Written by http://www.daily.pk
Is there a nation, or even an illiterate tribe that does not now realize that the US' serial wars policy relies upon churches for support? No political leader would have significant popular underpinnings for a war plan against Middle Eastern countries were it not for the celebrity leaders of Christian-Zionist churches. We who call ourselves by Christ's name must understand why, whether we attend and support these churches or not.
This means the US would never have been in Iraq but for the evangelical churches who openly support Israel as a scriptural imperative; nor would there be support for the occupation and mass extermination of Arab Palestinians were it not for them. "Christianity" is based on Jesus Christ, who the Bible tells us, is the "Prince of Peace." Politicians bomb for reasons; Jesus would bomb no one. This obvious contradiction deserves to be studied and exposed; this is our mission.
Paradoxically, evangelical churches (also referred to as 'The Christian Right') claim to be 'pro-life' and most members this writer has met believe they are. But the leaders support Israel, the abortion capital, which in addition to state sponsored elimination of its own pre-born, systematically and openly assassinates its neighbors and their children every day. The writer has yet to see a Christian Celebrity criticize Israel for its policy of state sponsored and administered abortion.
Not all churches support war. For instance, the Vatican has not done so, though it has done little to organize opposition to it. It opposed the hanging of Saddam Hussein, stating: 'We don't think a crime should be avenged by another crime'
We Hold These Truths (WHTT) has republished accounts of several mainline protestant churches that have denounced wars on Iraq, Lebanon, and the occupation of Palestine. Almost four years ago the Greek Orthodox priest Father Panaritius, who manages The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem banned the US President George Bush, his Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his Foreign Secretary Jack Straw from entry into the sanctuary. The American people never heard about this act.
The Parish Priest of the Greek Orthodox community in Amman, Jordan, Economies Constantine Karmash, stated: 'The priest in the Church of the Nativity has every right to ban Bush and his supporters since they have marred the teachings of Christ. Their entry into the church will tarnish it as [Bush's] hands are covered in the blood of the innocent', The Jordan Times.
Our own analysis is that Evangelicalism, by whatever label, has grown astronomically, not because its theology is supported by Scripture in any logical way (it is in fact anathema to Christ's words to take life) but because for almost 100 years it has been promoted by the purse that also supports world Zionism. This support includes the publication and promotion of the Scofield Reference Bible by the Oxford University Press. Scofield has become the training manual for Christian-Zionism.
Evangelicalism prospers at mega-church Sunday mass meetings for much the same reason marijuana sells on the street; it makes many feel good, and it produces a nominal hangover compared to other potions that make you feel good. Evangelicalism is comfortable and sociable, which we all need. Some even think marijuana brings you closer to God; the same is said of evangelicalism. This writer is a former Baptist Deacon, so I write with some experience, and not without concern and sympathy for misled dispensationalists, among these are at least 16 million Southern Baptists in America.
Christian-Zionism receives an open playing field in the media. Most Christian TV celebrities are Christian Zionists. Their political ties to Israel are no longer being ignored or overlooked by secular onlookers. The Economist, respected journal of Wall Street and beyond, published 'Christianity Reborn' in its December 23rd issue, and noted the power of Pentecostalism, which they call 'turbo-charged evangelicalism. The title is misleading because The Economist explains only superficially why millions are flocking to this movement, and recognizes it as a political force.
The Economist quite correctly recognizes the close and symbiotic relationship with the State of Israel, correctly notes that evangelicals tie their religion 'to the ubiquitous Israeli flag (once the Second Coming has taken place in Israel, the Jews will convert to Christianity).'
The Economist is part of the gathering crowd of concerned secular observers who now recognize that evangelicalism is inexplicably hallmarked by a lack of logic. They find it a bit scary, and an economic and political force to be reckoned with, but they just don't understand it. No wonder logic oriented secular writers do not understand Evangelicalism, as it makes no Biblical sense and cannot be supported by the scripture it professes without adding padding between the lines.
The Scofield Reference Bible is the ultimate in Bible padding, with about 800 pages of footnotes and lots of distorting italicized entries that often purposely misdirect when it suits the editor-owners at Oxford University Press. Its concocted footnotes provide the authority for such authors as 'Late Great Planet Earth' Hal Lindsay, and 'Left Behind' Tim Lahaye. WHTT has made a mission out of unwinding the most abhorrently apostate, warlike, and racist elements of evangelicalism, including many from the Scofield Reference Bible. It is not a mystery, nor do we think it is 'God's will' that evangelicalism has prospered, any more than it is His will that 'crack' sells so well.
WHTT's Project Strait Gate believes it to be apparent from the books evangelicals publish and use that Christian-Zionism is a discovery, if not an invention of World Zionism. It was nipple fed by Zionists during the early 20th Century, cultured to politicize 'Christianity' for the purpose of controlling it, and to create a solid block in support of political Israel. Christian-Zionism is therefore a target worthy of our primary mission activity. Our concern is not so much with who spawned Christian Zionism so much as who controls it today.
We Hold These Truths would like to see more churches return to primitive or traditional Christianity. We think this will take years to happen and only after millions who think for themselves withdraw their support and attendance. We are tired of seeing Christ-followers plastered with guilt by association with Christian Zionism, under any name. We wish not to be drawn into the dishonest intellectual quagmire of morally failing evangelicalism. We welcome lots of company from the ashes of the stuffy, and long ignored (justifiably) mainline churches, including Roman Catholics. May they again compete for the minds of the millions who left them to join evangelicalism.
We started fledgling programs described on our website under 'Who We Are' to do our part to restore the Christ Following Way practiced by the disciples and apostles. Our own LISTEN LIVE Internet Bible study for those who need a weekly fellowship and are no longer at home in the churches they find in their communities. Project Strait Gate organized Vigils at Christian Zionist churches to challenge their leaders. The most recent vigil was at Jack Hayford's The Church On The Way.
About 85% of Americans claim to be Christians, according to the census, but the majority do not attend church. Nevertheless, the count is some 240 million people divided into three more or less numerically similar camps, Catholic, traditional Protestant, and Evangelicals (including Charismatic and Pentecostals.) Of these millions, the evangelicals are the newest and most active group politically, having been invented sometime in the mid- 1800s, and having grown up in the 20th Century. They are also the most likely to attend church regularly, and they are overwhelmingly the most likely to be Christian-Zionists. This means we are talking about some 80 million so-called evangelicals.
The raw numbers of 'evangelicals' (including Pentecostals and Charismatics) is far from exaggerated, and is greater than others have estimated world wide. The recent Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life Report, which surveys ten developing and third world countries, states that in some places Pentecostals make up half of the 'Christian' population.
No church I know has a 'Christian-Zionist Church' marquee, though I have seen several that fly an Israeli flag overhead us. When I talk to traditional Christians in an Episcopal or Lutheran church they rarely understand what a Christian-Zionist believes, or why adhering to this doctrine is impossible for one who seriously follows Jesus' words.
The influence of evangelical celebrities on mainline traditional Protestants and Catholics is magnified by vast media coverage. Christian Zionism can muster support beyond its base number because its financial base is supported by the state of Israel and all the press Israel's friends can influence. The Pew poll tells us 2 out of every 10 Americans identify themselves as 'Charismatic Christians.' This is a truly astonishing number, as the majority of Evangelicals would not identify themselves as Charismatic for social reasons.
Whatever the number, few church-goers would disagree that evangelicalism is the most powerful political force within the umbrella called Christianity. It is credited with swinging the last two Presidential elections, and it swung the congressional landslide in the other direction this year. Evangelicals, while pretending to avoid politics, are still the more organized political force, far more powerful than Judaism because it is as much as 20 to 35 times larger. Jews make no pretext of being a political, Christian-Zionists do.
The politics of evangelicalism is overwhelmingly Christian-Zionist because 98 years ago World Zionism helped prepare evangelicalism to recognize a future Jewish state. As a result of this farsighted planning, the adulation of Israel is taught as a prime tenet of evangelical theology. The evangelicalism of the 19th century exploded into Christian-Zionism when Israel became a state in 1948.
The roots of Christian-Zionism come from unique 'prophetic' interpretations of Old Testament scripture seasoned with a few carefully selected snippets from the New Testament, but rarely from Jesus himself. The NT passages are usually lifted out of context and grafted onto as an example of Old Testament verses. Evangelicals' idea of bible study is something like a scrabble game of ideas where any statement from any place can be cut and pasted with other snippets to produce the desired cake mix. The Oxford University Press's Scofield Reference Bible, first published in 1909, often provides the supporting interpretations.
Christian-Zionism has also entered into the back door of every denomination, including Roman Catholicism, through 'Christian Right' television brought into the home and the home bible study movement. Both are overwhelmingly Christian-Zionist. This label describes a political marriage of evangelical end-times false prophesy to political Zionist armies, which places the State of Israel on a demi-god throne next to Jesus.
Most Israeli Jews, and some in the USA, like to think of themselves as the people chosen by God to occupy the land owned by the Palestinians (Philistines). But they also admit that the State of Israel resulted from the hard work of Jewish political leaders working together around the world...few Jews believe God had anything to do with it because they doubt if God exists. To the contrary, all Christian-Zionists and most evangelicals swear that God created the present day State of Israel in fulfillment of his promise to the 'chosen people.' Israel is the centerpiece of God's plan which men have no power to stop or alter.
Evangelicals claim 'Christians' must honor not only anyone who calls himself a Jew, but also the State of Israel, else the USA as a nation will be judged and damned, as Sodom and Gomorrah were condemned and destroyed. Most do not deny that their religion is based on theology written in the footnotes of the venerated, best selling Scofield Reference Bible. For instance, they believe 'anti-Semitism is a sin' based on a footnote on
page 19 of the 1967 Edition, a de facto 11th commandment. Sadly, Christian Zionism countermands the command of Jesus to 'love your neighbor as yourself.'
In stark contrast to the twisted beliefs of evangelicals... Catholics, traditional Protestants, and many Jews consider the state of Israel a political state established by men, some good and some bad. Not so with Christian-Zionists, who must pray for and worship the political State of Israel. Universally they hold Israel to be the fulfillment of Biblical prophesy. Mormons and most other 19th and 20th Century sects should be numbered among the Christian-Zionists.
The state of Israel spends Shekels supporting Christian-Zionism in the USA, as detailed in a recent story in Haaretz called: In Praise of Christian Zionists, which gleefully reported: "Seven-in-ten white evangelicals (69%) believe God gave Israel to the Jewish people and a solid majority (59%) believe that Israel is the fulfillment of biblical prophecy."
Reverend Steven Sizer, a theologian by training, in his excellent new book, Christian Zionism, Road Map to Armageddon, concludes the movement has seven basic tenets, and "belief in unfulfilled biblical prophesy is the basis of (the other) six.'
These unfulfilled 'prophesies' included God's ordination of future and present wars; the continued blessing to the Chosen People; Israel's eventual occupation of most of the Middle East; and a new temple to be built in Jerusalem with the resumption of animal sacrifice.
Dr. Sizer's alarming book is published in the UK. False prophets like William Blackstone, John Walvoord, and Hal Lindsey prove his points. Their contributions to Zionism are detailed in the book.
An ingenious WHTT volunteer named Les Landon once devised a litmus test for Project Strait Gate to detect a Christian Zionist church with a simple 15-word, one question test:
'Do you teach that the political State of Israel is a fulfillment of Biblical prophesy?'
Any answer other then an outright 'No' is a Christian-Zionist marker that has yet to fail, as surely as acid turns litmus paper red.
We are amazed to find Haaretz in Israel has borrowed this same definition to detect its followers among the Christian churches.
Project Strait Gate began holding Vigils at Christian-Zionist churches and conventions in November 2002, before the destruction of Baghdad began. In the November 2006 congressional election, four years after our first Vigil, some 20% of evangelicals have now revolted against Christian-Zionist wars. The great turning in men's minds has begun. Please find a way to help in this epic struggle to lead God's people from their fall into Christian Zionism. Call us to ask how you can help.
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In: Iraq, LiveLeaks
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