Christian Zionist Messianism: How It Views Islam and Muslims 2

John Hagee: Ideologue of Christian Zionist Messianic Imperialism and Advocate Of Cosmic War Against Islam and Muslims. John Hagee is today recognized the world over as one of the leading ideologues of contemporary Christian Zionist messianism. He is the founder and pastor of the Cornerstone Church, in Texas, USA, which claims some 18,000 active members. As with numerous other similar American Christian fundamentalist preachers, his church is richly endowed and media savvy. Hagee is the president of the Global Evangelism media company that broadcasts his daily programs on television and radio throughout the USA and around the world. He is the author of numerous books on Christian Zionism, some of which have been reprinted by Christian fundamentalist publishers abroad as well.

Final Dawn Over Jerusalem is one of Hagees major writings on Christian Zionism that well exemplifies the imperialist agenda that lies at its very core. The aim of the book is to defend the Israeli occupation of Palestine, to denounce those who seek to protest Israeli atrocities, and to advocate the cause of Greater Israel, all this in the name of Christianity and premised on the notion of the Jews as being allegedly Gods Chosen People.

Racism is integral to the Christian Zionist message, as Hagee makes amply clear. The Bible, Hagee, says, describes the Jews as the apple of Gods eye.(1) He quotes the Bible as addressing the Jews and declaring, For you are a holy people to the LORD your God and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.(2) This means, so Hagee argues, that those who harm the Jews or the state of Israel or stand in the way of the design of Greater Israel will experience the instant wrath of God. To those who dare to challenge the oppressive Zionist state, Hagee announces, the man or nation that lifts a voice or hand against Israel invites the wrath of God. Such people will, Hagee insists, be cursed by God.

Hagees notion of God thus appears to be that of a tribal Jewish deity, who functions as a willing tool in the pursuit of Jewish expansionism. The Bible was written by Jewish hands, and given that, as many liberal Christians would themselves concede, much of it is a human product, numerous Biblical verses were written in order to legitimize the interests of the community from which its writers were drawn. This would seem obvious to any discerning layman, but Biblical literalists like Hagee vehemently disagree. For them every word of the Bible is sacrosanct and divine. Biblical literalism is pressed into the service of the Christian Zionist messianic imperialist and racist agenda.

Drawing upon numerous verses of the Bible, Hagee argues, God watches over Israel as a protective parent hovers over an only child. The nation of Israel, he makes so bold as to declare, was created by a sovereign act of God. All other nations were created by an act of war or a declaration of men, but Israel was intentionally created by God so that He would have a physical place of inheritance on the earth. Accordingly, Hagee would have us believe that for this god, who is seen as in need of a physical place for himself, non-Jews or Gentiles, are second-rate human beings or less, and so can easily be dispensed with if they are seen as coming in the way of Jewish imperialism.

The tribal Jewish version of God that Hagee presents appears entirely unjust and arbitrary, far from being impartial in the way he deals with His creation. Given the fact that the God of the Biblical literalist imagination is a Jewish deity, and not the universal God who looks upon His entire creation impartially, he is seen as blessing Jewish conquests of territories of their enemies. Thus, quoting the Bible, Hagee writes that God gave the land of Greater Israel, a vast swathe of land stretching from Egypt all the way till Iraq, to the Jews, descendants of Isaac, forever.

That being the case, Hagee suggests that people living in those territories, millions of Arabs, both Muslims and Christians, have no right to live there or else must accept to live under Jewish rule. Although Hagee does not say this explicitly, what this means is that those who refuse to accept Jewish rule must, therefore, be either killed or expelled. The god of Hagees imagination appears as an entirely whimsical real estate agent. God established Israels national geographic boundaries, Hagee writes. The exact borders of Israel are detailed in Scripture just as our heavenly Father dictated them, he goes on, adding, The divine Surveyor drove the original stakes into Judean soil and decreed that no one should ever change these property lines. The real estate contract and lands covenants were signed in blood and stand to this very hour. Hence, he argues, Jews have the absolute right as mandated by God to the land of Israel and, more specifically, to the city of Jerusalem. Hence, he suggests, Palestinians have no claim to their own historical land, and must make way for Jewish occupiers.

Hagees defense of Zionist imperialism goes to ridiculous lengths. Laughable as this may sound, he argues, Israel has a Spy in the sky God Himself. God, he claims, provides Israel, the Jewish people and the state of Israel, with special protection. No nation in the world can match the defensive force guarding the State of Israel. The archangel Michael has a special assignment to guard Israel. And those who, for any reason oppose Israel, and this includes Palestinians fighting Israeli occupation and oppression, are said to incur God’s wrath. The Lord stands watch in the darkest night with an eye trained on the nation of Israel and, more specifically, Jerusalem. Those who fight with Israel fight with Him, Hagee asserts.

So central is Israel to Hagees tribalistic version of God that he goes to the extent of arguing that the fate of each and every person on the face of the planet depends essentially on his or her attitude to the Jews. Prosperity or punishment depends on how we treat Israel, he alleges, because, he claims, the Jews, as descendants of Abraham enjoy heavenly favor. To back his claim he quotes the Bible as saying that when God entered into a covenant with Abraham, He gave him an awesome promise, saying, I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you.

And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.(3) Hence, Hagee insists, the United States, and, indeed, anyone else who wishes to please God, must consistently engage in compassionate support of the State of Israel, adding that, The quickest and most effective way to be on God's side is to stand with the State of Israel and the Jewish people in their hour of need. By doing this, he claims, one can win Gods favor, because, God blesses the man or nation that blesses Israel or the Jewish people.

At no time before, Hagee firmly believes, has support for Israel and Zionist imperialism, been more crucial than today. This is because, he claims, Jesus is returning to the world soon, and Israel must be protected in order to welcome the Messiah. Hagees image of Jesus in his second coming bears no resemblance to the familiar notion of the suffering, loving Christ. Rather, in his description Jesus appears as a fierce warrior, rallying Christians to arms and heralding the final, global war, ironically in the name of the Prince of Peace. In the doomsday scenario that Hagee outlines, what he calls fanatical attacks by Arabs on Israel, particularly Jerusalem, would mount. In response, Christians the world over, he says, must rally behind Israel. At this hour, he insists, we must let the world know that if a line has to be drawn, it will be drawn around Christians as well as Jews. We are united and indivisible.

Continue in the next article: ( Christian Zionist Messianism: How It Views Islam and Muslims 3 )

NOTES:

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1. Zech 2:8

2. Deut.14:2

3. Gen. 12:3