Some Fundamentalists Ache for Armageddon
The "Religious Right" and Middle East War
By Allan C. Brownfeld
By no means is this a criticism against all fundamentalist Christians. However, it’s time to bring out into the open one of the largest political supports for Israeli radicals and debate how some religious leaders, particularly the Reverends Falwell and Robertson, push support for the most militant, settler lobbyists in Israel and against the Israeli peace groups such as led by the murdered Yitzak Rabin. Many fundamentalist leaders have crossed the line from forecasting Armageddon to trying to bring it about. Their alliance with the Zionist radicals is very two sided, each thinks it is using the other for its greater benefit.
For most of the Religious Right, foreign affairs just don’t loom as major considerations, so the good will of many well meaning Americans is used to support the most fanatic Zionists in Israel and policies of bombing and starvation in Iraq. That’s why conservatives have let their foreign policy by taken over by the Beltway crowd that sees world empire as just another "big government" program for prestige, power and turf building.
The profound Christian philosopher and libertarian activist, Dr. Leonard Liggio, once remarked how he was always surprised how Americans who had lived in the 3rd World nearly all came to the same conclusions about the best role for America on most issues. The fact is that most Americans, especially among conservative leaders, have very little knowledge of 3rd world (and most foreign) nations. (Ed)
The ties between Christian fundamentalism in the United States and Jewish fundamentalism in Israel are growing rapidly, with potentially serious consequences for U.S.-Middle East policy and for the people of that troubled region.
In 1978, Jerry Falwell traveled to Israel on a trip sponsored and paid for by the Israeli government. In 1979, the Israelis extended another free trip, during a period when Prime Minister Menachem Begin was in a rush to build Jewish settlements throughout the West Bank. The Rev. Falwell traveled the road toward the Palestinian town of Nablus and turned off the highway and stood at a cluster of prefabricated houses built by Jewish settlers. At that time, Falwell declared that God was kind to America only because "America has been kind to the Jews."
At a gala dinner in New York in 1980, Prime Minister Begin bestowed upon Falwell a medal named for Vladimir Jobotinsky, the right-wing Zionist leader. In 1981, when Israel bombed the nuclear reactor in Iraq, Begin immediately called Jerry Falwell for support.
Few Americans understood the real reasons for the alliance between Christian fundamentalism and the most extreme segments of Israel political life. In an important new book, "Prophecy and Politics" by Grace Halsell (Lawrence Hill and Co.). She worked as a White House speechwriter during the administration of Lyndon Johnson and explores this growing relationship.
During two of Jerry Falwell’s Holy Land tours, the author interviewed fundamentalist members of the Moral Majority, all of whom believed that the biblical prophecy of fighting World War III must be fulfilled preparatory of the Second Coming of Christ.
The strain of fundamentalism known as "dispensationalism," Halsell writes, argues that the world will soon be destroyed: "God knows it will happen. He knew it from the beginning. But, God kept His plan secret from all the billions of people who lived before us. But now … He has revealed the plan … we must move through seven time periods, or dispensations – one of which includes the terrible battle of Armageddon, where new and totally destructive nuclear weapons will be unleashed and blood will flow like mighty rivers … ."
Dispensationalism spread throughout the U.S. largely through the efforts of Cyrus Ingerson Scofield, born in 1843. His belief system was not original with him but goes back to John Nelson Darby, a 19th-century Irishman and one-time priest in the Church of England.
On one occasion, Scofield reminded his audience that year after year he had sounded the same warning: our world will end "in disaster, in ruin, in the great, final world-catastrophe." But, he said, born-again Christians should welcome such a catastrophe because once the final battle began, Christ will lift them up into the clouds.
Grace Halsell became a participant in two Jerry Falwell-sponsored journeys to Israel where she mingled with many dispensationalists. One of them, Owen, explained his belief system, which entailed the need to destroy Jerusalem’s most hold Islamic shrine, and the necessity of waging a nuclear Armegeddon to destroy the world.
Christian fundamentalists who donate generously to Jewish terrorism include oil and gas tycoon Terry Reisenhoover, a frequent White House visitor, Mission to America Chairman Dr. Hilton Sutton and Dr. James DeLoach, pastor of Houston’s Second Baptist Church who visited me … and boasted that he and others had formed a Jerusalem Temple Foundation specifically to aid those intent on destroying the mosque and building a temple.
Dr. John Walvoord, who teaches at Southwestern School of Bible in Dallas, explained the dispensationalist beliefs to Halsell: "God does not look on all of His children the same way. He sees us divided into categories, the Jews and the Gentiles. God has one plan, an earthly plan, for the Jews. And He has a second plan, a heavenly plan, for the born-again Christians. The other peoples of the world – Muslims, Buddhists, and those of other faiths as well as those Christians not born again – do not concern Him. As for destroying planet earth, we can do nothing. Peace, for us, is not in God’s book … ."
At a meeting of Christian Zionists in Basel, Switzerland, the group adopted resolutions calling for all Jews living outside of Israel to leave the countries where they are now residing and move to the Jewish State. The Christians also urged Israel to annex the West Bank. When an Israeli in the audience urged more moderate language, poionting out that an Israeli poll showed that one-third of Israelis would be willing to trade territory seized in 1967 for peace with the Palestinians, one of the Christian leaders, van der Hoeven of Holland, replied, "We don’t care what the Israelis vote! We care what God says! And God gave that land to the Jews!"
The discussion in this book of the alliance between Christian and Jewish fundamentalists – whose theological differences have been shelved for the political goal of strengthening Israel – is instructive, Jews in Israel and the U.S., it seems, do not realize that the Christian fundamentalists urge such a policy because they believe it will usher in the Battle of Armageddon and the end of the world – not because they are concerned with Israel’s long-run security.
The Orange County Register, May 19, 1987 Mr. Brownfeld is Chairman of the American Council for Judaism www.ACJNA.org
In CHRISTIANITY TODAY (letters) Bob Mize of Colorado Springs wrote:--
Two things have concerned me about dispensationalism in the modern American church: 1) It has become such a "fad" to believe in one form or another of it that, to oppose it, places one in a situation similar to our place as nonevolutionists in the scientific world. There are many of us who are stong believers who do not jump on the dispensationalist bandwagon. (2) Evangelical leaders, as Weber points out, are "making" events in the Middle East conform to their interpretation of Israel, the kindom, aschatology, and so on. This is an alarming idea, and portends even worse things than the historical tension between the Arab and Israeli people. Thank you for including Dr. Weber's article--to many, an unpopular sketch of these matters.
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Date: 14 Nov 2005
Romans 11:26 reads, "And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written,
There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness
Paul wrote that 2000 years ago. Since then millions of Jews have lived in
unbelief, and perished without Christ. The Bible says that to reject the
Son, is to reject the Father as well:
1John 2:23 "Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: [(but)
he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also]."
2John 1:9 "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of
Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath
both the Father and the Son."
With that many Israelites perishing, how is it that
all Israel shall be saved?
Maybe the answer can be found in Romans 11:32 and others. God concluded all
Israel in unbelief, so that He might have mercy on all. He made all Jews
just like unbelieving Gentiles. They all hade to repent, and come to the
Father through faith in Jesus Christ. Those who did were His people again.
Those who didn't, perished. At any rate, there are no Jews in the world, and
never will be any more.
People who think they are Jews deceive themselves, and some Christians are
perpetuating that deception. Who knows how many "Jews" could be saved if
they were told the truth?