Understanding Christian Zionism

AP An Israeli flag flies near buildings under construction in the West Bank settlement of Maaleh Adumim, just outside of … Continued


An Israeli flag flies near buildings under construction in the West Bank settlement of Maaleh Adumim, just outside of Jerusalem in this April 7, 2005 file photo.

On Feb. 6, 2006, I invited 400 evangelical leaders to Cornerstone Church in San Antonio. I invited presidents of Christian universities, owners of radio/television networks, presidents and owners of publishing companies, major pastors and the prominent television personalities.

Our historic meeting had a one-item agenda: create a national grassroots Christian Zionist organization that would unite millions of evangelicals to stand up and speak up for Israel. For years, I had spoken at churches all over the country about the Biblical basis for Christian support of Israel. I knew that through their own Biblical studies, millions of Christians had come to understand that we have a religious and ethical obligation to stand with the Jewish people. My hope was that in creating this organization we could unite these individuals and speak with one thunderous voice in support of Israel.

Before the meeting, I confided in Rabbi Aryeh Scheinberg – my friend of 30 years – that I was unsure if any of the pastors would agree to join this new organization. The first rule of the organization would be that we would go to Washington, D.C. annually to educate our people and to engage the members of Congress with our absolute solidarity with Israel and the Jewish people. We were a one-issue organization: Israel!

To my surprise, all 400 pastors agreed to join the effort, and Christians United For Israel was born. Though I viewed this moment as miraculous (if you disagree, try getting 400 pastors to agree on anything), I could not even dream of what CUFI would become.

Today, we have more than 1.1 million members; we hold an average of 40 pro-Israel events in cities and towns across America every month; we meet in Washington every year to remind our elected officials that there are Christians who stand with Israel. We have been welcomed with open arms by the American Jewish community and successive Israeli governments (regardless of party).

In spite of how dramatically the organization has grown and the extent to which we have been welcomed in mainstream American and Israeli political circles, there are many who do not understand the phenomenon. Why would Christians support the Jewish state?

To quote one of our CUFI On Campus student leaders, “I support Israel because I am a Christian.” Christian Zionists do not believe that God’s covenant with the Jewish people has been replaced by Christianity. Quite the contrary. We recognize that our faith would not exist were it not for Judaism. The first family of Christianity, Jesus, Mary and Joseph, and all the disciples, were Jewish. Christianity owes a debt of gratitude to the Jewish faith, and we have been commanded to stand with our Jewish brethren. Yet for centuries some of the greatest atrocities against the Jewish people were committed by Christians, in the name of Christianity.

Genesis 12:3 explains that God will bless those who bless Israel, and curse those who curse her. Has this not come to pass? Israel is a prosperous nation – in spite of being surrounded by tyrannical enemies who wish her destruction. And the U.S., Israel’s primary ally? Have we not thrived as a nation since recognizing Israel’s independence minutes after it was declared? We have our ups and our downs, but on our worst day, we are still the envy of all the earth.

Christian support for Israel is the product of Christians reading their Bible and rightly concluding that it is a Zionist document. Upon this foundation has been built a modern understanding of Israel’s history, and recognition that Israelis and Americans share the same democratic values.

CUFI is the largest pro-Israel organization in the country and among the largest Christian grassroots movements in the U.S. Support for Israel is not just an issue for Christians; it is our primary foreign policy focus. When we set out to form CUFI we had a simple mantra: we will awaken the sleeping giant of Christian Zionism. Ask any member of Congress – it is wide awake.

Pastor John Hagee, founder and chairman of Christians United for Israel, is the author of “The Power of the Prophetic Blessing.”

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  • ConradS

    There is no such thing as CHRISTIAN-zionism, they are completely opposing worldviews, its literally the same as saying Christian-Satanism…

    If John Hagee is Christian than I am not

    P.S. Genesis 12:3 is about Jesus and has absolutely nothing to do with the “state of Israel” created in 1947…

  • WmarkW

    The religion section of my local used bookstore contains a half-century of titles along the lines of “the current state of the middle east in biblical prophesy,” They advocate a hard-line stand on Israel, indicating that war there will escalate into nuclear holocaust and The Second Coming.

    Rapture has no place in our diplomacy or politics. And belief in its immenance is a dangerous distraction as we face long-term issues about deficits, environmental stability, and global growth projections. Spirituality might help some people one at a time, but it won’t solve the world’s problems in one fell swoop.

  • Hatto Aquitaine

    Our Founding Fathers would be aghast. See in particular, Thomas Jefferson’s letter to Peter Carr, Thomas Paine’s The Age of Reason, and George Washington’s Farewell Address.

    I could cite more, but I don’t wish to overwhelm simple minds.

    Quite honestly, I believe these would be architects of the apocalypses believe their professed Christian doctrine, neither in letter, nor in Spirit.

    “Don’t let THEM immanentize the eschaton!” ~ Apocalypse the Younger.

    If I were Jewish, and I saw Hagee coming, I would run in the opposite direction faster the Usain Bolt.


    I believe that is from Malaclypse the Younger.

  • Flothow

    If you believe in God, the one true God, then you have to believe that protecting Israel and standing with her is our commandment from God.

    I can understand, if you don’t believe in God, or in a false God, that you wouldn’t want your tax dollars spent helping Israel defend herself. Mind you though that we have NEVER sent troops to fight with Israel, only sent money – and not as much money as we have spent in fighting our own wars. And yet Israel is a peaceful country who never attacks without provocation. However, if you are one of the few isolationists, like Ron Paul, who want to stick your noses in the ground and pretend no one has a bullseye on our behinds….then you may. But then I would demand that our government stop putting my tax $’s into things I don’t believe in…like $ to help Brazil develop oil fields instead of here in the U.S., $ into Solyndra and auto industries, $ into Planned Parenthood for killing 54 Million babies, etc, etc, etc.

  • Madtown

    The “one true” God? How do you know you follow this God? Isn’t God just “God”? Cultures put names on God, each one with their own version. But, couldn’t we all simply be thinking of the same God? Afterall, religions intially developed culturally, each culture having their own notions of the nature of God. How would you have any idea you believe in a “false God”? You’re American, so assuming you’re christian. If you were born in Egypt, you’d be a Muslim. Would you then be following a false God, or would you think christians follow a false God?

  • PeaceInOurTime

    Flothow, as far as I’m concerned, you fundamentalist nutjobs are all the same, regardless of your religion. All faiths claim “the one true God” or the “one true way”. If there is a God up in the sky somewhere he/she has a special place reserved for all of you and it ain’t called heaven. Pick up a book other than the bible once in a while and educate yourself about your peaceful country Israel. It’ll help you to separate fact from fantasy.

  • Kingofkings1

    John Hagee doesn’t seem to understand that although Jesus may have supported the creation of Israel, he would not have done so at the expense of death and destruction of the people living on that land for centuries and the hypocrisy of maintaining it at the expense of continual suffering the non-jewish population in that entity. I am forced to put John Hagee in the category of hypocrites. It is one of the worst sins, and a pastor to be involved in this activity is indeed shameful

  • Kingofkings1

    You seemed to be making a reasonable point in the beginning and middle of your posting, although evidence points to the contrary. However, you placed yourself in a “never to be trusted” category with your irrational/hateful/racist last paragraph

  • Madtown

    Which God is the true God is easily shown through a variety of sources, beginning with a comparison of the founding documents of each religion
    Human beings created each religion. Each religion, represents man’s attempt to define his thoughts about spirituality, and a creator. Each religion developed as all cultural elements do…under the influence of forces that are unique to that particular culture. “True God” doesn’t make any sense. God is God.

  • Madtown

    there is One God, and Jesus is His name.
    And, what of those individual humans born to an area of the world where christianity doesn’t exist? What if I’m a primitve tribesman born into the rain forest jungle of South America? I’ll never learn the first thing about christianity, never hear the name Jesus or know his significance. How can Jesus be the “one true God”, when millions of humans now(and throughout history) will never even hear of him? If there was only 1 true way to God, all humans in this world would have an equal chance to learn of it, and practice it.

  • Madtown

    Read the OT to find out how God did quite a few things
    Why read the imperfect writings(opinions) of human beings, to attempt to understand how God functions? We don’t know how God functions, we can’t know how God functions. We’ll find out some day, but for now no book written by the hand of man explains anything.

  • persiflage

    Hagee is persuaded by his own brand of religious insanity. Why drag Israel into the fetid quagmire of his fundamenalist delusions? It hardly seems fair……..

  • jdpetric

    “… but for now no book written by the hand of man explains anything”

    ” All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work. 2Timothy 3:16, 17

    ” For YOU know this first, that no prophecy of Scripture springs from any private interpretation. For prophecy was at no time brought by man’s will, but men spoke from God as they were borne along by holy spirit. 2Peter 1:20, 21

  • jdpetric

    “Christian support for Israel is the product of Christians reading their Bible …”

    Jesus words at Matthew 21:23 and 43 refute the above conclusion.

    In verse 23 we see that Jesus is speaking to the Jewish religious leaders in the temple in Jerusalem the center and seat of Jewish worship.

    Jesus words at verses 43 show how God no longer held the Jews as His chosen people and no reason for Christians to view or support Israel. Jesus said to pray for God’s Kingdon Government of the Heavens to Come.

    23 “Now after he went into the temple, the chief priests and the older men of the people came up to him while he was teaching…”

    43 “This is why I say to YOU, The kingdom of God will be taken from YOU and be given to a nation producing its fruits.”

    For Mr. Hagee

  • jdpetric

    “At that the entire multitude became silent, and they began to listen to Bar′na·bas and Paul relate the many signs and portents that God did through them among the nations. After they quit speaking, James answered, saying: “Men, brothers, hear me. Sym′e·on has related thoroughly how God for the first time turned his attention to the nations to take out of them a people for his name.” Acts 15:12-14

  • Kingofkings1

    Since you are an Islamic scholar in the same vein as Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, Daniel Pipes, and a multitude of others that have sprung up recently, I will not attempt to “teach” you about Islam, because I am not a teacher. I can, however, direct you to 2 pasages in the bible that may get your thinking about the importance of context when citing passages from texts:
    1. Crush the skulls of little children of your enemy on stones after you have indvaded their land
    2. Jesus is quoted as saying”turn the other cheek” when someone slaps you. He is also quoted as saying that he came not to bring peace, but war. The fact that there are multiple wars even now being waged by those who worship jesus is not a coincidence.

  • Madtown

    jdpetric quotes scripture, to argue that scripture is the definitive word of God. Now, that’s entertainment! LOL.

  • jdpetric

    I’m glad you find it entertaining.

    Ture, we may never know “all” things about God himself, the scriptures that were given to mankind, though written by imperfect men, were given so we would know God, and His Will and the purpose for our existence, past, present and future.

  • Madtown

    …were given so we would know God
    But again, who is “we”? Christian scripture is not available to all the human creations of God, to mankind. Are you special? Does God love you more than he loves a human he created and placed in the heart of Africa, who will never read christian scripture? Of course not. The bible was not given by God, or else he would’ve given it to all his equal human creations. It was written by the hand of man, as endorsement of a particular line of thought. God created heaven and earth, but he couldn’t create a few lines in a book, then distribute to all the cultures of humans that he created? C’mon….

  • xexon

    I’ve been on the internet a long time. Been in every dive you can imagine too.

    The most hateful, racist people I’ve ever met online were zionist Christians. The Israel Today website to be exact. From about 2 years ago. Looked like a normal place until I entered the comments section.

    I’ve never met people who hated in the name of Jesus before.

    You people are a cult. And you Mr. Hagee, are one of the people responsible for it. Between your hatred of Islam and your fascination with end of days, you’re dangerous. Far more dangerous than radical Islam. Because you exist within a superpower. And you vote.

    I watched zionism come into the more fundamentalist churches in the south back in the early 70’s. About the same time as the Arab oil embargo was going on. It was also the same time Israel started humping our leg. Not for God, but for agenda.

    You zionist Christians are being groomed for something you have no understanding of. Got a bible stuck in your eye that prevents you from seeing the truth.

    If there was ever any personification of the anti-Christ in the world today, it’s the zionist Christian movement and it’s leadership. You come as an angel of light.

    But I see you.


  • mike hunter

    I believe the church is fooled by the Ashkenazi Jews who want to build a tower of Babel on Jerusalem mount

  • persiflage

    ‘It portrays a just God who cannot tolerate even the slightest stain of sin. Therefore, all are doomed to judgment;

    Speak for yourself Scottie. Plenty of folks can live without your dark absolutist vision of reality, the origins of which reside within rather than without.

    Relgious beliefs are a perfect reflection of infinite space of one’s inner world……where the residents are limited only by one’s imagination.

  • Secular1

    Christians, you are christians because of a small difference of opinion with jews, which of course you thought was a big deal of a difference. So ya’ll are just one and the same, just two peas in a pod. So do christians owe debt of gratitude, yes as much as the protestants owe debt to catholics. Does christianity exist without judaism. no more than protestants would exists with out catholics. Only one big difference between the x’tians and jews that x]tian believe in one more bovine scat story than jews do. That is about the virgin birth of an offspring of a non-asexual species and that progeny’s unnatural death has relieved everyone of their moral transgressions and are born with built in guilt of unoccurred moral transgressions.

    So for me that christians are somehow inherently have to support Israel is a stupid and delusional as believing in all the bovine scat stories that pass for moral & ethical lessons.

    Coming to present-day Israel, I submit it is here to stay and could not be undone without a incredible misery. Tat said if we wish to visit back to i947 – 48. I believe that it would be a travesty of justice to create a state of Israel. All it would be an expiation christian europe of its crimes and sins against the jewish europe, by perpetuating similar crimes against the general populace of then palestine, motivated by the same sick notions of hastening teh apocalypse per the christian dark mythology. I would be remiss if I were not to indict the entire leadership of muslim world for not working this out after nearly 65 years. They proudly calim their cult has nearl 1.5 billion subscribers arrayed against mere 12 million in the other cult a clear 125 : 1 adavntage in numbers. If anything the leadership must bury its head in shame and ignominy.

  • ongnamo

    Absolutely not true and an ignorant post. israel existed for 4000 years and the Jews were scattered over the world but always was in Israel.San Remo 1920 the world powers reconstituted the ancient borders of Israel and gave the arabs Iraq, syria, Jordan, Lebanon. Jews were rebuilding their homeland in the 1800’s and 1900’s. In 47 the British broke the law and further divided the land of Israel giving the West Bank to Jordan. There was no Pal arab or people then. Then in 48 Jordan attacked and drove the Jews out of their homeland of East Jerusalem and closed the city for 19 years.Temples and churches were destroyed. In 67 Jordan attacked again and Israel took their land and city back. The 67 line is a peace line with Jordan not a border and there was never a Pal arab state there. israel should never have given the arabs temple mount which is not holy to them but is to Jews and Christians. Mohammed never mentioned Jerusalem in the Koran but it is mentioned all over the bible. Jews and Christians are not allowed to pray there. Totalitarianism doesn’t allow for criticism. Israel wanted peace so in Oslo offered land everything the arabs said they wanted and still it was rejected. palestine is not an arab name. it was the name the Romans gave for Israel and the land surrounding it named after philistines no connection to arabs.King David united Israel under the Jews long before Islam and the old temple was built 1600 years before Islam or Mohammad came into existence. There never was a Pal arab state in history but always an Israel. Israel does not come from WW11 as the arabs try to say. Christians should support Israel because Jesus talked of tolerance which is from Judaism and not the other one. Israel is a democracy and is just all the other countries were created by England.

  • ongnamo

    Solomons’s temple was built 1600 years before Islam was thought of or Mohammad was born. Mohammad was never there or in Jerusalem. He doesn’t mention it in Koran only Mecca and Medina. The Ashkenazi Jews and Safardic Jews from the Middle East have an real claim there. The only reason why the Arabs have control of Temple Mount is because Israeli leaders thought that if they gave them this as a gesture they would make peace. Jews gave up their holy mount for peace and it didn’t work. learn history anti semite

  • ongnamo

    Having read some of your post from time to time they are pretty hateful. I don’t categorize people like you do. all christians you talk about. People like you who say all Christian zionists are usually the biggest bigots and you as an individual are more hateful than alot of other posters Christians, muslims, jews etc. Disgusting. you are not one to judge. I am not christian but I trust their posts and their heart more than biased posters like you. Hagee is a great man met him and his connection to truth was astonishing. Let he who throw stones be as great. you are not

  • ongnamo

    I am not Christian but met Hagee and he has an unbelievable connection. Strong soul special person don’t condemn what you don’t know

  • ongnamo

    what an ignorant post I can’t believe it. Hagee is an unbelievable person and don’t believe everything you read or see. After Obama I will never trust the media or those links you listed. junk junk junk

  • xexon

    I hate noone. But I take exception with people who hide behind religion to unfold racist philosophies. The nazis did it. The zionists are doing it.

  • Secular1

    Ongnamo, you are the one who appears to be ignorant. Viewing the whole discussion from the 1947 perspective only, as to today I have clearly stated my views. Back in 1947 there did not exist any state called Israel. It is not the responsibility of the world to resuscitate 400 year old states. If that were the case then we have several states that need resuscitation starting with persia, which had existed until 1300 years ago – perhaps had existed for longer than erstwhile Israel, many an native american pre-columbian nations in teh north & south americas. Whatever the reason, after Roman conquest of 1st century Israel did not exist, especially once the most of jews dispersed all over Europe. they did not reestablish the country after the demise of the Roman empire, as soem of teh current european states did, like Gaul, etc. So Israel as a concept and a physical ceased to exist. Like it or not, most European jews, for whom the current state of Israel was created are ethinic europeans and not ethnic Sephardim. The notion of a separate state for the European jews was first contemplated in late 19th century – the time of the start of Zionism. Even, at that time teh early zionists were sensitive to the fact that the so called palestine in the intervening 1800 years was continuously inhabited by the indigenous peoples, whose religious affiliation had changed a few times (how it changed is inconsequential to teh discussion). The whole exercise by the early zionists was to find respite from the european christianty’s constant persecutions and progroms. in fact they were considering relocate enmasse to South America and purchase land there to settle and start their own nation. The notion of the current state of Israel within teh current borders came about only in teh early 20th century. The Zionists sensitive to the local populations were actually opposed to it, and they were mostly secular and did not have such strong theological tugs. It was in fact the chri

  • TheNaturalist

    What exactly does “support Israel” mean? Supporting its continual settlement of the West Bank (Greater Israel)? So the Christians want to turn Israel into non-democratic apartheid state by preventing the separation of the 2.5 million Palestinians that live there? How is this “helping?”

  • DrLou1

    Good question…see my post directly above to better understand who CUFI and Hagee are ‘helping.’