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By Jan Markell
September 22, 2011
In its own promotion, it aimed at changing the end-time views of evangelicals and the theology that says the Jews are God's chosen people and that they have a Divine right to the land of Israel. The movie's spokesman, Porter Speakman, explains that there is a biblical alternative for Christians who want to love and support the people of Israel. He says that there is a theology that doesn't favor one people group over another. Instead, it promotes peace and reconciliation for both Jews and Palestinians unlike "Christian Zionism" that is outspoken in its favoritism toward all things Jewish, based on biblical verses.
I am not sure why Israel can't have a little group of supporters. We have just seen the world get behind the Palestinian push for statehood in the U.N. But what really troubles me is that the bashers of Christian Zionists don't really care one whit about Israel's friends. They can't stand us, in fact. According to the film's Web site, pro-Israel Christians like me have helped create "the largest refugee population in the world." We are participating in "ethnic cleansing" of the Palestinians, and we sanction "Israeli apartheid." Does this sound like the film is unbiased?
With God On Our Side tries to provide a portrait of desperate Palestinians but doesn't spend a nanosecond explaining that their plight is at the hands of their corrupt and selfish leadership, starting with Mahmoud Abbas who has done a song and dance in the U.S. in recent days. There is no reference to the new terror state in Gaza run by Hamas or the fact that Palestinians danced in the streets with joy on 9/11. The promotion in the film and its Web site of Stephen Sizer, well known for his blatant anti-Semitism, dashes any hope that the film cares proportionately for the Jew and the Palestinian. Sadly, the so-called Bible Answer Man, Hank Hanegraaff, loves to give Sizer credibility on his radio program which serves to gain recruits for Israel-bashers. Hanegraaff's Preterism is tough enough to swallow but calling my friends and me supporters of "apartheid" as well as "racists" takes the argument way too far.
Now that the film has had almost a two-year shelf life and global circulation, it has gained new and troubling advertisers. One is Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. If he speaks for a lot of people, times are scarier than I thought. He says in The Huffington Post,
"My father was a key evangelical founder and leader of the American religious right. I grew up in a home where the 'return of the Jews to Israel' was seen as 'proof' of 'God fulfilling prophecy' in order to expedite the return of Christ. I changed my mind and I changed my politics. I explain why I quit the evangelical movement in my book. I no longer believe that any 'prophecy' is being fulfilled in Israel or anywhere else. I don't believe anyone is 'chosen.' If there is a God, then God either loves all people or none."
Frank Schaeffer, most of the world believes as you do. Why can't you folks allow a very tiny little band of Christian Zionists to stand with Israel? Why must you throw verbal stones at us? But it gets worse. I am not sure your dad would be proud.
"Speakman's film presents an authentically Christian and evangelical perspective to the warmonger far right views," he states. "As such, this film is literally the most important document of its kind -- because it was made by an insider. It is the key to understanding why evangelicals have become the permanent party of war in the name of 'helping Israel.' " Schaeffer doesn't stop even here. He is about to get even more intense.
He says, "If we go to war with Iran, you'll know why after watching this film. Ã‚Â Hint: It won't be to protect American interests. The film presents an opportunity for Christians of all denominations as well as Jews, Muslims, atheists -- whomever -- to engage for peace as vigorously as the Christian Zionists root for war."
Wait! I'm not rooting for war! Wars are lethal. Are you rooting for war? I'm also not rooting for terror or any kind of violence. It is the Palestinians, whom Schaeffer and this film champion, who broke into an Israeli home in March and literally slaughtered the Fogel family, Jewish settlers. A young daughter came home at midnight to find rivers of blood and only one family member left. The intruders were careless and missed one.
Schaeffer says that it is American Christian Zionists who have driven American foreign policy over a cliff. He says we jeopardize America's future due to our "hair-brained biblical prophecy beliefs."Ã‚Â Now, if Frances Schaeffer isn't turning in his grave yet, he is about to. Frank says, "To a Christian Zionist, defending Israel is just a handy pretext for indulging their obsession: Egging on, even helping the fulfillment of biblical prophecies about the return of Christ. But their worst sin isn't just embracing dumb theology but that they have enabled a nefarious group of losers (emphasis mine) to irreparably harm America and contribute to the needless killing of our men and women in uniform worldwide: The neo-conservatives."
I do get it that today it is not cool to be a conservative, a neo-conservative (whatever that is), a Zionist, a prophecy buff, or an end-time watcher hanging on to my blessed hope.
If we fit into any of these categories, we are among the "nefarious group of losers." Even I don't call theology I don't agree with "dumb." I might call it "unsound" or "unbiblical" or "man-made." Five-year olds call ideas "dumb." You really have to have an axe to grind to talk like Frank Schaeffer & Co and he clearly has an axe in his hand! He has called good people just about everything short of some four-letter words. We're losers, hair-brained nuts, nefarious, obsessed, in favor of ethnic cleansing and apartheid, warmongers, racists, and fools. And, we control American foreign policy.
Well, it was American Christian evangelicals and Christian Zionists who sounded an alarm to be wary of the "Arab spring." We warned that it was not a ploy for democracy-- rather, an effort by the Muslim Brotherhood and other radicals to destabilize the Middle East and the world--and to unite and wipe out Israel.
So much for our influence. Nobody listened.
Commentary on the News
Thursday, January 03, 2008
It gives me no joy to report on what I think is one of the most prominent stories of 2007. America is the most blessed, prosperous nation on earth. God raised this young nation up for several reasons. We have been a gospel light to the world and that remains. We have been Israel's "off-and-on" ally. Our Christian heritage has made us a compassionate nation.
But I see a nation pulling away from the one true God and giving a voice to those who hate God or who have a skewed view of Him. This was personified in 2007.
Why would a nation of Judeo-Christian principles give one of the highest honors to the Dalai Lama who received the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor in October? He snowed his adoring admirers, most of them the highest of America's leaders, by saying, "There can be no world peace without first obtaining inner peace." Where's the Prince of Peace and did anyone stand up for Him?
In July, a Hindu opened the U.S. Senate with a Hindu prayer. This same man is opening in prayer at state senates in many places.
The first Muslim imam delivered a prayer for the U.S. House of Representatives, even though he is on record saying, "Take my word--if 6-8 million Muslims unite in America, the country will come to us."
This year saw an unprecedented push to convince Americans that Jews, Christians, and Muslims celebrate similar roots. Interfaith gatherings have taken place so that in unity all may celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, and the Muslim Hajj Festival. Pulpits filled with men who should know better telling us that God and Allah are one and the same.
At the same time, atheists want a pulpit everywhere in America! It's not just Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins. Phillip Pullman's trilogy, The Golden Compass, warranted an expense of $180 million to seduce kids into hating God. The bottom line is that in America, atheism is in. Not since Nietzsche have disbelievers enjoyed such a ready public reception to their godless message--and such royalties.
Snaps Christopher Hitchens who wrote God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything (although not, presumably, the pronouncements of atheists), "Many of the teachings of Christianity are, as well as being incredible and mythical, immoral."
In the past 12 months, atheist authors, according to The Wall Street Journal, have created a publishing sensation, selling more than 1 million books worldwide.
And the great "falling away" fell some more (see II Thess. 2:3). While many churches struggle to hold on to the truth, many more caved to methods of doing church that are not biblical. Willow Creek Pastor Bill Hybels repented for his "seeker-sensitive" approach, calling it an utter failure (although the church appears to now be taking an Emergent turn.)
Our own president stated in late 2007 that all religions pray to the same god. This creates confusion and a form of "falling away" again.
And the lead story in U.S. News and World Report in late 2007 was that even Protestants are returning to Rome as Catholicism and the one world religion join forces and gain strength.
The Bible says, The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God'(Psalm 53:1).
There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death (Proverbs 14:12.)
Yet our Lord delays His coming so that even these might be saved.
Visit our "Spiritual Deception" category at the Web site to learn more.
(Jan is founder and director of Olive Tree Ministries. To learn more, receive her print or e-newsletter, or hear three years of radio programming, visit her Web site, www.olivetreeviews.org.)
Jan Markell Olive Tree Ministries, Inc
If you're over age 35, your spiritual health may be at risk in that new "church movements" are focusing in on primarily "GenXrs." You may not have even heard of the latest, the "Emergent Church" or "Emerging Church." Many today are looking for a new "methodology," "new wave," or "new thing God is doing." I ask, "What is wrong with the old way?" Apparently just the Bible is no longer sufficient.
Olive Tree Ministries, Inc.
The "religious left" has always troubled me. They seem to be focused on things that are unscriptural and unspiritual. Their world view is hardly that of the conservative, Bible-believing Christian. In the early days of my ministry I would now and then minister in these churches-at least those bold enough to invite a pro-Bible prophecy, pro-Israel speaker. I give that remnant credit! However, there were never more than two or three in attendance at my classes even though the church membership was in the thousands. Conclusion: I was not tracking with these people who wanted to hear about poverty, the environment, a Palestinian state, and human rights!
The Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas will visit with President Bush Thursday, May 26. Yaser Arafat was never permitted such a privilege. I have to keep asking, "What has changed?" With Arafat's passing, it's not a "new day for peace." According to the Center for Near East Policy Research, the invective, incitement, paranoia, false accusations, and inflammatory sermons in the PA mosques and media are still the same. There have been over one hundred attempted terror attacks on Israelis since the January election of Abbas.
Commentary on the News
Thursday, January 03, 2008
It gives me no joy to report on what I think is one of the most prominent stories of 2007. America is the most blessed, prosperous nation on earth. God raised this young nation up for several reasons. We have been a gospel light to the world and that remains. We have been Israel's "off-and-on" ally. Our Christian heritage has made us a compassionate nation. But I see a nation pulling away from the one true God and giving a voice to those who hate God or who have a skewed view of Him. This was personified in 2007.
by Jan Markel
Olive Tree Ministries
While parts of the world riot over cartoons and as the mad atomic ayatollahs of Iran are threatening to wipe some nations off the map, is it any wonder that the Bible says that in the latter days there would be a great longing for peace. "They have misled My people by saying, 'Peace!' when there is no peace . . . (Ezek. 13:10). Or, "We have waited for peace, but nothing came . . . (Jeremiah 14:19). The world is tired of saber-rattling, hot wars, cold wars, homicide bombers, airplanes flying into buildings, and more. They just want world peace.
by Jan Markell
We are at war so I will not apologize if the following is a bit negative. Thankfully God makes a marvelous Homeland Security Director. Keeping in mind that He is the "stability of our times" (Is. 33:6) puts things in a better perspective. But through recent events, our enemies learned too much about us.
by Jan Markel
Most people know that birth pangs intensify and become more frequent as the baby is about to be born. Some translations call this "the beginning of sorrows." And that is exactly what is happening around the world. News' stories suggest Hurricane Katrina was "a once in a lifetime" event. How many times in the last five years have we heard that something, usually a disaster, was "of Biblical proportions? Check out my "Signs in Nature" category to verify this, at the Web site.