There is reason to be afraid. Yes, I watch horror but the reason I suggest being afraid is because of a documentary titled ’Til Kingdom Come. Directed by Maya Zinshtein, the film examines Christian evangelical support for Israel. Primarily set in Binghamton, Kentucky, the interviews indicate a number of frightening implications. One, that support for Jews is based on a “convert or die” model. These evangelicals have the end times mapped out and believe the Bible is a fortune-telling book par excellence. This doesn’t surprise me since I grew up with some of those very same charts and timelines. It doesn’t surprise, but it scares. These true believers never reflect or question their beliefs and this leads them to an emotional coldness that is antithetical to the sympathy Jesus preached.
A second fear factor here is just how organized and just how good at raising money the various Israeli lobbies are. When evangelicals are elected to congress, these groups have open doors in Washington. Those shown in the documentary are unfailing in their flattery of Trump. The Jewish groups are clearly using the Christians to push and anti-Palestinian agenda while the evangelicals, for their part, are using the Jews to force God’s hand in sending Jesus back to end the world. Under the Trump administration we were nearly pushed to the brink by elected officials who fervently pray for the end of the world. This should keep any sane person up at night.
The beliefs of these evangelical groups have evolved to the point of not being recognizable as anything Jesus taught. The conservative social agenda has been mistaken for the Gospel and these groups despise anyone who approaches the Bible to learn what it actually says. Again, having grown up with this viewpoint none of it comes as a surprise. I know it’s possible for people to grow out of it. Watching overweight televangelists stirring up massive crowds to donate to a gospel of hate is nevertheless troubling. Early on one of the pastors admits that they indoctrinate their children. He sees no problem with that, although he seems embarrassed to have been caught saying it on film. One lone mainline pastor, a Palestinian resident of Bethlehem, speaks out against this distortion of the Christian message. One of the evangelicals walks away from a conversation with him and his heartfelt sympathy for his fellow Palestinians only to say the pastor’s theology is anti-Semitic. ’Til Kingdom Come is a disturbing documentary. I think I’ll watch a horror film to calm down.