The other day I came across an article http://int.icej.org/news/special-reports/torture-camps-sinai about the barbaric treatment of Africans trying to escape the repressive Islamic dictatorship of Eritrea (formerly part of Ethiopia). Many have no choice but to flee to overcrowded U.N. refugee camps in Sudan, with the desperate hope of finding someplace safe to live.
One might be tempted to breathe a sigh of relief and say, “Thank God the U.N. is there to help those people.” But anyone who’s ever seen Hotel Rwanda knows that the U.N. is as useless as a screen door on a submarine. The article above tells about human traffickers who encircle these refugee camps, looking to snatch up anyone who wanders outside them. The U.N. guards see them, but do nothing to prevent refugees from being kidnapped, such as the hapless victim who went outside the camp because he needed to get water.
So what has this got to do with Christian Zionists? You may have noticed that the article is taken from the ICEJ site (International Christian Embassy Jerusalem). http://int.icej.org The ICEJ is a Christian ministry based in Jerusalem. If you think that Zionism is ethnic intolerance or militaristic or hate-driven politics, you’ve got another think coming. Give the ICEJ site a thorough examination. These Christian Zionists are doing their best to give comfort and aid not only to Jews, but to everyone in Israel — even undocumented Eritreans who crossed into Israel from the Sinai peninsula.
Understanding Zionism has long been problematic, due to the predominance in the media of accusations by political activists who oppose Israel and take the side of “Palestinians”. A clear definition of Christian Zionism can be read at http://int.icej.org/media/christian-zionism-101 . But even more important is the article written by then Executive Director (now Vice Chairman, International Board of Directors) Rev. Malcolm Hedding on ICEJ position statements http://int.icej.org/about/position-statements . This is the best Biblically derived and annotated case for Zionism I have ever read.
I urge all Christians to study Rev. Hedding’s Scripture references to see that Zionism is the product of sound theology, and not ethnic politics. An excerpt from his end notes reveals good reasons for confronting the theological issues surrounding Christian Zionism:
Christian Zionists who are not anchored theologically tend to “rubber stamp” all that Israel does; they drift toward dual covenant teaching, become “judaizers” and lack compassion for the Arab peoples of the region.
Christian Super-sessionists who are not anchored theologically tend to drift toward anti-Semitism, are disconnected from the purpose of God in Israel’s restoration, embrace deviant methods of biblical exposition and can end up supporting sinister agendas for the destruction of Israel.
Christian Zionism is perhaps the purest expression of Christ-like compassion. It rises above politics and is steeped in the Word of God. As Christians, we need to be focusing on God’s business rather than letting our sympathies become entangled by political issues that pit race against race, ethnicity against ethnicity, people against people. I think of the sad stupidity brought about by the death of Trayvon Martin. Sad, because the death of any 17-year-old is tragic and almost unbearable. Stupid, because George Zimmerman’s murder trial wasn’t even newsworthy on a national scale.
If Martin and Zimmerman had both been the same color — white, black, brown or whatever — the story would have been just as tragic, but without the attention of the media and national leaders. But because the spinmiesters dictated the politically correct public opinion, the death of Trayvon Martin was seen as evidence of racism, pure and simple.
As I watched misguided protesters block traffic after the not guilty verdict was issued, I wondered how anyone could be so manipulated to think they were addressing a concern with major cultural implications. Do they truly believe that Martin was killed because he was black? Do they truly believe that Zimmerman is white? Do they truly believe that Florida’s legal system is racist? Do they truly believe that this case is emblematic of white society’s oppression of blacks? If so, what an utter loss of rationality.
Rather than demanding “reparations” for slavery in our nation, which was stopped 150 years ago, Christians who can’t seem to get off their race carousel need to read the Bible and see what it says about how believers should see one another. Don’t we all know passages such as Galatians 3:28 and Colossians 3:11? When we get to heaven, we’ll discover that Christians come in all descriptions (“…with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.” Revelation 5:9).
In heaven there is no room for racism. That includes making bogus accusations of racism for any bad thing that happens. Christians need to be putting into practice Biblical principles, not political agendas. If you are truly concerned about oppressive and inhumane treatment of people based on race and ethnicity, then take a closer look at what is happening to Africans who live in such horrible conditions they are forced to try to escape, only to be enslaved and tortured. And I’m talking about right now, today, not a century and a half ago.
Don’t be taken in by the race baiters. Take your sympathies for your fellow-man and do some real good. Get into God’s Word. Check out International Christian Embassy Jerusalem and ask the LORD if he wants you to be a Christian Zionist.