eBook: https://t.co/MYt8oIbX

The Zionist movement has maintained a striking continuity in its aims and methods over the past century. From the start, the movement sought to achieve a Jewish majority in Palestine and to establish a Jewish state on as much of the LAND as possible. The methods included promoting both mass Jewish immigration and acquiring tracts of land that would become the inalienable property of the Jewish people. This policy inevitably prevented the indigenous Arab residents from attaining their national goals and establishing a Palestinian state. It also necessitated displacing Palestinians from their lands and jobs when their presence conflicted with Zionist interests.

The Zionist movement-and subsequently the state of ISRAEL-failed to develop a positive approach to the Palestinian presence and Palestinian aspirations. Although many Israelis recognized the moral dilemma posed by the Palestinians, the majority either tried to ignore the issue or to resolve it by  force majeure. Thus, the Palestine problem festered and grew, instead of being resolved.

The land and people of Palestine were transformed during the thirty years of British rule. The systematic colonization undertaken by the Zionist movement enabled the Jewish community to establish separate and virtually autonomous political, economic, social, cultural, and military institutions. A state within a state was in place by the time the movement launched its drive for independence. The legal underpinnings for the autonomous Jewish community were provided by the British Mandate. The establishment of a Jewish state was first proposed by the British Royal Commission in July 1937 and then endorsed by the UNITED NATIONS in November 1947.

That drive for statehood IGNORED the presence of a Palestinian majority with its own national aspirations. The right to create a Jewish state-and the overwhelming need for such a state-were perceived as overriding Palestinian counterclaims. Few members of the  yishuv supported the idea of binationalism. Rather, territorial partition was seen by most Zionist leaders as the way to gain statehood while according certain national rights to the Palestinians.  TRANSFER of Palestinians to neighboring Arab states was also envisaged as a means to ensure the formation of a homogeneous Jewish territory. The implementation of those approaches led to the formation of independent Israel, at the cost of dismembering the Palestinian community and fostering long-term hostility with the Arab world. [continue reading …. ]

  1. Christian Zionism : The Real Threat to The World Peace
  2. Palestinian-Israeli Conflict
  3. The Covenant, Chosen Race & Jerusalem
  4. Christian Zionism, by Dr. Ninan Koshy
  5. Why The Heresy Of Zionism Is So Dangerous To Christians by David J. Stewart
  6. The Zionist Cuckoos in Christianity’s Nest
  7. Unholy Alliance: Christian Zionists and the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict : By Micheal Welton
  8. To Whom Does the Land of Palestine Belong?
  9. God’s Land Grant to the Jewish People – Conditional or Unconditional? By Thomas Williamson
  10. Cult of Dispensationalism is Unbiblical –by David J. Stewart 
  11. Christian Zionism—Is It Biblical?
  12. Zionist Christians: Useful tool for Zionist Jews
  13. Christian Zionism: The Heresy that Undermines Middle East Peace
  14. Jerusalem’s significance in Islamic civilization
  15. Covenant, Bible, Qur’an
  16. Palestine Conflict-History
  17. A Jewish suggestion for Conflict Resolution
  18. Jerusalem-Attaining Peace, how?
  19. Israel, Ishmael & Peace [Dialogue]
  20. Zionism – Racism [Dialogue]
  21. Zionism [Tag]
  22. More on Zionism
  23. Zionism Articles ..

eBook: https://t.co/MYt8oIbX

Christian Zionism—Is It Biblical?

Is Christian Zionism biblical? I suppose it all depends on what you mean by biblical. Based on a literal reading of the biblical text in its historical context, one finds support for a Zionist reading of Scripture. Of course, this “interpretive move” is not accepted by everyone. It is not my aim to defend or critique this position, but to contend against the stance held by some within Christian Zionism that the present state of Israel is the realization of biblical prophecy from this hermeneutical perspective.

Still, what is Christian Zionism? It entails the belief that God will restore Israel’s ancient fortunes as a nation in the Promised Land. Accompanying this claim is the conviction that Messiah Jesus will rule from Jerusalem and the Jewish people will believe on him. One of the arguments that is put forth by Christian Zionists is that the ancient prophecies, such as what Christians take to be New Covenant promises fulfilled in Christ set forth in Jeremiah 31 and Ezekiel 36 (See also Hebrews 8:8-12 where Jeremiah 31:31-34 is quoted and John 3:5-7 which alludes to Ezekiel 36:25-27, in my estimation), also talk about God bringing his people back to the land to dwell there permanently (Jeremiah 31:35-40; Ezekiel 36:1-24, 28-38). Based on a literal and historical reading, Christian Zionists claim that God’s people would have understood this to take place literally at a future point in history. Christians of this perspective often ask: if God does not fulfill his promises to Israel, how will we know if God will fulfill his new covenant promises for the church? Based on the presuppositions that support this position, the question makes sense.

What does not make sense is the position of some Christian Zionists that the church must do everything possible to bring about Israel’s return to the Promised Land. While the church should never curse Israel, and should always bless Israel (a claim made in keeping with God’s promise to Abram or Abraham in Genesis 12:3; we will return to nuance that point), a Christian Zionist claim of this kind is bound up with a view of the end times that maintains that God will inaugurate this state of affairs, and with no help from human hands. Moreover, on a pretribulational, premillennial reading of Scripture, the church will not even be present at the time of Zion’s eschatological emergence when Christ will reign over it. The church will be removed from this world prior to the great tribulation and Israel as a nation will be front and center once again in God’s kingdom purposes. When Jesus returns at the end of the tribulation, he alone will inaugurate his millennial kingdom and rule as God’s Messiah from Jerusalem. If one were to take a poll of Jewish people living in Israel today, one would hardly find universal support for this position. From this Christian Zionist reading of Scripture, the fulfillment of the ancient promises for Israel’s eschatological return as a nation has not yet occurred.
From a premillennialist perspective (of various stripes), the Lord will usher in the fulfillment of his eschatological kingdom apart from the working of the church, unlike with adherents of postmillennialism. Unfortunately, there are some Christian Zionists who are not satisfied with simply seeing Israel as having a special place in God’s eschatological program; they favor and support Israel in the attempt to facilitate the second coming of Christ. It is worth noting at this point that Dispensationalist theologian John S. Feinberg has cautioned against trying to speed the Messiah’s return through support of Israel: “Some are so excited about things to come, that they unfortunately think they can somehow bring them to pass sooner, rather than later—at least they want to try. Some well-meaning American Christians have even talked of sending rock and stone to help in rebuilding the Temple. If there is anything not needed in Israel it is more rock and stone. Even if there were such a need, contributing money to fill that need won’t make the end-times come any sooner than God has planned. Unless you happen to be the Anti-Christ, there is probably little you can do to make these events happen, and no one can move God’s sovereign timetable one moment faster or slower than he wants” (The quotation is taken from John Feinberg’s paper, “Dispensationalism and Support for the State of Israel,” {pg. 19}, which was presented at the “Christ at the Checkpoint” Conference, March 12–17, 2010, Bethlehem, Israel).
Another thing that does not make sense is Christian Zionists supporting Israeli hostilities toward the Palestinians. Yes, God blesses those who bless Israel. But not everything Israel currently does blesses God. Israel as a nation is hardly seeking the blessing of the Palestinians. According to God’s first promise to Abraham, all peoples will be blessed through Isaac’s seed, not cursed (See Genesis 12:1-3). Moreover, Arabs are descendants of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, whom God also blesses (See Genesis 17:19-21, Genesis 21:13, 17-18). Furthermore, many Palestinians are Christians, a point often lost on many Christian Zionists (Don Belt, “The Forgotten Faithful: Arab Christians,” in National Geographic, vol. 215, no. 6, June 2009). Those who believe in Jesus are sons and daughters of God, irrespective of their people group. In Galatians 3:28, we are told that in Christ there is no division between Jews and Gentiles as a result of Christ’s atoning work. As a result, all who believe in Jesus are children of the free woman of whom Paul speaks (Galatians 4:21–31), not just the descendants of Isaac who believe. As much as we should be concerned for all people and all Arabs, for all are blessed by God, our concern should be heightened for those who are fellow brothers and sisters in Jesus.
Speaking of Jesus, we find him often challenging his own Jewish people. Their national identity or ancestral connection to Abraham is not sufficient (John the Baptist makes a similar point—Matthew 3:9). He exhorts them to have the faith of Abraham (John 8:31–58). The Canaanite woman (Matthew 15:21–28) and Centurion (Matthew 8:5–13) are sterling examples of those who have the faith of Abraham. Those of Abraham’s faith are Abraham’s spiritual children, according to Paul (Galatians 3:7). We must also account for Jesus’ exhortation to the Jewish religious teacher who sought to test Jesus about what is required to inherit eternal life. Jesus tells him to love his neighbor as himself and shares with him the parable of a lowly Samaritan who exemplifies righteousness—caring for a man (likely a Jewish man) who was beaten and robbed and left for dead (Luke 10:25–37).
Scripture specifies that Israel is to care for the foreigners in the land, granting them an inheritance and treating them as native-born (Ezekiel 47:21–22):
How much more noteworthy is this text when the people in question—the Palestinians—have lived in the land for generations prior to the Jewish people’s return? Mark Bailey, President of Dallas Theological Seminary, maintains that “when Israel is restored to the land, they are to treat the aliens and strangers as if they were Israelites.” In this light, he challenges the modern state of Israel, as well as the Palestinian authority: “Do you know what is lacking in Israel? Just a minor, little plank in God’s program: treating others as you would like to be treated…The bottom-line principle is so powerful, so biblical: Israel needs to treat others as they would like to be treated. The Palestinian authority needs to treat Israel as they would like to be treated.  This applies to all peoples” (See Mark Bailey, “The Lord’s Land Policy in Israel,” in Veritas, vol. 2/3 {July 2002}, 4–5).
While Israel has a fundamental right to live in peace and security in the land, it must not take those rights from others—such as the confiscation of property and increase of settlements in violation of international law (See Donald Macintyre, “The Big Question: What are Israeli Settlements, and Why are They Coming Under Pressure?” in The Independent, Friday, May 29, 2009; John Glaser, “EU Report: Israeli Settlements Deliberate Strategy to Block Palestinian State,” in AntiWar.comWednesday, February 27, 2013; and “EU Report Slams Israeli Settlements, Calls for Economic Sanctions,” in RT.comWednesday, February 27, 2013) and building of walls and checkpoints that keep Palestinians from getting to their jobs and having access to healthcare.  (See Josef Federman, “Palestinian-Only Buses Set Off Uproar in Israel,” Time, Tuesday, March 5, 2013; and Karl Vick, “Why Israel Doesn’t Care About Peace,” in Time, Thursday, September 2, 2010.)
Many Evangelicals have a strange view of what it means to bless and not curse Israel. To do what Egypt did to Jacob’s descendants in enslaving them is “cursing” Israel. Cursing in the biblical sense is not refusing to be in favor of all that Israel does. In this sense, the prophets could have been accused of cursing Israel. Related to this point, many Christians fail to place “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem” in its biblical context (Psalm 122). Praying for the peace of Jerusalem is never separated from biblical justice (See Psalm 122:5), including concern for those who reside in Israel’s midst (Ezekiel 47:21–22). The best way that we can bless Israel is to pray and call for Israel and the Palestinians to live together peacefully as equals in the land. In that way, whether Christian Zionist or not, all of us who claim to be Christians can be biblical.  [Excerpts]

For further treatment of these issues from which some of this material is drawn, please see my article in Cultural Encounters. (“Why Should We Care?” in Cultural Encounters, vol. 7/1, {2011})


The Christian Zionism