DP: With me is Pastor John Hagee, one of the most prominent ministers in the country. And his books sell over a million each. They’re on the New York Times bestseller list. He’s very influential. And the John Hagee Ministries is what he’s best known for, but he has devoted a lot of his life to supporting the Jews in Israel, and I was honored to be the keynote speaker last night at his salute to Israel at his Church, which was full, and that means five to six thousand people were in attendance, and it was a very powerful experience for me. And we’re talking about your support and the support of Evangelicals for Israel and the Jews, and the Biblical and other bases that you have for it. And I ended with a question, and I’d like you to address it, and then I want to take calls from my listeners. 1-8-PRAGER-776. I said…and I know my answers to this, but it’s much more important that you give your answers, and there are those who say oh, come on, Dennis, don’t be fooled by this support. It’s just because of apocalyptic visions for Israel, and/or because they want to convert the Jews. So please address those.
JH: Our support of Israel has absolutely nothing to do with an apocalyptic, end times scenario. Our support for Israel, as I’ve previously stated, is totally and completely Biblically based. First of all, recognize that God is sovereign. That means God is all powerful. He has the ability to do what He wants to do, when He wants to do it, if He wants to do it, as long as He wants to do it, without consulting anyone. That means there’s not a man on Earth, a group of men, a nation on Earth or a group of nations that has the power to prompt God to do anything. When you read the Bible, it is something God has established hundreds, if not thousands of years ago, and it has been recorded long before Christianity ever became a fact. God is going to do what God is going to do, and it has nothing to do with John Hagee Ministries, it has nothing to do with any preacher or group of preachers. If we take up, pick up the Bible, and read the prophecies where Israel is going to become a state, my father was saying in the middle 40’s, if Israel does not become a state, we have a reason to believe that the Bible is not true. For my father who was a Bible scholar to say that caused people literally to stand up in the Church. I mean, they were shocked. And then Israel became a state. My father saying it didn’t make Israel a state. It was the fact that the prophets of Israel had said it was going to happen, and the Hand of God caused it to become a reality, May, 1948. We are not going to cause an apocalyptic future. God is going to do what He chooses, when He chooses, regardless of what man chooses.
DP: And the other, and the other…that was rather…it was interesting…it was not only persuasive, it was not the answer that…I’m going to start using that when people challenge on that basis. I’ve always said, and you would love this, Pastor, you would have had great joy from your community. On two occasions on my radio show, I simply said if you’re a Christian who supports Israel, just call up and say why. That’s all. That was it. It’s very rare that I am…I’m just a telephone operator on my own show. But I was. And I said nothing more than that. And for one hour, I took call after call from all over America, and not one Christian cited that. Whatever…there’s a moral reason, democracy reason, Judeo-Christian foundations of America, America founded by Israel-loving Christians, that Genesis…but no one ever cited any apocalyptic…that’s only those who want to falsify your support for the Jews who cite that. But you have given a very powerful additional reason of what do you think? We can force God’s Hand? Or we’re going to do X so God will do Y?
JH: That’s exactly right. It’s not possible.
DP: That’s…all right, that’s powerful, and I had not thought of that. Now the other one is, well, there’s really a surreptitious goal here, and that is if we…I’ve never quite understood this, well, oh, they’re supporting Israel so therefore, you’re really seeking converts through this. Now by the way, I have no issue with the fact that Christians are called to bring people to Christ.
DP: That’s what Christians do.
JH: Yes, that’s true.
DP: That’s what evangelize means. But that…but address the specificity of the support for the Jews.
JH: 26 years ago, when we began A Night To Honor Israel, the Jewish community here in San Antonio was very uncomfortable with our agenda. They were very suspicious. That’s the word I’m trying to get around, but that’s what they were. Very suspicious of our agenda. And I told them that I wanted to have a night to honor Israel, and the reason being at that point in time, the IDF, the Israeli Defense Forces, had eliminated the nuclear reactor in Iraq, and the American media was hostile and vicious toward Israel. And I thought Israel had done a wonderful thing eliminating nuclear weapons from the hand of a madman. It shows you the media is generally a million miles off point. So I said we want to have a night to honor Israel. And I went to the Jewish community, and told them what I wanted to do. They looked at me like I had a rash that was catchable. They said look, we’re going to have to have a committee meeting. Well, they had a long one, and they had a second one, and they had a third one, and they had a fourth one. And at that fourth one, every able-bodied Jew in San Antonio was there, and it was long. And finally, the Rabbi, the orthodox Rabbi that was there last night, Rabbi Sheinberg, stood up and said look, as Jews, we know how to handle our enemies. We’ve been doing it for thousands of years. But what if this man is a friend?
DP: Jews aren’t used to handling friends.
DP: That is such a profound statement. Go ahead.
JH: And it was like turning a light on in a dark room. I mean, you could tell wow, what if he is a friend?
DP: (laughing) That’s a great story.
JH: So I told them, I said look, when we have a night to honor Israel, I pledge to you we’re not targeting you for conversion. I said we’re bringing you there to honor you. We’re bringing you there to thank you for what you’ve contributed to Christianity, and for the contributions that you’ve made to the world, and to benefit Israel, because we have a common agenda to support Israel in the greatest day of danger that they’ve ever known. And so for 26 years, we have done that. None of the nights to honor Israel across this nation are conversionary. Never have been and will not be. And for that, I have caught unmitigated flack from Christians who just don’t get it.
DP: And their flack is hey, that’s…your call is to convert them.
JH: That’s exactly right.
DP: And your response to them?
JH: My response to them is I have told them that this is a night to honor them. It is not a night to target them. I said now, Biblically, if the next day a Jewish man comes and says tell me about your faith, he’s going to get the motherlode. I will give it to him from the front to the back. But on the night to honor Israel, I’m there to honor him, not target him.
DP: I consider this truly one of the more significant media hours in America today, to have you explain this remarkable movement of Christians in support of the Jews in Israel.
End of interview.