Israel finds support in evangelical Christians - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Israel finds support in evangelical Christians

Posted: Updated:
Many Christian evangelicals support Israel, because they believe it will be the final battleground between good and evil until the end of the world. (Source: CNN) Many Christian evangelicals support Israel, because they believe it will be the final battleground between good and evil until the end of the world. (Source: CNN)
Megachurch pastor John Hagee has made a name for himself in the Christian Zionist movement. (Source: CNN) Megachurch pastor John Hagee has made a name for himself in the Christian Zionist movement. (Source: CNN)
A 2013 Pew Poll shows that almost 82 percent of white evangelicals believe God gave the land of Israel to the Jewish. people. (Source: CNn) A 2013 Pew Poll shows that almost 82 percent of white evangelicals believe God gave the land of Israel to the Jewish. people. (Source: CNn)

(CNN) – With the tension and fighting between Israel and Hammas on the upswing, Israel is finding it has a new base of supporters, Christian evangelicals.

It isn’t often you see conservative republican Senators Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham and Jim Inhofe on the same page as liberal democrats like Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland, and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, but that’s how it works when it comes to Israel.

In part, the pro-Israel fervor is due to support by evangelicals Christians who make up half of republican primary voters.

A Pew Poll from 2013 said almost twice as many white evangelicals, 82 percent, believe God gave the land of Israel to Jewish people, compared with only 40 percent American Jews who believe the same thing.

The evangelical support can be traced back to the Book of Genesis (12:3), which says of the people of Israel:

I will bless those who bless you,

And I will curse him who curses you;

And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.

Pastor and Televangelist John Hagee, from a megachurch in Texas, has made a name for himself in this movement.

In a video released two weeks ago on YouTube, Hagee stands on the Israeli border with Israeli troops standing behind him as he makes his case.

“I'm saying this as an American citizen to all American citizens,” Hagee said. “If there was ever a time to stand up and speak up for Israel it's right now.”

The Christian Zionist movement has been controversial, not because of the politics, but because of its forward-looking theology.

Many evangelicals believe that the land of Israel will play a key role in the future as the final battleground between good and evil until the end of the world. That’s when believers will be raptured, or taken away to heaven.

In a 2006 interview with CNN’s Joe Johns, Hagee had this to say about rapture and the Jews:

“The Jews, who you support, are raptured up too?” Johns said.

“No,” Hagee said. “The rapture is exclusively for the church.”

But over the years the theology has changed.

What once sounded like the church was encouraging the conversion of the Jews to Christianity has been revamped and revised. In an op-ed in the Jewish Daily, Forward.com, in 2010, Hagee wrote:

"Some worry that our efforts are motivated by a desire to convert Jews, others posit that our Zionism is tied to speed the second coming of Jesus,” Hagee said. “Both of these allegations are flat wrong.

The change in doctrine may help some Jews overcome their historic suspicion of Christian evangelicals, but in Washington D.C., where politics make strange bedfellows, supporters of Israel aren't taking anything for granted.

Copyright 2014 CNN. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow