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National Prayer Network


By Harmony Daws
23 Nov 10

A Christian recently wrote to me asking for more clarity about John Hagee, whom I have called a heretic. Hagee has tried to defend himself against this oft-made charge, even revising his book and carefully denying belief in a dual covenant where Jews can be saved apart from Christ. Yet in his Christians United for Israel conferences held in most major cities, he enforces a strict policy of not mentioning Jesus, forbidding attendees to attempt to convert them. Hagee zealously trumpets the cause of political Zionism, believing Jewish control of all Palestine will hasten the Rapture, and puts this priority far ahead of bringing Christ to the Jewish people.

Hagee is not alone in believing and teaching that Christians have a moral duty to support the physical, political dominance of Jews in Palestine regardless of their spiritual condition before God. This has not always been the case. Most Christians once prioritized evangelism to Jews and expansion of Christian civilization; they believed the Jews would return to the Holy Land only as a result of converting to obedient faith in Christ. Today, that truth has been lost. As it eroded, so did the American church’s sense of responsibility to evangelize the Jewish people. Today, all major Christian Zionist organizations actively discourage evangelism to Jews, preferring to expedite political cooperation for the conquest of the Promised Land. Inappropriate Zionist goals have also misshaped the American church’s view of the Arabs of the Mideast; siding with Israel has made Christians angry antagonists, not evangelists, to the one billion plus Muslims in the world today.

Thoughtful Christians need to take a much harder look at this incredible development. Today, churchgoers stand hand in hand with a Jewish people who would crucify Christ again if He walked their streets. Judaism and Israel does crucify Him by forbidding His missionaries, banning His Bible, and reviling Him in Jewish sacred writings. The alliance between evangelicals and Jews is both strange and unholy, yet only half the alliance—the Jewish activists who tentatively partner with believers—seem aware of its forced, unnatural and temporary status. Christians, with a naïve and self-betraying ardor, embrace and fund the Jewish people, seeking the benediction of its rabbis and the partnership of its activists. Let’s again look closely at the state of spirituality in Christian Zionist organizations, comparing their activities to what is mandated by the Bible. We have to ask, “Can any sincere Christian know these facts and still take part?”

No Christ in Christians United for Israel

John Hagee has clearly and repeatedly said that Christians United for Israel is a “non-conversionary” effort. His executive director David Brog is an American Jew who worked as chief of staff for the Senate’s most passionate supporter of the federal hate crimes bill since 1998, Jewish Senator Arlen Specter. Brog works hard to disguise his own record as an ardent pro-hate law liberal, portraying bonds between Jews and Christians as benevolent and positive, preserving a joint culture. Yet his public statements to journalists reveal an intense hatred of true Christianity, which is by nature aimed at redeeming lives through the preaching of the gospel. Remember, as co-director of CUFI, Brog speaks for Hagee on broad policy.

He told the Washington Times,

All activities of CUFI are strictly non-conversionary. Christians who work with Jews in supporting Israel realize how sensitive we are in talking about conversion and talking about Jesus. So those who work with us tend not to talk about Jesus more, but talk about Jesus less. They realize it will interfere with what they are trying to do -- building a bridge to the Jewish community to ensure the survival of Judeo-Christian Civilization. (July 13, 2006, The Washington Times, "Christian group to advocate more support for Israel," by Julia Duin)

Brog spoke similarly when interviewed by Kathryn Jean Lopez on Beliefnet.

The important question is this: is evangelical support for Israel merely a tool in the effort to convert Jews? Is this merely some scheme to soften up the Jews so that they can better sell Jesus to them? And the answer to this question is absolutely not. If anything, the opposite is true. I and others who have worked with Christians in support of Israel all report that no one has ever tried to convert us. In fact, Christians who support Israel tend to know more Jews and to understand their sensitivities better than Christians who do not. Thus, they have learned that Jews find ‘Jesus talk’ offensive, and they tend to leave it out of the dialogue. ( Kathryn Jean Lopez, “Jews & Evangelicals Together: Why Some Christians Are So Pro-Israel,” Beliefnet.com)

He was even more blunt in his own book, where he wrote, “While there is no eviden ce that [ CUFI] facilitates the conversion of Jews, there is evidence that the alliance actually works to impede efforts to convert Jews .” ( David Brog, Standing With Israel, pp. 188-189.)

Brog told Washington Jewish Week that Jewish converts to Christ are not accepted as CUFI speakers. He added, “ The group tells people that if you cannot put aside your desire to share the gos pel with Jews there’s the door.” ( Eric Fingerhut, “Educating on Evangelicals,” Washington Jewish Week, July 5, 2007)

A 2009 paper by David Bricker of Jews for Jesus reports the incredible testimony of one of its founders, Tuvya Zaretsky. Zaretsky received an invitation to a CUFI event and called to confirm. He was told the invite was sent accidentally and that since he is a Jewish convert to Christianity, he is not welcome at CUFI events.

Hagee’s ministry is self-proclaimed non-conversionary and this freedom from offense has been rubber-stamped by others—including the important leader of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein. This rabbi said, “The Jewish community and evangelicals are to cooperate whenever possible . . . but if they (evangelicals) are involved in targeted missions toward Jews, like Jews for Jesus, we won’t work with them.” ( Rick Hellman, “Rabbi reassures Jews about evangelicals,” Kansas City Jewish Chronicle , February 17, 2006.) Rabbi Eckstein made this statement in 2006. The next year, he gave IFCJ’s highest honor, the Ambassador’s Award, to none other than John Hagee.

Another rabbi also gave the kosher approval to Hagee’s only superficially “Christian” events. Rabbi Clifford Kulwin attended a CUFI rally in 2007 and listened to CUFI regional director Robert Stearns. Stearns told his Jewish audience, “Let’s talk about the 600-pound gorilla in the room. I am not here to convert you.” He had “too much respect” for Jews to suggest that any individual Jew should convert from his religious identity! ( Clifford M. Kulwin, “A rabbi comes to terms with a Christian Zionist,” New Jersey Jewish News, March 27, 2008)

Away from Spiritual Roots

The 2009 Jews for Jesus study is titled, “How Christian is Christian Zionism?” It retells the shift from religious Christian Zionism to political Christian Zionism, from a church focused on sharing Christ with Jews to a church focused on getting the Jews into political power in Israel. Stephen Sizer, author of Christian Zionism: Roadmap to Armageddon, points out that most Christians used to believe the Jews would inherit Palestine as a result of converting to Christ. Although some Christians had always believed the Jews would rule Palestine before finding Jesus, the idea began to gather real steam about the time that Theodore Herzl was pioneering political Zionism in the late nineteenth century.

In 1909, C. I. Scofield forever changed the landscape of American Christianity with his annotated Bible. Scofield taught that certain events must occur before Jesus can return and rapture the faithful to heaven. Perhaps most importantly, the Jews must be reinstated in Palestine. Scofield’s work carried on the legacy of late-nineteenth century eschatologist John Nelson Darby, who is considered the father of modern Dispensationalist theology and was a respected explainer of End Times theology.

Darby believed the church will be raptured before any tribulation occurs, as did Scofield—and as do Hagee, Tim LaHaye and other contemporary hasteners of Armageddon. Since believers will enjoy a quick stage-left exit, according to these pastors, the church should do everything it can to hasten the end of the age—including getting the Jews into dominion in the Holy Land. Darby and modern dispensationalists teach that the Jews are still under God’s unconditional blessing, even in rebellion; their vision of the ongoing Abrahamic covenant means that despite rejection—even persecution—of Christ and His followers, the right of all Jews to consider themselves God’s chosen people and occupy Palestine as a nation remains unaltered. These theologians laid the groundwork for a Christian Zionism intent on reinstating Jews in rebellious conquest of the Promised Land and thus signaling the church’s elevator ride to heaven.

According to the Jews for Jesus report, this uncharitable emphasis truly began to cut off Christian evangelism to Jews around 1970. “ It was only after the establishment of the State of Israel and indeed after the recapture of Jerusalem in 1967 that we began to see the rise of a non-biblical or rather a political Christian Zionism that divorced itself from Jewish evangelism.” Scofield’s seeds were in full bloom at this point. A church intensely focusing on the rapture has less and less interest in saving Jewish souls in the here and now.

A system of eschatological escapism and heresy begun in the mid-nineteenth century British Isles today feeds on Christian fundamentalist idealism and desire to please anti-Christ Jews. It has brought Christian evangelicalism to a shocking state. The church is embarrassed to name Christ to those He first came to redeem—the lost sheep of the house of Israel. It disobeys Christ’s great commission to spread the gospel to the whole world, starting with Jerusalem.

Is there any worse description of heresy?

Harmony Grant is a writer for National Prayer Network. To greater understand the illogic behind hate laws, read her article “Top Eleven Reasons You Should Fight Hate Laws.”

Rev. Ted Pike is director of the National Prayer Network, a Christian/conservative watchdog organization. 

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