Christian Zionism In The News
• Learn how Christian Zionism affects the news we hear about every day.
• Discover significant stories that that our mainstream press often overlooks.
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Trump Recognizes Israeli Sovereignty Over the Golan Heights: Pompeo Claims “Trump Is the New Queen Esther Poised to Save Israel”
March 26, 2019
As President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order making the United States the first nation to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Syrian Golan Heights, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo affirmed President Donald Trump as a new Queen Esther, poised to save Israel. Two Hispanic Senators, Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Marco Rubio (R-FL), are following their leaders by co- sponsoring legislation in the U.S. Senate to change official U.S. policy to “recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.”
Rev. John Hagee, President of the Christian Zionist organization, Christians United for Israel, and leading Hispanic clergy praised the decision. The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, took to social media and celebrated Trump's announcement, stating: “I applaud this administration’s decision to recognize what’s been true since God gave the Israelites the Promised Land, and more recently when Israel re-took control of the land during the Six-Day War in 1967, that the Golan Heights are the rightful, sovereign lands of Israel.” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a fundamentalist Christian Zionist, went further, telling the Christian Broadcasting Network that it is entirely possible God is using President Trump as “a new Queen Esther,” to save Israel from attacks from Iran. When asked if that is a possibility, Pompeo responded: “As a Christian, I certainly believe that’s possible.” Read it at Christian Broadcasting Network.
But is this a faithful way to interpret the Bible in the light of current events? We at christianzionism.org have a different view. PLEASE CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING:
As we launch the new Spanish version of the website christianzionism.org, we ask everyone to stop and consider a short Biblical, theological, and historical exercise to determine if Israel’s claim of sovereignty over the Golan Heights is consistent with Bible prophecy or the ethics of the Hebrew Prophets and Jesus Christ? Among the questions you might consider are:
First: did God give the modern state of Israel the right to seize the Golan Heights, or for that matter East Jerusalem and the West Bank as sovereign Israeli territory? Does the modern state of Israel have a right to seize Arab land and make a “biblical” claim to justify its actions?
Second: how would the Prophets Elijah, Amos and Micah judge the Trump-Netanyahu decision to claim Israeli sovereignty or new legislation co-sponsored by Senators Cruz and Rubio that support the questionable claim? Read I Kings 21 and consider how the Prophet Elijah viewed King Ahab and Queen Jezebel’s “political plot” to steal land from a farmer named Naboth? Elijah says to Ahab: “I have found you because you have sold yourself to do what is evil in the sight of the Lord” (I Kings 21:20). Could Elijah’s prophetic challenge have any bearing on the proposed Trump and Israeli decision?
Third: how does the rule of law, including international law, apply to the Golan Heights? The United Nations Charter forbids nations from seizing land from another country by aggression as do the Fourth Geneva Conventions of 1949. Israel occupied the Golan Heights in the June War of 1967 but this land is still considered Syrian territory and only Israel and the Trump administration recognize this sudden change of status. Should international law and perhaps the Ten Commandments (“Thou shall not steal,” “Thou shall not covet what is thy neighbors’”) be considered in evaluating the Trump/Netanyahu decision on the Golan Heights?
Fourth: consider the timing of this decision and whether there might be immediate political motives behind it. The Israeli Prime Minister is in a highly contested election and has been charged with criminal activity. The Mueller Report was just released on Friday, March 22nd, and eventually it may have severe consequences for President Trump and his administration. The pro-Israel lobby AIPAC will meet this week and wants to celebrate and justify the Golan Heights decision. Could there be partisan political motivations in the timing of the Israeli/U.S. decision?
Fifth: how do we separate God’s will and the call “to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God” (Micah 6:8) from the possible misuse of the Bible to provide a religious “cover” for a political decision?
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Please see the articles “What Is Christian Zionism?” “Bible,” “Theology,” “Politics,” “Story,” and “Peacemaking.” Join us in praying and acting responsibly as informed followers of Jesus and the Hebrew and Muslim prophets, in standing with the oppressed in the search for justice and a lasting peace in the Holy Land.
Christian Zionist Leader Rev. John Hagee Departs from Core Evangelical Doctrines
December 16, 2018
A few years ago, John C. Hagee, Pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, recorded a remarkable video: John Hagee video. In this video, Hagee is selling his book In Defense of Israel (2011) and making claims that are so outrageous that no New Testament scholars have ever taken him or this book seriously. But we should take Hagee seriously. He is the pastor of one of the largest churches in Texas, he is the highly visible leader of “Christians United for Israel,” and he is a catalyst (or lightening rod) for Christian Zionism in the US. However, this book unmasks that he is not a serious theologian. His claims cannot even be supported by other Christian Zionist supporters. In this book, he says that Jesus never claimed to be the messiah, that the church is mistaken in promoting him as the messiah, and when first century Jews rejected Jesus they cannot be blamed because they never rejected their messiah in the first place. All of this has one aim: to say that the coming of Jesus had no effect on Judaism’s covenants. This leads to his hidden aim: that the modern secular State of Israel thus still enjoys the covenant land promises of Abraham and that nothing about Jesus ever interrupted these promises. In an attempt to promote modern secular Israel, he demotes Jesus. It is an astonishing claim — which is why since its publication date in 2011 the book has been largely ignored, except by vulnerable Christians in ordinary churches that do no know they are being duped.
This pastor and his books serve as a warning. Every Christian needs to be alert to charlatans who claim that their teaching will “revolutionize the world” and “change the course of theology.” Charlatans will lead many astray. This reminds me of a valuable verse in Mark 13:22-23. Jesus warned us about charlatans. They are false prophets and teachers who will lead “many astray.” However, careful, prayerful study will easily unmask people who are charlatans and protect us from being led into false teachings
Christ at the Checkpoint: Christians meet in Bethlehem to expose cracks in evangelical support for Israel
May 27, 2018
In the wake of the controversial US embassy move to Jerusalem, over 400 evangelical Christians from the Middle East, United States, and Europe will gather in Bethlehem, Palestine for a conference called Christ at the Checkpoint. At this conference, scheduled for May 28th through June 1st, participants will debate, analyze and seek the will of God and the way of Jesus’ life and teachings.
Featured speakers include Palestinian evangelicals, Western evangelical theologians, and Messianic Jewish leaders. They will examine biblical and theological beliefs that divide evangelicals over issues such as: Who owns the land of Palestine/Israel? Does the State of Israel have the right seize Palestinian land for construction of exclusively Jewish settlements?
Palestinian Christian journalist Daoud Kuttab has written an excellent article about the conference (click here): Christians Meet in Bethlehem.
Daoud Kuttab is Director General of the Community Media Network in Amman, Jordan. His editorials have appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post, and other U.S. and European papers. He was previously an Adjunct Professor of Journalism at Princeton University. He is the author of Sesame Street, Palestine, a personal story of the challenges of bringing the joy of Sesame Street to the children of Palestine.