|No matter how you cut it, I am an outcast. To the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), I am a right-wing extremist. I am suspect because I am pro-life, pro-family, anti-illegal immigration, pro-U.S. sovereignty, study the end-times and thus might be part of the militia movement, and I trust returning war vets. Thankfully, DHS head, Janet Napolitano, gave a partial ppology to the last mentioned.|
But now I fall into another guilty category: I am a friend of Israel, also known as a Christian Zionist. Church of England priest Stephen Sizer has written another vitriolic book, this time titled, Zion's Christian Soldiers. Suggesting we are like the Crusaders, Sizer warns that pro-Israel U.S. evangelicals have monstrously distorted the Middle East by aligning America with Israel. Sizer states, "In its worst forms, Christian Zionism uses the Bible to justify racial superiority, land expropriation, colonial settlements, the denial of international law, and the dehumanization of Arabs."
Unfortunately Sizer represents a more conservative wing of the Church of England and thus has a platform in places he should not. One such platform is the radio program of the so-called "Bible Answerman" Hank Hanegraaff. Hank is adept in some areas of apologetics and has a radio audience in the millions.
Christians who call his daily program remind him that he has revolutionized their spiritual life. I am not sure we want this kind of revolution as he echoes Sizer's sentiments. Additionally, Hanegraaff is a Preterist, believing all end-time prophecy happened in 70 AD and Nero was the antichrist. That theology puts my brain in a pretzel as I don't want to look at prophecy in a rear-view mirror!
Sizer suggests that the reason Britain and America have become the focus of so much hatred from the Islamic world is because these two nations perpetrate "the most influential and destructive movement among Christians today: Christian Zionism." I wonder why this movement is ridiculed when there is a commandment in the Bible to "pray for the peace of Jerusalem" (Psalm 122:6)?
A previous book by Sizer is titled, Christian Zionism: Road Map to Armageddon. The mantra is the same: Friends of Israel will lead the world into total doom.
Who else is on this vitriolic bandwagon? None other than some Emergent Church leaders including Brian McLaren and his followers in the religious Left. In Jim Wallis' April edition of Sojourners Magazine, McLaren states that Christians like me are "terrible," "deadly," and "distorted." He likens my belief system to the racism of the 1950s and 1960s. McLaren is outraged that Israel might be a special nation to the Lord. Both McLaren and Jim Wallis are "advisors" to Barack Obama, who will likely throw Israel under the bus when he meets with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu next week. Keep this important meeting in prayer. Israeli intelligence admits, in writing, "Under Obama's policies, we are irrelevant. We have become an obstacle." How will Bibi deal with this?
We can't leave out Tony Campolo who says in his book Speaking My Mind that the good people who follow a ministry like mine are "rigid" and are "the real problem for the whole world." Those who look at the last days, which include a heavy emphasis on Israel, "are to blame for wars and a host of other evils."
Campolo was one of Bill Clinton's "advisors." We are dealing with high profile people here, not obscure folks who can be easily marginalized and ignored.
Also among this critical legion includes a pastor in my hometown of Minneapolis. He is Pastor John Piper, lauded for his many books and mushrooming churches in this area. His sentiment is quite well known. He does not believe the Jews even deserve their land due to their unbelief. He states in a sermon from March 2004, "The promises made to Abraham, including the promise of the land, will be inherited as an everlasting gift only by true, spiritual Israel, not disobedient, unbelieving Israel. Being born Jewish does not make one an heir of the promise -- neither the promise of the land nor any other promise."
Ezekiel makes this pretty clear in chapter 37: The Jews return to the land in unbelief and then God begins a spiritual work in their hearts. What is so complicated about that?
I'll stand by Israel because our Messiah is Jewish, the writers of our blessed book called the Bible were Jewish, and "salvation is of the Jews" (John 4:22). The roots of Christianity are Jewish, thus the olive tree (Romans 9-10-11). Her critics are in the millions. Her friends are a tiny minority, scoffed at by the intellectuals and scolded by the religious Left and other liberals of all persuasion. I wish we did, indeed, have the power they claim we have.
If you find yourself in this tiny club, welcome aboard. Our crimes are praying for Israel, attending a "Bless Israel" rally now and then, spending our tourist dollars there, and educating the church that her roots come from the Jews. For this we are vilified. Yet at least 10% of my e-mail list will unsubscribe because I have touched their anointed one. I have a reputation for telling the inconvenient truth, but it is the truth.
So, I confess: I am a terrorist after all. I'm a right-wing extemist with no apologies. I'm a Christian Zionist capable of bringing on Armageddon and the end of the world. And I can't make this stuff up. This is truly what many people believe today!
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
More of the Inconvenient Truth by Jan Markell
Posted by Scofield Prophecy Studies at 10:00 AM