On April 17, 2015, The Institute for Religion and Democracy hosted a conference at Georgetown University Conference Center in Washington, DC.

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The topic: “The People of the Land: A 21st Century Case for Christian Zionism

The questions asked: Can Christian Zionism be defended in the twenty-first century? Theologically? Historically? Can it be defended in ways that are consistent with Jewish and Christian scriptures?

The answers put forth: Yes.

Scholars at the conference contended that Christian Zionism should be based on intellectual traditions of ecumenical Christianity, not “end times” scenarios.

Mark Tooley, president of The Institute for Religion and Democracy, stated:

“Too few Christians and Americans today know the deeply biblical and ecumenical intellectual traditions affirming a modern Jewish Israel. We hope our new 21st-century Christian Zionism, rooted in the venerable past, will open an exciting new chapter in Christian friendship with Jews and with Israel.”

It is the hope of this conference to “make a case for the people and the land.” Israel and Jewish people in the Diaspora need Christian voices, the scholars contend. Especially as many mainline Protestants and those on the Evangelical left are withdrawing their support from Israel and unfortunately using the same faulty arguments as many did in history and as some virulent detractors do today.

Robert W. Nicholson, Director of the Philos Project, and presenter at the conference, reflected:

“I was surprised at how many Christians approached me afterward and told me how glad they were that Israel was not, as they had heard, a criminal regime. I could tell that many of them had struggled with the issue, wondering if Israel might possibly be the bad guy in this conflict.

 

The answer is no. Regardless of your politics or your theology, you can rest assured that Israel — despite facing unique challenges — is not an apartheid state. It is not a terror state. It is not maintaining an open-air prison in Gaza. It’s just not.”

During a time when antisemitism is on the rise and anti-Zionism is being presented (falsely) as the new human rights issue at the expense of the human rights of the Jewish people, what better friends can Israel and the Jewish people have, but Christians.

This blog post was originally written for Every State for Israel, but this is interesting and important enough to be shared with a wider audience.