Evangelical Zionist’s Dilemma: Love Your Enemy or Starve Him
January 29, 2009
Evangelical Zionism is our own descriptive term. It is not a denomination, but an acquired disease in the body of Christianity. The universal symptom is the belief that the political state of Israel is the fulfillment of biblical prophesy. Jesus said, love you brother, even your enemy; Evangelical Zionism, in its extreme morphs, holds that Old Testament scripture allows the extermination of the Palestinians.
Elena has recovered from it, and this is her story. She wrote to us and called with several questions common to recovering Evangelical Zionists making them feel quite alone amid the hatred that is directed toward the people of Palestine and, in fact, toward all of Islam. She is learning to be a missionary for peace within her own church. Her story is not unique, but her tactful determination is. We have asked her to allow us to share her experience with you. (Endnote1 Elena:can you help)
Elena was raised a Catholic and became an evangelical protestant during her years of child-rearing. There she stayed for most of her adult years until she discovered that the church she had joined had a primary dedication to evangelical Zionist teachings and beliefs. This became clear to her as she learned of Israel’s abuse of the Palestinians, and her church’s unconditional and unquestioning support of Israel.
Like so many of us she had left one or more churches she found infected with Evangelical Zionism, looking for the prefect church. She did not find it. She finally settled into a small congregation with a Reform theology. She became an active part of the congregation and started a home bible study to encourage other church members. Strangely, it was here she was to discover her worst frustration. While her denomination’s theology denies evangelical Zionism, some of its members believe and teach a form of it.
On the positive side, her pastor says he shares her anti-war view and sympathy for Palestinians, but does not discuss it from the pulpit. He does not seem to have the disease but perhaps he fears to speak out against it. However, the volunteer leader of the Bible study is a denominational church planner assigned to her church. When war became a hot issue, Elena discovered that all the class supported the U.S. wars and Israeli occupation. The study leader horrified her by telling her privately, if it was up to me I would kill them all.
Elena responded by purchasing and giving away a detailed secular book on Zionism in an attempt to show her friends what Zionists privately think of Christians, but it did not work.
Elena’s letter ended with familiar and painful words asking if we can recommend another church for her and saying, "I feel like an outcast and I did nothing wrong! I know I believed the Scofield, dispensationalist lie for almost my entire Christian life, but when you read the truth you just can’t turn your back on it.”
She provided an exchange of messages with their Bible study leader, Carl. In it he denies he toll her he would kill all the Palestinians; Instead he now asserts “he would cut off food and water to them.”
She writes to Carl: I would like to continue a bit, I am almost done, with our discussion a few weeks back. Your comment, which you corrected me (thank you) can you give me Scripture, where is the biblical authority to decide when Philistine children are to die of starvation? I would like Old and New. Elena
Carl’s reply Elena There are no verses for as you ask, ...to decide when Philistine children are to die of starvation?” However in the conquest of the Promised land under Joshua the Israeli’s were to kill all the inhabitants of the land, men, women and children. And the Philistines were one of the peoples of the land.
Here are some Scripture passages to ponder: Lev. 27:29, Num. 33:50-53, Dt. 20:16-18, Josh. 6:17 and 21, Josh. 8:18 and 24-25, Josh. 9:24, Josh. 10:8 and 40, Josh. 11:10-12 and 1Sam. 15:1-3. From these it is clear that Israel was commanded of God to eliminate the inhabitants of the Promised Land men,, women and children and even livestock. However they did not finish the work, Josh. 13:1-3. The modern Palestinians are the ancient Philistines who were not gotten to in the conquest of the land. The fact of this failure led to many conflicts between the Philistines and the Israelis. They were in conflict during the period of the Judges, under King Saul and King David. That is how old the conflict is in that region.
One might even say that the conflict goes back to Jacob verses Esau and even back to Isaac and Ishmael and Abraham’s other six sons. Now I’m not advocating the elimination of the Palestinians, just giving the biblical and historical setting.
Elena has done well! Note Carl did not site even one New Testament reference for he argument. She has asking the questions for which there is no answers. She continues to have open discussions with her pastor, whom she says is reading The Final Apostasy (WHTT bookstore). She has found an effectively mission in her church, and her next step should be to find out why Carl can not produce New Covenant Bible verses to support his position that starving the Palestinian is scriptural acceptable.
We wish we could recommend one denomination for disaffected Followers of Christ, but we cannot. The answer lies in trying to change your own church members to be brothers and sisters, to reflect the love of Christ to the world. There is a dose of Evangelical Zionism in every church, for several reasons.
Evangelicalism Zionism is basically a feel good religious disease, not a true Biblical faith. It exists for two related reasons; First,Evangelical Zionism works financially for those who promote it; second, it furthers the political cause of World Zionism, therefore it enjoys enormous support from Zionist financial, political, and media sources. Its success can be seen in the growth of the mega-churches Evangelical Zionist media.
Barely 100 years old, it dates back approximately to the first publishing of the Scofield Reference Bible in 1908. The Scofield movement replaces Jesus’ clear teaching of love and peace with a spiritual obsession for the political state of Israel. It exists in a fairy tale of a political kingdom growing out or present day Israel, arising in Jerusalem, and ruled by Jesus himself, whose recorded words do not support it. (Endnote2, Roots of Christian Zionism movie)
The Christian New Testament does not explain, nor provide any logical path to these end time events, so Evangelical Zionist pastors (like Carl) create it with mazes of crisscrossing Old Testament scripture, and never run out of fanciful ways to sell their end times views. The story is always exciting, and it is made easy for the listener…just accept and believe and you will be ‘saved’. Most difficult commands of Christ are sublimated to the expectations of this future kingdom on earth. Evangelical Zionism is all about a social life for the family…something all families need and is hard to leave behind.
Mainline churches, like the one Elena is in, are theologically opposed to Evangelical Zionism, but most have absorbed it by osmosis. One source is the large national dispensational bible study organizations that have built their success around teaching evangelical Zionism with the cooperative Mainline churches, and even ‘Reformed” churches, including famous Coral Ridge Ministries, once pastored by D. James Kennedy. These churches often loan their facilities for the bible study groups. Attending church members gradually become inculcated with evangelical Zionism which seeps back inside the Mainline host church. Beware of national Bible study organizations and their workbooks, especially if you are a non-Zionist pastor. Sponsor your own bible study and teach strictly from the Bible.
American ‘Christian’ radio and TV is almost entirely Evangelical Zionist in leanings and dispensational in their teachings because it pays. Mainline, Orthodox, Reform, and Catholic church members watch Evangelical Zionist TV.
Our advice for Elena and many like her:
Count your blessings if your pastor is not selling Zionist doctrine. Stick with your silently supportive pastor, so long as he is telling the truth and does not interfere with your access to the congregation, and so long as he will talk to you and reasonable hear you out. Be sympathetic, the Pastor is the one who gets feedback and knows when a big contributor gets upset with him.
Let Jesus’ and the Apostles’ words light your path…carry a New Testament, and ask your questions from it. You need to know and remember where to find only a few scriptural passages. You should talk about world events, but learn to frame secular discussions in New Testament terms. Go slow with secular books to members for their education, especially books that might be construed to pick on “Jews” no matter how even-handed it may be. Wait for individuals to tell you they are ready for more hard facts. Ask leadership the questions Jesus asked the Pharisees and that Paul asked the “Jews” of his day when he was evangelizing them.
For instance, where did Jesus convey war-making authority to anyone’; what does ‘Blessed are the Peacemakers’ mean; do we not have to follow Jesus’ words and obey his instructions to be saved?
Find the passages in the New Testament that talk about peacemaking, and stick to them. Ericka Moore contributed an outstanding tool to use in her study of Galatians and Genesis. (3) Israel: The New American Idol
Elena's Zionist-teaching Bible study leader is unchristian in condemning Palestinians to death and he needs to know it, so she must stay in the class and confront him in front of the group politely and repeatedly, based on Scripture.
Pick times when the scripture you are studying supports the notion of peace, tolerance, or love. Politely reject any secular answers he may give. If you do this you will find that Evangelical Zionists do not have scriptural answers for the acts they endorse, and they will resort to secular ones, such as we had to destroy Hussein before he destroyed the world. Do not accept answers unsupported by Jesus’ teachings.
Remember that those you challenge are misled by Evangelical Zionism and are not on the path to Jesus’ Strait Gate, but may be on the wide and easy path to “destruction” described in Matthew 7:13. Believe you are helping them, and that you are not alone.
1) Elena: can you help (http://whtt.org/index.php?news=2&id=2842)
2) Roots of Christian Zionism DVD by Charles Carlson:
3) Ericka Moore: http://whtt.org/index.php?news=2&id=2831
Next time, Evangelical Zionism, the disease it is it most resembles.
If a thing is wrong, act like its wrong. We Hold These Truths has conducted over 60 uninvited interventions at churches nationwide, most of them confronting Evangelical Zionist churches, and has interviewed and dialogued with an uncounted number of pastors and laymen, therefore, gaining experience. For a view of our activity go here:
BUY IT NOW: The Roots Of Christian Zionism:
We Hold These Truths’ own 60-minute DVD, written and narrated by Charles E. Carlson, from many interventions at Judeo-Christian churches and a fact finding trip to Gaza. “Roots” may be the first sympathetic and factual explanation of Christianity’s latest epidemic, featuring its cures. The Film is suggested for Mainline and Orthodox church audiences, private showings to Pastors, Priests, Muslim audiences, who are interested, and of course, for your Judeo-Christian friends and family. Christian Zionists believe THAT GOD ORDAINED THE STATE OF ISRAEL. Most Traditional and Orthodox Christians correctly deny this, so they will listen.
To purchase click: http://eshop.whtt.org/eshop.php?id=22