Strategic Implications of American Millennialism

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by J.D., Feb 2, 2010.

  1. J.D.

    J.D.
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    If anyone is interested, please take the time to click on the link and give it a good reading, and then comment. It's got some dispensationalists pretty riled up. I did a paper similar to this one but with much less focus on the politics of Christian Zionism.

    By the way, it is not represent the official govenment or Army position on "millenialism". It is just a Master's Thesis submitted by a student to the Army War College.

    http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA485511&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf
     
  2. preachinjesus

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    In even the briefest of historical surveys concerning evangelicalism and/or fundamentalism of the past century it is painfully clear that the shift in millennial theology from postmillennial to premillennial has indeed shaped our national consciousness.

    I haven't read the above link, but will. I'm currently compiling some research on the integration of fundamentalist rhetoric into contemporary evangelical expression for a post-doctoral research group. This kind of thing is evidence for so much.

    One matter that is pretty clear is that so many fundamentalist leaders have used their political will to push an Israel centered policy through Washington DC, mostly to see if they can usher in the eschaton by doing so. I can clearly remember Jerry Falwell mentioning something to this effect while I was at Liberty.

    Here is an interesting line from the abstract:
    Military leaders charged with interpreting policy into strategy and acting on behalf of the nation on the international stage cannot afford to remain ignorant of the effects of pre-millennialism. Due to a general lack of awareness of millennialism and an uneasy reticence to discuss religious factors, understanding and analysis of our own policies and motives is often deficient. Additionally, the cultural imprint that derives from millennialism impairs our understanding of the words, actions and motives of other actors on the world stage. (emphasis mine)

    Interesting, seems this is simply a good way for a War College guy to write his master's thesis and help inform the leader of our country. I haven't had time to read all 80 pages, but think it should be good bedtime reading. :)

    Thanks for the link, I hope this brings good conversation.
     
  3. AnotherBaptist

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    I read this last month after the link was posted on another message board. In reviewing his footnotes, he relies heavily on the opinions of a preterist, so there goes any objective reasoning. As far as influence goes, I still rank the efforts of key British Evangelicals from 1910-1918 in getting the Balfour Declaration created as having a far greater impact in the 20th century than pre-millennial-ism did. A real Israel being hated by real Islamic fanatics is causing all the problems in the Middle East, not a bunch of people with a particular view of eschatological matters. Pre-millers aren't making the Muslims hate Jews. They were doing it on their own long before 1948.

    American Christians to/in some degree support Israel, that's true. But the US has always enjoyed having a nuclear armed democracy like Israel as a friend in a region where the US has few friends. They have used Israel as a "buffer" of sorts for some time now, taking advantage of them whenever possible in order to keep the oil flowing. When Iraqi Scuds were raining down on Israel during the first Gulf War, the US promised Israel $200 million in aid if they in turn promised not to retaliate against Iraq with nukes if Iraq hit them with chemical/biological missiles. When Iraq didn't and the war ended, the US reneged on the $200 million. That's just one example of many through the years where the US has treated Israel like a rented mule. It continues today and has absolutely nothing to do with American pre-millennial-ism.

    American Christians being accused of pushing Armageddon seems like folly when you consider Iran's President is praying for it.
     
  4. webdog

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    Excellent post, and spot on :thumbs:
     
  5. pinoybaptist

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    not a premiller, but agree totally.
     
  6. J.D.

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    Some good points.

    Here's a rejoinder:

    1. Was there any claim to objectivity in the paper?

    2. Wouln't you rely on preterist scholarship if you thought futurism needed a corrective?

    3. Weren't those British evangelicals influenced by dispensational premillenialism?

    4. Radical Muslims want war, that's a given. But should Israel expand to ancient boudaries? And should the Palentinians just lay down and give it to them, or fight for it?
     
  7. asterisktom

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    A very interesting paper. Just focusing on your 3 points above, however, I would say that preterist perspective is bound to help to some degree. BTW, Preterism is kind of a loosey-goosey designation for all kinds of eschatology. I would classify myself as a partial-preterist, at least as far as I understand their position.

    I think that futurism has soaked into our thinking in the last two centuries to such a degree that it has become real hard for us to be scripturally objective any more.
     
  8. asterisktom

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    On page 16 you have this:

    "Preterists are divided on the fulfillment of the prophecies in the final chapters of Revelation. Some believe they had their fulfillment in the past, while some believe that the final chapters speak of yet future events."

    I'm not sure if that is the case. Perhaps it is an oversimplification of how they believe. Or maybe I missed something myself - always a possibility! I don't think I would classify myself as a full preterist, yet much of those later chapters of Revelation I see as already being fulfilled (the binding of Satan and the descent of the New Jerusalem, for instance).

    Duh! never mind. I was misreading what you wrote.

    Also, you mentioned that some (starting with Augustine?) expected the eschaton at 1000 AD, yet I could never find an original source proving that. Neither did I find it in the link you provided, interesting and helpful though it was. Are we really sure that they expected the end that time or has this just been an "urban myth" (so to speak) of church historians?

    Still reading. Hopefully more carefully this time !

    On page 29 (p. 23 0n the actual copy) you have a typo in the footnote. I believe you want 1845, not 1945.
     
    #8 asterisktom, Feb 2, 2010
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  9. asterisktom

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    Having now read most of your piece I can say that it shows to me even more clearly the dangerous effects Pre-millennialism is having - and will have - on our nation.

    BTW about halfway through the paper, when you were referring to the change of hope and focus of Puritans from Britain to America, especially after the failure of Cromwell's Commonwealth, I thought of a quote from Matthew Henry that I found in my set of Complete Works. Somewhere in those two volumes - still looking for it - he says that the light (or fire) of God that was once on Britain has now moved on to the New World, America.

    OK, I found it. It is in The Complete Works of Matthew Henry, Vol. 2, p.439. (Baker Books).
     
    #9 asterisktom, Feb 2, 2010
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  10. J.D.

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    Tom, thank you but if you'll read the OP more carefully you'll see that I didn't write the paper. I did write one similar, but not nearly as well done as this one. Maybe I'll post it someday anyway.

    I am partial preterist also thanks to Grasshopper and Ken Gentry, and amil (Gentry's trying to convince me of postmil, but it ain't working so far).

    I support Israel's right to exist, and it's right to defend itself, and its occupation of the West Bank while hostilities continue. But Israel is wrong sometimes, and we're wrong to support them when they are.

    What's odd is that most Christians have more honor for an unbelieving Jew than for a Palestinian Christian.

    Our support for Israel has fogged our judgement. Modern Israel is not the Covenant people of the OT or the NT.

    Here's a little ditty I made up:
    (copyright 2010 by J.D., alll rights reservied)

    When Israel sinned, they entered not in;
    when idols were about, they were cast out;
    when Christ they neglected, the nation was rejected;
    God was annoyed, so the Temple He destroyed;
    what they do today isn't God's way;
    the people in the land are not from Abraham;
    and even if they were, one thing's for sure;
    they have not repented, and God has not relented.
     
  11. preachinjesus

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    just needed to be resaid :thumbsup:
     
  12. OldRegular

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    I only skimmed the Intro. and Conclusions but have believed for many years that dispensationalism has influenced American foreign policy.

    In general I support the policy of this nation regarding Israel, not on religious grounds but strategic grounds. Israel provides somewhat of a buffer against militant Islam's war with Christianity, and I am not just talking about Al Queda [sp] but Islam as a whole.
     
  13. OldRegular

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    The truth may, perhaps, hopefully, just wishful thinking, or never set you free.

    US approves annual aid to Israel

    House of Representatives approves allocation of USD 21.3 billion in foreign assistance during 2007, including USD 2.46 billion to Israel, the largest sum received by any country; House rejected proposal to cut aid to Egypt by USD 100 million following arrest of opposition leaders

    Yitzhak Benhorin
    Published:*
    06.10.06, 10:50 / Israel News

    The House of Representatives has approved the allocation of USD 21.3 billion in foreign assistance during 2007, including USD 2.46 billion to Israel, the largest sum received by any country.
    *
    The annual assistance package to Israel is comprised of USD 2.34 billion in military aid, in addition to USD 120 million in standard economic aid.
    *
    House foreign aid legislation must be reconciled with a Senate version before a final bill can go to President George W. Bush for signature.
    *
    As of next year the military aid to Israel is set to reach USD 2.4 billion, but regular economic aid will be cancelled.

    My Bold!

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3260989,00.html
     
  14. kyredneck

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    J.D., thanks for posting this. I scanned over the paper, downloaded it into my 'Christian Zionism' file, and will look at it later. I also liked your poem.

    Two of the worlds' leading academics on U.S. Foreign Policy published this scholarly paper in March, 2006. It went around the globe in two weeks, but was given a cool reception here in the states. It is available at the Harvard site as a downloadable PDF file:

    The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy.
    Walt, Stephen and John J. Mearsheimer. "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy." KSG Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP06-011, March 2006.
    http://web.hks.harvard.edu/publications/workingpapers/citation.aspx?PubId=3670

    Abstract
    In this paper, John J. Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago's Department of Political Science and Stephen M.Walt of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government contend that the centerpiece of U.S. Middle East policy is its intimate relationship with Israel. The authors argue that although often justified as reflecting shared strategic interests or compelling moral imperatives, the U.S. commitment to Israel is due primarily to the activities of the “Israel Lobby." This paper goes on to describe the various activities that pro-Israel groups have undertaken in order to shift U.S. foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction.

    Some excerpts (emphasis mine):

     
    #14 kyredneck, Feb 3, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 3, 2010
  15. kyredneck

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    I posed this question a while back on a previous thread of mine and got no responses:
    http://www.baptistboard.com/showthread.php?p=1486104#post1486104

     
  16. OldRegular

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    kyredneck

    Just really looked at your moniker and see that you are a Kentucky Red Neck. I lived in Eastern Kentucky from 34-45.

    You really want to confuse a dispensationalist ask how would GOD resolve a conflict between a Christian and a Jew.
     
  17. Allan

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    Man, I agree with you there..
    Espeacillay since there is biblically no conflict whatsoever, yes, it would cause great confusion.
     
  18. kyredneck

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    ???????

    As touching the gospel, they are enemies for your sake: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers` sake. Ro 11:28

    Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the concision: for we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God, and glory in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh: Phil 2:2,3

    ...she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall in no wise see mourning. Rev 18:7

    She is no queen and she is indeed a widow. She killed her husband, Christ the King.
     
    #18 kyredneck, Feb 3, 2010
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  19. kyredneck

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    ....thou hast said, None seeth me.... Isa 47:10

    She's wrong again. There ARE those that see her.
     
  20. kyredneck

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    Eastern KY during the Depression was as tough as it comes. My roots are in the mountains.
     

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