It’s Sunday, the first Sunday of a new year, and all across the land, we Christians will be appareling ourselves with crosses, rosary’s and bibles and ‘going to worship.’ Many will worship in spirit and in truth, many will worship because it’s safer than reading, many will worship a custom, and many will worship and praise God Almighty to avoid having to actually meet her.
That’s because the praised God Almighty has things in control and doesn’t need my investment, other than the singing. Under control: things like places–boundaries of holy sites and nations; and things like times–Armageddon, rapture, stuff like that. No problem for an Almighty God…the only problem is us, when we fail to pick up on what’s all there in our onion skin Schofield’s and Thompson Chain’s.
Well, I’ve been failing. And, having rooted around, I’ve been chastised. I didn’t know, for example, that there was an International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem, where I could learn all about the vital importance of the Israel nation, the land, the city, the temple, all the blood and soil stuff.
I had no idea that the ICEJ represents millions of Christians from over 125 countries, "who share a love and concern for Israel and the Jewish people." Now the way I wrote that it sounds like a bad thing…well, maybe it is. The ICEJ is after all the world’s largest Christian Zionist organization. And even though we hear overall reports of CZ’s dissolution, this CZ "embassy" has just had a banner year.
What this means for Israel is moral and monetary support. Sometimes the support is cautionary–there are well meaning people at ICEJ, in that there are overtures to the Palestinian’s–but it is support nonetheless. Support by groups such as Pastor John Hagee’s, Christians United for Israel, appears less qualified. And some Christian Zionists, according to author Grace Halsell, believe that "Every act taken by Israel is orchestrated by God, and should be condoned, supported, and even praised by the rest of us."
In any case, all Christian Zionists have deep attachment and interest in the welfare of the state of Israel and Jerusalem. Without it, Christ can’t return, no rapture, no pleasing avoidance of the great tribulation, no victorious defeat of the Anti-Christ, no millennial reign, no fun. Now you see how Armageddon is a good thing?
No worries of course, a God Almighty has all that under control, as witnessed by the 1948 "ingathering" and the 1967 war, where Jerusalem was won back. Strings were pulled, big strings. And things remain on course.
What brings me to all this is the morning headlines of Israel’s ground invasion into the perennially occupied Gaza Strip. More civilian deaths. And Hamas, for their part, can’t bring themselves to stop the rocket launching, and will keep on fighting, affording Israel justification to "defend" and invade.
And so it will go. And the alignments will coagulate, the freighted one of the CZ’s for Israel, and the fledgling one for Palestine.
Me? I’m always part guilty bystander. It’s so very little but this minor post is at least a way, without supporting Hamas, to confront and decry the Christian Zionists, while supporting the Palestinian victims–as well as Israeli victims.
What I strenuously seek is some floaty bit to stand on. Could it be the gospel? That contestable etching that points away from blood and soil, that makes the temple and all nationalistic and theological attachment to "holy" land null and void? Christian Zionists…could it?