GAINS GROUND AMONG EVANGELICALS
Dennis Swick (1952-2013)
As someone who closely follows the movements of antisemitic, anti-Israel positions in different religious and secular organizations, we have always denounced the execrable antisemitism that they exude with complete immunity and the complicity of the world in general. Among the names that come to mind are the International Red Cross, Amnesty International, FIFA (yes, the soccer league), the National Council of Churches (NCC), the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) and other mission organizations of liberal Christian denominations.
Among the most well-known individuals who adhere to Christian Palestinianism are Hank Hanegraaff (CRI), Richard Mouw (Fuller Seminary), David Neff (Christianity Today), Tony Campolo (EAPE), Richard Stearn (World Vision), Ronald Sider (Evangelicals for Social Action), Gary M. Burge (Wheaton College & Graduate School), Brother Andrew (founder of Open Doors International), and the Anglicans Stephen Sizer and Colin Chapman. The last four stand out for their hatred of Israel and Jews, and their fawning over Islam and Arabs, and are frequently invited to speak on Hanegraaff’s radio program.
Growing antisemitism in the evangelical ranks is camouflaged in the doctrine of Replacement Theology, which basically purports that the promises of God to Israel were conditional, and that the Church has replaced Israel as recipient of these promises.
This doctrine did not begin in Protestantism, but rather has festered in Roman Catholicism for centuries. This doctrine served as motive and justification for the murder of six million Jews at the hands of Hitler’s regime. After the Holocaust, the Vatican officially interred the doctrine, but its popularity continues among Catholics and Anglicans. In recent decades it has been embraced by liberal Protestants, and currently enjoys the broadening support among those who call themselves evangelicals.
Replacement Theology has arisen in direct to Dispensationalism and the divinely given right of the Jewish people to possess the promised land. It is the theological basis for so-called “Christian Palestinianism.” Among evangelicals palestinianism wears another mask, Progressive Dispensationalism.
This is being taught in conservative evangelical seminaries and characteristically rejects the literal grammatical interpretation of the Bible, and consequently invalidates teachings of traditional dispensationalism. For more information about this new current, see the explanatory note at the end of this article.
Sadly, popular men among evangelicals have been taken in by Christian Palestinianism. In 1993 the president of Dallas Theological Seminary, Chuck Swindoll, when asked about dispensationalism, declared in Christianity Today,
“I think that 'dispensations' is a scare word. I’m not sure we’re going to make dispensationalism a part of our marquee as we talk about our school.” When asked whether the term dispensationalism would disappear, Swindoll replied, “It may and perhaps it should”. (Christianity Today, Oct. 25, 1993).
Sixteen years later [when this article was written] the situation in the evangelical camp has worsened drastically.
Christian Palestinianism is used as a trampoline by some Christian Arabs to reinterpret Scripture so as to declare illegitimate Israel’s right to the land. For example, the Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem, Ria Abu El-Assal, is an intemperate man whose fury is always directed against Israel, whom he accuses of terrorist attacks against the Jewish population! In December 2008 he declared that the Palestinians are the true Israel and after the promises were given to Abraham he was never called a Jew in the Bible. One wonders if this is ignorance of Scripture or just a shameless lie!
At the same time the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem (Catholic), has a long tradition of antisemitic tirades, and his best known advocate is the retired Patriarch Michael Sabbath. His replacement, Fouad Twal, appeared to have clothed himself in sheepskin during his first year, could no longer control himself and showed his true catholic sentiment during his welcome address to the Pope in May of 2009. After previously avoiding blaming anyone regarding the Palestinians, he said, ‘In addition to where we stand now, our Lord cried, ‘O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together – all your children, Jews, Christians, Muslims — and ye would not!’”1 This is cheap ecumenism.
We also have “Father” Naim Ateek, a Christian Palestinian and promoter of Liberation Theology in the Palestinian context. He has reinterpreted the Old Testament so as to eliminate the link between the Jews of today and those of the biblical past. Though he recently professed to recognize Israel’s right to the land, his rhetoric says the opposite.
There is a subject of much confusion among evangelicals. It is the Christian Palestinians, and by extension the Christians throughout the Middle East. The majority of those known as “Christian Arabs” or “Christian Palestinians” are sacramentalists [Catholic, Coptic or Orthodox], who are only nominal or cultural Christians. They are not born-again believers (in reality there is no other form of Christian). The fact that someone was born to Greek Orthodox parents in Nazareth does not mean he has a relationship with Jesus Christ, nor does it mean he descended from the first inhabitants of the region. This is another lie proclaimed by the Palestinian propaganda machine.
The great majority of Christian Arabs or Palestinians, whether Maronites, Persians, Chaldeans, Sirians, Coptics, Greeks, Roman Catholics, Palestinians, etc. hate Israel with the same passion as the the Muslims do. For this reason they are seriously militant against Israel and take part in public rallies to condemn any military action the State of Israel takes to defend her citizens.2
Perhaps this will come as a surprising revelation to you when you read news media reports of the persecution of Christians in Palestine or Iraq, and feel sorry for them. We should feel compassion for the persecuted.
But remember, in my opinion, they are under the condemnation of God for the recalcitrant antisemitism, and the radical Muslims who persecute them are an instrument of God to bring judgment upon them.
2. Palestinian Christians protest in Bethlehem against the attacks on Gaza: http://www.imemc.org/article/58314
Note: What is Progressive Dispensationalism? It is a doctrine that holds that there will be no future earthly kingdom. It promotes the idea that modern Israel is a work of men, not God. It rejects the concept of a covenant of God with Israel in unbelief as it is today. In spite of the clear prophetic vision of the dry bones (Ezek. 37) and a large number of other biblical passages, Progressive Dispensationalism insists that Israel must become a nation of believers before it is accepted as a nation regathered by the hand of God. Its followers adhere to the distorted idea that Israel oppresses the Palestinians. They have swallowed, hook, line and sinker, the antisemitism that the news media publish against Israel. According to Progressive Dispensationalism, Jesus Christ is already on the throne of David. The distinction between the Church and Israel is intentionally dissipated by its proponents. This doctrine rapidly advances toward Amillennialism which negates the pretribulation rapture, the millennium, the importance of modern Israel, and practically every prophetic teaching in the Bible.
Translated from the Spanish article posted on:
Islam, Israel and Armageddon, by Dave Hunt, 1 hr. duration
click below to watch on YouTube