To pray or not to pray in Jesus’ name — that question now confronts Christian evangelicals. Increasingly, Jewish activists demand that Jesus’ name go unmentioned in public prayers. They also insist that Christians not witness to Jews.
Some evangelicals give them what they want. Dr. John Hagee, passionate “Israel-first” televangelist, worked closely with the Jewish lobby to found Christians United for Israel (CUFI). CUFI's purpose is to unite every evangelical across the nation to "speak and act with one voice in support of Israel."
For three days in the Capitol last week, Hagee and an array of political and religious luminaries lavished praise on Israel and the Jewish people during Hagee’s 2nd Annual Israel/Washington, DC Summit. They did so while countless Americans agonized in prayer and concern over impending passage of Kennedy”s hate law amendment. Afterward, conference attendees walked the halls of Congress to lobby not against the hate bill but for Israel.
Oppressive “hate crime” laws, which evangelicals are beginning to realize will persecute them, were created by Jews--the Anti-Defamation League and B’nai B’rith International. (See, video Hate Laws: Making Criminals of Christians and www.adl.org/99hatecrime/intro.asp) The state of Israel ’s birth was midwifed by B’nai B’rith, the most powerful Jewish organization in the world during the last century. It claims to speak as “the voice of organized world Jewry.”
Zionism, the government of Israel , ADL/B’nai B’rith, and the global hate laws agenda all have one goal: a global bureaucracy run from Jerusalem which will make it a hate crime for any Gentile, Christian or Arab, to criticize Jews, matters Jewish, or the state of Israel . (See, Coming Jewish 'Utopia' Ruled by Noahide Laws)
CUFI’s executive director, David Brog, is a religiously conservative Jew and political liberal, hired by John Hagee, he is former chief of staff to Sen. Arlen Specter. Next to Sens. Kennedy and Smith, Specter is one of the Senate’s most ardent, long-term promoters of the federal “anti-hate” bill.
Brog’s personal assistant told me Brog headed Specter’s staff from about 2000 to 2004. During that period, the hate bill came before Congress three times. Specter and Brog did their utmost to pass it, attempting to shackle America under a hate crimes bureaucracy like in Canada , ending free speech.
Featured speaker Sen. Joe Lieberman, also a veteran hate bill promoter, was honored last week at Hagee’s gala. Lieberman and fellow Jewish activist Carl Levin co-sponsored the infamous Sec. 220 of the Lobby Reform Bill, which incited outrage from Christian conservatives this winter. Rejected by the Senate, Sec. 220 would have restricted Americans’ right of petition and grassroots activism. It would have imposed oppressive reporting and accountability requirements on small conservative lobbying organizations. Penalty for not satisfying Levin and Lieberman’s onerous requirements: $100,000 fine.
While Hagee praised the names of Jews and Israel for three days last week, the name of Jesus was discouraged by CUFI policy. This restriction is on all CUFI’s “Nights to Honor Israel” which are held in 50 states. When invited to address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) last year, Hagee assured his hosts that his appearance would be “non-conversionary” (non-evangelical).
Speaking for Hagee as well as himself, David Brog says: “All activities of CUFI are strictly non-conversionary. Christians who work with Jews in supporting Israel realize how sensitive we are in talking about conversion and talking about Jesus. So those who work with us tend not to talk about Jesus more, but talk about Jesus less. They realize it will interfere with what they are trying to do — building a bridge to the Jewish community to ensure the survival of Judeo-Christian Civilization.” 1
Hagee benefits from a burgeoning evangelical heresy: Jews have their own covenant with God; they are so divinely favored, even good, that they do not need Jesus for salvation.
Jesus taught the opposite. He said His name should be proclaimed “to all nations.” (Matt. 28:19) The New Testament hardly exempts Jews from need of the gospel. Instead, it instructs Christians to witness “to the Jew first” and then the Gentile (Romans 2:10).
Hundreds of times during CUFI”s recent three-day Washington conference, Hagee and his speakers praised the names of those who created hate laws and the name of the nation that is the primary cause of Mid-East strife. There was no public praise of the name of the One who, coming out of eternity, died in agony on the cross for Hagee’s sins. Clearly, CUFI is an abomination to God, as it is dedicated to public praise, honor, and glory to persecutive, anti-Christ Israel and not to Christ. (See, Christians in Israel: An Endangered Species)
Hagee's is a monstrous sin against Jesus, His Holy Spirit, and, tragically, against the eternal souls of Jews. The word “apostate” ("apostasis" in Greek) describes a backslidden Christian who now prefers the approval of man and stands apart from Jesus and the reproach of His name. The New Testament prophesies that in the latter days there will occur a great “falling away” as former Christians deny Christ”s name to please unbelievers (2 Thess. 2:3).
Two thousand years ago the Pharisees demanded that the apostles not “talk about Jesus.” The disciples refused and were thrown in prison and flogged. (Acts 4:3, 5:40)
In contrast, Hagee gives "the synagogue of Satan" (Rev. 3:9) exactly what it demands. He promises not to mention the name of Jesus among them. As a result, evil Jewish leaders exalt him.
Hagee boasts that he received the ‘Humanitarian of the Year’ award from B’nai B’rith. "It was the first time in the history of San Antonio ," his website crows, "that it has been given to a Gentile … Dr. Hagee has received numerous honors and accolades from national Jewish organizations for his unwavering support of Israel.”
Hagee has abandoned his Christian duty of moral criticism in love. Instead, he flatters and unquestioningly supports one of the world's most boldly oppressive regimes. (See, The Simple Explanation for Mid-East Strife and video Why The Mid-East Bleeds) Since he praises and receives honor from those who create hate laws, is it any wonder that his huge ministry did not significantly warn against Kennedy’s hate bill last week?
But some Christians still deserve the name. Like their apostolic forbears, they now endure persecution from the Jews. In high profile are Navy Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt and 68 Navy chaplains suing the Navy for forbidding their use of Jesus’ name in public prayers. Klingenschmitt has been court-martialed for praying in Jesus’ name in front of the White House, expelled from the military, and stripped of his military pension. His conviction is entirely a result of Jewish anti-Christian activism. Jewish activist Mikey Weinstein sued the Air Force Academy and was successful in banning public prayers in Jesus’ name. Rabbi Arnold Resnicoff, chief ethical consultant to the Air Force and Navy, played the predominant role in upholding Weinstein”s victory. Previously, Resnicoff had been instrumental in banning the use of Jesus' name in public prayers by Navy chaplains. (See, Correction: Speech at Air Force Academy Not Free).
Why is the name of Jesus so hated by Jewish activists?
It”s an old story. In the book of Acts, the Pharisees forbade preaching in Jesus’ name because it focused blame on them for masterminding the crucifixion. Today the physical and spiritual descendants of the Pharisees object for similar reasons: The name of Jesus stands for a real Person whose identity as Son of God and Israel’s Messiah they find abhorrent.
The name of Jesus, like our own names, refers to His identity. Our names represent our character and life record. The name Jesus (Yeshua) signifies that He is the Creator of all things and Deliverer of those who trust in Him. He is also the great lover of mankind, both Jew and Gentile, having endured an excruciating death so all who trust in His name can be saved. (Acts 4:12)
This raises indicting questions of Jews: Why did your forefathers crucify Him? Why do you continue to reject Him and revive New Testament persecutions against His followers? (See, ADL Sets Up 'Philly 11' Christians).
Jewish activists have no problem with Christian chaplains or high school graduates praying in the name of “God.” That word is non-specific, non-incriminating. “God” can be a universal world force, a cow or monkey, even ourselves. Such Jews also don’t mind the use of “Jesus” as profanity, which levels Him to gutter language. Yet when Jesus' name is spoken reverently in public prayer, they protest loudly. Their “civil liberties,” they scream, are being violated!
Hagee's mega-flattery of Israel and omission of the name of Christ finds no precedent in Scripture. In the Old Testament, the Hebrews gathered for lengthy festivals of praise but to God, not themselves. Most of the time, even when Israel was moderately obedient (as in the exodus), God describes Israel as an unusually stiff-necked and rebellious people (Ex. 27:9, 33:3).
In the New Testament, the Jews, having coerced the Romans to crucify their Messiah, are even less worthy of praise. Do the words of St. Paul indicate that, if he were alive today, he would have joined Hagee, Liebermann, and over 4000 evangelicals in Washington last week, whooping it up in praise of Israel?
"The Jews… killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and drove us out. They are not pleasing to God but hostile to all men, hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved, with the result that they always fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come on them to the uttermost." (2 Thess. 2:16)
St. Paul would have come toward Hagee for only one purpose: to rebuke him. Otherwise, he and New Testament Christians would have shunned him as a heretic.
So should you.
(Adapted from Rev. Ted Pike”s October 2, 2006 article: "To Pray or Not to Pray… in Jesus’ Name.")
1 July 13, 2006, The Washington Times, "Christian group to advocate more support for Israel," by Julia Duin.
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