[The following essay by Richard Edmondson further exposes the radical and damaging aims of Christian Zionists. mw]
A PROFILE OF RICK PERRY’S ‘PRAYER’ SUPPORTERSThree days ago I posted The Hypocrite’s Masquerade, an article I wrote on Texas Governor Rick Perry and his somewhat dubious “prayer and fast” rally held August 6 at a sports stadium in Houston. The article covered Perry’s apparent devotion to the state of Israel and ended with the observation that his daylong ecclesiastical clambake, known as “The Response,” was little more than “a masquerade ball of hypocrites and false prophets,” as I termed it at the time. Apparently I was closer to the truth than I realized. Now comes a story in the Texas Observer on a group of “radical Christians and self-proclaimed prophets,” some of whom played leading roles in organizing the event and who have, apparently quite avidly, thrown their support behind the Texas governor, now a formally-declared presidential candidate. From the story:
On September 28, 2009, at 1:40 p.m., God’s messengers visited Rick Perry. On this day, the Lord’s messengers arrived in the form of two Texas pastors, Tom Schlueter of Arlington and Bob Long of San Marcos, who called on Perry in the governor’s office inside the state Capitol. Schlueter and Long both oversee small congregations, but they are more than just pastors. They consider themselves modern-day apostles and prophets, blessed with the same gifts as Old Testament prophets or New Testament apostles. The pastors told Perry of God’s grand plan for Texas. A chain of powerful prophecies had proclaimed that Texas was “The Prophet State,” anointed by God to lead the United States into revival and Godly government. And the governor would have a special role.
According to the story, the two pastors are members of the New Apostolic Reformation, a group which the Texas Observer describes as “a little-known but increasingly influential movement at the periphery of American Christianity.” The movement was founded by one C. Peter Wagner, who evidently sees himself at the vanguard of “the most radical change in the way of doing Christianity since the Protestant Reformation.” Eight people affiliated with the organization played roles on The Response “leadership team,” the newspaper avers. The article is a fairly respectable piece of journalism, though it suffers the flaw of including a quote from the rather discredited Southern Poverty Law Center. Be that as it may, if you go to the Texas Observer website you can read how some New Apostle members claim to have predicted earthquakes in Japan and have managed to convince themselves that Perry is anointed by God to play “a leadership role beyond Texas.” And of course, there is the inevitable Christian Zionist infatuation with Israel:
Claims of such powers are rife among Wagner’s followers. Cindy Jacobs—a self-described “respected prophet” and Wagner protégée who runs a Dallas-area group called Generals International—claims to have predicted the recent earthquakes in Japan. “God had warned us that shaking was coming,” she wrote in Charisma magazine, an organ for the movement. “This doesn’t mean that it was His desire for it to happen, but more of the biblical fulfillment that He doesn’t do anything without first warning through His servants.”… …Last year Jacobs warned that if America didn’t return to biblical values and support Israel, God would cause a “tumbling of the economy and dark days will come,” according to Charisma. To drive the point home, Jacobs and other right-wing allies—including The Response organizers Lou Engle and California pastor Jim Garlow—organized a 40-day “Pray and Act” effort in the lead-up to the 2010 elections. Read more
A hop over to the Charisma website also turns up an article entitled Muslim Extremists Threaten to Burn Christian Women, dated August 8, as well as a separate article, also dated the 8th, on the Palestinian statehood issue. A comment from one “Rickd”, accompanying the latter, asserts that “this is clearly an end times issue. We need to pray against the UN move.” A tip of the hat is in order to Greg Bacon at the Goon Squad blog for posting much of this information. Click hereto peruse his entire post on the matter, which includes a video of an Amy Goodman interview with Forrest Wilder, the reporter who wrote the Texas Observer story. Also included is a video of Jacobs giving a talk in which she suggests a connection between the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” and the blackbird die-off in Arkansas. As I’ve written a couple of times previously, Christian Zionists do not worship Jesus, they worship Jews. My own take on all this? With such leaders as these in its midst, Christianity may well be at its most serious crossroad in its 2000 year history. What is happening to the Christian faith strangely mirrors what is happening to America. Both in a sense are being decimated from within.