Why Christian Zionists Really Support Israel

By John C. Hagee

On May 23, pastors, ministers and priests at more than 1,500 churches in all 50 states and over 50 foreign countries will dedicate their Sunday services to teaching the importance of Christian support for Israel.

On that day — the second annual Christians United for Israel Sunday — church leaders will speak to their congregants about God’s enduring covenant with Abraham and the Jewish people, including God’s promise in Genesis 12:3 that He will bless those who bless Israel. Worshippers will learn about the tragedies of Jewish history. Christian leaders will speak the truth about our culpability and silence during the Holocaust, pogroms and Crusades. The message at churches around the world will be clear and unequivocal: Christians can never again be silent in the face of threats to the Jewish people.

Christians attending these churches will also learn about the miraculous rise of the modern State of Israel and the existential threats it faces today. Many will leave church with a better understanding of the dangers of Iran’s nuclear weapons program, Palestinian terror and the international campaign against Israel’s legitimacy.

As is the case for many Jews, our support for Israel starts with God’s promises in the Hebrew Bible, but it does not end there. Christian Zionists recognize that we owe an enormous debt of gratitude to the Jewish people. As I have stressed to my Christian audiences for years: If you take away the Jewish contribution to Christianity, there would be no Christianity. From the patriarchs to the prophets, from Jesus and his family to the men who wrote down the Bible, Jewish people have provided us with the fundamentals of our faith.

Christian Zionists also recognize that Israel is not the cause of militant Islam’s hatred of America, but an ally in the fight against militant Islam. Until 9/11 and the ensuing events, Israel largely confronted this threat alone. And to this day the frontline of this conflict remains Israel’s backyard. But Christian Zionists understand that Israel is merely militant Islam’s first target. While American and Israeli soldiers do not fight on the same battlefield, they defend the same values.

Given the history of Christian antisemitism, I am not at all surprised that many in the Jewish community are skeptical of Christian support for Israel. Some worry that our efforts are motivated by a desire to convert Jews. Others posit that our Zionism is tied to an effort to speed the second coming of Jesus. Both of these allegations are flat wrong. All we ask of our Jewish friends is that they get to know us before they judge us harshly on the basis of myths such as these.

Like all people of faith, we Christians firmly believe that our religion is true. But we also believe in religious freedom and have enormous respect for the Jewish faith. The first rule adopted by Christians United for Israel was that there would be no proselytizing at our events. CUFI exists only to honor and support the Jewish people, never to convert them.

Regarding the other allegation, the fact is that the vast majority of Christian Zionists and Evangelicals do not believe there is anything we can do to hasten the second coming of Jesus. Our theology is clear that we humans are utterly powerless to change God’s timetable. Yes, like many Jews we do believe that the creation of Israel was the fulfillment of biblical prophecy. And like our Jewish friends we also search the Scriptures to understand what may come next in God’s plans for His creation. But since we are powerless to change these plans, our motives for standing with Israel come from elsewhere. They are the motives discussed above.

Another concern that some individuals have expressed is that Christian Zionists will use our influence to stand in the way of efforts to advance a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Such a claim shows a complete disregard for our record. Like many supporters of Israel, some Christian Zionists have certainly grown skeptical of land-for-peace in the face of the failures of this formula the last few times it was tried. Yet from our founding four years ago, we decided that CUFI would never presume to tell Jerusalem how to conduct its foreign or domestic affairs. We have never, and will never, oppose Israeli efforts to advance peace. Our involvement in the peace process will continue to be restricted to defending Israel’s right to make decisions free of international interference or pressure — including U.S. pressure.

We cannot change the past. But we can try to learn from it. During the Holocaust there were Christians who risked their lives to save Jewish families. Christian Zionists believe that the tradition of the righteous gentile has an important role in the world today. We are not the heroes they were. We do not have to risk our lives as they did. But following their example, we will stand with the Jewish people as they face threats of a second Holocaust from Hitler’s ideological kin in Tehran and elsewhere.

Christian support for Israel starts with the Bible, is strengthened by an understanding of history and endures because of the Judeo-Christian commitment to democratic values. Everything that forms the Christian understanding of the world leads to the same conclusion: Christians should support Israel because it is simply the right thing to do.

Pastor John C. Hagee is founder and chairman of Christians United for Israel.

May 15, 2010 | 80 Comments »

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  1. Ayn, just an indication, you have to give G-d a chance. He certainly didn’t lead the Jews back to the Holy Land empty handed and without resources. G-d provides us with patience, only we don’t always know how to exercise it.

    Could be a great game changer.

  2. The anti-Christian pathology is so deeply ingrained that it overrides all reason.

    Ayn, I believe you hit the nail on head.

    The only reason I commented on the “Convert Jews” discussion is this is the only place I heard it being discussed. Growing up in a Catholic School system this was never a subject. Again we had non-Catholic students who attended and there was no effort made to convert them to Catholicism.

    Bottom line Catholic, Jews and Christians all believe in G-d/God. G-d/God is the common denominator.

  3. ron,

    Your presence here debunks the absurd myths about Christians.

    Some people just don’t know who their friends are, and this is especially true among Jews.

    It is beyond my comprehension how any Jew can fixate on Evangelicals when Muslims are determined to eliminate the Jewish people.

    The anti-Christian pathology is so deeply ingrained that it overrides all reason.

    Fortunately, I experience no such neurosis when selecting enemies.

    I hate everybody.

  4. Ayn, maybe you can convince some of the troops here, the bottom line is there should be more concern for those who hate Jews rather then being concerned or find fault with a Christians who frequent the site and support Israel.

    I shouldn’t be discourage, sometimes I get the impression there is this invisible sign here that reads “Jews only” or “Christians and Catholics sit in the rear of the bus”. Then I remind myself this tiny but giant nation needs all the support especially from non-Jews for the world to know Israel is not alone.

  5. Can you please quote Glick where she consistently expresses her faith in Judaism?

    You must guess:

    a) Down at the end of Lonely Street

    b) In the ghetto

    c) Blue Hawaii

    d) In the cold Kentucky rain

  6. Glick for lack of a better term I think is a secular rationalist, who still thinks BB’s morning dodo doesn’t stink.

    I can’t think of a single time where she has referred or mentioned G-d or implied that she had faith. That means that given a certain set of circumstances her political and personal world view will change and has changed.

    Don’t misunderstand most of the religious are no better and many even worse.

    To fathom the depth of the Jewish contradictions, paradoxes and challenges I refer to : Mordechai Kaplan’s approach that had significant influence on the course of Jewish history in the 20th century. But it was facilitated by two objective historical realities:

    The reality of America’s dynamic non-sectarian civil society which after World War II almost compelled inter-ethnic and inter-religious cooperation. This essentially forced the intra-ethnic and intra-religious cooperation of the Jewish people
    The unifying project of developing Israel, which after the Holocaust became of almost transcendent importance to the vast majority of the Jewish people

    These two historical realities– intra-Jewish group cooperation and Israel as a unifying force– are in an advanced stage of erosion in the first decade of the 21st century.

    Israel has become increasingly divided internally (for both religious and political reasons) and this is reflected in growing divisions with the Diaspora (both in regards to feelings about Israel as well as their own internal divisions).

    American society is more divided than at any time since the end of the Jim Crow era. This divisiveness has divided the Jewish intellectual class into neo-cons[ervatives] and traditional liberals. This divisiveness along with evangelical support for the right wing in Israel has contributed to the erosion of traditional liberal Jewish support for Israel (as militant evangelicalism has become a major player in American divisiveness in general).

    As a consequence,( not the only one) Israel is no longer a unifying force for growing numbers of young Diaspora Jews. And given the internal divisions within Israel regarding Haredi entitlements and the settlements it is less and less a unifying force for itself.

    There is also a growing generational differentiation regarding the Holocaust. Within the next 10 years, the last survivor and the last murderer will have died. The Holocaust will increasingly become a symbolic event like the Exodus from Egypt or the Inquisition and expulsion from Spain.

    Its gut wrenching immediacy will fade. Generations will arise “who knew not one survivor.” As with Israel, Holocaust remembrance will not have the unifying power it once had.

    Glick never addresses the width and depth of our problems nor does she offer any ideas to repair them.

    I like “Na’Asa vey Nishma”

    The rest can go drink the water in the dead sea for all I care.

  7. rongrand says:
    May 18, 2010 at 2:53 am

    I really got here via Caroline Glick who I believe is not only a great American she is likewise a great Israeli. She is wonderful person and I admire her and her faith in Judaism.

    Can you please quote Glick where she consistently expresses her faith in Judaism?

  8. Ayn, Uncle and all my friends. As you may be aware I don’t like to engage in these religious discussion. I prefer to avoid them since my attendance here is not of a religious interest.

    Having said that you are all aware that I grew up in a community and a close relationship with my Jewish neighbors, some of the finest.

    With respect to converting Jews, in all my years of association it was never considered, mentioned or thought of. To be perfectly frank, my first encounter regarding the subject was here on Israpundit.

    In fact when I attended Catholic school we had several non-Catholics in attendance and there was no attempt to convert them.

    I really got here via Caroline Glick who I believe is not only a great American she is likewise a great Israeli. She is wonderful person and I admire her and her faith in Judaism.

  9. yamit, you’re waisting your precious time, this person does not come in order to exchange logical arguments but in order to impress assimilated Jews with an ocean of stupidities in order to convert them to the sect of love

    whatever you say, he will insist that he adores Israel and accepts every single word in the Holy Tora and that the sect of love has only one interest which is to love Israel and the Jews and the Tora and that this is the whole point of that dead Jew and the sect of love that came after him – in short : “dialogue de sourds”

  10. Michael I don’t mean to be contentious and we’ve traveled this ground many times but How can you ascribe parts of the Torah as holy writ and ignore or reject others in the same scripture.
    This is intellectually disingenuous

    The Land of Israel belongs to Israel, not because Zionists or Christian Zionists believe it, but because that God’s Words.

    Judaism was born within a national revelation whereby the whole nation of Israel some 3 million men women and children heard G-d speak.

    There is only one categorically unique claim in mankind’s religious history: only the Torah claims that a large, easily identifiable group heard God speak and survived to tell about it.

    The Torah is aware of its uniqueness and unabashedly offers this challenge to every Jew who has lived since Sinai:

    You might inquire about times long past, going back to the time God created man on earth [exploring] one end of the heavens to the other. See if anything as great as this has ever happened, or if the like has ever been heard. Has any nation ever heard God speaking out of fire, as you have, and still survived? (Deuteronomy 4:32–33)

    There is then only one method where G-d can change, alter or recind his commandments and eternal covenant with the Jewish people and that is by assembling the whole Jewish nation and letting us know about his mind change in the same manner in which it was first given.

    Since this has never occurred and most probably won’t ever we will of-course ignore your theology and entreaties to join you and your fellows following a misguided path.

    If you were intellectually honest I believe you would not disagree.

    Since tomorrow begins the festival of Shavuot I believe this comment is not out of place no untoward .

  11. ayn reagan says:
    May 17, 2010 at 12:34 am

    Here is just the site for you, yamit.

    Thanks but I prefer the moving water-bed like bosom sites.

  12. It’s a package deal. Enjoy them both.

    No package.

    No deal.

    I will take my chances on Christian Zionists.

    Liberal Jews are all yours.

  13. The great Chomsky, pride of American intellectual life and Jewish life and a liberal [ok, left] Zionist if ever there was one,

    Chomsky the Zionist.

    Eichmann the Zionist.

    Equally plausible.

    Equally plausible: They were all good to their mothers and their dogs. Weren’t they?

  14. My gosh, you’re so full of yourself.

    Heh Heh Heh Heh!!

    Im Ayn Ani Li Mi Li!!!!!

    Snappy tune though I think I will adopt it.

  15. I’ll still take Hutchens over Jeremy Ben Ami.

    It’s not an either or choice. I reject and condemn both. If it were in my power I would eliminate both.

    In the same context when I raise questions, criticism and doubts re: your Christian Zionist, it doesn’t mean that I think them worse than all of

    your liberal leftist Jews in America and elsewhere. It’s never been a question of either or!

    Both groups if we can generalize are inimical to Israel and Judaism.

    No one forces us to have to make a choice of which group is the lesser or greater evil.

    I understand your concerns but I think Shy has it right, at least on this subject. Others?

    Shy Guy says:
    May 17, 2010 at 6:08 am

    ayn reagan says:
    May 17, 2010 at 12:07 am

    I’ll still take Hutchens over Jeremy Ben Ami.

    It’s a package deal. Enjoy them both.

  16. Israel reportedly denied Noam Chomsky entry to West Bank

    by Philip Weiss on May 16, 2010 · 99 comments

    Oh my. Wake up America. The great Chomsky, pride of American intellectual life and Jewish life and a liberal [ok, left] Zionist if ever there was one, kept from entering at Allenby Bridge/Jordan. Do you know what is happening to Israel? Only in Hebrew so far, at Haaretz. Tragic.

    Update. Ynet now has the story: “According to [Mustafa] Barghouti [hosting Chomsky, 81, at Bir Zeit U. in Ramallah], security sources at Allenby Bridge told Chomsky that he would not be allowed to enter Israel following an order issued by senior Israeli Interior Ministry officials due to his political opinions.” Oh and here is Amira Hass in English, she broke the story.

    “When you have to resort to denying entry to ‘the most important intellectual alive’ it really says something about what is happening and what his message is.” — Craig Speers.

    I have always considered Phil Weiss to be a lunatic of the highest order.

    Not exactly a werewolf.

    More of a were-horse’s ass.

    Yet even allowing for that unfortunate reality, this comment boggles the mind:

    The great Chomsky, pride of American intellectual life and Jewish life and a liberal [ok, left] Zionist if ever there was one,

    Chomsky the Zionist.

    Eichmann the Zionist.

    Equally plausible.

  17. Here is just the site for you, yamit.

    Although regrettably it features neither unclad nymphettes nor farm animals in heat, it does expose the attempt of Zionazis like you to stifle an open debate about US-Israeli foreign policy.