Today the world is split into two sides. You’re either celebrating with Israel or mourning with the Palestinians, as the Trump regime has officially established the US Embassy in Jerusalem. If it were ten years ago and I was still a Fundagelical Christian (a term representing fundamental and/or evangelical Christianity), I would be celebrating today. How could that be?
How could I possibly have felt any joy today, while also knowing the death and injured toll, which includes innocent children?
Simply because I was primed since childhood about this event. It never even occurred to me that there were two sides. I never knew about the suffering of the Palestinians. I was completely ignorant about the entire situation. I was only taught that we were pro-Israel because Jews are “God’s chosen people.” This made sense to me in my heart because Jews have always suffered persecution. My empathy for the victims in the Holocaust only intensified this alliance.
I was also brought up to believe that the emergence of the anti-Christ would spark the second coming of Christ. The point of my existence on earth was to await the rapture. The rapture was my hope. Any day now, Jesus would come to get me and take me out of this earth, along with other believers. This also created major anxiety within me, however, this was my belief system. Where would we see the emergence of the anti-Christ? Jerusalem. Specifically, the temple.
I heard countless sermons about the end times being near because of the Holy War in the Middle East. I awaited the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem. I longed for Jerusalem to be recognized as the Capitol and for the Israelis to gain their nation back so that they would start building the temple.
Today, they are celebrating because this event is bringing us one step closer to all that they have been primed to accept in the end of days. Rapture theology has led to the development of Christian Zionism. All of which has led to war, suffering, and bloodshed. With America being pro-Israel because of this Christian theology and also with deserved compassion for the persecution of the Jews, now we are seeing the mass persecution of Palestinians. Christian Zionists are turning a blind eye to the Palestinians because for them, the ends justify the means. Jews must return to their Holy Land before the Second Coming of Christ.
I am on the side of both. The “God” I believe in, is also on the side of both. Jesus calls us to love our neighbor. This means our Jewish neighbor and also our Palestinian neighbor. Diplomacy and peace are the avenues to which we must pave. However, when American politicians are backed by the Fundagelical church, being pro-Israel, even if it means violence and suffering to others, is the only road to pave.
I am not an eschatology scholar, nor do I have a PhD in Israeli history. I am only relaying what a common congregant in the Fundagelical church was raised to believe. Today is cause for celebration in the fundagelical church because it affirms the narrative that has been indoctrinated into congregations for almost 200 years. Rapture theology originated in the 18th century and became popular in the 1830’s. It has become a cornerstone of the faith with help from the fictional series ‘Left Behind’ by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, which also portrays Israel as a crucial element to the unfolding of the eschatological drama. For far too many Christians, Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins are a household name of end-time experts. However, the more one digs in, the more their theology falls apart and reeks of toxicity.
- Research the origins of the rapture which begin with Cotton Mather and the Puritans of the 18th century. Read about John Nelson Darby and the development of the Scofield Reference Bible, which both, in the 1800’s developed the Christian end-time theology we know today. Side Note: Before the above contributions, Christians did not have a left behind rapture concept, nor a Zionist vision.
- Read this article written by Benjamin L. Corey exposing the genocide that is taking place in Israel toward Palestinians.
- I highly recommend Barbara Rossing’s ‘Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation.’ It not only exposes the false theology but it also provides a different, hopeful perspective.
The fundagelical church may be celebrating today, however, it is only because of lies they have been told. Question everything, friends, as we can see there is plenty of fake news and fake theology running rampant. However, the violence, death toll, and innocent lives being taken over this intricate and well-planned spider web of human division is not fake news. It is hell and it is being created by humans.
Lastly, there is hope. Exposing toxic theology is necessary and definitely not easy. Spread the word, expose the lies, and work for peace. We do not need bloodshed in Israel to bring about Jesus Christ. We need peace. We need non-violence. We need unity. We can bring Christ to earth right now in every action, vote, and word.
We do not need to wait.