Friday, July 3, 2015

The New Christian Zionists?

Back in April I noted that Mark Tooley had convened a conference to discuss how the current tide of anti-Israel sentiment among young evangelicals could be countered. You can read my initial thoughts HERE

Tooley is aware that activism by certain professional agitators has been a problem. But he went on to say:
Compounding this activism is the fading of the old Religious Right, whose leaders, like the late Jerry Falwell, were outspokenly pro-Israel and claimed to speak for millions. A new generation of Evangelical leaders is more reluctant to wade into controversy. Some old Religious Right figures were believers in Dispensationalism, a 19th century movement asserting and stressing various End Times events, including the restoration of Israel, before Christ’s return.
Can Christian Zionism be defended in the 21st century? Theologically? Historically? Can it be defended in ways that are consistent with Jewish and Christian scriptures? Are its legal, moral and political out-workings compatible with the ideals of the biblical covenant?
Neither Providence nor the Bible are neutral between a people striving to survive against many others who hope for their elimination. Effectively explaining why requires both good political and theological judgment.
I suspected then that Tooley was giving the impression that dispensationalism had fumbled the job and that a more biblical approach had to be exercised. Enter the "New Christian Zionists." Following that conference, which included Darrel Bock and Craig Blaising, I made some further observations HERE

Despite incessant allusions to Hagee and the so-called popular "Left Behind" theology of LaHaye and Lindsey supposedly fumbling the cause of biblical Zionism - the issue does not lie there. Tooley, Bock, Blaising and anyone else who cares to wade into the murky waters of anti-Israel activism among some leading evangelicals will confront a wall of resistance against the more biblical approach.

I've been writing and researching columns on this topic for the Omega Letter for a number of years now. The likes of Dexter Van Zile, Jim Fletcher and Brian Shrauger (and others) have been writing about this long before I came along. They'll confirm this has little to do with dispensationalism or the pop-apocalyptic pretribulational rapture, as one opportunistic activist recently suggested. He may want to take a look at what some of the proponents of his rapture view have been doing over the years. Get a clue.

As an aside, I find it ironic that I discovered this individual's rapture view via an email exchange which mentioned Herb Peters. Peters thought he'd located the Antichrist and the timing of Daniel's 70th week (ENPI theory). Time proved him wrong. But among his avid supporters were leading prewrath proponents who were so attached to that theory that they were willing to re-interpret Scripture in an attempt to keep it alive after it failed.  

No, it has nothing to do with pop-apocalypticism. Israel hatred flows deep in the veins of some leading Christians who will use any excuse to run down Israel. This bizarre attitude includes ignoring the suffering of Christians in the Middle East and the suffering of Palestinians under Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. See also HERE

They hate Israel. It's that simple.

Further reading:

Declining United Church of Christ’s Israel divestment may not pack any punch

No comments: