Monday, June 18, 2007

At a Night to Honor Israel: Christ is Left Outside With the Vigil Team

The threat goes by the name of Christian Zionists. Since the death of Jerry Falwell, John Hagee has assumed de facto leadership of the radical Christian Zionist movement. Art Preisinger, a Lutheran minister associated with the Institute for the Study of Christian Zionism, attended A Night To Honor Israel at Hagee’s Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, October 23, 2006, and had this to say:

"Of course, if Hagee wants to honor Israel and give it gobs of non-governmental funds, that is certainly his privilege. But to promote this under the aegis of "Christian" is, frankly, fraudulent. But 'A Night to Honor Israel' was worse than a fraud -- it was idolatrous, and this in two ways."

Jesus and His followers did not have a part to play in A Night To Honor Israel. The stated purpose of Christians United For Israel is to generate political support for Israel. Congresswoman McCollum stated:

“Well publicized public statements by Pastor Hagee demonstrate extremism, bigotry and intolerance that is repugnant."

One Rabbi described Hagee's movement, Christians United for Israel, as "AIPAC with a cross" (American Israeli Political Action Committee). One of the big signs Project Strait Gate displayed at A Night To Honor Israel at Pastor Hammond’s church read, WHO WOULD JESUS BOMB? Christ never said His law is easy, and he did not make it optional or exclude those who follow John Hagee and love political Israel. Hagee ignores Jesus’ admonitions in his Night to Honor Israel show, and the church hosts like Mac Hammond also ignore it. When Project Strait Gate comes to call, we often get anything but love, grace and kindness.

In each case the church has hired uniformed off-duty police to order demonstrators off public property under threat of arrest, sometimes claiming ownership of public sidewalks. Grace Community Church of Sun Valley, CA, pastured by the very public and famous John MacArthur, has been the scene of four Vigils over five years. Both women walked on the parking lot on church property after Project Strait Gate Vigils ended.

Later Project Strait Gate proved to the city engineers that the Vigil members had been on public property, and the City of Phoenix responded by forcing the church to permanently mark the right-of-ways for public use and refrain from parking cars on right-of-ways. Project Strait Gate has learned to send instructions to potential Vigil team members warning them about the attitude of church leaders, including a warning to avoid even stepping on church property. Judeo- Christian churches do not “turn the other cheek.”

Word of Life Christian Center arranged a counter-demonstration to muffle Project Strait Gate, with 30-40 church staff and volunteers, about ten for every one of the vigil volunteers, surrounding each individually and physically shielding our team members from contact with arriving and departing persons. Judeo-Christians believe God places curses on anyone who is not sufficiently kind to Israel, in other words, anyone who fails to honor Israel might be eligible for a curse, an idea extrapolated from ancient verses in Genesis 12:3. It’s unlikely that Mrs. Smith can quote a New Testament source of her ability to render curses, but she, like John Hagee, believes in a world where war is holy if it’s war that pleases Israel.

John Hagee wraps his love of Israel around the idea of blessings for those who bless Israel, and curses for those who do not. Hagee routinely makes the following statements in publicly recorded meetings and services, here are a few:

“The blessings and curses are real…the Jewish people are prophesied”
"He (God) will bless those who bless (Israel) and curse those who curse (Israel)"
"Iran is Germany…Ahmadinejad is Hitler”
“We support Israel’s right to self-defense against Gaza…”
“Long after Hamas and Hezbollah are buried in the bone yard of history…Israel will be there.”
"The sleeping giant of Christian-Zionism has been awakened”

A hallmark of Christian Zionism is that few will discuss the acts and words of Christ pertaining to the subject of life and death in Israel and Iraq, or the present war on Islam in general. Project Strait Gate has confirmed that leaders deceive millions of well-meaning and good-hearted followers. These false leaders include Hagee and every pastor named in this article, and many more where we have held Vigils. Each one teaches that Judeo-Christianity is “the word of God.” However, many to whom we speak are self-deceived, as this writer once was. They are in the comfort zone, and we must not allow even one to hide behind the error of their leaders. Rather we must realize the need, even if kindled by our own self-interest, to spring loose some 70 million brothers and sisters from the heresy of Christian Zionism. Project Strait Gate is our way. What is yours?

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