Steve Deace is certainly one of the best political commentators in America, in large part due to his show’s mission of mainstreaming a Christian worldview the way that Rush Limbaugh mainstreamed conservatism. In the popular Wednesday segment of But, Sell, or Hold/Lindsay, viewers submit propositions and they respond to them. I submitted this hot take on Tuesday night, and to my surprise, it was read.
America has blessed the nation-state of Israel for 75 years and in return have experienced an increase in lasciviousness akin to the Roman Empire which sacked Jerusalem.— Raymond Fava (@RaymondFava) September 14, 2022
There is no theological or eschatological significance to the modern nation-state of Israel.
America has most certainly blessed the physical nation-state of Israel. Yet despite all of the foreign aid (tribute) we pay Israel, it is quite easy to conclude that there is no correlation between blessing the physical nation-state of Israel and the blessings that nation receives. Thus the promise of premillennial dispensationalism, specifically that God still blesses and curses nations to how they treat the nation-state of Israel, is incorrect, because dispensationalism is incorrect. Dispensationalism has wrongly attributed significance where no special significance exists.
Correctly ascertaining that this was a questioning of correlation and not causation, Steve Deace proceeds to dismiss the notion on the basis that the prop is dogmatic to presume there is zero theological significance to Israel.
Steve Deace’s argument falls flat for two reasons
- God determines what is theologically significant
- Perceived significance is not actual significance
Deace would more than likely agree that God determines theology. In fact, he has said in the past that God determines what are majors from what are minors. Since theology is the study of God, that which is not of God is insignificant. Seeing that eschatology is a subcategory of theology, that which is in the grand scheme of Christ’s return, prescribed in Scripture is significant. The made up theology; however otherwise compatible to orthodoxy, is insignificant.
Secondly, Steve Deace contends that because people ascribed great theological importance to Israel’s founding, therefore it is significant. Yet if Israel’s founding is unnecessary for Christ’s return, this would prove the original proposition. If people have wrongly attributed significance where there is none, that does not change what’s theologically true.
Rather than debate the merit of the proposition, Steve Deace copped out, understandably because it was a polarizing issue. Yet the fallacies ascribed are excuses, and should be treated as such.
Notably, the Catholic, Todd Erzen charitably read the statement and bought the prop, likely because he’s amillennial. I’ve wanted the conservative movement to have this debated because too much time and political capital is spent on a nation that opposes our values. I’m happy that the debate was had, and hoped the trollsome prop being given credence will get many believers thinking about what the Bible actual says about who God is and who His people are.
Andrew Torba, the founder of Gab, addresses this issue in his excellent book, “Christian Nationalism.” Thinking on modern Israel tends to be binary, and has led to much evil and wasted resources.