To: Rabbi Moshe Levin, Congregation Ner Tamid – A Vigil for Peace, with Justice for Palestine

A Vigil for Peace, with Justice for Palestine is Coming to Congregation Ner Tamid in San Francisco

Rabbi Moshe Levin
Congregation Ner Tamid
1250 Quintara Street
San Francisco, CA, 94116

Dear Rabbi Levin

It is our prayer that you will  cancel this event. If you do not, I hope I will have a chance to meet you there, and that you will come out and talk to us at our  Vigil for Peace with Justice on September 14th, when John Hagee followers will perform a Christians United for Israel, (CUFI)  “Standing With Israel” program  at  Congregation Ner Tamid, from 2:00 pm – 4:40 pm.

Dr. Rob Prince who heads up Jewish Voice for Peace in Denver has provided posts explaining two successful campaigns where his group challenged Hagee and CUFI in Denver. [1] [2]  We Hold These Truths and JVP exchanged help with both of these events.

We add some practical detail in for those not familiar with what “Christian Zionists” believe, or why they do. [3][4]  We hope you will have a chance to talk to some of the attendees and this briefing may help you if you do.

 One of Project Strait Gate’s signs include:

Sign-Innocent.Blood.Gaza-a

We rely upon expressions from the bible that mean something to the Christians and religious Jews. The Old testament contains a dozen or more condemnations of those who “shed innocent blood.” One New Testament story in the book of Matthew tells of infamous Judas, who hangs himself after confessing, “I am guilty of shedding innocent blood.”  The views held by John Hagee and most Christian Zionists are repugnant to religious Jews and followers of Christ should denounce Hagee for the innocent blood of thousands on his hands, from Iraq to Afghanistan, and Gaza.

Hagee is thought to be a friend of  Zionists because he raises money and swings political pressure for Israel. But his purpose is self-serving.  He would never be accepted by religious Jews if they knew of his core teachings.  Christian Zionists teach that their sect, alone, is on the way to a confusing, sometimes spiritual, sometimes earthly resurrection, and afterlife, and that most Jews will be slaughtered in a giant battle called “Armageddon” before the new heaven on earth.    Hagee’s teaching is often referred to as “end times” theology.  Hagee has taught shades of this to his congregation in San Antonio, Texas for 30 years. Jesus, he says, will return very soon, plucking away Hagee and his followers to be spectators of the horror to come in what is referred to as a “rapture.” This is, supposedly, to be followed by terrible earthy wars and natural disasters.  Sometimes, Jesus is pictured on a white horse leading the slaughter of all non-believers and their armies, including specifically Jews who have not converted to Jesus followers.  And, all the armies of the world are to be arrayed there in tiny Israel. There is no explanation or logic why anyone would want to go there.  In Hagee’s, and most Christian Zionists’ fantasy, only 144,000 Jews, world-wide (some from each “tribe”), will survive to join in this earthly world government, centered in Jerusalem.  These include the old saints, Abraham and David, etc. Imagine all this to take place in little Israel.

Hagee is as much a racist as the Israeli Zionists are; but the Jews he claims to revere are on the receiving end of his racism.  His love affair with Zionism centers on his belief that political Israel is a part of biblical prophesy created by God, which is why the “End Times” carnage must take place in tiny Israel.

In contrast, most traditional Christians consider Israel to b a man-made, politically manipulated, homeland for Jews.  Hagee’s beliefs are based on a biblical contrivances.  A new bible rewritten in1908, called the Scofield Reference Bible, by an academic nobody named C.I. Scofield, who received mysterious financial support and became an overnight phenomena in new evangelical circles, such as the Moody Bible Institute. Scofield essentially reinterpreted ancient scriptures, Genesis 12, verses 1-3, as well as the New Testament, with exhaustive footnotes that provided for the God of the Israelites to give a land grant to a modern Jewish state.

These verses are also the basis of Hagee’s irrational hatred for Islam, that has led him to justify the slaughter of the Gazans, Iraqis, Afghans and perhaps Persians.  Zionists, including Hagee, have openly stated that the Gazans are an obstacle to God’s plan.  In Hagee’s world to come, Muslims will also be eliminated in the final battle, as will the Russian army.  The exceptions, he teaches, will be those who turn to Jesus before the terrible earthly world war called “Armageddon.” Nations that fail to care for Jews will be judged collectively under a newly created sin called “Anti-Semitism.”  Hagee and his followers who will put on the “Standing With Israel” program,[5] at Congregation Ner Tamid, feel they must bless Zionist “Israel.” less they be judged as “anti-Semitic,” But, all the while, Hagee-ites think their god is, at any hour, going to exterminate Jews for failing to accept Jesus.

Does Hagee still admit this to be his core belief?  Once he did, but of late he has bowed to pressure from Jews who appreciate Hagee’s help, but now are not so keen on the extermination talk.  Hagee has lately stated that Jews have a separate and parallel path to salvation, that does not involve Jesus, and he does not explain what this path is.  He has at times even told his followers they do not need to attempt to convert Jews to Christianity.

Conversely, traditional Christianity holds that all men are equal, and God plays no favorites. Unfortunately, there are as many as 70 million Americans who have, in some way, been influenced to Christian Zionist conclusions.  No two leaders tell exactly the same story because the story defies logic, and each Christian Zionist leader seems to want to come up with his own biblical twist.   Confused followers are told everyone else is confused, and they must love Israel no matter what it does, and hate each of Israel’s enemies.  These include, most recently, Russians.

If you think all this is too strange to believe, consider the case of an Assembly of God pastor I know, and according to his business card, missions to the people of Russia.  He recently said to me with a straight and confidential look, as though he was sharing a rare secret, that Russia is raising a large number of horses.  To eat, I asked?  No, the pastor replied, the horses’ purpose is to fulfill the bible prophesy of war. Yes, he actually believes Israel is doomed to going to war on horse-back in Jerusalem!  He is talking about the same Russia that has a nuclear arsenal and has almost bankrupted itself building missiles.  This pastor is imputing future war between Russia and Israel by combining snippets from Chapters 37-39 from the Israelite book of Ezekiel about  a place called “Gog,” garnished with one line about blood and horses plucked from Ch. 14 of Christian New Testament book of Revelations.  Both stories tell of the mighty battles, used every day by my pastor friend, John Hagee, and hundreds like them to invent war between present day Israel and Russia, though neither is name, nor is there any map.  So many are slaughtered, the latter text says, that the blood runs as “deep as the bridles of the horse,” in the valley of “Armageddon.”  Yes, this pastor is talking about the Jewish blood of those who do not qualify, plus all of Jesus’ other enemies.  He, like John Hagee, thinks Jesus, the Peacemaker, is willing to defer to Jesus the warmaker, who will clean up the nasty world, in perfection for them, plus the lucky 144,000 Jews.  Rabbi, are you one of the lucky ones?

Traditional Christians believe Jesus left his followers the responsibility to help fix the mess we have in our land, no matter who made it. Our own 29 minute film Christian Zionism, the Tragedy and the Turning,[6] contains a detailed  explanation of how Christian Zionism came to be in the last 125 years, and how secular Zionists have helped it. This film asserts that there are some  30-50 million Christians who are materially misled by Zionists, including those who follow Hagee.

We Hold These Truths has staged well over 100 vigils like this one, coast to coast.  We hope Jews, and Christ Followers will join us in informing this Synagogue that Hagee’s people are not those they should allow inside their houses of worship.   Our message to Congregation Ner Tamid:  Rabbi Levin, we pray that you will  cancel this event. If not, our message to the congregation is, turn from Zionism.  We hope you will come out and meet us on the public sidewalk, in front of your synagogue.  Your call is welcome here any time.

Respectfully,

Charles E Carlson
Tel. 303 238 1168
Skype ID: chascarlson1

 [1] “The Third Coming of John Hagee to Denver,” Rob Prince, 10/16/2011:  http://robertjprince.wordpress.com/2011/10/06/the-third-coming-of-john-hagee-to-denver/

[2] “The John Hagee-Rabbi Franklin Sound and Light Traveling Road Show,” Rob Prince, 10/16/2011:  http://robertjprince.wordpress.com/2011/10/16/protesting-john-hagee-and-rabbi-franklins-appearance-at-faith-bible-chapel/

The writer is himself an escapee from a christian Zionist church where I was a deacon, and a practical student on the subject.  For a more detailed and scholarly study of Christian Zionism, please look to Dr. Stephen Sizer’s website below.

[3]  “Christian Zionism: The New Heresy that Undermines Middle East Peace,” Stephen Sizer, 8/7/2013:  http://www.stephensizer.com/2013/08/christian-zionism-the-new-heresy-that-undermines-middle-east-peace/

[4] Christian Zionism:  Roadmap to Armageddon, Stephen Sizer:  http://www.stephensizer.com/books/christian-zionism/

[5] John Hagee’s Christians United For Israel “Standing With Israel” program:  http://www.cufi.org/site/Calendar/236775555?view=Detail&id=122661

Congregation Ner Tamid

Date: Sunday, September 14, 2014
Time: 2:00 PM – 4:40 PM

Address:
1250 Quintara Street
San Francisco, CA 94116

[6] Christian Zionism:  The Tragedy & The Turning, Part I, We Hold These Truths, (c) 2010: http://whtt.org/christian-zionism/