By Jim Fletcher
Remember the 1984 comedy, “Ghostbusters”? A group of
paranormal researchers locate and capture spiritual entities in New York City
by using (obviously bogus) equipment they’ve developed. At one point, Bill
Murray’s character is assaulted by a spirit, and when his friends find him, he’s
on the floor, writhing. Looking up, he says, “He slimed me.” Some sort of
ectoplasmic goo clings to Murray’s
uniform and hair.
One is reminded of that scene when learning of Jimmy
Carter’s latest trek into the dens of terrorism, to socialize with his friends.
The former president’s (wow, it hurts to acknowledge he actually “led” the U.S.) attempts at what
passes for diplomacy in the Carter household have harmed the U.S.
for years. Dictators and tribal thugs and even foreign diplomats no doubt enjoy
seeing our country portrayed as weak and immoral by the weak and immoral 39th
Carter, for reasons known totally only to him (and his
Creator), has displayed real antipathy to Israel
and the Jewish people for decades. Famously, formerly Southern Baptist, Carter
gets a lot of ink for still teaching Sunday school at his church in Plains, Georgia.
Those poor, poor people — and I mean that sincerely.
Sometime when you have the time, check out Yehuda Avner’s
fascinating essays on the interaction between Carter and former Israeli Prime
Minister Menachem Begin, during the
negotiations. Carter’s inherent nastiness really comes through and he
condescendingly listens to the Israeli premier explain his country’s positions
vis a vis the Palestinians.
I’ve coined a new term, “Cartered,” to describe the effects
of the meddler’s weird ideas on the public. If you’ve been influenced by
Carter’s personal dislike of Israel,
then you’ve been Cartered. Just as when you’ve been lied to by someone, you’ve
really been “Clintoned.”
At first glance, it seems odd that Carter would have
developed his replacement theology world view in the SBC. But then when you
think about, as we see heresy and apostasy mushrooming in the Church, perhaps it
isn’t so odd after all.
It’s interesting that Carter is helping fulfill Bible
prophecy at the same time he would (probably) dismiss most of it. At least the
parts dealing with Israel
and the Jews. In other words, he’d dismiss most of Bible prophecy.
This is a multi-faceted problem that is growing stronger in
our world today. Even among erstwhile friends of Israel
in the Christian community, how often do you hear pastors lift OT passages and
apply them to the church? The answers is,
The “Dry Bones” passage in Ezekiel is constantly
misappropriated, and used as a context for spiritual rebirth in the Church. It
has nothing to do with that.
Evangelicals who profess intense love for Israel
often use their television programs to claim the OT promises to the Jews for
modern American evangelicals who thirst to prosper financially, materially. How
The great comforting words of Isaiah, meant for his people,
from their God, are daily lifted by American evangelists and preachers to be
used to inspire Christians with visions of power, relationship-healing and, one
assumes, visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads.
All this spiritual plagarism hurts Israel
a bit more, every day. When we don’t maintain the distinction between God’s
promises to the Jews, and His promises to the Church, we err. And I’m not
advocating any kind of dual-covenant theology, either. I’m simply saying that
assuming the historical spiritual markers of the Jews for ourselves, we cause
the Jewish history and culture to fade from gentile memories.
A teenager recently told me that young people today don’t
know anything about the Bible. I find this frightening in the extreme. Sadly,
our young people, if they sit in church at all, listen to pastors spiritualize
the historical, prophetical portions of the Bible, without any context at all.
And none of it makes sense to them. No wonder.
Carter met with the Hamas terrorist group. He laid a wreath
at the tomb of Yasser Arafat, a living gargoyle if there ever was one.
Why does Carter teach Sunday school at all? Why does he
read and quote the Bible if he considers these murderers his friends, or, at
least, negotiating partners? For their hatred of the Bible — and the faith
Carter professes to follow — makes the whole scene very incongruous. What can he
be thinking? Is he thinking?
Why would you pal around with those who literally walk on
your sacred books?
I once visited with a mainline pastor who considered
Bible-believing Christians to be the mythical Neanderthals his world view
insists existed. He couldn’t understand how anyone could believe Bible prophecy
literally. He thought it was okay and even brainy to believe that humans started
as microscopic bits of whatever.
For him, the biblical text was elastic and could mean
whatever you want it to mean. And yet every Sunday he preached from this Book. I
wondered why and wish now that I had asked him that. He was literally leading
his congregation on the wrong path.
But back to the problem at hand. Israel
is being squeezed today exactly as the prophets predicted. As many good Bible
teachers have pointed out, the skepticism of the modern world is itself a strong
indication that prophecy is true and being fulfilled in our time.
I constantly talk to Bible-believing Christians all over
the country — and this warms my heart! — and I know they are salt and light
wherever they are. It falls on all of us to read, study, and believe the Bible,
so that we can help our fellow man find his way out of the darkness.
We want to believe and know and stand tall in the faith. We
don’t want to be seduced by the doctrines of demons; we don’t want that slime
anywhere near us.
Jim Fletcher is a member of the National Christian Leadership Conference for
Israel (NCLCI) and can be reached at