Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Is Zionism losing ground among Evangelicals?

The Pew Forum on Religion has published the findings of a major survey of the opinions of Global Evangelical Protestant Leaders.

Significantly, the survey found that only 34% say they sympathize with Israel. A majority say they sympathize either with both sides equally (39%) or with neither side (13%).

Among evangelical leaders from the United States, even fewer sympathize more with Israel (30%) while nearly half (49%) say they sympathize with both sides equally.

Similarly only 48% of the evangelicals say the state of Israel is a fulfilment of biblical prophecy about the Second Coming of Jesus, while 42% say it is not. This is perhaps an indication that evangelicals are increasingly better informed about the Middle East.

Charles Carlson observes,
“The poll results state that 73% of those polled think "God's covenant with the Jewish people" continues today, and only 22% say it does not. It should be noted here that this is a Judeo-Christian give-away, since it is based on a false premise. The Pew Forum and all Evangelicals need to understand that there never was an Old Testament covenant with "the Jewish people." Most Evangelicals, radical or moderate, fail to properly distinguish the ancient tribe of Israelites from the Jews of today, and in particular, the Jewish inhabitants of the modern secular Jewish state of Israel. This error is the result of scriptural distortion that is encouraged by the State of Israel and its lobbies in the USA, and by the Israel-friendly press.”
Despite what Zionists would have us believe, the greatest threat to Christianity is perceived to come from secularism (71%); consumerism (67%); and from sex and violence in popular culture (59%). Only a minority see the influence of Islam as a major threat (47%) and this is even lower among evangelicals in the Middle East who live as minorities under Islamic rule (35%).

Positive attitudes toward Jewish people are rightly much higher, suggesting evangelicals distinguish between the Jewish faith and Zionism as practised in Israel. Three-quarters have either mostly favourable (60%) or very favourable (16%) views of Jews, even though most do not think those views are reciprocated; 86% think that Jews are either neutral (53%) or unfriendly (33%) toward evangelicals.

See the Pew Forum Survey of Global Evangelical Protestant Leaders