Once upon a time being an Evangelical was about sharing the gospel [good news] that Jesus actually taught, such as Peacemakers are the children of God.
During the reign of President Reagan evangelical became a matter of which lever to pull in a voting booth and Christian fundamentalism spread into the mainstream.
Fundamentalists uphold belief in literal interpretation of scripture. The God people worship is always reflected in their politics.
By Eileen Fleming
Fundamentalism runs through every religion, especially Islam, Judaism and Protestant Christianity.
An unprecedented number of the religious right fill cabinet positions in the Trump administration and VP Pence is the leading Christian fundamentalist in the West Wing.
VP Pence is a self-proclaimed “proud Evangelical Christian” despite the warning in Proverbs 16:18:
December 6, 2017, photo credit: KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS)
Pride precedes destruction; an arrogant spirit appears before a fall.
In this photo a beaming VP Pence stands behind POTUS Trump after he signed what has become an internationally denounced proclamation recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital while ignoring the occupied state of Palestine.
The photo op from a White House festooned with Christmas décor was staged to send the message to their fundamentalist Christian voters who view Trump as an instrument of God.
A UN resolution was drafted to reaffirm that Jerusalem’s status remains unresolved in response to POTUS Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem only as Israel’s capital while saying nothing about the capital of Palestine.
On Monday fourteen UN Security Council members voted in favor with the US vetoing it.
In 2016, fundamentalist Christians and evangelical voters threw their support behind Trump at a higher rate than any previous presidential candidate – giving him 81 percent of their vote, even more than they gave evangelical George W. Bush and Joe Biden a self-proclaimed “Proud Christian Zionist.”
Today’s fundamentalist Christian evangelical community’s passion to see Jerusalem as being irrevocably in Israeli hands is based on religious beliefs and NOT rational, practical political concerns, or God’s desire to see all people the way Jesus did: as equals!
Haaretz recently reported:
Progressive Christian commentator and pundit Diana Butler Bass, in a widely circulated thread on Twitter said the Jerusalem issue was so important to evangelicals because it is necessary to regain Judeo-Christian control of the Temple Mount.
This is vital, she explained, because rebuilding the Temple would initiate the “end-time” laid out in the Book of Revelation. End-time is a fundamentalist Christian belief in a prophecy that the living and the resurrected will one day be delivered from the Earth by God, their bodies transformed and protected in heaven, as he pours out his wrath on the sinners left behind.
Butler Bass asserted that “of all the possible theological dog-whistles to his evangelical base,” the Jerusalem declaration “is the biggest. Trump is reminding them that he is carrying out God’s will to these Last Days. They’ve been waiting for this, praying for this,” she wrote.
“They want war in the Middle East. The Battle of Armageddon, at which time Jesus Christ will return to the Earth and vanquish all God’s enemies. For certain evangelicals, this is the climax of history. And Trump is taking them there. To the promised judgment, to their sure victory. The righteous will be ushered to heaven; the reprobate will be banished to hellfire.”
She added, the Jerusalem announcement “is the fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Donald Trump is not only acting on a campaign promise, but enacting a theological one. They believe that Donald Trump is God’s instrument to move us closer to the Rapture, the Judgment, and the End. Because to them that’s actually the beginning – the beginning of their reward and heavenly bliss.”
As a result, she explained, the issue of whether the Jerusalem move is a provocation that could harm the cause of peace is meaningless, since “peace in this world doesn’t matter” and that “millions of American Christians believe this and have based their faith and identity on it.”
HOWEVER, a recent survey of 2,000 American evangelical Christians found that it was older evangelicals who offered far more unconditional support to Israel than millennials.
Today’s generation of Christians increasingly question the literal beliefs of the Bible and reject the politicization of their religion by the right.
Brandan Robertson, a lead pastor of a progressive Christian community in San Diego, California grew up learning about the “Chosen People” in “the hotbed of Christian Zionism.”
Modern technology and social media led the now 25 year old Robertson, and many in his generation to question the teachings of their fathers.
Pastor Robertson told Haaretz:
“I think evangelicalism is in a real crisis right now. Because we live in such an interconnected globalized world, as students we were able to go on Facebook or easily travel to a different part of the world and see that the things we were being told – based on, in my opinion, antiquated theology – didn’t live up and match up to the reality of what was happening to the world.”
Many American Christian Evangelicals interpreted the creation of the state of Israel in 1948 and the return of the Jews to the Hebrews ancient homeland as a precondition for the Second Coming of Christ.
Millions of Americans believe in the theology espoused in the “Left Behind” series of novels that chronicle apocalyptic times set in the 21st century that winds up in Israel where, according to that author’s misunderstanding of the Book of Revelation, a final battle in the world will be fought on an ancient battlefield called Armageddon.
Fundamentalist Christian tribal literalists believe that war will then be followed by seven years of global tribulation before Jesus returns to begin a 1,000-year rule on earth.
They also believe that Jews and any others who do not literally believe in Jesus as God as they do, will be annihilated.
The bottom line and literally nearly the very last line in the Book of Revelation is a stern warning:
I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto them, God shall add unto him the plagues which are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life, and out of the holy city, which are written in this book.
Fundamentalist Christian Zionists believe that the only Jews who are following God are the hard line Jewish fundamentalist settlers who occupy legally owned Palestinian property in the West Bank or evacuated from Gaza in 2005.
Fundamentalist Jewish settlers and USA Christian fundamentalists share the core conviction that God made a real estate deal with the ancient Hebrews that gives 21st century Zionists every grain of sand between the Dead Sea, the Jordan River, and the Mediterranean.
ONE reason I wrote my first book, KEEP HOPE ALIVE was to counter the Christian fundamentalist theology expressed in the “Left Behind” series. My character Brother Harold addresses it best in the Chapter: BROTHER HAROLD, from which I excerpt:
Harold lifted his almost empty pouch of Crown Royal and exclaimed, “Let’s toast the man, and then I’ll tell you what my daddy told me when I was a kid, when my brothers and I would get out of hand. He’d say, ‘boys, you all are going the way of Cain and Abel, and you’d better quit. For one of those boys was filled with so much hatred and jealousy that he killed the other.’
“Then my old man would be on a roll, and he’d tell us about Sarah, Abraham’s wife. And we loved to hear that part, so we’d quit our fight. You see, although Sarah was already menopaused, she still desired a child. God had even shared a laugh with her about it coming true, but just like a woman, she took the matter into her own hands, and refused to wait for the Lord to deliver. So old Sarah decided to give her maidservant to her old man, and that chick and Abraham made a kid. Everything was fine when Ishmael arrived, but only for a very short while.
“Now, although Sarah was a dried-up old crone, she, too, birthed a son, and named him after the laughter she had shared with God, but called the kid Isaac. Sarah had gotten very territorial and demanded Abraham cast out his beloved first son with his mama Haggar, into the barren wilderness, and Abraham did it! But, as God always hears the cries of mothers and sons, he promised to make a great nation from Ishmael’s descendants, too. And thus, the Arab nation was born.
“By the sixth century before Christ, the conflicts in the land were already old news, and Jeremiah warned the people that all God could see was violence and destruction in the city. Sickness and wounds were all around. And then my old man would get tears in his eyes and softly recite:
For every misunderstanding, every condemning thought, every negative vibration, every tear torn from a heart, every time one grabbed and wouldn’t let go, and they only did it because they did not know. The Divine is within all creation and within all women and men.
And every tiny kindness you have ever done, every gentle word spoken, every time you held your tongue, every positive thought, every smile freely given, every helping hand that opens, helps bring in the kingdom. And the kingdom comes from above, and it comes from within. Imagine a kingdom of sisterhood of all creatures and all men…
This Story Will Be Continued HERE
Eileen Fleming is Senior Non-Arab Correspondent for USA’s TADN who produced the UNCENSORED “30 Minutes with Vanunu” Mordechai, Israel’s nuclear whistleblower
Contact her HERE
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