May 11, 2009

The Bible Haters

By Jim Fletcher

The battle between supporters of Israel, and Israel’s enemies within the Church is escalating.

Guess who’s doing the escalating?

In a new book by Hank Hanegraaff (radio’s “Bible Answer Man”), we find the following endorsements:
  • "the eschatology they are foisting on the world is simply embarrassing to the church"
  • "demonstrates the tenuousness of their views on the rapture, tribulation, Israel, even Armageddon"
  • "cogent refutation of the bizarre system of end-times speculation that has become the benchmark of orthodoxy in the minds of many evangelicals"
They are speaking, of course, of pro Israel, Rapture-believing, Bible-believing Christians. There is a highly developed campaign to marginalize “our kind.” If you didn’t already know that, prepare yourself.

Further, there is an extraordinary article on this subject at Lighthouse Trails. You can read the article for yourself at

The wonderful folks at Lighthouse Trails said it better than I can; the article is informative and critical in understanding this campaign to demonize lovers of Israel.

As I’ve written before, Brian McLaren, a leading Emergent voice (one of the Emergent leaders recently told me they no longer like to be called “Emergent.” I’m reminded of Charles Spurgeon’s comment that darkness hates the light), is feeling his oats in condemning Christian Zionists. I have one thing to say to that:

Bring it on.

I’ve tried to get McLaren to confirm me as a “friend” on Facebook, to no avail. I’ll say it again — and if any reader happens to have any influence in this area — I challenge McLaren to a debate on Bible prophecy/Christian Zionism anytime, anywhere. Name the place, time, and format.

Guys like that love to write their books and network and spout off in comfortable settings (such as in Jim Wallis’s Sojourners magazine), but they are gutless when confronted. And there are plenty of capable people who can confront them.

Here is a nauseating portion of McLaren’s interview in Sojourners:
“These doctrinal formulations often use a bogus end-of-the-world scenario to create a kind of death-wish for World War III, which - unless it is confronted more robustly by the rest of us - could too easily create a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
First of all, “death-wish” Bible prophecy advocates is a bogus charge. Are there fringe cases? Yes, just like there are fringe cases among the Left. McLaren knows exactly what he’s doing. It’s Goebbels-like to demonize citizens who are minding their own business. He knows that. It’s a tactic.

Now, let’s turn out attention for a moment to the Emergents’ counterparts in the Middle East. Two weeks ago, Syrian dictator Bashar Assad said there will be no peace with Israel until the Israelis give up the Golan Heights. Barack Obama’s administration and state department are telling anyone and everyone that the only resolution to the Iran crisis is the solving of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The UN has just criticized Israel for its response in the Gaza crisis.

These three declarations are lies. They are peddled by liars.

We live in the days that Isaiah spoke of, when evil will be called good and good evil.

Every rational person understands Israel is not the problem in the Middle East. But you’ve heard of someone being thrown under the bus? Israel is thrown under a really, really big bus on a daily basis.

Think about this: Israel has been fighting a war for survival for 61 years — wars come and go, but terrorism never sleeps. In the midst of that, they are dealing with the usual concerns: the economy, worker strikes, class struggles, political infighting, education. The list goes on. What other country could keep its sanity? Yet Israel not only survives, but thrives.

This in the face of enemies wearing different uniforms. Some wear military uniforms, some wear journalist garb, some wrap themselves in clerical collars, still others look reasonable, loving, and peaceful as they flit from campus speech to campus speech.

It is repulsive for professing Christians to marginalize Christians who have done nothing to invite such criticism. It seems very logical to understand that terrorists murder people, while those who oppose them really do value life. But there is nothing logical or rational coming from the left wing camp. Partly, they demonize Israel and her supporters because they know this will not invite physical violence from said groups. On the other hand, to actually have the guts to confront the real offenders would invite violent threats from those offenders. In other words, it’s easier to be gutless.

Although some will accuse me of doing the same thing McLaren is doing, the charge doesn’t stick. I repeat: demonizing people who have done nothing to invite such wrath is evil.

We live in an age of real persecution of believers.

And so we must remember to confront the haters “robustly” and with boldness.