Pat Robertson, Pope Francis and Zionism

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Rev. Pat Robertson

Pat Robertson is known as a televangelist and preacher of Christian Zionism among Evangelicals.  Today he ranted against the Holy Father, Pope Francis, for his statements about a Palestinian state.  Robertson claim nobody, even the Pope, can get away of what the Scriptures say about the Jews owning the holy city of Jerusalem.  Pat’s problem is a social problem.  See, Pat is just one of many who believes that the Jews own Jerusalem; it is part of dispensationalism or Christian Zionism: there are different forms but the common belief is that Jesus Christ will reign physically from the Temple of Jerusalem.  There are so many problems with this belief system.

God’s promise belongs to those who keep God’s Covenant.  We are no longer under the Old Covenant as it has been made obsolete by Christ’s Passion as Saint Paul said that the sacrifice of the blood of goats and calves is no longer necessary as the Paschal Lamb of God sacrificed Himself once and for all (rf. Hebrews 9:12).

Because the Old Covenant ritual sacrifice of goats and calves has been made obsolete, there is no purpose for a Temple in Jerusalem.  This is explicitly stated by Saint Paul who says the diverse “washings, and justices of the flesh laid on them” (cf. Hebrews 9:9) have been nullified by “blood of Christ, who by the Holy Ghost offered himself unspotted unto God, cleanse our conscience from dead works, to serve the living God” (v. 14).

The Holy Scriptures mention that the Antichrist sits “in the temple of God, claiming that he is a god” (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:15).  Many early Christians saw this literally as referring to a Messianic figure among the Jews.  Jesus Himself warned of false Christs saying, “Then if any man shall say to you: Lo here is Christ, or there, do not believe him” (Matthew 24:23).  Though I do not take Saint Paul’s Temple of God reference too literally, I do find it ironic that the Evangelical Zionists are promoting something that is most explicitly mentioned negatively in reference to the son of perdition.  Saint Hippolytus believed the Antichrist would be of the tribe of Dan (rf. On Christ and the Antichrist, no. 14).  While this does not constitute as Church dogma, it does show how early Christians rejected any claims of Christ dwelling in a physical Temple as the “Saviour raised up and showed His holy flesh like a temple” (Ibid, 6) and he “will raise a temple of stone in Jerusalem” so that his “seductive arts we shall exhibit in what follows”; this must refer to the Antichrist since Christ does not seduce and did not promise to rebuild the Temple of stone seeing that He referred to Himself as the Temple destroyed and rebuild in three days (rf. John 2:19-21).  Saint John Paul II rejected what he called “secular messianism” as an “‘intrinsically perverse’ political form” (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 676), even as a deception of the Antichrist (Ibid).

Reportedly Theodor Herzl visited Saint Pius X to request approval and support for a Jewish state; his response was so long as the Jews — as a religion — rejected Jesus as God and Messiah, it was not the Church’s position to approve of a Jewish state as supported by God.  God promised the land to those who do not “despise my laws, and contemn my judgments so as not to do those things which are appointed by me, and to make void my covenant” (cf. Leviticus 26:15).

This does not mean God breaks His promise.  Only people reject God’s promise.  The Church is viewed as the New Jerusalem as she is the fulfillment of God’s promise to Israel and promises the Israelites salvation as He founded a New Covenant not like the one (rf. Jeremiah 31:31-33).  God keeps His promise.  Saint Paul prayed for the conversion of the Jews to Christ as he said this of the Jews.

“I have great sadness, and continual sorrow in my heart.  For I wished myself to be an anathema from Christ, for my brethren, who are my kinsmen according to the flesh,  Who are Israelites, to whom belongeth the adoption as of children, and the glory, and the testament, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises.” (Romans 11:2-4)

Saint Paul mentioned “there is a remnant saved according to the election of grace” (cf. Romans 11:5).  Saint John Paul II even wrote, “The glorious Messiah’s coming is suspended at every moment of history until his recognition by ‘all Israel” (no. 674; cf. Romans 11:20-26).  As to what this exactly means is unsure, though I doubt it means all self-professed Jews will acknowledge Jesus as Son of God and Messiah.  However, I do believe a significant number of those of the house of Israel will convert, thus they the true Jews — both in their ancestry from Abraham and their faithfulness to God’s Covenant, will inherit His promise.

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