Christian Zionism, most think, started with a man named John Nelson Darby, who created Christian Dispensationalism in the late 1800s. It was popularized by the Scofield Study Bible, which had a massive influence on the development of Christian Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism.That last sentence caught my attention.. I once attended a congregation who embraced that idea.. in essence to go against Israel was to go against God. I recently received a viral email forward from a friend and responded by saying:
Regarding Christian Zionism, it effectively points to verses that say that God can only bless people who bless Israel, which gets interpreted as "modern-day Jews living within the biblical boundaries of Israel." It can get pretty in-depth, pushing for the construction of a third temple, for instance. It can, in some strains, get pretty heavy: some strains argue that conversion of Jews to Jesus isn't necessary, since they're operating on a separate covenant. However, in the final battles of the last days, most Jews will be wiped out. (Again, this is only in some strains of dispensationalism.) The upshot is that Christians are absolutely commanded to support modern-day, political Israel down the line.
I support Israel because they are an ally and a free nation but not because I see them as God’s chosen people.I guess that is where I have a concern about Christian Zionism. I think that seeing a secular and culturally religious country as an embodiment of the spiritual seed of Abraham flies in the face of the messianic prophetic scriptures that were, in my opinion, filled in Jesus. I thought that John Kim had a good response to Dave's post.. here is an excerpt:
I find Christian Zionism incomplete and dangerous as it chooses sides in a battle where I struggle mightily to see the moral highground. If I were to summarize the conflict here in the brief context of a blog comment, I would cite a quote (I believe from Richard Rohr)- that "Pain that is not transformed is transmitted." There is no denying that both Jews and Muslims have suffered mightily in the hands of the other, and there is little to be gained in debating who has had the rougher go. Unless that pain is transformed, the transmittal back and forth will continue unabated. The question of how to resolve this goes to the heart of how one perceives the Gospel and what it means for God to be incarnate. Needless to say, I don't think Christian Zionism embodies this particularly well.Lastly I feel a need to issue a caveat.. I may be wrong in my perspective.. many of my friends hold a Zionist point of view.. and many of them have studied this issue more than I have.. I hope that they will read what I have written and respond to it in a helpful way. I am open to discussing the issue and would love to hear what you think.