by Vince Dhimos
The world is again facing a real possibility of war, provoked not by Iran but by the US administration’s decision to murder a foreign official. Because there is no evidence that Iran was behind the attack on a US base, and what’s more, there are millions of Iraqis, not just Iranians, who want the US out of Iraq. The current administration wants to please its constituents, the biggest bloc of which is Evangelicals, about 80% of which can be described as essentially “Christian” Zionists. Further, high-ranking Israeli strategists close to Netanyahu have pushed hard for an American strike against Iran.
There are a few peace activists who specifically take aim at “Christian” Zionism for its dominant role in instigating war, but their arguments all fall short of the mark. Some of these activists are atheists, while others are Christians, but they mostly just blame religious fanaticism. None of those whose opinions I have read or heard have touched on the only issue that could possibly change the minds of these zealots, and that issue is that the Zionist beliefs held by most Evangelicals, while appearing superficially to be Biblical, are based on a misreading – and I do not mean a misinterpretation – of the scriptures. I emphasize this because my arguments are not primarily theological but are based on textual analysis of the Biblical passages used to support Zionism. After all, you can argue yourself blue in the face on theology and never get to first base, but no one, religious or not, can dispute what the Bible actually says in black and white – whether you believe it is irrelevant to my arguments.
Later in following, I will discuss the misreading of the dry bones prophecy in Ezekiel 37, with emphasis on verse 24 thereof. But let us start with the fact that, while much is made of God’s granting of lands to the Hebrews, the Bible says in various books that God would later banish the Hebrews from the lands that He had bequeathed to them because of disobedience, and further, there is no mention that he would ever welcome them back unless they later became obedient. Ezekiel 37:24 shows that this obedience is an absolute requisite for reclaiming their land, but here’s the problem: a WIN/Gallup poll shows that modern Israelis could not possibly fulfil this requisite because 65% of them self-describe as irreligious. Yet, Evangelicals ignore this requisite completely and insist that God’s wishes are somehow fulfilled by the Knesset (Israeli parliament), simply believing that since the Jews are God’s chosen ones, they could not possibly make mistakes or commit sins – the exact opposite of what the Old Testament says. Thus, these Evangelicals are not being led by the scriptures but by a very powerful propaganda campaign that has been ongoing for over a century. The fact that it has acquired the patina of age makes it appear superficially to be inspired by God, but that is a man-made proposition, which sadly, is supported by most influential mega-church pastors.
Let me quote an earlier analysis of mine:
My aim is to persuade people to stop supporting war and regime change in the Middle East based on a misreading — not a misinterpretation — of the scriptures). About 80% of Evangelical pastors teach that Christians must support Israel. They are in effect “Christian” Zionists (but rarely use the term), which is a contradiction in terms. Using the word “Christian” in that expression would in fact be blasphemous to a non-Zionist Biblical Christian (though such are in the minority) because Jesus never once taught his followers to support a secular state calling itself Israel [I have read the entire New Testament in koine Greek and English. He never even hinted at this]. In fact, while these Israel worshippers claim that restoration of Israel, and especially the temple in Jerusalem, is key to the Second Coming, Jesus not only never even hinted at this but in fact had only words of sharp criticism for the high priests of His time and even prophesied the destruction of the temple, which actually came true in 70 AD. Now, one of the far-fetched arguments of many Evangelical pastors is that the anti-Christ is prophesied to sit in this temple and if the temple (the “third temple”) is not yet rebuilt, then the anti-Christ cannot come, and since that is to happen before Christ can return, well, then, you see, it is up to Christians to make sure the anti-Christ has a throne to sit on as he blasphemes Christ and persecutes Christians. Isn’t that nice? In other words, good Evangelicals are supposed to help usher in the anti-Christ! I am not making this up, folks. Linked below is just one of many sites propounding this utter absurdity and – if you are a Christian and independent close reader of the Bible – blasphemy: Time to Build the Third Temple - Endtime Ministries | End of the Age | Irvin Baxter
The fact is, as Jesus stood at the temple in Jerusalem on one of the last days of His earthly life, he said, addressing Jerusalem and by extension all of Israel:
“For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'" Matthew 23:39
And Jesus intentionally said this in the presence of His disciples so that they could recall these words and jot this down for posterity. In other words, He clearly hoped his followers would evangelize among the Jews (in a loving way of course). Instead, today most US Evangelicals support the gifting of lethal arms to a secular country calling itself Israel, whose inhabitants show widely scattered DNA patterns, so that it can defy the commandment in its own Torah to love their neighbour as themselves (Leviticus 19:9–18). Somehow, this got twisted into murder of Arabs, and Evangelicals mostly do not notice and do not care.
Note that Jesus did not say “you will not see me again until Israel becomes a nation as prophesied and until the third temple is built.” And yet, a high percentage of Evangelicals apparently think Jesus wants them to help build the anti-Christ’s temple but ignore Christ’s clear message mandating evangelizing among the Hebrews.
Again, these reasonings are not intended as a primarily theological or religious commentary. I write this to show how a peculiar fanaticism based on a clear distortion of the Bible threatens to plunge the world into war again. To my knowledge, no Zionist mega-pastors has ever protested that their government is leading its people into war after war in the Middle East and that it sends $4.5 billion a year free and clear to a government that has a policy of shooting to maim and kill unarmed protesters in Gaza and kill Iranians in Syria who are there to fight the terror that the US has not sincerely fought in its fake War on Terror. The Israel connection with US-waged wars is illustrated in the video linked at the top of the page. One of many examples of IDF brutality is described at the Israeli site Haaretz. The scary thing about “Christian” Zionism is the sense of invulnerability it confers to its adherents. It is akin to the Chiliastic Christians during the Peasants War in Europe, who believed that they could enter the thick of a battle and emerge unscathed thanks to supposed divine protection. Almost all of their leaders wound up burned at the stake. But modern Zionist Chiliasts will not hesitate to plunge the world into a similar scenario, one that could end life on earth.
Many Evangelicals accept the policies and statements of the Israeli government as divinely inspired. An Evangelical friend of mine was surprised when I told her Netanyahu was not a Christian. She said “are you sure?” This is evidence of brain washing done right and proper.
As for their belief that modern Israel is the Israel prophesied in Ezekiel 37, there is a major hitch in that chapter. Verse 24 says this Israel resurrected from the dry bones will be “obedient to God’s decrees.” So what’s the hitch?
A Gallup poll shows that 65% of Israelis have no religion at all! (Israel among the least religious countries in the world). Thus it is clearly not Ezekiel’s reborn Israel!
I write these words in hopes that eventually this message will filter down to Evangelicals who are supporting the instability in the Middle East in the steadfast but unscriptural belief that they are doing the will of the Almighty.
So far the main argument against this dangerous theology has been that Evangelicals are too literal in their interpretation of the Bible, but the truth is just the opposite as you can see. They are in fact sadly lacking in their reading skills.
Trump’s moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, his recognition of the Syrian Golan Heights as Israeli territory, and his willingness to take the US to the brink of war to please Israeli leaders suggest that Trump is a true believer in this dangerous theological hocus-pocus.
END OF EXCERPT