Peace, grace, and mercy to you all from the Lord Jesus Christ. There are three groups of people to whom God wishes me to speak; one of those three groups is Christians who automatically ally themselves with the modern state of Israel.
The vast majority of Christians that I’ve met are Zionists. They not only espouse a Jewish right to a homeland in Israel, but they refer to Jews as “God’s Chosen People” and believe it is their duty as good Christians to defend Israel no matter what.
When I ask Christians whether Zionism is a valid position to hold, I am not asking whether they believe in the Jewish right to their own homeland. I believe that every group of people should have their own homeland, if they should desire one. Instead, I am talking about the reflexive posture of submission and servility shown by Christian Zionists towards the state of Israel in the belief that doing so will bring blessings from God.
In this article, I am going to examine the position of Christian Zionism from both a Biblical and an ethical perspective. But before certain elements decide to label me with slurs, I’d like to explain something first.
As I’ve mentioned on my website, I was born and raised in Reform Judaism. It’s about as close as you can get to secular humanism while still maintaining some veneer of religion, and I even went to Israel for my “Birthright” trip at the age of 26.
However, I had neither a relationship with God nor a belief in religion at all until much later in life. In fact, I was not Saved by the Lord Jesus Christ to become Born-Again until after I’d been through an atheist phase, a New Age phase, and even a brief Luciferian phase.
In other words, what I’m about to write is not the result of some kind of bias. It’s the result of many years of serious philosophical study and discovery, ultimately culminating in my salvation towards the end of 2015.
That’s when all my illusions were blasted away, and the truth made itself unmistakably known to me. So that said, let’s break down Christian Zionism and see if it’s a Biblically-sound position to hold.
The Abrahamic Covenants
To defend their position as Zionists, most Christians refer to the covenants God made with Abraham and his descendants in the Old Testament. In exchange for Abraham’s agreeing to murder his own son and deliberately cut off part of his penis, the Old Testament God makes a few covenants with him.
God says to Abraham in Genesis 12:2-3, “…I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great, and thou shalt be a blessing. And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee, and in thee shall all families of the Earth be blessed.”
We read in Genesis 15:18, “In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates.”
Finally we read in Genesis 17:7-8, “And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”
On the basis of these verses (and a few others later in the Torah), Christians recognize that the Israelites were the Chosen People of God according to the Old Testament. Whether the Jewish people currently ruling Israel are actually the blood descendants of said Israelites is a matter for another time–but a matter which should (clearly) be of vital importance.
After all, if the Jewish people currently ruling Israel are not the blood descendants of the ancient Israelites, then there should be no reason at all for most Christians to defend them as per the Old Testament’s writings. I have read both sides of this argument, and I think it is very important to study.
There is a big difference between those who Jesus called “those who say they are Jews but are not,” and those Peter called “fellow Israelites.” Anyway, this is where the crux of the problem begins.
The very same Christians who refer to the Old Testament covenants to defend their belief in the Israelites as “Chosen People” will very quickly turn around and declare–when it better suits the argument at hand–that “the Old Covenant was fulfilled by Jesus and we are under the NEW Covenant now instead.”
They make this argument–which is completely incompatible with their aforementioned belief in the Old Testament covenants–when presented with such questions as “why don’t you follow the dietary laws of the Old Testament?” or “why didn’t you circumcise your son?”
When switching their argument to the “we’re under the New Covenant now” side, many Christians will quote from Paul’s letters on the topic. They are correct in their assertion that Paul believed the Old Testament had no further meaning or purpose after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
There are entire chapters in the New Testament specifically devoted to addressing the question of whether the “Old Covenant” is still relevant. In Galatians 3:28-29, Paul summarizes his answer to that question with the following passage…
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Paul wrote–in very unambiguous terms–that the heirs of God’s promise to Abraham are now those who follow Christ.
If Christ’s “rending of the veil” removed the separation between Jews and Gentiles, opening up the Kingdom of God for all who believe in Him…then how could a Christian justify still believing that only one particular group of people are favored by God?
Even more importantly, how could they justify believing that the only people favored by God are those who rejected His son and the Gospel? It’s a completely insane thing to believe.
As it must be pointed out, what Paul preached on this topic is not what the Living Christ actually preached during His ministry. In fact, it’s the polar opposite.
As recorded in the Gospels (the New Testament writings outside of Paul’s letters), Jesus was crystal-clear on His belief that all of the Old Testament’s commandments were to be followed. Even further, He insisted that His teachings were only for the Jews. Paul’s decision to negate these instructions from Christ has been widely debated since the day he made it.
This is why early Jewish Christian sects, like the Nazarenes and Ebionites, utterly rejected Paul and his anti-Torah message. They followed what the Living Christ said, and followed the Old Testament’s commandments to the letter.
Therefore, Jewish Christians like the aforementioned groups (and modern sects like the Messianic Jewish synagogue) could potentially justify their defense of Israel if its modern rulers were actually descendants of the ancient Israelites. However, any Christian who believes in Paul’s message must necessarily reject Zionism as anti-Scriptural heresy.
The Ethical Defense Of Other People
Now that we have examined the “Old vs. New Covenant” dilemma, let us move on to examining whether it’s truly ethical to defend any particular group of people–no matter what they do.
I think it’s a fairly dangerous position to take, and one that leads to very negative logical conclusions. After all, if one has made up one’s mind to defend a person or group of people no matter what they do, then is there any point at which one would hold said person or people accountable?
Is there any crime so vicious, any act so heinous, that your sense of decency (or self-preservation) would kick in and you would want to defend yourself from them, instead of defending those actions?
Or, if the Israeli politicians are “God’s Chosen People” who can do no wrong, do you simply turn a blind eye to anything bad they do out of fear of offending God?
This is a very serious matter, as the Old Testament does say that those who curse the Israelites will be cursed in turn. It puts the thinking man in a difficult position, if he believes in the Old Testament and ignores Paul’s thoughts on the topic.
Of course, the problem is easily solved if it is true that the “Jewish” people currently running Israel have no blood relation to the ancient Biblical Israelites. If that’s the case, then not only are Christians under no obligation whatsoever to mindlessly defend them, but we can also safely hold them accountable for their actions without fear of divine retaliation.