Millions of Evangelical Christians Want to Start WWIII to Speed the “Second Coming” … and Atheist Neocons are Using Religion to Rile Them Up to Justify War Against Iran

Millions of Evangelical Christians Want to Start World War III … to Speed Up the Second Coming

The Founding Fathers weren’t particularly anti-Islam.

But millions of Americans believe that Christ will not come again until Israel wipes out its competitors and there is widespread war in the Middle East. Some of these folks want to start a huge fire of war and death and destruction, so that Jesus comes quickly.

According to French President Chirac, Bush told him that the Iraq war was needed to bring on the apocalypse:

In Genesis and Ezekiel Gog and Magog are forces of the Apocalypse who are prophesied to come out of the north and destroy Israel unless stopped. The Book of Revelation took up the Old Testament prophesy:

“And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.”

Bush believed the time had now come for that battle, telling Chirac:

“This confrontation is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a New Age begins”…

There can be little doubt now that President Bush’s reason for launching the war in Iraq was, for him, fundamentally religious. He was driven by his belief that the attack on Saddam’s Iraq was the fulfilment of a Biblical prophesy in which he had been chosen to serve as the instrument of the Lord.

And British Prime Minister Tony Blair long-time mentor, advisor and confidante said:

“Tony’s Christian faith is part of him, down to his cotton socks. He believed strongly at the time, that intervention in Kosovo, Sierra Leone – Iraq too – was all part of the Christian battle; good should triumph over evil, making lives better.”

Mr Burton, who was often described as Mr Blair’s mentor, says that his religion gave him a “total belief in what’s right and what’s wrong”, leading him to see the so-called War on Terror as “a moral cause”…

Anti-war campaigners criticised remarks Mr Blair made in 2006, suggesting that the decision to go to war in Iraq would ultimately be judged by God.

Bill Moyers reports that the organization Christians United for Israel – led by highly-influential Pastor John C. Hagee – is a universal call to all Christians to help factions in Israel fund the Jewish settlements, throw out all the Palestinians and lobby for a pre-emptive invasion of Iran. All to bring Russia into a war against us causing World War III followed by Armageddon, the Second Coming and The Rapture. See this and this.

This all revolves around what is called Dispensationalism. So popular is Dispensationalism that Tim LaHaye’s Left Behind series has sold 65 million copies.

Dispensationalists include the following mega-pastors and their churches:

They are supported by politicians such as:

  • Texas Senator John Cronyn
  • And others

Dr. Timothy Webber – an evangelical Christian who has served as a teacher of church history and the history of American religion at Denver Seminary and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Vice-President at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lombard, IL, and President of Memphis Theological Seminary in Tennessee – notes:

In a recent Time/CNN poll, more than one-third of Americans said that since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, they have been thinking more about how current events might be leading to the end of the world.

While only 36 percent of all Americans believe that the Bible is God’s Word and should be taken literally, 59 percent say they believe that events predicted in the Book of Revelation will come to pass. Almost one out of four Americans believes that 9/11 was predicted in the Bible, and nearly one in five believes that he or she will live long enough to see the end of the world. Even more significant for this study, over one-third of those Americans who support Israel report that they do so because they believe the Bible teaches that the Jews must possess their own country in the Holy Land before Jesus can return.

Millions of Americans believe that the Bible predicts the future and that we are living in the last days. Their beliefs are rooted in dispensationalism, a particular way of understanding the Bible’s prophetic passages, especially those in Daniel and Ezekiel in the Old Testament and the Book of Revelation in the New Testament. They make up about one-third of America’s 40 or 50 million evangelical Christians and believe that the nation of Israel will play a central role in the unfolding of end-times events. In the last part of the 20th century, dispensationalist evangelicals become Israel’s best friends-an alliance that has made a serious geopolitical difference.

***

Starting in the 1970s, dispensationalists broke into the popular culture with runaway best-sellers, and a well-networked political campaign to promote and protect the interests of Israel. Since the mid-1990s, tens of millions of people who have never seen a prophetic chart or listened to a sermon on the second coming have read one or more novels in the Left Behind series, which has become the most effective disseminator of dispensationalist ideas ever.

***

During the early 1980s the Israeli Ministry of Tourism recruited evangelical religious leaders for free “familiarization” tours. In time, hundreds of evangelical pastors got free trips to the Holy Land. The purpose of such promotional tours was to enable people of even limited influence to experience Israel for themselves and be shown how they might bring their own tour group to Israel. The Ministry of Tourism was interested in more than tourist dollars: here was a way of building a solid corps of non-Jewish supporters for Israel in the United States by bringing large numbers of evangelicals to hear and see Israel’s story for themselves. The strategy caught on.

***

Shortly after the Six-Day War, elements within the Israeli government saw the potential power of the evangelical subculture and began to mobilize it as a base of support that could influence American foreign policy. The Israeli government sent Yona Malachy of its Department of Religious Affairs to the United States to study American fundamentalism and its potential as an ally of Israel. Malachy was warmly received by fundamentalists and was able to influence some of them to issue strong pro-Israeli manifestos. By the mid-1980s, there was a discernible shift in the Israeli political strategy. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Jewish state’s major lobbying group in Washington, D.C., started re-aligning itself with the American political right-wing, including Christian conservatives. Israel’s timing was perfect. It began working seriously with American dispensationalists at the precise moment that American fundamentalists and evangelicals were discovering their political voice.

***

Probably the largest pro-Israel organization of its kind is the National Unity Coalition for Israel, which was founded by a Jewish woman who learned how to get dispensationalist support. NUCI opposes “the establishment of a Palestinian state within the borders of Israel.”

***

In their commitment to keep Israel strong and moving in directions prophesied by the Bible, dispensationalists are supporting some of the most dangerous elements in Israeli society. They do so because such political and religious elements seem to conform to dispensationalist beliefs about what is coming next for Israel. By lending their support-both financial and spiritual-to such groups, dispensationalists are helping the future they envision come to pass.

***

Dispensationalists believe that the Temple is coming too; and their convictions have led them to support the aims and actions of what most Israelis believe are the most dangerous right-wing elements in their society, people whose views make any compromise necessary for lasting peace impossible. Such sentiments do not matter to the believers in Bible prophecy, for whom the outcome of the quarrelsome issue of the Temple Mount has already been determined by God.

Since the end of the Six-Day War, then, dispensationalists have increasingly moved from observers to participant-observers. They have acted consistently with their convictions about the coming Last Days in ways that make their prophecies appear to be self-fulfilling.

***

As Paul Boyer has pointed out, dispensationalism has effectively conditioned millions of Americans to be somewhat passive about the future and provided them with lenses through which to understand world events. Thanks to the sometimes changing perspectives of their Bible teachers, dispensationalists are certain that trouble in the Middle East is inevitable, that nations will war against nations, and that the time is coming when millions of people will die as a result of nuclear war, the persecution of Antichrist, or as a result of divine judgment. Striving for peace in the Middle East is a hopeless pursuit with no chance of success.

***

For the dispensational community, the future is determined. The Bible’s prophecies are being fulfilled with amazing accuracy and rapidity. They do not believe that the Road Map will-or should-succeed. According to the prophetic texts, partitioning is not in Israel’s future, even if the creation of a Palestinian state is the best chance for peace in the region. Peace is nowhere prophesied for the Middle East, until Jesus comes and brings it himself. The worse thing that the United States, the European Union, Russia, and the United Nations can do is force Israel to give up land for a peace that will never materialize this side of the second coming. Anyone who pushes for peace in such a manner is ignoring or defying God’s plan for the end of the age.

***

It seems clear that dispensationalism is on a roll, that its followers feel they are riding the wave of history into the shore of God’s final plan. Why should they climb back into the stands when being on the field of play is so much more fun and apparently so beneficial to the game’s outcome? As [one dispensationalist group's] advertisement read, “Don’t just read about prophecy when you can be part of it.”

Not a Problem with Judaism … Or Christianity

Most Americans confuse Zionism and Judaism.

But many devout Jews are against Zionism, and Zionists can be Christian.

Those who say that criticizing Zionism is anti-semitic are misleading people for their own ulterior motives which have nothing to do with ensuring the safety of the Jewish people.

Israeli Zionists are no more true to the cultural heritage of the Jewish people than Christian Zionists are.

Atheist War Hawks Manipulate Believers to Beat the Drums of War

Leo Strauss is the father of the Neo-Conservative movement, including many leaders of the current administration.

Indeed, many of the main neocon players – including Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Stephen Cambone, Elliot Abrams, and Adam Shulsky were students of Strauss at the University of Chicago, where he taught for many years.

The people pushing for war against Iran are the same neocons who pushed for war against Iraq. See this and this. (They planned both wars at least 20 years ago.) For example, Shulsky was the director of the Office of Special Plans – the Pentagon unit responsible for selling false intelligence regarding Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. He is now a member of the equivalent organization targeting Iran: the Iranian Directorate.

Strauss, born in Germany, was an admirer of Nazi philosophers and of Machiavelli. Strauss believed that a stable political order required an external threat and that if an external threat did not exist, one should be manufactured. Specifically, Strauss thought that:

A political order can be stable only if it is united by an external threat . . . . Following Machiavelli, he maintained that if no external threat exists then one has to be manufactured

(the quote is by one of Strauss’ main biographers).

Indeed, Stauss used the analogy of Gulliver’s Travels to show what a Neocon-run society would look like:

“When Lilliput [the town] was on fire, Gulliver urinated over the city, including the palace. In so doing, he saved all of Lilliput from catastrophe, but the Lilliputians were outraged and appalled by such a show of disrespect.” (this quote also from the same biographer)

Moreover, Strauss said:

Only a great fool would call the new political science diabolic . . . Nevertheless one may say of it that it fiddles while Rome burns. It is excused by two facts: it does not know that it fiddles, and it does not know that Rome burns.

So Strauss seems to have advocated governments letting terrorizing catastrophes happen on one’s own soil to one’s own people — of “pissing” on one’s own people, to use his Gulliver’s travel analogy. And he advocates that government’s should pretend that they did not know about such acts of mayhem: to intentionally “not know” that Rome is burning. He advocates messing with one’s own people in order to save them from some “catastophe” (perhaps to justify military efforts to monopolize middle eastern oil to keep it away from our real threat — an increasingly-powerful China?).

What does this have to do with religion?

Strauss taught that religion should be used as a way to manipulate people to achieve the aims of the leaders. But that the leaders themselves need not believe in religion.

As Wikipedia notes:

In the late 1990s Irving Kristol and other writers in neoconservative magazines began touting anti-Darwinist views, in support of intelligent design. Since these neoconservatives were largely of secular backgrounds, a few commentators have speculated that this – along with support for religion generally – may have been a case of a “noble lie”, intended to protect public morality, or even tactical politics, to attract religious supporters.

So is it any surprise that the folks who planned war against Iraq and Iran at least 20 years ago are pushing religious disinformation to stir up the evangelical community?

I’ve recently seen a swarm of spam claiming that all Muslims are evil, that they want to take over the world and establish a Muslim caliphate, and that they want to nuke Israel. They misquote Muslims and use false statements to try to stir up religious hatred.

They are simply promoting the Straussian playbook: stir up religious sentiment – even if you are personally an atheist – to create and demonize an “enemy”, so as to promote war …

Postscript 1: While there are certainly some Arab terrorists, Islam cannot be blamed for their barbaric murderous actions, just as Christianity cannot be blamed for the Norwegian Christian terrorist – Anders Behring Breivik’s – actions.

University of Chicago professor Robert A. Pape – who specializes in international security affairs – points out:

Extensive research into the causes of suicide terrorism proves Islam isn’t to blame — the root of the problem is foreign military occupations.

And the 9/11 hijackers used cocaine and drank alcohol, slept with prostitutes and attended strip clubs … but they did not worship at any mosque. See this, this, this, this, this, this, this, and this.

Postscript 2: Neoliberals and Neoconservatives are very similar in many ways. And because Neocons are not conservative, nothing in this post is meant to criticize conservatism.

Postscript 3: Most evangelicals are not dispensionalists, and so do not want to bring on armageddon.

 

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  • Heisenberg

    Hmmm

    As an atheist, I kind of wonder how the neocons atheism is relevant.

  • http://shandresen.typepad.com steven andresen

    I think you are saying that because a lot of the people driving us to war with Iran, are Christian religious who believe that the end times are inevitable in order to bring back Jesus, they are almost resistant to trying to negotiate with the Iranians a peaceful resolution.

    For the religious, getting to the “end times” is a process. like fermentation, that takes careful handling in order to obtain the result desired. They aren’t wanting anyone to disturb the natural processes that they’ve brought about that’s leading to this extinction level conflagration.

    I would have thought the Israelis would have been concerned about this and would have tried to prevent people who believe this way from ever getting power. After all, it’s my understanding, the Jewish community is supposed to be sacrificed as part of the process. When the bombs start falling
    on Israel, let’s say, the Christian Zionists are not going to be concerned about protecting Jews. They are instead going to be waiting for Jesus to take the Christians straight to heaven and to lash out at Jews who, on the account given here, are not his friends.

    Christian Zionists are anti-Semitic in this sense.

    So, I would imagine that if the Christian Zionists have anything to do with it, according to this report, they would want to start and carry on a war with Iran, hoping for a more destructive war, even if Jewish Zionists concerned about the fate of Israel would oppose such a thing.

    Or am I wrong about the Christian Zionist danger to everyone else here?

    • gary

      No my friend you are right on the money. I have alwasys considered jews to be smarter than most. But wht they cannot see the end game is not for their benefit I do not understand at all. I also was a Dispensational christian. Until I saw that on one hand they want the end of the world to occur, and on the other hand they cannot find reasons fast enough to ask for love gifts. If you believe the end is near, why do you need so many large homes and BMWs and jewelry for your wives (and mistresses). Just check out the olstens and copelands and hagees etal. they are rich beyond ceasar. But they call it gods will for them.

      • http://trionfopublishing.com Ernest M. Trionfo

        Anyone who believes Time/CNN polls probably also believes that US elections are not rigged. They are owned by Jews (the Warner’s and the Bronfmans). The only reason why the “neocon” Jews are kissy kissy with the Christian “religious right” right now is they figure that they can kill more gentiles with a third world war than with abortion – and get the Zagros oil fields for Israel at the same time. But they need a scapegoat.

        That is what “Christian Zionism” is all about. Their hero Trotsky help genocide 37 million Christians in the Soviet Union and defended the use of terror for revolutionary purposes.

        The “neocons” are Trotsky-ites (commies) who defected to the Republican party because the Democrats did not want to give them their wars for Israel. They brought their big Jewish bucks and election stealing savvy to the Republican Party, which they now own – as well as the Democratic Party because of their rigged touched screen voting machines.

    • http://trionfopublishing.com Ernest M. Trionfo

      Yes. You are wrong.

      To be correct you have to start out with correct premises.

      Firstly, Bush is not a Christian, hence, whatever he says can not be taken to impute any belief system to Christians. He denied that Jesus was the only means to salvation in order to get the support of the Jewish ADL. John Hagee is a heretic who did much the same thing. His wife’s maiden name is Castro – a Jewish name. Fidel Castro is a Jew by Jewish law because his mother was a Jew – and Jews put him in power in Cuba.

      Bush’s administration was saturated with dual Israeli American citizens and while he lit Menorahs in the White house on Hanukkah he banned crosses from his 2nd inaugural parade (after he did not need the Christian sucker vote any more).

      Secondly, unlike Jews, true Christians do not believe that they are God or gods and they do not believe that they can or should force God’s hand. The book of Revelation calls the shots and whoever tries to change the scenario of that book (adds to or subtracts from) is damned – according to the book of Revelation itself.

      Lastly, the Jews in Israel are not Semites. They are Ashkenazi Jews who have descended from a tribe of Turko-Finns known as the Khazars. Most sincere Christian Zionists (as opposed to the liars on TV like Pat Robertson and John Hagee) do not know this.

      Nor do they know about the contempt that the Talmud holds for Christians, Christianity and Jesus Christ. If they ever found out that the Talmud says that Jesus is burning in hot excrement in hell and that he practiced magic with his foreskin their attitude would entirely change as mine did.

      I was a Christian Zionist before I found out about the pack of lies which the Jewish media had brainwashed me with – including the “Holocaust” which is a fraud used to cover up the genocide of Christians in Armenia and in the Soviet Union and now used as an excuse the genocide of Muslims in the middle east – “even the best of gentiles should all be killed” as the Talmud says.

      Christians try to emulate Christ and the Jewish Zionists would like to treat them as their ancestors treated Jesus – as a scapegoat for their sins (i.e. crimes of genocide).

      • psychologist

        Ernest,
        You certainly know the facts.

  • http://blogdredd.blogspot.com/ Dredd

    Reminds me of the story about the pastor who was giving a passionate sermon about going to heaven. Over time. with glowing declarations of the magnificence of heaven, he craftily raised the fervor to a peak, then in a loud preachy voice he exclaimed “Stand up if you want to go to heaven!” He then noticed that everyone stood, except a young man in the front row. A hushed silence came over the heaven bound crowd when the preacher intently looked at the young, sitting man, and said “son, don’t you want to go to heaven?!” … the young man replied “well yes preacher, it is just that I thought you were getting up a boatload to go right now.”

  • William Chandler

    The “rapture” Prophets for PROFIT are ANTI-Christ DEATH CULTISTS. God/Jesus put you in this LIFE to learn “soul lessons”, to increase your consciousness to the point of Redemption. Hagee and his Ilk REJECT the LIFE God gave you, and dangle a “shortcut” in front of people, just as SATAN dangled Temptation in front of Jesus. Do not follow the ANTI-Christ lies of FALSE prophets. Their “shortcut” of cheating God’s lessons does NOT lead to Heaven, any more than cheating on school work teaches you the subject. Hagee, Robertson, the whole group, do NOT believe in anything except the MONEY they collect for leading their Flocks astray.

  • http://danightman.livejournal.com Steven P. Cornett

    One criticism of your article is that Billy Graham has never espoused the views you attribute to him. He famously refused to join Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority in the 1970s, and is famous for saying that Jesus Christ did not belong to a political party.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Graham

  • Tori

    “When Lilliput [the town] was on fire, Gulliver urinated over the city, including the palace. In so doing, he saved all of Lilliput from catastrophe, but the Lilliputians were outraged and appalled by such a show of disrespect.”

    So, are you going to be outraged if I urinate on you for smearing the good name of atheists?

  • http://trionfopublishing.com Ernest M. Trionfo

    Spiritual ancestors, that is.

    http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/13trib08.htm#RACE AND MYTH

  • Brian Jenkins

    Israel’s intelligence agency the Mossad did 911 with help from some traitors in our government, mostly Jewish Zionists. The Muslims were patsies. There is no evidence they even got on the planes. The planes were flown by remote control. Here is the evidence:

    http://www.mathaba.net/news/?x=622552

    Christopher Bollyn is offering a free download of his book Solving 9-11: The Deception that Changed the World. A must read. He is one of the best 911 investigators.

    http://www.bollyn.com/solving-9-11-the-book

  • http://www.davidwesterfield.net David Westerfield

    First of all, I’m a frequenter of the site and really appreciate the work you put into researching these topics. I have learned things that rock me back on my heals a bit and have passed the site along. But I have to say, I disagree with the conclusions in this post to a good degree.

    I’m a Reformed Protestant, not a dispensationalist (anymore), but I do want to clear some things up on this coming from a dispensational background myself.

    1) I think it’s overkill to say all (millions of) dispensationalists want to kick off WWIII to instigate the second return. Even when I was into end times theology as a M.O. for how I approached Christianity for a time, I never wanted WWIII to come so Christ would return. I never even considered that a reasonable possibility actually. So the title is misleading I believe. Most dispensationalists I know (and I should know since many of my friends have gone through Dallas Theological Seminary) are fully aware that it is Christ who returns of His own sovereign will, not as a result of something WE can do to bring it about. It’s HIS return after all. That motif is fallacious and most evangelical dispensationalists know this. There are the few though.

    2) Although there are certainly a great number of dispensational adherents, as with any other position, there are always those loud mouthed individuals and marketers who seem to outshout all the other “more reasoned” voices coming from that position (i.e. who don’t want to bring about WWIII), when the reality is the loudest voices actually represent a minority within that particular position. The problem is, the people you mentioned have had a TV medium to get their message out. So it can seem like they are having more influence than would be suggested.

    3) Many of these evangelical dispensationalist followers don’t even have a solid grasp on the eschatological theology and categories behind their own position (I know this from experience), so to say they have such a clear understanding of what needs to happen to bring about the return of Christ is a bit fallacious in itself. Trust me, many of the more extreme followers I’ve encountered don’t even seem to grasp what people like Hagee are even saying. :)

    4) Most people I’ve talked with who have read Tim LaHaye’s books understand that it isn’t a Biblical representation of the events that will unfold in the future and that we can’t do something to bring it about.

    5) Those wanting to bring about the second return by their own doing (Christian Zionist types, Third Temple-ites, etc… a nonsensical position even within ecumenical Christianity) are not quite as numerous as this would put forward. They are certainly out there, but they are not the majority. I used to encounter more of this in the 1990′s. As of late? Not so much. And there is actually a good deal of movement away from classic dispensationalism, at the heart of dispensationalism’s founding school, Dallas Theological Seminary, no less (yes, I know this personally), toward what is called progressive dispensationalism, which I find to be much more Biblically grounded and closer to covenant theology (my position, versus dispensationalism), doing away with many of the categories that would lead some to wrongly conclude we can instigate Christ’s return by something we do. Absurd. They make mincemeat of Scripture.

    6) All I want to do is make the distinction between the loud mouthed pastors/leaders/marketers of this extreme view, and their followers. There is a difference. Not all who listen to these leaders buy everything or even understand it all. And the people mentioned, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson in particular, are widely represented as the nut cases within evangelicalism (though Falwell is dead now), mainly among my generation (X). Trust me, I’m in these circles. I also want to make the distinction between neocon ideology and dispensational theology. Not all dispensationalists are neocons and vice versa. In fact some of the dispy’s I know are more libertarian and rooting for Ron Paul believe it or not, and are war-weary at that.

    I just don’t believe this is as cookie-cutter as it’s being represented here. Dispensationalism is a huge ideology and encompasses a great amount of diversity in opinion, seeing as how we’re all talking about future events anyway when it comes to eschatology. There are certainly people out there and leaders pushing for war, sure. But they are dwindling in number as classical dispensationalism (where this sprouted from) begins to be replaced by progressive dispensationalism. My generation is fairly tired of the classical view for all of the aforementioned reasons (war-mongering including), including people like Falwell, Hagee, LaHaye and the like making us look like idiots. If anyone is going to hate us, at least hate us for the Gospel of Scripture, not because of some stupid views that sprouted up in the 20th century and aren’t a part of any consensus throughout the history of the church. Classical dispensationalism is very distorted and Israel-centric versus Christ-centric. And related to this, I thought I remember the Gospel leaving the Jews in the first century for the Gentiles via Paul? Certainly once the full number of the Gentiles is brought in, there will be an awakening of belief in Christ among the Jews according to Scripture, but we’re not there yet. Anyway, just throwing my two cents out here as a believer in Christ, His perfect work for sinners, and His final return.

    • signalfire

      Lotta wasted brain power there, boy.

      • http://www.davidwesterfield.net David Westerfield

        That’s fine … doesn’t negate the points I made about what we believe though. And I don’t mind snide remarks about my faith, though I do find it interesting, because I wonder if you would say the same thing to a Muslim on this blog. Just curious. Denigrating someone’s faith is the very essence of “tolerance” these days. Except well it’s not at all.

        • Frank

          David, you are right on in your thinking. Dispensationalism is a recent (within the past 150 years) American theological phenomenon that most baptists in the US hold to, but there are many varieties and only a crazy few (Falwell, Robertson) actually believe that Israel’s ascension will bring about the return of Christ. These men are absolute fools and shame the name of Christ almost every time they open their mouths.

          For detailed summaries of what biblical Christianity looks like see the Westminster Confession, Heidelberg Catechism, Canons of Dordt, and Belgic Confession. These are confessions that sprang up out of the Reformation and continue to be the statements of faith for most Reformed churches today.

          Most people that call themselves Christians are merely identifying with a social group just like most Muslims identify with Islam because that is their background. The majority of professing Christians don’t have a clue what the Bible says and are just as lost as the rest.

          For a primer on end-times according to the Bible see K. Riddelbarger’s “A Case for Amillenialism” and for something more in-depth A. Hoekema’s “The Bible and the Future.”

  • signalfire

    Oh, by the way, Christ didn’t die for your sins. If he even existed at all as a real person, (which I highly doubt given the way this has morphed over the centuries), and if there even is a god-father-spirit entity going around impregnating humans, he:
    1. Knew the gig beforehand… get convicted, crucified, die, come back.
    2. He was only ‘gone’ for 3 days.
    3. So he didn’t die, did he? It’s all more like a magic trick then a real ‘passion play’. It works to make the rabble think the guy was special though, doesn’t it? Add in a bunch of made-up, conflicting stories about what a great guy he was, a bunch of ‘thou shalts’, a renunciation of all the prior ‘fake’ gods, and a hefty serving of torture and wars for centuries to make the more reluctant get with the program, and then keep passing the hat for more money, and you have an alternative power system layered over the king-and-country one already in place.
    4. Fast forward 2000 years and you still have IQ-challenged people believing it’s all somehow real, that Mary (a married woman) was a virgin, that some long bearded guy in the clouds is listening to them talk in their heads even though all evidence is to the contrary, and they can ‘sin’ all they want to, as long as they repent, and they’ll get into the permanent resort up in the sky. Meanwhile, you reject the idea you might have evolved from apes as being ludicrous even though for all intents and purposes, the apes would seem to be more intelligent. At least they don’t believe all this hooie.

    • davidgmills

      Well I think the same can be said for every person of the old testament as well. Highly unlikely any of them ever existed except in ancient myth.

  • Swami Shuknjiva

    Readers would be better rewarded with posters exchanging suggestions relating to the essay rather than long winded personal histories/beliefs followed by witty repartee. Besides the fact no reader has the time to learn our personal beliefs, nobody cares. Let’s try to focus and keep the cognitive dissonance to a low roar.

  • Gods Helper.

    Jesus Christ’s death is recorded in Roman annals and other non-Christian historic texts like the works of Josephus. God never said he liked a long beard or living in the clouds. Jesus said the Kingdom of God is within us.
    I appreciate Darwin had the guts to question everything but I do not see how evolution explains adequately how new life forms originate. It is a hypothesis only. The fossil record does not show how increasingly complex forms came about ie the mechanism. The simplest life form has nearly 300 genes.

  • Thomas F.

    It would be a very good thing if everyone were to read archaeologist Israel Finkelstein’s book “The Bible Unearthed.” Also professor James Kugel’s book “How to Read the Bible.”

    In short the “Exodus” was not a historical fact. The “Walls of Jericho” were not destroyed by a Joshua. The Noah account was most probably a plagiarised rewrite of a much more ancient Assyrian legend. The so called patriarchs were very probably not historical figures. The traditional story line is most probably not true.
    Hence “salvation” for most of us will be “the truth will set you free.”

  • St. Joan of Arc

    Newt Gingrich is Catholic now, boys, and Catholics aren’t dispensationalists. Just sayin’.

  • http://jedpaschall.wordpress.com/ Jed Paschall

    I think some of the Reformed Christians in here have already made a good case for viewing this post with some sense of perspective, so I won’t attempt to add to what they have written already with respect to theology. However, I think this post does bring up some very valid concerns with respect to a certain element in Dispensationalist Christianity, and that is how some do seem to lend carte blanche support for Israel, regardless of how ruthless or immoral it’s policies (especially to the Palestinians) are, and how many do in fact think along the lines spelled out in this article. I appreciate that there are Christians on this forum who demonstrate that this sort of theological and political radicalism is not necessarily how many Christians read their Bibles or view international affairs. However, what is alarming, and needs to continue to be dealt with, especially in the Christian community, is a concerted effort to articulate that Dispensationalism, when considered against the backdrop of historical Christianity is a fairly recent development, that, however widespread amongst conservative American Protestants, is typically viewed as a grave theological error among those who wish to remain faithful to historic Christianity, that can have many catastrophic real-world consequences for Christians and non-Christians alike. The sheer gullibility of many dispensationalists has become easy pickings for some of the most unscrupulous war-hawks the military industrial complex has ever spawned. If WW3 occurs, it certainly won’t occur in such a way that God would be pleased or honored by it, and if it is instigated, even in part by misguided Christians, it will not be done so with divine sanction, it will be the product of the wicked and violent ambition of men, especially the power elites who always stand to gain the most from such wars.

  • http://www.davidwesterfield.net David Westerfield

    “…People who believe that the political state of Israel will be vindicated in the tribulation period may erroneously conclude that their own government should now side with the Israeli state in all circumstances. Or, because they believe that the coming of the Lord is near, they may abandon their normal occupations, somewhat like some of the Thessalonians did (2 Thess 3:6-13). But these are abuses which mature dispensationalists and nondispensationalists alike abhor.” – Vern Poythress, Understanding Dispensationalists: http://www.frame-poythress.org/Poythress_books/bdisp/bd0.html

  • james byam

    I would like the world to know that surveying Americans for anything, is an absolutely ridiculous waste of time! These are the most brain washed theocratic religious nuts on the planet, next to the Muslims

  • Mike

    I have always supported Isreal but NOT for the reasons that these wackos do but for other ligetimate historical and strategic reasons. I actually have an elderly pair of fanatical Christian zionists living right next to me and everything this article says about them is true to the core!!!!

  • Rebecca

    I’m concerned about this article. As a Christian, I can tell you that I have never heard another Christian hoping for a war to bring about Christ’s return. If so, that idea is simply, nuts. Bush cannot be a real Christian, because he has dedicated himself to another religion through his skull and bones ritual. Christians who think Bush is one of us have been hoodwinked by his seemingly moral posture. However, a little research into his life will quickly clear the fog.

  • Rebecca

    I feel better in seeing postscript 3. Fundamentalists are considered on the extremist edge by many Christians, if not actually extreme. Dispensationalism is a very debated topic and traditional Christianity is not in agreement with it. Many Christians have seen the errors of Fundamentalism if only by becoming a fundamentalist only to regrett the error of their ways. Please be careful with all of these designations. We are a splintered society and splintered in many of our disciplines – Christianity, included. Broad brushes don’t fit.

  • http://twitter.com/libertydwells LibertyDwells

    What a goofy article. You have no understanding of Christianity in general, let alone dispensationalists. Those who believe we are nearing the End Times BY DEFINITION know it can not be influenced by human action. That’s a basic premise regardless of your “brand” of Christianity. Is conflict in the Middle East a part of it? Certainly. Can we make it happen…or slow down the speed of its arrival? No. It will happen in its own time and all anyone can do is watch and see. If someone tells you they want to bring about the End hat person is not a Christian in any real way. Now, OTOH, Islamists do believe the timing an be influenced by their actions to some degree. When the time is near they think they can “help it along”.

    • anon

      How do you know Armageddon hasn’t already happened in WWI and WWII?

      Wake up and take responsibility instead of believing false lies and fantasies. Humanity and every being in the universe shape their own environment, and we have to live through all consequences that we have brought about. So it’s time yes, to clean up your mind, speech and do some good deeds, and stop baseless fearmongering.

      Whatever is written in old dusty books are just archetypical writings. Do some research. Nothing of it is new, just rehash of old usurped religions and philosophies.

      • LibertyDwells

        Goodness. Nothing like being told what to do by an intellectually dishonest anonymous coward who’s also ignorant of history.

  • Linda Rodriguez

    This is not true!!! God does not need the hand of flesh to bring his prophecy!! Be very careful and repent you are bringing the hand of God against yourself for bringing false accusation against the children of God based on bias presumptions!!! Proverbs 19:9 A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who pours out lies will perish.

  • Joey

    Im a Christian, but with that said, people fail to read the bible. Christians said the same thing during world war 2 with Hitler being the antichrist, then Bush was the antichrist, now Barack. Please!!! Shut up! Read the bible and then look at the history most christians skip over. The book of revelation was talking about a 3 and a half year tribulation that was to take place “soon” and it did in 70 ad. When the roman armies marched against Jerusalem. Yes, there will be a second coming but stop looking for the antichrist in every single event you see. All the prophecies about the end of time have been 100 percent wrong. Read your christian history. First when computers were being made, that was supposed to be the begining of the trib. Then when ever the euros price went over the dollar and so on. All have been wrong. In the old testament damascus was suposed to be destroyed and after the prophecy was said, it was distroyed then, so whydo these people continue to look for its distruction when it already happened? The US needs to attack syria! We are supposed to defend the weak. All who are againt the US attacking syria are scared because you probably never stood up for anyone. I bet if your kids ever killed there in a field trip or something, you would want the US to strike then! If we dont then all other countries like N. Korea will see that they can kill and do as they please.

  • Houstonguy1984

    This is a reason why religion (at least the 3 Abrahamic religions) is so dangerous to society, and does nothing but hold back humanity. We need to purge this ball-and-chain from society.

    • David

      STFU!

  • Nikkip

    Guess we’re making the water turn red, tha Euphrates Rive r dry up, cause the Egypt Civil War, oh and making the Muslim and Arab actions in Damascus. Yeah you just need to face the music and get saved your smart enough to figure out its going down soon how much proof and time do you need? When the devil starts stamping ur fore.head with the mark then will you believe oh wait it will be to late then.

  • Stevie

    I am astonished that you would say these things. You gotta be messing with everybody, right? I am a follower of Christ. Who did you actually speak with to gain the perspective you have? Are you completely mad or just don’t care and want to contribute to the incitement of worldwide violence

  • robert

    Insane Freaks!!!!!!!!!!!

  • VALERIE MARTIN

    EVERY Religion thinks THEIR God is God.
    They pray to their god,
    even KILL in the name of their god.
    They believe only THEIR god can judge them,
    yet they stand in judgement over the rest of us.
    Religion is DANGEROUS.
    Why?
    Because People cannot just hold onto their beliefs
    and be happy & content,
    O! NO!!
    They feel that it’s THEIR job to force their religion
    on the rest of us, all the while whining about how
    they’re not free to practice their religion.
    What about my right to freedom FROM your
    religion?
    Stand in judgement of YOURSELVES & leave
    the rest of us alone…..

  • George Frayer

    I find it insane that Christianity is lumped up as a whole. In all fairness not every Christian believes the same way. not every Christian holds the same Ideology. There are so many derivatives of the main faith, that it is too numerous to count. for instance I consider myself a Christian but disagree with a stereotype that i have noticed (The praying for the end). Yes we all want to see our messiah again but in order to do so ….some people git to die. I absolutely do not pray for this. I pray that humanity holds onto its existence as long as possible, there are tons of Christians who feel the same. to say (All christians) on any ideology is about like saying every Muslim is a terrorist or every male is a rapist. It is neither right nor fair. Not every Christian wants to shove there faith down your throat and not every Christian supports doing it.

  • Brent Crocker

    I would just like to say I’m a Christian and if any Christian wants war they are not a Christian. . With emphasis.

  • matt_black

    It’s remarkable how many self-proclaimed Christians showed up here to profess ignorance of this subject. The end-times series “Left Behind” has sold over 65 million copies! That’s huge! How can they not be aware of this? Lost in their own little insular sects I suppose.

  • David

    Who wrote this dribble? The second coming of Jesus will be like His first coming…it’s all timing, baby, all timing. But, most of you morons don’t even know what I’m talking about.

 

 

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