Opinion: The integrity of Christian Zionism

The movement must rid itself of the lunatic fringe that has tarnished its reputation.

Jerusalem Syndrome 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Jerusalem Syndrome 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
It comes as a surprise to many when they learn that I am a committed supporter of Israel, even though I am the son of a Nazi war criminal.
Prof. Dan Bar-On, senior lecturer in behavioral sciences at Ben-Gurion University, argues in his book Legacy of Science that “children of Nazis who became supporters of Israel did so out of guilt.” He says that “they joined the victims and survivors and take the guilt of their forefather upon themselves as a way of making amends.”
That may be true for some, but not for me. I can’t take the guilt of my father upon me; it would destroy me. And I cannot make amends. How can anyone make amends for the mass murder of people whose only “crime” was that they were Jews? No amount of prayer or repentance will bring six million victims back. There has to be another way.
My love for Israel and the Jews is a gift from heaven that came to me when I discovered Jesus as my Jewish messiah.
In the beginning, no one taught me the Jewish dimension of the Judeo- Christian faith. No one instilled in me the significance of Israel. I never knew any Zionists or heard anyone teach about Israel. While reading the Jewish Bible, the Ruach Hakodesh/Holy Spirit simply opened my eyes, and gradually the 3-D picture of Israel emerged.
Over the years this picture has taken on the technicolor of God’s amazing love for His people. Being a Christian Zionist does not come without challenges, though. It is not the Nazis I worry about. In fact, I relish opportunities to “discuss” the error of their ways. What worries me are the antics of some who declare themselves Christian Zionists.
There are those whose “ministry” for Israel seems to operate in a different orbit. They seem preoccupied with the past, living in the Old Testament. Some imagine themselves to be the reincarnation of ancient prophets. Their opening phrase is usually “the Lord told me.” I know, one ought to be encouraged when someone claims to have heard from God – were it not be for the “revelation” that follows: One “prophetic” Christian Zionist claims that God told him to go to the city (which must remain nameless) and drill a hole in a particular wall.
This would release the evil stored behind the walls. (Listening to the man, I was sure he was “off the wall.”) Another sits in meetings listening to hear what the demons have to say! Others are forever talking about satanic strongholds and demonic activity. They wave flags at the devil in the hope of frightening him away.
They blow the shofar spontaneously as if this will trigger the appearance of the Angel Gabriel. Still another was telling me that Hitler’s sperm was frozen and has been used to produce a politician who will be the anti-Christ.
Now, as a pastor I am supposed to have unlimited patience. Well, I don’t. Especially when it comes to Christian Zionists who seem to be suffering from Jerusalem Syndrome.
“The best-known, although not the most prevalent, manifestation of Jerusalem Syndrome is the phenomenon whereby a person who seems previously balanced and devoid of any signs of psychopathology becomes psychotic after arriving in Jerusalem. The psychosis is characterized by an intense religious theme” (Wikipedia).
Some don’t have to go to Jerusalem to manifest psychotic behavior. One such sufferer in a recent meeting I attended suggested that the mysterious corn circles that appear in the south of England have something to do with Israel. The one who agreed with this wore a big Star of David around his neck and a T-shirt with a menora on the back.
When they prayed, they wrapped themselves in the Israeli flag as if it were the mantle of Elijah.
Now, I know that Israel has a problem with religious people. I also know that evangelism by Christians is frowned upon and that the Israeli government is discouraging messianic people from descending on the country.
While this is clearly unacceptable, I wonder whether or not the government is actually trying to protect Israel from this kind of Christian Zionism. After all, Israel has enough problems with lunatics who want to blow it off the face of the Earth without these so-called Christians acting like Samson and Delilah.
I believe in the future of Zion, and I also believe in Christian integrity. In this respect, we have a lot of lost ground to make up. The fashionable theology from hell has taught Christians for centuries that they have replaced Israel. During World War II, the majority of so-called Christians were perpetrators rather than protectors of Israel.
Now a large proportion of Christians around the world are shouting their support for the Palestinians instead of for the people of the Messiah. Christian Zionism will fail if it focuses on evil and considers Jerusalem Syndrome a prophetic movement.
This puts me, as a Christian Zionist, between a rock and a hard place. If I am not apologizing to Israel for the crime of my fathers, I am apologizing for what has been done in the name of the Church, while trying to convince my Jewish friends that I am not one of those crazy fanatics who think holding a communion outside a synagogue would fix the problem.
In standing for Israel, I cannot take on the guilt of others – that’s their responsibility. I am unable to apologize for Replacement Theology; I don’t teach it. What I can and will do is to do my best in asking Christian Zionism to rid itself of the lunatic fringe that has tarnished its reputation. Let us find a way to heal these wounded souls.
Psalm 107:20 “He sent forth his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.”
As a Christian, I am following one of the most inspiring and dynamic Jewish rabbis – Jesus of Nazareth, who healed me so that I can live the sane and honorable life of a Christian Zionist.
2 Corinthians 10:3: “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God.”
Satanic strongholds are first found in the mind and heart of man: Mark 7:21: “for from within, out of men’s hearts come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery.”
When God sends forth the truth of His word, it will demolish the strongholds of evil in the human mind that produces strange (evil) behavior. A. W. Tozer said: “Sow a thought – reap an act. Sow an act – reap a habit. Sow a habit – reap a destiny.”
There is one effective way to deal with anti-Semitic terrorism, and that is with spiritual weapons. Our powerful weapon is the Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem. This could be Christian Zionism’s finest hour, when we return to the promises of the One who promised healing to all who are sick in body, mind and spirit.
Apart from revealing Himself as the God of Israel, the Creator also revealed Himself as Adonai rapha (the Lord who heals).
He does so through the awesome power of the Holy Spirit.
Deuteronomy 8:2: “Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these 40 years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep His commands.
He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”
The integrity of Christian Zionism is not living by feelings or Semitic sentimentalism but by the word of God. When we live by every word that comes from the mouth of God, we will radiate godly integrity that does not need to resort to strange antics to prove our spirituality.