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Zionism versus the Bible

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    Zionism versus the Bible by Thomas Williamson Much of our Christian emphasis on foreign policy in the Middle East today is based on the promise that God made
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 1, 2003
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      Zionism versus the Bible


      by Thomas Williamson

      Much of our Christian emphasis on foreign policy in the Middle East
      today is based on the promise that God made to Abraham in Genesis
      12:3, "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that
      curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be
      blessed."

      The first half of this verse is a promise that God made to just one
      person, Abraham. The original Hebrew is in the second person
      singular, meaning that God is speaking only to Abraham. The King
      James Version correctly reflects this grammatical construction,
      since "thee" is singular, referring only to one person, whereas "ye"
      would refer to multiple persons.

      Matthew Henry's commentary states of Genesis 12:3a that "This made
      it a kind of league, offensive and defensive, between God and
      Abram."

      Of the second half of the verse, Matthew Henry says, This was the
      promise that crowned all the rest; for it points to the Messiah, in
      whom 'all the promises are yea and amen." Note, (1), Jesus Christ is
      the great blessing of the world, the greatest that ever the world
      blessed with."

      Recently Genesis 12:3 has been spiritualized by Christian Zionist
      preachers, who say that this verse applies not just to Abraham, but
      also to Abraham's descendants, specifically to the modern state of
      Israel founded in 1948. Supposedly, it means that evangelical
      Christians as individuals, and America as a nation, are bound to
      provide unquestioning support, financial and otherwise, to the state
      of Israel. It is said that if America fails to back up Israel in
      every way possible, financially, militarily and otherwise, then God
      will be through with America and will have us nuked.

      When it is pointed out that the various Arabs nations, including
      Palestine, are also descended from Abraham, the Christian Zionists
      say that the promise of Genesis 12"3 applies only to the descendants
      of Isaac. (Of course, there is no mention of Isaac in Genesis 12:3.
      They often misquote the verse, saying it refers to "blessing
      Israel," but Israel is not mentioned in the verse, either).

      Zionists say, based on their non-literal, speculative, spiritualized
      interpretation of Genesis 12:3, that we are to give total,
      unquestioned support to some of Abraham's children, while others of
      Abraham's children are to be hated, persecuted, ethnically cleansed,
      bombed back into the Stone Age, maybe even nuked.

      But in Genesis 21:13, 17-18 God also bestows His blessing on Ishmael
      and his descendants, saying, "For I will make him a great nation."
      According to the same principles of interpretation by which we have
      made Genesis 12:3 a command for political support of the modern
      nation of Israel, Genesis 21:18 must be taken as a command for
      political support of the modern Arab nations. (Anybody want to start
      up a "Christian Ishmaelist" movement to lobby for Arab national
      greatness?)

      Christian Zionists claim to have 70,000,000 followers in America,
      who insists that our politicians render unquestioning obedience to
      the military and political agenda of the Israeli Government.

      Does God really demand that we support all actions and activities of
      the Israeli Government, even if those actions violate God's moral
      standards of righteousness?

      It should be pointed out that even in Old Testament times, when
      Israel was a nation specially chosen by, and ruled over by, Jehovah,
      He did not expect His people to support and endorse all actions of
      the government of Israel.

      When the Government of Israel committed human rights violations, the
      prophets openly condemned them, 2 Kings 6:21 - 23, 2 Chronicles 28:9-

      11, Nehemiah 5:7-11, Jeremiah 34:11-17, Amos 2:6-7, etc. Nowadays,
      liberal Jewish groups still protest human rights violations in
      Israel. Nevertheless, most fundamentalists Christians would never
      dream of doing such a thing - it is against their religion. It is
      their duty to either deny that such violations take place, or else
      to endorse and commend such violations. We have been told that God
      will smite us if we disagree with anything that Israel does.

      The lawgiver Moses commanded the Hebrews that they should not
      oppress the strangers or non-Jews in their lands, Exodus 12:49,
      22:21, 23:9, Leviticus 19:33-34, 25:35, Deuteronomy 10:18-19, 23:7,
      24:17, 27:19. That message, of course, is not mentioned today - it
      is considered "politically incorrect."

      When King Ahab and Queen Jezebel unjustly expropriated the vineyard
      of Naboth, the prophet Elijah publicly denounced the kind for this
      unjust action, 1 Kings 21:17-24, Jehu cited this official action of
      the government of Israel against Naboth as justification for
      overthrowing that government, 2 Kings 9:25-26.

      But nowadays, when the Israeli government expropriates the lands and
      properties of Palestinians without compensation, we look the other
      way and say nothing about it.

      In Jeremiah 27:1-5, the prophet Jeremiah picketed a public meeting
      of the government of Judah with representatives of Edom, Moab,
      Ammon, Tyre and Sidon. He was protesting the foreign policy of
      Judah. We would never do anything like that today - it would be
      considered a violation of the command to "bless Abraham."

      In Jeremiah 27:6-17, the prophet advocated the surrender of Israel's
      territory to the King of Babylon, in return for peace - today, we
      would call it "land for peace." But today, our warmongering
      televangelists denounce "land for peace" as unthinkable for any
      reason whatsoever, and threaten God's wrath against anyone who would
      support such a thing.

      Supposedly it is better for Jewish and Arab children of Abraham to
      keep on killing each other over the land (while these sanctimonious
      war profiteers collect the money from sales of their Armageddon
      videos. Could it be a conflict of interest to allow American foreign
      policy to be dictated by these mega-millionaire preachers, who stand
      to make a profit if there is a war in the Middle East?)

      We have seen that God's inspired prophets did not meet the Christian
      Zionist standard of blind, unquestioning support for Israel. As it
      turns out, today's Christian Zionists do not meet that standard,
      either.

      Whenever the modern Israeli government takes any action that does
      not fit in with the speculative doomsday scenarios of the Armageddon
      Theology, the Christian Zionists will loudly protest and insist that
      the Israelis are doing wrong.

      For instance, in 1994 Christian Zionist leaders, including Pat
      Robertson and Ralph Reed, publicly condemned the policies of the
      Israeli government under Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was
      seeking a peace settlement with the Palestinians. Robertson has also
      attacked the policies of Israeli foreign minister Shimon Peres.

      It seems hypocritical for Christian Zionists to threaten the wrath
      of God against those who express disagreement with any policy of the
      Israeli government when they have done the same thing themselves.

      Modern-day Israelis and other Jews are well aware of the fact that
      the Christian Zionists believe, based on a mistaken interpretation
      of Zechariah 13:8, that there must be a devastating war in the
      Middle East in which two-thirds of all the Jews will be slaughtered.
      It is commonly understood that the Christian Zionists do not really
      care about what is best for the Jews, as evidenced by their constant
      lobbying efforts to stir up World War III in the Middle East.
      Million Jews may wind up dead, but it will be good for sales of the
      Armageddon videos that are peddled on the televangelists' broadcasts
      and web-sites.

      This raises the question who is really "blessing Israel;" those who
      are working for peach in the Middle East, or those who are agitating
      for a war designed to get two-thirds of all Jews wiped out?

      Some gullible evangelical Christians may not understand these
      issues, but our Jewish friend understand what is at stake very well -
      they are being prepared to serve as cannon fodder for the next
      Holocaust.

      Gershom Gorenberg, in his book "The End of Days: Fundamentalism and
      the Struggle for the Temple Mount," says, "I've listened to American
      evangelical ministers who insist on their deep love for Israel and
      nevertheless eagerly await apocalyptic battles on Israel's soil so
      terrible that the dry river bed will, they predict, fill with rivers
      of blood."

      Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Union of American Hebrew
      Congregations, has stated that "People who say there can be no peace
      are not really friends of Israel."

      Robert O. Freedman, political science professor at Baltimore Hebrew
      University, says concerning Christian Zionists, "Once you get in bed
      with them, you are, to a certain extent, subscribing to their view
      of what America ought to be. And that, in my view, is not in the
      best interests of the Jewish people."

      Former Shin Bet secret chief Carmi Gillon and former police
      commissioner Assaf Hefetz, commenting on the activities of Temple
      Mount extremists who are financially supported by fundamentalist
      Americans, warned that an attack on the Al-Aqsa mosque in
      Jerusalem "would lead to an all-out war and unleash destructive
      forces that would imperil Israel's existence."

      The eagerness of some televangelists, to get a war going in the
      Middle East (along with their vociferous Arab-bashing and Muslim-
      baiting), must be considered in context of their belief in the
      infamous Armageddon Theology, which insists that 2/3 of all the Jews
      must die.

      Grace Halsell, in her book "Prophecy and Politics"
      observed: "Convinced that a nuclear Armageddon is an inevitable
      event within the divine scheme of things, many evangelical
      dispensationalists have committed themselves to a course for Israel
      that, by their own admission, will lead directly to a holocaust
      indescribably more savage and widespread than could have generated
      in Adolf Hitler's criminal mind."

      American Christians who really want to be a blessing to all the
      children of Abraham (Jews and Arabs) need to realize that they do
      not have to render blind, knee-jerk support to the most extremist
      elements of Zionism, or to those who are actively trying to foment
      massive wars in the Middle East that would be contrary to the
      interests of the Israeli people. Not everyone is going to agree that
      stirring up a war to get 2/3 of all Jews killed is a good thing for
      the Jews.

      Nor should we forget that our Prime Directive as Christians is found
      in the Great Commission. Our mission is to evangelize, baptize and
      teach, not to try to hasten Christ's coming by agitating war and
      violence in the Middle East.

      Zionism is based on a total misunderstanding of what the Bible
      teaches. It is true that God gave Palestine to Hebrews in ancient
      times. But the Bible teaches that their possession of the land was
      under a conditional covenant with Jehovah. If the Hebrews disobeyed
      their God, they would lose the land. This is clearly taught in
      Genesis 17:9-14, Exodus 19:4-5, Leviticus 26:40-45, Deuteronomy
      7:12, Joshua 23:15-16, 1 Kings 9:6-9, 2 Chronicles 7:19-22, Jeremiah
      34:12-22, Ezekiel 33:23-29, Matthew 21:43, etc.

      When the Jews rejected their Messiah, God sent the Romans to
      dispossess the Jews from their land in 70 AD. This was God's
      complete punishment on the Jews for crucifying Christ - therefore,
      the Jews today should not be persecuted for something that happened
      2000 years ago. However, their former title deed on the land of
      Palestine is now abrogated.

      The New Testament teaches that Christians are to focus on the
      heavenly Jerusalem, not the earthly one, John 4:21, Galatians 4:24-
      28, Hebrews 12:18-24. We are told in Hebrews 11:13-16 that even
      Abraham has no further interest in a restored Jewish state on earth,
      because he is in a much better place in heaven.

      Christian Zionism is a movement that claims to be based on the
      Bible, but as we have seen, it is actually contrary to what the
      Bible teaches. All Christians should repudiate Zionism and should
      work for a pace settlement in the Middle East that will be of mutual
      benefit to Abraham's Jewish and Arab children in Palestine.

      Mr. Thomas Williamson is an ordained Baptist minister who lives in
      Chicago, Illinois. He contributes to Media Monitors Network
      http://www.mediamonitors.net from time to time.

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