The Wall Street Journal had an impressive front page story in today’s edition titled: “Holy War: A Texas Preacher Leads Campaign to Let Israel Fight.” It tells the story of John Hagee, a popular dispensational preacher and best-selling author in San Antonio, Texas, who has become the America’s most outspoken and influential voice for Christian Zionism. Hagee is leading pro-Israel gatherings these days that are putting a great deal of pressure on the White House and other sympathetic congressional leaders to stay out of any peacemaking deals in the Middle East. Hagee believes that Israel has God’s complete support in this conflict and that these present events are likely to lead to Armageddon so we should steer clear of interfering with what God is about to do in Israel in these last days.
I have no quarrel with those Christians who believe ethnic Israel, and even the modern state of Israel, has a major part to play in biblical prophecy, though I disagree with about 98% of what they think the Bibel actually says about these matters. I do have a huge problem with John Hagee and the host of evangelicals like him who seem intent on helping America advance war in the Middle East for the cause of Christ. Hagee’s political philosophy, if indeed he even has one, is plainly rooted in a strange blend of prophecy and popular religion, not in the divine law or in Christian ethics. Hagee’s recent best-seller, Jerusalem Countdown, sees a coming nuclear showdown with Iran.
I sure hope that when the president takes the support of people like John Hagee, which he does in public, that he privately rejects their foolish counsel. I shudder to think what might happen to delicate and sensitive international foreign policy if we began to build it on this kind of theology. I support the existence and defense of the state of Israel but evangelicals like John Hagee actually make the task for providing a strong argument for this position more difficult. If you don’t believe me read the article for yourself. It is far more troubling than I imagined when I began to read the story this morning. No wonder the media thinks evangelicals are a dangerous group of people.