COMMENTARY: Is Christian Zionism Misguided?

Israel’s rebirth was a blow to Replacement Theology, but today Christian Zionism is again on the defensive

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There’s no question the birth of the Jewish State in 1948, followed by such miraculous victories as the Six-Day War, caused many Christians to sense a paradigm shift had taken place in the heavenlies. That after nineteen long, painful centuries God was again intervening on behalf of the Jews.

This understanding delivered a crippling blow to the lie of Replacement Theology. Because how could this be happening if God had indeed replaced the Jewish people with the Church as His only covenant people, as RT taught?

Christian Zionism, which had always been a small stream within Christendom, suddenly became a raging river of support. Worldwide ministries like the ICEJ, Friends of Israel and CUFI sprang up. The words of Isaiah to “comfort, comfort My people” were seen as a mandate for the Church today to stand with both the beleaguered state and Jews worldwide – prayerfully, economically and politically. Tens of thousands flocked to Jerusalem to say, “God loves you!”

But now, decades later, doubts have crept in. Whispered questions demanding answers. Like, if God brought the Jews home, why don’t they live more godly? Why is abortion allowed? Why do we see hedonism, materialism and even blatant sexual perversions on display? Why don’t they give God more glory for their military and economic successes, rather than tout their own ingenuity and strength? And although it’s the only country in the Middle East where Christianity is growing, why is freedom to share the gospel still hindered?

Adding to these disturbing thoughts is the steady acid drip of those who slander Israel as an oppressor nation that built its state on stolen Arab land. And enforces apartheid policies.

It’s no wonder even many Christians Zionists are asking what will it take to bring Israel to her knees? Worse, wondering if God was ever in this restoration as others have argued.

I believe the problem lies not with them, but us. The poison of Replacement Theology is still with us. For by such judgmental demands we are embracing the same hypocritical attitudes of the nations that hold the Jews to a higher standard in order to condemn them. We point a self-righteous finger at their imperfect society, conveniently forgetting these same things are rampant in our own so-called Christian nations. And churches.

And we judge their spiritual qualifications as if we had earned our own righteousness in Messiah. Did God require us to clean up our sin first to come to Yeshua? Or did He instead grant us the grace to repent so He could forgive us? Well, He promised the Jews no less when He said, “a deliverer will come from Zion to remove ungodliness from Jacob” (Rom. 11:26).

My advice, dear Christian, is have patience. And do not doubt what you first believed. God is still working. Hundreds of promises throughout the Bible assure us – and them – of the restoration of Israel prior to the coming of Messiah’s kingdom.

And if it is not now, when?

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