“ISRAEL-FIRST” THEOLOGY ALLOWS ISRAEL
TO COMMIT ANY ATROCITY
By Rev. Ted Pike
18 Nov 10
Today most evangelical Christians remain silent after more than 60 years of Israeli injustice and brutality against Palestinians. Many praise Israel more enthusiastically than ever! This includes the millions who fanatically follow Zionist pastor John Hagee. Is there any Israeli outrage (maybe starting nuclear war?) that could cause evangelicals to disapprove of the Jewish state? Shockingly, no. The dominant theology of evangelicals today—Calvinism—leads Christians to the belief that we must not “curse” God’s chosen people with criticism, no matter what they do.
Such incredible, unscriptural forbearance is rooted in centuries of a Calvinist heresy described as antinomianism. Most Christians don’t know what this concept is. They should, because they are probably under its heretical influence. This false theological premise endangers true Christianity itself and, through support of Israel, also endangers the Mideast and the whole world.
In Greek, “anti” means against and “nomos” means law. Antinomianism means “against law.” Historically, antinomianism was an early cult of Christianity. Theologically, this concept says God’s grace alone saves His elect whether they are obedient or not. The two most outstanding examples today are Calvinism, teaching a person once saved is always saved, and Christian Zionism, with its doctrine that Christ-rejecting Jews still receive God’s blessing and right to occupy a land dedicated to holiness. Christian Zionism is a direct product of Calvinism. It gives the Jewish nation the same immunity from moral judgment that the “sinning saint” enjoys.
To most people, such pseudo-theology is patently unjust. Concerning salvation, it sentences one unsaved adulterer to the torments of hell forever yet rewards another adulterer with eternal bliss simply because he once accepted Christ as His Savior. How has this dogma persuaded so many? It appeals to many believers because it seems to exalt God. It says Christ’s sovereignty must be absolute. Thus, He arbitrarily selects whom to save and to damn. Having elected a few to salvation and most to perdition, Christ chooses for each a fate no one can escape despite their “choices,” which are not really viable, since, according to Calvinism, there is no free will. If we know we have been chosen by God (through a genuine “born-again” experience), then we cannot escape our destiny for heaven. God will have us there, practically whether we like it or not. His grace is irresistible, say Calvinists. No sin committed by the truly “born-again” can separate God’s “elect” from salvation. The harshest punishment will be a lesser reward in paradise.
Calvinists misquote Romans 8:39, “Nothing shall separate us from the love of God.” Actually it says, “No created thing shall separate us, etc.” If there is one thing Scripture teaches, it is that sin is something we create and it surely does separate us eternally from our Maker! There is one loophole: If an ostensibly born-again believer’s sins become outrageously evil, Calvinists proclaim he was never really saved in the first place.
Yet, rather than such a hypocrite deserving full blame, it is Calvinism itself which is most culpable because it excused his sin from the beginning. The one who sins becomes the slave of sin, resulting in iniquity that escalates out of control.
Sin is not properly defined as every error or weakness of being human. It is conscious rebellion against the known will of God. Dismissing this correct definition, Calvinism trivializes sin for the believer, describing “occasional” sin as a normal, everyday occurrence. In supposedly upholding Christ’s power, it thus opens a barn door of antinomian license to sin that stimulates the very wickedness that our own decisions, Christ’s power, and right doctrine are more than able to prevent.
A True Concept of God’s Sovereignty
Calvinism, with its image of Divine coercionoverriding the free will of man, chooses a very human, fleshly way to exalt Christ. People have been in awe of dictators like Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin for the same brute force.
It is actually Christ’s incredible, self-sacrificing love, a moral virtue, that inspires true worship. He denied Himself and His infinite status and power to be born in a cow barn, suffer and die to ransom us from sin. In astonishing love, He calls us to voluntarily become His family forever.
Correct thinking about Christ’s sovereignty produces joy, love and incentive to reject evil. It transforms our hearts through trust in Christ’s shed blood so we hate to displease Him. We are Christ’s spiritual bride. We adore Him, the great Lover of our souls, and thus joyfully give Him our whole lives. We know that daily fulfilling His requirement of trust and obedience to the best of our ability is not unreasonable. In the simplicity of childlike trust, we find “the peace that passes understanding” (Phil. 4:7). If we rebel and reject His love, we know He has every right to reject and punish us eternally.
Christ, in His sovereign foreknowledge, already knows who will freely humble themselves to be saved. He arranges circumstances to bring that person to salvation. This is true election or predestination: Christ saving us as we cooperate with our free wills. It is a salvation responding to the enormity of His self-denying love for us—a magnitude of kindness that makes us want to become His love slaves forever. Such deliverance is through His initiative alone; and, although our free wills cooperate, we have nothing of which to boast.
How Zionism Flies On Calvinist Wings
True thinking about God’s sovereignty creates a just view of salvation based on individual response to God, and it also creates a just and righteous view of Israel. It assures us that righteous descendants of Abraham—true Jews who do the works of their father Abraham—will someday inherit the Promised Land. But it makes no room for blind endorsement of a racial covenant. It gives evil Jews no privilege to dispossess and abuse Palestinians simply because Jews are “God’s chosen people,” just as Christians have no right to go to heaven while sinning.
The antinomian errors of Calvinist theology may seem complex, but the way they empower the establishment of Israel is simple. A hundred years ago, western Christian leaders believed (as they still do) that Jews possess divine privileges as the original “covenant” people with God. Just as sin can’t separate the once saved Christian from heaven, so Jewish sin can’t nullify their unconditional right to Palestine! Abraham’s covenant, said evangelicals, did not promise heaven to the wicked Jew, but it did promise Palestine. It did promise special protection from the “curse” of criticism.
Do you think errors in Christian doctrine don’t matter? This ancient doctrinal misconception about the nature of God’s sovereignty, compounded from St. Augustine to Calvin to Hagee, gives frightening license to Israel to do absolutely anything it wants! This has led to geopolitical ramifications for the whole world and to grave moral compromise for the church.
As Israel is clearly mocking attempts at Mideast peace and covertly encouraging even more expulsions of Arabs, we may see further massacre of Palestinians (as happened in 1948) so Israel can “ethnically cleanse” Palestine, rebuild its Jewish temple, and ultimately receive its messiah. But theological insanity will continue to forbid Calvinist believers from ever criticizing and opposing Israel—unless Christians rediscover true doctrine about the conditional terms of salvation and of Jewish occupation of Palestine. Without such revival, evangelicals’ silence will continue, even when they look into the cold gun barrels of a Zionist firing squad.