September 15, 2019

Now I’m Scared. Really.

By Chaplain Mike.

The Middle East is front page news again this week, and agreement and peace are nowhere in sight. Watch the following video and get a whole new angle on the story.

Is this man and the movement he represents the ones you want influencing the Prime Minister of Israel and U.S. policy in the Middle East? It’s happening.

Pastor Hagee in Jerusalem 3/8/10 (Part II) from Max J Blumenthal on Vimeo.

Here’s a Jewish report and opinion on the “new breed of Christian Zionists” who are not content to wait on God’s timing to see the future come to pass, but who feel that they are divinely called to move the hands of the prophetic clock: http://zeek.forward.com/articles/116518/.

Culture war Christianity was scary enough, and IMHO, deeply harmful to the true cause of Christ in the world. What shall we say about this radical combination of prosperity gospel and dispensationalism being applied to foreign policy?

I say it’s ludicrous theology, and dangerous intervention by careless zealots.

Comments

  1. If Hagee has his way, all of that end-times craziness is going to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    • "lee n. field" says

      “If Hagee has his way, all of that end-times craziness is going to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

      One scenario I’ve heard batted about among some dispensationalists is that Israel will at some point attack Iran over the nuke thing. Israel will win, and the casualties will be grossly disproportionate — millions on the Iranian side. If that happens, and the Christian Zionist amen chorus is over on one side cheering loudly, the world will see the Church as a bunch of bloodthirsty loons, well worth suppressing. Christian Zionism could become the cause, ironically, of “the camp of the saints” (which would be the church) being surrounded and besieged.

  2. Pastor Hagee’s problem, just like that of the whole gamut of so-called Dispensationalists, is that he has been snookered into believing that Christ’s fulfillment of the Mosaic Covenant is insufficient for the Jewish people. So, rather than grasping the spiritual reality that believers in Christ are collectively, as St. Paul put it, the “New Israel of God”, he sees only the carnal reality (the presence of a state called Israel) and imagines that, somehow or another, this is evidence of a dualistic meaning behind Old Testament references to “Israel”. Such dualism existed for a time, of course, as Christ tried so hard to explain to the Pharisees, but the whole matter was conflated in Christ at the Cross. There is no covenant available to those Jews who refuse to accept Christ as their King. Purely and Simply. That’s not anti-semitic. That’s the Truth. And it is a truth which cost Stephen his life (Acts, Ch. 7). It’s a shame that Christians under the influence of Hagee’s wicked idolatry of Israel (the modern state of) care more for Christ-hating Jews than they do for Stephen (the first martyr for our faith)….This is the “crux” of the matter.

    We are to love Christ above all else. In Christ, we are the family of God. In Christ, we are the Israel of God. In Christ we are, as St. Peter put it (while quoting the Old Testament verbatum): “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own…” (1 Peter 2:9). What Pastor Hagee needs to do is spend less time raising (making) money lauding the Jewish state, and spend more time reading the New Covenant/Testament. Otherwise, his rhetoric is, in my humble opinion, leading souls straight to hell.

  3. As someone who has lived in the Middle East, worked (in ministry) with Muslims I find a great nausea with this over the top pro-Israel brand of Christianity. The number one stumbling block to Muslims embracing or even respecting Christianity is the great hypocrisy of the Church towards the Arabs. Arab Christians are the ones most confused by the American Christians.

    If there was never a lawyer named Scolfield, there would never have been the kind or pro Israel stance of America. God is a pro-person in my book. I hate injustice. I hate injustices towards the Jews (as WWII) and I hate injustices toward the Palestinians that America Christians have strongly supported. That’s what they find so confusing. How can we say we love the creator but hate some of the people groups he has created?

    Not all Christians are this way. Here is a web site of some who oppose the blind Zionism. (http://www.christianzionism.org/default.asp )

    Don’t get me wrong. I love the Jews as much as anybody . . . but I love the Arabs equally.

    • This post represents pure, biased ignorance. You have no true understanding about the origins of Dispensationalism. Scofield has nothing to do with the Pro-Israeli stance that most conservatives take. He put the Classic Dispensational scheme in his study Bible, but that was merely a summery of what Darby and some of the church fathers had already done. He did not invent dispensationalism and dispensationalism is not to blame for this Israel love. What you wrote is just pure nonsense with no Biblical or historical backing. Also, there is a difference between the Arabs and the Israelis. We love both the same, but the seed of Ishmael being at enmity with the seed of Isaac has been foreordained since their births…and God promised blessing on Isaac’s seed.

      • John:

        STOP.

        DRINKING.

        THE.

        COOL-AID.

        It is a fact that the safest country for Christians (citizens, that is, not visitors) in the Middle East is Syria, not Israel.

      • Without Scofield, it is unlikely that Dispensationalism would have become as wildly popular as it has in the past century. The Scofield Reference Bible was THE vehicle for spreading this theology throughout the land. Moody Church in Chicago used to announce Scripture readings by page number in the Scofield Bible!

        According to leading dispy theologian Charles Ryrie, the sine qua non of Dispensational theology is the separation of Israel and the church. It is this inaccurate interpretation that has led Christians to take unbiblical positions on Israel, whether represented at the extreme by Hagee’s zealotry or in popular presentations such as Hal Lindsay, Jack van Impe, or Tim LaHaye.

        I think Christians should honor Israel for their divinely ordained place in salvation history, and it is right that the Jews, who have suffered so much persecution over their history, should have a homeland in which they may live in security and peace.

        But that’s a far cry from Darby, Scofield, and the silly theology they set loose on the world.

        • Not silly theology, by any means. I don’t agree with John Hagee but I do agree with God ,and His Word makes it clear about His intentions for Israel. God did not annul His promises to them just because they failed , and if that is true, then no one has much hope. Study Romans 11 and you will see. Try Jim McClarty’s website and it will become much clearer. The proof is there in the Abrahamic covenant for the land promises as well as the spiritual promise. They are forever. At least, that is what God said. If covenant theology proponents accept those promises made to Israel, then I guess you also must accept the curses. So I guess, like your title says, Now, you’re really scared. All of the saved are saved by the blood of Christ, both Jew and Gentile and that is the spiritual aspect of the Abrahamic Covenant(by your seed will the families of the earth be blessed) but the land promise is confirmed in many scriptures to ISRAEL. 1Chronicles16:14-18 describes it as forever. Gen.13:15, as well. Plus all of the promises to Israel(church was not even in view at this time) that are found in Jer. 31, and all of the promises of restoration and the Lord’s return in Zech 14 and Ezek.37 and 38. It is just foolish to spiritualize all this away.
          I pray that God opens eyes to the Truth because it brings many blessings.

      • I agree with you, John. But you probably won’t convince many on the reformed blogs. The problem is that the Reformers didn’t go far enough. Luther had an amill. backgound, coming out of the Catholic Church.
        I don’t agree with John Hagee but I do agree with the pre-mill, pre-trib view. Otherwise, you have to spiritualize a great deal of the Bible.
        I, said on another blog, that dispensationalism was not invented and I was taken to task for it. The first century church was dispensationalist. Paul, in Romans 11, perfectly rebukes what this blog is stating.
        Jim McClarty is an excellent teacher on all of these things. Go to salvationbygrace.org and listen to his sermons. The John study is excellent. Most of the people who deny dispensationalism, don’t really have a good understanding of the Old Testament. Sad but true. I believe one of the promises of God to Israel is, I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. His promise to them to be a land, a people and a nation was forever.
        Thanks for your statement, John.

  4. I agree. Dangerous theology with a terrifying influence on the perceptions many Christians have about the Middle East. Time for dispensationlism to die.

  5. Not a fan of Hagee and his ilk – who really don’t spend any time to look at the problems in the Middle East and debate them in a rationale manner. This man and his movement is ignorant…they don’t seek peace for that area – but furthered conflict. Sad.

  6. The guys on the White Horse Inn explained it succinctly – if dispensationalism is true then the church age is bookended by “ages” where Israel is central, making the church age completely irrelevant.

    • The church age doesn’t become completely irrelevant, but like the Apostle Paul says in Romans11, it is for making Israel jealous. Just saying what the Bible says, folks.

  7. I just totally don’t get it…

  8. I live just up the road from Hagee’s church and spent about 15 years attending a nearby Messianic congregation. Once-upon-a-time, the leaders of that Messianic congregation regularly attended Hagee’s “Night to Honor Israel” events, but from what I understand, because of pressure from the local rabbis (i.e. non-Messianic ones), the Messianic leaders aren’t really that welcome. There are a lot of hijinks and silliness in Messianic circles. But I can attest the the leaders of the one I attended really tried hard to keep the congregation in check regarding negativity toward Arabs. Also, I remember a conversation I had with the assistant pastor (a gentile, FWIW) where he was laughing at the absurdity of Hagee’s ilk in thinking that they could force God’s hand and get Jesus to return quicker by engaging in political maneuvering. Unfortunately, what made it so laughable was how widespread that idea was. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never met a Messianic that wasn’t extremely pro-Israel, often to the point of overlooking some of the abuses Israel has done. But at least the folks I was with were more level-headed than the uber-dispensationalist-Hagee crowd.

    That said, I’ve got some non-Messianic Jewish family that actually lives in Israel. Talking with them and their friends/neighbors when I visited Israel, they definitely consider Christian Zionism to have a… mercenary… attitude. I.e. they love Israel only because they believe Israel is essential in Jesus’ return. And they consider that to be the other side of the anti-semitism coin.

    Reading the Zeek article Chaplain Mike posted, there is definitely some truth to what the author says. However, I think he is forgetting one major aspect of Christianity: exclusivism. That is, the orthodox position within Christianity is that Jesus is the only way to salvation. So, of COURSE Christian Zionists believe that Jews need to come to Christ and that Rabbinic Judaism is a false religion. I’d submit that any Christian who says they love Jews but doesn’t want to see Jews reached with the gospel doesn’t really love the Jews. That or they have heretical views of soteriology. That said, we need to be respectful in all of our dealings and not see relationships with our Jewish friends and family as just witnessing opportunities. We can be honest and open without being disrespectful.

    Finally, I think something that the dispies need to consider is that even if you see Israel as having a major eschatalogical role (and I do), nowhere is it written that the 1948-born State of Israel is the Israel of prophecy. From my reading of the Scriptures, it seems that the importance is Israel as a people entity rather than as a political entity.

    Anyway, that’s my ramble.

    • >>nowhere is it written that the 1948-born State of Israel is the Israel of prophecy.

      Max Lucado mentioned that as just a possibility a few years ago and all his speaking engagements were cancelled for the next year.
      Dispensationalism has unfortunately become another litmus test of faith in addition to YEC.

      • Heh, Lucado’s church (or former church… I heard he retired from pastoring, but I don’t know for sure) us ALSO just up the road from me! Crazy, huh?

        Here’s an irony to the dispensational litmus test among non-denoms and evangelicals: I was talking with an Anglican priest the other day who was telling me about how the tendency toward arrogant amillenialism is the norm in his denomination and how that really pushes his buttons. But he also said that he thinks the dispies get “paralysis of over-analysis” and thus wants to write a book with a more balanced view of Israel that neither includes the dispies’ minutia and politicking nor the amillenialists’ arrogant supersessionism. God bless him, I say.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        The Gospel is now nothing more than:
        1) Young Earth Creationism Uber Alles
        2) Pin the Tail on The Antichrist
        3) Culture War Without End, Amen

        Christ got thrown under the Christian bus long ago.

        • joel hunter says

          Headless, you manage to drop this creed into every comment thread, and I never grow tired of it…

  9. One of the major caveats of dispensational-related theology I have is a strange inconsistency in their understanding of the end times, or the time right before the return of Christ. On one hand many of them show extreme enthusiasm for an event called The Rapture so that they may go to heaven and avoid whatever judgment God is going to level against the earth. I used to believe in this idea, but after studying the proof texts, I am unconvinced. On the other hand, they push and advocate excidely the imminent return of Christ to this world, using situations like Israel as an example. They seem to be torn between abandoning earth and hastening Christ’s return to it.

    Interestingly enough, there is something similar in Islam, among small groups that want to hasten the return of Mahdi.

    Personally, I’m not in a hurry to have the world face some sort of final judgment or world war, though I do believe that Christ’s return to this world will be the only thing that brings the peace that people long for.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Pre-Trib Rapture (originally called “Secret Rapture” when first proposed in Victorian Times) is now THE default end-of-the-world choreography among American Evangelicals. However this happend, this is BAD.

      “Twinkle Twinkle coming Christ —
      Beam ME up to Paradise!”

      Because it leaves Christians with no dog in the fight. If Christ is going to Beam them Up to Fluffy Cloud Heaven before anything bad happens to them personally, why do anything? Except, of course, Save a few more Souls by Any Means Necessary. Or hide in your Kincade Cottage, keeping your nose squeeky-clean so you pass God’s Litmus Test for the Big Beamup.

      Here’s a Clue:

      The prophets called The End “That Great and TERRIBLE Day of God”. Not a spectator sport with your catered box seat reserved! What do you think all the imagery of Revelation is — they’re images of Cosmic Catastrophe! If you actually had a vision of what That Great and TERRIBLE Day would be like, you wouldn’t be smugly marking up your Sheep-and-Goats Prophecy Checklist, you’d be curled up in fetal position with your hand over your mouth like Job and his know-it-all buddies!

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      “But a person cannot watch Hell House without seeing a bleak, pessimistic and ultimately apocalyptically distorted vision of Christianity. This is a community of believers who are shaped almost entirely by the manipulative authoritarian spirituality of pastors who seem to have never heard of the doctrine of creation, the Kingdom of God, the present Lordship of Jesus or the church as the living body of Christ. This is a vision of evangelicalism that is loading a plane for escape from this world as quickly as possible.

      The rapture and a strange rejoicing in the demise of the world into darkness loom over Hell House. A few souls will be snatched from the fires, and the church will bear witness to the truth in the waning years of the last days. But ultimately, the world is a lost cause and the church is a lifeboat operation.”
      — Internet Monk, entry of November 3, 2008

      (Sorry to spam the thread, guys, but this is one subject where I got burned BAD 30-40 years ago and the scars are still there; I didn’t stop having flashbacks/panic attacks for 20 of those years. Who will restore the years those End Time Locusts have eaten?)

    • Yes, the Islamic Republic of Iran is run by such a sect, the “Twelvers” who believe that the Hidden Imam (the 12th Imam) who is the “Mahdi,” will return with Issa (their false conception of Jesus) who will pass judgement together.

      As a Catholic, my understanding of the Rapture is anything BUT what pre-trib (dispensationalist) pre-millenialism believes. In fact, the Church teaches that there is no traditional teaching on the Rapture. Why? It takes our focus off Jesus and our mission. “Blessed are those servants whom the master will find at work when he arrives” (Mt 24:46). If we look too eagerly for Jesus’ return on the clouds of heaven, we may pass him by too often on the street (same Gospel, Ch 25:31-46). Got that off http://www.americancatholic.org/Newsletters/CU/ac1005.asp

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        As I understand it, “Mahdi” is Arabic for “Messiah”.

        And the Twelfth Imam Mahdi is the Conquering Messiah figure of Shia Islam’s End Times.

  10. It sounds to me like Mr. Hagee is doing precisely what my theology professor regularly insists we should not do: conflating the modern nation-state of Israel with the Israel of the Bible. There is certainly some overlap, but they are not one and the same thing.

  11. I can’t expound on the theology of all this like the knowledgeable folks who have posted previously. I am grateful to read and learn from their comments.

    I can give a personal experience about how some Christians regard Israel.

    An IFB pastor friend of mine regularly posts “cheers and hoorays” on his social media page over any news report where Israel has bombed Palestinians. “Go, Israel, Go” “Bomb, bomb, bomb”.

    I could stand it no longer and wrote him to ask, “How can we cheer for the bombs that hurry the lost to Hell? Knowing that Christ loves them, loves us, loves all of us, calls everyone to salvation by faith in him, how can we cheer when they die?”

    He didn’t respond.

    It all makes me sick. What a Christ-less “Christianity”

    • Amen Wanda! I volunteered to go and help medically in Gaza last year during the Israeli invasion. However, our group couldn’t get in so I never went.

      When I told a good Jewish friend,Dave, that I was going, his gut response was, “So you’re going to help those people who are firing missiles at my relatives?”

      I responded, “No. I’m going to help all those innocent people caught in the cross fire. Dave, there as been 10 Jews killed in this conflict and they had modern medical facilities to help. On the other side, as many 7-800 have been killed and they have virtually no medical infrastructure. I think you, as a medical provider, would do the same thing.”

      Dave said, “I think you are right.”

  12. donald todd says

    Pastor Hagee is the next, most popular preacher handling the idea that now is the imminent time for the second coming of Jesus (which might be the reason for a completely different thread in Imonk). In order for that position to succeed, he needs Israel to complete the Temple in Jerusalem so that the son of perdition has a place to sit in his moment of triumph. If this occurs, the adventist position is that God is forced to return, that Jesus will bow to necessity and deliver us from that particular evil.

    Pastor Hagee has done more working with the Jews and the leaders of Israel than most of his predecessors. His efforts on their behalf (quite generous in a lot of areas) cements his position with the adventist-pro-Israel front and with at least some of Israel’s leaders.

    Do I want Israel to be left alone to succeed? Yes. Do I believe that the promises made by God to Israel still counts? Yes. Were those promises fulfilled to Abraham in the Person of Jesus? I do believe exactly that. I am not sure how that relates to Jerusalem now or how it differs from a Roman general taking up residence in the temple after the conquest of Jerusalem in 70 AD.

    Do I think that Pastor Hagee is driving American public policy? Nope. At best he is a counter balance to other organizations, think CAIR and similar entities, who are working in the opposite direction.

    Is he driving Israeli public policy? I don’t think so. I haven’t seen signs that Israel is about to take over the temple mount, evict the Dome on the Rock, and rebuild the temple. So the pastor will use what he can to maintain his position with two communities, and the Israelis will use what they can to maintain a position of favor in the US through people like Pastor Hagee.

    It looks like a highwire act to me and all the acrobats are acting admirably for their own particular audiences. Am I a member of one of Pastor Hagee’s audiences? No,.

    Having said that however, my prayer includes John’s petition, “come Lord Jesus come.”

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      In order for that position to succeed, he needs Israel to complete the Temple in Jerusalem so that the son of perdition has a place to sit in his moment of triumph.

      I thought the Obamanation of Desolation (TM) was already enthroned in the White House.

      If this occurs, the adventist position is that God is forced to return, that Jesus will bow to necessity and deliver us from that particular evil.

      Question, everbody:

      How does this differ from al-Qaeda pulling 9/11 as an Act of Faith to cause Al’lah to intervene and smite the Infidel directly?

      Or the Iranian Ayatollahs (or their mouthpiece) wanting The Bomb so they can start Armageddon to bring the Twelfth Imam out of his well and lead Islam to eternal victory?

      • So true about the comparisons – except now you show the ridiculousness of Hagee’s ideals – they line up with terrorist doctrines on some levels (in Islam). In the end, it’s all war one way or the other. I always wonder, since when have Christians been called to support any way? Can’t find that in the NT.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          In the end, it’s all war one way or the other. — Soceityvs

          Which is why somebody should have turned these guys on to Warhammer 40K instead of the Book of Revelation. Then they could indulge their “WAAAAAAAUGH — DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA!” without risk to the rest of us. Or collateral damage to the Middle East and the rest of the world.

          Hmmmm. The Gospel According to Warhammer 40K. Let’s not go there (whether or not we say we did), but there are some parallels.

          “Thought begets Heresy. Heresy begets Retribution. Blessed is the mind too small for doubt.”
          — Warhammer 40K

    • CUFI makes money, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein and IFCJ make money, Pastor Hagee sells books and makes money, poor Jews get food and clothing. It’s a win-win-win-win situation for all.

  13. My Bible says that the Christians’ Jerusalem is above, not in the modern State or ancient country of Israel.

    Many Orthodox and Hasidic Jews, even those living in Israel, don’t consider the modern State of Israel to be of God. (Plus, the majority of Jews in Israel are atheists, and they definitely don’t think God had anything to do with it. War, blood, sweat and tears did, however.) The Chosen is an interesting movie re: this division in the Jewish community re: this. The Israelis by Donna Rosenthal is a fascinating book about the country and its people.

    One look at the original U.N. partition map and you can see that the modern State of Israel was doomed to failure from the start. You can’t govern or keep a country when it’s split down the middle and squeezed at the sides by warring/hostile factions.

    What will happen when the State of Israel is no more?

    We’ll lose the benefit of the major electronic and medical and agricultural advances and inventions that Israel has given the world. The Hagee-ites, though, will lose the basis of their theology. I guess they can always come up with an explanation, though.

    • You are right, there is a pretty big debate on the state of Israel amongst Rabbi’s. Dispensationalists don’t realize that the validity of their argument is subverted by the agnostic and atheistic state of Israel in the first place. Plus the Church and the Old Covenant saints are the New Israel . . . good points. . .

    • “What will happen when the State of Israel is no more?”

      EricW, I sincerely hope this never happens. Although there are injustices committed by Israel, in light of the unrelenting discrimination experienced by the Jewish people throughout history (in the form of pogroms and ultimately the Holocaust) I feel it is important that they have a country in which they have some security. I have observed that at least some of the criticism directed toward Israel is, in reality, residual Anti-Semitism. In my experience some of the most vociferous critics of Israel, have also harbored latent Anti-Semitism. So, for the same reasons that I believe the Kurds and the Tibetans should have a country of refuge, I believe it is important that the State of Israel remains a Jewish country.

      BTW, an interesting book is The Case for Israel by Alan Dershowitz (it builds a case for Israel on liberal values).

      • Just to clarify, I also believe it’s critical that the Palestinians are granted a state.

      • FWIW, ahumanoid, I’m Jewish (though I’ve been a believer in Jesus for over 30 years) and I have Dershowitz’ book.

        I was able to visit Israel with some friends for 2 weeks last year, staying with various people who live there. It’s a tense country to live in. Messianics are persecuted by the very Orthodox Jews that people like Hagee support and send money to.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          I suspect what’s happening is a marriage of convenience between extremists in both parties. One that leaves both open to manipulation by the other.

          If you’re an Israeli politician or political movement trying to line up allies for the country’s survival, what better way to drum up unquestioning support for Israel than flatter the Christian Zionists with hints about Rebuilding the Temple, finding the Red Heifer, renaming resettled territories back to their Biblical names, and other things they’d associate with End Time Prophecy fulfillment? They’d back you 1000% thinking it was God’s Will.

          And if you’re a Christian Zionist, what better ego-boo than manipulating the Israelis into fulfilling Prophecy? Thus bringing about Armageddon (which you will be conveniently Raptured away from before anything bad happens to you personally.)

          I can see this developing into a situation where each party uses the other for their own ends. And things can get real Ugly.

  14. It scares me how popular Hagee is among so many of my Messianic friends. No only is his theology aberrant because of the whole health and wealth false gospel that he preaches whenever he’s not talking about Israel, but his soteriology is heretical precisely because he holds to a two-covenant view which says that the Jewish people need only be faithful to the Mosaic covenant to be in right relationship with God; it’s the gentiles who need to believe in Christ. I think that’s why he is so popular with the Israeli leadership, esp. Bibi Netanyahu. They see him as less of an evangelistic threat than any other Christian Zionist voice out there. Hagee certainly doesn’t drive US policy now, since we have Barack Obama as President, but I do think his dispensational mindset did drive US policy in the previous administration. According to French President Nicholas Sarkozy in the run up to the Iraq war, President Bush told him that the war was necessary because of Bible prophecy. Even saying something like that presupposes a futurist understanding of biblical prophecy, esp. in the book of Revelation. And that’s a basic ingredient of dispensational theology. A very good book about the confluence of apocalyptic theologies, from Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, is one called End of Days by Gershom Gorenberg. It’s scary but enlightening reading, and it centers largely around the Temple Mount. I could also go into a rant about the American evangelical blind-spot regarding Arab Christians and how they’ve been completely left behind (!) by this insidious theology called dispensationalism, but this post is already too long.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Arab Christians take it from both sides.

      From Israelis because they’re Arab.

      From other Palestinians because they’re not Muslim.

      Standing right on the single-track railroad while a train barrels in from each direction.

      • Yes. And the “Christian Right” doesn’t care a fig. Maybe call them the Christian wrong.

      • “Arab Christians take it from both sides.”

        And since many of them are Eastern Orthodox, the Evangelical Protestants don’t view them as “real” Christians in the first place.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          “Arab Christians take it from both sides.”

          And since many of them are Eastern Orthodox, the Evangelical Protestants don’t view them as “real” Christians in the first place. — Steve Scott

          Dude, there are Evangelical Protestants who don’t view anybody outside of the four walls of their church as “real Christians in the first place”.

          Christian Monist mentioned some uber-Lutheran he knows or knew who was in that position, that his specific church congregation was the only one who wasn’t a Heretic or Apostate. (This may or may not be the same one he cited once as schisming into mutual excommunications and anathemas over a point of theology too abstract to even put into words.)

          I think IMonk used to cite somebody named A.M.Pink (?) as an example of this — he ended up in the theoretical end-state of Protestantism, where he was The Only True Christian and NOBODY else was Saved (TM).

          And my writing partner has showed me a couple churches in his part of rural PA that are not far from that.

          • It was AW Pink. I’ve read some of his work. He was a hyper Calvinist, though not as extreme as other hyper Calvinists. His is a truly sad story of someone so zealous to know God so perfectly that he ended up alone at the end of his life. Very little if any grace involved in that way of seeing things.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            My writing partner has also told me about run-ins with Hyper-Calvinists. Some of them (many of them young) are so far gone into Utter Predestination they teach that this Utter Predestination also applies to God, that God can only do what God has been predestined to do.

            He calls this “Socratic Atheism”, where God is no longer God, Utter Predestination is. (In this case, God’s Fate, written on God’s forehead before God existed…)

  15. I developed a two-word phrase I sort of chant to myself to bring me back to reality of a Jesus-shaped spirituality when I encounter hard core culture war Christianity/evangelicalism. I think it applies here, too:

    Wrong kingdom. Wrong kingdom. Wrong kingdom.

  16. Their mischief will not change God’s timetable one second forward or backward, but it may cause some to believe that christian (are they?) fanatics are as dangerous as islamic fanatics. That will cause a backlash against the Christian community that is already seen as backward, ignorant, intolerant, and dangerous.

    • Christiane says

      “it may cause some to believe that christian (are they?) fanatics are as dangerous as islamic fanatics. ”

      I agree with this. Look at the contempt for others, the fundamentalism that is extreme, the poor treatment of women, just for starters there are ‘similarities’.
      It’s about the deep core of hatred, the anger, and the smug self-righteousness that they share.
      The name of the ‘god’ they plug into their fanaticism doesn’t matter much at all really:
      fanaticism IS the same in all the extreme fundamentalist religions, once you take the very thin veneers off of their surfaces.

      • More dittos and a smiley face :>)

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        “A fanatic is someone with one piece of a pie who thinks he has the whole pie.”
        — Pope John Paul II

        “A fanatic is someone who does what God would do — if God Only Knew What Was REALLY Going On.”
        — Can’t remember where I heard that one, but it’s good

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    [Recently discovered the following web message – truly different! Angel]

    PRETRIB RAPTURE POLITICS

    Many are still unaware of the eccentric, 180-year-old British theory underlying the politics of American evangelicals and Christian Zionists.
    Journalist and historian Dave MacPherson has spent more than 40 years focusing on the origin and spread of what is known as the apocalyptic “pretribulation rapture” – the inspiration behind Hal Lindsey’s bestsellers of the 1970s and Tim LaHaye’s today.
    Although promoters of this endtime evacuation from earth constantly repeat their slogan that “it’s imminent and always has been” (which critics view more as a sales pitch than a scriptural statement), it was unknown in all official theology and organized religion before 1830.
    And MacPherson’s research also reveals how hostile the pretrib rapture view has been to other faiths:
    It is anti-Islam.
    It is anti-Jewish.
    It is anti-Catholic.
    It is anti-Protestant.
    It even has some anti-evangelical aspects.
    Despite the above, MacPherson proves that the “glue” that holds constantly in-fighting evangelicals together long enough to be victorious voting blocs in elections is the same “fly away” view. He notes that Jerry Falwell, when giving political speeches just before an election, would unfailingly state: “We believe in the pretribulational rapture!”
    This Johnny-come-lately view raises millions of dollars for political agendas. Only when scholars of all faiths begin to look deeply at it and widely air its “dirty linen” will it cease to be a power. It is the one theological view no one needs!
    With apologies to Winston Churchill – never has so much deception been foisted on so many by so few!

    • Okay, I’m a little slow here. How is the pretrib rapture view hostile to those groups that are listed?

      • Donald Todd says

        Michelle,

        Those other groups haven’t been invited to depart their cars in the midst of the rush hour commute. It is a sad item based on the desire to “let me escape the evil / pain to come”.

        It is also true that those other groups are often aware that people died for the love of Jesus. Peter and Paul come to mind easily, but the history of Christianity, Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant is filled with men and women who willingly gave their lives for the sake of the Name and the proclamation of the Gospel.

        If one does a bit of reading, Watchman Nee. He died in the Communist prison, refusing to abandon China after the Communist takeover of China. He lived in prison singing hymns up until he died. They tried to keep him quiet but he put up with the torments and kept on singing. After a while they left him alone. When he died, his sister was allowed to collect the few things in his prison cell. This included a note: “Christ is the Son of God Who died for the redemption of sinners and was resurrected after three days. This is the greatest truth in the universe. I die because of my belief in Christ. Watchman Nee.”

        Nee was rather famous but he was also a bit of an anomaly. There was a large presence among the Chinese Christians who believed that the “signs of the time” indicated that Jesus would come and save them from the Communist takeover. Their interpretation of scripture indicated that He would come and rescue them. He did not. Those whose faith was based on His saving them from the contemporary evil failed because their faith was built on the wrong thing. He did not come, therefore He was not worthy of their belief.

        Since the opening of China after the departure of Mao, it was discovered that there are two large Christian presences inmainland China. One is Catholic. Many of these people maintained their culture inspite of a lack of clergy and bishops, limited or no access to the sacraments and no access to scripture, catechism, the lives of the saints and other items that might exert a heavenward pull.

        The other group, largely Presbyterian, had the same problems as the Catholics, no clergy, no scripture, etc. Yet they also managed to retain their Christian character under terrible conditions.

        Neither of those groups assumed that our Lord would arrive in the nick of time. Neither of those groups presumed that they would escape punishment or martyrdom. Neither group went out looking for death but neither would deny their faith in the face of a hostile government. Grace was evident for both groups.

        It is a certain thing that they weren’t raptured out of their cars in the midst of the Communist revolution in China at rush hour.

        Please God that if the son of perdition does take his place on the mercy seat in the temple in Jerusalem, don’t let me off easily. Don’t rapture me out of a car during the rush hour. I don’t know if I am up to imitating Peter and Paul, but for the sake of my Christian character I think it might be a good thing to find out.

        Thank You.

  18. I’m not a dispensationalist though I am a premillennialist, so you guys can be rest assured I won’t be going along with Hagee’s Zionism. However, there is something more sinister than Hagee’s dispensational Zionism: mainline Christianity’s lack of zeal to speak of a Second Coming. Those are more damnable things than what Hagee’s promoting here (and I hope I pricked some nerves here because you deserve it).

    • No denial or downplaying of eschatology in my thinking, writing, teaching, or preaching, Mark. Nor in the work of those teachers in the church that I respect. Indeed, the opposite. However, when there is so much noise from the Hagees and LaHayes of the world, it is hard to hear the quieter voices of those who promote more sane and sensible views.

      • That is great to hear. I also hold to a more sane and sensible eschatological view. How do you know that? 1) I reject this complacency among a vast majority of mainline Protestants on eschatology (some who are even skeptical about a resurrection of the dead) and 2) I reject the preterist theonomic postmillennial view of eschatology (which I find it to be a demonic version of conservative eschatology).

    • Yeah, you got it all wrong about the mainline. I am a United Methodist and I encourage you to pick up one of our Books of Worship. We also recite the Apostle’s Creed every week which has some really good theology there: “he shall return to judge the living and the dead.” Maybe if Hagee and his ilk though about coming judgment a little more they would be a little more hesitant to speak so obnoxiously and proclaim things they have no scriptural basis for.

      I have served in conservative evangelical churches and now the mainline and I found something ironic. Evangelicals call mainliners liberal because they are unfaithful to scripture. However, mainline services usually include more scripture – reading, lliturgy, preaching from the text instead of five principles to a successful marriage, business, etc.

      • Is that right, Josh? I have been surrounded by mainline Christians for many years and they care a lot more about left-wing social justice issues than the glorious hope that awaits all believers. In fact, a vast majority of them think that eschatology is a waste of time.

        Evangelicals have a justified reason to call mainline churches – in general – liberal. I have even heard more conservative Christians who belong to mainline denominations complain harshly about the way mainline churches “practice church.” Mainline churches may use ample Scripture passages for reading and liturgy but they don’t hold anything resembling what evangelicals call inspiration and authority. In fact, I believe that the vast majority of mainline churches are apostate or heretical.

        • Mark,

          How does ‘left-wing’ social justice differ from ‘social justice’?

          And what “social justice issue” does not find its base in Scripture?

          • Jonathan,

            The Bible neither endorses the modern left-wing OR right-wing socio-economic viewpoints. The Bible speaks out about both protecting private property AND caring for the needs of the orphan, widow, and helpless. The Bible never condemns material riches in of itself (only the love of material riches), but also commands us to care for the needs of the downtrodden.

            Having said that, the Bible nowhere condones or endorses sinful practices. So, when I condemn certain mainline churches for condoning homosexual lifestyles that is what I mean by “left-wing social justice” issues. In fact, I would even say that those churches who say that homosexual practice is not sinful or that people of other religions who reject Jesus Christ as Lord should still be included in the Kingdom of God should be declared as churches under anathema.

        • I understand what you are saying Mark. I minister within a mainline denom. right now and sometimes those who openly label themselves as liberals really make me sick, frustrate me, and make me want to leave. But that is some, not all, and not the majority – at least in my denom. (UMC).
          But you are making your comments off of heresay and your own limited experience.
          Who are the “vast majority of mainline churches” that you think are heretical?
          Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopal, Lutheran, Baptist
          That’s pretty much it. I might have to give you the nod on the Episcopal church going down Heretic’s Path but the rest are a mixed bag – jut like independent non-denoms, evangelical.
          My big deal with people with evangelicals, charismatics and non-denoms who characterize ALL mainline protestants as being unscriptural and heretical is that, in a typical worship service, you will find much more scripture read, spoken in liturgy, and sung in a mainline Protestant service than the typical evangelical/charismatic/non-denom. In my own experience, I have come to really appreciate this and have gained a much deeper understanding of the Christian faith, a deeper appreciation for the Bible, and more comprehensive understanding of eschatology (the now/not yet nature of it actually incorporated into church life).

        • Let’s get back on topic, folks.

    • donald todd says

      I can speak to this as a Catholic coming from a Protestant/Pentecostal background. We pray for the second coming. It is part of the Nicene Creed spoken at Masses on Sundays and holy days of obligation. When we (my wife and I) do our daily rosary, we use the Apostles’ Creed which notes that Jesus will come again to judge the living and the dead.

      I am under the impression that the torments and sufferings of the current age – which began with fall of man (original sin) – will not end until the Lord returns. Given that I am a sinner in need of salvation and would not visit this evil on anyone else, and detest it myself, I pray for that occurrence.

      I still encourage my brothers and sisters to endure in their walks, including my Protestant brothers and sisters. I witness to the people whose beliefs are missing or have been subverted. I recognize the dignity that comes with being made in the image and likeness of God, whether those I speak with (or write to) recognize it in themselves. I recognize the wonder and the honor of what I have been given, however poorly I evidence that wonder and that honor.

      I am not anyone’s judge. Hebrews notes that there is one Lawgiver and Judge Who is judge of all. That is not me. That responsibility is not mine. My call, so far as I can fathom that call, is to imitate our Lord and His best friends within the state of life I am in.

      I always pray for the Second Coming. I want an end to the evil I do as well as the evils of this age, such as contraception, abortion, infanticide, the jihad, and a malicious hatred of the good and the true.

      What if this costs me my life? I guess we find out that kind of thing when we get to that point. What if it costs me my salvation? I have always assumed that I would be judged with both the clarity of justice and the tenderness of mercy. I assume both will be evident at my judgment. and that whatever our Lord decides will be the right thing. I am always free to fling our Lord’s grace back in His face in any of several ways. We are judged after we die because then there are no secrets.

      If I remember correctly, the modern adventist movement began with William Miller, a Baptist, who identified 1843 as the year the Lord would return to take all things back to Himself. One of his disciples identified 1844 after the 1843 date came and went.

      Hal Lindsay identifed 1988, 40 years after the founding of Israel, the time of a biblical generation and therefore the time when Jesus would return.

      I occasionally listen to the various individuals who expound the reasons that prophecy has been fulfilled and therefore why Jesus is due any moment.

      I am actually embarrassed for them. A person of my acquaintance who was a writer had a sign on his wall about writing: First you do it for love, then you do it for convenience, then you do it for money. I suspect that is what occurred to most of these individuals. They started with love of God and eventually found that they had to make a living. (Don’t we all?) Then they update their written or videotaped materials and sell the next installment (pretty much without recognizing the material that preceded the previous misunderstanding of “when”).

      John told us to pray for the return of Jesus, but our Lord Himself cautioned us about the time of that return. We are to soldier on and leave the timing to God the Father. Okay by me. I am not in charge but still do hope for an end to the evil that only our Lord can provide.

  19. At the risk of getting flogged: If a pre-trib rapture is anti Muslims, Catholics, Protestants, Jews, and evangelicals, doesn’t that mean that the only people left are all religions who are not included in that list (including but not limited to: Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Emergents (assuming that counts), Hindus (and all religions that spin off Hinduism), mystery religions, and a plethora of basically anything non-Christian, non-Jewish, and non-Muslim?

    Just asking. Who’s left? (No, not who’s on first.)

  20. I do not agree with Hagee. I don’t believe in definitive statements about the chronology of the end times, nor the interpretations of the symbols. I simply want to hang on to my faith until the end. The rest will be in God’s hands. However, regarding Israel, I need to quote St. Paul:
    “I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; of whom are the fathers and from whom according to the flesh, Christ came . . . Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved . . . For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. . . . I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. . . . I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness! . . . For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olve tree, were grafted in among them, and with them become a partaker of the root and the fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. . . . You will say then, ‘Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.’ Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. . . . And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved . . . ” Selections from Romans

    (Abram) “I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:3

    I love Jewish people. I wanted to be Jewish because of how much God loved them and they belonged to Him. I have participated in events to witness to Jewish people. I love Arabs. I married one. My husband’s grandfather came to America from Damascus, Syria 100 years ago and established the first Antiochian Orthodox Christian church in Michigan. It thrives today.

    Like Zola Levitt used to say at the end of his show, “Pray for the people of Israel. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.”

    That’s all we can do. As well as support them in anyway we can, even if they are still unbelieving at this point.

  21. I’m wondering if the reason men like John Hagee think they have the power to do this is because we also give him the power. Those who agree with him give him their blessing and support, but do we when we remain silent hoping it will go away? It hasn’t gone away in the almost 40 years that I have been following first Hal Lindsay and now people like John Hagee, Pat Robertson, etc. I rarely have heard Christians who think this is utter nonsense as I do speak out in their opposition.

    • The situation you describe is one of the reasons so many of us describe ourselves as “post-evangelicals.” Evangelicalism has in many quarters been co-opted by these nuts, and since they have the loudest voices and the most spectacular interpretations, they gain the most attention.

      • “‘What, you ask is the real attitude of the German people toward Hitler? There is but one answer. They love him…We want a true leader, a man who loves us, and works for our good. We are satisfied with Hitler.’ And that feeling exists everywhere. Every true Christian is for Hitler. I know for it was from the Christians I got most of my information, and right or wrong, they endorse Adolph Hitler.”

        This report was given by Oswald J. Smith, an evangelical Christian in 1936, reporting back to Toronto on how impressed he was with Hitler. One of those “evangelical nuts”. Maybe you should revise what you term as ludicrous so that you can see that your theology does have consequences.

        -text taken from, Hitler’s Cross, by Erwin Lutzer, pg. 109

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      “You give me riches,
      You give me fame,
      You give me power in your God’s name;
      I tell you one and one make three —
      I’m the Cult of Personality!”

  22. Peter Kelly says

    I could be called a Christian Zionist. I am not a dispensationalist and I think John Hagee is a dangerous heretic. There are plenty more like me. I also know many dispensationalist Christian Zionists who think Hagee is a dangerous heretic.

    I know he and CUFI have a high profile, but they are not representative of the entire Christian Zionist movement. For example, last year I spoke to the head of another large international Christian Zionist organisation and he completely disagrees with Hagee’s approach, which he regarded as being in serious error.

    I also have strong connections with the Messianic Jewish movement and agree with Obed’s comments. Hagee’s form of Christian Zionism is so keen to build relationships with Jewish leaders that it ignores and sidelines Jewish believers in Jesus. This is quite frankly a disgrace.

    In the video given above, Hagee talks about the Church’s responsibility to Israel and gives a list of seven points, although it’s cut off after point siix. I found it on God TV and checked all seven. I didn’t hear anything about the church needing to take the good news that Jesus is the Messiah “to the Jew first”.

    [One reason for the above two problems is that, in Hagee’s hyper-dispensationalist worldview, there is no need for Jewish people to believe in Jesus until after the rapture. This is totally unbiblical].

    I’m not sure about the comment about Christians supporting Israel for the wrong reasons. Whilst it’s possible some may do so because they believe that will be blessed in return or for eschatological reasons, I’ve never met anyone like that.

    • I’m sorry, but from what I’ve read, Messianic Judaism is on very shaky ground when it comes to Christian Orthodoxy. If it was cultural Judaism only, within a Christian setting, that would be ok (like being a German/American/Russian/Sudanese Christian). But, for instance, after the Death and resurrection of our Lord, Passover, Yom Kippur and others have no meaning whatsoever within Christianity, outside of mere cultural activity (possibly). You might be left with Purim, maybe.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      I’ve always been leery of the “Messianic Jewish” movement. If they’re Jewish converts to a form of Christianity, why don’t they just say so?

      The only “Messianic Jews” I’ve had any contact with are the “Jews for Jesus” types, and I have always noticed something disturbing about them. They don’t act Jewish.

      I know several Jews, and I have found a consistent thread of earthiness, humor, thinking, and just enjoying life among them. I do not get that “vibe” from Messianic Jews.

      What I get instead is this sense of an Independent Fundamental Baptist or Calvary Chapel with a Yiddishe coat of paint and Hebrew/Ivrit buzzwords tacked on. “HAVE YOU ACCEPTED

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        YESHUA HA-MOSHIYAH AS YOUR PERSONAL ADONAI AND SAVIOR?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?”

      • I laughed my tuches off during several scenes in INGLORIOUS BASTERDS. Does that count for earthiness, humor, thinking and enjoying life, HUG?

  23. Chaplain Mike,

    in response to your “Now I’m scared …”, I would say that if God is sovereign, nothing Haggee does or doesn’t do will ultimately change the course of history as God has appointed it, and while I agree that Haggee’s theology is ludicrous, it doesn’t really scare me.

    That, of course, is also Haggee’s mistake: to think that God needs his manipulation and influence in order to bring about what he has appointed. Not so! We need not and we cannot force God’s hand.

    Wolf

    • Of course you’re right, Wolf. No ultimate fear. But what a mess these nuts make!

    • Without being too judgmental towards any of my brethren, I have to wonder if perhaps many of the more sensational styles of Christianity (which for me are marked by Revivalist, Charismatic approaches) thrive because Christians are afraid of the world around them. I notice that there is an emphasis on ideas like “power” and “warfare” as well as concepts of escape.

      Now I am a very conservative Christian, to the point of endless controversy (grins), but I have to come to understand that God’s work throughout human history, as attested to in scripture, is for the most part, a patient, unwavering faithfulness. Yes, there is judgment for the evil (I think of Egypt and Sodom), but even these examples of HIs fierce power and war are meant to be, in my opinion, deviations from the norm, not the norm itself.

      I think of Psalm 46:8-10 (ESV):

      Come, behold the works of the LORD,
      how he has brought desolations on the earth.
      He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
      he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
      he burns the chariots with fire.
      “Be still, and know that I am God.
      I will be exalted among the nations,
      I will be exalted in the earth!”

  24. Dan Allison says

    I have no trouble — or very little — reaching out with the love of Christ to most sinners, gays, drunks, addicts, people of other races and ethnic groups, but somehow I find that it’s difficult for me to truly love dispensationalist-fundamentalists. I’m sure it’s because they are damaging the ability of the rest of us to witness for Christ and encourage non-believers to seek Him. Any unbeliever who watches TV or surfs the net has to think Christians are the craziest, most hate-filled people on earth. I’d give ANYTHING to own a Christian radio or TV station and program it with Tim Keller, NT Wright, Brennan Manning, Eugene Peterson, and Chaplain Mike.

    • “I’d give ANYTHING to own a Christian radio or TV station and program it with Tim Keller, NT Wright, Brennan Manning, Eugene Peterson, and Chaplain Mike.”

      Great Idea!

    • “program it with Tim Keller, NT Wright, Brennan Manning, Eugene Peterson, and Chaplain Mike.”

      Now that’s a radio station I would listen to, Dan! (The only one I don’t know on your list in Tim Keller, but I have heard good things about him. Guess I need to internet-search his writings.”

  25. David Cornwell says

    In my opinion two words describe this movement: Abomination. Heresy.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Pre-Trib Rapture, from Darby to Left Behind:

      The Ultimate Escape Fantasy.
      Immediately followed by The Ultimate Revenge Fantasy.

  26. Lord, save us from ourselves.

    As Eustace observed in C.S. Lewis’s The Last Battle, mixing a little bit of truth in with a lie makes the lie much stronger. This is the toxic result of mixing the politics of Earth with the truth of Heaven. The Church has NEVER looked good in borrowed robes.

  27. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    Anti-Semitic Zionism.

    I ran across it — and it’s offspring, “Christians For Nuclear War” — back during the heyday of Hal Linsday, when I got mixed up in an end-of-the-world cult. (Back when Henry Kissinger — or the King of Spain — was Proven From SCRIPTURE to be The Antichrist. “All the Prophecies are being Fulfilled! We might not have a 1978! Or even a 1977!” It is now 2010.)

    Anti-Semitic Zionism. Goes like this:
    1) Israel Is In The Land, Fulfilling End Time Prophecy.
    2) This Is God’s Will; Israel Can Do No Wrong.
    3) But Jews are still Christ-killers, and will be smitten down by Christ for this during the Tribulation and Second Coming.
    4) All This Is History Written In Advance; It’s All Over But The Screaming of the Damned. Have Fun In Hell!

    They’re not Zionists. They don’t give a F about Jews as people — only as pieces to move about on their End Time Prophecy Gameboard.

    And the attitude “Christians For Nuclear War” grew out of this, when Hal Lindsay interpreted all the Plauges of Revelation as Nuclear Weapons Effects, described by St John as God showed him a movie of What Will Happen Tomorrow. (It’s All In SCRIPTURE!) Op cit Internet Monk essay Marriage Made In Hell.

    • David Cornwell says

      Mikhail Gorbachev was a candidate for Antichrist also at one time. Remember that map on his forehead?

    • “…when Hal Lindsay interpreted all the Plauges of Revelation as Nuclear Weapons Effects…”

      I just love that “literal interpretation” in action.

  28. Let us pray for George Mitchell (a fellow Mainer, by the way), that he will be able to help all the parties in that troubled part of the world to make a lasting peace.

  29. I echo the other comments here that talk about the true Israel of God. Those that believe God has a distinct plan for “Israel” and “the Church” need to look at the New Testament with this question in mind. What are the differences between a Hebrew, an Israelite, a Jew and an Israeli? How does the Bible deal with these?

    What is meant in John 10 when Jesus talks about taking His sheep and bringing in the other sheep and making one flock with one shepherd?

    What is meant in Luke 3 where Jesus said that God can raise up children of Abraham from stones?

    What is meant in Galatians 3 when Paul goes to great length to identify the children of Abraham? Or in Romans 9? (See also Romans 2:28-29).

    Or in Ephesians 2 where he says that Gentiles are now citizens of Israel?

    What about Philippians 3 where Paul tells us what we should really be focused on?

    Of course, then there is an entire epistle where these topics are completely developed in complete fullness…the letter to the Hebrews. What about that? What about Hebrews 8, Hebrews 9 and Hebrews 10? What about Hebrews 11 where the Holy Spirit provides explicit commentary about Abraham’s understanding of all of this? Was he really after Mediterranean beach front property or something much bigger?

    From Genesis 3:15 all the way to Revelation 22 it is always about Jesus. Always, always, always.

    In Christ,
    Mark

  30. I’m surprised that nobody is mentioning his use of scripture texts…
    Are we really sure that the passage from Isaiah saying “Comfort ye my people” is telling America to protect the nation of Israel in 2010? Boy he could barely even read that one with a straight face.
    “Text without context….” you know the rest… Usually a good sign that you’re about to hear some really quacky shtuff.

  31. Paul Davis says

    What is scary to me is that this is what I was taught to believe, eventually I just avoided the topic whenever possible because for me it was something that caused sooo many questions.

    Now I’m on the other side and out of the fundamentalist movement (and really outside of the evangelical church as well in some respects), and I’m finding that I *really* should spend some time studying this topic, but I’m going to have to unlearn everything I was taught and start over.

    Yikes, time to go digging for study resources…

    So much to learn and so little brain left 🙂

    Good post CM…

    -Paul-

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      For a start, I recommend the book Pocket Guide to the Apocalypse by Jason Boyett. Gives a good (if humorous) overview of the basic end-of-the-world interpretations throughout church history.

      • Paul Davis says

        Thanks…

        It’s on it’s way, I love Amazon for finding books like this 🙂

        I intend to devour it when it shows up, I also picked up one on my Kindle called ‘The Problem with Evangelical Theology’ by Ben, III Witherington which looked like an interesting read…

        Cheers

        -Paul-

  32. I also do not believe that the founding of the state of Israel started the countdown to the second coming. So many Christians believe that this was a prophetic event. But, if one were to look at the Old Testament, after God would send Israel into exile for their sins. They would repent and God would allow them to return.

    We live in the postResurrection era. We are all the new Israel. Many Jews turned to the Lord after the Resurrection. Think: His disciples. Also, they were commanded to reach out to the Gentiles because they were spending their days evangelizing the Jews. There is now neither Jew nor Gentile.

    But, even if one were to assume that the Jews were to receive a special dispensation, the founding of Israel does not fit the bill. As many have already stated, many Jews that returned are atheists. They were not returned to Israel by God because they repented. And, this time the repentance would have to involve jesus which it most certainly hasn’t. In fact, the Jewish government is not that supportive of Christians evangelizing Jews. So, to look at this returning to Israel as an event that mirrors the Old Testament seems to be an error.

    Hagee is a very dangerous man. If he actually believes he can force the return of the Lord, he is guilty, at the minimum, of believing that he can control God. How egotistical.

    • For some reason, many, many Evangelical Protestant Christians thought and think that the founding of the State of Israel was and is a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, whereas many Orthodox/Haredi/Hasidic Jews – including many who live in Israel – did not and still do not.

      • I raise the question was it a self-fulfilled prophecy? A few years ago I spent some time studying how this came about and I would say if there had not been dispensational Christians influencing both the UK and the US at the time, would have Israel come into existence.

        I strongly recommend the book “Blood Brothers” which was written by a Palestinian Christian at the time the nation of Israel was born. You will get a sense of the deep injustice to the Palestinian people and how the American Christians were completely blind to it in the same way they were blind to the evils of slavery here in our own country.

  33. I would rather go to a fundamentalist dispensationalist church than a liberal mainline church that doesn’t care about eschatology. At least the former church is still part of the universal Body of Christ while the latter is under the dominion of Satan.

  34. Hagee’s theology is simply an extension of the dominionist theology of Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and others who insist that only one race of people on earth is truly blessed, that the members of that race have Divine permission and authority to jack the members of every other race of people, and that the American Flag and the Constitution were handed down on Mount Sinai at the same time as the Law of Moses. Because of them, Christianity has come to be portrayed as the religion of the rich and powerful. Their Charismatic doctrine is rank materialism with a bit of holy water sprinkled on it, a doctrine in which God is some broken candy machine that dispenses goodies to the ‘faithful’ without having to put any coins in. “Let’s kill and enslave the poor of the earth in the Name of Jesus! (After all, they’re just ‘terrrists.’) Let’s destroy the earth in our pursuit of prosperity! (Anyone who says that such destruction is wrong is ‘Socialist’!!!!)” No wonder people from other lands have a hard time swallowing Christianity. But God is not mocked – see Matthew 18:6.

  35. Talk about “clueless”. There’s stuff going on here that may be part of a greater apocolyptic scenario, but from reading that article, the dispies are playing the role of pawn.

    If one reads Revelation without the current events twist, it really has a stark warning about the pervasive, sinister, and alluring nature of evil. The very thought that one could hasten the return of Christ is part of that enticement.

    Lent begins by examining the temptations of Christ in the wilderness. The last one should catch our attention: submit to the devil, and the world is ours. I think the same temptation is leading dispensationalist to hasten Christ’s return. Another subtile warning is found in Jude, where we are warned by the example of the archangel Michael not to engage in spiritual arrogance – whether justified or not. This special knowledge of end-times is leading them by the nose where angels fear to tread.

    When Jesus said, “only the Father knows…”, he meant it that we should not be worried, anxious, or ambitious, but trust our Heavenly Father with such ominious things. I think again of that quote from Myles Connolly’s “Mr. Blue”, that God “saved us from the terrible burden of infinity.” The serpent in the garden hoped to crush Adam and Eve with that burden: “you can become like god”.

    • I think also of the example of the Orthodox church, which has been crushed and persecuted in so many ways throughout the centuries, with no one coming to their rescue. Instead of being wiped out, the Orthodox church is stronger than ever. God works through weakness, rather than political might and manipulation.

      • It is so nice to come here and hear voices of reason that fit with the way I think (most of the time) I live in a Christian world that see Hagee as a hero . . . and me . . . a complete flake.

        • I here your pain. I pastor a church of people that I dearly love who have been watching him every Wednesday night. I set through his crap – although I have to give him props for railing against racism; also his congregation is a whole more racially and ethnically mixed than many churches.

          Once, I spoke up (I’m the pastor) and said “hey, I don’t believe in the same eschatology.” You would have thought that I proclaimed myself to be the anti-Christ!

          • Turn your congregation onto Pastor Melissa Scott, the wife of the late Dr. w. euGene Scott. She’s much easier on the eyes than Mr. Hagee. 😀

            She’s on the Ion/Pax network, Monday – Tuesday – Wednesday nights (midnight to 1 a.m. Central Time).

            Warning: She throws around a lot of Greek and Hebrew and Coptic.

            • I have tried to watch Melissa Scott a couple of times. I thought I had entered an alternate universe. Seriously. She might as well have been speaking Coptic. I didn’t understand a word.

              • She takes some getting used to.

                But so did her late husband.

                • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                  “NOW GIT ON THOSE TELEPHONES!”

                  Internet Monk has a Gene Scott memorial posting somewhere in his archives. Now that guy was a character. Crazy Uncle at the Christian Family Reunion.

              • I was hoping EricW was kidding about that.
                Evidently not.

                • gina:

                  Melissa Scott is not bad, though if you have ADD, she’d leave you in the dust.

                  She is definitely better than John Hagee.

                  Watching her and learning from her is better than doing the same from many of the preachers on Christian TV, IMO.

                  She actually does seem to know her Greek and Hebrew, at least the segments I’ve watched. I.e., it didn’t appear that someone wrote the whiteboard for her and then she just did her best to recite a prepared talk based on it. She’s better than most of the preachers who play the “In the original Greek (Hebrew) this means” tune. OTOH, hers is not the way I’d use Greek and Hebrew in preaching.

                  YMMV.

              • Disclaimer: No relation to Melissa Scott.

              • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                I thought I had entered an alternate universe. Seriously.

                I feel that way a LOT these days…

          • No thanks to EricW.,

            I’m trying to turn them onto the Bible.

          • Your post gave me the impression that y’all sit together in church on Wednesday nights and watch Hagee, and that you alone don’t like him – hence the negative response to your outburst. That’s why I recommended an alternative TV preacher for you and your flock, since you don’t seem to like Hagee.

    • Some appropriate food for thought from the iMonk archives:

      https://internetmonk.com/articles/H/hatetheology.html

      “The world is entirely full of people who have no capacity for self-criticism; people who cannot see the dark side of what they are doing, selling or creating. I propose we reconsider the virtue of doing anything without understanding the circumstances under which someone–perhaps even ourselves–might say we hate what we are engaged in. I am suggesting that if we have not trembled with the possibilities for doing harm, we are not in a capacity to truly do good.” – iMonk.

  36. Several years ago (2003) I listened to Hagee on TV go on for 10 minutes reciting (while looking down at his notes) word for word a section from Larry Burkett’s ‘The Coming Economic Earthquake’. The congregation thundered applause at his depth of knowledge! At no point did he acknowledge his source. It was blatant unabashed plagarism. If his ministerial ethics is any indication, I doubt that he is a prophet to be trusted. (Read lots of sarcastic understatement here.)

  37. j. Michael Jones said:

    “God is a pro-person in my book. I hate injustice. I hate injustices towards the Jews (as WWII) and I hate injustices toward the Palestinians that America Christians have strongly supported. That’s what they find so confusing. How can we say we love the creator but hate some of the people groups he has created?”

    What hatred does this refer to and who are these American haters of Palestinians? What is it you want from Israelis? They are there to stay and it is in the interests of Palestinians to acknowledge this. If anyone is exploiting the Palestinians it is other parts of the Muslim world which seek to use the Palestinian plight as a pretext for maintaining hostility toward Israel.

  38. For many years my father was completely obsessed with studying end-times prophecy in the Bible — and, to a certain extent, he passed that obsession on to me. I’ve studied just about everything in scripture that could possibly be percieved as refering to the end times, and I’ve looked into just about every established prophetic paradigm on the subject. I’ve even invented a few of my own. But, after all that, the only thing I do know for certain is that I don’t know how things are going to play out, when or under what circumstances Christ will return, or how God is going to close the curtain on human history as we know it. And I really can’t understand how people like Hagee can be so certain of these detailed end-times scenarios they promote. To me, It seems like either arrogance or ignorance (or a bit or both).
    However, the situation in Isreal goes concern me. That area has always been a clashing point between cultures, empires, religions, ideologies, East and West — and the stakes are a lot higher in this current chapter of history than they’ve ever been. Humanity’s quest for knowledge and technological advancement, combined with a notable lack of advancement when it comes to fallen human nature and behavior, seems to have written history into a perilous corner — where the actions of a single nation, ruler, religious or political fanatic (or even a well-meaning mistake or misunderstanding at just the wrong moment) could bring down the whole house of cards.
    Of course, scripture makes it clear that our house of cards (the various world systems of control we’ve so carefully constructed) is destined to come down at some point. Though part of me rejoices and takes comfort in that belief, another part of me would rather not be around when that happens. And even another part of me holds out some hope that human civilization can be transformed rather than destroyed. But, then again, this world ends for every individual, sooner or later, in one way or another — and I suspect that facing death in some kind of worldwide apocalyptic meltdown wouldn’t really be any worse than having a massive coronary while eating a triple bacon cheeseburger at Denny’s or getting side-swiped by a log truck at an intersection.
    Rather than obsessing about how and when the world is going to end, I think high-profile preachers like Hagee would do much better to encourage believers to make good use of the time and opportunities that God has given them — and cling fast to Christ’s promise that He will always be with us, even if the mountains really do start falling into the sea.

  39. Read Joel 3.

    (I am not advocating for Hagee, only for Israel.)

  40. “Before they’re brainwashed in secular humanist universities?” How about being brainwashed by this sort of dispensationalism? John Hagee, and those who follow his sort of rhetoric, are in my opinion politically and religiously dangerous. Blindly supporting Israel in whatever she does, taking an overly simplistic approach to Middle East conflicts, etc. are unwise. And what do we not hear in Hagee’s message? The Gospel.

  41. Louis Winthrop says

    Very little of right-wing Christian discourse on Israel could survive an encounter with a Palestinian Christian family. For a good source of news on the Middle East, try Juan Cole’s “Informed Comment” blog at http://www.juancole.com Prof. Cole (a former Baha’i) regularly targets right-wing Israeli policies which he says are violations of international law.

    He seems to regard a two-state solution as no longer realistic (thanks to Israeli intransigence), which leaves Jews and Palestinians doomed to share a single state. Since the Palestinian population is growing much faster than that of the Jews, this means that future Israel promises to look either like Lebanon or South Africa. Oh yes, and the right-wing Jewish lobby IAPAC has forced the U.S. to support the Likud / Kadima side of the political spectrum, and even punishes politicians who support J-Street (IAPAC’s Labour-oriented rivals). They are able to do all this thanks to…you guessed it, crazy American evangelicals.

    • donald todd says

      Under Israel Palestinian Christian families could attend the church of their choice.

      Under Israel the Palestinian Christian people could work and enjoy the fruits of their labor.

      Under Israel the hospitals and schools were not launching pads for rockets.

      Under Israel the Palestinian Christian families, and indeed all families had electricity and running water.

      Under Israel the Palestinian Christians were free. This does not appear to be the situation under whoever currently “governs” the east bank and the Sinai.

      One might weigh anyone’s criticisms and concerns, but one should look at the underlying situation.

      Were the Palestinian Christians better off under Israeli control or under the control the Arabs?

      I think a case can be made for Israel in these regards.

      • Donald, thanks for the perspective. The situation in Palestine is incredibly complicated. IMHO, a clown like Hagee screws things up even more, bringing nonsensical agendas into the game and making the conflict even more unsolvable.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          “Grinning Apocalyptism… Cheering as the world slides into the Pit.”
          — Internet Monk, “Marriage Made in Hell”

  42. I’m not a dispensationalist. To be honest I’m not real sure what my eschatology is. Some days I lean toward amillenialsim and others toward historic premillenialism. Politically however I am a supporter of Israel, for much the same reason that I support South Korea over North Korea and Taiwan over China, a reason which has nothing to do with end time speculation.

    For the critics of Israel, I would suggest researching the way in which the Israelis responded to the earthquake in Haiti.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UX-UmrFAWNw

  43. joanieD:

    Tim keller is EXCELLENT! I recommend him to you most strongly. get his books, download his sermons…

  44. According to French President Nicholas Sarkozy in the run up to the Iraq war, President Bush told him that the war was necessary because of Bible prophecy.

    Strange…the Iraq War took place in 2003 and Sarkozy took office in 2007. I think you mean Jacques Chirac, who either simply made up this tale, Bush has a poor understanding of prophecy, or both.

  45. Ideas have consequences.

  46. John Hagee seems more interested in eliciting applause than anything else.

  47. Internet Monk, ludicrous theology??????????????????????????????????? I would have to say that this is one of the most awful statements I have heard in a long time. I do not agree with Hagee on all points but I can tell you that Israel does have a right to exist, the U.S. has no business in these matters (why not give Northern Ireland back to Ireland?), and the scriptures are clear that any nation that touches Israel, God will exact the measure. It is easy for you to sit in an ivory tower and theologize on matters that you know nothing about but when you know Jewish believers who are currently living in the “settlement area” and are being affected by awful U.S. policy, it is another matter. And if you want to debate on land ownership, David and Solomon’s kingdom extended far far beyond these current borders. This is not just bad but heresy.

    • Yes, ludicrous theology. Plain and simple.

      Let’s separate questions of U.S. international policy from it. Completely.

      • On that note, I can agree with you.

        • “ludicrous theology. Plain and simple?” I think not. This dispensationalist theology is rooted in anti-semitism! How do you think these problems get started? I cannot agree with Hagee on a lot of his bland theology but I certainly support Israel. The church in America sees in very narrow parameters. How can you be ingrafted if it were not for the original vine having started in the form of Jewish believers in Israel, namely the first 12? The church in America needs to understand that there are Jewish unbelievers in need of the gospel too. God does not reneg on his covenant promises.