Evangelical Zionism is our own descriptive term. It is not a denomination, but an acquired disease in the body of Christianity. The universal symptom is the belief that “the political state of Israel is the fulfillment of biblical prophesies.” Jesus said, love you brother, even your enemy; Evangelical Zionism, in its extreme morphs, holds that Old Testament scripture allows the extermination of the Palestinians.
Elena has recovered from it, and this is her story.
She wrote to us and called with several questions common to recovering Evangelical Zionists making them feel quite alone amid the hatred that is directed toward the people of Palestine and, in fact, toward all of Islam. She is learning to be a missionary for peace within her own church. Her story is not unique, but her tactful determination is. We have asked her to allow us to share her experience with you.
Elena was raised a Catholic and became an evangelical protestant during her years of child-rearing. There she stayed for most of her adult years until she discovered that the church she had joined had a primary dedication to evangelical Zionist teachings and beliefs. This became clear to her as she learned of Israel’s abuse of the Palestinians, and her church’s unconditional and unquestioning support of Israel.
Like so many of us she had left one or more churches she found infected with Evangelical Zionism, looking for the prefect church. She did not find it. She finally settled into a small congregation with a Reform theology. She became an active part of the congregation and started a home bible study to encourage other church members. Strangely, it was here she was to discover her worst frustration. While her denomination’s theology denies evangelical Zionism, some of its members believe and teach a form of it.
“if it was up to me I would kill them all.”
On the positive side, her pastor says he shares her anti-war view and sympathy for Palestinians, but does not discuss it from the pulpit. He does not seem to have the disease but perhaps he fears to speak out against it. However, the volunteer leader of the Bible study, Carl, is a denominational church planner assigned to her church. When war became a hot issue, Elena discovered that all the class supported the U.S. wars and Israeli occupation. The study leader horrified her by telling her privately, “if it was up to me I would kill them all.”
Elena responded by purchasing and giving away a detailed secular book on Zionism in an attempt to show her friends what Zionists privately think of Christians, but it did not work. Elena’s letter ended with familiar and painful words asking if we can recommend another church for her and saying,
“I feel like an outcast and I did nothing wrong! I know I believed the scoffed, dispensationalist lie for almost my entire Christian life, but when you read the truth you just can’t turn your back on it.”
She provided an exchange of messages with their Bible study leader, Carl. In it he denies he told her he would kill all the Palestinians; Instead he now asserts “he would cut off food and water to them.”