Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Christian Zionism

Israpundit has an excellent post up about Christian Zionism. It reports on a Christian's observations of a dinner gala at the Capital Washington Hilton honoring outgoing Israeli Ambassador Daniel Ayalon and incoming Ambassador Meridoron that discussed Christian Zionism.

The chatty crowd quieted as Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA), spoke eloquently about the past and the present world climate of anti-Semitism. Lantos, the only Holocaust survivor serving in Congress, disclosed, “l assumed naively that the chapter [Holocaust] of human history would be a dark nightmare moment of the past but that is not the case.” He continued, “We have a new dimension, a convergence of historic anti-Semitism coupled with Muslims and the intellectual elite. This makes for a powerful cocktail yet, we have a powerful antidote [for anti-Semitism]; the decent Christians who learned the lessons of the Holocaust. The antidote to Auschwitz is the Christian community in the United States. We cannot tell you how precious you are to us. We deeply love and respect you more than you’ll ever know because you represent the finest of civilization.”

Rep. Lantos then said, “All Christians, please stand.”

Christians don’t advocate for Israel to gain accolades, yet when we stood, the sustained applause from Jewish hands settled on me like a crown. It’s safe to say that other Christians in the hall, who have advocated for Israel much longer than I, felt the weight of the crown even more profoundly. With a noticeable contingent of evangelicals, including ICEJ Executive Director Rev. Malcolm Hedding, Earl Cox, (founder- Israel Always) and Ben Kinchlow, Co-hosts of Front Page Jerusalem Radio, I reveled in this historic moment in time; a moment which culminated 25 years of work and relationship-building between evangelical Christians and the state of Israel, pioneered in part by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem who planted a small seed of Christian Zionism in 1980. (Most world embassies had vacated Jerusalem in protest when modern day Israel declared Jerusalem as her eternal Capital).

Since then, Christian Zionism has grown exponentially with organizations and movements taking root all across the world. While the words “Christian Zionism” may represent new terminology, the foundations of the movement are even older than the Western Wall beginning with God’s words in Genesis 12:3, “I will bless those who bless you…” Scripture is peppered with God’s clarion call, which reminds non-Jews to stand with the “apple of His eye.” The gala celebration represented a zenith in the mountain range of cooperation now rising between Jews and Evangelicals, significant among them on the Jewish side of things, the Knesset’s Christian Allies Caucus. I felt humbled to witness the outpouring of appreciation from Lantos and other Jewish attendees who recognize the strengthening trust and respect between the ancient faiths of Judaism and Christianity.

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) the new US House Majority Whip, and Roy Blunt (R-MO) stood on the platform, each recognizing their personal friendship and Israel, one of their common causes. Hoyer noted, “Our support of Israel honors our own heritage.” Blunt, House Minority Whip, added, “I can always count on the US Congress to support Israel.” Blunt also referenced a medieval Jewish poet who wrote, “ My heart is in the East but I live in the West.” The words echo my sentiments and those of the Christian Zionists I know.

Other speakers on the podium included Malcolm Hoenlein, Vice President of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, television and church Pastor Paula White, and Gary Bauer, President of American Values. Bauer commented, “lsrael and the United States are joined at the heart. Our alliance is built on shared values not oil.”
Every country that has welcomed the Jews has prospered. Every country that has persecuted them has over time declined. It probably has more to do with the value of tolerance rather than just the Jews. As people have noted many times before - Jews are the canaries in the social coal mine.

Update: 19 Jan '07 1949z

Gates of Vienna links.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Whatever the mechanism, it fulfills Genesis 12:3

"I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."