Christian Zionism is a war-mongering theology which was originally taught to early Filipino converts by fundamentalist American missionaries who, wittingly or unwittingly, were supportive of the colonial interests of their imperialist country, the United States of America. This ideology, wrapped in war-oriented American geopolitics, is still perpetuated among many fundamentalist and conservative evangelical churches in the Philippines. I pray that Filipinos would be healed from this blindness and see what Israel really is — an illegal occupation force in Palestine, oppressing the Palestinians for the past 75 years.
What is Christian Zionism?
Christian Zionism is a theological and political movement that emerged in the 19th century, primarily in Protestant circles, which supports the idea of a Jewish homeland. The term Zionism refers to the movement advocating for the establishment of a Jewish state in Israel by occupying the Ancestral Domain of the Indigenous Palestinians beginning in 1948. This is referred to by the Palestinians as “Nakba” or Catastrophe. Christian Zionism specifically involves Christians who believe in and actively promote this historical injustice. Christian Zionism is most prominent in certain evangelical and fundamentalist circles within Protestantism.
American missionaries, whose eschatological views were framed in premillennialism, strongly emphasized the imminent return of Christ as taught by J. N. Darby and C. I. Scofield (1843-1921) among others. These teachings are the theological foundations of Christian Zionism. Those American missionaries trained early Filipino pastors to spouse an interpretation of biblical prophecies which they believe predict the return of the Jewish people to the land of Israel. They see the establishment of the modern State of Israel as a fulfillment of these prophecies and consider it a significant step in the unfolding of God’s plan. Christian Zionists may hold diverse views on the theological implications of the establishment of Israel, but many see it as a key element in their understanding of biblical prophecy and the end times. Most Christian Zionists believe that the return of Jews to Israel is a necessary precursor to the Second Coming of Christ.
It’s important to note that not all Christians interpret the Bible in this way, and there are various theological perspectives on the relationship between biblical prophecy, Israel, and the end times within Christianity.
I reject Christian Zionism
Christian Zionism is an ideology, wrapped in religious language, used by imperialist countries, like the United States (US), the United Kingdom (UK), the European Union (EU), and their allies to perpetuate their colonizing legacies — that is, ethnic cleansing and genocide. I reject Zionism. There’s nothing Christian about Zionism. Zionism is against the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Nowadays, most professing Christians, who embraced Christian Zionism, often quote Genesis 12:1-3: “The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.’”
They use this passage, albeit out of context, to justify the oppressive actions of the Zionist State of Israel against Palestine. They inaccurately read this as a promise of blessings exclusively to the descendants of Abraham’s second son, Isaac, and Isaac’s son, Jacob (Israel). Thus, any anti-Israel position will be cursed by God, according to this unsound, war-mongering Christian Zionism.
But when carefully taken in its immediate context, this promise of blessings in Genesis 12:1-3 includes all the offspring of Abraham. That promise of blessings includes not just the descendants of Isaac and Jacob (Israelites/Jews), but also the descendants of Abraham’s first son, Ishmael (Arabs).
When taken in the larger biblical-theological context, the reader necessarily will see that God’s justice is impartial. Deuteronomy 1:17 says, “Do not show partiality in judging; hear both small and great alike. Do not be afraid of any man, for judgment belongs to God. Bring me any case too hard for you, and I will hear it.”
I like that phrase, “I will hear it.” The God of Abraham is a listening God.
Now, do you know the meaning of Ishmael? It means, “God hears” — from the verb שמע (shama’), to hear; and from the word אל (‘el), God. God listens to the descendants of Ishmael.
And yes. God listens to both the Arabs and the Jews. The God of Abraham is listening to the oppressed Palestinians right now. The God of Abraham is listening to the innocent Jews right now.
Let’s not allow biblical passages like Gen. 12:1-3 to be taken out of context and be misused as a propaganda material by the Zionist State of Israel and their followers/supporters.
Justice and peace are major aspects of the character of the Creator. In the Old Testament, the Creator implemented Divine Discipline among all nations: (a) blessings to those who obey God’s justice and peace; (b) curses to those who violate God’s justice and peace.
Both Palestinians and Israelis are equally loved by God. It’s the powerful countries and empires who pit these two peoples against each other to perpetuate their greed for wealth and power. The war-based industries of the modern empires, along with big extractive multinational corporations, necessitate armed conflicts and destruction/corruption of nations and states in this region and around the world.
Why the world powers want the Land of Palestine
Israel’s occupation of the Ancestral Domain of the Indigenous Palestinians holds considerable geopolitical significance in the current world order. The US, the UK, the EU, (whom I refer to as the Western Powers) and their allies are using the Zionist State of Israel as their ‘imperial outpost’ or ‘military running dogs’ in West Asia (Middle East from a Eurocentric global perspective).
Strategic Location. The Land of Palestine is situated at a crossroads of Africa, Asia, and Europe, making it a strategically important location. Its proximity to key waterways, such as the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, enhances its geopolitical importance.
Middle East Dynamics. The Land of Palestine plays a central role in the complex and often volatile geopolitics of West Asia. The greed-based interests of the Western Powers’ fueled and manipulated Arab-Israeli tensions have been a focal point of regional dynamics for decades.
Industry of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Israel’s American-supplied military capabilities and technological advancements make Zionist Israel a key player in the regional geopolitical presence. The US has been financing the Zionist State of Israel to develop a robust weapons-of-mass-destruction industry and is known for its spying and inter-state manipulating capabilities.
Alliances and Partnerships. Despite its illegal occupation of the Land of Palestine, the Zionist State of Israel has forged alliances with various countries, including the United States. The US-Israel relationship is particularly strong, with the US providing significant military aid and political support. Israel has also developed ties with other nations, both in the Middle East and beyond. This demonstrate the double standard of the Western Powers in implementing International Laws and Human Rights. This demonstrates the impunity of Israel regarding International Laws and Human Rights.
Technological Innovation. Israel claims to have emerged as a global leader in technological innovation, particularly in areas such as cybersecurity, agriculture, and medical research. Its American-supplied technology contributes to its diplomatic and economic influence.
Energy Resources. The discovery of natural gas reserves off Gaza’s coast has added an economic dimension to the Occupied Palestine’s geopolitical importance. This is a major reason why the Western Powers and the Zionist State of Israel want control of these energy resources which has the potential to impact regional energy dynamics. I believe this is the real reason for Zionist Israel’s war on Gaza.
Religious and Historical Significance. Jerusalem, a city of great religious significance to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, is a focal point of regional and global attention. The status of Jerusalem has been a contentious issue in international diplomacy because of Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine, yet supported by the imperialistic and colonizing attitudes of the Western Powers.
Demographic and Cultural Diversity. The Land of Palestine is a melting pot of diverse cultures and ethnicities, reflecting the millennia of people’s movement Levant. This diversity contributes to Palestine’s global connections and cultural influence, which the Zionist State of Israel continually to seek to erase.
I, as one of the followers of Jesus–the Prince of Peace, seek to see through the lenses of the Creator’s justice and peace as I get informed about, and as I pray for, what’s happening in the Israeli-occupied Land of Palestine these days. I pray that Filipinos would be healed from their blindness and see what Israel really is — an illegal occupation force in Palestine, oppressing the Palestinians for the past 75 years.
May we all experience God’s just-peace within us and around us!