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That Christian Zionist Agenda
In Defense of the Faith
Friday, June 12, 2015
Alf Cengia

I'm writing about that Christian Zionist agenda once again. These people never stop and they should be countered. We peace makers have lots of work to do!

Yes, I'm in sarcasm mode.

I was mulling over what to write for this week's column over my first cup of coffee. Gender and fundamentalist abuse issues came to mind. You know - the stuff the media hardly ever talks about. No offense intended - I know it's important that these issues are discussed - but the word saturation springs to mind.

To be honest my brain had been suffering Rampant News Trauma Syndrome over the last few days. RNTS isn't an officially recognized medical condition (I don't think) but I'm sure that if I gripe about it long enough it stands a chance to be. So I switched the news off for awhile.

Then, as I was mulling on a topic, a friend (Joel) alerted me to another of those thoughtful assessment of Christian Zionism articles. So here's some extra Zionist saturation for you, without apology.

The column, by R. Beiler, was about a young woman (Megan Giesecke) who came to see the light about the Christian Zionist agenda. Incidentally, Beiler appears to gravitate to articles which draw negative attention to Israel and Christian Zionism.

Last year I'd read an almost word-for-word example of a young man similarly enlightened. I'm convinced these writers are given the same template to work with. These essays on Christian Zionism adopt a familiar pattern.

But I guess mine do too, which is a horrible thought!

Anyway, a quick search of the article revealed familiar catchwords: Left Behind; Hal Lindsey; the rapture; premillennial dispensationalism; Gary Burge; Israeli injustice and occupation; Christ at the Checkpoint (CATC) conference etc. You know the drill.

Beiler begins by telling readers the woman had been raised a Zionist in the heart of conservative evangelical Christian America. He observes that she shares her hometown with (dispensational) Dallas Theological Seminary. Dispensational Theology is where Lindsey and the Left Behind authors got their Zionist ideas from.

Presumably, these tidbits of information imply that her conversion from her default upbringing was a result of being further enlightened.

Articles like this don't come right out and denigrate Zionism. On the surface it quotes both sides of the issue. Yet it's structured in a way which leads readers to a particular conclusion. This is done by omitting relevant information and the use of suggestive comments. Like this one:

"While dispensationalist theology has since been left behind by many churches, its popularity helped to create a reflexive Zionism that continues to pervade America’s evangelical subculture." (Emphases mine)

Beiler further cites Megan Giesecke:

“My mom, who is quite a rule-follower, was absolutely appalled to learn that Israel was breaking international law and started comparing Israel to ‘a spoiled child’. My dad still had hesitations - he felt he hadn’t clearly heard Israeli perspectives - but both my parents abandoned the idea that we needed to unquestioningly support Israel.”

No one should ever unquestioningly support Israel. Like any other nation, they aren't perfect. However one should critique it fairly. Would Giesecke unquestioningly support the appalling way Hamas and the P.A. treats its citizens (Christian and Muslim) and denies Israel's right to exist?

The common denominators factoring in these young evangelical conversions are the efforts of activists such as Gary Burge, Bethlehem Bible College and the CATC organizers. They are all inter-connected and superficially persuasive. They are very good at what they do.

The CATC conferences showcase graphics of oppression. There's always that wall and barbed wire. The very name "checkpoint" is designed to elicit a particular emotion. The events have also been given credibility by the appearance of speakers such as Lynn Hybels and Tony Campolo.

The organizers claim to:

"...challenge Evangelicals to take responsibility to help resolve the conflicts in Israel/Palestine by engaging with the teaching of Jesus on the Kingdom of God."

In contrast, Mark Tooley noted:

“The [CATC] conference schedule seems heavy on political and social critique and very little on the topics of evangelism and discipleship that typically characterize church conferences focused on expanding the ‘Kingdom of God.’"

The conferences are activist fronts for airing their list of grievances against "unjust, occupier" Israel. Hamas and the Palestinian Authority are never on the grievance list. That should be a red flag for the young evangelical.

One should expect a Bible College to teach...well...the Bible. But Bethlehem Bible College is a political agitator promoting anti-Israel and anti-American propaganda. It exclusively blames Israel for Palestinian Christian suffering. Yet as CAMERA notes,

"Rev. Awad neglects to mention that one reason why Christians suffer in the territories controlled by the Palestinian Authority, and why many young Christians leave the West Bank and Gaza Strip is the harassment they endure at the hands of Muslim extremists."

Munther Isaac is vice academic dean at BBC and the director of the CATC conference which Giesecke attended in 2012. Beiler quotes him:

 “The younger evangelical generation are (sic) different from their parents and grandparents. They’re not obsessed with prophecy anymore - they're action-oriented.”

That "action" is "oriented" towards empowering activists who aim to chastise Israel via economic and academic boycotts. It also empowers Israel's enemies by lending them credibility. CATC isn't "kingdom" or "peace" motivated - it is driven by politics and prejudice.

And, yes, they've left prophecy behind. Pun intended. In fact they've left a sizeable chunk of God's revelation behind.

As I get older, I find myself becoming a little grumpier in some respects. I'm not impressed by derogatory sound-bite attacks on "dispensational and Left Behind theology." We allow the Bible to speak for itself rather than imposing presupposed doctrines upon it.

The Lord will return and rescue His people Israel. In their affliction they will seek Him (Zech 14:1-4; Hos 5:15; Amos 9:14-15).

If people have a problem with Israel being in the land before the catastrophic events heralding Christ's second coming - they can take it up with God when they face Him.

Until then, sadly, what the Bible teaches, and what the facts on the ground are, isn't in style with these anti-Christian Zionist activists.

We are looking for Christ's return. Are you?

Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming - in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning - lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch! Mar 13:35-37


About Alf Cengia

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