When Love of Israel Trumps All Else

I’ve been aware of John Hagee’s particular brand of insanity for quite some time. Back in the day, I’d watch his preaching on one of the 15 Christian satellite stations that DirecTV had at the time. I was never really in tune with him, but I found his preaching style to be entertaining. It quickly became apparent that he had some bizarre views, even to my much more conservative past self. It’s been several years since I’ve kept up with Hagee, and, aside from the stuff that came up during McCain’s campaign, he hasn’t crossed my mind in years. Recently, however, I read Gary Burge’s interesting book Jesus and the Land, and in it he discusses the lengths to which Hagee has gone to defend Israel. Frankly, I was astonished that even Hagee would go so far.

[P]erhaps the most strident spokesperson for this view [Christian zionism] today is John Hagee, pastor of San Antonio’s large Cornerstone Church. His most revealing books are Jerusalem Countdown (2005, rev. 2007) and In Defense of Israel: The Bible’s Mandate for Supporting the Jewish State (2007), both providing specific political application to a Zionist reading of the Bible. Today In Defense of Israel can be found for sale in Wal-Mart stores across America and is sold throughout Europe. His defense of Israel has now become so extreme that he preaches that Jesus never claimed to be the Messiah (he will become the Messiah at his Second Coming). This means that Judaism never rejected “the Messiah” because they could not reject something that was never offered. (Burge, p. 123)

I have no words. I am disturbed that such a man is pastor to a claimed 19,000 people. Μαρανα θα!

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