A cyber friend of mine, Noah Russell, put some questions to me the answers to which I decided to share via this blog.
Noah asked the following:
Should Christians be anti-Zionist or Zionist. Is it pertinent to the faith? If so, why? Should I, Noah, have opinions on these matters?Here's my quick reply:
There are two basic ways to look at it: 1) Zionists are Jews who vary from socialist non-racists (rather rare and certainly not in power in Israel) to hyper-nationalist racists (typically capitalistic and the hardcore base behind the official political leadership of Israel) and 2) Zionists who profess Christianity who want Israel restored so Christian prophecy as they interpret it may be fulfilled.
The second type doesn't think about running afoul of Jesus's teachings. They rather spend their thoughts on the Old Testament. The first type, with the exception of Jews for Jesus types (a tiny minority), doesn't believe Jesus was the Messiah but rather a fake or that it doesn't matter, as many Zionist Jews are atheists anyway.
Here's what I believe. Prophecy will be fulfilled, and I won't have to have been a Zionist but an anti-Zionist even while I won't have run afoul of Jesus's teachings in the process, just as Jesus was an anti-Zealot.
John Hagee's favorite verse is: "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." (Genesis 12:3 KJV). He's built his entire Christian-Zionist theology/ideology around it to the complete exclusion of all of Jesus's teachings that modify that verse, that put that verse in context, etc., and that should cause anyone who is seriously interested in following Jesus to conclude that supporting war waged by those who covet the land is clearly wrong.
The "Jewish" Talmudic prophecy is that Israel will end up the one and only and permanent superpower and that all nations, all other peoples, will be the slaves of the Jews and be glad of it.
The Christian prophecy is that the Jews of Israel who have refused Jesus will die and that only those Jews who have accepted Jesus will survive and rule in accordance with Christian principles where the first is last, the servant.
The two visions could not be more different.
John Hagee and the Zionists before him don't do anyone any service by not proselytizing for the teachings of Jesus against war and covetousness, etc. In fact, Hagee calls for war, for the US to go to war against Israel's (the Zionists') ostensible existential enemies. Jesus said, "Blessed are the peacemakers." Hagee and the other "Christian-Zionists" are not that.
Does this mean one is indifferent to Islam? Islam too is anti-Christ. Mohammed taught his followers that Christians have the whole story of Jesus almost all wrong. They falsely believe that Jesus is not the son of God, that God has no offspring (spiritual or otherwise) so to speak. They believe that it wasn't even Jesus who went to the cross but that by then, Jesus was disembodied. Mohammed's teachings completely miss the whole point of Jesus's message, and I suspect that it was on purpose, Mohammed's nationalistic (Arab), worldly tactic.
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That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
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- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
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- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)