Pastor John Hagee, the pro-Israel evangelical leader whose endorsement of John McCain recently became a contentious sideshow in the presidential race, dropped by a Los Angeles Reform synagogue for a public chat with a local rabbi. L.A. Jewish Journal “Calendar Girl” Danielle Berrin was at the Stephen S. Wise Temple’s “Forum on Critical Values” for the dialogue between Christians United for Israel founder John Hagee and Rabbi David Woznica.
Berrin reports that despite the controversy surrounding Pastor Hagee:
The packed synagogue of mostly Reform Jews loved him anyway. Especially when he said Jerusalem should belong to Jews and only Jews, undivided. But when asked, he said he wouldn’t cause a public stir if for their safety, the Jews decided to divide Jerusalem anyway.
Overall, Berrin described the event as “boring,” but she was kind enough to offer up some highlights from Pastor Hagee’s remarks at the synagogue:
“I’d rather talk to G-d for 30 seconds than to George [W.] Bush all night.” “Granting forgiveness without demanding a change in conduct is to make the grace of G-d an accomplice to evil.” “Jesus, who was a reform rabbi…” On Jews bringing the bible to the world: “We, as Christians have a bible mandate to help you. If we have benefited from Jewish spiritual things, than we have an obligation to help Jews with material things.” On he and his rabbi friend: “When we’re standing in the streets of Jerusalem together and the Messiah comes, one of us has a great theological adjustment to make.” On the Crusaders: “They were thieves, liars, robbers and rapists.”
Interestingly, in the video that has been offered as evidence of his anti-Catholicism, Hagee also firmly condemns the Crusades for their violence against Jews.
I wonder how the crowd at the Reform synagogue reacted to his suggestion that Jesus was a “reform” (uppercase?) rabbi. (And I always thought Christian Zionists got along best with Orthodox Jews!)
Hat tip: Brad Greenberg’s God Blog