A tale of two Christian Zionists in Jerusalem

Michele Bachman and Robert Jeffress (Composite photo from Wikimedia Commons and screenshot)

If you haven’t been in a coma for the past few weeks, you probably know that the US Embassy opened in Jerusalem on Monday, May 14. There were a lot of visitors in Jerusalem to help with this event, including many prominent Christian Zionist leaders.

I want to focus on the conduct of two in particular.

The first is Michele Bachmann, a former member of Congress from the State of Minnesota. During a visit to Israel in 2015, Bachmann told a local radio station that Christians need “to be faithful in the Kingdom and to help bring in as many as we can, even among the Jews — share Jesus Christ with everyone that we possibly can because, again, He’s coming soon.”

During a visit to the this week Knesset, she reportedly issued a deeply emotional apology for this and similar comments she’d made in the past, saying;

“I ask for forgiveness from the Jewish people for what it is that we have done. I apologize profoundly and ask forgiveness from the Almighty God that these statements brought pain.”

So, that was one example of a Christian Zionist person reacting to people taking offense at them stating publicly that they actually believe what the New Testament says.

A second example was provided by Pastor Robert Jeffress of the Dallas Southern Baptist megachurch, who was in Jerusalem this week to offer a prayer at the opening of the US Embassy.

The choice of Jeffress to participate in the ceremony was harshly criticized by some, including former Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who tweeted that Jeffress wasn’t qualified because he has said in the past that at “you can’t be saved by being a Jew, or by practicing Mormonism or Islam.”

This, Romney opined, makes Jeffress a “religious bigot” and several other commentators in the US and Israel issued similar statements.

Jeffress responded with a tweet saying “Historic Christianity has taught for 2,000 years that salvation is through faith in Christ alone. The fact that I, along with tens of millions of evangelical Christians around the world, continue to espouse that belief, is neither bigoted nor newsworthy.”

Now, let’s just take a moment to examine this.

Michelle Bachmann unwittingly said something which was Scripturally correct but not politically correct, later apologizing for it.

Jeffress, when called out by someone for saying something which is Scripturally correct but politically incorrect, stood his ground and refused to compromise.

With such a stark contrast on display, it’s time to ask the classis question, “what would Jesus do?”

The answer isn’t hard to find.

In John 14:6 it is written thatJesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.'”

In Matthew 10:33 He added, “But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.”

From where I’m sitting, that means that if you call yourself a follower of Jesus Christ, and someone is “offended” because you hold those words to be true, their problem isn’t with you, but with Jesus Christ. But if you compromise on that truth because you’re more afraid of what people are “offended” by than what Jesus Christ is offended by, than that’s gonna make Jesus Christ have a problem with YOU!

This is not something to be taken lightly.

And for those who think that it’s necessary to apologize, grovel and abase ourselves for believing that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only thing that can save a Jewish person just as it is the only thing which can save a Gentile person in order to “soften the hearts of the Jewish People for the Gospel” than you couldn’t be more wrong. Because apologizing for declaring and believing the Words of Jesus Christ will not, could not, won’t ever, bring Jewish people, or any other kind of people, closer to Jesus Christ.

In his long and somewhat convoluted prayer at the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem on Monday, Pastor Jeffress meandered into some strange territory but he made it clear that of all the things he was grateful to the Jewish People for, the Bible and the Messiah were the most important. Crucially, he concluded by declaring that he was bringing his prayer to God “in the name and the spirit of the Prince of Peace, Jesus our Lord.”

He received only a light and brief smattering of polite applause for this prayer from the assembled US and Israeli officials. I believe he got a much warmer response in Heaven.

In contrast, the closing benediction at the ceremony by Pastor John Hagee, which was more of a political rant than a prayer and which he did not bring before God in the name of Jesus, received a great deal of applause. Michelle Bachmann’s words also garnered praise from various people in Israel and the US.

You and I have a choice as to whose example we’re going to follow.

Who are we going to try to please? Whose business are we going to be about? Who are we going to fear?

Luke 12:4-5;

 “I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him!”