"ISRAEL-FIRST" THEOLOGY ALLOWS ISRAEL
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
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