I like to explore the roots of current situations, as you well know by now. For 25 years I have advocated for Israel in a variety of ways. My journalism degree and experience in Christian publishing has helped me understand why the American Church has become watered-down over the decades. I’m speaking of the “Church Visible,” of course, the big, megachurch movement. I’m not speaking of the thousands of still faithful Bible churches across the country.
Support for Israel, as a Christian, is extremely important to me. There are so many variables when discussing this topic, one can become dizzy. There are terrorism issues, politics, diplomacy (often the most mendacious element in this field).
But in my own community (I was raised Southern Baptist), I’ve become aware of a slippage in support for Israel. This didn’t happen overnight, and that’s the point of this week’s Israel Watch.
It is my opinion that the erosion of support for Israel began happening in this country more than 100 years ago, from theological sources. Now of course that has spilled out into the wider culture. In order to make modern Israel illegitimate, one must get rid of the nation’s history.
That means attacking the Bible.
Tom Rush, a trustee at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said recently that when he attended that institution in the 80s:
“One of the things that was being pushed really hard at Southeastern when I was there,” Rush said in a podcast, “is what’s known as the Documentary Hypothesis interpretation of the Old Testament. And some of the behaviors I saw among the students that were at the seminary were not Christian behaviors.”
The “Documentary Hypothesis” or JEDP (Jahwist/Elohist/Deuteronomist/priestly author of Leviticus). It sounds complicated, and it is. In short, the theory states that the first five books of the Bible were not written/compiled solely by Moses. There must have been later unknown editors, because at various stages in the Pentateuch, different words are used for “God.”
In fact, this was a clever tactic developed by unbelieving European Bible scholars that wanted to cast doubt about the historicity of these books, in particular Genesis. The JEDP view maintains that the final portions of these books were probably set down by Ezra in the 4th century B.C.
To me this is very simple. By forcing much of Jewish history into the categories of myth or legend, the stage was set for disbelieving in the land promises to the Jews. I promise you this is playing out today even in the most “conservative” American churches. Almost unbelievably, the SBC is infected with this, as you can see from Rush’s statement.
A former professor at Fuller buys into all this.
“God is not a provable commodity.”—Tony Jones (In 2013, Jones announced he no longer believes in Original Sin)
But WorldNetDaily’s Joseph Farah knows otherwise:
“Prophecy is a reason for faith.”
Farah’s voice is in the minority now.
Millar Burrows, a key translator of the Revised Standard Version, wrote about predictive prophecy:
“For many events, to be sure, we have abundant evidence of their occurrence in addition to the biblical record, but unless the statement that they had been predicted is accepted on the authority of the Bible itself, there is nothing to prove that the supposed prediction was not written after the event took place.” THIS IS SATANIC Burrows wrote this in 1946! He also claimed that Noah’s Flood was a myth story.
In 1961, the Southern Baptists’ Sunday School Board published Ralph Elliott’s The Message of Genesis. There, he said that the Genesis accounts were inspired by Sumerian myth!
We lament the passing from the scene of men like Adrian Rogers (2004), but did we know as the rank-and-file that the SBC was off the rails on this subject 60 years ago?
I doubt it.
At the time Charles Darwin was hatching his diabolical theory on origins, there were still enough clergy to oppose him—although large swaths of that community were eager to embrace him. Darwin was clever enough to make some passing reference to a Creator in the first edition of On the Origin of Species, but he subsequently deleted it from future editions.
L.R. Croft wrote in 1988:
“Darwin’s dishonesty is apparent. He had long been an atheist and had inserted the above paragraph to lessen the tumult he knew his book would create. He no more believed in a Creator than he did in a flat earth.”
My point is, in part, that the undermining of both ancient and modern Israel has been going on for a very long time. It was opposed internally by too few.
If you want to know why teaching about Israel and Bible prophecy has fallen out of favor today, this is a big reason why.