told her. She has total confidence in what she said, having just been in Israel on a church-led junket, where she learned all she thinks she needs to know.  She has, without doubt, sat through years of bible study at her church, or perhaps with one of two national bible study organizations that sell Christian Zionism as biblical truth.  Precepts Ministries founder Kay Arthur holds forth against the Philistines’ rights in this revealing video.

Because these myths become reality when taught in a church, Neo-Christianity is now the most dangerous pro-war cult in America.  We Hold These Truths has been writing about it, by the name of “Christian Zionism”, since 2001.  Yes, there is something in a name! Sarah is radically dedicated to Israel, but is otherwise a morally conscious churchgoers.  Henceforth, I will call Sarah and others like her “Neo-Christians”. 

This is the third year I have pulled a shift at the fair for Coloradans for Justice in Palestine (CJP).  Sarah stopped at the CJP tent, seemingly challenged by two large posters that depicted the plight of the occupied “Palestinians”.  She soon revealed that she is absolutely convinced they are a violent, anti-Christian tribe bent on destroying holy and sacred Israelis.  Sarah is sure this is part of God’s plans and is necessary to preserve the chosen people and to punish evil-doers.  Every fanciful and distorted word Sarah spoke comes from the religious dogma taught her at Calvary Temple South, enforced by her one or more junkets to Israel.  Sarah can adroitly recall fragments of bible verses that seem, on surface, to support every argument she makes. She has a good memory and can paste together and intermingle passages from the Hebrew Old Testament and the Greek New Testament into a seeming fit.  So how do we deal with Sarah in our own lives?

Lesson 1.  Let’s challenge Sarah’s faith as “Neo-Christianity”.  It is new–only 108 years back to the circulation of the Scofield Reference Bible, which is the source of much of the Neo-Christian doctrines.  Readers can learn the basics in “The Tragedy and The Turning”  (32 minutes, free)

Not all evangelical churches are Neo-Christian.  One enthused ELCA Lutheran pastor stopped to talk earlier that morning and told us with pride that his group had passed a denomination-wide resolution calling for the censure of Israel for its occupation of and its brutality toward Palestinians.  Christians Zionism is a term We Hold These Truths helped invent, define and popularize some 15 years ago to describe a prevalent disease within many evangelical churches.  It is the erroneous belief that the state of Israel if the fulfillment of biblical prophesy, and not just another political state.  Sarah is a Zionist Christian, but she does not know it, and these words have become a red flag to Sarah that sets off her alarm system, as does any criticism of Israel.  Every sympathetic-sounding statement about “Palestine” activated Sarah’s defense mechanism.  So if you cannot influence her with facts about Israel’s heathen abuse of this minority culture, how do you deal with Sarah?

Lesson 2.  Talk about peace and Jesus.  Avoid pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli quips, or even historical facts, such as the death toll in Operations Cast Lead or Protective Edge, which she is not yet ready to believe.  Instead, try to get your Sarah talking about what Jesus the peacemaker means to her.  When Sarah tells you the “Palestinians fire missiles into Israel, ask her what Jesus’ response would be to these rockets (not missiles)?  Would he bomb Gaza?  Ask her if Christ would punish all Philistines for the violent acts of a few?  Ask her if Jesus ever assaulted anyone, even when they scourged him.   Ask her what Jesus would say about Israel’s tactics of bombing the Philistines’ homes?  Ask her, do aggressive acts perpetrated by one side justify killing so many?  Ask Sarah who Jesus would bomb?  Most important, have handy one or more bible references about peace, love, forgiveness and tolerance to share with her.

Lesson 3:  Talk about the Philistines.  I recently listened to an elderly Palestinian lady speaking at length in Arabic, and, although I could not understand most of her words, she clearly pronounced “Philistine” over and over again which her translator rendered “Palestinian”.  Why not give these people a break and call them by their name in history, especially in the Bible?  Sarah’s heroes, the Israelites, are to her the same as the 20th Century European “Israelis”.  To Sarah, the “Palestinians” are the invaders, the vicious heathen Islamic enemy of Israel.  But Philistines are a predecessor tribe in Sarah’s bible, she can and will deny the Philistines were there first, but the word may make her think.

Lesson 4. Do not assume your “Sarah” has any sense of balance in her understanding of modern Middle Eastern history, even though she may have made one or more junkets to Israel. She is unlikely to have traveled anywhere but in Jewish Israel.  If she met a Philistine Arab on her junket, it is was likely a paid guide who keeps his job as a token “Palestinian” on the tour by keeping his mouth shut tight. The biblical brainwashing Sarah has received will blot out any natural sympathy that others might have toward the Philistines.  She has been carefully cultured in a hundred bible study classes to believe a biblical scrabble game that you would not think possible in the world of internet we all have access to. Remember, your “Sarah” could be your own daughter or mother.  Do not explode, no matter how outlandish and unbelievable Sarah’s beliefs are nor how frustrated they make you feel–and don’t be surprised if you are.  I was!  

Lesson 5: We are often asked, “Why bothers with the Zionist churches…are they not a lost cause?”  The  hope of Neo-Christians is that most are themselves deceived by leaders, but are sincere and concerned for life, and want to find God’s will for their lives.  The Southern Baptist Convention, the largest and most organized follower of the Neo-Christian myth, is on record as losing up to a million members a year in recent years.  Many of us who are now workers for peace, were once influenced by Neo-Christian churches.  I was one of them.  They can and will change when we least expect it.

Listen to Chuck Carlson discuss his encounter with “Sarah” and explain the mistakes he made.

Notes: 

Fifteen years ago Charles Carlson wrote about Sherry’s War, a woman at war, much like Sarah.  It helps explain the widespread Neo-Christian belief system in the now forgotten, tragic war for oil on the people of Sudan:

“Sherry’s War,” Charles E Carlson, Oct., 2001, pdf copy of Right To The Point journal:

Links:

http://s50.podbean.com/pb/f549f64248b817e98a3c015578374818/575af384/data2/blogs18/278464/uploads/0110RTTPJournal-SherrysWar.pdf

“Sherry’s War,” Charles E Carlson, Oct., 2001, posted on whtt.org: http://whtt.org/?s=sherry%27s+war

Precept Ministries: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFgSnsAYvhs

       

6 comments

Rev Ronald G Cosseboom
June 12th, 2016

I would advise those who are interested, to look at http://www.icr.org/article/ebla-its-impact-bible-records/. While in ministerial school I found an article regarding EBLA as being the birth place of both the Jews and the Arabs, ergo, they are related as are we all! EBLA appears to be the birth place of both warring tribes at this juncture, so we are seeing sibling conflicts that date back thousands of years and we will never truly know or understand what created the current environment in the Middle East other than pure and unadulterated hatred and greed. When we realize that IT’S ALL SPIRIT, All GOD, we will be able to back away from the “he said, she said” mentality and “who is right and who is wrong”, and finally, MAYBE, get a glimmer of what the Creator’s plan is for this fragile planet. Boys and Girls, it ain’t what the politicians and religious folks are pushing down our throats! Just my opinion!

Rev Ronald G Cosseboom
June 12th, 2016

Addendum to my previous comments! After doing further research I discovered that the information I supplied in the previous comment was relying on information that has been since clarified. I offer this quote, “However, much of the initial media excitement about a supposed Eblaite connections with the Bible, based on preliminary guesses and speculations by Pettinato and others, is now widely discredited as “exceptional and unsubstantiated claims” and “great amounts of disinformation that leaked to the public” from the article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebla. This does however still reinforce that even though academically this may not be as rich as I originally had thought, the idea that we are all related is true. I don’t believe in the Biblical story of Adam and Eve, but we did come from some single source point, some single origin. I tend to be more of a spiritual scientific person, not one who believes in myth and superstition. I have yet to see proof of God as believed by the masses of people on this planet, I have seen proof of the truth that we are all made of “star stuff” as Carl Sagan said many years ago, and that is what makes more sense to me.

John
June 16th, 2016

The truth: the Israeli people are not Semites. They have no Semitic DNA. They are 30% Ashkanazi Kazars with Roman and European DNA mixed in. This finding was released by Johns Hopkins University along with the aid of an Israeli professor in genetics.
They are non Semitic people.
Secondly, their Talmudic teachings are the basis of Zionism. If you want any answers just go to Brother Nathanael Kapner’s website and you will be informed. The Talmud has no relation to the Old Testament at all. Completely different in thought, philosophy and belief. In fact it contains some of the most racist, bigoted, perverse and disgusting teachings ever printed. That is what these people believe in.
The truth is that these so called Jews have no relation to the past Hebrew tribes.
They are a people filled with delusion, schizophrenia and paranoia.
They have no right to Palestine. Never did and never will.
Another truth: Israel is a rogue state that commits crimes against humanity daily. It has stabbed America in the back: The deliberate attack on the U.S.S. Liberty which killed and wounded 200 American sailors. 9/11: again, Israel was involved using their Mossad and the CIA. Israel has stolen much technology from America and sold it to China. Israel stole nuclear materials used to make nuclear weapons, which it now has betweem 250 and 400 warheads mounted on MIRVs and threatens the world with their Samson option. The leadership in Israel are psychopathic criminals who justify their existence with phony biblical references.
The rest of the world knows what Israel is and who they really are. That is the reason why israel is a threat to not only the middle east but for the entire world.
Israel must be disarmed of its nuclear weapons and forced to return to its boundries set forth in 1947.
America needs to stop supporting this rouge state. No more aid of any kind. The outrageous latest agreement in which the U.S. is being blackmailed into giving Israel nearly 47 billion in arms is beyond the pale. This is the result of Israel blackmailing every politician in Washington.
This needs to stop.
Every politician in Washington who signed the loyalty oath to Israel needs to be arrested and charged with treason. We all know what the penalty for treason is.
AIPAC needs to be shut down as every other zionist organization. All Israeli agents need to be rounded up and sent home.Every Mosadd agent, every secret agent working for Israel.
The truth is Israel does not have much longer to exist. It will be destroyed by its own hand.
They are not God’s chosen people. There never were and never will be.

Call Them Neo-Christians-Audio |  SHOAH
June 23rd, 2016

[…] leanings in this revealing program. For background information, see Chuck Carlson’s article, “Call Them Neo-Christians.” (30 […]

Martin de Beer
July 12th, 2016

Is the Word become flesh, Jesus Christ, the Supreme Authority, God with us? If yes, then He was not a liar and I cannot reject what He taught?

He unambiguously taught:

1) That His primary, actually exclusive, object in coming as the Son of man was the lost sheep of Israel (Israelites)?

2) Those lost sheep concentrated in Palestine or the territory of Israel under Roman rule were predominantly Judeans and Benjamites?

3) God is not a man that He would not have known where to find members of the supposed lost ten tribes of Israel, no He focused on Juda and Benjamin because, as Paul puts it, they were entrusted with the oracles of God?

4) His sheep hear His voice and follow Him?

5) In other words those of Abraham AND Sarah (not his other 7 sons), Isaac and Jacob (Israel), having the inclination of Abel and Abraham, found and always will find the Gospel and Jesus Christ “irresistible”?

6) Those who cannot or will not accept Him (reject Him) are not His sheep (Israelites)?

7) For an Israelite to reject Jesus they need to be of Cain’s inclination, children of the devil?

From Jesus’ teachings anyone of sound mind and comprehension must understand:

8) The Israelites did not reject Jesus, because they could not. The Jews, who alleged themselves to be God’s Chosen through religion, instead of faith, (and still do) rejected and crucified Him, period.

9) Consequently if you’re looking for the real Israel, they are all over inside the Christian Church and they don’t easily fall for deceptions, but if they do they repent, because they know the Truth when they hear Him and they follow Him.

10) Apart from being irrational (Herod was the Jewish king but an Edomite – of Esau not Jacob and not an Israelite and anyone can become a Jew by mere conversion) believing that contemporary Jews are Israelites is tantamount to rejecting Christ and making Him to be a liar – complete blasphemy and part of Nicolaitan doctrine (Rev 2:9 and 3:9).

Vic
July 23rd, 2016

The Zionists are according to the Bible Antichrists, and as such have the wrath of God hanging over them John 3:36. Pro Israel Christians are bowing down to the Antichrist and they too will face Gods wrath unless they repent.