5 years ago: Contact

June 18, 2008, on this blog: Contact

Premillennial dispensationalist prophecy types like Tim LaHaye and John Hagee … believe that “the end” cannot come until after every nation and tribe on the planet has heard the gospel. And they really, really want “the end” to come. They can’t wait for this world to be over with already.

This leads to the odd situation of PMDs supporting the preaching of the gospel to every tribe and every nation in order to speed the day in which every tribe and every nation is swept away in the apocalypse. That’s an oddly contradictory sort of motivation, but anyone who’s looked at PMDs’ ardent “support for Israel” will already be familiar with this dynamic. They are fiercely “pro-Israel,” because that’s where Megiddo is, and therefore where Armageddon will happen, and they can’t wait to see Armageddon when all the Jews get wiped out.

Both LaHaye and Hagee are fond of saying that “the end” could come before they reach the end of their sentence/interview/sermon. It could come, they say, at any second now. That claim would seem insupportable given that: A) they believe that “the end” cannot come until every tribe has heard the gospel preached; and B) many tribes, such as the people pictured above, have not yet heard any such preaching.

But don’t worry, LaHaye and Hagee believe they have this covered. They believe that after all the real, true Christians are snatched off the earth — which could happen at any moment — the RTC gospel will then be preached to every tribe and nation by an army of singing Jewish virgins.

No, really. This is what Tim LaHaye thinks when he looks at a picture like the one above: “Oops, looks like our missionaries missed a spot. Oh well, the 144,000 singing virgins will have to get to them after we’re outta here.”

I may have mentioned this before, but PMDs are nuts.

  • aunursa

    anyone who’s looked at PMDs’ ardent “support for Israel” will already be familiar with this dynamic. They are fiercely “pro-Israel,” because that’s where Megiddo is, and therefore where Armageddon will happen, and they can’t wait to see Armageddon when all the Jews get wiped out.

    That’s not true.

    Learn Why Christians Should Support Israel

    Video – Why Christians Support Israel

    In these documents and a 39-minute lecture, the leading Christian Zionist group in America cites dozens of reasons and quotes dozens of passages from the Bible, explaining why Christians should support Israel. Not once do they even suggest to their Christian members and prospective members that support for Israel is connected to Christian expectations about the Second Coming.

    The founder of this group, with 1.3 million (primarily Evangelical Christian) members, has flat-out stated, “Our support of Israel has nothing to do with any kind of ‘end times’ Bible scenario.” (New York Times, March 23, 2008)

  • Fusina

    That may be what they say in public, but take it from me, in church sermons and bible studies, they are very much “return of Christ” oriented. After all, Jesus is supposed to appear above the Mount of Olives or some such, and there is a lot of other crapola, most of which I have blessedly forgotten. I assure you that a great deal of their support of Israel is due to the “Messianic” passages.

    I figure that we have approximately–well, the time until the sun goes all red giant on us, and believe me, if we haven’t invented hyperdrive by then, not to mention colonized other star systems, that will be the end of the human race. Suddenly and with lots of fire.

    Then again, there is the giant magma pool under the US around Yellowstone. It is long overdue for an eruption, and when it does, bye bye USA. Also, if I recall correctly, quite a lot of Canada and Mexico. Also, the global warming thing will be put off for a few years, while anyone who is left on the planet either freezes or starves.

  • aunursa

    in church sermons and bible studies, they are very much “return of Christ” oriented

    Of that I have no doubt.

    a great deal of their support of Israel is due to the “Messianic” passages

    Can you share some evidence to support your assertion that Christian Zionism is due in part to their beliefs about the Second Coming? All of the evidence I have come across (including my personal interactions with CUFI members and a CUFI regional leader) indicates otherwise.

  • http://shadsie.deviantart.com/ Shadsie

    Of course “the end” could come before they finish preaching a sermon! They could have a sudden fatal heart attack or stroke. I don’t think that’s what they mean or would be expecting, though.

  • Alix

    http://christianactionforisrael.org/congress.html

    http://www.strategicoutlook.org/interviews/news-christian-zionism-and-its-religious-arguments-to-create-conflict.html

    http://creationconcept.wordpress.com/2011/06/11/herbert-w-armstrong%E2%80%99s-interpretation-of-the-3-%C2%BD-years/

    https://www.rca.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=3839

    http://www.ncccusa.org/NCCpolicies/christianzionism.htm

    Some of those links aren’t supporting Christian Zionism, but still provide a useful picture.

    There’s a very specific dog whistle used a lot in Christian Zionist materials, and that’s “in accordance with Biblical prophecies”. There are also usually references to the apocalyptic vision in Daniel – usually just by mentioning the book, not the actual vision.

    The church I was raised in through middle and high school was a non-fundamentalist Baptist church, and we heard enough of this stuff (mostly from guest speakers who didn’t realize we weren’t quite the right crowd, but sometimes from our … more extreme members) that all of us could pick out at least a handful of those most popular dog whistles.

    These people are cagey. That’s a simple fact. Like any movement, there are lots of people, so I’m sure plenty are sincere. They also haven’t looked into the theological underpinnings of their movement.

    In a “friendly” crowd – i.e., any where they don’t have to be politic – they’re much more explicit, but they rarely put that stuff into writings meant to be seen by others, because they don’t want to jeopardize their divine mission.

    Remember, this is largely the same crowd that considers Left Behind – and what happens to Israel there – prophecy.

  • Fusina

    Thank you for the explication. As I explained, I have managed to forget a lot of the crap they taught–on purpose, because it is crap. But I do remember being taught that we had to support Israel due to the Jewish nation needing to exist in order for the Messiah, that is, Jesus, to return. No Israel, no return. Um.

  • aunursa

    Thank you for providing these links.

    Alas, only the first link addresses my question. Most of the other articles describe PMD views of End Times prophecies and merely assumes that such expectations are reasons for Christian support for Israel without making a connection. Three of the other articles are from sources hostile to Christian Zionism. The second article includes faulty assertions about Judaism (chosen people) and civil rights in Israel (“Jew rights”), and both the interviewer and interviewee demonstrate a hostility to Israel and Judaism.

    As I said, only the first link provides evidence that a Christian Zionist group supports Israel in part due to their beliefs that Israel is necessary for fulfillment of End Times prophecies. The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, which sponsored the statement at this link, states

    As a nation, Israel remains in rebellion against Jesus of Nazareth and this factor has more to do with her present struggle than we are prepared to admit! (Matt23:37-39)(Luke19:41-44) Jesus is a Jewish Messiah and the only way of salvation. (Acts4:11-12)

    This is contrary to the stated beliefs of Hagee and many other American Christian Zionists. Hagee has stated, “Jews already have a covenant with God that has never been replaced by Christianity.”

    At most, it appears that Christian Zionists are diverse, not a single group, and have different motives for supporting Israel. While there may be some that base their support on their anticipation of the Second Coming, CUFI and others base their support on other considerations.

  • Alix

    I was skimming, admittedly, and I did say some of the sources were hostile. I included them because they tend to make explicit things that the friendly sources leave implicit.

    Whether or not it was ever the intention of the Christian Zionist movement, it has undoubtedly attracted people who support Israel as part of an end-times scheme. I’m frankly kind of surprised by Hagee’s comment, given that the idea that Judaism’s covenant was superseded by Christianity is a pretty common idea.

    I’m … honestly, I’m not sure I trust a lot of CZs’ public statements. They know exactly how well it’d go over if they said they were pushing an apocalyptic agenda. I can tell you from personal experience how this stuff gets marketed in Baptist churches, but I can’t provide you a handy link – I looked, and couldn’t find one that actually laid out what I heard repeatedly (even at a non-fundie church) that wasn’t trying to push back against CZ. So.

    Personal experience: yes, they absolutely do push an apocalyptic agenda. Israel must exist for Jesus to come back, among other things. Supporting Israel is explicitly done because of Bible prophecy – no presentation of the idea I ever heard failed to mention prophecy – and they often explicitly link it to the apocalypse and Jesus’ return.

    But in my experience, they spread all this by word of mouth – speaking in churches, at events, at retreats – even workshops at youth rallies. So I can attest that this is definitely a part of it for at least some Christian Zionists.


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