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EXPLAINING CHRISTIAN ZIONISM TO ISRAELIS


Interesting article and turn of events. It appears an Israeli “think tank” (Molad) has been quietly investigating the influence American Christian Zionist groups have had (and continue to have) on Israeli politics and politicians, and has now published a full report.

quote,

To many Israelis, the world of Christian Zionism is largely hidden from public view. But a new report out from the Israeli progressive think tank, Molad, aims to change that, casting a bright light on the oddly symbiotic alliances between Christian Zionist activists and Israeli leaders. The investigative report, released Friday, documents these relationships, as well as those between Christian Zionists and the settler movement, which benefits from their largesse.

Christian Zionists, says Liat Schlesinger, Molad’s researcher for the report, are routinely referred to in the Israeli press as “Christians who love Israel.” But that description obscures their theology. “It doesn’t allow a critical look into their theology, what is their purpose, what is their interest in Israel,” she said in an interview in which she shared many of the report’s findings.

The term Christian Zionist, said Schlesinger, “is very confusing” to Israelis. “What we’re showing in the report is they’re not Zionists if they wish for the destruction of the Israeli state. Zionism is one thing and their religious motive is something else.”

The narrative is familiar to Americans who follow religion, politics, and the Middle East: Christian Zionists support Israel. When in Washington, they will frame this support—frequently described as biblically mandated love—in political and policy terms, such as opposing a nuclear deal with Iran or negotiations with the Palestinians. (Or, more recently, supporting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s upcoming speech to a joint session of Congress.) But at church, on religious television, in books, and at religious conferences, this love for Israel and Jews is unabashedly presented as biblical prophecy come to life…

While Christian Zionists (and Messianic Jews, and evangelicals who straddle both) remain largely outside the orbit of the average Israeli, these activists from around the world have made themselves crucial allies to Israeli lawmakers. The Molad report, which is currently available only in Hebrew, aims to show Israelis the role Christian Zionists play in the country’s politics, and how Israeli politicians dismiss violent end-times prophecies as mild theological differences among friends. Schlesinger noted that the Israeli right wing often accuses the left of accepting foreign money, but there is “secret funding that comes to right-wing parties from evangelicals that is completely hidden from the public.”

Mining public documents, Schlesinger uncovered at least 69 trips Knesset members took around the world—including some to attractive destinations seemingly divorced from the turmoil of the Middle East, like the Caribbean, Barbados, and Rome—paid for by Christian Zionist organizations, and one, even, by the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America. Many of the Christian Zionist organizations are hardly household names, even in the U.S., highlighting that many small, obscure Christian Zionist organizations together make up a subculture invisible to Israelis yet deeply influential to their country’s politics….

While U.S. ethics requirements mandate that members of Congress disclose the funders and purpose of foreign travel, including specific locations visited and meetings held, Israeli law only requires disclosure of the funder and destination. (Because of those requirements in the U.S., the American public can discover more details about Christian Zionist-funded trips American lawmakers take to Israel and the occupied territories.)

In turn, Schlesinger said, MKs provide the flourishing Christian tourism business in Israel with special treatment: VIP meetings with members of the Knesset, officially sanctioned awards to prominent Christian Zionists, MK endorsements of the Christian ministries, useful for the ministries’ fundraising activities, and Christian worship services featuring Israeli soldiers, and even one in the Knesset. Israeli MKs look the other way when Christian Zionists attempt to import the American culture wars, by opening crisis pregnancy centers or bringing anti-gay rhetoric to Israel.

The Israeli right wing, said Schlesinger, “is promoting the idea that Christian Zionists love Israel, so it’s free. We take their money and we don’t convert.” ….

While the prospect of evangelicals influencing Israeli law or policy on LGBT issues or abortion seems remote, their influence on settlements, the occupation, and opposition to a peace deal with the Palestinians has a far more profound impact. (Christian Zionists, for example, are big supporters of continued settlement growth and of what they call an “undivided Jerusalem,” which would negate the possibility of a Palestinian capital there and thus a two-state solution.)

Schlesinger said the relationship between Christian Zionists and settlers has also spawned a shadow tourism industry in the occupied territories. Evangelicals, said Schlesinger, enjoy visiting the West Bank, “they like to come to Ariel and ride in armored cars.” American evangelicals harvest grapes for wine made in the West Bank, and they fund a range of services from kindergartens and libraries to security equipment.

The Molad report has already been featured in an Israeli television broadcast focusing on the relationships between Christian Zionists and Israeli and settler leaders….

The reporter asks Revivi if rabbis would say not to take money from Christian Zionists. Most, says Revivi, advise taking it. Money, he says, has power.

Source

*Also interesting reading at a few of the links included.

9 comments on “EXPLAINING CHRISTIAN ZIONISM TO ISRAELIS

  1. A couple of things here.

    I do not want to have a practical lifestyle based on these kinds of articles or any article that is not founded in Scripture.

    We are not of this world or its system.

    Where I get that idea from is Scripture and primarily after discovering the meanings and contexts within those meanings the languages and cultures in existence at the time the Scriptures were written.

    The Scriptures are still the inspired writings of God, the Holy Spirit. We won’t go wrong digging in and drilling down to understand why there are certain prohibitions in the Word.

    Here’s an example of what I mean:::>

    2Ti 2:4 No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.

    Here’s the Greek version verse by verse:::>

    2Ti 2:4 ουδειςG3762 στρατευομενοςG4754 εμπλεκεταιG1707 ταιςG3588 τουG3588 βιουG979 πραγματειαιςG4230 ιναG2443 τωG3588 στρατολογησαντιG4758 αρεσηG700

    Each of the numbers represents the Greek word in the verse. There are more English words than Greek Words used in that verse.

    What I want to zero in on to bring some sense to what that verse teaches us and the prohibition it puts on us as Christ’s sojourners, as His Disciples as members of the Body of Christ is the word bios G979 because we have been saved to become followers of Him, following Him as Our Leader in this life/bios G979. The Lord Jesus Christ lived in this life/bios. Here is the definition of that Greek word:

    G979
    βίος
    bios
    bee’-os
    A primary word; life, that is, (literally) the present state of existence; by implication the means of livelihood: – good, life, living.
    Total KJV occurrences: 11

    When you go to other verses (and there are only eleven times that word, bios/life, is used in the New Testament) to see how they are used in context in the New Testament a picture begins to form in your mind just what this “life” is in relation to the other places where other Greek words are used that are translated “life” in the New Testament. The word “life” is found in many many Scriptures. But this one Greek Word translated “life”, bios, is used only eleven times in the New Testament.

    Let me cite the other times where bios/life is used in the New Testament and maybe you will get an idea what it now means for to live as Disciples, True Believers, followers of Christ in our present state of existence and more importantly, what He is doing in the world today through our life:::>

    Mark 12:44 For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her “living”. G979

    Luke 8:14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this “life”, G979 and bring no fruit to perfection.

    Luke 8:43 And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her “living” G979 upon physicians, neither could be healed of any,

    Luk 15:12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his “living”. G979

    Luk 15:30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy “living” G979 with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.

    Luk 21:4 For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the “living” G979 that she had.

    1Ti 2:2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable “life” G979 in all godliness and honesty.

    1Pe 4:3 For the time past of our “life” G979 may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:

    1Jo 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of “life”, G979 is not of the Father, but is of the world.

    1Jo 3:17 But whoso hath this “world’s good”, G979 and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

    Now if you weigh carefully what is uncovered by the context with which this word “life” bios G979 is used you begin to see the lack of relevance Christian Zionism plays within True Biblical Christianity in the world!

    Jesus said Our Heavenly Father is working in the world and that He too, Jesus, is working in the world.

    What are Our Heavenly Father the Lord Jesus Christ doing?

    I will in closing submit for you one place from Scripture from many where we can come to see and realize what it is Our Heavenly Father is doing so that we can focus our attention on that; and I will submit for you one place from Scripture where we can come to see and realize what the Lord Jesus Christ is doing so that we can focus our attention on that, too. When you step back and see these things from God’s point of view you should come to realize these are the major issues for God so you also can come to see the lack of relevance Christian Zionism plays within True Biblical Christianity today in present day Israel. Also hopefully by these discoveries you can come to realize if you are bogged down in what is happening on that level we see that the Greek Word bios G979 shows us you can repent and turn from the less relevant issues of life and begin to engage with Our Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ in the more relevant and major issues of this life? I’ll also end with one place where we see the most major of the major issues expressed in the New Testament in hopes you will ask the Lord how you too can engage in that and not in the less relevant issues that tend to bog you down and distract you away from keeping the major issues of True Biblical Christianity the major issues of True Biblical Christianity in your bios life?

    Here’s what God, Our Heavenly Father, is doing:::>

    1Pe 5:5 Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
    1Pe 5:6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,
    1Pe 5:7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
    1Pe 5:8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
    1Pe 5:9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.
    1Pe 5:10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
    1Pe 5:11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

    Notice that we have been called into a relationship with God, called out of the world and the relevant issues of the world into the ETERNAL GLORY IN CHRIST. Also notice what God the Father, Peter writes here, is promising to do for us so that we attain to this ETERNAL GLORY IN CHRIST? God the Father promises to restore us, confirm us, strengthen us and establish us in the ETERNAL GLORY IN CHRIST!

    Why?

    Because dominion forever and ever has and will always be His!

    Now, here’s a perspective on what Jesus is doing:::>

    Php 3:17 Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.
    Php 3:18 For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ.
    Php 3:19 Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.
    Php 3:20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
    Php 3:21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

    Notice Jesus doesn’t stay aloof from us in our fallen state of being. No, He gets His Hands right in there into our fallen state of being, our lowly body, and is working right now to transform our lowly body into His glorious body by the power that enables Him even to subject all things to Himself. Wow, I think the Christian Zionists should shutter knowing this truth and hopefully be set free from such insignificant focus on the less relevant issues of the state of Israel and get down to business provoking them and the rest of the world to jealousy?

    Finally, in my view, the next citation from 2 Peter is the mother of all MAJOR relevant issues of our time and has been at any time in history seeing once you get your mind wrapped around this MAJOR RELEVANT ISSUE OF THIS LIFE nothing else will seem to matter in your daily life but doing it! Or at least I hope that this will become a major time and turning point in your True Christian Life/Bios g979?

    2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
    2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
    2Pe 3:11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness,
    2Pe 3:12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!
    2Pe 3:13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

    Notice verse eleven and twelve. Notice that this from Peter’s point of view is the most relevant issue for him and I submit that it should be ours, too?

    • Michael, not every post/article is for everyone. I see many articles/posts at Christian websites which do not interest me. I just pass on them and leave them be, feeling someone else will benefit from them.

  2. Is Netanyahu viewed as a leftist or rightist in Israel? Is he a secular Jew, whose Party is more secular (Likud)? It would seem that the more religious right Party in Israel should be favored by Christian Zionists. It’s quite amazing for the Right-Wing Christians in the U.S. and elsewhere to support the secular goals of a secular government in Israel, and want to be involved in their foreign military affairs. They feel it’s justified, as it’s a means to an end, I guess. I wonder how humble religious Jews feel about interference from moneyed Christian groups, who seem to only care about setting up their personal biblical view of Israel? I wonder if they feel like telling them, “mind your own business”.

    Why does CUFI and others like it support everything Netanyahu does? Should they not support the more religious orthodox Party, who at the very least, believe in God’s divine protection? In fact, since I now realize no Christian should ever interfere in these affairs, I still can’t understand their motives. What do Christian Zionists feel they really gain from all this? Do they just pat themselves on their backs after their prayer closet time and thank the Lord they did a good deed? Or are there more sinister reasons they want to meddle? The U.S. Christians and others around the world who would bend the arm of Israeli leaders would without a doubt precipitate calamity on the world. That blood would be on their hands. They would partake in and possibly be responsible for WW3.

    Even so, come quicky Lord Jesus!

    • Netanyahu is considered to be a far-right extremist. Was reading an article at Forbes in which the author stated he is jokingly referred to my many journalists as “the Republican congressman from the 51st State (Israel). I got a chuckle with that one…its close to being true.

      I wonder how humble religious Jews feel about interference from moneyed Christian groups, who seem to only care about setting up their personal biblical view of Israel? I wonder if they feel like telling them, “mind your own business”.

      I’m sure many do feel that way. From reading comments (and articles) around the internet, it’s pretty clear American Jews are not happy at all with many of Netanyahu’s policies and recent actions (the up-coming speech to congress). One such article i just read was written by Rabbi David A. Teutsch: Netanyahu in Congress: Confronting a Train Wreck He has upset many Jews, not only in America but elsewhere around the world by claiming to “speak for all Jews”.

      Why does CUFI and others like it support everything Netanyahu does?

      I believe they see in Bibi a kindred soul, as far as Hagee’s goal (and the goal of other Christian Zionist), that of preemptively striking Iran (bombing the nation and people to smithereens).

      “While Hagee has long prophesized about the end times, he ratcheted up his rhetoric this year [2006] with the publication of his book, “Jerusalem Countdown,” in which he argues that a confrontation with Iran is a necessary precondition for Armageddon and the Second Coming of Christ. In the best-selling book, Hagee insists that the United States must join Israel in a preemptive military strike against Iran to fulfill God’s plan for both Israel and the West. Shortly after the book’s publication, he launched Christians United for Israel (CUFI), which, as the Christian version of the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee, he said would cause “a political earthquake.”[1]

      At a July 19, 2006 CUFI event in Washington D.C., Hagee told the audience, “The United States must join Israel in a pre-emptive military strike against Iran to fulfill God’s plan for both Israel and the West . . . a biblically prophesied end-time confrontation with Iran, which will lead to the Rapture, Tribulation . . . . and [the] Second Coming of Christ.”[2]

      Read more at http://godfatherpolitics.com/20467/john-hagee-right-america-israel/#DrfEcssckXFhk01p.99

      Hagee (and other CZ) are predominately dispensationalists. They follow a non-biblical form of theology created by a man in the 1800’s, which was brought to America and now dominates the thinking of many Christians.

  3. I apologize for doing a second post.

    Yes, I am amazed at the hypocrisy from a segment of the Right-Wing conservative Christian folks, who love freedom, and less government, and would like to create a Church/State in their own back yards, YET would try and impose their views on Israel and force Israeli leaders to do their beckoning. They would impose Israel’s freedoms to chose their own way, through their own activities and politics. How can Christians feel it’s right to try to influence others with money? Money does talk. They themselves want less government imposition here, yet, would want more ‘government’ in Israel to obey a Republican Congress in matters with Iran. RWC Christians don’t want anyone to impose on their rights and freedoms at home, YET would impose their views and wants on Israel. They don’t want Israel to yield more land, they want her to invite Jews to return, they want her to fight her battles with her neighbors their way. They want to impose their will on a DEMOCRACY! This is the ultimate hypocrisy.

    Christians in the West, who love their democratic rights, their elections, and the will of the people to make it’s own decisions, try to impose their wills on another democratic nation (Israel), by pressuring with money and politics. No one in the West would want their nation to be influenced and cajoled by a foreign religious group, so why do these Zionist Christians feel it’s justified for them to go into a foreign land and make demands? None of these activities have anything to do with the souls of men, and salvation through Jesus Christ. It is a delusion of massive proportions.

    I thank the Lord that He has given discernment and wisdom to the Body of Christ. I am so thankful to those who persevere and help open our eyes.

    • The problem lies in both nations Marie. We have elected officials here in the United States, working along side Christian Zionist groups, trying to influence Israeli policies, and Israeli groups and politicians working hard to influence (and in many instances, control) American foreign policy-making. As my friend at facebook says, “follow the money”. He’s correct, follow the money. One case concerns the billions we send Israel every year. Part of that money, which originates from here, ends up coming back to the US to line the pockets of congressmen and senators in order to guarantee certain policies align with Israel’s wishes. In other words these politicians place the needs and wants of Israel before the United States. Both nations have too much influence inside each other’s governments.

      Here’s one story/news item from last year which shows how many of these advocacy groups work. Advocacy groups woo US lawmakers amid fervor over prayer at Temple Mount

      Its the old, “you scratch my back and i’ll scratch yours” ploy. I would add; not only follow the money but follow the warmongers. For many in both governments, another war (with Iran this time) are their goals, and they work together to see this happen. Hagee has been working hard in Washington (and Israel) to spread fear in hopes of both countries declaring war, through a preemptive strike, against Iran since 2006.

  4. While I firmly believe that Israel will live in the land ruled by her Messiah, the Lord Jesus, that will not happen through political or religious machinations of any sort. In fact, if I understand Zechariah 14, Israel will largely be destroyed before that happens. It is only the physical return of our Lord that will bring about the promised blessings in the OT. And, yes, I have believed in the Doctrines of Grace for about 50 years. Just never could embrace Reformed ecclesiology or eschatology.

    • Only those who are abiding in Jesus will live upon the new earth with Him….those, who have received eternal life.

      Many early Christians saw Zechariah 14 as being fulfilled at Christ’s first coming. I don’t debate the issue for im not convinced one way or the other🙂

      Here’s a link which quotes a few early Christians who believed it was fulfilled: Zechariah 14 in History and Prophecy: Part 3

      Thanks for stopping by! Hope to see you commenting again….

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