can i get an Amen?
Well, it appears that not only our Jewish clergy oppose the Gaza pullout, but Evangelical Christians do as well. Yup, Pat Robertson was leading about 4000 pilgrims on a visit to the Holy Land when he took a brief pause to speak to his sponsor and primary benefactor, God, who asked him to relay a message to the faithful and the Haaretz reporter who was there. Pat, a good friend of Israel, informed his audience that God says,

‘I’m going to judge those who carve up the West Bank and Gaza Strip.It’s my land and keep your hands off it.’

Pat was not specific about the punishment awaiting those who carve up the West Bank and Gaza strip but it’s fair to presume that he was probably inspired by the Old (and discarded) Testament, AKA the Hebrew Bible. Think fire and brimstone and pillar of salt.

Apparently, in order for the Second Coming of Jesus to take place, Israel must avoid “Satan’s Plan” of giving up Gaza or any part of Judea and Samaria. So, you are probably asking, why is the Second Coming so important that it takes precedence over the skilled strategic planning of Arik Sharon, one of Israel’s finest strategists?

Well, the Second Coming is when Good will finally triumph over Evil. The catch is, of course, that if you didn’t accept that Jesus is Christ before this fateful day, you end up kind of like those beings at the bottom of the painting. Needless to say, this includes the very Jews who receive the support of the Evangelical movement.

The Evangelical movement in the US, encompassing tens of millions of Americans, is a powerful political force. It is probably safe to say that part of the reason for this Administration’s strong support of Israel stems from the influence of this base of voters who tend to vote Republican, vote in large numbers, and have been known to influence the dismissal of Republican candidates in primaries unless they represent “agreeable” values. Needless to say, this increases the likelihood politicians will espouse similar values, not to mention a debt of gratitude, to the Evangelists.

leave itAnd these people looooooove Israel. Why, you ask? Well, among other things, the phenomenal success of a series of books called the Left Behind series, has now influenced millions. The series focuses on the “Rapture” when apocalyptic forces destroy parts of the world and Christ reappears to divide the believers from the disbelievers. Here’s a blurb from the successful Glorious Appearing:

Antichrist has assembled the armies of the world in the Valley of Megiddo for what he believes will be his ultimate triumph of the ages. With a victory here he would ascend to the throne of God.

The Tribulation Force has migrated to the Middle East, most ensconced at Petra with the Jewish Remnant, now more than a million strong. But only one of the four original members of the Force remains alive, and he is near death.

Jerusalem is falling to the Global Community’s Unity Army, and Tsion Ben-Judah has been slain. Few in Petra know of his loss, and both Rayford Steele and Buck Williams are unaccounted for. It’s been just over seven years since the Rapture and almost exactly seven years since Antichrist’s covenant with Israel. Believers look to the heavens for the Glorious Appearing of Christ, as the world stands on the brink of the end of time.

So good old Tsion is slain and the the Antichrist has a covenant with Israel. I like the symbolic use of seven years there. Uh huh.

Now, I admit, in these rough times when Israel has few friends around the world and certain Christian groups are encouraging divestment from Israel-related investment, it feels goooood to be loved. Let’s face it, there are way more of them than us and they want to take care of us.

Is it ethical to accept this support? Who knows. Israel certainly needs all the help it can get, and anyway, there’s not much it can do about the faith of these supporters. In the deepest, darkest days of this war (think March-April 2002), Christian Evangelists were still coming to visit as tourists.

Of greater concern is the question, “what if they’re right?”

About the author

themiddle

24 Comments

  • Don’t believe TOO much in your God lest you become part of the problem, as history then and now shows:

    1. Crusades: Silencing/torturing/killing those who would not
    proclaim your ‘god’ theirs.
    2. Inquistions: Silencing/torturing/burning alive those that
    exposed any ‘knowledge’ that would show your ‘bible’ not to
    be literally factual.
    3. Jihadists: Randomly killing the infidels(non-believers) in
    anyway possible using their own body as a bomb fuse, using
    infidel airlines as the bomb, using infidel congregation
    places to include as many with their suicide as possible.

    Fundamentalist religious leaders in all the faiths are part of the problem, not the solution. In the name of all that is holy, the God of humanity, the God of knowledge, the God of love, is pleading with you to please sit down and shut up.

  • Velvel: Belief in god is one thing and presuming to know what god wants is another thing.

    Besides, according to you, having faith – any faith – is superior to having little or none. Care to tell me how I should go about deciding which faith is best?

  • I believe 100% in my God. That’s not the problem.

    Pick a faith. That’s the best. Don’t kill other people because of their faith. Don’t be such a liberal that you decide that there is no real truth and the fundamentalists can be equally right.

    You are a fundamentalist liberal. The only truth to you is that everyone’s truth is equal.

    I believe I know what God wants, as does any other God fearing Jew, which you are not.

  • And in swoops the self-righteousness brigade…

    I have seen nothing to indicate TM is a fundamentalist liberal, and even if he was, it’s facetious to spring from that to claiming he doesn’t fear G-d. If G-d didn’t want us to question what he wanted from us, why would He give us free will? Why did Ya’aqov wrestle that angel? If all we are meant to do is blindly submit to what we think is divine will, then are we truly exercising what G-d has given us?

    Questioning G-d is natural. Israel has done it throughout its entire history. We are defined by our struggle with G-d. We were named Israel because of our struggle.

    Claiming to know the mind of G-d, and going on from there to claim to know who does and doesn’t fear G-d (which only G-d Himself can truly know) is at best presumptious and at worst blasphemous.

  • Velvel:

    All god fearing Jews know what God wants? How presumptuous of you to say that. Of course, you are wrong. We have a long and distinguished history as a people that cannot agree on what we believe God wants from us. In fact, I would say you and I are following that pattern.

    The fundamentalist liberal comments are cute.

  • I believe in God. I believe in God’s law above all of man’s law.
    You (TM, Michael) believe in liberalsim above God’s law.

    Of course we can’t agree on what God wants.

  • “We have a long and distinguished history as a people that cannot agree on what we believe God wants from us. ” Also a part of our history is that Jews that who don’t believe in the sovereignty of God usually don’t get to have Jewish grandchildren.

  • Since when did anybody argue against G-d’s sovereignty? All you’ve done so far is make assumptions based on what seem to be your driving motivations:

    1) You know what G-d wants of everyone
    2) Anyone who doesn’t claim to know G-d’s will doesn’t believe in G-d.
    3) That same person is also a liberal.

    You are taking the ineffability out of Hashem. The Psalms say wisdom begins with fear of G-d, and part of that fear is acknowledging that G-d thought processes, if they can even be called that, are beyond the realm of human comprehension.

    The Torah is open to interpretation, and I think intentionally so. We are meant to wrestle with the mitzvot. I think G-d is like a parent and gains satisfaction in seeing His children try to discover the path to rightness (with a few helpful nudges along the way–Judges or Prophets or whatever).

    Anyone–*anyone*–who claims to know the very will of the divine has not humbled themselves before G-d. G-d reveals Himself to those who seek Him, and the seeker is not a zealot–he is not someone who has made up his mind about the intricacies of the order of the universe. A closed mind is just that–closed. And being humans endowed with free will, opening it is up to us, not to G-d.

  • By the way, now that we are hopefully done with the personal attacks, does anybody wish to comment on this story? I find the whole idea fascinating. They support Israel wholeheartedly, but they envision it playing a role in their scenario of the end of time and return of their messiah.

  • Hmmm…so my present child and future kids will probably marry non-Jews and my grand-kids are already spoken for. Well, I guess that’s good news if the Evangelists are right…

    Oh wait, I just realized that I could pull my kid out of his Jewish day school (nope, it ain’t Orthodox so I guess they’re libbie fundies who will also fall out of Judaism) and save myself a lot of money which I could use towards my retirement funds.

    Thanks Velvel!

  • Study to show yourself approved!
    Evangelicals sound pretty “sound” to me, lest they are fools
    to risk their lives for nothing? May our eyes be open
    during this New Year! May we listen to their sermons long enough
    to catch the end of their message…
    They NEVER condemn Jews to hell like you’d like to believe…
    because they know that Zechariah prophecied (Chap. 12:10) that there will be a day for Israel to believe in their only and true Messiah, and in their
    New Testament (yes, NEW as prophecied in Jerimiah 31:31….”BEHOLD, THE DAYS COME SAITH ADONAI, THAT I WILL MAKE A N E W COVENANT WITH THE HO– USE OF ISRAEL, AND WITH THE HO– USE OF JUDAH”…

  • Kiki: I’m relieved to hear that we’re not condemned to hell. I’m a little surprised (pleasantly, to be sure) by the rest of your post – I had no idea the Evangelicals knew about the Lubavitcher Rebbe. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • I think the issue is that due to the fact that Bush and the Republican party rely so heavily on evangelical Christian support, that it puts the US goverment under such an administration in a bad position. Would Bush really risk angering his base by pursuing a peace settlement (that most Israelis support), that went along with the Barak-Clinton two-state solution plan? I don’t think so. I think that when you mix religious revelation with foreign policy you put yourself in a bad, bad situation.

  • In fairness to many Evangelists who are visiting Israel right now and whose visit led to this entry, the J Post does point out that their leadership is going out of their way to tell Israelis that they DO NOT subscribe to the belief that the Jews who don’t convert will find eternity in hell.

  • first time visitor really like your blog…
    As a born again follower of Jesus, I see that Israel is the centerpeice in Gods plan for the world… Yes many horrible things have been done in Jesus name, I am not going to deny that. But to pull those historical events out of context and apply todays morals to them then judge todays believers by them.. we all know that is wrong… for the past I am sorry for the future I look to His word and see what we should do

    …”for I have shown you, O man what is good, and what the Lord requires of you. To do justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

    aloha friends and please visit my weblog
    http://www.mywideblueseas.blogspot.com

  • Hokulea, The majority believers in a religion are not the problem. It is the fundamentalists in their mist who do dumb things like visit another country and interfere with its politics and religion by proclaiming “God says – Iรขโ‚ฌโ„ขm going to judge those who carve up the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Itรขโ‚ฌโ„ขs my land and keep your hands off it.”

    I mean you have to be deaf, ‘dumb’ and blinded by your religion
    to do such a thing. My previous post didn’t single out one religion nor was it limited to past history. It is making the point how crazy things can get when one believes their way, truth, and light is the ONLY way and all others are to be converted, and to the very extremists in their mist, killed. I am not Jewish myself or favor one religion over another.

  • Something like this is coming real soon.
    Jewish rabbis talk about an up and coming version of the coming of the messsiah, including;
    -the war of gog and magog that started when Bush invaded Afghanistan on Hoshana Raba four years ago,
    -the war of gog and magog will last seven years,
    -a very painful but short last ‘galut’, perhaps a nine-month ‘occupation’ of Israel by a foreign army (Nato?),
    -two messiahs, ben yosef and ben david, ben yosef will perish in the war,
    -The Lubavitcher Rebbe told Rav Kaduri that he will live to see this day,

    Sorry no english translation:

    http://www.kaduri.net/Index.asp?ArticleID=433&CategoryID=69&Page=2
    http://www.kaduri.net/Index.asp?ArticleID=382&CategoryID=69&Page=1

  • sooooo kiki (in reference to post 17 and in your opinion) these guys are saying that the house of Israel and the house of Judah get a new covenant. So who do you think that includes; and who do you think that exclude? I mean in order to “Qualify” for a second chance. If you are in Israel at the time? or you have to have Jewish religion? or do you have to be of Hebrew decent? if so whats the cut off line? I mean like in order to be considered a native American you have to be at least 20%…

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