The Christian Zionists
BY FATHER ANDREW MCNAIR, LC
September 24-30, 2006 Issue | Posted 9/25/06 at 10:00 AM
While political and religious
leaders called for restraint, one man did not:
He believes calls to restrain
For instance, more than 3,000
Christians gathered in
As our nation wages war on
terrorist groups like al Qaeda and Hezbollah, we can expect to hear much more
from religious leaders like Hagee. These leaders will
call for all Christians to close ranks behind
Can we, as Catholics, join forces
with religious leaders like Hagee? Should we pledge
our unconditional support to
To answer these questions, we need to take a look at the theology behind the national movement that turns out religious leaders like Hagee. It’s called Christian Zionism.
Christian Zionism, as a
theological belief, holds that the people of
Take for example, Rev. Jerry Falwell, a well-known evangelical Zionist preacher, who
echoes this point: “To stand against
As an effect of Christian
Zionists’ unconditional support for
Moreover, Christian Zionism
evolves around certain prophetic texts of the Bible. They supposedly predict
certain inevitable future events: the return of the Jews to the
With the growing popularity of this movement, some Catholics wonder about the compatibility of Christian Zionism with Catholicism. Can the two agree or find common ground? The answer is an unequivocal No. Here’s why:
To begin, Catholics, like the first Christians, look exclusively to Jesus Christ for salvation. Christ created a New Covenant in his blood for the salvation of all. The New Covenant in Christ’s blood perfects, fulfils and surpasses the Old Covenant made to the Jewish people. This means the Jewish people no longer enjoy a special status based on ethnicity before God or others.
Christ’s New Covenant created a New People of God — the Church. The Catechism points this out: “He [God] therefore chose the Israelite race to be his own people and established a covenant with it. He gradually instructed the people. … All these things, however, happened as a preparation for and figure of the new and perfect covenant which was to be ratified in Christ … the New Covenant in his blood; he called together a race made up of Jews and Gentiles which would be one, not according to the flesh, but in the Spirit” (No. 781).
In light of the theological reality of Christ’s New Covenant, the dual covenant dogma crumbles. It ultimately contradicts one of the most basic tenets of Christianity: that salvation comes from Christ. Sacred Scripture read in view of Tradition affirms this: “For of all the names in the world given to men, this is the only one by which we can be saved” (Acts: 4:12).
Flawed theology often leads to
unorthodox pastoral practices. For example, Christian Zionist groups like
“Christians United for
“All activities of Christians
For any mature Catholic or Christian, this is absolutely unacceptable. In obedience to the Gospel, all Christians should witness to Jesus Christ in word and deed. “Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News to all creation” (Mark 16:16), and “For whoever is ashamed of me and my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels” (Luke 9:26).
We cannot keep silent about Jesus Christ or our faith in him. That’s non-negotiable. In a few words, what should we say to the invitation of joining forces with Christian Zionists?
No, thank you.
Legionary Father Andrew McNair is a theology professor
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