Christian Zionism In The News

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Christian Zionist Leader Rev. John Hagee Departs from Core Evangelical Doctrines

John C. Hagee / Photo: Christians United for Israel

John C. Hagee / Photo: Christians United for Israel

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

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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.