The 2016 Christ at the Checkpoint rally, sponsored this year by the Bethlehem Bible School, has birthed another controversial tweet by Evangelical author, Hank Hanegraaff. He wrote, “The holy land, holy city and holy temple have historical significance, but no longer have theological significance.”
With only a cursory glance at the locale and title of the conference, one might think the event was one dedicated to prayer and Bible study. That observation may be true as long as one does not listen to the religious extremism that emanates from its participants. The opening bars of the song, “How Great is Our God,” filled the hall; it was not long, however, before the voices rang out with calls decrying Christian Zionists who were often compared with terrorists.
The time of unwavering Evangelical support for the tiny Jewish nation of Israel has changed dramatically in recent years. What appeared only a decade ago to be the norm has become an anti-Israel rant based almost solely on the security wall built to protect Israeli citizens—Jew and Arab alike—from random terrorist attacks.
The conference appeals to the Millennial Generation focused on rejecting Israel for its building of a wall to keep terrorists and their suicide bombs outside the perimeter of the country. Having already caught the favorable attention of the World Council of Churches, the aim of the event has become mobilizing support of the Evangelicals, i.e., Willowcreek Community Church—an association of Evangelical churches founded by Pastor Bill Hybels, the National Association of Evangelicals, Wheaton College in Illinois, Oral Roberts University—whose president spoke at the event in 2014.
Many of the Evangelical speakers ostensibly attend in the name of social justice, with little thought of the impact their presence would have on Israel. The attendees often seem to completely ignore the issue of Muslim anti-Semitism that portrays Jews as pigs and apes. The conference promotes conspiracy theories concerning the Jewish people controlling the media and banks worldwide.
Christ at the Checkpoint is an organized, ideological machine to educate and dissuade American Evangelicals from holding pro-Israel views. The security wall which has become the target of their movement was built in the early 2000’s after hundreds of terrorist attacks which killed or maimed thousands of Jews—only because they were Jews. The demand is basically that Israel tear down their wall. In reality what they call a wall is a fence.
This is a convenient marriage between two groups that embrace Replacement Theology. In this belief, the Old Testament is completely rejected, and the New Testament is used to delegitimize Israel under the banner that the Church has replaced the Jews and made null and void promises to them because they are charged with having crucified Christ. It’s a revisionist theology used to support an ideological war.
With every day that passes, Christians seem to be choosing anti-Semitism over support for God’s Chosen people. Evangelicals such as pastor and sociologist Tony Campolo and social justice advocate Jim Wallis exert more influence on mainstream Believers who have, in the past, supported Israel. The new target for the anti-Israel crowd is the 18 to 30 generation all too ready and willing to depart from the literalism of the Bible, and verses such as Genesis 12:3 which states, “I will bless those that bless you [Israel], and curse him that curses you.”
Rallying behind Palestinians is today a politically correct way of hating Israel and assisting those who seek her obliteration. Israel is a lightning rod for worldwide anti-Semitism. Rather than attack a Jew, anti-Semites now attack the collective Jew, Israel, while hiding behind the cloak of what passes as social justice.
As the conference neared its close, an American from Vanderbilt University was stabbed to death by a Palestinian assailant. Ten others were wounded in various assaults by three other Palestinian attackers in the hours leading up to the murder of the college student.