On my recent trip to Israel, I came across this definition (below) of “Christian Zionism.” I’ve never been one for labels, and I don’t really like being pigeon-holed, but I find that I pretty much qualify as a Zionist. I love Israel. I love Israelis. Not to the exclusion of Arabs, or any other people group. I love all people without prejudice. However, I believe in Israel’s right to the land as described in the old testament, and I believe in their right to defend that land.
Here is the definition with my notes:
What is Christian Zionism?
1. Christian Zionists see themselves as defenders of the Jewish people, and especially of the state of Israel. Check one, I’m that.
2. They support Israel’s policies? Whatever that might be. Not necessarily, they make mistakes, but if it’s defending themselves, like pre-emptive military strikes or building a wall I’m with them.
3. Part of this support involves opposing those who are critical or hostile towards Israel. I believe in political opposition, however as a Christian I am morally and spiritually “for” all people,… even enemies.
4. Thus, they are naturally non-sympathetic towards Muslims, toward Arab states in general, and towards the Palestinians in particular. Again, from a political standpoint, I agree. Basically because the “Palestinians” (a misnomer) and Muslims, have a false claim on the land and a general hatred of Israel.
A. From their perspective, God gave the land of Palestine to the Jews. He did, for me this is non-negotiable.
B. The native Palestinians are dismissed as trespasser’s with no rights to the promised land. I agree. They are the true interlopers.
C. Therefore need talk about creating a Palestinian state in Israel is not acceptable. Though this is politically incorrect, it is in my opinion a lack of faith in God’s word and His promises to the nation.
5. They use the Scriptures and biblical history at support for their beliefs. Yep.
6. They are quick to categorize people… either you are a true friend of Israel, or you are an enemy of Israel-there is no gray area. There may be gray area for me, but I think the true friends are in decline.
7. What constitutes a true friend of Israel?
A. Encouraging dialogue between Jews and Christians. Dialogue is good.
B. Opposing anti-Semitism. Anyone who does not oppose anti-Semitism needs to visit the holocaust museum in Jerusalem.
C. Educating oneself regarding the Jewish origins of the Christian faith. Always helpful.
D. Engaging in humanitarian work to assist Jewish refugees. I haven’t done this, but I like it.
E. Opposing any moderate Jewish position that would strive to negotiate land for peace. Land for peace again, in my opinion is a lack of faith in God.
F. Understanding apocalyptic eschatology and the role Israel will play in this understanding. This one gets pretty controversial, but I believe that God is not done with, and has not cast away Israel. The church has not replaced Israel as the object of His affection, as some believe.