Friday, January 19, 2007

Christian Zionism

M. Simon, who blogs at Power and Control and Classical Values, has notified us several times, both by email and in his comments, about his post on Christian Zionism. It puts me in mind of Luke 18:1-8:

“Once upon a time,” [Jesus] said, “there was a magistrate in a town who had neither fear of God nor respect for his fellow-men. There was a widow in the town who kept coming to him, saying, ‘Please protect me from the man who is trying to ruin me.’ And for a long time he refused. But later he said to himself, ‘Although I don’t fear God and have no respect for men, yet this woman is such a nuisance that I shall give judgment in her favor, or else her continual visits will be the death of me!’“

Then the Lord said, “Notice how this dishonest magistrate behaved. Do you suppose God, patient as he is, will not see justice done for his chosen, who appeal to him day and night? I assure you he will not delay in seeing justice done. Yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find men on earth who believe in him?”

Persistence pays off!

M. Simon’s post refers to an Israpundit article, written by a Christian, about an event last Sunday at Capital Washington Hilton in which Christian Zionism was discussed:

The chatty crowd quieted as Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA), spoke eloquently about the past and the present world climate of anti-Semitism. Lantos, the only Holocaust survivor serving in Congress, disclosed, “l assumed naively that the chapter [Holocaust] of human history would be a dark nightmare moment of the past but that is not the case.” He continued, “We have a new dimension, a convergence of historic anti-Semitism coupled with Muslims and the intellectual elite. This makes for a powerful cocktail yet, we have a powerful antidote [for anti-Semitism]; the decent Christians who learned the lessons of the Holocaust. The antidote to Auschwitz is the Christian community in the United States. We cannot tell you how precious you are to us. We deeply love and respect you more than you’ll ever know because you represent the finest of civilization.”

Rep. Lantos then said, “All Christians, please stand.”

Christians don’t advocate for Israel to gain accolades, yet when we stood, the sustained applause from Jewish hands settled on me like a crown. It’s safe to say that other Christians in the hall, who have advocated for Israel much longer than I, felt the weight of the crown even more profoundly. With a noticeable contingent of evangelicals, including ICEJ Executive Director Rev. Malcolm Hedding, Earl Cox, (founder- Israel Always) and Ben Kinchlow, Co-hosts of Front Page Jerusalem Radio, I reveled in this historic moment in time; a moment which culminated 25 years of work and relationship-building between evangelical Christians and the state of Israel, pioneered in part by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem who planted a small seed of Christian Zionism in 1980. (Most world embassies had vacated Jerusalem in protest when modern day Israel declared Jerusalem as her eternal Capital).
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Since then, Christian Zionism has grown exponentially with organizations and movements taking root all across the world. While the words “Christian Zionism” may represent new terminology, the foundations of the movement are even older than the Western Wall beginning with God’s words in Genesis 12:3, “I will bless those who bless you…” Scripture is peppered with God’s clarion call, which reminds non-Jews to stand with the “apple of His eye.” The gala celebration represented a zenith in the mountain range of cooperation now rising between Jews and Evangelicals, significant among them on the Jewish side of things, the Knesset’s Christian Allies Caucus. I felt humbled to witness the outpouring of appreciation from Lantos and other Jewish attendees who recognize the strengthening trust and respect between the ancient faiths of Judaism and Christianity.

This new Christian Zionism is based in scripture. The scripture hasn’t changed for almost two thousand years, yet Christians managed to spend most of the intervening centuries hounding, persecuting, forcibly converting, and killing Jews. During that time the best the Jews could hope for was indifference from the Christians amongst whom they lived.

So why now? What has changed?

Some kind of convergence is unfolding, with Christians and Jews remembering what they hold in common, and Islam standing in stark contrast as the enemy and persecutor of both. The Lord works in mysterious ways.

I’ll leave you with this thought from M. Simon:

Every country that has welcomed the Jews has prospered. Every country that has persecuted them has over time declined. It probably has more to do with the value of tolerance rather than just the Jews. As people have noted many times before — Jews are the canaries in the social coal mine.


Matt said...

I think it is sad that for many hundreds of years people did ignore the Scriptures.

I think you're right that people are now noticing more similarities than differences. While Muslims might claim that Jews and Christians are also "people of the book," this doesn't really hold much water when you examine the Koran and other Muslim holy works.

Allah is definitely not the same God you find the the Bible, or even just the Jewish Torah. He was created from earlier Arabic pagan gods (the moon god primarily) and then some attributes of Judaism and Christianity were grafted on to this creation.

It is only natural that Jews and Christians should stand together against the rampant attacks of Islam.

M. Simon said...

Yeah, I can be overbearing at times. LOL.

Thanks for the link and back at ya!

Anonymous said...

Agreed, Matt.

That was a dark and evil spirit that misled Mohammed.

Matt 7:20 "Therefore by their fruits you will know them."

The grafting on of elements of Judaism and Christianity was probably necessary to make the lie more convincing. It gives people with some kind of Christian or Jewish background, but who don't know their religion well, a made-to-order opportunity to go astray. The worst lies are those that have elements of the truth in them.

Matt 24:11 "Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many."

Mr. Spog said...

Worldwide unity is in principle a very good thing, but the European Union and United Nations as currently constituted seem to represent a forced and destructive kind of unification. Perhaps the movement to Jewish-Christian reconciliation is, on the other hand, the genuine article -- and if so one of the truly important events of our time.

Exile said...

Every country that has welcomed the Jews has prospered.

You have to hand it to them, they know how to generate wealth. Look at Israel. It was a barren wasteland when they got it. They have turned it into a green and pleasant land. Compare that to what the Palestinians have done with what they were given. Nothing. They have not built one industry, nor have they irrigated one major farm, demanding that the world owes them a living, and have been doing so, quite successfully, since they got there. The difference is like comparing chalk and cheesecake.

This is the common factor. This is why Christians and Jews will always prosper together. Both groups are builders, unlike the common enemy that produces nothing more than hatred and, at best, stagnation.

Pastorius said...

The original name of CUANAS was Genesis 12:3.

While I respect Mr. Simon's love of reason, I think the lesson in this instance is not that the love of tolerance is the reason for the blessing that comes to cultures who respect the Jews. The lesson is a supernatural one.

Zechariah 12:

1The [a]burden of the word of the LORD concerning Israel. Thus declares the LORD who (A)stretches out the heavens, (B)lays the foundation of the earth, and (C)forms the spirit of man within him,
2"Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a (D)cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against (E)Judah.

3"It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy (F)stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be (G)severely injured And all the (H)nations of the earth will be gathered against it.

4"In that day," declares the LORD, "I will strike every horse with bewilderment and his rider with madness. But I will watch over the house of Judah, while I strike every horse of the peoples with blindness.

5"Then the clans of Judah will say in their hearts, 'A strong support for us are the inhabitants of Jerusalem through the LORD of hosts, their God.'

6"In that day I will make the clans of Judah like a (I)firepot among pieces of wood and a flaming torch among sheaves, so they will consume on the right hand and on the left all the surrounding peoples, while the (J)inhabitants of Jerusalem again dwell on their own sites in Jerusalem.

7"The LORD also will (K)save the tents of Judah first, so that the glory of the house of (L)David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem will not be magnified above Judah.

8"In that day the LORD will (M)defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the one who (N)is feeble among them in that day will be like David, and the house of David will be like (O)God, like the (P)angel of the LORD before them.

9"And in that day I will (Q)set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

10"I will (R)pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have (S)pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one (T)mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.

11"In that day there will be great (U)mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo.

12"The land will mourn, every family by itself; the family of the house of David by itself and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself and their wives by themselves;

13the family of the house of Levi by itself and their wives by themselves; the family of the Shimeites by itself and their wives by themselves;

14all the families that remain, every family by itself and their wives by themselves.

In my opinion, we are seeing the pages of Zechariah played out in our modern world. It is not reason, but adherence to the Word of God which causes Christian Zionists to support Israel. Sure, the Word of God is reason, but reason alone would not cause people of Faith to adhere to scriptures so denigrated by most "Enlightenment" thinkers.