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Dog-whistle Zionism for Christians

Dog-whistle Zionism for Christians

When the Democrats had their floor fight about the Jerusalem the other day, it was an example of how evangelical Christian Zionists were able to intrude into American politics aided and abetted by inattentive journalists, ignorant of the ways religion and politics interact.

Jeff Sharlet writes:

The GOP attack on Dems Jerusalem platform isn’t about the Jews…

….It’s about Christians. In case you missed it, the Democratic Party dropped its longstanding insistence that Jerusalem is and will be the capital of Israel, despite the fact that most of the world doesn’t recognize it as such. Why not? Oh, the fear of setting off a never-ending, apocalyptic war.

But for some of us, that sounds terrific. Just what the world needs, in fact. They’re called Christian Zionists, conservative evangelical Christians who think they’re more Israeli than Golda Meir. They like to say they “have a heart for the Jewish people.” (They don’t say “Jews,” because they’re worried it sounds anti-Semitic, which, when they say it, it does. Because, when they say it, it is.)

And the heart, as one famous Jew said, wants what it wants. For Christian Zionists, that’s the return of Jesus to Jerusalem, followed by the Rapture of believers. There are differing views on what exactly that’ll look like — mega-selling Christian Zionist authors Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins think the tongues of Jews who don’t convert will explode, while milder types settle for the Battle of Armageddon — but however you cut it won’t be good for the Jews.

Of course, that’s not who the GOP is pandering to. Political reporters uninterested American religious demographics will report it as such, but who do you think really matters in an election — the two percent of Americans who are Jews, only a small proportion of whom vote based on Israel, or the tens of millions of conservative evangelicals for whom the end of the world — and Israel’s promised role in it — is a matter of ultimate concern?

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fairmack

/Found these quotes on the web. Not all evangelical scholars are rapture ranters!/

Famous Rapture Watchers - Addendum

by Dave MacPherson

(The statements in my "Famous Rapture Watchers" web article appeared in my 1983 book "The Great Rapture Hoax" and quoted only past leaders. I am now honored to include these additional quotes from some other leaders.)

Oswald J. Smith: "...I am absolutely convinced that there will be no rapture before the Tribulation, but that the Church will undoubtedly be called upon to face the Antichrist..." (Tribulation or Rapture - Which?, p. 2).

Paul B. Smith: "You are perfectly free to quote me as believing rather emphatically in the post-tribulation teaching of the Bible" (letter dated June 9, 1976).

S. I. McMillen: "...Christians will suffer in the Great Tribulation" (Discern These Times, p. 55).

Norman F. Douty: "...all of the evidence of history runs one way - in favor of Post-tribulationism" (Has Christ's Return Two Stages?, p. 113).

Leonard Ravenhill: "There is a cowardly Christianity which...still comforts its fainting heart with the hope that there will be a rapture - perhaps today - to catch us away from coming tribulation" (Sodom Had No Bible, p. 94).

William Hendriksen: "...the one and only second coming of Christ to judgment" (Israel in Prophecy, p. 29).

Loraine Boettner: "Hence we conclude that nowhere in Scripture does it teach a secret or pre-tribulation Rapture" (The Millennium, p. 168).

J. Sidlow Baxter: "...believers of the last days (there is only one small part of the total Church on earth at any given moment) will be on earth during the so-called 'Great Tribulation' " (Explore the Book, Vol. 6, p. 345).

Merrill C. Tenney: "There is no convincing reason why the seer's being 'in the Spirit' and being called into heaven [Revelation 4:1-2] typifies the rapture of the church..." (Interpreting Revelation, p. 141).

James R. Graham: "...there is not a line of the N.T. that declares a pre-tribulation rapture, so its advocates are compelled to read it into certain indeterminate texts..." (Watchman, What of the Night?, p. 79).

Ralph Earle: "The teaching of a pre-tribulation rapture seems first to have been emphasized widely about 100 years ago by John Darby of the Plymouth Brethren" (Behold, I Come, p. 74).

Clarence B. Bass: "...I most strongly believe dispensationalism to be a departure from the historic faith..." (Backgrounds to Dispensationalism, p. 155).

William C. Thomas: "The return of Jesus Christ, described by parousia, revelation, and epiphany, is one single, glorious, triumphant event for which we all wait with great eagerness!" (The Blessed Hope in the Thessalonian Epistles of Paul, p. 42).

Harold J. Ockenga: "No exegetical justification exists for the arbitrary separation of the 'coming of Christ' and the 'day of the Lord.' It is one 'day of the Lord Jesus Christ' " (Christian Life, February, 1955).

Duane Edward Spencer: "Paul makes it very clear that the Church will pass through the Great Tribulation" ("Rapture-Tribulation" cassette).

J. C. Maris: "Nowhere the Bible teaches that the Church of Jesus Christ is heading for world dominion. On the contrary - there will be no place for her, save in 'the wilderness,' where God will take care of her (Rev. 12:13-17)" (I.C.C.C. leaflet "The Danger of the Ecumenical Movement," p. 2).

F. F. Bruce: "To meet the Lord [I Thessalonians 4:17]...on the final stage of...[Christ's] journey...to the earth..." (New Bible Commentary: Revised, p. 1159).

G. Christian Weiss: "Some people say that this ['gospel of the kingdom' in Matthew 24:14] is not the gospel of grace but is a special aspect of the gospel to be preached some time in the future. But there is nothing in the context to indicate this" ("Back to the Bible" broadcast, February 9, 1976).

Pat Brooks: "Soon we, in the Body of Christ, will be confronted by millions of people disillusioned by such false teaching [Pre-Tribism]" (Hear, O Israel, p. 186).

Herman Hoeksema: "...the time of Antichrist, when days so terrible are still to arrive for the church..." (Behold, He Cometh!, p. 131).

Ray Summers: "Because they [Philadelphia] have been faithful, he promises his sustaining grace in the tribulation..." (Worthy Is the Lamb, p. 123).

George E. Ladd: "[Pretribulationism] may be guilty of the positive danger of leaving the Church unprepared for tribulation when Antichrist appears..." (The Blessed Hope, p. 164).

Peter Beyerhaus: "The Christian Church on earth [will face] the final, almost superhuman test of being confronted with the apocalyptical temptation by Antichrist" (Christianity Today, April 13, 1973).

Leon Morris: "The early Christians...looked for the Christ to come as Judge" (Apocalyptic, p. 84).

Dale Moody: "There is not a passage in the New Testament to support Scofield. The call to John to 'come up hither' has reference to mystical ecstasy, not to a pretribulation rapture" (Spirit of the Living God, p. 203).

John R. W. Stott: "He would not spare them from the suffering [Revelation 3:10]; but He would uphold them in it" (What Christ Thinks of the Church, p. 104).

G. R. Beasley-Murray: "...the woman, i.e., the Church...flees for refuge into the wilderness [Revelation 12:14]..." (The New Bible Commentary, p. 1184).

Bernard L. Ramm: "...as the Church moves to meet her Lord at the parousia world history is also moving to meet its Judge at the same parousia" (Leo Eddleman's Last Things, p. 41).

J. Barton Payne: "...the twentieth century has indeed witnessed a progressively rising revolt against pre-tribulationism" (The Imminent Appearing of Christ, p. 38).

Robert H. Gundry: "Divine wrath does not blanket the entire seventieth week...but concentrates at the close" (The Church and the Tribulation, p. 63).

C. S. Lovett: "Frankly I favor a post-trib rapture...I no longer teach Christians that they will NOT have to go through the tribulation" (PC, January, 1974).

Walter R. Martin: "Walter Martin finally said...'Yes, I'm a post-trib' " (Lovett's PC, December, 1976).

Jay Adams: "Today's trend is...from pre- to posttribulationism" (The Time Is at Hand, p. 2).

Jim McKeever: "Nowhere do the Scriptures say that the Rapture will precede the Tribulation" (Christians Will Go Through the Tribulation, p. 55).

Arthur Katz: "I think it fair to tell you that I do not subscribe to the happy and convenient theology which says that God's people are going to be raptured and lifted up when a time of tribulation and trial comes" (Reality, p. 8).

Billy Graham: "Perhaps the Holy Spirit is getting His Church ready for a trial and tribulation such as the world has never known" (Sam Shoemaker's Under New Management, p. 72).

W. J. Grier: "The Scofield Bible makes a rather desperate effort...it tries to get in the 'rapture' of the saints before the appearing of Antichrist" (The Momentous Event, p. 58).

Pat Robertson: "Jesus Christ is going to come back to earth again to deliver Israel and at the same time to rapture His Church; it's going to be one moment, but it's going to be a glorious time" ("700 Club" telecast, May 14, 1975).

Ben Kinchlow: "Any wrath [during the Tribulation] that comes upon us - any difficulty - will not be induced by God, but it'll be like the people are saying, 'The cause of our problems are those Christians in our midst; we need to get rid of them' " ("700 Club" telecast, August 28, 1979).

Daniel P. Fuller: "It is thus concluded that Dispensationalism fails to pass the test of an adequate system of Biblical Interpretation" (The Hermeneutics of Dispensationalism, p. 369).

Corrie ten Boom: "The Bible prophesies that the time will come when we cannot buy or sell, unless we bear the sign of the Antichrist..." (Tramp for the Lord, p. 187).

Francis Nigel Lee (church historian etc., 9 earned doctorates!): “Dave MacPherson, in his various books, has made a major contribution toward vindicating Historic Christian Eschatology. The 1830 innovations of the disturbed Margaret Macdonald documented by MacPherson – in part or in whole – immediately spread to Edward Irving and his followers, then to J. N. Darby and Plymouth Brethrenism, and were later popularized by the dispensationalistic Scofield Reference Bible, by Classic Pentecostalism, and by latter-day pretribulationists like J. F. Walvoord and Hal Lindsey.”

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tgflux

While generally-speaking, I think radical Zionism in the US is driven by Christian(ist) Zionists, as far as this Dem platform move goes...

... "Florida, Florida, Florida."

JC Fisher

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Johnny Ward

[Thanks, Andrew. Saw this tidbit on the net. Enjoy.]

Christians Don't Want Jewish Death

Democrat leader Mark Siegel stated at the DNC that "fundamentalist Christians...want Jews to die and convert so they can bring on the second coming of their Lord."

It wasn't Glenn Beck, John Hagee, Hal Lindsey or any other Christian who first talked about the predicted massive slaughter of Jews during what Christians call the "end times."

It was the ancient Hebrew prophet Zechariah who as long ago as 487 B.C. predicted that two-thirds of Jewry in the "last days" will be killed (Zech. 13:8).

All true Christian leaders view this scripture with horror and sympathy and NOT with glee!

Fundamentalist Christians are actually waiting for an "any-moment rapture" to Heaven (several years before the second coming) and do not believe that any event, including this final Jewish holocaust, has to happen before their escapist rapture happens.

More shocks. Fundamentalists have recently been learning that their rapture belief was first taught in Britain in 1830 and that it wasn't widely adopted by Americans until the early 1900s. The documentation on all this is in "The Rapture Plot" (carried by online bookstores) which also reveals for the first time that, amazingly enough, this British theory has an anti-Jewish foundation! (For more info Google "Pretrib Rapture Politics.")

Although no one is perfect, evangelical Christians (including fundamentalists) are still the best friends of Jewish persons and Israel.

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Nathan Roser

The thing that amazes me about Christian Reconstructionists/dominionists' heart for Israel, in their words, is that the Second Coming of Christ is necessary to usher in the End Times. But because, at that point, the Jews must convert to Christianity or perish, if you take Revelation seriously, the Jews perish. So the evangelical-Israeli coalition collapses. Besides, if we're talking about the Second Coming, to quote Yeats, "What rude beast / Slouches toward Bethlehem?"

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Bill Dilworth

Wouldn't the importance of the Jewish vote be based not in their percentage of the national population, but on the percentage of a given state's population? Jews may make up only 2% of the US population, but they account for 10 percent of the NY population.

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