Evangelicals and the Middle East

Reuters photo

 

By

Tom Arms

 

 

Evangelical Christians now comprise roughly a third of the American population. An overwhelming proportion of them voted for Donald Trump.

 

They voted for him for a variety of reasons. His opposition to abortion was one of the main reasons. Another was his Middle East policy.

 

One of the unifying factors of Evangelical Christians, or Christian fundamentalists, is their belief in the literal meaning of the Bible and its absolute correctness as a guide to every aspect of human life—including politics. The world was created in seven days. Methuselah lived to the ripe old age of 969 years. The world is less than 10,000 years old and Charles Darwin was sent by Satan along with most other scientists.

 

What does this have to do with the Middle East and Donald Trump? Well, the Bible is peppered with references to the first and second comings of the Messiah which it says will coincide with the end of the world. In the Old Testament Isaiah, Ezekiel, Zechariah and Revelations make dire predictions about death, world destruction, and an eternity in Hell for unbelievers. Believers will, of course, spend their eternity in heavenly paradise.

 

In the New Testament, Jesus himself enters the fray in Matthew Chapter 24. He tells his apostles that within a generation of the return of the Jews to Israel the end of times will come and will be accompanied by his return to Earth.

 

This past week Israel celebrated the 70th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel—the official start of the return of the Jews.

 

Evangelical Christians also point to other signs. There are vague references to preconditions such as the creation of a European confederation—the EU. Also that a country from the Far North—Russia—will be involved in a major battle at Armageddon, which, by the way, is a real hilltop place in Northern Israel.

 

Evangelical Christians are not worried about this prophecy. They welcome it. They desire it because they are impatiently looking forward to the Second Coming, their eternity in paradise and the comeuppance for everyone else.

 

They were worried about moves towards peace such as the Camp David Agreement, the Oslo Accords and talk of a two-state solution which seemed to be a potentially peaceful solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

 

But the two-state solution has been killed by Benjamin Netanyahu’s policy of West Bank settlements and Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. And the region has been moved closer to an Armageddon-type solution by Trump’s decision to end the Iran Nuclear Accord.

 

Donald Trump almost certainly does not believe any of the above. If he thinks of The Bible at all it is probably in the context of how he can break the commandments about adultery, false witness, covetousness and a few others. His Middle East policy is based more on the need to stay in office and reversing whatever Barack Obama did then on fulfilling Biblical prophecies.

 

Donald Trump is not a born-again Christian. But he knows that if he is going to be re-elected in 2020 he needs the support of the evangelical community. They are a major part of the base that put him in the White House and their continued help is required to keep him there.

 

The President of the United States does not claim to be fulfilling Biblical prophecies. But accompanying first daughter Ivanka to Jerusalem were two Christian Evangelical preachers—Robert Jeffress and John Hagee. They were given the task of providing the opening and closing prayers at the ceremony to open the new US embassy. Both men have gone on record supporting the Biblical prophecies about Israel and the Second Coming. The evangelical right does not have to be told what Trump believes. They can draw their own conclusions from his actions.

 

 

 

 

Tom Arms

I am a journalist, entrepreneur and historian with extensive experience in print, web and broadcast journalism. I started as a diplomatic correspondent, wrote several books (The Falklands Crisis, World Elections On File and the Encyclopedia of the Cold War), and then in 1987 started my own business (Future Events News Service, www.fensinformation.com) which over 25 years established itself as the world and UK media’s diary. Our strapline was: “We set the world’s news agenda.” I sold FENS in December 2012 but retained the exclusive broadcast rights to all of FENS data. To exploit these rights I set up LookAhead TV which produces unique programmes which “Broadcasts Tomorrow Today” so that viewers can “Plan to Participate.” LookAhead has appeared regularly on Vox Africa, Radio Tatras International, The Conversation and Voice of Africa Radio.

In addition to being a syndicated broadcaster and columnist on global affairs, Tom is also available for speaking engagements and can be contacted on TwitterLinkedin and emailtom.arms@lookaheadnews.com.

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