Pastor John Hagee…recently boasted that his Christian Zionist organization, Christians United for Israel (CUFI), had passed the one million member mark.
“Six years ago Prime Minister Netanyahu asked me if we could unite Christians in support of Israel. I told him I didn’t know. Having reached 1 million members, I think the answer is clear. America’s Christians are uniting in support of Israel,” Hagee said at a CUFI meeting in Israel that featured Netanyahu.
“We are witnessing a dramatic transformation in the relationship between Christians and Jews, who are focusing now on the common values and the common future we both share,” Netanyahu said. “And these shared values set Israel apart from regimes like Syria that butchers its own people mercilessly. And from countries like Iran, whose leaders foment terrorism and violence around the globe and all for our destruction,” he said. “I think I don’t have to explain to you why this [Iranian] regime must never be allowed to have nuclear weapons,” he said.
Netanyahu also pointed out that Christians are free to practice their religion in Israel:
“At a time when Christians are under siege in so many places and so many lands in the Middle East, I’m proud that in Israel, they are free to practice their faith,” he said. “They don’t have to fear, they don’t have to flee.”
At the Jerusalem meeting, CUFI executive director David Brog pointed out that “With Iran steadily progressing towards a nuclear weapon, and Palestinian terrorists once again reminding the world that they are more concerned with destroying Israel than making peace, I believe that the news of our having crossed the million member threshold could not have come at a more critical juncture. Our first million members is a solid start, but we’ve only just begun.”
According to the Jerusalem Post, CUFI’s executive director David Brog “sought to dispel concerns about negative theological motivations attributed by some to the Evangelical movement. He labeled the claim that Evangelicals support Israel in order to herald the return of Jesus and the conversion of Jews as `complete and utter nonsense,’ and said such claims were based on `ignorance.’
“Instead, he said, Evangelicals support Israel because of a literalist interpretation of the Bible that views the promises made to the people of Israel as still intact – as opposed to `Replacement Theology,’ which is widely held by many other Christian denominations and posits that the Christian Church inherited the biblical promises to the Jewish people.”
The ingathering of Jews in Israel is considered a prerequisite to the 1000-year reign of Jesus in the end times. Christian Zionists view themselves as `fishers’ who must befriend and persuade Jews to move to Israel before the `time of the hunters.’ Hunters are those who will violently force the remaining Jews around the world to leave their respective nations and flee to Israel. (Full article: Pastor Hagee’s Christian Zionist Enterprise Hits One Million Member Mark)
October 2009: How “Christian” is Christian Zionism? (reposted quotes)
Since Stephen Strang of Charisma Magazine, joined up with John Hagee and the CUFI organization this year, its been interesting to read some of the articles Charisma posts in their new Standing With Israel section. Not all of the articles are written by Christians, such as this one, (Who Crucified Zion?) written by David Brog, who is the executive director of John Hagee’s “Christians United For Israel” (CUFI). Brog, himself an American Jew, has never accepted Jesus as Messiah, but works along-side Hagee to promote political and financial support for Israel, from among American Evangelicals.
From an interview with CUFI’s David Brog:
Which Christians in the U.S. are most Zionist and why?
“The evangelicals. No contest. Their Zionism comes directly from their theology.”
Was there an event that made this alliance stronger? Has it always been under the radar?
“Evangelical Christians largely shunned politics until the late 1970s, when Jerry Falwell created the Moral Majority and led them back onto the political playing field. Israel was among the priorities of the Christian Right from the start. In fact, when Jerry Falwell founded the Moral Majority he made support for Israel one of the group’s four organizing principles along with the issue of abortion, traditional marriage, and a strong U.S. defense.”
Concerning Converting Jews to Christ
“The important question is this: Is evangelical support for Israel merely a tool in the effort to convert the Jews? Is this merely some scheme to soften the Jews up so that they can better sell Jesus to them? And the answer to this question is absolutely not. If anything, the opposite it true. I and others who have worked with Christians in support of Israel all report that no one has ever tried to convert us. In fact, Christians who support Israel tend to know more Jews and to understand their sensitivities better than Christians who do not. Thus, they have learned that Jews find “Jesus talk” offensive, and they tend to leave it out of the dialogue.”
The executive director of “Christians United For Israel” (CUFI) in an interview with Washington Jewish Week,
“Brog said the group (CUFI) tells people, ‘If you cannot put aside your desire to share the Gospel with Jews, there’s the door’” (Eric Fingerhut, “Educating on Evangelicals.” Washington Jewish Week. July 4, 2007).
My guess is that many who support these groups genuinely believe in Jewish evangelism and expect that their support will help Jewish people come to Christ. Sadly, their resources are going to projects run by people who are committed to preventing Jewish people from hearing about Jesus.
..please consider this: When someone makes an appeal for Christians to show their love for Jewish people, please remember that our love is incomplete at best and misleading at worst if it does not point beyond ourselves and to the One who loved us so much that He sent His Son to die, so that WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM will not perish, but have eternal life.” (Jews for Jesus, How “Christian” is Christian Zionism)