A propósito de The Christian Zionist Threat to Peace: Spend Your Vacation Fighting for Israel, na Chronicles Magazine - Paleoconservative magazine of American culture published by the Rockford Institute.

Ou as raízes de um certo estatismo militarista teocrátrico no coração da América. É que não é só o factor politico-ideológico neo-conservador que ajuda a compreender a perda de neutralidade de princípio e interesse.

(...)In assessing the political conditions necessary to establish a lasting peace in Israel-Palestine, Americans are confronted with a theological question: Does the Bible insist that Christians take a certain view regarding the treatment of the Jewish people in particular, their presence in the Holy Land, or the placement of the borders of Israel?

One particular subset of American Christianity answers that question in the affirmative. Yes, they believe, the Bible does mandate that we treat the Jews—specifically, the Jews of Israel—not merely as another ethnic group of fallen (sinful) people, made in the image of God and in need of the Gospel, but as one that holds God’s unique favor and is deserving of our full, unconditional support. This subset is made up largely of American evangelicals who are committed to something called dispensationalism.(...)

Of greater concern to us here, however, is the way in which many popular and powerful dispensationalist leaders apply their apocalyptic understanding of the place of the modern state of Israel on the stage of world history—the “other purposes” by which God must be glorified—in the form of “Christian Zionism.”

The greatest source of Christian Zionist influence is found in the Christian media. Evangelical Christians are fed a steady diet of dispensationalist/Zionist interpretations of the news every day through the radio and television programs of Pat Robertson (CBN News, The 700 Club); Jerry Falwell (the Liberty Channel, which broadcasts, among other things, Zola Levitt Presents); John Hagee; Benny Hinn (This Is Your Day!); Kerby Anderson (Point of View); Jack Van Impe (Jack Van Impe Presents); and countless others, with audiences in the millions. Megachurches, which are virtual media centers, hold prophecy conferences all across America and invite rabbis to come and speak to Christians on Israeli history and politics. Perhaps most influential have been the best-selling books of the Left Behind series, by Timothy LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. The 12-book series, offering a fictional account of the playing-out of dispensationalist interpretations of biblical prophecy, has enjoyed sales of over 62 million units, eclipsing Hal Lindsey’s dispensationalist fantasy novel, The Late Great Planet Earth, the best-selling book of the 1970’s.

The net effect of this constant barrage of media attention focused on Israel as the center of God’s plan for the world . (...) It means that the neoconservatives and members of Likud who are eager to increase their own power and sphere of influence can easily find an audience willing to listen and organize at the grassroots level in support of their candidacies and policies. And it means that Israel-first politicians, Jewish resettlement groups (which bring tens of thousands of Jews from around the world to populate settlements in such hot zones as the West Bank), and far-right Israeli Zionist groups have an American cash cow eager to fund their efforts—efforts that war against any final-status settlement for peace.(...)

In these troubled times, the last thing that Christians need to do is to stop taking the Bible seriously. However, in the absence of historic Christian teachings on the Last Days and biblical prophecy (so rarely confessed and taught by the traditional Christian denominations in America—Lutheran, Episcopalian, Roman Catholic, etc.), these Christians have come to believe that there is but one “literal” interpretation of the Bible when it comes to the land of Israel.

Some conservative evangelical intellectuals are bristling at the embarrassment that the efforts of the Christian Zionists provide them, opting for “progressive dispensationalism,” which seeks to tone down the extreme obsession with Israel that characterizes Christian Zionism. (...)

If we are to remove the obstacle of Christian Zionism, we must encourage and support the efforts of those evangelical theologians who are earnestly seeking to reform evangelical eschatology in favor of a view that both takes the Bible seriously and places emphasis on the crucified and risen Christ (Who will, indeed, come again), not on the state of Israel. Furthermore, we must make every effort to expose the relationships among the Likud, the neoconservatives, and the Christian Zionist leadership and the cynical ways in which they seek to manipulate faithful evangelicals into supporting their secularist goals—goals that have nothing to do with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, from which evangelicals derive their name. Evangelicals must be brought to the conclusion that it is through the Church and the Gospel, not through the Republican Party, that God’s purposes on earth are furthered. Today, with Christian Zionism exerting so significant an influence on 65 million Americans—and on politics and foreign affairs—such efforts are essential if we are to see a lasting peace in Israel-Palestine, something all Christians of good will should desire."

Associate editor Aaron D. Wolf is a church historian. This article was drawn from his chapter in The Rockford Institute’s book Peace in the Promised Land: A Realist Scenario.
Falando de Biblias... e cristandades
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