Now Whose Side is God On?

By Jan Markell

September 22, 2011

In April of 2010 I wrote my e-newsletter on the new film titled, Whose Side Is God On? In its own promotion, it aimed at changing the end-time views of evangelicals and the theology that says the Jews are God’s chosen people and that they have a Divine right to the land of Israel. The movie’s spokesman, Porter Speakman, explains that there is a biblical alternative for Christians who want to love and support the people of Israel. He says that there is a theology that doesn’t favor one people group over another. Instead, it promotes peace and reconciliation for both Jews and Palestinians unlike “Christian Zionism” that is outspoken in its favoritism toward all things Jewish, based on biblical verses.

I am not sure why Israel can’t have a little group of supporters. We have just seen the world get behind the Palestinian push for statehood in the U.N. But what really troubles me is that the bashers of Christian Zionists don’t really care one whit about Israel’s friends. They can’t stand us, in fact. According to the film’s Web site, pro-Israel Christians like me have helped create “the largest refugee population in the world.” We are participating in “ethnic cleansing” of the Palestinians, and we sanction “Israeli apartheid.” Does this sound like the film is unbiased?

With God On Our Side tries to provide a portrait of desperate Palestinians but doesn’t spend a nanosecond explaining that their plight is at the hands of their corrupt and selfish leadership, starting with Mahmoud Abbas who has done a song and dance in the U.S. in recent days. There is no reference to the new terror state in Gaza run by Hamas or the fact that Palestinians danced in the streets with joy on 9/11. The promotion in the film and its Web site of Stephen Sizer, well known for his blatant anti-Semitism, dashes any hope that the film cares proportionately for the Jew and the Palestinian. Sadly, the so-called Bible Answer Man, Hank Hanegraaff, loves to give Sizer credibility on his radio program which serves to gain recruits for Israel-bashers. Hanegraaff’s Preterism is tough enough to swallow but calling my friends and me supporters of “apartheid” as well as “racists” takes the argument way too far.

Now that the film has had almost a two-year shelf life and global circulation, it has gained new and troubling advertisers. One is Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. If he speaks for a lot of people, times are scarier than I thought. He says in The Huffington Post, “My father was a key evangelical founder and leader of the American religious right. I grew up in a home where the ‘return of the Jews to Israel’ was seen as ‘proof’ of ‘God fulfilling prophecy’ in order to expedite the return of Christ. I changed my mind and I changed my politics. I explain why I quit the evangelical movement in my book. I no longer believe that any ‘prophecy’ is being fulfilled in Israel or anywhere else. I don’t believe anyone is ‘chosen.’ If there is a God, then God either loves all people or none.”

Frank Schaeffer, most of the world believes as you do. Why can’t you folks allow a very tiny little band of Christian Zionists to stand with Israel? Why must you throw verbal stones at us? But it gets worse. I am not sure your dad would be proud.

“Speakman’s film presents an authentically Christian and evangelical perspective to the warmonger far right views,” he states. “As such, this film is literally the most important document of its kind — because it was made by an insider. It is the key to understanding why evangelicals have become the permanent party of war in the name of ‘helping Israel.’ “ Schaeffer doesn’t stop even here. He is about to get even more intense.

He says, “If we go to war with Iran, you’ll know why after watching this film. ‚  Hint: It won’t be to protect American interests. The film presents an opportunity for Christians of all denominations as well as Jews, Muslims, atheists — whomever — to engage for peace as vigorously as the Christian Zionists root for war.”

Wait! I’m not rooting for war! Wars are lethal. Are you rooting for war? I’m also not rooting for terror or any kind of violence. It is the Palestinians, whom Schaeffer and this film champion, who broke into an Israeli home in March and literally slaughtered the Fogel family, Jewish settlers. A young daughter came home at midnight to find rivers of blood and only one family member left. The intruders were careless and missed one.

Schaeffer says that it is American Christian Zionists who have driven American foreign policy over a cliff. He says we jeopardize America’s future due to our “hair-brained biblical prophecy beliefs.” ‚   Now, if Frances Schaeffer isn’t turning in his grave yet, he is about to. Frank says, “To a Christian Zionist, defending Israel is just a handy pretext for indulging their obsession: Egging on, even helping the fulfillment of biblical prophecies about the return of Christ. But their worst sin isn’t just embracing dumb theology but that they have enabled a nefarious group of losers (emphasis mine) to irreparably harm America and contribute to the needless killing of our men and women in uniform worldwide: The neo-conservatives.”

I do get it that today it is not cool to be a conservative, a neo-conservative (whatever that is), a Zionist, a prophecy buff, or an end-time watcher hanging on to my blessed hope. If we fit into any of these categories, we are among the “nefarious group of losers.” Even I don’t call theology I don’t agree with “dumb.” I might call it “unsound” or “unbiblical” or “man-made.” Five-year olds call ideas “dumb.” You really have to have an axe to grind to talk like Frank Schaeffer & Co and he clearly has an axe in his hand! He has called good people just about everything short of some four-letter words. We’re losers, hair-brained nuts, nefarious, obsessed, in favor of ethnic cleansing and apartheid, warmongers, racists, and fools. And, we control American foreign policy.

Well, it was American Christian evangelicals and Christian Zionists who sounded an alarm to be wary of the “Arab spring.” We warned that it was not a ploy for democracy– rather, an effort by the Muslim Brotherhood and other radicals to destabilize the Middle East and the world–and to unite and wipe out Israel.

So much for our influence. Nobody listened.

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