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Inside the mind of a Zionist Christian

I see this type of wrong-thinking every day. Wanted to share just one typical comment; this one happens to have been posted at Charisma.

The Jews are God’s chosen people, this does not mean they get to heaven via a backdoor as there is no other name (than Jesus) by which man can be saved. However, this does not negate the fact that the Jews are a special people to God, much more so that the Americans, British, Russians or Thais. (underlining mine)

You can view the entire thread (and topic) HERE

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Zionist Christians’ war on the true meaning of Christmas

“The rhetoric of Christian Zionists consistently places loyalty to the modern state of Israel above the example and teachings of the Jesus born in Bethlehem whose birth Christmas celebrates. It’s time to stop calling such groups Christian Zionists and instead use the term Zionist Christians, to more accurately reflect their priorities”

I agree with the above statement: it causes me to cringe when typing the term Christian Zionists—For in truth they are Zionists first and Christians second (if at all).

This is a good article at 972Magazine

For the last two years, Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the largest Christian Zionist organization in the U.S., has sent email blasts urging their supporters to fight back against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement by buying Christmas ornaments “Made in Israel.” Or rather, by receiving these ornaments as a reward for a tax-deductible donation. One message urges supporters to “commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ with this symbolic ornament that was made in the land where Jesus was born.”

I don’t blame CUFI for flogging BDS to fill its own coffers. That’s just standard fundraising strategy. What offends me as a Christian is that while exploiting U.S. Christians’ sentimental perceptions of the Holy Land, they ignore the current situation in Bethlehem, they ignore Palestinian Christians, and worst of all, they ignore the Jesus they claim to follow.

Jesus was born in occupied territory. At the time, it was occupied by the Romans. Today, the West Bank town of Bethlehem is virtually surrounded by the Israeli separation barrier, which if completed as planned will confiscate some 64 square kilometers of the governorate’s land as nearby Israeli settlements continue to expand in violation of international law. How dare CUFI mention “the land where Jesus was born” without recognizing the plight of the Palestinian Christians who’ve carried his tradition to the present day?

When groups like CUFI do make a rare mention of Palestinian Christians, it is often to paint them as victims of Islamist persecution. This despite polls showing that Palestinian Christians overwhelmingly cite the Israeli occupation as the primary challenge in their lives.

If only groups like CUFI reflected the best teachings of their faith as clearly. Instead, they have made an idol of the modern state of Israel. They may mention Jesus every now and then, but they rarely quote him. Benjamin Netanyahu gets a lot more airtime. “Netanyahu” even returns more than twice as many search results as “Jesus” when searching their web site.

I was not surprised to learn — from the extremely conservative Christian magazine Charisma of all sources — that CUFI’s executive director, David Brog, is “said to run CUFI like a political campaign.” The report goes on to say that, “[o]ne by one, the higher-profile Christian leaders who helped [John] Hagee start CUFI are dropping off as the organization becomes more focused on political lobbying.”

Unfortunately, CUFI and similar groups have convinced many Americans that “blessing Israel” means rubber-stamping every policy of its increasingly right-wing governments. This includes a message filled with military imagery to “stand with Israel” during last summer’s assault on Gaza, with talking points like, “Israel must not be condemned for doing what any responsible government would do to protect its citizens from terror.” Another message demands, “[t]ell President Obama to stop blocking weapons to Israel!” And yet another email cites 64 Israeli soldiers killed and describes a CUFI-sponsored solidarity visit by pastors to Jerusalem, Sderot and Mt. Herzl. None of these messages even mention the 2,200 Palestinians killed in Gaza, most of them civilians.

Read more of this interesting article with photos HERE

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You Cannot Be Christian and Support Torture

Thanks to Steve for directing me to this post: I agree with the author (Brian Zahnd).

You cannot be Christian and support torture. I want to be utterly explicit on this point. There is no possibility of compromise. The support of torture is off the table for a Christian. I suppose you can be some version of a “patriot” and support the use of torture, but you cannot be any version of Christian and support torture. So choose one: A torture-endorsing patriot or a Jesus-following Christian. But don’t lie to yourself that you can be both. You cannot.

(Clearly you do not have to be a Christian to reject the barbarism of torture, you simply need to be a humane person. But to be a Christian absolutely requires you to reject the use of torture.)

I remember when Pew Research released their findings in 2009 revealing that six out of ten white evangelicals supported the use of torture on suspected terrorists. (Patton Dodd talks about thathere.) The survey stunned me. I spoke about it from the pulpit in 2009 and have continued to do so. I said it then and I’m saying it again today: You cannot support the use of torture and claim to be a follower of Jesus.

Any thoughtful person, no matter their religion or non-religion, knows that you cannot support torturing people and still claim to be a follower of the one who commanded his disciples to love their enemies. The only way around this is to invent a false Jesus who supports the use of torture. (The Biblical term for this invented false Jesus is “antichrist.”)

Those who argue for the use of torture do so because they are convinced it is pragmatic for national security. But Christians are not called to be pragmatists or even safe. Christians are called by Jesus to imitate a God who is kind and merciful to the wicked.

Continued Here

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CHRISTIANS MORE SUPPORTIVE OF TORTURE THAN NON-RELIGIOUS AMERICANS

Wish I could say this headline shocks me, but it doesn’t. 

Religion Dispatches

A new Washington Post/ABC News poll finds that Americans, by a 59-31% margin, believe that CIA “treatment of suspected terrorists” in detention was justified.

A plurality deemed that “treatment” to be “torture,” by a 49-38% margin.

Remarkably, the gap between torture supporters and opponents widens between voters who are Christian and those who are not religious. Just 39% of white evangelicals believe the CIA’s treatment of detainees amounted to torture, with 53% of white non-evangelical Protestants and 45% of white Catholics agreeing with that statement. Among the non-religious, though, 72% said the treatment amounted to torture. (The poll did not break down non-Christian religions in the results.)

Sixty nine percent of white evangelicals believe the CIA treatment was justified, compared to just 20% who said it was not.

Full article at link above..

Just a final thought; I’d be willing to wager those Christians who supported torture are all members of the pro-life crowd. 

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Dick Cheney: “Torturers ‘Should Be Praised”

I’ve believed for years this guy is one “sick psychotic pup”. There is something seriously unbalanced about the man. And to think he was at one time, one step away from being President of the United States. (shivers)

Says the former vice president:

“I’m perfectly comfortable that they should be praised, they should be decorated,” the right-hand man to former president George W. Bush told NBC television’s “Meet the Press” program, adding, “I’d do it again in a minute.”…

Source

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Today, How Would Mary Get to Bethlehem?

Little town of BethlehemThis is a very interesting and touching series of posts at the blog, “Another Voice”.  

The blog itself is unique for it is operated by a small group of Israeli and Palestinian women who write about their pursuit for peace in the midst of conflict.

This particular series of posts, titled Can Mary Get to Bethlehem? tells us of the problems Mary and Joseph would face today on their journey to Bethlehem. It’s being told in (4) separate posts…only (2) have been shared to date. The remaining two segments are to be posted on the 16th and 23rd of December. I’ve really enjoyed the first two segments and plan to check back Tuesday for part (3).  

From Part (1) – 

CAN MARY GET TO BETHLEHEM? PART 1 OF 4

Recently we have been contemplating how Mary would travel to Bethlehem if she had to go there in 2014.  Part of the area surrounding Bethlehem is under Israeli military occupation, and while Palestinians technically have civil and security control of Bethlehem as it is part of Area A (see more on Areas A, B and C here, and an interactive map here), Israel is quick to override this ‘authority’ and go whenever it sees fit (as we saw this past summer).

Palestinians from the West Bank who have permission to work in Israel can come and go, so long as they abide by the stipulations of their permission (which usually involves getting in line at the checkpoint around 5:00am to get to work in Israel by 7:00 or 7:30am, and returning by an evening curfew of 7:00pm).  Jerusalemite Palestinians can come and go into Bethlehem and the West Bank.

While the signs say Israeli citizens aren’t allowed into Bethlehem, this is open to much interpretation.  In practice, Israeli Palestinians are allowed free entry into and out of the West Bank, as well as other Israeli non-Jews (internationals married to locals, for example).  Israeli Jews, on the other hand, are not allowed entrance into Area A, and if they try and cross the checkpoints like non-Jewish Israelis, they are often turned around by Israeli soldiers.  (Israeli Jews, however, are allowed into Area C — most of the West Bank, and areas where Jewish settlements are built.)

To illustrate the current situation, we each considered the questions, “If I were Mary, and I had to go to Bethlehem today, how would I get there?” And, “What might I see, think and experience along the way?” 

Every Tuesday for the next few weeks, we will share our thoughts on these questions, and our hypothetical journeys from our homes and cities to Bethlehem.

*Continue here for more of part (1) and the links to part (2) + links to future posts in the series

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“ABRAHAM OUR FATHER, JERUSALEM OUR MOTHER” Conclusion

This will be concluded with Alan Morrison’s closing thoughts. This has been a lengthy essay, one I’ve only shared a portion of. Because I omitted entire sections, I encourage you, if time permits, to read it all. What I personally found of interest was the fact this was originally written in 1998. I can honestly say the situation has only grown much worse since the writing of this essay.

If you’re inclined, you can find the entire essay posted at;

Messianic Good News: “ABRAHAM OUR FATHER, JERUSALEM OUR MOTHER”

Folks, this has been posted in order to battle the deception and lies which have been taught in many Churches for decades. If you have taken the time to read through the portions I have posted, then you know everything which was brought forth as truth by Alan Morrison, was backed up by the very word of God. In the west, false teachings and unbiblical doctrines surround the topic of Israel, and for too long this has been seen as a sacred cow:

“something that has been accepted or respected for a long time and that people are afraid or unwilling to criticize or question” (Webster’s Dictionary).

As a blogger for (almost) eight years, I’ve had a ring-side seat to just how much of a sacred cow it is. Most teachings (or news articles) posted here on the topic of Israel, are met with “crickets”. And I will also add personally, whenever I take this topic on I can expect extreme spiritual attacks. And I do mean extreme. It never fails. All the more reason we need to finally “tip this particular cow” and lay aside what we have always heard and dig (personally) into the word of God in search of the truth. 

Let me end by saying, if this series is the cause of one person laying aside what they “think” they know on the topic, and dig into God’s word in search of the truth, then it was worth the time and effort posting it. If not, either way I am confidant I’ve obeyed the Holy Spirit…

Conclusion

 Having covered all this ground, readers may still question whether it matters what we believe about Israel today. Is it not merely a ‘secondary issue’? On the surface, it may not appear to matter and, in a sense, is is a secondary issue. Christians have always had minor differences about things which do not affect the Gospel or the foundational truths of Christianity. But there are some profound problems here.

First, although the place of Israel is technically a secondary issue — that is, one’s eschatology would not normally be counted as a fundamental of the faith — the problem is that what one believes about Israel has indeed been given the status of a primary issue in some circles today. For example, one well-known propagator of the Jewish Messianic teachings wrote to the present writer as he was preparing this paper, warning:

“You are likely to lose many of the friends you made among Charismatic and Pentecostal moderates if you proceed on this ill-contrived course”.

Frankly, such a statement highlights the sinful schism which lies at the heart of the pro-Israel movement among evangelicals today. Why should a man lose friends simply because of what he knows the Scriptures teach about Israel? For this reason, we believe that this issue now matters very much, as it has become unnecessarily and harmfully divisive, not to mention inculcative of other false teachings.

Secondly, there is the question of our stewardship of funds. If Israel today is not God’s chosen people, and that cruel country in the Middle-East is not a fulfilment of Bible prophecy, then is it right that we should be siphoning our treasury in the direction of such an anti- Christian earthly nation? Surely this is another reason why our beliefs on this subject do make a difference.

Thirdly, we have noticed that a fascination with Israel and Jewishness usually becomes progressively obsessive, leading to an almost cultish mentality, in which one shuns other Christians who do not share these beliefs. This regularly happens to a greater or lesser degree. But where it becomes an obsession, there is always spiritual damage and the pursuing of harmful delusions. The present writer recently received a communication complaining of people on a Jewish Messianic style newsgroup on the Internet asking

“if they should wear beards, where they can buy prayer shawls from, guidance on blowing the shofar (a Jewish trumpet made of a ram’s horn) and so forth”.

Such redundant Judaising has become increasingly widespread in recent years and has plainly come about because of a failure to understand the transition from the Old Covenant to the New. One could be forgiven for such confusion in the first half of the first century AD; but twenty centuries later there can be no excuse for such ignorance among professing Christians.

Fourthly, the whole subject of Israel and the Jews has come to consume an inordinate amount of unnecessary prayer-time in the lives of many. There are a number of organisations today which are solely devoted to this issue, with many folk being drawn into wasting hours of valuable prayer-time about an obsolete situation. We would certainly advocate prayer that Jewish people will come to a saving knowledge of Christ; but not to waste time praying about the country Israel as if it is the answer to the world’s spiritual problems.

Fifthly, we must always remember to distinguish Zionism from Judaism. Zionism is a crusading movement which believes that Jewish people have a divine right to the land of Israel and that they are still God’s chosen people. But not all Jewish people automatically believe that. Many Jews will have no truck with the Zionist movement. They await their Messiah patiently in whatever country they are in and will not recognise the state of Israel as having any divine permission to be the restoration of O.T. Israel. One organisation with such a view is Jews against Zionism and it is well worth reading their material.

I salute those Jews. Although they are not really open to the truth about Christ, they are devout within the scope of their religious aspirations and will not be side- tracked into setting up impostor nation-states. This writer has a strong feeling that, as the time of the end draws near, many such Jews as those will realise the truth and become true believers.

Sixthly, let us be quite clear here: we are not saying that the present state of Israel has no right to exist at all as a nation. That would be to misunderstand this paper entirely. Most countries in the world have been arbitrarily drawn on a map or have been established through violent events and each has as much right to existence as the other.

What we are saying is that although the earthly nation Israel has a right to exist, it never had the right to jettison unwanted peoples from the land, which is the root of so many of the problems of today in the Middle-East.

How the country established itself amid so much bloodshed is one of the banes of modern history. The massacre of the inhabitants of the village of Deir Yassin near Jerusalem on April 9, 1948 by a mixture of Jewish forces and militant Zionist groups spread terror among Palestinians as a result of which hundreds of thousands fled to Lebanon, Egypt and the area now known as the West Bank, where they became refugees.

It is the treatment of the Palestinians as pariahs by the Zionists and the hate-filled legacy of those refugee camps which has continued to fuel the conflict there to this day.

Thus, although the earthly nation Israel has as much right to exist as any other country, it has no right to be championed as God’s land, as if it was the same as the Israel of the Old Testament of the Bible.

Put simply: It is an impostor.

Finally, it is a real concern that so many have become grounded in a crass over-literalistic form of biblical hermeneutics. For this naturally colours one’s general Bible interpretation and leads to erroneous hermeneutics in other aspects of Christian doctrine. Furthermore, it has serious ramifications for the way that we understand modern politics and governance.

The blame for the proliferation of these over- literalistic ideas lies squarely at the feet of the C.I. Schofield and his Study Bible. Since 1909, this tendentious work has been hugely influential in shaping the eschatology of generations of Christians, by placing its notes in the pages of the Bible to make them seem as much a part of the Bible as the Word of God itself. Especially the teaching about the restoration of Israel to the Middle-Eastern land.

This false understanding of Israel by so many professing Christians today has meant that millions all over the world have been completely hoodwinked: centred on the restoration of earthly Israel. This has led to a massive deception involving the majority of evangelicals and fundamentalists. That is why so many of them backed the illegal and amoral invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003. So intense is their deception that they will support any act of barbarism and cruelty so long as it is seen to be to the advantage of Israel.

We must not see any of this as an earthly battle but a spiritual one. We need to understand that so many have been deceived about the modern state of Israel because they have been the victims of spiritual deception. This is serious because it has caused a completely false hermeneutic to be applied to prophetic Scriptures such as the Book of Revelation.

As an example of the way that this false hermeneutic works, consider the fact that countless millions of Christians believe that the “Armageddon” mentioned in Rev.16:16 refers to an actual geographical location on this planet (i.e. the actual Valley of Megiddo or Jezreel in Israel). To believe that is to misunderstand the spiritual nature of the term under the New Covenant and the highly symbolic nature of the Book of Revelation. Surely, what we have in Rev.16:16 is what Philip E. Hughes described as:

“A term of symbolical significance, denoting worldwide revolt rather than a particular territorial locality”.

A rule that we constantly find in Scripture is that for evil to be ripe for Divine judgement it must fill up the cup of its iniquity. We saw it at the Flood — we saw it at Babel. And those alive at the end of this age will see it again — only that time it will be forever, with no going back. Armageddon is the climax of a process which has been at work throughout this Age but which quickens as the end of the Age and the return of Jesus Christ approaches. But if we adhere to the prevailing false understanding of Israel today, we will fail to understand this properly and be open to manipulation and deception.

The darkness is gathering for the ultimate battle. When the Scripture speaks of a battle against “the camp of the saints and the beloved city” (Rev.20:9), it is not a reference to some onslaught against national Israel, as most evangelicals and fundamentalists believe and teach today. It is instead the battle by the forces of darkness against the New Jerusalem, the true church of Jesus Christ, the sum of all true believers — also known as “Mount Zion… the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem… the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven” (Heb.12:22-23).

The ‘camp of the saints” today is not the city of Jerusalem in the earthly country Israel. It is the true church. All the venom of Satan is directed towards faithful spiritual believers rather than an earthly multifaith city. This is a spiritual battle who’s lines are being drawn up even now.

Thus, true believers can expect to become increasingly suppressed and persecuted today — especially by the false church.

Nevertheless, in spite of all that we have said above, however much the neo-Judaisers/Christian Zionists of today desire to fossilise the redemptive plan of God in an Old Covenant mould — however hard they try to make nicknames such as “replacement theology” stick and become vogue terms — the Bible is clear about the true place of “Israel” today, and the nature of the real Jerusalem. The true Church is Israel today (Gal.6:14) and the individual believer has that indelibly stamped on his heart. As the Lord Jesus Himself confirms:

“He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Rev.3:12-13)

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