THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT AND ISRAEL;
A RELATIONSHIP THAT CANNOT HOLD

PART III

by: S.R. Shearer

[This is the third in a series of articles dealing with the fighting in the Middle East; the first article, Part I, dealt with the question of who the REAL enemy of Israel is in the Middle East, which is to say, the United States. Part II dealt with the Scriptural basis for Israel in God's "Plan and Purpose in the Ages" - especially as it relates to the fighting that is currently raging in the Holy Land over the question of Jerusalem. Part III, this article, deals with the unavoidable rupture that will ultimately and inevitably occur between the Religious Right (on the one hand), and Israel and the Jewish people (on the other hand). You will be shocked if you are one of those Christians who have been duped into believing that in supporting the Religious Right, you are, ipso facto, supporting Israel and the Jewish people.]

"Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, ... And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it." (Zech. 12:2-3)

INTRODUCTION

There is a high-intensity legal and political battle raging in Florida that may very well engulf us all by the time it is finished - AND UNBEKNOWNST TO MOST EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANS, THE OUTCOME OF THIS FIGHTING COULD EVENTUALLY HAVE A GRAVE IMPACT ON THEIR ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE JEWISH COMMUNITY AND THE STATE OF ISRAEL. The fact is, if evangelicals aren't very, very careful in the coming weeks, months and years, they may find themselves being sucked into a political process that will inevitably ensnare them in an apostatized form of Christianity which, while ostensibly aimed at "saving America for Christ and the church," may very well make anti-Semites out of them and ultimately turn them against the Jewish people and the state of Israel.

The temptation IS for evangelicals to involve themselves in the process (fight) to "save America from the "godless forces of 'secular-humanism'." The poison hidden in the pathology IS the hateful theology that evangelicals will be forced to accept in order to justify their effort to involve the church in political activity. The catalyst that makes the process work IS the kind of political warfare that is being unleashed in Florida - a kind of warfare that spurs one to take leave of his senses and get caught up in the fury of the moment. The unavoidable result of the poison the pathology releases IS the pollution of one's soul and the eventual development of an anti-Semitic mindset aimed at the destruction of the Jewish people and the state of Israel.

THE CATALYST: POLITICAL WARFARE IN FLORIDA

The fighting that is driving the process described above (i.e., that is acting as the process's catalyst) is centered - at least right now - around the question of who won Florida in the 2000 presidential election, and - ipso facto - the presidency of the United States: Gore? or Bush? It is building in fervor, and with each passing day it is threatening to spin out of control and spill into the streets. In some cases, it already has. But be clear here, this conflict didn't come out of nowhere.

It's part of a larger CULTURE WAR (i.e., Kultur Kampf) that has been going on now for several decades in front of abortion clinics, gay bath houses in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York, in academia, etc. From time to time it has even broken out into violence and has resulted in "massacre" and bloodshed in such divers, out-of-the-way places as Ruby Ridge in Idaho; Mount Carmel near Waco, Texas; the Federal Office Building in Oklahoma City; and the bombings in Atlanta during the Olympics and shortly thereafter at one of Atlanta's gay bars.

It's a no-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners war that reaches even into the highest levels of government - a struggle that first manifested itself at this lofty level in the confirmation hearings on Judge Robert Bork for the Supreme Court some years ago (Bork was a favorite of the Religious Right), and in recent years coming near to bringing the government to a complete standstill in the 1997 budget battle and the 1999 impeachment fight - all clashes the Democrats (and the Left) eventually won.

A FIGHT TO THE FINISH

It isn't so much that Bush and Gore themselves are caught up in the actual issues that are driving the conflict. They are not. Despite efforts on the part of the two opposing parties to the conflict to say otherwise, Bush is no more a committed Religious Right zealot on social issues than Gore is a committed "liberal" on the same issues, or with regard to the environment or other "pet" liberal causes. Both are members of the elite, both are committed to globalization and "free trade," and as such, both are driven by elite motivations that are very much different from those that are driving their "mass" followers. But the mass constituencies they lead, especially their core constituency bases, are very much devoted ideologues - "TRUE BELIEVERS!" - and each of these constituencies are driven by the realization that when the Culture War is over, ONLY ONE OF THEM WILL BE LEFT STANDING.

It's these "True Believers" (together, of course, with the massive egos of both presidential candidates) that are driving the fighting in Tallahassee and South Florida, and as far as they are concerned, it is a fight to the finish. Moreover, one should make no mistake about it, IT'S NOT JUST "CHRISTIAN ZEALOTS" WHO FEEL THIS WAY - i.e., that what they are engaged in is a no-holds-barred, fight-to-the-last-man-standing struggle. Even a liberal intellectual like Ronald D’Workin believes that it's a fight to the bitter end, and that Americans are only kidding themselves in thinking otherwise. Take the issue of abortion - one of the main social and cultural issues that divide the one side from the other in the fighting that is now occurring in Florida: Alan Wolfe - like D'workin - a liberal (and also a professor of sociology and political science at Boston University), explains:

"... abortion is a matter of ‘high’ politics (for both sides) involving fundamental questions about the definition of public and private, liberty and authority, and the meaning and purpose of life ... At this principled elevation, abortion presents a tragic conflict, like the Civil War (and the question of slavery). EACH SIDE IN THE DEBATE UNDERSTANDS ITSELF, AND IS UNDERSTOOD BY ITS ANTAGONISTS, AS STANDING FOR A WORLD-VIEW THAT CANNOT BE COMPROMISED."

AN UNBRIDGEABLE FAULT-LINE

And Wolfe's conclusion here could be applied to any number of other issues that divide the one side from the other - i.e., homosexuality, prayer in the schools, evolution, school vouchers, women in the military, family values, feminism, etc. James Davison Hunter, one of the few American writers who is trying to understand the Culture War rather than fight it, agrees with both D'workin and Wolfe. HE BELIEVES THAT A NEW, UNBRIDGEABLE FAULT LINE HAS EMERGED IN U.S. SOCIETY WHICH IS SETTING CITIZEN AGAINST CITIZEN OVER WHAT THE NATION STANDS FOR - i.e., is America a Christian nation or is it not? Is it the "New Israel of God" that our Pilgrim fathers thought that it was, or is it not? Do we as a nation derive our values as absolutes from the Bible, or do we make them up as we go? What about "Manifest Destiny?" - and so forth.

As far as the core constituencies behind both Gore and Bush are concerned, this is a fault line that divides the "FORCES OF LIGHT" from the "FORCES OF DARKNESS" (or as the liberals would say, "superstition" and "ignorance" from "science" and "enlightenment"). Seen from this perspective, there can be no compromise. Each side must fight on until it drops or the other side gives up. EACH SIDE IS PUSHING FOR TOTAL VICTORY!

It's in this context that Gore's intransigence and inflexibility with regard to what most Christians view as his obvious loss in the Florida election must be seen. Gore's core constituency (Jews, feminists, white liberals, gays and lesbians, black activists, Latino activists, the "Hollywood set," the "arts community," labor activists, etc.) ardently fear what will happen to them if Bush (and ipso facto, the so-called "Religious Right") wins the presidency. Liberals believe, and not without reason, that - regardless of promises to the contrary by Republican "moderates" - Religious Right activists will conduct a "scorched earth policy" against them if Bush succeeds to the presidency, especially in light of the fact that Republicans will control both the House and the Senate (with Chaney acting as a tie breaker).

On the other hand, Christian conservatives believe that liberals will continue their "anti-Christian" Culture War against them if Gore wins, and that they won't stop until they have driven Christianity out of the country and have turned the institutions of the government over to the United Nations and the "Red Chinese."

CIVILIZATION WARFARE AND THE EFFORT TO PURGE AMERICA OF CONTAMINATING INFLUENCES

This is WAR "writ large!" - the kind of war that Samuel P. Huntington, Eaton Professor of the Science of Government and Director of the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University, describes in his book, The Clash of Civilizations. And one must remember here that Huntington is not describing merely a clash between civilizations, but also a struggle WITHIN civilizations - that is, a struggle to "PURIFY" or "CLEANSE" each respective civilization of "contaminating elements." And this is exactly what radical elements on both sides of America's current Culture War are attempting to do - i.e., "cleanse" the nation of their opponent's influence.

The very real fact of the matter is, there are many in the Gore constituency - their weak smiles and sweet protestations to the contrary notwithstanding - who would like to see Christianity completely expunged from American public life and reduced to a "private matter" that could only be discussed in the seclusion of one's own home. And the reverse is also true: the Religious Right (the core base of the Bush constituency) is basically aiming at the same (but reversed) goal, which is ridding the nation of "secular humanism" - and one can be sure that, in attempting to do so, it sees itself engaged in a great crusade to purge the nation of this "infectious influence."

It is this kind of conflict - civilization conflict - that is propelling the agitation in Florida and dividing the nation - but it isn't as if the Bible had not anticipated this kind of warfare. It has!! Concerning all this, the Bible says,

"... as he (i.e., Jesus) sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation (ethnos) shall rise against nation (ethnos), and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. (Matt 24:3-10)

It's in the context of Matt. 24:3-10 that the Culture War in the United States - specifically, the fighting that is presently raging in Florida over the results of the 2,000 election - must be viewed.

HUNTINGTON, HOCKENOS, AND THE BIBLE:
THEY ARE ALL SAYING THE SAME THING

These verses speak of "wars and rumors of wars" and "nations rising up against nations" in the "end of days" as one of the most pointed and distressing signs of those events leading up to the "end of the age." But what exactly does that mean? As we have indicated in previous articles, we can begin to get an idea by examining the word that is used for "war" in these Biblical texts. The Greek language has two words for war: mache and polemos. The meanings for the two words are similar, but their scope is vastly different. The word mache means a battle or war of limited duration, while the word polemos means war on a much broader and bloodier scale. The word that is used here is polemos. Obviously, then, what the Scriptures have in mind here is a period of intense, bloody struggle carried on over an extended length of time.

Moreover, the kind of warfare the Bible is talking about here is "ETHNIC" or "tribal" warfare between differing groups of people who have profoundly different world-views concerning the state, religion, the nature of man and so forth. This is made clear in the way the Bible uses the word "nation" in Matt. 24:3-10 - it’s not necessarily what we, as Americans, mean. The word that the Bible uses for "nation" is the Greek word ethnos - WHICH IS THE ROOT WORD FROM WHICH THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE DERIVES THE WORD "ETHNIC." THE WORD IS BETTER TRANSLATED AS "TRIBE" IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.

Christians, of course, would deny that they are "ethnicists," especially in any kind of racial sense - at least, not any more. Indeed, most Religious Right activists go to great (and, in most cases, very SINCERE) lengths to separate themselves from even the hint of racism. Still, the very real fact of the matter remains that most members of the Religious Right belong to white churches, the members of which count themselves as part of the Bush constituency, while the members of most black churches count themselves as part of the Gore constituency. There are, of course, many blacks sprinkled about in a great number of white, evangelical churches today, and even some well-known black Christian leaders who are well-received in white Christian circles. Nonetheless, these people are more the exception than the rule, and as far as most black Christians are concerned, the past towards which white Christians are pressing - i.e., the 1950s and even the past of the "pilgrim forefathers" - is a past they don't want to return to or have anything to do with. IT'S A PAST OF "JIM CROW LAWS," MILITANT SEGREGATION, AND EVEN SLAVERY, AND ALL THE PROMISES FROM WHITE CHRISTIAN ACTIVISTS ON THE RIGHT THAT "THINGS WILL BE DIFFERENT THIS TIME AROUND" HAVE A CLINK OF HOLLOWNESS IN THEIR EARS - and if white Christians would simply take the time to put themselves in the shoes of black Christians, they would understand why such promises don't ring particularly true to black Christians.

"POLITICAL CHRISTIANITY" AND THE ETHNIC STATE VERSES "SECULAR-HUMANISM" AND THE CIVIC STATE

A great part of the difference that divides the Gore and Bush constituencies revolves around their differing views of the state. Paul Hockenos, in his book Free to Hate: the Rise of the Right in Post-Communist Eastern Europe, describes this difference: he writes,

"In the lively academic discourse that has grown around nationalism, scholars distinguish two general concepts of the nation: (1) the civic or democratic, and (2) the ethnic. The civic definition, with its roots in the French Revolution, uses "nation" to refer to a body of citizens whose collective sovereignty constitutes a state. In other words, it is "nation" as the term is commonly applied (by academics) in ... (the United States), referring to all of the people who live within a state, regardless of their ethnicity, language, (religion), or other characteristics ...

"The ethnic nation, on the other hand, is a ... community bound (together) not by a common ... border (so much) ... as by descent, language, customs ... history ... (and RELIGION). What defines membership in this kind of nation is ETHNICITY (which includes as an essential part of it, religion) ... Rights and privileges are acquired by birth into the ethnic nation (and/or by the acceptance of the culture and religion of the majority group by the "outsider"), and not upon citizenship [based on birth within a given geographic boundary; for example, in Germany - even today - being born within the borders of the German state does not automatically confer German citizenship on a person (as it would in the United States). One must also possess a blood relationship to the German people through either one's birth mother or one's birth father. The same is true for most other European states]. For ethnic nationalists, the (ethnic) nation is a natural unit ... (and) ... each nation has its own unique, mystical destiny towards which it aspires, and which other nations impede at the cost of war ..."

The Left in the United States subscribes to the first definition of nationhood described above - i.e., the so-called "civic nation;" and the Right in this country subscribes to the second definition of statehood. Moreover, the idea of "patriotism" or "nationalism" as it is commonly understood by average people on both the Right and the Left is much more a phenomenon of the "ethnic state" than it is of the "civic state." The fact is, "flag waving" is almost the exclusive domain of the "ethnic state;" "nationalism" lies pretty much outside the Left's lexicon.

THE "ETHNIC STATE" IS A MUCH MORE WIDELY ACCEPTED FORM OF STATEHOOD THAN IS THE "CIVIC STATE"

As we indicated previously, some evangelical Christians might blanch at the thought that they are ethnicists; but then, that is exactly what most states are - i.e., ethnic states. For example, that's what Israel is - an ethnic state; a state, the citizenship of which is based on membership in the Jewish "race" and the Jewish religion. There are exceptions, of course, but for the most part, that is what being an Israeli is all about! - and not just Israel, but Germany (i.e., "Germany for the Germans"), Russia (i.e., "Russia for the Russians"), the Japanese (i.e., "Japan for the Japanese"), China (i.e., "China for the Chinese"), ad nauseum. ETHNICITY COUNTS IN THIS WORLD - AND THAT'S THE FACT OF THE MATTER! Contrary to a lot of what one hears in academia today, it's not the idea of the "civic nation" that is the most widely accepted definition of nationhood in this world, but the description of the "ethnic nation" that is most widespread.

Hockenos continues:

"THE ETHNIC NATION IS AT ODDS WITH THE PREMISES OF ... (THE CIVIC) NATION ... AND PRESENTS A ... RECIPE FOR CONFLICT IN THE COMBUSTIBLE (WORLD OF TODAY) ...

"The ethnic nation is at odds with the premises of the civic nation!" - that's what Hockenos says. That's what the Bible says too! - AND THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT THE FIGHTING IN FLORIDA BETWEEN THE BUSH CONSTITUENCIES AND THE GORE CONSTITUENCIES IS ALL ABOUT: THE DEFINITION OF "NATIONHOOD" AND THE FUNDAMENTAL UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT THE STATE IS ALL ABOUT. To the "True Believers" on both sides who are driving the process in Florida (if not to the common rock-throwers), this is a very important matter. These kinds of things are important to "True Believers."

It's essential to their mindset that their activity count for something; that it should be undergirded by a set of principles or by a theology which justifies their activity. Blind, chaotic activity is not what "True Believers" are all about. Such things repulse them. There must be purpose behind their activity. Rock-throwing for the joy of rock-throwing makes no sense to "True Believers." That kind of activity may motivate anarchists, but not the "True Believers." Anarchists often have nothing more in mind than the chaos of the moment; but the activity of "True Believers" is aimed at a specific goal: for secular-humanists, the creation of the "civic state;" for politically-minded Christians, the creation of an ethnic state. Thus, while such questions may spin in the heads of the common "rock-throwers" and give them headaches, they have great importance to the "True Believers" who are guiding the activity of the "rock-throwers" - make no mistake about it!!

RELIGIOUS ETHNICISM AND THE UNITED STATES

Now, one must understand here that the concept of ethnicity is not something that can be defined merely as a racial concern. There is a wide variety of other matters that are at play in this concept. Huntington names a number of them - i.e., language, history and religion. Depending on the country, one may predominate more than another. For example, language differences predominate in determining who is French and who is German, or who is Dutch and who is Spanish - after all, they are all white. In China, it's not so much language that counts (there are too many dialects there for that to matter much) as it is history. In the United States, at least insofar as modern ethnicists are concerned, it's probably religion that counts the most. You're surprised? Well, think about it for a moment.

No where else on earth (outside the Muslim world) does religion play as much a role in the Right's understanding of the state than it does in the United States. Race, language, history, etc. no doubt play large roles also (the U.S. is, after all, still a euro-centered, white, English-speaking nation) - but there is an ETHNIC COMPLEXITY here to a degree that does not exist in Europe or elsewhere - so that race, language, and history are much more limited in their ability to form a stable basis for the creation of an ethnic state than they are in Europe.

In Europe, religion is a pretty hollow affair, and has very little to do with concepts like patriotism and nationalism. But in the United States, it's probably not too much to say that to be a "patriot" is to be a Christian - at least insofar as the Right is concerned. Indeed, it's for this reason that there is so much more flag waving associated with Christianity in this country than there is in Europe. In America, patriotism equals Christianity; and secularism or "secular-humanism" equals disloyalty - again, at least in the minds of most members of the Right. And anyone who would tell you differently is not being truthful! In this country, to be a patriot is to be a Christian.

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PATRIOTISM
AND CHRISTIANITY IN THE UNITED STATES

It's exactly for this reason that the Right in this country has formed itself up around the institution of the church - and it is for this precise reason that the Right in this country is known as the RELIGIOUS Right. One doesn't hear much about the "Patriotic Left," or the Religious Left. There's no such thing.

Now, stop for a moment and consider what we have here - a notion that exists in the political Right in this country that links patriotism to Christianity that is not duplicated anywhere else in the so-called "Christian West." In the United States, to be a nationalist means to be a Christian - and this is much more the case now that "race" has been substantially reduced in its ability to act as a basis for ethnicity. This means that "God" - at least as the Right understands "God" - is much more important in the Right's concept of the state than most "outsiders" could imagine. There is much more a predilection for the Right to resort to an appeal to God here than in Europe or Asia, or even Latin America - and make no mistake about it - "GOD" IS A POWERFUL CONCEPT TO UNDERGIRD YOURSELF WITH WHEN YOU ARE CONFRONTED WITH THE KIND OF INTRANSIGENT ENEMY THE BUSH FORCES (AND THE POLITICAL RIGHT) ARE CONFRONTED WITH IN GORE (AND THE POLITICAL LEFT) - and this is especially so as the war between the Right and the Left intensifies in this country!

THE CONFLICT HEATS UP; THE
CATALYST DRIVES THE PROCESS

And just how intense has this conflict grown in the United States? Very intense, indeed. For example, when the fighting first broke out in West Palm Beach, Broward County, and Miami-Dade, the Left - as it always does on occasions like this, began fielding its "street army" in an effort to intimidate Florida officials. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and a whole host of other well-known left-wing "street generals" swung into action and initially appeared to be carrying the day. Over the years, left-wing leaders in this country have become "masters of the street" - and "street demonstrations," protests, and the like have become standard staples in their arsenal of tricks - tactics that they developed in the Civil Rights and Vietnam demonstrations of thirty or forty years ago; tactics that the elites have inevitably caved under to because - as we have said on more than one occasion - there is nothing the elites fear more than the masses when they take to the streets. Visions of what happened to them (i.e., the elites) in the French Revolution of 1789 and the Communist Revolution of 1917 continue to haunt them, even today.

This time, however, things were different. The Right swung into action in the streets as well - and as time wore on, the Left found itself "out-gunned" and outmatched on the streets. The Right had taken a leaf out of the Left's playbook! And these weren't just rookies the Right was fielding in the streets against the Left, but seasoned veterans of their own street wars against abortionists, gays and others during the last twenty years or so. The Left was astounded! Never before had they confronted an opposing "street army," and - while it's no doubt a stretch to say so - there are ominous similarities here to what happened in Germany between the wars. In the beginning (1918-1924) the Left ruled the streets in Germany. Then the Right took to the streets as well, and it was never the same again.

STREET FIGHTING IN DADE COUNTY

One gets an idea of how this struggle is playing itself out in the streets of Florida from an article written by Hector Tobar and Mike Clary of the Los Angeles Times that appeared on November 25, 2000, they write:

"An unlikely Republican army of ... protesters took to the streets anew Friday, adding an angry, unpredictable element to the recount drama in South Florida. Carrying homemade signs and wearing T-shirts reading 'Bush Recount Team', hundreds of button-down rebels from Miami's suburbs - and from as far away as Oregon and Rhode Island - shouted down Democrats. Overnight, someone hurled a brick through the front window of a local Democratic Party headquarters. Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Joseph I. Liberman likened Republican protesters to a 'mob' Friday, saying they had pressured officials in Miami-Dade County into abandoning their vote recount earlier this week. Six Democratic congressmen called on the U.S. Justice Department to investigate Republicans' actions as potential violations of federal election law ...

"On Friday, some state and national Republican Party activists milled among the crowds at the courthouse here, passing out signs and T-shirts, and buying food for protesters. Many GOP loyalists said they have joined the demonstrations out of a growing sense of outrage. They accuse Vice President Al Gore of 'stealing' the election and say that Republicans MUST TAKE TO THE STREETS LIKE DEMOCRATIC GROUPS DO IN ORDER TO STOP HIM ... 'It's good to see Republicans get outraged', Johnson, (one of the demonstrators) said.

"Whenever Democratic politicians tried to do TV interviews Friday in front of the courthouse, Republicans blew whistles and shouted through bullhorns to disrupt them (a tactic that Republicans had learned from gays and lesbians). Local congressman Peter Deutsch, a Democrat, has had to surround himself with a cordon of police officers every time he talks to the media. One tense moment occurred after former Sen. Bob Dole, erstwhile Republican candidate, appeared at the courthouse. As Deutsch stepped into the knot of reporters to respond to Dole's comments, a GOP aide grabbed the congressman's arm to hold him back. 'Keep your hands off me', Deutsch said. 'Don't touch me'.

"Deutsch characterized the Republican protesters as an 'illegal mob'. Among the small crowd of Gore supporters, some held up signs calling the GOP crowd 'thugs'. Broward County Democratic Party Chairman Mitch Ceasar said a brick was thrown through the storefront window of party headquarters in the Broward County community of Plantation. A message was wrapped around the brick: 'We will not tolerate illegal government'. 'I hold the Bush campaign totally responsible', Ceasar said. 'It's a furtherance of mob rule activity in Dade County ...

"SEVERAL BUSH SUPPORTERS SAID IT WAS REFRESHING TO SEE THE TABLES TURNED ON THE DEMOCRATS. Earlier in the recount process large numbers of Gore supporters, led by such Democratic stalwarts as the Rev. Jesse Jackson, had demonstrated in large numbers in Palm Beach County. 'The world is controlled by people who stand up and make themselves counted', said Tim Wigley, 37, of Portland Ore. 'You're seeing that today. YOU'RE SEEING PEOPLE DOING SOMETHING THAT REPUBLICANS AREN'T USED TO DOING, WHICH IS GETTING OUT HERE AND PROTESTING'.

"As the day wore on and the number of Bush supporters on the street slowly grew, the gathering took on a celebratory air. More than once, the Bush supporters launched into song, belting out 'God Bless America'. And after word spread that the U.S. Supreme Court would hear the Bush campaign's petition concerning the recount, there were loud cheers, hugs and a spirited rendition of the National Anthem."

Most Christians, especially evangelicals, are elated by all this. Republicans in the streets - most believe that's it's about time!

VETERANS OF THE ABORTION WAR: THE
RELIGIOUS RIGHT'S NEW SHOCK TROOPS

And make no mistake about it, most of the protesters are (as one would imagine the case would be where the Right's concept of the ethnic state is "Religion (i.e. Christianity) = Patriotism") Religious Right activists, i.e., veterans of the Abortion War. What motivates most of these people (at least their radical core element) is the belief that America must be governed by "Biblical Principles" (again, exactly what Hockenos and Huntington predicted would happen). They are connected to a variety of Religious Right groups clustered around the Rutherford Institute, an ultraconservative legal foundation associated with a number of Religious Right causes. It is based in Charlottesville, Virginia and like so many other conservative legal foundations is a recipient of funds from Richard Mellon Scaife. John Whitehead, the institute's founder and head, is a disciple of Rousas John (R.J.) Rushdoony, head of the Chalcedon Foundation, based in Vallecito, California. Rushdoony reportedly helped Whitehead found the Rutherford Institute, and has been a director of the Institute and a participant in its speakers bureau.

These people truly believe that God is on their side, and - as a result - they are prepared to do things that most other Christians would be afraid to do. They see themselves not as participants in some political "game," but as warriors engaged in a life and death struggle against those who oppose them. It's a battle between the "sons of light" and the "sons of darkness" (Whitehead's words in his book, The Separation Illusion) - and because this is so, and because they believe that, in the end, their enemies are energized by the forces of hell, they are prepared to deal with their political enemies with that fact in mind. After all, if it eventually comes to killing (and most HARD-CORE members of the Religious Right believe that it will) one must be armed with such a mentality. Rushdoony has said, "IN WINNING A NATION TO THE TRUTH, THE SWORD AS WELL AS THE PEN MUST BE USED. Pretty strong stuff! This is the kind of stuff that murder is fashioned out of.

THE CREATION OF A THEOLOGY TO
JUSTIFY CHRISTIAN POLITICAL ACTIVITY

Rushdoony is the originator of and prime mover behind the many faceted movement which has come to be called "Christian Reconstruction." Christian Reconstruction is dedicated to replacing secular law with "Biblical law," and secular states with "theocratic republics." Reconstructionism in its broadest sense describes the rebuilding by Christians of every aspect of America according to biblical strictures. It is founded on the belief that God's laws, as described in the Bible, pertain to all people throughout history and comprise the only legitimate basis for culture. It places a demand on Christians everywhere to involve themselves in this process. CHRISTIANS WHO DON'T ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE IN THE REBUILDING OF AMERICA AS A "CHRISTIAN STATE" ARE DEEMED APOSTATES, AND ARE TO BE DEALT WITH ACCORDINGLY - i.e., AS THE ENEMIES OF GOD!

By its very nature, Reconstructionism is a "religion" which exists in a "black and white" world of the "here and now." It is, as it were, a kind of Old Testament religion of flesh and blood, with flesh and blood armies battling other flesh and blood armies. There is no room in the Reconstructionist's scheme of things for Paul's injunction that -

"We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." (Eph. 6:12)

RADICALIZING CHRISTIANS AND PREPARING THEM
TO ACCEPT THE POISON OF RECONSTRUCTIONISM

The kind of Christianity that Rushdoony is peddling is a Christianity designed to permit its adherents to engage in flesh and blood wars - like the Crusades, the Thirty Years War, the Inquisition, AND WHAT'S HAPPENING IN SOUTH FLORIDA AND TALLAHASSEE. It's a Christianity specifically calculated to undergird such activity.

There are those, of course, who simply cannot believe that things could go this far in the United States. But one must remember that in the kind of conflict between the Right and the Left that is now beginning to take shape here, the longer the conflict continues, the more individual positions will harden on both sides. Even those who at first try to stay clear of what's happening and to not choose between the two sides will eventually be pressed into making a choice.

The very real fact of the matter is, the opportunity of choosing a "moderate" course in these kinds of conflicts slowly disappears the longer the conflict continues - forcing more and more individuals on both sides who were at first "moderate" in their activity to adopt radical solutions - so that at the end of the day, all those on both sides of the conflict have been radicalized - A SITUATION WHICH WILL INEVITABLY FORCE MORE AND MORE CHRISTIANS TO ADOPT RUSHDOONY-LIKE ATTITUDES TOWARDS THEIR FAITH AND CREATE IN THEM A WILLINGNESS TO "TAKE UP ARMS" IN ITS DEFENSE. As Christians find themselves pressed in this direction, the radical and even murderous theology that undergirds Reconstructionism will not seem so radical and murderous after all.

TURNING CHRISTIANS INTO ANTI-SEMITES

The problem with all this insofar as the Christian community's attitude towards the Jewish people and the state of Israel is concerned is, THAT IN CONSTRUCTING THE KIND OF RUSHDOONY-LIKE FAITH THAT JUSTIFIES THE CHURCH'S PARTICIPATION IN SUCH "FLESH AND BLOOD" ACTIVITY, ONE MUST RESORT TO THE USE OF THE OLD TESTAMENT - AND IN DOING SO, ONE MUST SUBSTITUTE THE CHURCH IN PLACE OF ISRAEL IN THOSE PORTIONS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT THAT PERMIT SUCH ACTIVITY. The New Testament cannot be used to validate such activity. Instead, what the New Testament does is call upon Christians to love their enemies, to "... bless them that curse you, and do good to them that hate you." Specifically, the Bible says:

"Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:

"But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

"And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.

"And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

"Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

"But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

"That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

"For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

"And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. (Matt. 5:38-41, 43-48)

ROBBING ISRAEL OF ITS OLD TESTAMENT PROMISES
AND APPROPRIATING THEM FOR THE CHURCH

There's simply no way that such a religion - Christianity - can justify what Religious Right zealots are doing now on the streets of Florida. It even forbids suing your enemies in court (verse 40)! Think about that for a minute! - that even "cuts off" the "modest" court activity that Christian "moderates" are engaged in, in South Florida. It would seem that the church is precluded from all such activity, at least in light of the New Testament. A religion that can't even justify the presence of a team of lawyers in the courts, let alone justify the presence of a "street army," is pretty emasculating! ONLY THE OLD TESTAMENT CAN JUSTIFY SUCH ACTIVITY! The "New Testament" speaks of no "earthly state;" it has no earthly ambitions. True, the Old Testament does, but not the New Testament.

However, the recipient of the Old Testament's promises is Israel, not the church - unless one is prepared to expunge Israel from the Old Testament, and wherever "Israel" is mentioned, read the "church" in its (i.e., Israel's) place. And that's precisely what Rushdoony and his disciples do. That's what anyone must do in order to create an ethnic state where religion - namely, Christianity - forms the basis of that state; a state where "patriotism" and "nationalism" have a viable and meaningful role to play. Remember, in the "civic nation" (as opposed to the "ethnic nation"), there is very little room for concepts like "patriotism" and "nationalism." And, again, that's why the lexicon of the Left is devoid of such terms.

WHAT TO DO WITH ISRAEL? - DEMONIZE THE JEWS IN ORDER TO HIDE THE CHURCH'S THEFT OF ISRAEL'S OLD TESTAMENT PROMISES

But if one is going to create an "Old Testament" kind of Christianity, the question then arises, what does one do theologically speaking with the continued reality of the Jewish people and the embarrassing "resurrection" of the Jewish state. How does one explain away the reality of this phenomenon? The continued existence of the Jewish people and the renewed reality of the Jewish state cannot help but be a festering sore to those who involve themselves in "Political Christianity." It "gives the lie" to what Religious Right activists are attempting to do - i.e., create a Christian state based on the Old Testament and the supposition that the church is the "New Israel of God." And make no mistake about it, this is exactly what Religious Right activists in the streets of South Florida are saying! - at least those who are at the core of what is going on there [and believe me, for those who are not saying so - i.e., those who still call themselves pre-millinnialists like Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and Tim LaHaye (James Kennedy long ago gave pre-millennialism up), they will eventually be forced to say so]. The fact is, the press of circumstances and the heat of battle will eventually force them to do so. The logic of the moment is irresistible.

And, of course, the Jews themselves are a large part of the problem here. If they (i.e., the Jews) could just remain quiet and crawl away into some obscure corner of the world and stay there, perhaps that would be enough. But no!! They stubbornly cling to the belief that they are still God's "Chosen People," and that their Messiah will eventually appear and fulfill His Old Testament promises - not necessarily to the church and Christianity, but to the Jews and Israel!!

Can you see the problem here? This is too much!! It directly challenges the Old Testament undergirding the church is relying on to justify its political activity in the "here and now." What to do? - the answer presents itself almost effortlessly: DEVELOP A DOCTRINE CONCERNING THE JEWISH PEOPLE AND THE STATE OF ISRAEL THAT PICTURES THE TWO AS AGENTS OF THE DEVIL AND THEIR HOPE IN THE MESSIAH AS A HOPE IN ANTI-CHRIST.

"SPIRITUALIZING" THE WORD OF GOD DEMANDS
THE CREATION OF A "CLASS OF PRIESTLY EXPERTS"

After all, something has to be done with the "Jewish Problem" insofar as militant Christianity is concerned. Christian politicos have enough problems as it is to make the church fit into the Old Testament without having to deal with the "stiff-necked" Jews and the reality of the Jewish state. Consider just for a moment all that must be done to make a "Rushdoony-like" theology work. It requires an inordinate amount of "Scripture Twisting," and a great deal of "spiritualizing" the Word of God. No longer is it possible to read the Scriptures in any kind of simple, literal and "plain-meaning" fashion. No longer can the text mean what it so plainly seems to say to the average reader. It becomes a symbolical maze that only a priestly caste can interpret to the people - which is exactly what today's "Pastoral System" is designed to do. Believe us when we say, that it is not just "happens-stance" that Bill McCartney, the founder of "Promise Keepers," and an ardent advocate of the concepts of "Political Christianity" said,

"We (i.e., the laity) cannot rightly divide (i.e., understand) the word of truth. We need you (i.e., the pastors and priests) to teach us."

And one has to admit that such a course of action is necessary when one "spiritualizes" the Word of God to such an extent that it no longer appears to be saying what average people believe it is saying.

The only thing to do in such a case is take the Bible away from the "common" people and make it appear so laborious to read and so difficult to understand that only "experts" can do so. Sound familiar? That's what the Catholic Church effectively accomplished just prior to the Reformation.

What McCartney wants to do is expunge the work of the Reformation - which freed us as Christians from the frightful and inflexible tyranny of the priests - and turn the clock back 500 years, thereby engulfing us in a new theological reign of terror! Isn't that what McCartney seems to be implying when he says,

"Here me: Promise Keepers doesn’t care if you’re Catholic."

BY ITS VERY NATURE, "POLITICAL CHRISTIANITY"
IS ANTI-SEMITIC - IT IS FORCED TO BE SO!!

From the beginning, Catholicism has been involved in the politics of this world, even on occasion fielding its own armies; and, as a result, Catholic theology long ago forgot the fact that the faith the gentle carpenter of Nazareth imparted to us as Christians was a faith that served the heavens, not the earth! Unfortunately, WHEN CHRISTIANS FORGET THIS FACT, THE INEVITABLE RESULT IS ANTI-SEMITISM! And in connection with this, make no mistake about it, Catholicism is the mother of anti-Semitism! It isn't that many of the churches that came out of the Reformation aren't themselves as anti-Semitic as the Church of Rome; in many instances, they are! But they learned their anti-Semitism at Rome's feet.

You say we are being too much here; that we are bending the truth to make a point; that we are being too dogmatic! But we are not! WE REPEAT, WHEN CHRISTIANS MAKE THE CHURCH THE SERVANT OF THE STATE; WHEN THEY ALLOW CHURCH AUTHORITY TO LEGITIMIZE THE ACTIVITIES OF THE STATE; WHEN CHRISTIANS CALL AMERICA THE "NEW ISRAEL OF GOD," THEN THE INEVITABLE RESULT WILL BE ANTI-SEMITISM!!

I tell you the truth; I somberly warn all of you who are allowing yourselves to become involved in the Culture War that is tearing the country apart, you will inevitably be led into anti-Semitism - as surely as the sun rises in the East and sets in the West. THERE IS NO ESCAPING THE RESULT. The day you walk through the door that Rousas John (R.J.) Rushdoony, John Whitehead, the Chalcedon Foundation, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Tim LaHaye, Jack Hayford, James Kennedy, and all the rest of them have opened up for you, the minute you involve yourself in "Political Christianity, you will have taken the first step down the same road that millions of Germans took in the 1930s - and once your feet have been planted on that path, you will find that there may very will be no turning back! And while you may not be aware of it yet, you are headed into a very dark and foreboding place! And when you finally reach the ultimate destination, when you finally come face to face with the horror of the place that is at the end of this path, all the tears you shed, and all your cries for forgiveness will ring hollow as you contemplate what you have done and the place you have arrived at. This is serious stuff. We're NOT kidding around here! If you dare to touch God's anointed earthly people, the Jews, you will pay a heavy price - and most especially because you ARE a Christian and should have known better! The Bible says:

"Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee:

"And 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, CURSE THEM THAT CURSETH THEE: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (Gen. 12:1-3)

And all this if we involve ourselves in "Political Christianity?" Yes! - all this and much more! Let's back up and see why!

THE EARLY FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST
SERVED THE HEAVENS, NOT THE EARTH

The early followers of Christ considered themselves to be citizens of a "heavenly kingdom" whose builder and maker was God - not of any earthly kingdom. To the early Christians, the church was a heavenly creation, not an earthly one. The church had NOTHING to do with the earth. In this respect, Christianity was a NEW creation - it was not simply Judaism made over; neither was it simply a Judaism which had been expanded now to include the Gentiles.

Indeed, this Biblical postulate (that is, that Christianity was not simply an expanded form of Judaism) formed almost the entire thrust of the Apostle Paul’s early teachings. Paul insisted that Judaism and Christianity be kept separate. Judaism had as its object the establishment of God’s glory in the earth; Christianity had as its object the establishment of God’s glory in the heavens. [Please see our last newsletter, "Israel and the End of the Age."] Today, this concept (that is, Paul’s concept as to the distinction between Israel and the church) forms the bedrock of the evangelical churches' pre-millennial eschatology, an eschatology which until recently was broadly accepted throughout American evangelicalism - i.e., the Conservative Baptists, the Southern Baptists, the General Association of Regular Baptists, the Assemblies of God, etc., and was widely taught in such Bible schools and seminaries as Dallas, Denver, Western, Moody, Multnomah, Prairie, etc.

TWO PURPOSES OF GOD EXPRESSED IN THE FORMATION OF TWO PEOPLES WHO MAINTAIN THEIR RESPECTIVE DISTINCTIVENESS

Charles Caldwell Ryrie of Dallas Theological Seminary writes:

"... (evangelicals) keep Israel and the church distinct. This is stated in different ways by both friends and foes (of evangelical eschatology). Fuller says that ‘the basic premise of (this eschatology) is TWO purposes of God expressed in the formation of TWO peoples who maintain their distinction throughout ETERNITY."

Lewis Sperry Chafer, the first president of Dallas Theological Seminary, elaborates on this theme as follows:

"... (evangelicals) believe that throughout the ages God is pursuing TWO distinct purposes: one that relates to the EARTH with earthly people and EARTHLY objectives (Judaism), while the other is related to the HEAVEN with heavenly people and HEAVENLY objectives, which is Christianity ..."

Evangelicals believe that the determined intention of God is the unveiling of His glory throughout all His creation; that His creation consists of (1) the heavens, and (2) the earth - each separate and distinct, and each possessing different characteristics and qualities; that, therefore, it was necessary for Him to create not just one, but two instrumentalities through which to accomplish His divine purpose.

At the heart of evangelical eschatology, then, is the belief that God's ultimate purpose in creation is to manifest His glory in -

  1. the earth through Israel,
  2. the heavens through the church.

Concerning the DUALITY of God’s ultimate manifestation of glory in the concept of the "New Jerusalem," J. Dwight Pentecost of Dallas Theological Seminary writes:

"… (the) eternal city (i.e., New Jerusalem) will be realized through resurrection in the … (New) Jerusalem where, WITHOUT LOSING DISTINCTION OR IDENTITY, Israel will join the resurrected and translated of the church … to share in the glory of His (the Messiah’s) reign forever."

NEW JERUSALEM (THE GOAL TOWARDS WHICH GOD IS PRESSING) IS NOT SIMPLY THE CHURCH, BUT ISRAEL AND THE CHURCH

Now this is important! - notice carefully what Pentecost is asserting here: he is saying that in the New Jerusalem (please see Rev. Chapter 21), it's not just God's majesty in the church that will be manifested and displayed, but also God's glory in Israel. Moreover, this resplendence will be displayed in Israel not just as an "afterthought" to God's splendor in the church or as an extension of the so-called "greater reality of the church," but as something that is co-equal, separate and distinct. Pentecost, of course, has reference to the description of the New Jerusalem itself found in Rev. 21:10-12, 14), specifically,

"And he ... showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem ...

"Having the glory of God ...

"And (it) had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of ISRAEL ...

"And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb (i.e., the CHURCH). (Rev. 21:10-12, 14)

What we are confronted with here is this: the New Jerusalem is in some mysterious and wonderful way a COMPOSITE of both Israel and the church - but a most peculiar and extraordinary composite because it permits the continued distinction between the two (i.e., Israel as the twelve gates and the church as the twelve foundations).

This is substantiated in a number of other places in the Revelation; for example, in the matter of the twenty-four elders:

"After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter.

"And immediately I was in the spirit; and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

"And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.

"And round about the throne were FOUR and TWENTY (i.e., TWENTY-FOUR) seats: and upon the seats I saw FOUR and TWENTY (i.e., TWENTY-FOUR) elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. (Rev. 4:1-4)

Why twenty-four? There were only twelve apostles of the Lamb - i.e., (1) Simon, who was called Peter, and (2) Andrew his brother; (3) James the son of Zebedee, and (4) John his brother; (5) Philip, and (6) Bartholomew, (7) Thomas, and (8) Matthew the publican; (9) James the son of Alphaeus, and (10) Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; (11) Simon the Canaanite, and (12) Matthias (Acts 1:26) who took the place of Judas Iscariot who betrayed Christ.

What then would account for the other twelve elders? The answer, obviously, is Israel; these twelve stand for the twelve patriarchs, i.e., (1) Reuben, (2) Simeon, (3) Levi, (4) Judah, (5) Issachar, (6) Zebulun. Then there's (7) Joseph and (8) Benjamin. Next, (9) Dan, and (10) Naphtali. Finally, there is (11) Gad, and (12) Asher - all the sons of Jacob to whom God gave the name Israel.

Twenty-four elders who correspond to (1) the CHURCH and (2) ISRAEL respectively - and this corresponds to the picture of Israel and the church given in Rev. 21:10-12, 14 where, as we just indicated, there are twelve gates to the city, each gate bearing the name of one of the twelve tribes (patriarchs) of Israel, and twelve foundations, each foundation bearing one of the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

So, one more time, what do we have here? - a city that is made up of both Israel and the church! The New Jerusalem is not just the church, but also Israel.

GOD HAS NOT REJECTED ISRAEL!

All this to say, then, that the Bible teaches that God is very obviously NOT finished with Israel nor with the Jewish people. GOD HAS NOT REJECTED ISRAEL, AND THOSE WHO THINK SO MAY ULTIMATELY FIND THEMSELVES THWARTING THE WILL OF GOD AND IN THE END INCURRING THE PUNISHMENT RELATED THERETO. And this is especially so for those evangelicals who should know better. Paul insisted that God had -

"... NOT rejected His people (the Jews), has He? MAY IT NEVER BE! …

"God has not rejected His people (the Jews) whom He foreknew…

"… for the gifts and the calling of God (to the Jewish people) are irrevocable." (Romans 11:1-2, 11, 25-26, 29)

As Professor Ryrie suggests, the "Calling of God" (verse 29) insofar as the Jewish people are concerned is irrevocable and "eternal" -

"... beginning when the Deliverer shall come and continuing throughout all eternity ... (They) are all GLORIOUS, and they rest ... (solely) on the WORD OF GOD.

THE JEWS WERE NOT MISTAKEN IN
LOOKING FOR AN EARTHLY KINGDOM

By way of summary, we repeat, Christianity looks to a heavenly kingdom; Judaism looks to an earthly kingdom. Evangelicalism, therefore, teaches that the Jews were NOT mistaken in their anticipation of a literal fulfillment of the Old Testament EARTHLY kingdom promises to Israel; merely that they had not foreseen God’s "intervening program" for the heavens and the church. G.N.H. Peters explains:

"It has been universally admitted by writers of prominence (e.g. Neander, Hagenbach, Schaff, Kurtz, etc.), whatever their respective views of the kingdom itself, that the Jews, including the pious, held to a personal coming of the Messiah, the literal restoration of the Davidic throne, the resultant exaltation of Jerusalem and the Jewish nation, and the fulfillment of the Millennial descriptions of that reign. It is also acknowledged that the utterances of Luke 1:71; Acts 1:6; Luke 2:26, 30, etc., include the above belief, and that down, at least to the day of Pentecost (the manifestation of God’s ‘program’ for the church), the Jews, the disciples, and even the apostles held to such a view ... they regarded the prophecies and covenanted promises as LITERAL (i.e., in their naked grammatical sense); and, believing in the fulfillment, looked for such a restoration of the Davidic Kingdom under the Messiah, with an increased power and glory befitting the majesty of the predicted King; and also that the pious of former ages would be raised up from the dead to enjoy the same."

THE JEWS FAILED TO SEE GOD'S
PLAN AND PURPOSE IN THE CHURCH

Pentecost continues:

"(God’s program for Israel) ... is traced in Romans 11. Paul makes certain statements there in tracing God’s dealing (with Israel). God has not cast Israel (and His earthly program) away (vv. 1-2) ... National Israel has been blinded, judicially (v.7), WHICH BLINDNESS WAS ANTICIPATED IN THE OLD TESTAMENT (vv. 8-10). Through this blinding of Israel God instituted a program with the Gentiles (vv. 11-12), in which, after the natural branches (the Jews) have been taken out of the place of blessing (vv. 13-16), wild branches, that is, the Gentiles, have been grafted into the place of blessing (17-24).

"However, after the fullness of the Gentiles has come in, that is, after the completion of the program with the Gentiles, God will bring Israel back into the place of blessing again (vv. 25-29). and will bring salvation to the nation (v. 26) because such was his irrevocable covenant (vv. 27-29). This salvation (v. 26) is the salvation that was promised Israel in the Old Testament, which was to be realized when the Messiah instituted the millennial reign. Therefore Paul is showing us that after the (temporary) rejection of Israel, because of the rejection (by the Jews) of the offered (earthly) kingdom, God brought the Gentiles into the place of blessing (so as to institute His program for the heavens through the church), which program continues throughout the present age.

"When that program is ended, God will inaugurate the ... (earthly program with Israel once again) at the return of the Messiah and fulfill all the covenanted blessings. Thus, throughout the New Testament the (earthly) kingdom is not preached as having been established (by the church and Christianity), but is still anticipated (in the re-establishment of Israel and the return of the Messiah). In Acts 1:6 the Lord did not rebuke the disciples because their expectation of a yet future (earthly) kingdom was in error, but only stated that the time of that kingdom, although future, was not to be known by them."

All the ancient Christian literature attests to the fact that the early Christians had as their object the establishment of a heavenly kingdom, not an earthly kingdom - especially the writings of Paul (and most especially in his letter to the Ephesians).

How was it then that that so much of the church's history is marked by its groveling servitude to the state, and by a very prominent anti-Semitic mindset? The early Christians could never conceive the fact that one day the church could be made to serve Gentile world-power. It was inconceivable. Had not Rome and Gentile world-power crucified the Lord of Glory? The answer lies in the fact that the church was apostatized by Gentile world-power (politics), and Christianity was reduced in the process to a mere tool in the hands of men who have cared little or nothing for its true spiritual and heavenly message. Their only interest has been in earthly power, and their only care for the church has been to use it to secure that power.

We said earlier in this article that:

"WHEN CHRISTIANS MAKE THE CHURCH THE SERVANT OF THE STATE; WHEN THEY ALLOW CHURCH AUTHORITY TO LEGITIMIZE THE ACTIVITIES OF THE STATE; WHEN CHRISTIANS CALL AMERICA THE 'NEW ISRAEL OF GOD', THE INEVITABLE RESULT WILL BE ANTI-SEMITISM."

There is a pathological process involved here, the results of which are as sure as the sun rising in the east and setting in the west. The enticement for Christians to involve themselves in this process is the hope of "saving America for Christ and the church." The poison hidden in the enticement is the hateful theology that evangelicals will eventually be forced to accept in order to justify their political activity. The catalyst that makes the process work is the kind of political warfare that is being unleashed in Florida - a kind of warfare that - as we said earlier - spurs one to take leave of his senses and get caught up in the fury of the moment. The unavoidable result of the poison the pathology releases is the pollution of one's soul and the eventual development of an anti-Semitic mindset aimed at the destruction of the Jewish people and the state of Israel.

There can be no other outcome! Think about it - and don't lie to yourselves about the logic of it all as you do so. Be honest here - Christians are being urged to enter the political fray AS CHRISTIANS! That's the truth of the matter! Don't minimize what's happening here. No doubt a lot of code words are being used, and a certain amount of "deniability" with regard to this truth is being utilized on the part of those who are urging Christians to get involved in politics - but, come on now, as evangelicals, you know what I am talking about here.

Now, if Christians are going to enter the political arena AS Christians, they must be able to justify their activity insofar as the Bible is concerned. But how is it possible to justify the church's entrance into politics by recourse to the New Testament? What does one do with verses like John 18:36:

Jesus said, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight ... but ... my kingdom not from hence.

Or what about Luke 6:27 - 29, 35:

"But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,

"Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.

"And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also ...

"But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

Pretty hard to conduct the kind of "street warfare" that many in the Religious Right are doing now in South Florida and Tallahassee in light of these verses, isn't it?

And this is just a tiny example of the verses that exist in the New Testament with regard to this matter. No, there is no way the church can involve itself in the struggle to "take the nation back from the secular-humanists" in light of the New Testament.

What to do? It's pretty hard to justify a religious crusade to save America when one can find no justification in the Bible for such activity. A Christian army that can't march under the banner of Christ is a pretty limp thing!

Ah, but there are plenty of verses in the Old Testament to justify such activity! The problem with that is that these verses are directed at Israel, not the church! The irresistible solution here is to get rid of Israel, and make the church the recipient of these promises. And that is precisely what is beginning to occur. Evangelicals are rapidly beginning to throw off their old pre-millennialism and embrace Rushdoony-like alternatives which permit the church's involvement in the politics of this world, and not only the politics of this world, but its military affairs as well. More and more of them are agreeing with Rushdoony that -

"IN WINNING A NATION TO THE TRUTH, THE SWORD AS WELL AS THE PEN MUST BE USED."

But if you are going to say that the church has replaced Israel, and it now is the recipient of all of Israel's Old Testament promises, then what does one do with that tiny nation on the extreme eastern edge of the Mediterranean? And what about the people that inhabit this tiny nation? And what about the Jewish community here in the United States? What about all this? If God gave them up 2,000 years ago, how does one account for the continued existence of this people over so long a period of time? And what about Israel? If God is not responsible for the re-birth of this tiny, little nation, who is? The Devil? - THAT'S HOW ANTI-SEMITISM BEGINS - and in the end, it ends up with murder and slaughter. And at the forefront of all this slaughter will be today's Christian politicos! You doubt? Well, not many years hence, we will see!

God bless all of you.

S.R. Shearer
Antipas Ministries

We need your help to spread the word concerning Antipas Ministries and the eschatological viewpoint it represents; WE NEED YOUR HELP BECAUSE WE DO NOT "LINK" WITH OTHER SO-CALLED "CHRISTIAN" WEBSITES which are, for the most part, "in the tank" insofar as their loyalty to the United States is concerned - a loyalty that has made them partners in the BLOODY trail the American military has left in its TERROR-RIDDEN rampage throughout the world, as well as making them partners in the abject poverty that American corporations have imposed on the peoples and nations the American military machine has ravaged - A BLOODY, TERROR-RIDDEN RAMPAGE THAT HAS TO A LARGE DEGREE BEEN CARRIED OUT IN THE NAME OF THE "PRINCE OF PEACE." [Please see our articles, "The Third World as a Model for the New World Order," Inside the American New World Order System" and "The American Empire: The Corporate / Pentagon / CIA / Missionary Archipelago."]

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