Lynchburg News & Advance:
The Rev. John Hagee, a nationally known pastor from San Antonio, Texas, told a gathering at Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg on Sunday night that America must win the war against terrorists who embrace radical Islam.
"Right now America is at a crossroads," said Hagee, who heads Christians United For Israel. "The Third World War has begun."
Thanks for the heads up. It should be said that Thomas Road is Jerry Falwell's church and Falwell is the Boss Hogg of Lynchburg, Virginia -- Hagee did not have a skeptical audience. Which is too bad, because he's squirrellier than an apple orchard.
He delivered the dispensational line, that Russia and China are in cahoots with terrorists.
Hagee said the “serpent’s head” of radical Islam is Iran, which has been gleaning support from both Russia and China.
"Russia is all over the Middle East in an antagonistic position against the United States," Hagee said. "Our president and our government needs to wake up and smell the coffee. Mr. (Vladamir) Putin is not for us, he’s against us."
How does Hagee know all this about Putin? It's in the Bible... Except it's not.
According to WhatSaithTheScripture.com, "Ezekiel 38 is the classic text used by many to prove a World War III or Armageddon-like invasion of Israel. WW III may actually be an engagement prior to the Tribulation Week involving an incident between the U.S. and the Arabs, followed by the neutralizing of the U.S.A. by Chinese and Russian missiles. However, Ezekiel 38 describes how the Russian-Arab alliance will be destroyed by "an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone" (Ezekiel 38:22) 30 days prior to the Middle of the Week."
The problem is that Ezekiel 38 doesn't say that at all. Yet, despite what the Bible actually says, endtimers believe it says all this. For example, Ezek 38:2 reads, "Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him". Hagee would point to this as 'proof' that Russia is involved in terrorism and will nuke Israel -- despite the fact that it doesn't say that. In fact, there's absolutely no reason to believe it should be interpreted that way.
One reason why this verse is interpreted this way is the ravings of the founder of the Worldwide Church of God, the late Herbert Armstrong. WCG is a cult -- no more, no less -- and Armstrong was a lunatic. Yet, this interpretation of Ezekiel lives on.
The Trumpet (Armstrongist cult literature):
Even before World War II broke out, Mr. Armstrong could foresee the emergence of these two superpowers in the end time. In the June/July 1934 issue of the Plain Truth he proclaimed, “Scripture prophesies two great military powers to arise in the last days—one the revival of the Roman Empire by a federation of ten nations in the territory of the ancient Roman Empire; the other…Russia, with her allies… possibly China or Japan.”
Other Armstrong 'prophecies' were that the UK would be conquered by the Nazis and that China would invade India. He also predicted the end of the world several times. Obviously, he missed on those by a country mile.
How did the ravings of a lunatic cult leader become part of the mainstream evangelical movement? Who knows? But, I'm guessing that the fact that Hagee and Falwell are crazy has a lot to do with it.
What's frightening is that this maniacal view of the world is influencing people in position to affect foreign policy.
In 2002, [Tom] DeLay visited pastor John Hagee's Cornerstone Church. Hagee preached a fiery message as simple as it was horrifying: "The war between America and Iraq is the gateway to the Apocalypse!" he said, urging his followers to support the war, perhaps in order to bring about the Second Coming. After Hagee finished, DeLay rose to second the motion. "Ladies and gentlemen," he said, "what has been spoken here tonight is the truth from God."
With those words -- broadcast to 225 Christian TV and radio stations -- DeLay placed himself squarely inside the End-Time camp, a faction willing to force the Apocalypse upon the rest of the world. In part, DeLay may embrace Hagee and others like him in a calculated attempt to win fundamentalist votes -- but he was also raised a Southern Baptist, steeped in a literal interpretation of the Bible and End-Time dogma. Biographer Dubose says that the majority leader probably doesn't grasp the complexities of dispensationalist and reconstructionist theology, but "I am convinced that he believes [in] it." For DeLay, Dubose told me, "If John Hagee says it, then it is true."
...[James] Inhofe, like DeLay, is a Christian Zionist. While the senator has not overtly expressed his religious views in his environmental committee, he has when speaking on other issues. In a Senate foreign-policy speech, Inhofe argued that the U.S. should ally itself unconditionally with Israel "because God said so." Quoting the Bible as the divine Word of God, Inhofe cited Genesis 13:14-17 -- "for all the land which you see, to you will I give it, and to your seed forever" -- as justification for permanent Israeli occupation of the West Bank and for escalating aggression against the Palestinians.
Let's not waste words here, these people are insane. They prefer the lunatic fantasies of a dead cult leader to the actual words in the Bible.
The sooner people stop listening to them and their followers, the better off we'll all be. They're pushing for WWIII because they want it to happen -- they think that if they can bring about the apocalypse, Jesus will come back.
As I said, they're crazy.
Technorati tags: politics; Middle East; Israel; cultism; the religious right want foreign policy set by crazy people like Herbert W. Armstrong