I had asked in a previous post whether she was a “dispensationalist” – and gave a link to Wikipedia for a definition. Here’s a less technical interpretation:
Dispensationalist Christianity, i.e., End Times prophecies – the belief that Armageddon is coming and that, with it, the True Believers will be whisked up to Heaven by God…
The enormous success of the Left Behind books and movies (which depict the earth during Armageddon as a delicious chaos, with airplanes suddenly stripped of their believer pilots, buses flying off highways, blood-soaked atheists realizing their tragic mistake far too late, etc.) helped spread these beliefs. So much so that dispensationalism is now more or less the default doctine of most Southern Baptists….
But you can’t have Armageddon without certain preconditions, and most important among those is a final battle that the Prophet Ezekiel predicted will take place between a satanic army (in most interpretations, a force of Arabs led by Russia) and God’s chosen people, Israel. Most End Timers believe the key alliance here will be between Russia and Iran and that only following a savage military confrontation between those states and Israel, probably of a catastrophic nuclear nature, will Christ reappear and begin his glorious second reign.
Thus the whole idea behind Christian Zionism is to align America with the nation of Israel so as to “hurry God up” in his efforts to bring about this key final showdown.
Matt Taibbi’s summary (“The Great Derangement,” pp. 21-22) may be exaggerated. But wouldn’t it help to have a clarification – just as Obama was required to clarify whether he shared the stated opinions of the pastor of his church – if these beliefs could possibly shape or influence the policy, or more likely the response under pressure, of the vice-president of the United States? Read more »