Hagee: a Minor Player in Evangelical Zionism
Who said this:
“By driving the ‘A preserved people’ back into the preserved land, Hitler, who does not believe the Bible and who sneers at the Word of God, is helping to fulfill its most outstanding prophecy!”
Many who oppose evangelical Zionism rejoiced in the recent McCain-Hagee debacle. It can’t get better than this, they think. But evangelical support for Israel is rooted way beyond Hagee, Hal Lindsey, and Tim Lahaye. Back in 1998, Timothy P. Weber, Professor at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote a thorough historical and theological analysis of the reasons why evangelicals love Israel in a Christianity Today article entitled “How Evangelicals Became Israel’s Best Friend.” Here are a couple of his points:
- Evangelical Zionism is rooted in a false hermeneutical system called dispensationalism, which is based on two false presuppositions: (1) There are two peoples of God, Israel and the church. (2) All Biblical prophecy is to be interpreted literalistically, e.g., all Old Testament prophecies refer to Israel because the prophets had no knowledge of the church.
- Dispensationalists like Hagee teach that the Bible is not all about Christ, as Jesus himself taught the disciples (Luke 24:25-27; 44), but about Israel. God’s ultimate goal is the salvation of the Jews, and not the pouring out of the Spirit on all nations. For these false teachers, the church is just an afterthought in God’s plan, a Plan B, after the Jews rejected Christ.
All the warped teachings about the last things prevailing in evangelical churches, e.g., the Secret Rapture, the Millennium, the rebuilding of the Temple, Armageddon (World War III), and Hagee and company’s wacky teachings, are rooted in dispensationalism. With or without Hagee, this system is entrenched in the evangelical psychÃ©, and coupled with widespread Biblical illiteracy, things aren’t changing soon. (As a side note, Hagee, like many other false dispensational teachers, teach that since the Old Testament Jews were saved by obedience to the Law, present-day Jews can also be saved without Christ!)
No, the above quote was not by John Hagee. Dispensationalist Harry Rimmer wrote it in a 1940 booklet called Palestine: the Coming Storm Center, in which he predicted that Hitler was the Biblical Antichrist.
My Favorite Eschatology Books
Beale, G. K. 1-2 Thessalonians. IVP New Testament Commentary Series. Downers Grove, IL: IVPress, 2003.
_________. The Book of Revelation: A Commentary on the Greek Text (New International Greek Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998.
Demar, Gary. Last Days Madness: Obsession of the Modern Church. Atlanta: American Vision, 1999.
Johnson, Dennis E. Triumph of the Lamb. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 2001.
Hoekema, Anthony. The Bible and the Future. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1994.
Koester, Craig R. Revelation and the End of All Things. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001.
Mathison, Keith. From Age to Age: The Unfolding of Biblical Eschatology. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 2009.
Poythress, Vern S. The Returning King. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 2000. (This book is published online by permission of publisher.)
Riddlebarger, Kim. The Man of Sin: Uncovering the Truth About the Antichrist. Grand Rapids: Baker, June 2006.
Venema, Cornelis. The Promise of the Future. Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2000.
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