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The fastest growing cult in the USA, is the cult of Christian Zionism

Christian Zionism is an extremist Christian movement which supports the claims of those who believe that the State of Israel should take control of all of the land currently disputed between Palestinians and Israelis. It views the creation and expansion of the modern state of Israel as a fulfillment of biblical prophecy toward the second coming of Jesus.

Christian Zionism is a modern theological and political movement that embraces the most extreme ideological positions of Zionism, thereby becoming detrimental to a just peace within Palestine and Israel. The Christian Zionist program provides a worldview where the Gospel is identified with the ideology of empire, colonialism and militarism. In its extreme form, it laces an emphasis on apocalyptic events leading to the end of history rather than living Christ’s love and justice today.

What is the Christian Zionist connection with the Holy Land?

Believing that God fights on the side of Israel, Christian Zionists call for the unqualified support for the most extreme political positions related to the Holy Land. Christian Zionist spokes persons have attributed Hurricane Katrina to God’s wrath over our failure to stop Israel from pulling out of Gaza. They consistently oppose any moves towards a solution to the conflict which would validate the political aspirations of both Palestinians and Israelis.

Christian Zionism has significant support within American Protestant fundamentalists, who number between 10 and 20 million. Its reach is broad, by virtue of its favorite themes related to the “End Times” and an Israel-fixated Christian media.

Christian Zionism is both a political movement and a way of interpreting current events. Its focus is on Israel and the Middle East, as much an ideology as a “movement.” Its promoters share many beliefs but are not organized through any one institution.

Throughout history Christians have at times twisted scripture to justify violence: for the Crusades, for Anti-Semitism, and for slavery. Too often the church has been slow to respond to these biblical distortions with disastrous results.

Today Christian Zionists – particularly those with dispensationalist leanings – are at it again. Although their motives are couched in terms of compassion toward the Jewish people based on a literal reading of scripture the political agenda of territorial expansion advocated by Christian Zionists has given rise to injustice against Palestinians and added fuel to the fire of conflict in the Middle East.

For some time, individuals, and theologians have spoken out against Christian Zionism. In the past few years, whole church bodies are adding their official voices to the distortions and injustices perpetuated by Christian Zionism.

The GOOD NEWS is that some mainstream churches have spoken out against this inherently anti-Semitic theology. What follows are but a few words from some of those who have.

The Presbyterian Church in the USA at its July 2004, National General Assembly issued a statement on Confronting Christian Zionism:

“Christian Zionism promotes a theology that justifies grievous violations of basic rights of people who are also made in the image of God, and is contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

The United Church of Christ in July 2003, at its National General Synod offered An Alternative Voice to Christian Zionism:

“We believe that the tenets of Christian Zionism neither reflect the intention of the teachings of Jesus and the prophets, nor promote peace in the Middle East, and respectfully recommend …an alternative voice to this theology.”

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, in June 2005 at its Chicago Metropolitan Synod issued a Resolution to Encourage the Study of Christian Zionism:

“the movement of Christian Zionism based on these biblical interpretations seeks to influence U.S. policy toward Israel in a manner that would arguably facilitate mistreatment of Palestinians, continued occupation of the land, opposition to a two-state solution, and exclusive Israeli control of Jerusalem.”

The United Methodist Church, in June 2005 at its Illinois Conference on Unwrapping the Rapture warned:

“Every household should give prayerful consideration as to how God will actually judge us for our silence about and complicity in the crushing of the Palestinian people.”

The Episcopal Church, in November 2004 at its Diocese of Chicago Confronted Christian Zionism:

“A partial response to Christian Zionism would be to say that we read Scripture in light of [Jesus’] two great commandments – to love God and our neighbor.”

In 2006, The Nation reported that Christians United For Israel/CUFI pressed White House officials to adopt a more confrontational posture toward Iran, to refuse aid to the Palestinians and to give Israel a free hand as it ramped up its military conflict with Hezbollah.

The White House has not revealed the names of the officials who met with the CUFI lobbyists, which is a venomous tentacle from the Armageddon-based foreign-policy view of its founder, John Hagee. Hagee is a fundamentalist, fire-and-brimstone preacher and a leader of the fastest growing cult in America: Christian Zionism, which is inherently anti-Semitic.

While Jewish Zionism began with the hope that all Jewish people would have a safe and peaceful dwelling place, these corruptors of the gospel Christ preached, adhere to a 200 year old convoluted interpretation of disparate scriptures that they have chosen to weave together to support their fear based judgmental narrow minded doctrine.

Hagee has mesmerized nearly 18,000 misled Christians at his Cornerstone Church with his take on whom the anti-Christ is. He also hosts a major TV ministry where he explains his views of how the end times will unfold. He blatantly corrupts and denies the message that Christ preached. Hagee, Hal Lindsay and the Left Behinder’s are doomsday false prophets who believe that the only way to defeat-what they and the Bush Administration refer to as- “Islamist fascists” is with a full-scale military assault.

The cult of ‘Christian’ Zionism is what the concept of the Anti-Christ is all about. This heretical theology of Premellenial Dispensation worships a god of Armageddon and not the God of love, forgiveness and compassion that Jesus/AKA The Prince of Peace modeled even while being nailed to a cross.

The Left Behind series of fiction is the epitome of what millennia of theologians have always understood to be what the term anti-Christ is truly about.

The term “antichrist” only appears five times in the Bible, but a cult not based on sound theology has created an urban legend that seeks Armageddon. The term “antichrist” never appears in John’s Revelation or Daniel, two disparate works of literature written three centuries apart and under very different circumstances, yet the Left Behinder’s weave them together.

The small texts that mention the “antichrist” were written to attack the Gnostic understanding of who Christ was. A Gnostic relies on intuition and not on dogma and doctrine. Gnostic’s were most certainly free spirits and most all of the writings we have about Gnostics, have been the attacks upon them. That all changed when the Nag Hamadi Library was translated and published, for what had been deemed heretical by those in power in the fourth century can now be read in most every language.

Biblical scholars today agree that many books of the Bible were written by others in the name of an apostle, for the quickest way to gain credibility is to trade on another’s reputation. We may never know if the author who coined the term “antichrist” was actually the apostle John who wrote I John and 2 John-the only sources where the term appears.

John also say’s much more: “Dear Children, as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many have come.”- I John 2:18

“This is how we know who the children of God are not: anyone who does not do right; nor anyone who does not love his brother.”-I John 3:10

“If anyone has material possessions and see’s his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Let us love with actions and in truth.”-I John 3:17 “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. There is no fear in love. Perfect love drives out all fear because fear has to do with punishment [and God is love].”-1 John 4:18

The theology promoted in the Left Behind fiction is a theology based on fear and punishment. These misinformed Christians worship a punitive father as God. They do not have eyes to see that nature is God’s primary temple, and war the greatest abomination.

During the time when John was writing about the spirit of antichrist, Gnosticism was still in its evolution and far from the intricately developed system of the second and third centuries when the church and its institutional hierarchy became firmly established. During the time John was writing against false teachings, the Gnostics were by and large libertines who denied Christ’s humanity. Some Gnostics claimed that Christ only appeared to have a body; others said the divine Christ joined the man Jesus at his baptism and left him when he died.

The Gnostics left no testimony in their behalf, so all we have to go on is what was written against them until the discovery of the Nag Hamadi Library. These Gnostic texts offer no new information, they provide no answers, but they do illuminate us to the fact that 2,000 years ago that follower’s of Christ were very diverse and engaged in lively debates on who he was and what was his purpose.

The Armageddon groupies believe they will be lifted out of the misery of the world, and neglect to reflect upon the antichrist within their own heart. The term anti/against Christ means to be anti/against his teachings.

A neglected and ignored fact is that Christ is quoted in fact Matthew 12:31-32, Mark 3:28-29, and Luke 12:10 which are all simpatico with the Gnostic gospel of Thomas saying 44:

Jesus said: “Whoever blasphemes against the father will be forgiven, whoever blasphemes against the son will be forgiven, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven either on earth or in heaven.”

In 1977, when President Carter stated “The Palestinians deserve a right to their homeland,” the Christian fundamentalists and Israeli lobby responded with full page ads stating:

“The time has come for evangelical Christians to affirm their belief in biblical prophecy and Israel’s divine right to the land…and affirm our belief in the Promised Land to the Jewish people.”

The Reagan White House hosted a series of seminars from the Israeli lobby and Christian right. This was when Hal Lindsay, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and the Moral majority infiltrated the West Wing.

Falwell received a Lear Jet from the Israeli government for his personal travel…When Israel bombed the Iraqi nuclear plant in 1981, Prime Minister Begin called Jerry Falwell -before he called Reagan- to ask him ‘to explain to the Christian public the reasons for the bombings.

In 1996, Netanyahu and Likud ideology dominated Israeli policy and 17 evangelical USA pastors pledged their support of the illegal colonies in the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan Heights and full support for a Jerusalem under sovereignty of Israel. The Christian Zionists launched a PR campaign under the banner: “Christians Call for a United Jerusalem.”

They ignored the fact that they were in conflict with American policy and the Oslo process as well as a direct attack on Roman Catholic and mainline Protestant unity with the Churches for Middle East Peace that called for a Shared Jerusalem.

“The coming nuclear showdown with Iran is a certainty,” Hagee wrote in 2006, in the Pentecostal magazine Charisma. “Israel and America must confront Iran’s nuclear ability and willingness to destroy Israel with nuclear weapons. For Israel to wait is to risk committing national suicide.”

The theology of the fictional Left Behind series is the epitome of the spirit of the anti-Christ: which is the evil within ones own heart that leads one to fear “the other” and compels them to violence.

Christian Zionism is a belief among some Christians that the return of the Jews to the Holy Land, and the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, is in accordance with Biblical prophecy. It overlaps with, but is distinct from, the nineteenth century movement for the Restoration of the Jews to the Holy Land, which had both religiously and politically motivated supporters. The term Christian Zionism was popularized in the mid-twentieth century. Prior to that time the common term was Restorationism.

Some Christian Zionists believe that the “ingathering” of Jews in Israel is a prerequisite for the Second Coming of Jesus. This belief is primarily, though not exclusively, associated with Christian Dispensationalism. The idea that Christians should actively support a Jewish return to the Land of Israel, along with the parallel idea that the Jews ought to be encouraged to become Christian, as a means fulfilling a Biblical prophecy has been common in Protestant circles since the Reformation.

Many Christian Zionists believe that the people of Israel remain part of the chosen people of God, along with the “ingrafted” Gentile Christians[Romans 11:17-24] (dual-covenant theology). This has the added effect of turning Christian Zionists into supporters of Jewish Zionism.

Historical origins and Biblical interpretations

Christian advocacy of the restoration of the Jews arose following the translation of the Bible into the vernacular, principally in England, among the Puritans. A plain reading of such translated biblical texts, in some proponents’ opinions, is interpreted as evidence that God still has a special relationship with Israel, especially Romans 11, which begins:

I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

It continues with a parable of a grafted olive tree, the point of which is disputed. Some say that it is the restoration of Israel to promised land, while others say that it is gentiles being grafted into the covenant of God with Israel’s faithful remnant.

The Biblical foundations of Christian doctrines regarding the theological status of Jews include prophetic and didactic texts. Some supporters of the restoration of the Jews interpret the prophetic texts as describing inevitable future events, and these events primarily involve Israel (taken to mean the descendants of the Biblical patriarch Jacob) or Judah (taken to mean the remaining faithful adherents of Judaism). People who take them at face value see these prophecies as requiring the presence of a Jewish state in The Holy Land, the central part of the lands promised to the Biblical patriarch Abraham in his covenant with God. This requirement is sometimes interpreted as being fulfilled by the contemporary state of Israel. The didactic texts of the Epistles also include explanations of the events described in prophecy, and so complement and expand upon their significance.

Among the principal relevant prophetic texts are those found in the Jewish Bible or Old Testament in the Book of Daniel, the book of Isaiah and the Book of Ezekiel, and those found in the New Testament in the Book of Revelation. These Old Testament books describe the Apocalypse, meaning literally the “unveiling”, a vision of an eschatological event or end times. The Book of Revelation, or”Αποκάλυψις Ιωάννου” in the original Greek, puts forth an early Christian eschatological view which has been interpreted in many ways. The Roman Catholic study Bible as well as the doctrines of most mainline Protestant denominations caution that Revelation is an allegory. However, some Christians, including many evangelicals and fundamentalists, read Revelation as a prophetic script containing a timetable to the future End Times. The contents of these books are discussed in the relevant articles, particularly in the article Book of Revelation.

Among the principal relevant Epistles are the New Testament books of Romans (especially chapter 15; q.v. “if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual benefits, then they are obligated to minister to Jews in material needs.”, and chapter 11; “a hardening in part has come to Israel until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, and thus will all Israel be saved”), and especially Hebrews, which elaborates the history of Judaism, relating the events of the Torah and Ketuvim as a “foreshadowing” of the Christian era, and describes the relationship of the Jewish people to God in a continuing context.

Christian schools of doctrine which consider other teachings to counterbalance these doctrines, or which interpret them in terms of distinct eschatological theories, are less conducive to Christian Zionism. Among the many texts which address this subject in counterbalance are the words of Jesus, as for example in Matthew, “the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation producing the fruits of it”, and the writer of Hebrews’s discussion (echoed in 1 Peter) of the Christian church as fulfilling the role previously fulfilled by the faithful Jews and the Temple, and the doctrine of Paul, expressed in Galatians, that “in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek”.

Though many Christian Zionists believe that conversion of the Jews to Christianity is a necessary adjunct of the Second Coming or the End of Days, conversion of the Jews is not part of the theology of prominent Christian Zionists such as John Hagee and was not thought to be required by the nineteenth century restoration advocate William Eugene Blackstone.

Both pro-Zionist and anti-Zionist schools of Christian thought may be influenced and motivated by the description found in Revelation, in the message to the Church at Philadelphia: “Behold, I give of the synagogue of Satan, of those who say they are Jews, and they are not, but lie. Behold, I will make them to come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.” This description is often offensive to Zionist Jews who otherwise find some common ground with Christian Zionism in their support of an ethnic Jewish state in the Holy Land. Nonetheless, it forms one of the foundational ideas underlying some support for Christian Zionism and plays a definitive role in its eschatological script of prospective events.

History and recent theological developments

End times and Dispensationalism

Christian Zionism is a name applied primarily by opponents to the political implications of the views expressed by advocates of the restoration of the Jews who may subscribe to one of several theological systems, including dispensationalism and Covenant Theology.

Christian support for the restoration of the Jews was brought to America by the Puritans who fled England. In colonial times, Increase Mather and John Cotton,among others, favored restoration of the Jews, but it was not until the early 19th century that the idea gathered impetus. Ezra Stiles at Yale was a prominent supporter of restoration of the Jews. In 1808, Asa McFarland, a Presbyterian, voiced the opinion of many that the fall of the Ottoman Empire was imminent and would bring about the restoration of the Jews. One David Austin of New Haven spent his fortune building docks and inns from which the Jews could embark to the Holy Land. In 1825 Mordecai Manuel Noah, a Jew who wanted to found a national home for the Jews on Grand Island in New York as a way station on the way to the holy land, won widespread Christian backing for his project. Likewise, restorationist theology was the inspiration for the first American missionary activity in the Middle East.

As the demise of the Ottoman Empire appeared to be approaching, the advocacy of restorationism increased. At the same time, the visit of John Nelson Darby, the founder of dispensationalism, to the United States, catalyzed a dispensationalist movement and an evangelical revival. This was expressed at the Niagara Bible Conference in 1878, which issued a 14 point proclamation, including the following text:

…that the Lord Jesus will come in person to introduce the millennial age, when Israel shall be restored to their own land, and the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord; and that this personal and premillennial advent is the blessed hope set before us in the Gospel for which we should be constantly looking. (Luke 12:35-40; 17:26-30; 18:8 Acts 15:14-17; 2 Thess. 2:3-8; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; Titus 1:11-15)

The dispensationalist theology of John Nelson Darby which motivates one stream of American Christian Zionism is often claimed to be the foundation of American Christian Zionism. He first distinguished the hopes of the Jews and that of the church and gentiles in his ground-breaking series of 11 evening lectures in Geneva in 1840. His lectures were immediately published in French (L’Attente Actuelle de l’Eglise), English (1841), German and Dutch (1847) and so his teachings began their global journey. While there is no doubt that it had a great influence through the Scofield Bible, Christian support of the restoration of the Jews preceded the publication of the Scofield Reference Bible (first published by OUP, 1917) for nearly a century, and many prominent Christian Zionists and Christian Zionist organizations such as the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem do not subscribe to dispensationalism.

The tycoon William Eugene Blackstone was inspired by the conference to publish the book Jesus is Coming, which took up the restorationist cause, and also absolved the Jews of the need to convert to Christianity either before or after the return of the Messiah. His book was translated and published in Yiddish. In 1891 he lobbied President Benjamin Harrison for the restoration of the Jews, in a petition signed by over 400 prominent Americans, that became known as the Blackstone Memorial.

In the United States, dispensationalist Christian Zionism was popularized by the evangelical Cyrus Scofield (1843–1921), who promoted the doctrine that Jesus could not return to reign on Earth until certain events occurred. In the interim, prior to these last days events, Scofield’s system taught that the Christian church was primarily for the salvation of the Gentiles, and that according to God’s plan the Jewish people are under a different dispensation of God’s grace, which has been put out of gear so to speak, until the last days (the common name of this view is, dispensationalism), when the Christian Church will be removed from the earth by a miracle (called the Rapture).

Scofield writing in the 1900s said that, in those last days, the Bible predicts the return of the Jews to the Holy Land and particularly to Jerusalem. Scofield further predicted that, Islamic holy places would be destroyed, and the Temple in Jerusalem would be rebuilt – signalling the very end of the Church Age when the Antichrist would arise, and all who seek to keep the covenant with God will acknowledge Jesus as their Messiah in defiance of the Antichrist.

Charles Taze Russell was another early Christian advocate of Zionism – but with an altogether different prophetic programme to orthodox Trinitarian dispensationalists.

British views

Zionism#British influence

Christian Zionism in the United Kingdom

Ideas favoring the restoration of the Jews in the Palestine or Land of Israel entered the British public discourse in the 1830s, though British reformationists had written about the restoration of the Jews as early as the 16th century, and the idea had strong support among Puritans. Not all such attitudes were favorable towards the Jews; they were shaped in part by a variety of Protestant beliefs,or by a streak of philo-Semitism among the classically educated British elite, or by hopes to extend the Empire.

At the urging of Lord Shaftesbury, Britain established a consulate in Jerusalem in 1838, the first diplomatic appointment to Palestine. In 1839, the Church of Scotland sent Andrew Bonar, Robert Murray M’Cheyne, Alexander Black and Alexander Keith on a mission to report on the condition of the Jews in their land. Their report was widely published and was followed by a “Memorandum to Protestant Monarchs of Europe for the restoration of the Jews to Palestine.” In August 1840, The Times reported that the British government was considering Jewish restoration. An important, though often neglected, figure in British support of the restoration of the Jews was William Hechler (1845–1931), an English clergyman of German descent who was Chaplain of the British Embassy in Vienna and became a close friend of Theodor Herzl. Hechler was instrumental in aiding Herzl through his diplomatic activities, and may, in that sense, be called the founder of modern Christian Zionism.

In Defending Christian Zionism, David Pawson, a prominent Christian Zionist in the United Kingdom, puts forward the case that the return of the Jews to the Holy Land is a fulfilment of scriptural prophecy, and that Christians should support the existence of the Jewish State (although not unconditionally its actions) on theological grounds. He also argues that prophecies spoken about Israel relate specifically to Israel (not to the church, as in “replacement theology”). However, he criticises Dispensationalism, which he says is a largely American movement holding similar views. Pawson was spurred to write this book by the work of Stephen Sizer, an evangelical Christian who rejects Christian Zionism.

Recent political analysis and developments

With the Jewish settlement of Palestine thereafter, and the establishment of a modern Jewish state on May 14, 1948, dispensationalism (already popular among American Christian fundamentalists) enjoyed an immediate boost of credibility. It seemed to many that biblical prophecy was being explained by the headlines of the newspaper, sparking an intense interest in events in the Middle East, which has continued unabated. Modern Christian Zionism is a politically potent consequence of this religious interest in the modern state of Israel, as contemporary events are interpreted in light of their relationship to biblical prophecy.

The role of certain Christians in supporting the establishment of Israel following World War II is well known; and it is regarded by some critics as, in part, a kind of self-willed fulfillment of prophecy. Given this, some are alarmed by what else Christian Zionists envision being done to bring about the conversion of the Jews and the end of the world. As an example, Hal Lindsey, one of the most popular American promoters of dispensationalism, has written in The Late Great Planet Earth that per Book of Ezekiel (39:6-8) that after Jews fight off a “Russian” invasion, Jews will see this as a miracle and convert to Christianity. Their lives will be spared the great fire that God will put upon Russia and people of the “coastlands.” And, per Book of Zechariah (13:8,9), one third of Jews alive who have converted will be spared.

In United States politics, Christian Zionism is important because it mobilises an important Republican constituency: fundamentalist andevangelical Protestants who support Israel. The Democratic Party, which has the support of most American Jews, is also generally pro-Israel, but with less intensity and fewer theological underpinnings.

Sociologically, Christian Zionism can be seen as a product of the peculiar circumstances of the United States, in which the world’s largest community of Jews lives side by side with the world’s largest community of evangelical Christians. There has historically been a somewhat antagonistic relationship between these two communities, largely based on the generally liberal/progressive social policy tendencies of the Jewish community with the more ‘rugged individualist’ leanings of the American Protestant communities, more so than any theological dispute. Their mutual reverence for the texts of the Hebrew Bible has brought them together, however, as has their common ground against generally leftist pro-Palestinian and/or anti-Israeli factions in American politics.

The mobilisation of evangelicals has tended to bolster the so-called neo-conservative policies of the Republicans, because Christian Zionists tend to favor a hawkish foreign policy and have less sympathy for Palestinian claims than do the Democrats.

Examples of Christian leaders combining political conservatism with Christian Zionism are Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, leading figures of the Christian Right in the 1980s and 1990s. Falwell said in 1981: “To stand against Israel is to stand against God. We believe that history and scripture prove that God deals with nations in relation to how they deal with Israel.” They cite part of Book of Genesis(27:29) Those who curse you [Israel] will be cursed, and those who bless you will be blessed. (HCSB) as prooftext.

The government of Israel has given official encouragement to Christian Zionism, allowing the establishment in 1980 of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem. The main function of the embassy is to enlist worldwide Christian support for Israel. The embassy has raised funds to help finance Jewish immigration to Israel from the former Soviet Union, and has assisted Zionist groups in establishing Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

The Third International Christian Zionist Congress, held in Jerusalem in February 1996, issued a proclamation which said:

God the Father, Almighty, chose the ancient nation and people of Israel, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to reveal His plan of redemption for the world. They remain elect of God, and without the Jewish nation His redemptive purposes for the world will not be completed.Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah and has promised to return to Jerusalem, to Israel and to the world.It is reprehensible that generations of Jewish peoples have been killed and persecuted in the name of our Lord, and we challenge the Church to repent of any sins of commission or omission against them.The modern Ingathering of the Jewish People to Eretz Israel and the rebirth of the nation of Israel are in fulfilment of biblical prophecies, as written in both Old and New Testaments.Christian believers are instructed by Scripture to acknowledge the Hebraic roots of their faith and to actively assist and participate in the plan of God for the Ingathering of the Jewish People and the Restoration of the nation of Israel in our day.

Popular interest in Christian Zionism was given a boost around the year 2000 in the form of the Left Behind series of novels by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. The novels are built around the prophetic role of Israel in the apocalyptic End Times.

Disapproval by other Churches

 Jerusalem Declaration on Christian Zionism

The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem (Catholic), the Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, have recently joined together in order to proclaim and to publish the Jerusalem Declaration on Christian Zionism (August 22, 2006). This Declaration rejects Christian Zionism for substituting a political-military program in place of the teachings of Jesus Christ. The statement is very critical of Christian Zionism because it views it as providing a worldview where the Gospel is identified with the ideology of empire, colonialism and militarism. Palestinian Christian leaders have also been very vocal in supporting the “Kairos Palestine” document calling for a boycott against Israel until it stops its discriminatory policies in the Palestinian territories.

United States

The General Assembly of the National Council of Churches in November 2007 approved a resolution for further study which stated that the “theological stance of Christian Zionism adversely affects:

  • justice and peace in the Middle East, delaying the day when Israelis and Palestinians can live within secure borders
  • relationships with Middle Eastern Christians {prior reference to the Jerusalem Declaration on Christian Zionism}
  • relationships with Jews, since Jews are seen as mere pawns in an eschatological scheme
  • relationships with Muslims, since it treats the rights of Muslims as subordinate to the rights of Jews
  • interfaith dialogue, since it views the world in starkly dichotomous terms”

The Reformed Church in America at its 2004 General Synod found “the ideology of Christian Zionism and the extreme form of dispensationalism that undergirds it to be a distortion of the biblical message noting the impediment it represents to achieving a just peace in Israel/Palestine.” The Mennonite Church published an article that referenced what is called the ongoing illegal seizure of additional Palestinian lands by Israeli militants, noting that in some churches under the influence of Christian Zionism the “congregations ‘adopt’ illegal Israeli settlements, sending funds to bolster the defense of these armed colonies.”  As of September 2007, churches in the USA that have criticized Christian Zionism include the United Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA), and the United Church of Christ. And Zionism dispels any possibility of the Preterist understanding that Christ came to Earth, to end the Old Covenent that God made with Man, and begin a new Covenent with Man. In doing so, it ended the old Jewish ways and instilled a new path for the forgiveness for sin, and that through a perfect human sacrifice Jesus Christ.

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Challenging Christian Zionism