Face to Face With Angry Evangelicals and Jewish Zionists at “A Night To Honor Israel”

Arvada, Colorado, Oct 24, 2011

Zionists from three or more religious groups converged at John Hagee’s Night To Honor Israel in Arvada Colorado, Sunday October 16, 2011. We say “from” because, when one becomes a Zionist, he leaves behind whatever God-driven faith he may have had before. At Faith Bible Chapel, Colorado, we met many “Christian” and “Jewish” Zionists; one man claimed to be a Muslim for Israel and against Palestine. We even met a few Christ followers, whom we tried to convince did not belong there.

This Vigil for Peace With Justice was by far our most broadly supported vigil in over eight years at over 70 American churches. We are grateful for the co-sponsorship of other pro-peace and pro-Palestinian organizations, as well as the continuing support of our friends from past vigils.

This was our second outing at Faith Bible Chapel, a true mega-church in Arvada, Colorado.1 As always the vigil was quiet and safe, but highly exciting in its conflicts. The churches usually employ private, off-duty police officers, who they can count on to protect Zionist’s interests. We make sure there is a city police presence for our protection. We protested for 2 1/2 hours at the open house that preceded the nighttime pep rally for Israel, conducted by John Hagee and a Rabbi from South Africa. We left at dark.

“Angry Evangelicals,” as WHTT’s Tom Compton has dubbed churchgoers who become Zionists, were never more hostile. Hostile, we think, because Project Strait Gate correctly labels them a cult. It challenges the scriptural core of their belief system, which has been corrupted by their leaders. We tell them when we have a chance, they are every bit as much a cult as the Jonestown cult, many of whose misled members died in 1978.

The many self-identified Jews in attendance were even more vociferous in their outrage. Perhaps they recognize that we are exposing the unchristian nature of their warmaking for Israel. Where at our previous Hagee vigils, they ignored us, or treated us with confident contempt, this time a number stopped on the way in or out of the Hagee open house to argue, proclaiming how uninformed we were.

Front Range Jewish Voice for Peace, a co-sponsor of our vigil, seemed to anger the Zionists present the most. Dr. Rob Prince has written a fine account of the vigil from his viewpoint. He caught flack with his banner, “NOT IN OUR NAME” that made it all too clear they did not endorse what was going on inside. It also surprised and made a strong impression on confused Christians, some of whom learned for the first time that not all Jews support Hagee’s warmaking, his endorsement of the theft of Palestinian land, and the occupation of 4 million people.2

Friends of Sabeel was also a co-sponsor, and their volunteers concentrated on Israel’s victimization and occupation of Palestine. The participants on our side could not have been better informed or more professional.3

Beth Daoud’s Colorado Calender of Events also helped gather the impressive team.4

Attendees and the passing crowd, walking by us from parking lots to church, could not overlook the big yellow and black signs containing messages challenging the Christians present to reexamine their behavior:

Blessed are the Peacemakers

Who would Jesus Bomb

Choose Life Not War

“Palestine” (A bloody cross with only the word Palestine)

Apostate Church, Christ Followers Must Not Kill

Many pretended not to see us, but a small, steady stream of hostile or curious onlookers came by to put up an argument. A few asked for details. As Strait Gate Teams have learned, our bland-sounding messages hit a nerve, because they convey scriptural reminders that challenge Zionist’s Christianity.

Hard line Zionists are easy to identify from their opening words, many regurgitate a common secular anti-Palestinian line upon command that is usually replete with erroneous secular conclusions, such as, “the Israelis were there first” or “the Palestinians are the aggressors and Israel has the right to defend itself.” They rarely ask questions and never use Jesus’ words in their arguments.

We have learned that Zionism is a political movement and a business for Mr Hagee and Israelis. Christian Zionism is more like a mental disease. A full blown case leaves almost no room for debate with logic or facts. Our co-sponsors present arguments based on clear facts about the Palestinian situation, while Project Strait Gate attempts to deal with the Christian hypocrisy manifested because Christian Zionists act in a very un-christlike way in their treatment of the Palestinians, and often in their response to us. We focus upon this paradox in support of Israeli brutality, i.e.; Who Would Jesus Bomb?

We encouraged our volunteers not to waste more time than it takes to detect these intransigent hardcore cases, usually older people. This is a hard rule for us to follow because it is tempting to be caught up in long debates, always a waste of time.

It’s probably good advice for demonstrators at any church to save their valuable time for those under 30, (less then half my age) unless older people clearly desire to learn, and not to lecture you. A majority of those who stopped to listen were under 20. Many youths and a number of younger adults took literature that presented our views, including our letter to Pastor George Morrison.5

Encouragement from youths
Two Denver University students were doing research for a term paper for the School of International Studies. They were an open book. A pair of high school girls (possibly from one of the Christian Schools that promoted the event) were there to do a report for a High School paper. They were interested in the origin of Christian Zionism, and they were shocked to learn it was not an old, established branch of Protestant Christianity. Another 18 year old girl, a member of the Faith Bible Chapel congregation, was especially interested to learn how Christian Zionist pastors usually put Israel ahead of Jesus. She stayed for a while, taking pieces of all our literature. Two pre-teen girls returned to a volunteer named Oneeda three or four times, with new questions about Hagee and about war, which they feared. Oneeda said they were quite adult and logical.

We urged attendees to listen to the meeting critically, and count the few if any times Hagee mentions the name of Jesus, then compare to the many times he references Political Israel as holy or godly. We know from experience that the ratio is about 1 to 100.

I detect a growing concern among attendees who I overheard that Zionism is being exposed and discredited, resulting in growing hostility toward us. This is no surprise, if we examine recent writings by professional propagandists who promoted this cult in Israel’s interest. David Horowitz, publisher of Frontpage, is a hit man for the Anti Defamation League. I know, because I am one he has hit on.

In a new fundraising letter entitled Critical Deadline in Defense of Israel, Horowitz writes:

“Dear Fellow Conservative, A new and different kind of war is being waged against Israel…the war for Israel’s survival is being fought… in the pages of history books now being written and in lectures now being given in college classrooms around the country where the existence of a historical Jewish presence in the Middle East is subjected to denial and erasure… pro-Palestinian academics and intellectuals, in collaboration with Arab politicians, are …denying evidence of all things Jewish in the Land of Israel and filling in the blanks they create with a fictitious narrative of an ancient “Palestinian people” who controlled the land of Canaan.”

Most likely, Horowitz is talking about writers that might include me and our action organizations. We have indeed challenged the claims of a historical connection between the tribe of Abraham 3000 years ago and the political state of Israel today. We have shown that Israel’s land rights claim to the “Land of the Philistines” results only from Christian Zionism’s alterations of the Old Testament books, by which they have cast God into the role of a real estate agent passing out perpetual title to the Middle East.

Israel knows it needs the support of Christian Zionists to preserve its power in the U.S.. To that end, Horowitz’s Frontpage has attacked this writer more than once, calling me an “anti-Semite,” for my 10 years of challenging Christian Zionism. When researchers Google my name, they are led to Horowitz’s attack on me, before finding my own writings about Christian Zionism.

Horowitz may have received his cue from Rabbi Abraham Cooper, who wrote a piece for the Jerusalem Post stating:

“some Christian theologians are seeking to destroy Israel from Above…They cast Israel as a theological mistake, conceived in the sin of the last gasp of Western colonialism.” According to Cooper, “the center of the Protestant theological war against Israel is the Geneva-based World Council of Churches…”

Rabbi Cooper is talking about mainline Protestant churches founded on the labor of Luther, Calvin, Wesley, Knox and others, the “Reformers” who are the dominant members of World Council of Churches. Yes indeed, while John Hagee rushes from one to another Night To Honor Israel, the slumbering mainline churches are beginning to yawn and wake up to the bloody-handed Zionist cult that has outgrown them, and some are talking about it. Rabbi Cooper and Horowitz are correct. The traditional Protestant churches are plenty large and influential enough to constitute a fatal threat to Christian Zionism. If the churches founded on the teaching of Reformers reawaken and expose it to their members, all will be over for Israel’s broad grass roots support in the USA. Both the World Council of Churches and the National Council of Churches have begun to take notice of this cult religion spreading apostasy and ungodly war-making. Perhaps the day is coming when these congregations will join our vigils… we were pleased to have one Lutheran pastor standing with us at Night to Honor Israel, and that is a start!

What was said inside Faith Bible Chapel after we left at sundown? We suspect the program was much the same as many we have monitored, demanding war against Iran, condemning the Palestinians, and raising big money for Israel and John Hagee. Blogger Adam, reported in detail at the May 23, 2010 Night To Honor Israel at Mac Hammond’s Living Word Christian Center6 in Minneapolis:

“All night long, the only verses referenced or quoted were from the Old Testament. This was no surprise to me, for the New Testament has much to say in direct response to the many false doctrines of Christian Zionism.” He continued:

“The saddest part of the evening occurred when Somerville (Pastor filling in for Hagee) turned the microphone over to a Jewish community leader (a Rabbi?) who was clearly not a follower of Christ. This man, who didn’t hear a trace of the gospel that evening, emphasized the common ground between Jewish Zionists and Christian Zionists, much to the delight of the crowd. It only got worse when he proceeded to define what a “righteous Christian” is: one who [1] does what is right regarding the nation of Israel and the Jewish people [2] rejects “replacement theology,” and [3] believes that all the promises God gave to Abraham apply today to his physical descendants, the Jewish race.”7

This Rabbi did us the favor of correctly defining what a Christian Zionist is, and it is not Christianity, because Jesus is left outside. It is time to expose Christian Zionism as a war cult, and explain to the entire Christian community that there is not a grain of Christ-following inside a Night to Honor Israel or inside any church that follows John Hagee’s program.

It is a slow process recovering a nation one person at a time; much more likely we think, if we reclaim it one abusive church at a time. At the very root of the war problem are churches that will not stand for peace. We suggest you and a friend start a Project Strait Gate in your city — we will show you how, and if possible join in the fun of it. CUFI hosts events to raise money for Israel all across America. Check out their calendar of events.8

Notes

1 The report on the 2007 WHTT vigil can be viewed here. http://www.whtt.org/straitgate/index.php?news=2&id=239

2 Prince, http://whtt.org/newwhtt/main.php?nid=10062&ncateid=1

3 Friends of Sabeel, http://www.sabeelcolorado.org/

4 Colorado Calendar of Events http://coloradocalendarofevents.com/
5 Sept., 25, 2011 letter, http://whtt.org/newwhtt/main.php?nid=10044&ncateid=1

6 WHTT vigil report at Living Word Christian Center, May 8, 2007: http://www.whtt.org/straitgate/index.php?news=2&id=233

7 Adam Maarshalk, Pursuing Truth (Minneapolis), http://kloposmasm.wordpress.com/2010/05/23/a-night-to-honor-israel-and-to-dishonor-jesus-and-his-church/

8 CUFI events calendar: http://www.cufi.org/site/PageServer?pagename=events_calendar