Bishop Slams Evangelicals' 'Apocalyptic' Views on Jerusalem, Calls Them 'Extremist'

(Photo: REUTERS/Ammar Awad)A footbridge leads from the Western Wall to the compound known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, in Jerusalem's Old City June 2, 2015. Picture taken June 2, 2015.

A major Lutheran bishop has decried what he called "apocalyptic" views on Jerusalem, charging evangelicals with waiting for war and destruction in the region as part of prophecy leading to the second coming of Jesus Christ.

Lutheran Church Bishop of Jerusalem and Jordan Bishop Munib Yunan spoke before Jordan's King Abdullah II on Sunday during a meeting of religious leaders, where he slammed U.S. President Donald Trump's recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and accused U.S. evangelicals of not representing "true" Christianity.

Yunan said that respecting Jerusalem's "historical status quo" is necessary, The Jordan Times reported, and argued that although major Christian churches, including the Vatican and the International Lutheran Council, have called for peace, others are seeing apocalyptic prophecies at place.

"We also face some Christian groups in the world that view the developments in the Middle East and Jerusalem from a narrow religious apocalyptic perspective," the bishop said.

"This group, whom we refer as evangelicals, are the ones who politicize religion and 'religionize' politics. Unfortunately, they view the wars, concerns, displacements, destruction and injustice in the Middle East as a precursor to the second coming of the Messiah."

Yunan continued, "However, we, the true Anglicans, including the Arab Anglicans, disagree completely in letter and in spirit with these groups of Anglicans who do not support justice, and who politicize religion with misconceived and unrealistic scenarios about the Middle East."

He insisted that although such evangelicals have "influence" over decision makers in America, they are "representative of extremism religiously and politically," and do not represent "true Christianity."

"This group does not comprehend justice nor does it care about human rights," Yunan stated.

What is more, the Lutheran bishop charged evangelicals with "abusing the Bible and Christ" through their "literal and misguided interpretation of the Bible."

"Just as Your Majesty has disavowed a misguided terrorist group that does not represent true Islam, describing them as khawarej (outlaws), we, Arab Christians, disavow this Christian group that does not represent the Bible nor Christ. To us they are khawarej, outlaws to the church," he said.

American evangelicals have been supportive of Trump's controversial move, and last week presented him with a "Friends of Zion" award.

Dr. Mike Evans, founder of the Friends of Zion Museum, said at the the time that "no American president in history has done more to defend the Jewish people in the United Nations" than Trump.

Johnnie Moore, evangelical communications executive and human rights advocate, shared a photo of the letter signed by evangelical leaders, reading:

"We stand together united today in firm support of the President's commitment to peace in the Middle East and in celebration of his historic decision to designate Jerusalem the capital of Israel."

"This distinguished 'Friends of Zion' award is a symbol of our appreciation to President Donald J. Trump as we remain unrelenting in our prayers for the peace of Jerusalem."

Evans separately told CBN News that Trump can be compared to King Cyrus in the Bible, who helped Israel in ancient times, and said that humanity is indeed in a prophetic movement.

"He (Cyrus) saved the Jewish people. He was used as an instrument of God for deliverance in the Bible and God has used this imperfect vessel, this flawed human being like you or I, this imperfect vessel and he's using him in an incredible, amazing way to fulfill his plans and purposes," Evans argued.

"We couldn't be happier and as somebody who has wanted and prayed and hoped for this for more than 40 years, I see us in the middle of prophecy right now," he said about Trump's move on Jerusalem.

 

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