Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
Opinion Editorials, December 2013
Many Evangelicals Now Criticize Israel for Oppressing the Palestinian People
By Rev Ted Pike
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, December 5, 2013
A major Christian Zionist ministry says many evangelical Christians now sympathize with the Palestinian plight and are critical of Israel. “Chosen People Ministries,” a Jewish (Messianic) group with a 120-year history, says“growing numbers of evangelicals… are rethinking their commitments to Israel and the Jewish people. It is no secret that an increasing number of evangelical Christians are very critical of Israel. Some of these brothers and sisters believe that the ongoing election of the Jewish people was buried at the cross and that there is no biblically justifiable present or future for ethnic Israel.” (See Rebalancing Evangelical Views about Israel, drmitchglaser.wordpress.com)
CPM describes a debate between the traditional pro-Zionist consensus and the new “active pro-Palestinian evangelical lobby” and calls for “humble and Jesus-centered communication between evangelicals on both sides of these issues!” To facilitate such interaction, this group sponsored a series of lectures by Christian Zionist scholars at the historic Calvary Baptist Church in Manhattan entitled “The People, the Land and the Future of Israel.” Absent is the historic denigration of anti-Zionist Christians as agents of Satan, worthy of God’s curse. CPM refers to replacement theology Christians—who believe God is done with national Israel—as “brothers and sisters” who hold a “historic position” which CPM does not “believe is necessarily dangerous or anti-Jewish.” It says: "Sometimes the position is called Supersessionism or Replacement Theology, and there are many versions of this viewpoint."
CPM acknowledges criticism of Israel has spread beyond liberal “Christian” denominations, such as the United Methodist, United Presbyterian, and Church of Scotland. “This viewpoint is sometimes tied to the emerging social justice agenda of a newer generation of evangelicals who tend to “root for the underdog” and uncritically accept this anti-Israel narrative because of their concern for those viewed as politically and socially oppressed.”
Pro-Zionist evangelicals must realize, says CPM, the “times they are – a-changin'” and must confront and rebut such new theological error “which can be dangerous and quite harmful when combined with accepting – rather naively – the current Palestinian narrative...a growing syncretistic viewpoint that is more anti-Israel than pro-Palestinian.”
My Response to Chosen People Ministries
Here is my open letter to Dr. Mitch Glaser, head of CPM:
Dear Dr. Glaser,
Thank you for your invitation to enter into "humble and Jesus-centered communication" concerning what the Bible really teaches about God's covenants with His chosen people. Your latest article "Rebalancing Evangelical Views about Israel" reveals your deep concern about the increasing number of evangelicals who are adopting replacement theology and using it as their basis of argument that God is done with a nation of Jews. We at the National Prayer Network (www.truthtellers.org) are also troubled by this spreading error. In our opinion, it does exactly what the apostle Paul forbids: It "boasts" against the branches, saying God is utterly finished with a national destiny for a believing remnant among the Jewish people and, instead, has transferred such covenant blessings to the church.
We believe, as Paul so clearly emphasizes in Romans 9:4, that all such covenants still apply to obedient Jews, anticipating national conversion of a remnant at Christ's second coming.
Not all evangelical anti-Zionists are in the displacement theology camp. As futurists and millennialists, we agree with a host of Biblical prophecies that the Jewish people and their proselytes will dwell in Israel as priests of Jesus for a thousand years. (See Does Christ's New Covenant Replace the Old?) We believe those covenants were always conditional on Jews giving the same obedience to God that Abraham gave, which is why God gave him such promises in the first place. Notice how strongly "if" defines the whole idea of covenant in the following verses:
Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that the LORD thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which he sware unto thy fathers. (Deut. 7:12)
And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth.2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God. (Deut 28:1-2)
Clearest passages in the Old Testament compel us to affirm with Scripture that God always required obedience from His chosen people for them to occupy the land. If not, He will expel them; they cannot re-enter as a nation in unbelief. We are appalled at how such massive Scriptural testimony is ignored by the pro-Zionist camp.
We also teach that Israel and world Jewish supremacist control (see Jews Confirm Big Media is Jewish) constitute Babylon the Great, continuation of the archetypal harlot of the Old Testament. Misguided evangelicals have played the pivotal role in building up this anti-Christ system. (See 'Babylon the Great' is Israel)
I have attached my recent article about your invitation to anti-Zionist evangelicals to dialogue. It has been sent to NPN's 10,000, very largely evangelical subscribers and posted at Rense.com, an anti-Zionist website with readership equal to that of WorldNetDaily. In addition, every month we receive up to 14,000 visits to our largely anti-Zionist Bible studies. Again, these are largely by evangelicals who will read and discuss your invitation. In this article I link our readers to the video of your recent NYC conference, "The People, The Land, and The Future of Israel."
We want our constituents to be familiar with your perspective, just as we would like you and your followers to be familiar with ours. Too long, we believe, pro-Israel evangelicals have given "the silent treatment" to Christians who affirm God's requirement of obedience for a nation of Jews to occupy His Holy Land. In fact, this authentic Biblical viewpoint is actually considered anti-Semitic not only by the government but by many Christian Zionists.
We agree it is time for our Christian Zionist brothers and sisters to pay closer attention to the truly Biblical, rather than Israeli, narrative on Israel. For a brief introduction to what we teach, please take this link to our mission statement: "Blessing Israel with Truth."
In His Light,
Rev. Ted Pike
Director, National Prayer Network
Will Chosen People Ministries respond in Christian love and respect to our invitation toward mutual education and understanding? We hope so. However, if pro-Zionist evangelicals remain as they are, increasingly viewed by academia and the world as subnormal in willingness to investigate conflicting ideas, then short term, the whole idea of unconditional support of Israel will become a laughingstock. Long term, Christian Zionists will become even more pawns of Babylon the Great, whose garments, Revelation prophesies, will someday be drenched in their blood. (Rev. 17:6)
Rev. Ted Pike is director of the National Prayer Network, a Christian/conservative watchdog organization.
To contact Rev. Ted Pike call (503) 631-3808.
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