The Candidates and Israel
By Jim Fletcher
Writing for RaptureReady is a blessing for several reasons.
One is that I get feedback from Bible-believing Christians! It is as I
suspected: there are still many discerning, Bible-believing Christians left out
I’d like to ask upfront this week for feedback on this
question: How many Bible-believing Christians do you know?
A simple question, but an important one as we steam faster
into the future.
I ask this because our world is so fascinating and fun and
frightening — all at the same time. (Fun because, for example, I can take my
exuberant, three-year-old niece for ice cream.)
In her recent
primary win, Hillary Clinton was preferred over Barack Obama by 61 percent of
those who attend church at least once a week.
Have we come to this? We live in a time when a
thoroughgoing Leftist is now mainstream? When evangelical Christians openly
claim that Hillary Clinton is preferable to Obama? We’re being softened up like
a lazy, unfocused heavyweight champion.
The reason I think this is relevant to Israel is that Israelis and
Americans are debating just who would be the “best” president with regard to the
Hate to be a downer, people, but my answer to that question
is: none of them. Not even John McCain.
Although I think McCain “gets” the war on terror, his
campaign rhetoric vis a vis Israel is like
that of every other president since Lyndon Johnson, that is, pretty empty.
All candidates pledge their undying loyalty to Israel, during a campaign. Or at
least when no one can hurt them anymore, as when Bill Clinton famously said at
the end of his term that if necessary (notice that parsing), he’d get in a ditch
and fight and die for Israel.
Of course he wouldn’t. Just like Hillary Clinton wouldn’t
“obliterate” Iran. Just like
George W. Bush wouldn’t move the U.S.
embassy to Jerusalem.
Even her thirst for power hasn’t tempered Hillary Clinton’s
ingrained liberalism. She was shaped by the ‘60s, her youth group mentor Don
Jones, and liberal professors. She is who she is.
But, most of us are saying that we don’t have a good choice
this election, aren’t we? All the more reason to get into the Bible, so that we
can see how to best live our lives. As Betty Davis once said, fasten your
One of my uncles, a Southern Baptist deacon for decades,
twice voted for Bill Clinton. I struggled to understand this and, after a couple
conversations, gave up trying to understand. He cited the economy as the chief
reason he voted for the Man from (No) Hope.
What about Clinton’s
Leftist views on social issues? What about the chronic lying? The immorality?
Exit polls after Hillary Clinton’s
win also indicated that 68 percent of those who voted believe Obama is honest.
Look, I’ll get hammered for this, but I just don’t believe that he is. I think
he is like almost all politicians running for president: power hungry, arrogant,
and disingenuous. I cite the campaign evidence, such as his daily spin on the
Jeremiah Wright sermons.
All this matters to Israel,
because the Miracle on the Mediterranean still
thinks she can count on her allies. Such as they are. As Americans’ knowledge
and love of the Bible slowly sinks, Israel gets squeezed a little more.
From a human standpoint, realistically, Israel can rely on herself. That’s
it. I believe that America
has gotten to the point where its support for Israel is pragmatic at best. If it’s
good for us, okay. If not, well, we understand Arab concerns. We oppose the
“occupation.” We advocate for a Palestinian state.
What to do, then? What Bible-believing Christians have
always been able to do — pray like mad, cling to the good, and be wise as
Despite some of my commentaries, I am not pessimistic. God
proves Himself every second of every day, through Bible prophecy alone.
But as we move toward the conclusion that God has for us,
we need to understand where we are. Over a decade ago, Chuck Colson wrote a
column entitled “Quoting the Bible Isn’t Enough,” in which he urged us to
understand that merely invoking the Bible in our rotting culture today will too
often yield results that disappoint us. Is he arguing that the Bible has lost
its power? On the contrary. Colson understood that the culture is openly hostile
to Scripture. That was not true in 1944. It was not true in 1887. You get the
Even FoxNews today pushes stories about sex scandals, UFOs,
and mediums. So, as Israel
increasingly has no choice but to acknowledge her God, we also must ask for
discernment to navigate through this period of history.
I once dialogued with a mainline pastor who finally set out
for me his views on the Bible in a paper he wrote; quoting a portion:
“The functional purpose of the Bible is to endorse and
enrich the intuitive awareness of God in the human spirit. This is fundamental
and it dictates the final principle of how the Bible is to be used. Even if
there are proved 1,000 or more mistakes in the linguistic, cultural, historical
or scientific areas of the Bible, it would make no difference. If the Bible
performs its intended functions, it is in its highest sense, “The Word of God”
to persons. Just because there are spots on the sun we don’t refuse its light.
The re-study of the principles of Bible interpretation is now necessary because
every new generation must do this to make the principles its own dynamic
Whew. The entire paragraph is diabolical, clumsy, and
fundamentally flawed. The last sentence, though, is the real doozy. It is the
old liberal mantra that the Bible can mean whatever you want it to mean, in any
era. The only absolute is that there are no absolutes, as someone once noted.
Many of you have written to me that there is a hardening of
positions in the Church regarding
Israel. This is directly due to our lack of
confidence in the Bible, incredibly a reality because we rely on the biases of
men who hate God with a passion. And I’m talking about scholars in the Church.
We err if we think men will save Israel.
Whoever winds up in the White House will insist that the
United States is thoroughly committed to Israel’s security, all the while undermining Israel’s
security by implementing the incredible failure known as the Peace Process.
My old hero, the late Princeton
scholar Robert Dick Wilson, well understood the attacks on the Bible. Wilson would have been pro-Israel, among other
things. In a 1924 paper entitled “The Prophecies of Daniel,” Wilson dealt with the
critics who claim that the book is not predictive prophecy at all, but a simple
history book. He understood that the erosion of discernment in American culture
was well underway. How wonderful, then, that the Lord raised up this man, who
ended his paper with this:
“They [Bible critics] make a golden image of their own
reason and imagination and command that all men should bow down and do homage,
in pain of being cast into the fiery furnace of their own professional contempt
and be branded as bigots and ignoramuses. But the church of Christ will never
bow down to this image, and God will deliver it from all evil and in the fiery
furnace of the world’s criticism there will always be one like the Son of God to
save it from all its foes. In the case of Daniel, Daniel is with us and Christ
is with us.”
That, my friends, is why we ultimately shouldn’t worry
about mediocre politicians. As the world spins out of control, indeed the Son of
God is with us in the furnace, as
so eloquently put it.
We are not relying on an election to save us.
Jim Fletcher is a member of the executive committee of the National Christian
Leadership Conference for
(NCLCI); he can be reached at