It's official. I've decided that one can't discuss the 'Islamic Republic of Iran'... that is, Modern Iran, without giving equal attention to Israel. Iran, a Muslim country, was a collective response to the founding of Israel... a Jewish country.
This article came across my desktop today, and it was hard to ignore.
This post makes a great companion piece to this one I did a couple days ago.
The Roots of Christian Zionism Part I, The Cause of the Conflict
Charles E. Carlson Dec 08, 2008
America’s war based economy depends on Christians’ support
Christian Zionists, by whatever name, are the primary public enablers of serial wars upon Islamic states. Why? Because they have been conditioned to think of Islam as an anathema to them, much as many of us were trained to consider communists our ideological enemies a generation ago. Most Christian celebrity media leaders have allowed themselves to be used as propagandists against Islamic states with independent governments, including Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, Somalia, Bosnia, and in the future, Islamic states of Iran and Sudan. Our purpose is to examine why and how this has been done, why it is wrong and what can be done to correct it.
The Christian Right’s world war on Islam was observed as early as 1983, and became official in 1991 with the first destruction on Iraq. Only Christian Zionists (known by many names) believe war is an inevitable part of their religion, so they do little to resist it. Due to this un-Christ like error, they have become the primary cause of our conflict, a conflict that has become perpetual.
Christian Zionists, by whatever name, are the only remaining faction of any size that supports the war in Iraq. Therefore, they are largely responsible for the economic and social disaster, and due to the distortion of their own faith, they are the seeds of their own destruction. We find them among our friends, families and associates. This is a problem because we can not just turn our back on Christian Zionists, despise them, and call them fools; they are among our best friends, bosses, even our wife or children, so we need to learn to deal with them. In their formidable numbers we find them our best hope for the positive change from the warmaking state.
Endless wars always have, and always will result in the destruction of both the morality and the currency of the aggressor and are historically destructive to religious freedom. High priced gasoline and food can be accurately laid at the feet of those few industrialists and politicians who see war in their own interest. They deceive Christian Zionists, making them enablers, believing that war is necessary to their faith. Judeo-Christians can be easily swayed to support conflict, so long as a Muslim is on the receiving end of our bombs and bullets, and so long as the state of Israel is perceived to benefit from it.
I am in no way excusing cowardly Congressmen for knuckling under to the war lobby. We know some few gain a lot financially from war, and work for it. But these professional Warmakers are far too mercenary to believe that a God controls their eternal destiny. I also do not dismiss the influence of Jewish Zionists, who consider war in the Middle East in their national interest. But for every Jewish Zionist in America there are ten or twenty Christian Zionists doing the work of the former.
It is my belief, as a follower of Jesus Christ, that Christians who turn from Jesus’ words, “Blessed are the peacemakers, and love your brother…even your enemies, as you love yourself”…these “Christians” deserve the hottest places in hell, as Dante put it. For if those who claim they follow Christ fail to stand for justice and protection of the innocent, who will?
Change can only come from understanding the Roots of Christian Zionism. To this end it is urgent that all Americans of all religions understand why Christian Zionists believe what they do. Those who try to follow Christ need to rescue decent souls to more orthodox Christianity, one by one.
Most Christian Zionists don’t know they are Zionists and might deny it. They usually describe themselves as Evangelicals, Dispensationalists, pre-Millennialists, or a “Born Again Christian.” Very few are comfortable with the radical elements of Christian Zionism if they stop to think about it, but they do not. Their church is to most, a comfortable social outlet, especially for their families, and a society that they desire. Their societal links are much better defined than the theological ones which most do not understand and can not recite.
Restoring the walk to Jesus’ Way can save America.
If Christian Zionism can be correctly exposed as a warring religion, America may be restored to peace, justice, and at least to some of the prosperity which we have lost. Many of us are all beginning to suffer economic distress as a result of the very wars Christian Zionists have supported, supposedly because these wars please God and are necessary for Jesus’ return to earth.
At the apex of the Christian Zionist sect (which is only 100 years old) are leaders who include media personalities such as John Hagee, Rod Parsley, Pat Robertson and the late Jerry Falwell, Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyer, and hundreds more. Each has openly expressed the view that war upon Islamic states is necessary and welcome. Currently, most of these call for America’s next planned serial war against Iran. Sudan is also on the war agenda.
Dispensational bible students can be found in almost any church of any denomination because of the effectiveness of radio churches and giant international bible studies in homes and churches that transcends denominational descriptions. For instance, some Roman Catholics, Episcopalians and Lutherans are Christian Zionists because of their outside Bible studies and are ignoring the contradictions to orthodox Christianity espoused by their own church. In this sense, Christian Zionism is a disease or a parasite upon orthodox or traditional Christianity.
The sixty-four dollar question is how do you identify a Christian Zionist, and how do you know if you are one? We have developed a 10 word litmus test that is non-invasive and usually welcome, so you can ask any churchgoer without hurting his feelings or starting an argument: "Do you believe the state of Israel is the fulfillment of biblical prophesy?"
Tens of millions of Americans need to face this question, for if they believe Israel is the fulfillment of biblical prophesies, then where does Jesus fit in? Simply stated, either Jesus or Israel is the fulfillment of the prophecies of the Old Testament, but there is not room in Christianity for both. If you have been taught that political Israel is in any way involved in your spiritual life, you are infected!
Orthodox or traditional Christians have always believed that Jesus, not Israel is the correct answer. Only Christian Zionism (by definition) assumes that political Israel is in God’s plan for the future, and that in spite of its intolerance, racism, and constant wars, political Israel is the chosen people of God.
Today about one-third of the 210 million American adults who identity themselves in polls and census as Christians, are influenced by Christian Zionism. That is about 70 million, most of whom vote, making Christian Zionists the most powerful and coveted voting block in the world, as can be clearly seen during an election year, translating into some 26 million votes! This means they are much coveted by every political candidate.
The most obvious example was John McCain’s reckless pursuit of Christian Right support that had led him to gross embarrassment at the pulpit of both maniacal Zionists, John Hagee and Rod Parsley, both of whom call for nuclear destruction of Iran.
The teachings of Jesus Christ inescapably demand peace and love of one’s neighbors. This has been America’s one badge of righteousness. In the mid-19th Century, America’s churches led the cry for peace in a world where wars were all too common. It was later, at the turn of the 20th Century that Christian Zionism first took root.
The French author Alexis deTocqueville wrote of churches while he traveled here in the first third of the 19th Century. He sang the praises of America’s invulnerable strength and spirit which he attributed to our citizens sense of morality, and even to the abundant church attendance he observed in America, which of course he would not find in his native France.
DeTocqueville wrote: “America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.” He could not know that the churches he saw as the source of conscience were under a moral attack aimed at the very sense of justice he observed within them.
War seeds immorality
The first attack on the churches came with the War Between the States in 1861-65, which scarred the sense of justice and morality and diminished and divided churches as only a brutal war can. The terrible slaughter called the War Between the States taught moral Christian men about mass killing. But it did not change their New Testament Bible; it simply allowed men to ignore it.
The most powerful theological attack on Christianity came from Oxford University Press in England, which in 1908 published a false and intentionally misleading reference Bible called the Scofield Reference Bible aimed at creating a new religion, with the future state of Israel a semi-God in it. The term “dispensationalism” was taken from Scofield’s book, and is an assault on orthodox Christianity. Oxford did not just publish the book; it promoted it into the key places of study in America where opinion could be molded to cloud the peacemaking tradition of Christianity.
Most pastors and teachers were unaware of any danger. A few foresaw the consequences of the heresy that to most seemed foolish, outlandish, and embarrassing. Few guessed it would come to dominate American Christianity when in 1948 the State of Israel came into existence.
This new religion that chose the friendly pseudonym “evangelicalism” is the topic of our discussion. Religion scholars on both sides often identified it as “Dispensationalism” or “Pre-millennialism,” and “Judeo-Christianity” which are popular synonyms. We will presently explain some of these changes in detail, but first I want to show you how world-Zionism sold its stepchild to Christians.
The World Zionist movement was in full charge toward occupying Arab Palestine by 1913. It was given a huge financial and promotional boost through Oxford University Press in England, which to the amazement of Biblical scholars published a new bible of Christian Zionism in 1908 called the Scofield Reference Bible. This book would be used as the launching pad for a methodical and spiritually deceptive growth of the new sect. Its leading was to be subtly used to help lure America into two unnecessary world wars.
Not all mainline Christians were asleep.
One of the few who saw the warmaking and heretical danger of the new sect, and actually called it “Zionism” was a well-known attorney, Phillip Mauro, turned scholar, who wrote a brilliant critique of the new cult in his 1927 book, Gospel of the Kingdom. Mauro wrote:
“Through a recent occurrence I was made aware of the extent- far greater than I had imagined – to which the modern system of dispensationalism has found acceptance amongst orthodox Christians; and also the extent- correspondingly great- to which the recently published “Scofield Bible” (which is the main vehicle of the new system of doctrine referred to) has usurped the place of authority that belongs to God’s Bible alone.”
Mauro went on:
“Let it be understood at the outset that my controversy is solely with the doctrine itself and not at all with those who hold and teach it, or any of them. Indeed I was myself of their number for so long a time that I can but feel a tender consideration and a profound sympathy likewise, for all such.”
Phillip Mauro has been an encouragement to your writer, and to all those who support We Hold These Truths. He was a dedicated scholar with an engineer’s logic, and a lawyer’s tenacity that allowed him to foresee errors in 1927, that many like myself took five decades to recognize.
This writer must admit and echo Mauro’s confession; for I, too, was “of their number” and like Mauro, I share “profound sympathy” for those caught up in dispensationalism. As his words suggest, we are not fighting Christian Zionists; we are trying to reclaim them.
Dr. F. Furman Kearley was another who saw the path to war in the errors of dispensationalism. He was head of graduate studies at Adeline Christian University in 1983 when he wrote of Christian Zionism’s evil fruit of perpetual war in the Middle East. His short book, The Middle East Crisis in Biblical Perspective, takes sharp issue with those he calls Israel First Millennialists. He names radical prophet Hal Lindsay, and the late Jerry Falwell, whom he said would lead us into endless war with Islamic states.
Kearley noted: “When the concept of Armageddon, as in Revelation 16:16 is raised, those who believe in a literal war at Armageddon often feel that Christians should work to start this war, and should vigorously participate in it. Those in particular who view this present situation as Armageddon…believe that Christians should support Israel with vigor and urge our government to take an active part in the conflict in the Middle East.”
Kearley saw Christian Zionist’s support of Israel’s brutal occupation of Palestine as a precursor to more war in the Middle East. He concludes:
“One needs to be absolutely certain that the doctrine he follows is God’s and not of men before he advocates a doctrine that would put the blood of other men on our hands.”
Dr. F. Furman Kearley explains the neo-Christians’ love affair with war as a religious fixation, correctly stating: “Christians must (as a matter faith) pray for peace in the Middle East. Premillenialists must pray and work for World War III, so Armageddon will come. They cannot pray for peace.”
If a follower of Christian Zionism would only examine the simple teaching of Jesus in the New Testament he will find not a single passage or phrase that would give a follower of Christ cause to take the life of another man, or another man’s child. Certainly we must not kill a man’s wife in a far away country. No such permission exists.-End Part I
In Part II: We examine the bitter fruit of Christian Zionist's error...how followers of Christ were detoured to accept a false and anti-Jesus doctrine of Christian Zionism that leads to the death of millions in the name of Christianity.
The Roots of Christian Zionism DVD (this is the beginning of the audio part) is a documented and sometimes dramatic one hour movie written by Chuck Carlson and edited by Tom Compton. It can be purchased from We Hold These Truths website Bookstore, and is ideal to be shown to concerned audiences of all faiths. http://eshop.cp.whtt.org/eshop.php?id=22
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