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JamesR
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« on: April 11, 2012, 06:38:21 PM »

I hate to generalize, so everything I say here is based off of my own personal experience. So, I am asking, why do so many modern Protestants in America support Israel so much? Nearly every Protestant friend I have, some being ministers, tries to urge people to support Israel and tells me that I might go to Hell if I do not support it because the Jews are "God's people" and that it is the Holy Land. Every time I tell them that Israel has committed horrible atrocities against Palestinians, to be specific, Orthodox Christian Palestinians, and forced many of the native Orthodox Christian population to relocate to Palestine, they usually just do not care or ignore it. I think that the simple name factor is what fools many of them. They hear the name 'Israel' and immediately associate its population as being the "Chosen People" or think of it as the special nation God is still watching over and has a Covenant with. But names mean nothing; the people who started a nation in only 1947 and decided to call it Israel does not really make it the true Israel; likewise, there is no getting by what they have done to Orthodox Christians over there. So, my question is to any Protestants out there who may support Israel, why do you do it? And how do you justify your support despite all of this?
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« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2012, 02:13:58 AM »

It comes from an understanding that God has not ended his covenant with the jews and this is based on some passages by Paul and revelation. Some people are truely fanatical about it, ive seen one who was so convinced about this every time he would speak he couldn't help but say it and eventually it got to the point where he basically was saying he thought that those who dissagreed with him on Israel and the place of the jews were damned.
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« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2012, 02:34:56 AM »

I don't think Christian Zionism comes from, nor is supported by, all of Protestantism.  Mainly it's the Evangelicals.  But why do they believe it so fervently?  Nicene covered it nicely.  Plus, they see the return of all Jews to Israel as the prerequisite to Jesus' second coming.
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« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2012, 03:10:42 AM »

JR,

I would say the explanation you gave in your OP was OK.

Like you said, when I was 9 years old I just heard the name, and from that had a favorable view. I went to an Evan. middle school for alittle bit in the mid-90's, and don't remember it being really discussed. My guess is that some of it is more recent and has to do with their government being a close US ally, instead of, say, considering the early Christians' relations with the nationalists of their own time, the Zealots.

In any case, just because you care about someone doesn't mean you should support whatever decisions they make, or should care less about others.
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« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2012, 09:56:27 AM »

I don't think Christian Zionism comes from, nor is supported by, all of Protestantism.  Mainly it's the Evangelicals.  But why do they believe it so fervently?  Nicene covered it nicely.  Plus, they see the return of all Jews to Israel as the prerequisite to Jesus' second coming.
As I've experienced it, it seems to me that this Christian Zionism is virtually a dogma of the dispensationalist Fundamentalist Christian churches, the kind of churches with which Hal Lindsey and Tim LaHaye affiliate themselves.
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« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2012, 10:31:58 AM »

Back in my SBC days, we used to hear a steady supply of teachers who would make such claims that (1) we (Christians/America) have to stand with the nation of Israel since God would "bless those who bless them and curse those who curse them", and that (2) Palestinians really have no claim to that land over there.

Suffice it to say, nowadays I certainly would dispute claim #2 and the assumptions behind claim #1.  Cool
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« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2012, 12:40:48 PM »

As a former Southern Baptist, my short answer to your question is this:  It is because of demons and disbelief.

Here is the long answer.  Some of these deceived pastors you refer to are very sincere in their faith but have been mislead by demons.  Others, however, are probably insincere.  They are hypocrites who are in it for the money.  There is probably a mix of people who are half sincere but half in it for the money.  Israeli politicians also probably foster this.  They probably pay for these men to come take grand vacations in "the holy land" and fill their pockets with all sorts of things while telling them what to tell their congregations about the nation of Israel.  This sort of thing goes on all the time in our government.  The majority of our Congress has been brought to Israel for free tours, and they've been politically indoctrinated while there.  This probably happens with many Protestant churches too. Israel's political leaders are not stupid.  They know that the churches in America are the root of the political power in America.

Step aside with me for just a moment from the topic of Israel to the topic of demons.  The teachers who emphasize a need to support the modern state of Israel are often the same teachers that
1) forbid or hinder alcohol use (despite the many passages in holy Scripture that say alcohol is blessing in moderation),
2) forbid or hinder cannabis use (despite Genesis 1, "all seed bearing plants" are for all men to consume in moderation if they they want),
3) forbid or hinder the use of sexual passion for the formation of marriage (despite the fact that reading Song of Solomon twice will teach you in no uncertain terms that sexual passion is part of what forms holy marriage; when you forbid sexual passion prior to marriage and you are hindering marriage itself).  

Basically, they fit perfectly into the prophecy given in 1st Timothy chapter 4.

Quote from: The holy Spirit through the holy Apostle Paul
The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.  Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.  They hinder the formation of marriages and order people to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth.

The main point I'm trying to make is this:  Demons are trying to influence our behavior by influencing our thoughts not just about the things in 1 Timothy 4, but about everything.  Many of us, and especially many of our church leaders (even in orthodoxy but especially outside of orthodoxy), are following those demons in one way or another.  The Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica rightly taught that "most of the thoughts which torment us from the inside are not ours at all; they come from the demons." (quote from Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives, the life and teachings of Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica, page 48, printed by the St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood in 2011)

Although these "pro-Israel" pastors you mention may think their teachings come from God through their own rational observations and thoughts about Him, they don't.   They probably often come from Israeli politicians also from demons.   Israel's political leaders have accomplished a lot of evil in this world.  I'm not trying to say I'm better than them.  I'm the chief among sinners.  But I do honestly suspect the goal of many leaders in Israel is to take over America from the inside out in order to accomplish their own selfish desires.  They are not our allies; they pretend to be.  If you've never looked up the U.S.S. Liberty Incident (when Israel attempted to destroy a U.S. military ship, murder its crew, and leave no evidence)... do it.  Read about it, and especially read the first hand accounts and explanations written by the U.S. sailors involved and their loved ones.  That was no mistake.  Israel's military leadership knew exactly what they were doing as is obvious from a detailed examination of the facts.  Israel's military apparatus has been caught stealing from America too many times to count in various "spy" cases.  Also investigate the facts surrounding the "dancing Israelis" (the group of Israeli Mossad agents that filmed the 9/11 attacks in New York city while dancing and shouting for joy).  Their leaders own many of our politicians, and I wouldn't be surprised if they own many of our church leaders also.  

That's politics.  As far as spirituality, even if corrupt people don't "own" these Protestant leaders you refer to in the sense that a bribed politician is "owned," I think the same demons own their minds.  Scripture says Satan masquerades as an angel of light, and many of these church leaders would probably tell you that "God" has told them to support the modern political state of Israel.  "God" is not the one telling them to rely on misunderstandings of old testament passages about Israel.  The holy Apostle Paul clearly taught that Israel has been "broken off" from God and the gentiles have been "grafted in" in their place.  But many of these pastors refuse to believe the Word of the True God.  With the help of demons who pretend to be God, many of these men ignore the Apostolic teachings about Israel.  Their own sinful desires probably also push them down the wrong path.  In the same manner that Israel wanted a physical king, these men probably want to be able to see a physical "nation of God."   Therefore, they are easily deceived into thinking modern Israel is it.  

However, the truth is this:  Jesus Christ is the new Moses, old Israel is the new Gentile, and the Church is the new Israel.  No Christian has any duty to support any political, national entity that calls itself Israel, and no American has any duty to support the atrocities that Israel's military commits.  However, many Americans have been thoroughly deceived on both of those points.  

We, Americans, have been deceived by demons and by corrupt men.


I hate to generalize, so everything I say here is based off of my own personal experience. So, I am asking, why do so many modern Protestants in America support Israel so much? ...
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« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2012, 12:58:51 PM »

I don't think Christian Zionism comes from, nor is supported by, all of Protestantism.

Agreed.  As you said, it's mainly among the evangelicals. 

That said, there are secular counterparts as well (the ones I'm referring to are primarily found among culturally Protestant populations in America).  Rather than the whole Armageddon bit, they believe a series of far sillier things.  I really don't want to derail the thread and go down the politics line, but suffice it to say that it's equally as rabid and distorted.

Regarding "mainstream" Protestants, many do not buy into this stuff, from either side.   
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« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2012, 02:13:49 PM »

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« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2012, 03:20:13 PM »



I nominate this for post of the year  laugh!
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« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2012, 10:34:25 PM »

I hope to stop prefacing all my posts with this, but "as an ex-Orthodox Jew..."

I was told that many Christians support Israel because the Jews need to return en masse in order for the Messiah to come. Jews also believe this (different Messiah, though), but not all support Israel. On the contrary, some Hasidic groups, chiefly the Satmar, vehemently oppose Israel as a secular abomination; they believe that a proper return to the holy land will be guided by god and god alone.



Anyway, although I have never been pro-Israel, I never liked the idea of a people being patronized and encouraged by their so-called "successors" into "retaking" the holy land so that the rapture could happen and they would all be sent to their collective eternal damnation. It's like, you agree with me, cool, but you want me to do what afterwards?!
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« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2012, 12:21:54 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I'd say its a blend of semantics errors and fanatical ignorance of historicity.  Further, I wouldn't discount the influence of disillusioned pseudo-Christianity grasping blindly for some, any, kind of authority, continuity, and legitimacy. 

stay blessed,
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« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2012, 06:14:31 PM »

dear sir i am eastern orthodox christian in my area in northern new jersey there is a local messanic Jewish congregation that has a monthly publication called sappahires it is a bunch of articles  from its pastor / rabbi leader in the april 2012 i came across this article called
the iconoclast and it reads in english we have the word iconoclast . an iconoclast is someone who goes against the flow or breaks the rules or traditions . but the word goes back centuries. it comes from a great controversy which took place in the middle ages in the eastern orthodox church . the eastern orthodox church was covered with so called holy images - called icons but thier arose a movement that said the hallowing of icons as idolotry . they began smashing the icons they were called the breakers of icons or in greek iconoclast but all believers are called to be iconoclast that is we are not to serve honor or ackowledge any idol of man whether of secular man or of the church but it can not stop there a true believer is a iconoclast in that he or she continually smashing the idols in your life and heart are thier any idols in your life is anything your putting your trust your love your hope your attention in when it should be in god if so then it is your job to smash that idol and be a iconoclast

from message 1232
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my question is how do you answer such  slander and lies from people who do not know the whole issue on the iconoclast subject and write articles out of context to what really happen
and the fact it was the 700's not the middle ages and the early church council was the one who restored the glory of the holy icons only 100 years later
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« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2012, 07:28:01 PM »



Anyway, although I have never been pro-Israel, I never liked the idea of a people being patronized and encouraged by their so-called "successors" into "retaking" the holy land so that the rapture could happen and they would all be sent to their collective eternal damnation. It's like, you agree with me, cool, but you want me to do what afterwards?!


In all fairness, Dispensationalist Evangelicals believe that after the Rapture that the Jews of Israel will be the 144,000 and as such pretty much guaranteed salvation.
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« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2012, 01:13:30 AM »

Anyway, although I have never been pro-Israel, I never liked the idea of a people being patronized and encouraged by their so-called "successors" into "retaking" the holy land so that the rapture could happen and they would all be sent to their collective eternal damnation. It's like, you agree with me, cool, but you want me to do what afterwards?!


In all fairness, Dispensationalist Evangelicals believe that after the Rapture that the Jews of Israel will be the 144,000 and as such pretty much guaranteed salvation.
I suppose they started with about 4-5 million and worked their way downwards?  Huh
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« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2012, 01:16:57 AM »



Anyway, although I have never been pro-Israel, I never liked the idea of a people being patronized and encouraged by their so-called "successors" into "retaking" the holy land so that the rapture could happen and they would all be sent to their collective eternal damnation. It's like, you agree with me, cool, but you want me to do what afterwards?!


In all fairness, Dispensationalist Evangelicals believe that after the Rapture that the Jews of Israel will be the 144,000 and as such pretty much guaranteed salvation.
I suppose they started with about 4-5 million and worked their way downwards?

It's in the Left Behind series. The 144,000 are all Messianic Jews, one of whom explains to the other protagonists quite pompously that that is because they are from the First Covenant and the people God prefers, being His first choice after all, and that the rest of them were just grafted in.

He rushes to explain it wasn't meant to be condescending or elitist, but for the life of me I can't see how it wasn't.

But anyways, it was in Left Behind, so for many it must be true.
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« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2012, 01:29:17 AM »



Anyway, although I have never been pro-Israel, I never liked the idea of a people being patronized and encouraged by their so-called "successors" into "retaking" the holy land so that the rapture could happen and they would all be sent to their collective eternal damnation. It's like, you agree with me, cool, but you want me to do what afterwards?!


In all fairness, Dispensationalist Evangelicals believe that after the Rapture that the Jews of Israel will be the 144,000 and as such pretty much guaranteed salvation.
I suppose they started with about 4-5 million and worked their way downwards?
My point is that when this movement was growing in the 1980's, the country's population (not including the West Bank or Gaza) was at most 4-5 million, so I think LoveSupreme's criticism of the ideology makes sense. Today, it's even more- 7.8 million.
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« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2012, 03:37:48 AM »

As I read the OP, the question is why Protestants support Israel, which is fundamentally a question of the doctrines of some Protestant sects, NOT a political question. If you want to discuss the state of Israel and its relations with the neighboring Palestinians from a political point of view that doesn't consider Protestant perspectives and therefore does not address the question in the OP, I need you to do so only on the private Politics board. If you don't have access to that board, please PM Fr. George to request such access. Thank you.
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« Reply #18 on: April 30, 2012, 06:58:16 PM »

Perhaps Support for the Political State at root comes from Politics, not Christian Tradition?

During the US Civil War, some of the most fervent abolitionists, based more in Northern Free States, justified their opposition to slavery on the Bible and religion. Meanwhile, more often in Sourthern Slave states, proponents of Slavery justified slavery based on religious claims. Now looking back, we can see that what caused this division was really that at least one group was motivated at their base by their own societal and political backgrounds.

I am unaware of any cases where proponents of one view stated that they believed Christianity told them one thing about slavery and they demanded another. Considering the stark alignment of religious and political beliefs, the slavery advocates or abolitionists were apparently unknowingly directing their religious beliefs based on their own political desires and preferences.

When we look at some Calvinists' very strong loyalty to the Israeli State, it doesn't appear to come directly from New Testament or early Christian traditions. The Christians were a separate group from the nationalist Zealots. While the early Christians viewed the Kingdom as a spiritual one, the Zealots were still focused on creating an earthly Israel based on military force. While St Paul considered nonJewish Christians part of God's people, nonChristian Zealots I'm sure still considered them heathens. In fact, Christian communities, even up to, including, and long after Calvin didn't consider the creation of a Single-Ethnic state over all the Holy Land a religious goal.

Granted, some Calvinists have articulated religious justifications for loyalty to the political State. But like the religious Slavery debates of the Civil War era, it appears the root inspiration is politics. We rarely see, for example, those Calvinists proposing religious loyalty to the political system at the same time they strongly criticize the State's political system (eg. demanding more democracy or racial equality). Contrast this with the Israelite prophets who actually felt inspired to criticize the country's government despite- if not because of- their religion and love for Old Testament Israel.

It seems to me likely that if the State was not a political ally of the US from the mid-1960's on, and those strong Calvinists placed less emphasis on their own nation's supremacy in their own political views, then they would not have so strongly developed such religious beliefs from the 1960's on.

Thus, Peter ends up reminding us, based on our forum rules, that to discuss politics we should go to the Politics Section. That is because the conversation naturally goes in the direction of Politics. Once you realize there is no rock-solid religious justification shared by Christians for religious State loyalty, then what are you left with?

You eventually end up saying you are loyal to the State because its political system is good or bad, its policies are good or bad, or other political motivations.

For example:
instead of sniggering at "protestant" eschatology, maybe you should start considering the effects of muslim eschatology on the middle east... added to all this is the rise and rise of sharia immorality throughout the muslim world.
In other words, don't look too hard at the supposedly "Protestant" religious claims being made, instead, focus on how bad an Islamic political State could be. And based on those fears, give strong approval to another political State.

And thus we end up discussing whether in reality, the State's policies are good or bad.

Am I right?
« Last Edit: April 30, 2012, 07:09:19 PM by rakovsky » Logged
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« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2012, 01:07:50 AM »

^
Thank you, rakovsky, for articulating perfectly what I'm thinking and trying to say. JamesR asked us to discuss why Protestants support the state of Israel, which is fundamentally a discussion of Protestant doctrine. You have done so beautifully in the above post. The politics of which you speak you mention only as a neutral recognition of how Israeli-Palestinian relations is essentially a political issue and of how many pro-Israel Protestants support Israel more out of political persuasion than of any faithfulness to any Christian tradition. You, better than anyone on this thread, seem to understand how difficult it is to discuss Israeli-Palestinian relations without delving into the political discussion deemed inappropriate for this public area of the forum. That's why I'm leaving your post here after splitting so much of this thread off into Politics. You have just posted the epitome of what I would like to see here on this public thread.

Otherwise, the political tangent has been moved to Politics. If you don't yet have access to the private Politics board but would like to follow that tangent, please send Fr. George a private message requesting access. Further political discussion on this public thread will not be tolerated and will incur formal warnings.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=44421.0
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