Clearing up mis-perceptions about Christian Zionism
What is Christian Zionism? Many Christians and others are confused. Some think it's a heresy. Others think it's a bid to eliminate Judaism. Still others think it's apocalyptic.
I can tell you because I call myself a Christian Zionist and know its views well.
At its root, Christian Zionism is based on Biblical principles and reading from the Tanakh. There are numerous prophecies stating clearly that God will return the whole of Israel to the land of their ancestors. Every tribe, without exception, will return in God’s time.
Despite certain sects of Christianity claiming otherwise, there is not a single time God told the Israelites that being chosen comes to an end and will be replaced by anyone. There is no expiration date and no clause of any kind to remove the chosen aspect from the Israelites under any circumstances.
Even the theological difference, which is not as vast as people wish to believe, between whether the Messiah has come does not matter. They remain chosen regardless of the circumstances while Christians and Jews wait for the same Messiah to come.
God laid out clear penalties and punishments for the Israelites who turn their backs on God. Not once is being chosen brought up as a possibility for removal. The Israelites remain chosen regardless of any and all circumstances.
Any Christian who believes Christianity is based on replacing the Israelites can point to no part of the Tanakh, what Christians refer to as the Old Testament, to prove their point.
Christian Zionists are some of the staunchest supporters of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish nation and have since before Israel’s rebirth. Anyone capable of reading the words must conclude, dating back a millennia, that God will return all the tribes to their ancestral land. Here are the statements about it, from the Tanakh:
Genesis 17:7, 8
“I will establish My covenant as an everlasting covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. And to you and your descendants I will give the land where you are residing – all the land of Canaan – as an eternal possession; and I will be their God.”
"I will bring you from the nations and gather you from the countries where you have been scattered -- with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with outpoured wrath."
“Then I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply.”
“I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel, and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine, and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit. I will plant them on their land, and they shall never again be uprooted out of the land that I have given them,” says the Lord your God.”
The Biblical wording should be enough for any Christian to embrace Zionism. There is no replacement of the tribes of Israel prophesied. God makes clear that the whole of Israel will return to Israel in God’s time.
For those where the word of God is not enough, there is the miracle of Israel’s rebirth. A small piece of land surrounded on all sides by hostile forces who had the fledgling state outmanned with advantages of weapons and supplies. It should have been a slaughter, but Israel prevailed. Only divine intervention can explain the victory.
As for the tribes that have yet to return, it will happen at some point in the future. There is no time constraint given by God. What began before Israel became a nation will continue on in the future.
There are Jews who look at Christian Zionism with a skeptical eye. Christian Zionism is not about rushing prophesy since God cannot be rushed into anything. It has everything to do with the fulfillment of prophecy in God’s time when all the tribes are called back by God.
In regards to the end times, I have yet to meet anyone who wants to rush them into fruition. It will not be, as claimed by some Jews, a time when a third of the Jews will die, but a third of the whole of humanity.
There are some Jews who view all Christians in a negative light due to what has been done in the name of Christianity in the past. They take the worst that history has to offer as an example of the whole of Christianity. There are no variations of sects and no variation of thought and no variations of place or era.
It is no different than those who hold the Jewish people through a singular negative light. Those who hate Jews are incapable of seeing anything other than the hate of the whole.
Among some Jews, there is the belief that Christian Zionists are coming from an anti-Semitic viewpoint. Hatred cannot be concealed. Those Christians who do hate Jews make clear their hatred. They find various ways to justify their hatred, but there is nothing hidden about it. It's anti-biblical, as this scripture shows:
“Love your neighbor as yourself”
Christians and Jews share the same commandment to love each other and everyone else. Hatred does not come from God, but man. For a Christian to hate Jews or a Jew to hate Christians, it is the removal of God from one’s life.
Christian Zionists do love Israel and pray for Israel.
For those who look at suspicion at Christian Zionism, speak with those of us who are Christian Zionists. Not as a representative of the whole of Christianity, but as the varied individuals we are.
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