For the rapture end times Evangelical Christian true believers, their thinking regarding the Middle East is muddled. They are very versed in discussing their thinking/ version of biblical end times, including the rapture doctrine.
The two members of the republican President Trump’s administration who are steeped in these faith based dogmas are his Vice President Mike Pence and his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
I’ve no problem with Evangelicals practicing their beliefs even though I genuinely worry that they are being led astray, but when this thinking seeps into the formation of US foreign policies, then I have a issue.
That the Evangelical community has been exerting an out-sized level of influence on current US policies is exactly what I believe has been happening, as President Trump is very dependent on their support to keep his hold on power. Evangelicals comprise about 35% of his base of voters.
I’m concerned that this could pose a US national security risk.
Two examples of this possibility, is when President Trump ordered the move of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Evangelicals suffer a strong antipathy towards the acceptance of science, worldly organizations ( the New World Order) like the United Nations and NATO; muti-national agreements like the 2015 Climate Change Accord and the US-Iran Nuclear Deal.. They’re in full agreement with Israels’ hatred for Iran to where they would not be opposed to US intervention.
UPDATE ON 4/15/ 2019: Here’s what an Israeli paper, Haaretz has printed / twitted on 4/15/2019:
If President Trump dares to order an attack on Iran, US peoples will turn on him faster than a speeding bullet. If Israel and Saudi Arabia have been counting on US for help based on whatever President has been saying, they will find that what they are holding are bags of his B.S.
At the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem after its relocation from Tel Aviv, one US preacher Robert Jeffress who preaches the Rapture, delivered the opening prayers.
Pastor Jeffress, who has previously said that Mormons are heretics, Jews fated to hell, Islam promotes pedophilia, and homosexuals are filthy, prayed, “We thank you everyday that you have given us a president who boldly stands on the right side of history, and more importantly on the right side of you, oh God, when it comes to Israel.”
Ahead of the embassy opening, over 63% of Americans opposed the move.
The following information is from 5/15/2018 Quartz report, “Trump’s foreign policy looks a lot like Rapture Christians’ plan to welcome the apocalypse” by Heather Timmons:
“In 1995, the US Congress voted to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. But until Donald Trump, presidents both Republican and Democratic resisted implementing the move, worried it could set off deadly violence. Yesterday, Trump’s advisors and family members Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner finally inaugurated the new Jerusalem embassy—while the death toll of Palestinian protestors ticked steadily up to over 50, including several children.”
“Bill Clinton, George Bush, and Barack Obama all faced pressure from wealthy potential campaign donors to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, but Trump is listening to a voice they were not: evangelical Christians who appear to believe in the “Rapture.” Some, like vice president Mike Pence and secretary of state Mike Pompeo, hold posts inside his cabinet. For Rapture Christians, returning Jerusalem to the Jewish people is a key to the second coming of Christ.”
A new ideology in the White House
“In the Trump White House, a weekly bible study group calls its brand of faith “historical evangelicalism.” Biblical scholars say the group shares the “end of times” message of “Rapture” theologians in its statement of faith and founder Ralph Drollinger’s own published lessons.”
“The bible study group is run by Capitol Ministries, an organization with the stated mission “to teach God’s Word and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with state legislators, judges, and constitutional officers.” Capitol Ministries supporters include ten members of Trump’s cabinet, including in addition to Pompeo, labor secretary Alex Acosta and housing secretary Ben Carson according to the Capitol Ministries website. Drollinger, a UCLA basketball player-turned politician-turned-preacher, has also been holding weekly bible study groups with dozens of Congress members since 2010.”
“On May 8, as Trump was pulling the US out of the Iran deal, Capitol Ministries put out its latest study, “The Bible on When War Is Justifiable,” rebutting pacifism. If Jesus calls us to be “peacemakers,” it asks, “then how could a Christian Cabinet Member or Congressman support the idea of going to war?” The answer, Drollinger, explains, is simple: Saint Peter instructs men to submit “to every human institution” and the Book of Revelations discusses the “righteousness” of a God who “judges and wages war.”
Jerusalem is key
“A fundamental part of believing in the Rapture is believing that all of Jerusalem (currently split between Arab and Israeli-held territory) must be returned to the Jewish people, and then the rest of the world must go to war. For Christians awaiting end times, Israel “is at the center of the end of history,” said Greg Carey, a professor of the New Testament at Lancaster Theological Seminary. “History will culminate with this great battle” in Israel, Carey said.”
“Some White House officials and supporters have described the Trump administration’s actions in Israel with similar language. ”When we open the American Embassy in Jerusalem, we will in a very real sense end this historic friction, we’ll embrace reality,” vice president Pence said in an interview with the Christian Broadcast Network on May 3. Trump supporter and Fox News host Jeanine Pirro said Monday that the president had fulfilled a biblical prophesy.”
Widespread in the US
The idea that the apocalypse is coming is shunned by many mainstream Christians, biblical scholars, and theology experts. But it has been part of US history since the late 1800s, and continues to spread through megachurches and hundreds of publishers, online discussion boards, and local bible study groups.
Millenarianism rejects both evolutionary science, and the biblical scholarship that reanalyzed the Scriptures as historical documents, rather than the literal word of God. It is remarkably popular. The “Left Behind” series of Christian apocalyptic novels first published in 1995 have sold over 80 million copies. “There are tens of millions of Americans who are part of religious communities who hold a Rapture theology,” Carey said. While it’s impossible to know how committed the individuals are to the ideology, they’re an important voting block, he said.
“Rapture theology is not a majority position but it is a powerful enough force to shape elections,” he said. White, evangelical Christians voted overwhelmingly for Trump in 2016.
Anti-environmentalism, isolationism, King Cyrus
Rapture theologists and historical evangelicals hold several other views that hew closely to Trump administration policies. They believe that earth was created for man’s use, for example, and that environmentalism is a form of blasphemy.
In an April 2 Bible study, Drollinger focused on the “huge and dire error” of “radical environmentalism”. He argues that humans are incapable of destroying the earth on their own, because it is up to God to “continually renew the face of the earth until He forms a new heaven and a new earth in the end times.”
“Rapture believers also tend to be suspicious of international alliances, including the United Nations, global trade pacts, and even the European Union, Carey said. In particular, “they are very suspicious of any international alliance that can accomplish peace,” he added. “Because history is not headed towards peace.”
“While Trump’s alleged adulterous affairs and irreverent style might make him seem an unlikely vessel for Christian prophesy, he has been compared in evangelical circles to King Cyrus the Great, an ancient Persian king who predicted the Jews’ return to Jerusalem. In March, Benjamin Netanyahu made the comparison, and Pirro did the same on Fox News.”
“Christian evangelicals “don’t like Trump because they think he is holy,” explains Ziegler. “They like him because they think he’s God’s tool.”
See: Is Mike Pompeo Meshing His Faith With Foreign Policy Goals?
Good post, Gronda, but I have to say this is the most disturbing thing I think I have read in years! I largely ignore religion, and not religious in any sense of the word, and therefore had no idea what the evangelicals professed to believe. Now that I am a bit more enlightened, I frankly think they are the most frightening group of people imaginable. As you said at the beginning of your post, I respect anybody’s right to believe as they wish, but NOT to impose it on others, especially an entire nation, most of who do NOT believe as they do. I am more incensed now than I have been for the past two years, and that’s saying a lot. This isn’t religion … it’s madness!!! And they seem to desire the end of the human race badly enough that they are willing to destroy all life! This is eye-opening for me, and makes me all the more determined that we must get Trump and Pence out of the White House next year.
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There is plenty to be worried about with President Trump being dependent on pleasing this end-times, Rapture believing Evangelicals to keep his hold on power. This group of followers are the ones most likely to stick by him through thick and thin because they believe he was sent from God to help their cause. They are also the ones attracted to authoritarian type leaders.
This all means that these believers have a lot of influence over the policies that the president crafts and implements.
I have no issue for peoples practicing their faith in peace until their beliefs are interfering with my ability to live my life in peace.
You are so right to say that this cult like environment in plain sight is frightening. Like you said, it is really important that President Trump and his Evangelical buddies be trounced at the upcoming 2020 elections. President Trump is truly a clear and present danger to US national security interests.
Thanks a million for all your support and for this reblog.
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It’s always my pleasure, my friend … you do good work! Hugs!!!
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Great article. I can only repeat what I’ve said before. Do these men think God needs them to lie and cheat in order to get his business done. Jesus himself said that his “kingdom was not of this world” if it were do so, he would have Jis father send legions to liberate Him..and yet these men want to shape laws and governments according to what they think God wants… how frustrating and yes scary. Thanks for your thoughts
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Dear Lindi Roze,
You are so right. God doesn’t need their help to do whatever he plans to do. These Evangelical rapture/ end time believers are cult like to where they will not be easily moved by facts, science, truth. Does any of this sound familiar?
In the bible, Jesus is very clear when he warns that no one knows the time/ place when the end is coming except the Father.
Then there’s reasoning. What makes them think that they’ll be spared tough times when their own Leader was crucified, and all the apostles except one were tortured and killed?
Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
When I read this post by Gronda earlier today, I was most disturbed … as I told Gronda in my comment, this was likely the most disturbing thing I have read in years, and that says a lot! Frankly, while I try never to criticize another’s religion, I have to say that what is described here is not religion — it is insanity! Thank you, Gronda, for the thought-provoking post … and for the nightmares I will surely have tonight!
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Hello Gronda. tRump is a tool alright. I am just not saying which one. As a gay man I have seen religion used against me on a personal level and seen what harm it can do to people like me when these people push their religious views into the laws. It is scary to me that they want a theocracy of their own religion here in the US, while at the same time they scream how evil Islamic theocracies are. I agree with Jill, it is scary. Hugs
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I am a person of faith and so are both of my children. My adult daughter lives in an artist community with 3 gay roommates who cater to her every whim. She’ll probably never get married. My daughter-in-law once told me a story of how embarrassed she was by my son’s behavior. They had moved and were checking out a new church. when the pastor started disparaging the gay community. My son got up and walked out in front of everyone. I share this with you, to let you know that not all Christians reflect this negative/ prejudicial attitude towards LGBTQ folks.
That said, these Evangelical end-time Rapture believing Christians are more than just scary. They are what nightmares are made of, especially as they are in favor of conflict with Iran.
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Hello Gronda. I thank you for sharing. Please know I do not condemn anyone who has faith but allows others to live as they wish. I only take offence when people use their religion as a club to attack others.
Gronda if you have a personal faith, I am not trying to take that away from you. I have a clear difference between “personal faith” and organised religions. I think organized religions are only to control the masses and to move the money from the base to the upper elite.
I can not share any belief in any deity as when I was being raped as a child I prayed, I called out to any god to stop it. It did not stop! I can not believe in a higher being because when I was being beaten until I couldn’t stand up, no deity came to rescue me. I discount any god because when forced to sit at a table with my abusers and I couldn’t eat my punishments got worse, and I was so thin my teachers and principal at my elementary grade school had me taken from class to give me snacks and time to eat. I remember in first grade when my teacher took me, a kid with torn clothes and bruises all over my body to a room where other people were and they asked me to take off my clothes. I remember how I cried and begged and promised not tell, as my teacher took off my shirt. I promised to be a good boy. No God came to my side to help me. Long story short my abusers were charged with child abuse and they moved all of us several times and I guess that confused God because we settled in a new cow town and my abuse did not stop.
Again Gronda if you have a personal faith that you do not use to harm others, I support that. I will only fight against anyone who uses their god to hurt others. Hugs
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I felt the need to do some thinking, so that I can do justice with this answer. The extra time didn’t help. I can’t begin to understand the horrors that you’ve endured but I’m well aware that you’re not alone in your thinking. I know this based on my experience as a former Guardian ad Litem who worked with abused children. My horror at learning about how horribly some children are treated by adults in our country caused me to burn out which is not an uncommon reaction.
But I can tell you the story about my daughter.
Once upon a time, she discovered that her very best friend (a guy) was Gay. She had been confused about some of his actions which she shared with me. I had to explain to her that he was a gay gentleman. At first, she was incredulous, there was denial. Then she did her hissy fit, why wouldn’t her best friend share this with her?
I had to explain that with her being a person of faith, he may have been fearful about sharing this. Besides, it could be that he was coming to terms with this reality.
Eventually, he came clean.
She still lives in her best friend’s house with his Dad and two other gay guys.
Years ago, they did not want to hear about her Christian faith. Over time, they observed how her faith helped her deal with difficult circumstances to where they became interested.
For a short time, she left her friend’s home to stay with the grieving parents of another best friend who passed away. While she was there, she got a desperate call. Her best friend’s Dad was in bad shape in the ICU unit at a local hospital. They wanted her to go to the hospital to pray with them over the Dad which of course, she did.
It turns out that that the Dad recovered and he’s been thriving ever since.
Recently, she purchased a lemon of a car. Her best friend’s admonition to her, was that she didn’t pray about this purchase before she finalized it.
She would tell you the very same things that she has shared with her gay family. if you ever want to try God on for size, you don’t need another believer to lead you. All you have to do to start, is for you to say that you’d like to believe but what’s most important, is that you admit to being a sinner/ a human and that you want forgiveness. Then she would advise you to read the scriptures (that’s easy to read) for yourself. You can ask/ pray directly to God for direction. Then pray more in the form of a conversation, like you would talk to your best friend. Over time, you’ll notice some differences within yourself.
She has tried to join up with any number of churches with little success. She says that none of them are perfect and that her expectations are unrealistic. But she does join up with outreach ministries, like ones that cater to the homeless, etc.
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