Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Rotten Fruit Of Zionism

You can always count on the John Hagee's of the world to say cringe-worthy stuff on a regular basis. His latest pronouncement? God will destroy America because the President of the United States is not meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his visit to the U.S. in March. Keep in mind that this is a completely secular political squabble. The invitation comes from the Congress as a poke in the eye of the President over the differences in opinion with how to deal with Iran. Still this is a prime opportunity for false prophecy. Behold...

So let me get this straight. A purely political situation where one unbeliever is not being invited to meet with another unbeliever on a specific date will cause God to intervene and re-institute a thousands of years old covenant promise that has been obsolete for almost two millennium. That seems reasonable.

The exegetical gymnastics required to take this passage...

I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." (Genesis 12:3)

...and from that apply a specific promise to a nation that no longer exists under a covenant that is obsolete to a nation that does not have any sort of covenant promise are breathtaking. They are also dangerous and blasphemous. I do not say that what he said is blasphemous lightly but there is not really another way to describe a statement that attributes to God something God Himself has not said. This is perhaps a very extreme example but it is still somewhat representative of the error of the Zionist/Dispensationalist school of theology. Of course there are plenty of teachings in this school that are erroneous but few quite as troubling as this one. While the Rapture is a largely harmless and silly doctrine, the Dispensational notion of dual covenants sets the entire New Testament on its head.

I absolutely believe that the Old Covenant, God-directed nation of Israel held a special and unique place in the plan of redemption. I also believe that the Jews by and large violated their end of the covenant agreement and rejected the Messiah. They no longer have a special claim under the Old Covenant which is made obsolete in the cross and they have the same access as a gentile to the New Covenant. Nor should we want to revive the Old Covenant when we have a New Covenant, a covenant that is infinitely better, giving believers a true King and an eternal Kingdom rather than fallible kings and a dusty land.

I am quite confident that this land where God has placed me is under no special threat based on who does or doesn't have tea in the White House, just as I am sure that John Hagee is speaking presumptuously and treading on some very dangerous ground. We don't stone false prophets anymore but we do and should call them out for what they are, false teachers and wolves among the sheep. I have never found Dispensationalism or Zionism or any other iteration to be compelling. They all fail the sniff test and violate the clear teaching of the New Testament (and yes, there are some teachings that are plain and clear and they can be and should be universally recognized). When someone like John Hagee has a huge audience for his particular brand of error it is incumbent on the church to point it out.

Prime Minister Netanyahu doesn't need the Church to defend him against the big, bad President. What Benjamin Netanyahu needs is the same thing Barack Obama needs which coincidentally is the same thing that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the leaders of ISIS, and every other person who is not born-again need: they need saving faith in Jesus Christ. They need to be born-again, regenerated, dying to self and rising again to newness of life. The Kingdom doesn't need its subjects to take sides in a geo-political squabble or a thumb in the eye of the President inflicted by the Congress. Don't get sidetracked by the world and its petty concerns. We have a much bigger mission that leaves us no time for silliness and no room for false prophets.

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