Sunday, November 4, 2007

In Defense of Israel

Personally I think John Hagee's new book should have been titled "In Defense of Heresy" since in it he engages in copious, gratuitous, and nefarious scriptural obfuscation and prooftexting which results in an outright denial of the Person of Christ.

From Biblewheel:
Any man preaching the Bible into 99 million homes bears a massive responsibility before God and his fellow human beings to accurately and clearly proclaim the truth. Scripture warns that "not many" should set themselves up as "masters" or teachers, for in so doing they risk a "greater condemnation" (James 3:1).

Before discussing Hagee's apostasy from the Christian faith, it is important for the reader to know that I stand firm in my support of Israel for humanitarian and political reasons. I love the Jewish people, delight in their music, literature and culture, and deeply appreciate that God used them to bring forth Jesus the Messiah and the Holy Bible that proclaims the Gospel of His Messiahship "to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile." I condemn any form of anti-semitism as anti-christian and a sure sign of spiritual alienation from God. But I also know that you do not "show love and support" to Israel by denying that Jesus Christ is their Messiah, which is exactly what John Hagee has done.

In his book In Defense of Israel (2007), beginning in the section called "The Jews did not Reject Jesus as Messiah" (p. 132) John Hagee relentlessly twisted Scripture in his attempt to prove that Jesus Christ did not come "to be Messiah to the Jews." His denial of Jesus as the Christ (Messiah) cannot be overlooked as a mere "slip of his pen" because he repeated his assertion "seven ways from Sunday" as seen in this sample of seven quotes from his book:

If God intended for Jesus to be the Messiah of Israel, why didn't he authorize Jesus to use supernatural signs to prove he was God's Messiah, just as Moses had done? (p. 137)

Jesus refused to produce a sign ... because it was not the Father's will, nor his, to be Messiah. (p 138)

If Jesus wanted to be Messiah, why did he repeatedly tell his disciples and followers to "tell no one" about his supernatural accomplishments? (p. 139)

The Jews were not rejecting Jesus as Messiah; it was Jesus who was refusing to be the Messiah to the Jews. (p. 140)

They wanted him to be their Messiah, but he flatly refused. (p. 141)

He refused to be their Messiah, choosing instead to be the Savior of the world (p. 143)

Jesus rejected to the last detail the role of Messiah in word or deed. (p. 145)

John Hagee's words directly contradict the central message of the entire New Testament. Indeed, John Hagee's words directly contradict the fundamental declaration that defines the Christian Faith, which is that Jesus is the Messiah (i.e. the Christ). This is what Peter declared in his first sermon to thousands of his fellow Jews gathered at Pentecost (Acts 2:36):

Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ (Messiah).

Likewise, this was the first thing Saul, the Jew from Tarsus, proclaimed to his fellow Jews in the synagogues immediately after the scales fell from his eyes (Acts 9:20-23):

And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests? But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ. And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him:

Scripture declares that Saul, who soon would be known as the Apostle Paul, preached and proved to his Jewish audience that Jesus is Messiah. The Gospel itself is called the "Gospel of Christ" or in Jewish terms, the Gospel of the Messiah! This fact is so very elementary it seems almost foolish to belabour it. That any genuinely Christian teacher could err on this point is inconceivable because the error concerns the primal definition of Christianity itself. Scripture therefore places this error under the greatest possible condemnation:

Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. (1 John 2:22)

Liar! Antichrist! There is no mistaking the apostasy here. The word "Christ" literally means "Messiah." The New Testament could be faithfully translated with all references to Jesus Christ rendered as "Jesus the Messiah." Indeed, the Complete Jewish Bible translates the verse above as "Who is a liar at all, if not the person who denies that Yeshua is the Messiah?" How then is it possible that John Hagee, who has been preaching and teaching the "Bible" for over forty years, could suddenly turn and deny that Jesus is the Messiah? Is it possible that we are misunderstanding what he really meant? The unfortunate answer is that Hagee left no room for misunderstanding. He repeated his heresies over and over again.

I encourage you to read Biblewheel's entire in depth expose on John Hagee's grossly heretical error here.