You might be a Christian Zionist if you feel particularly proud to be an American every time the U.S. vetoes an otherwise unanimous UN resolution condemning Israel.
I spent at least thirty years as a Christian Zionist and changing my mind felt like cult deprogramming. Zionism is a movement for the establishment, development and protection of a Jewish state in the alleged real estate God gave to Abraham. Of course, the promise was that he would be the father of many nations, not just the Hebrews.
Not only did I support that, I would have insisted it was an absolutely unstoppable and necessary fulfillment of prophecy. Furthermore, since God told Abraham, “I will bless them that bless you and curse them that curse you, ” I intended to be on the right side of Jew-blessing. I didn’t know many Orthodox Jews hate Zionism.
My belief was reinforced almost every time I went to church, and certainly reinforced by the many books available about the End Times. We were living in the End Times right now and every rumble coming out of the Middle East confirmed that. “Did you see the attack on ___ by ____?” “Yes, praise the Lord, Jesus is coming soon.” “Amen.”
Armageddon was right around the corner. Why, oh why, would anyone look forward to Armageddon, in which so many die that it takes seven months to bury them all? Because it was part of what must happen before Jesus comes back and fixes this sad and suffering world. Besides, it was prophesied and nothing could stop it, right? I didn’t know that depends on who is interpreting the prophecy.
How widespread is this belief? Hal Lindsey’s book The Late Great Planet Earth sold 15 million copies. Hal said Israel was the fig leaf that budded in 1948 and this generation would not pass before Jesus returned. That meant Jesus was due back by 1988. The fact that he was so wrong about this and many other predictions is ignored because the Left Behind series came along starting in 1995 and sold 65 million copies.
How many Christian Zionists? The heretical John Hagee claims 750,000 members in his Christians United for Israel group. In 1971, Ronald Reagan told a banquet guest, “For the first time everything is in place for the Battle of Armageddon and the second coming of Christ. ” That’s the kind of thinking you want in the man with his finger on the red button.
How powerful is this belief? Christian Zionists think they will be removed in the Rapture before things get rough. It could happen any second now! According to this belief, Christian Zionists think they will escape death, which is a mighty powerful motivator. To escape death, you must “bless the Jew” which they take to mean absolute, fawning and unconditional support for anything Israel does.
I had nothing against Jesus coming back, it was all the reveling in blood and guts that struck me as un-Christ-like. I liked the world, I thought it was beautiful. No, they told me, the world is evil and if I loved the world, I did not love God.
But I always thought the world was beautiful. I could agree that the world system-all that greed and back-stabbing-that sucked, but not the trees and rivers and oceans; and not people, I liked people, too. What’s wrong with a Christian liking people, even (especially?) sinners, and enjoying God’s creation? My earth-and-people-loving heart and a great deal of research has led me to this point, the point where I utterly reject Christian Zionism.
It’s not that the world won’t ever end, even the Second Law of Thermodynamics assures us that it will. It’s all this counting of weeks and secret wisdom stuff that is nothing but a new form of Gnosticism, i.e. only the initiated really know. Every President since Kennedy (first one I remember) has been the Antichrist and the Pope is always the Antichrist by default. The new enemy is Islam so the Antichrist is rumored to be a Muslim.
Listen people! There have been about 100 versions of how Jesus will come back and they can’t all be right. The Catholic and the Orthodox churches do not believe like US Christian Zionists. This insanity has been going on a long time-the year 1666 was very popular for the Apocalypse, for obvious reasons. Will he come back Pre-tribulation?(Pre-Trib) Mid-trib? Post-trib?
I’m Pan-Trib myself. It will all pan out in the end. Meanwhile we are supposed to abhor violence and love people. Palestinians are people. Love them. Seriously.