Zionist Christians

Commentary by Dr. Gerhard Falk


Christian Zionism


Anyone who watches one of the Christian evangelical (good message) broadcasts regularly must have noticed that the preachers who promote their message frequently encourage their followers to support Israel and the Jewish people generally.

These evangelists are viewed with suspicion by many secular Jews who choose to believe that we have no friends and that even those who favor us are hidden “anti-semites”.

Let us therefore look at the principal arguments of Christian Zionists.

Four Christian Organizations represent the majority of the 55 million Christian fundamentalist Zionists in America. They are the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem, the Christian Friends of Israel, Christian Action for Israel and Operation Exodus.

The origins of Christian interest in the return of the Jews to their homeland are not new. They can be traced to the English Puritans of the 17th century, when the Bible was first made accessible to the English people. In 1689 the philosopher John Locke (1632-1704) had published his “Letter Concerning Toleration”, which favored the return of the Jews to England. Furthermore, the Bible had actually been translated into English by John Wycliffe in 1382. Wycliffe translated from the Latin, not the Hebrew, either because he did not know Hebrew or because he had no Hebrew Bible. The Pope was so incensed by that translation that he not only had all copies burned but that he even had the body of Wycliffe exhumed and burned after he died in 1384.

Nevertheless, the Wycliffe Bible survived and became popular in the 17th century. Consequently the Holy Scriptures were read and believed verbatim. This led to English “Restorationism”, as Zionism was called at that time. Restorationism became part of British Protestantism and is largely responsible for the British interest in the return of the Jews to Israel, as indicated by the Balfour Declaration and other efforts on the part of English politicians and writers.

In the early 19th Century the Emperor Napoleon (Napoleon Bonaparte), during his Egyptian campaign, promoted the idea of a return of the Jews to Israel.

The proponents of Christian Zionism are convinced that their view of things and their actions are based on a solid Biblical base. It is their view that the Torah predicts the return of the Jews to Israel and that the return of the Jews to the Holy Land plays a decisive role in the “End of Times”, which is a Protestant term concerning the redemption of the world. Christian Zionists are therefore convinced that the Bible demands that Christians must not only pray for the reconstruction of Israel but must also actively support this effort and do something about it.

Therefore Christian Zionists of all nationalities frequently work as volunteers in Israel and generally support the views of the Likud party in Israel. Some wish to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem and a few actually serve in the Israel Defense Forces. Christian Zionists also help with the immigration of Jews to Israel and are active in fighting anti-Jewish propaganda. They generally participate in Jewish-Christian dialogues, inform churches of their Jewish origins and furnish help for Jews in need.

There are a few Christian Zionists who seek the conversion of the Jews to the Christian religion. That, however, has been largely abandoned, even by the Catholic Church, which now holds that the Covenant with Abraham exempts Jews from proselytizing efforts.

There are innumerable verses in the Torah which predict the restoration of the Jews to Israel. That is also true of the Christian Bible, usually called “The New Testament”.

So what more do you want? In view of the utter indifference to Israel by so many so called Jews, we should be glad to have Christian friends and stop maligning those wanting to help us.

Shalom u’vracha.

Dr. Gerhard Falk is the author of numerous publications, including Man's Ascent to Reason (2003) & the forthcoming Football & American Identity.

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