Mr. Jim Fletcher
Dave Hunt, Pre-Trib 2005:
I have been criticized for years by those who complain, "Deal with prophecy, if you wish, but stick to your subject—don't mix in apostasy!" In fact, one cannot adequately deal with the former while ignoring the latter. When asked by His disciples, "What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world," the first words from Christ identified apostasy as the foremost sign of the last days.1
In an era in Church history in which so many momentous events are unfolding, there is one that is largely overlooked. In fact, it is arguably the biggest under-reported story in the American Church today.
That story is the erosion of support for the state of Israel,
During a sweep of speaking events in American churches in the past few years, Palestinian Christian Sami Awad, a resident of Bethlehem, reveals to attentive audiences that the little town where Christ was born is a "big, open-air prison," surrounded as it is on all four sides by Israel's security fence.
Except that it isn't.
The drive to implant the so-called "Palestinian Narrative" within American evangelical churches is a new and shocking threat to traditional support for Israel among Southern Baptists, Pentecostals, and other evangelical denominations and associations.
To fully understand the true nature of this threat to Israel and to Bible-believing Christians, we must understand the roots of it. Why are things the way they are? We did not arrive here overnight. The beginning of that journey started literally at the beginning, in the Book of Beginnings, when the serpent asked Eve, "Did God really say...?"
In his analysis of the modern Methodist movement, Beyond the Point of No Return, Calvin Johnson recognized that liberalism had infected the mainline a hundred years ago. He spoke of the tendency to relegate Genesis 1-11, and later, Genesis 12-50, to the realm of myth or semi-legend. Johnson also documented that these early attacks on the Bible's credibility inevitably led to New Testament assaults:
"Neo-Orthodoxy gave credence to two Biblical truths – the sinfulness of man and the need for a life-changing encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ. However, it did not accept the miracles and the historical events of the Bible as true."2
The stage for these unorthodox views was set in the 19th century, and was led by the leading clergy of the day, including Henry Ward Beecher.
Barry Werth wrote about Beecher's slide to liberal theology in his book, Banquet at Delmonico's, which details the marketing of Darwinian philosophy to American seminaries and churches. Here we learn of Beecher's embrace of unorthodox views:
"To tell me that back of Christ is a God who for unnumbered centuries has gone on creating men and sweeping them like dead flies—nay, like living ones—into Hell is to ask me to worship a being as much worse than the conception of any medieval devil as can be imagined."3
Against these backdrops emerged a tendency to view the Old Testament passages dealing with Israel as symbolic, or metaphor. Replacement Theology was the result.
Still, for decades — and especially in the days following Israel's 1948 War for Independence and The Six Day War — rank-and-file Christians and many pastors viewed the specialness of Israel and the Jews in biblical terms.
In 1993, with the canonization of the so-called Oslo Accords in international diplomacy, decades of Palestinian propaganda efforts (aided in no small part by Soviet specialists who schooled Yasser Arafat in psychological warfare techniques) began to pay dividends.
These dividends even found their way into the church and it seems obvious that forces backing Palestinian nationalism made the infiltration of the American evangelical community a top priority.
At the same time, a "twin attack" developed, in which alongside the marginalization of Israel and her Christian Zionist friends emerged a related struggle: attacks on the teaching of Bible prophecy, specifically the Pre-Trib view.
Targeting the Millennial Generation, top evangelical leaders began a ceaseless attack on predictive prophecy, since it didn't fit their Dominionist worldview.
(The current marginalization of Israel and Bible prophecy in the United States is eerily similar to the efforts of the so-called "German Christian Movement," in pre-War Europe, in which the Old Testament was largely ignored or spiritualized, thus paving the way for the Nazis to characterize the Jews as having no historical credibility, save their "Christ-killers" label.4)
Almost immediately after the passing of pro Israel leaders like Jerry Falwell and Adrian Rogers, pro-Palestinian advocates emerged within evangelicalism (and the term "evangelical" came to be used as a tool by Brian McLaren, Tony Campolo, and others, who among other issues, bash Israel consistently) to introduce the Palestinian Narrative.
The Narrative features heart-tugging stories of the alleged Israeli "occupation" as being the core struggle in the Middle East. It also emphasizes the need to "help our suffering Palestinian Christian brothers and sisters" in the Holy Land. This combination of largely undocumented tales of brutality at the hands of the IDF, along with appeals to help fellow believers is a powerful influence on evangelical audiences.
Sami Awad, director of the Holy Land Trust and a self-described peace activist, figures prominently in the efforts to infiltrate American churches, aided as he is by powerful friends like Lynne Hybels of Willow Creek, and Todd Deatherage, director of the Telos Group.
Their efforts are enhanced by a host of well-placed influencers within evangelicalism:
The effort to hijack pro Israel support in American churches is systemic, highly organized, well funded, and relentless. Prediction: if something isn't done soon to counter the Palestinian propaganda within American evangelicalism, the Southern Baptist Convention, Assemblies of God (and other Pentecostal groups), and independent evangelical churches will emerge pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel.
2. Calvin B. Johnson, Beyond the Point of No Return (C.B. Johnson, 1997), 46.
3. Barry Werth, Banquet at Delmonico's (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011), 261.
4. Carol Rittner, The Holocaust and the Christian World (Continuum Intl Publishing Group, 2000).
7. A term apparently coined by British scholar Dr. Paul Wilkinson.