Among the sillier accusations made by non-Christians about those they like to describe as ''fundies'' and ''Bible-thumpers'', is the notion that Christians only support Israel because they want to bring about the Apocalypse and kill them all. This is deeply and profoundly ignorant, right up there with the asinine ''most wars are caused by religion'' assertion of which maleducated atheists are so fond.
Now, there's no question Christians are rather more enthusiastic about the Jewish return to Israel than they have historically been about the Rothschild family's influence with the London Stock Exchange, but it is worth recalling that without Christian Zionists in positions of influence in the British Empire, Israel might never have come to pass in the first place. Thus, Christian interest in Israel is neither new nor unnatural.
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The primary reason Christians are fascinated with Israel is that its existence lends support for the verity of Scripture, which is the doctrine of the faith. For many years, the absence of Israel was cited by non-Christians as proof that the Bible could not be true, in much the same way that the absence of any archeological evidence of the Assyrians and the Hittites was once considered testimony to Biblical inaccuracy.
But what in its absence is testimony against truth becomes supporting evidence for Biblical accuracy upon its appearance. Once the ruins of Nineveh and Hattusha were discovered, doubters were forced to concede that the Bible was a valid historical document more reliable than the historians of the day. Since 1948, its value as a predictive model has become apparent too, as with the exception of students in the Middle East and the American public schools, no one points to a globe and asks where Israel can be found anymore.
The non-Christian confusion stems from the events prophesied in the Revelation of St. John. There, Israel is predicted to be a primary player, and it is written that during that time, the Jews, having returned en masse to Israel, will finally come to recognize Jesus as their Messiah. Apparently it's the fact that he's returning as the conquering king that they were expecting the last time that will prove conclusive. Considering this, non-Christians have concluded that because the return of the Jews is a precursor to the second coming of Jesus Christ, Christians are therefore trying to summon Jesus Christ by a) supporting Israel against Islam, and, b) stockpiling Jews in Jerusalem.
Most Christians would plead guilty to (a). (And it is Islam, not Arabs, since Iran is Persian, not Arab, and is arguably Israel's most dangerous enemy at the moment. It's not pan-Islam, however, since Muslim Turkey has proven to be an Israeli ally of sorts). Islam has declared war on Christendom too, after all, and alliances often begin with a common enemy. But Christians don't support Israel against its enemies because they are concerned about it disappearing again, after all, Christians believe in an Almighty God, who, as the architect of human history, is perfectly capable of protecting His Chosen with or without our help. No, Christians primarily support Israel because God says in His Word that He will bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse it. It's that simple. Most Christians don't question the imperative to bless Israel any more than they question ''thou shalt not kill.''
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And certainly, if you compare the life of the average Israel-cursing Muslim with that of the Israel-blessing Christian, there would appear to be some truth to be found in that particular verse.
One of the quirkier things about non-Christian critics of Christianity is how they will take a verse or two from the Bible, build an uninformed interpretation around it, and then completely disregard every other verse that makes it clear that the interpretation is hopelessly incorrect. Just as the absurd argument that ''an atheist only believes in one less god'' ignores the first of the Ten Commandments as well as Psalm 82:1, Jesus' words in Matthew 24 make it clear that the concept of the Eschaton being immanentizeable is ridiculous.
For in that verse, it can be seen that the hour had already been chosen and was known to the Father two thousand years ago. And furthermore, Jesus tells his followers: "Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other.''
So, one can only conclude that these eschaton enthusiasts are so clueless that they are actively working to bring about something that is already proceeding according to a fixed schedule, something that they don't realize will reward them with hatred, persecution and death. And while some bold Christians might seek the martyr's crown being awarded even today in the Dar al-Islam, in North Korea and in China, does that fit the description of the average Christian in America today?
No Christian is seeking to speed up the Apocalypse, because there isn't a Christian in the world who believes he can. Indeed, the most any Christian can do is to repeat the words of the author of Apocalisse when he writes ''Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.''