By Rev. Graylan Scott Hagler, Senior Minister, Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ, Washington, DC
People who are interested in the bible are tempted to read it literally and seek to follow its every word. This has been the conditioning of fundamentalism. Fundamentalists have taught that every word in the scripture is true and the bible is inerrant. This point of view has permeated believing constituencies and have generally not been challenged as preachers and teachers choose to leave well enough alone; not want to rock the theological boat, or to roil up their followers.
This means that scriptures are not questioned, and blanks are filled in where there seems to be glaring inconsistencies in the text or where the prophecy is yet unfulfilled. This has resulted in Christians believing that Jews are God’s chosen people, gentiles are grafted into the promise of God, and the land of Israel belongs to the Jews as promised to them by God. Furthermore, it is argued that not only does the land belong to the Jews, but Jews must be repatriated for Jesus to return, and then Jesus will judge the righteous and unrighteous, and Jews must recognize Jesus as the Christ so that the promise of the reign of God can be fulfilled. In general, this is known as Christian Zionism, and Christian Zionism is a distortion of scripture used for advancing a colonial Zionist state in Palestine.
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