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NCC Condemns the Christian Zionist Movement
AreYou a Christian Zionist?
ByGarystearman God of the Old TesBn-..nt and the Lord
J erus of the New
Around the wodd, the mantra is heard Zion is a ssociate d with being mitten in
with ina-ea"ng volume. "Doml with the the Book of Life, a concept dear to both
Zionist Satanl" "Zionism is illegal and J ews and Chri ruans. In this PS3lm, Zi on
racd and i"ll erialdl" Within intellectual is a n-..Bpm r for r edemption. Once, v.nen
circl es, books, articl es and tracts are car- J erus visited this place, He declared Him-
rying the ",n-.. m es"'ge. And it's net only sel f a s the One v.no se ran-.. would forever
the Israeli setUers v.no are targeted. Thos e be identifi ed with it
v.no rupport modem hael are equally "J.,u, "",w. r.d end wid unlo t""m,
blamed by the ",n-.. groops. A growing l)e, troy thi' t. mpio, and in thr•• day, J
number of churches believe that Chriruan willrai"'il up
ruppott for h ael as a divinely ordained "n,.,n ,aid I""
J. w" Jibrty and 'ixy. ar,
ration is naive and destructive wa, thi' tempio in building and will thou
At the clo se on008, the National Coun- rear il up in thr•• day,.?
cil of Clurches joined the din, declaring "& t "" 'pak. oft"" tempio a/hi' bo0'''
that" Christian Zi oni= is mngerous f' (In.2l9-21)
It is the intent of this articl e to bring a J erus knew that Herod's Templ e would
fresh reminder of how pas"orately the soon be razed, and He also knew that his
L c.-d views the Holy Land. The hi M ty of Oml body would be devasBte d. But in
Zion is the hi>toty of the House of David, three mys, his body was resurrected. And
past, present and future. Ziori sm is "mply in His Millennial r ei gn, He knew that the
the fitfillment of His foreordained plan for Riverside Church in New York is home Temple woul d also be retuilt
the Land and for Isra el to the National Counc~ of Churches. The prophet Hos ea, r eferring to mill en-
Marr:r Chriruans have been led to deep ba-n I"",.. Selah nia as "days," desaib ed the S3llle elaps ed
and heartfelt conunitment to latter -my Is- ':4" wdl tixl 'ingo" a; t"" play. " Cl'l time between CIri>t's fir >t and second
rael , and its prophe"ed deruny. They be- in,/rument, ,hall W t""r• . all my 'pring' eommgs "Aft. r tw o day, will hil ", vi""
li eve that the Lord has premi sed His peo -
pl e both a Land and a throne the Throne
"'" in I""."(Fs. 87 1-7)
Here , we find that plain and erqJhatic
I"" third day "" will rat . u, up, and
w ,hall Ii"" in hi' 'ight" (H os. 6:2)
ofDavid >tatement that the "gakl' a/Zion " the Thill , the idea s associated with the per-
T ~ dejXh of the Lord's love for the historical M cunt M criah, v.nere Israel 's sm of J erus, r edemption and the mountain
Land and its p e~l e is expressed in one Templ es were built has a special place call ed Zion are forever intertwined. The
of the tmst important >tatements in all in the heart of the Lord. In fict, it is an Temple of His body. am the Te"llle on the
Saipture. It fl ows forth in profoundly ode to the "holy mountam," v.tJich would mountaintop r epr esent the S3llle hi>torical
beautiful language, p e~ d by the Sons of include the Mount of Olives and other pritrijie: re demption
Korah. Couched in the language of love, tmuntains rurr01.llding JeruS3l em
the words ofPS3lm 87 utter a truth that the His founmtion - that is Abraham, How Zion Got Its Name
worl d " mply ca!UlJt accept Mel chizedek, b Ol e and the patriarchs - In the mys of AIxaham, the Mountain
"A Aalm Cf' Scmg fir I"" wm o/KDrah e>tabli±Jed the Jewish fiith at that very was called "Moriah," m eaning either "s een
"Hi' fiw!dation i, in I"" holy moun- spot There , it will sBnd in the age of the of the Lord," or "chos en of the Lord." Its
Kingdom Its gates arethe famed gates that name is most apprqJriate. This was the
"n,., LORD lo"" th I"" gate, 0/ Zion rurround the Temple Mount And here , it place v.nere Abraham m et M el chizedek
mor. than all I"" dwdling' a/Jacob is associated with that great m etaphor of and later, took Isaac to be offered as a ",c-
"Gloriou, thing, ar. 'poi(12n a/I"". , 0 S3lvation, the Book of Li fe , in v.tJich the rifice
city a/God Sdah names of the r edeemed are mitten "And "" ,aid, TaJ,:;;, now thy ,on, Ihi""
"lwill maJ,:;;, menlion o/Mhdi and Bab- The name of the mount is Zi on, not the only wn Jwac, wmm lhou 10"" 1, and got
ylon to I""m that know me. whold Fl1ili,- H"", m ai-Sharif, or "Noble Sanctuary" as I"". into I""
land o/MCf'iah, and offir him
lia, and 15"', wilh Ethiopia; Iht m"" was Arab Muslims call it I""r. fir a buml offiring upctl 0"" a/I""
wm t""r. The name Zion appears twic e in Psalm mounlaim which J will loll I""e oj' (G en
"And a/Zion il ,hall W ,aid, !hi, and 87, once to identify the geo graphic loca- 222)
that man wa; wrn in "",: end I"" hi;]xl ,1 tion with its gates, am again, to enunci- Upon this mountain, the Lord spoke to
him",I/,hall .,taW ,h ""r ate the fact that Zion is associated with the Abraham, >taying his ham , as he prepared
"n,., LORD , hdl count, w""n "" callif€ of God's elect. To ~ bom in Zi m to lower the ",aificial kri fe up m haac
wrik th up I"" poopio, lhat Iht man was is to be born through its King, the Lord He then provided a ram as an aecepBbl e
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sacrifice. LORD my God of that which doth cost me called Zionism has found itself at the cen-
A thousand years later, in the days of nothing. So David bought the threshing- tral focus of a deep dispute. And no won-
David and Solomon, this sacred location floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. der, since the Bible describes the Holy
was still known by its ancient name: "And David built there an altar unto the Land as the center of the earth. Zionist
"Then Solomon began to build the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and pioneers, dating back to the late nineteenth
house of the LORD atJerusalem in mount peace offerings. So the LORD was intreat- century, had no idea that they were stirring
Moriah, where the LORD appeared unto edfor the land, and the plague was stayed up such a hornet's nest.
David his father, in the place that David from Israel" (II Sam. 24:24,25).
had prepared in the threshingfloor of Or- A wider view of the transaction is re-
Zionism as Racism
nan the Jebusite" (II Chr. 3: 1). corded in First Chronicles: The fury of the dispute became a global
Before King David took Moriah in a "And king David said to Ornan, Nay; but frenzy in 1975, when United Nations Gen-
military conquest, it was actually the prop- I will verily buy itfor thefull price:for I will eral Assembly Resolution 3379 declared,
erty of Oman. As described by the prophet not take that which is thine for the LORD, "Zionism is racism." In official language,
Samuel, David's victory resulted in a major nor offer burnt offerings without cost. the Jewish claim to the Land was branded a
change of name for this historic location: "So David gave to Oman for the place nationalistic racist ideology. Their claim of
"And the king and his men went to J e- six hundred shekels of gold by weight exclusive right to Jewish national territory
rusalem unto the Jebusites, the inhabitants "And David built there an altar unto was quickly labeled as an offense to many
of the land: which spake unto David, say- the LORD, and offered burnt offerings anti-Semitic groups, Arabs in particular.
ing, Except thou take away the blind and and peace offerings, and called upon the The wording of the resolution was truly
the lame, thou shalt not come in hither: LORD; and he answered him from heaven amazing. In part, it said:
thinking, David cannot come in hither. by fire upon the altar of burnt offering" "3379. Elimination of all forms of ra-
"Nevertheless David took the strong hold (I Chr. 2124-26). cial discrimination The General Assem-
ofZion: the same is the city ofDavid. A casual reading seems to reveal a tex- bly, Recalling its resolution 1904 (XVIII)
"And David said on that day, Whosoever tual problem here, since two different of 20 November 1963, proclaiming the
getteth up to the gutter, and smiteth the Je- purchase prices are mentioned in the two United Nations Declaration on the Elimi-
busites, and the lame and the blind, that are accounts. But in fact, there is no conflict, nation of All Forms of Racial Discrimina-
hated ofDavid's soul, he shall be chief and since Samuel records the purchase of the tion, and in particular its affirmation that
captain. Wherefore they said, The blind and threshingfloor, while Chronicles speaks "any doctrine of racial differentiation or
the lame shall not come into the house. of the "place," from the Hebrew magom, superiority is scientifically false, morally
"So David dwelt in the fort, and called meaning "home." The higher price men- condemnable, socially uniust and danger-
it the city of David And David built round tioned here is payment for the entire moun- ous." Recalling also ... the unholy alliance
aboutfrom Millo and inward tain, probably including its lower portion, between South African racism and Zion-
"And David went on, and grew great, known as the "City of David." Ism Taking note of. the World Con-
and the LORD God ofhosts was with him" As we have often mentioned, this is one ference of the International Women's Year,
(II Sam. 57-10). of the oldest and probably the most accu- held at Mexico City from 19 June to 2 July
In this passage, we find the first Scriptural rate real estate abstracts in existence. Title 1975, which promulgated the principle
reference to Mount Moriah as "Zion." The deed for Mount Zion remains in the hands that "international cooperation and peace
origin of this name is shrouded in mystery. of the House of David, as it has for the last require the achievement of national libera-
Some have suggested that it originates in a three millennia. No subsequent deed su- tion and independence, the elimination of
Semitic word root that means, "to fortify" percedes the one recorded here. colonialism and neo-colonialism, foreign
or "defend," as in "a fortress." Others have Zion, therefore, is on penn anent record occupation, Zionism apartheid and racial
related it to a word meaning "parched" or as the foundation of David's throne. discrimination in all its forms, as well as
"very dry." In the latter case, some have the recognition of the dignity of peoples
translated it as meaning "a sunny place."
Modern Zionism and their right to self-determination." Tak-
But at some point, it also came to mean There is little doubt that Zionism is the ing note also of ... the organization of Af-
"something erected as a pillar," or a "sign." world's most despised idea. One who sup- rican Unity at its twelfth ordinary session
In fact, all of the above meanings char- ports the legitimacy of Zionism will soon- ... "that the racist regime in occupied Pal-
acterize this most significant place. It is er or later run into criticism. In particular, estine and the racist regime in Zimbabwe
certainly dry. Water has always had to be Israel's right to the 300,000 square miles and South Africa have a common imperial-
carried up to its heights and stored there in of land granted to Abraham, and espe- ist origin, forming a whole and having the
cisterns. Originally, it was used as a thresh- cially, Mount Zion, faces highly emotional same racist structure and being organically
ing floor a high place where drying opposition. linked in their policy aimed at repression
winds blow, separating wheat from chaff From AD. 135 and the defeat of Simeon of the dignity and integrity of the human
In a transaction that will remain in the Bar Kochba, until the twentieth century, being. Taking note also of the Political
public record as long as the Word of God the Holy Land lay defeated and desolate. Declaration of. Non-Aligned Countries
stands, Oman (called Araunah in the fol- It witnessed occasional skirmishes, as Is- held at Lima from 25 to 30 August 1975,
lowing text) offered to give the mountain- lam and the Crusaders stirred its dust But which most severely condemned Zionism
top to David out of respect for the King. by and large, it was not until 1948 that the as a threat to world peace and security
David refused, saying that the Lord's Arab world "discovered" its deep roots in and called upon all countries to oppose
ground would not be indebted to any man: the land that it likes to call Palestine. Until this racist and imperialist ideology, Deter-
"And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; very recently, Islam had felt no need to de- mines that Zionism is a fonn of racism and
but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: clare Zion one of its holiest sites. racial discrim ination."
neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the Since Israeli statehood, the movement Later the same day, Israeli Ambassador
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Chaim Herzog addressed the UN., citing of the liberation of all oppressed individu- ing way, as the followers of John Nelson
the thousands of Arabs who were flocking als and nations. Darby began to teach that Israel was about
to Israel for jobs, using Israel's free medi- "His book Rome and Jerusalem, pub- to return to the Land. These men were
cal services and serving in the Israeli gov- lished in 1862, was the first appeal for the the Plymouth Brethren, so-called because
ernment. "Is that racism?" he asked. "It is revival of the Jewish homeland without of their first meetings held in Plymouth,
not. it is Zionism!" recourse to the emotional mystique. For a England. They spearheaded a powerful
He added, "For us, the Jewish people, long time, this book went urmoticed. Its im- Christian movement that taught Dispen-
this resolution based on hatred, falsehood portance became known much later, when sationalism and the Premillennial view of
and arrogance is devoid of any moral or le- another disillusioned Jewish assimilation- prophecy, as well as the pretribulation rap-
gal value. For us, the Jewish people, this is ist came out with a public plea that eventu- ture of the church.
no more than a piece of paper and we shall ally changed the course of Jewish history. Theodore Herzl was aided by an Episco-
treat it as such." At that poin~ he demon- His name was Theodore Herzl" (Abraham palian minister named William Heschler,
strated his disgust by ripping the Resolu- Shulman, Coming Home to Zion (New who had been enlightened by the teaching
tion in two. York, Doubleday, 1979) pp. 12,14). of the Brethren. Heschler worked to help
Herzl, a Hungarian Jewish journalis~ the Jews return to their homeland. In fact,
Secular Awakening wrote a small tract, entitled Judanstaat he came to be called, "the prophet of the
Many criticize Zionism as a latter-day (A Jewish State). Under his direction, the corning Jewish state."
invention. This is simply not true. Its First Zionist Congress was held at Basle, From the very beginning of the state
definition and scope are ScripturaL It is Switzerland in 1897. It was as though a of Israel, Christians were present, either
the prophetic expression of the House of light had suddenly been turned on. Jewish to facilitate the Zionist movement, or to
David. As we have already seen, the con- nationalism became an international idea. stand by and watch eagerly as prophecy
cept was born when David carne to Mount A new Messianic fervor appeared, such was progressively fulfilled. They were ful-
Moriah and established the City of David as had not been seen among the Jews since ly aware that it was based in socialism, but
and the mountaintop as Zion. As such, it is the days of the first century. It emerged believed so strongly in the fulfillment of
specifically a spiritual idea. with the hope of a Jewish national gov- biblical prophecy that they looked beyond
But with the diaspora, Zionism sank emrn ent, and a state once again in its own the settlers' socialist philosophy.
into virtual non-existence, not to arise homeland. But its spiritual vitality was
again until the end of the nineteenth cen- buried in global political and economic
tury. Ironically, it did so under the banner theory, and it was secular to the core. They correctly interpreted Israel's re-
of social ideals and "modem" theories of A few years earlier, in 1882, a few disil- gathering to take place in a state of un-
socio-economic thought. lusioned Jewish Russian social revolution- belief, as witnessed by the remarkable
Their return was driven by secular ideal- aries, shocked that they were unwelcome prophecy of EzekieL The following verses
ism. The ancient biblical ideal of Zionism in their own country, left Russia and ar- are a concise and accurate condensation of
was co-opted by academic intellectuals. rived in Joppa. Their journey marked the Israel's regathering:
But in fac~ Bible prophecy actually fore- First Aliyah (immigration) into IsraeL It "For I will take youfrom among the hea-
saw this development. was followed by four other waves of immi- then, and gather you out of all countries,
In late nineteenth-century Europe, hu- grants, who came home to Israel through and will b ring you into your own land
manist thought exploded as a concept, into two World Wars and several more Zionist "Then will I sprinkle clean water upon
the hope of emancipation and the promise Congresses. you, and ye shall be clean: from all your
of socialistic security. European intellectu- Of course, the modem State ofIsrael was filthiness, and from all your idols, will I
als idealized the thoughts of Hegel, Marx born on May 14, 1948. It is deeply ironic cleanse you.
and Engels. that this was the result of a United Nations "A new heart also will I give you, and a
Author Abraham Shulman wrote, "Mo- General Assembly decision in November new spirit will I put within you: and I will
ses Hess, a fonner collaborator of Marx 1947, to divide the territory of Palestine take away the stony heart out ofyour flesh,
and Engels, found himself betrayed by into three parts. The resolution stated, "In- and I will give you an heart offlesh.
both his hopes in Emancipation and by the dependent Arab and Jewish States and the "And I will put my spirit within you, and
promises of socialism. He carne to the con- Special International Regime for the City cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye
clusion that the situation of the Jews was of Jerusalem ... shall corne into existence shall keep my judgments, and do them.
not unlike that of the proletariat Along the in Palestine." "And ye shall dwell in the land that! gave
lines of the Communist Manifesto, he sub- Six months later David Ben-Gurion de- to your fathers; and ye shall be my people,
stituted for 'class' in 'class struggle,' the clared Israeli statehood. Zionism had be- and I will be your God" (Ezk. 36:24-28).
words 'oppressed nationality.' Only in a come Zion. But shortly after that, on the In The Scofield Study Bible of 1909, Dr.
home of his own would the Jew function first of October, 1948, the Grand Mufti C I. Scofield comments upon the forego-
as a free man and a liberated human being. of Jerusalem, Amin al-Husayni spoke in ing verses in the following way: "Having
Moses Hess, who had formerly, along with Gaza, declaring an "all-Palestine govern- announced ... the restoration of the nation,
Marx, believed that the liberation of the ment" The Arabs intended this regime to Jehovah now gives in vision and symbol
toiling masses would mean the redemp- expand across the entirety of Palestine. the method of its accomplishment"
tion of the whole world, now shifted his And thus was the latter-day battle staged, He then comments upon Ezekiel 37,
view from the liberation of masses to the which rages on to this day. the chapter that follows. It features the
national liberation ofthe Jews. The revival prophecy of the "dry bones." To make his
of the Jewish state, he concluded, would
Christian Support comments easier to understand, they are
mark the beginning of a spiritual revival of Throughout this time period, God's placed before each verse upon which he
humanity. It would be the Messianic sign providence worked in another amaz- comments.
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He says, "Verse 11 gives the clue. The those who carried this label found them- "Now if the fall of them be the riches
'bones' are the whole house of Israel who selves at the center of a great controversy. of the world, and the diminishing of them
shall then be living." Namely, is it Scripturally defensible for a the riches of the Gentiles: how much more
"Then he said unto me, Son of man, Christian to be a Zionist? Implied in this their fulness?
these bones are the whole house of Isra- question is that the first mission of the "For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch
el: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, church is to evangelize: ".. to the Jew as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I mag-
and our hope is lost: we are cut offfor our first. " nifY mine office:
parts"(Ezek. 37:11). In fact, Christian Zionism seemed to ex- "Ifby any means I may provoke to emu-
He writes, "The 'graves' are the nations pect Jews to return to the Land without a lation them which are my flesh, and might
where they dwell. The order of procedure living faith in God through Christ Jews of save some of them.
is: (I) the bringing of the people out (v. many different faiths. Orthodox, Hasid- "For if the casting away of them be the
12); (2) the bringing of them in (v. 12) ic, and socialist liberals ... were all thought reconciling of the world, what shall the re-
"Therefore prophesy and say unto them, to be part of the general aliyah, the return ceiving ofthem be, but life from the dead?"
Thus saith the Lord GOD: Behold, a my to the Land in unbelief Christian Zionists (Rom.1111-1S).
people, I will open your graves, and cause believed that later, they would be brought In no way does Paul believe that the
you to come up out ofyour graves, and bring to faith in the dramatic series of events giv- Jews have been forever cast aside. Here,
you into the land of Israel " (Ezek. 37:12). en in prophecy, Old Testament and New. he writes of them as a national body that
"(3) their conversion (v. 13): When the Episcopalian minister Wil- has been cast away, but will one day be
"And ye shall know that I am the LORD, liam Heschler became a disciple of the received again. It is absolutely clear that
when I have opened your graves, a my Plymouth Brethren, he quickly became a he is speaking of their resurrection as a na-
people, and brought you up out of your Christian Zionist. The Brethren were at tion, not as individuals.
graves, "(Ezek. 37: 13). the center of Christian support for Israel's The dispensational understanding of
"(4) the filling with the Spirit (v. 14). return to the Land. And in the providence Scripture places great importance upon the
"And shall put my spirit in you, and ye of the Lord, Heschler met Theodore Herzl, latter-day rise of national Israel. Dispen-
shall live, and I shall place you in your and together, they founded the World Zi- sationalists believe that its twelve tribes
own land: then shall ye know that I the onist Organization. will return to their ancient Land, there to
LORD have spoken it, and performed it World War One witnessed the now-fa- experience spiritual renewal, beginning
saith the LORD" (Ezek. 37:14). mous incident in which a Jewish chemist, with the sealing of 144,000 Israelites. The
Scofield's interpretation of these verses Chaim Weismann, contributed to British church has nothing at all to do with this
represents a concise description of pro-Zi- victory by inventing a method of quickly watershed event By the time this proph-
onist Christian beliefs, beginning first and fabricating smokeless gunpowder for their esied event comes to pass, the church will
foremost with a belief in the return of the arsenals. By way of thanks, on November have been removed from the earth.
Jews to the Land, and their redemption as 3, 1917, Lord Balfour - another follower
a nation. of the Plymouth Brethren - promised the The Big Question
Implied in this position is a clear distinc- Jews a national homeland. But here, we run into the classic escha-
tion between Israel and the Church. That Zionism is simply the belief that God's tological problem. In what manner are the
is, the Kingdom Age is to be dominated by covenant with Abraham exists in perpetu- Jews to be brought to faith in the end times?
the Throne of David and a Jewish Messi- ity. Once a Scriptural vision, it has become Is it to come only through their evangelism
ah, who returns to build the third Temple. a thriving reality, and the world's foremost by the church? This was the position of the
The church, the Body of Christ does not bone of contention. church of the Middle Ages, and even the
take this role. Reformation, which held with Augustine's
This, in turn, bespeaks a belief that the
Christian Zionism, a Threat? fifth-century teaching that there would be
age of the Church will come to an end be- Christian Zionism is more than an ideol- no millennium. He spiritualized the apoca-
fore the age of the Kingdom. ogy and belief system. It is linked to geog- lypse out of existence, and visualized the
The mechanism that tenninates the raphy, and to the ancient real estate abstract church as being in a struggle with the world,
Church Age is the rapture, which is more that records David's purchase from Ornan. which would end with Christ's coming.
or less immediately followed by Daniel's Zion is loved by some and hated by others Israel in the Millennial Kingdom Age was
Seventieth Week ... the seven-year Tribu- as heresy. But in its essence, it is character- completely omitted from his interpretation
lation. ized by a love for God's chosen people, the of Scripture. To this day, mainline denomi-
Thus, when Darby, the Plymouth Breth- Jews, and their Scriptural destiny. nations continue in his ideology, taking the
ren and their followers began to teach the Christians remember the words of Paul, position that Jews may achieve redemption
first principle that the Jews would return who grieved over the failure of his people only by becoming members of the institu-
to the Holy Land, the rest of the dispensa- to corne to faith in their true Messiah, Je- tional church ... that Jews may receive sal-
tional system of interpretation quickly fell sus. His emotional questions move us to vation only by entering into its ranks.
into place. Dispensationalism, of course, this day: "I say then, Hath God cast away The mainline institutional church finds
is the belief that history is divided into a his people? Godforbid For I also am an Christian Zionism, which sees Israel's re-
succession of historical periods, each of Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the gathering as God's will for the House of
which represents a distinct phase of God's tribe ofBenjamin. " (Rom. 11:1). David, repugnant even frightening.
redemptive work. Presently we are in the A bit further on, he asks, "I say then, A good example of their opinion is
Dispensation of the church, which will be Have they stumb Ie d that they should fall? found in a brochure recently issued by
followed by the age of the Kingdom. God forbid: but rather through their fall the National Council of Churches [NCC].
This fresh insight gave birth to a new salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to Published in December 2008, it is enti-
term, "Christian Zionist" From the first provoke them to jealousy. tled, Why We Should be Concerned About
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Christian Zionism. It provides a remark- broadly or narrowly. Broadly speaking it At Jesus' entry into Jerusalem, Matthew
able statement of the basic issues. designates any Christian support for the records the event as a fulfillment of proph-
Doubtless, the timing of its dissemina- national revival movement of the Jewish ecy, uttered by both Isaiah and Zechariah:
tion is based upon the tightening conflict people realized through the establishment "Tell ye the daughter of Sian, [Zion1Be-
between Israel and the Arab world. With of the modem State of Israel (historically hold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek,
Iraq, Iran and nuclear conflict in view, the known as Zionism). More narrowly de- and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal
NCC view places the burden of the blame fined, Christian Zionism is an ideology of an ass" (Matt 21:5).
with Israel, which has claimed land that grounded in beliefs which consider the
it regards as the Palestinian homeland. In State of Israel to be divinely ordained and
Zion, a Composite
fact, they use their theological argument to scripturally detennined with a central role Israel is the "daughter of Zion, "not the
question the legitimacy of modem Israel's in ushering in the end of history, where un- church. A composite picture of Zion re-
very existence. converted Jews and unbelievers (includ- veals one thing: It is a place, a city and
One of its main points lays the blame ing Christians who are considered to be of an idea. Some dismiss Zionism as a fabri-
for the conflict upon the Dispensational questionable status) are judged by God's cated political movement, and say that the
movement. Here is one of its key criti- wrath. It is the narrower fonn that causes church cannot condone it, much less en-
cisms about Christian Zionism: immediate concern." courage it The NCC calls it, ",. a move-
"It is not based on traditional teaching Here, it becomes perfectly clear that the ment with negative consequences for Mid-
or doctrines of the Church - Christian NCC's real objection is to the Premillen- dle East Peace." They say, "It fosters fear
Zionism and its theological presupposi- nial and Pretribulational view of history, and hatred of Muslims and non-Western
tions are nineteenth-century innovations which would include the rise of a Gentile Christians. "
in Christian doctrine. The most prominent world power structure, an anti christ and a But a moment's reflection shows that it is
spokesperson for these beliefs was John literal seven-year Tribulation. They pro- an idea that lies at the center of God's heart:
Nelson Darby (1800-1882). Although the foundly disagree with Darby's dispensa- "Beautiful for situation, the joy of the
advocates of Christian Zionism and its tional view. whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of
underlying theology sometimes claim to In fac~ the churches which fall under the north, the city of the great King" (psa.
base their beliefs on ancient understand- the NCC's purview conform in varying 482).
ings, generally scholars recognize these to degrees to the theology of the refonners, "Let mount Zion rejoice, let the daugh-
be recent innovations." who adopted the Amillennial doctrine of ters ofJudah be glad, because of thy judg-
Here, we have an amazing theological Augustine, or some fonn of Postmillennia I ments" (psa. 48:11).
argument, somehow based upon the prem- doctrine. The fonner believes that there "Walk about Zion, and go round about
ise that current insights into the prophetic will be no Millennial reign of Chris~ and her: tell the towers thereof" (psa. 48:12).
interpretation of Scripture are by nature the latter holds that the Millennium began "Do good in thy good pleasure unto
of their recent discovery, invalid. Under during Christ's earthly ministry. The church Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem"
this thinking, doctrine, to be sound, must is thus regarded as redeemed Israel. (psa.5118).
meet some sort of time test, having been "For God will save Zion, and will build
recognized by some convocation of elders
Holy Ground the cities ofJudah: that they may dwell there,
before a certain unspecified cutoff date. Today, there is a serious question for and have it in possession" CPsa. 69:35).
John Nelson Darby and his follow- Christians that must be asked and an- "Remember thy congregation, which
ers apparently do not meet this test, even swered. It has to do with the legitimacy of thou hast purchased of old: the rod ofthine
though he graduated from Trinity College Israeli statehood. In 1947, under UN aus- inheritance, which thou hast redeemed;
as a "Master Scholar," and later became a pices, the world decided in the affirmative. this mount Zion, wherein thou hast dwelt"
priest in the Anglican church. Darby's bi- In 1948, Israel became a nation. Immedi- (psa. 742).
ography documents the fact that if he had ately, a series of Middle East wars began. "When the LORD shall build up Zion, he
not been injured in an equestrian accident They have developed into a continuing, shall appear in his glory" (psa. 102: 16).
that left him bedridden for months, he nerve-wracking chain of tremors, which "Who hath heard such a thing? who
would have continued on that path. Given will soon cuhninate in a catastrophic shak- hath seen such things? Shall the earth be
his intelligence and drive, he would proba- ing - the Tribulation. In its upheavals, made to bring forth in one day? or shall
bly have risen to high office in the Church Israel will be spiritually reborn. Jesus will a nation be born at once? for as soon as
of England. corne again to reign as their King. Zion travailed, she broughtforth her chil-
But his lengthy convalescence gave him The modem institutional church denies dren" (Is. 668).
time to read the Bible as he hadn't read it this truth. To them, Zion is spiritual, not Look for yourself at the dozens of oth-
before. Scripture led him to two conclu- geographic. It is an artifact of the church. er, similar references in Scripture. See
sions: First, it caused him to see the nine- Butthink of this: In all of Scripture, Zion for yourself that Zion is an expression of
teenth century institutional church as "a is mentioned 160 times. In the Psalms, it God's love and His wilL If you follow this
ruin." Second, his eyes were opened to the occurs 38 times. In Isaiah, it is found 46 simple exercise, you will find that you,
prophetic certainty that Israel would return times. In Jeremiah. 17 times. too, are a Christian Zionist.
to her own Land. He saw a "new dispensa- In the King James New Testamen~ it Zionism is revolting only to those who
tion" corning. appears as "Sion," and is found 7 times, oppose the return ofthe Jews to their bibli-
Dispensationalism soon became a living and at each of these appearances it refers cal homeland, and their Temple.
faith. Christian Zionism was born. either to the twelve tribes of Israel, or to Never forget this convincing thought:
In answer to the question, "What is the geographic Mount Zion in modem Je- "The LORD loveth the gates of Zion
Christian Zionism?" the NCC says, rusalem, bought and paid for by the House more than all the dwellings of Jacob"
"Christian Zionism may be defined either of David. (psa. 872) . •
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