Thursday, October 18, 2007

Russia, America, Iran, and...Jesus?

Apparently, Ronald Reagen was more of a fundamentalist than I had initially given him credit for. It is alleged that the actor-turned-president fostered quite the relationship with Jerry Falwell, a well known dispensationalist personality in 1980's. The relationship progressed into Reagan's buying into Falwell's eschatology, which stated that the battle of Armageddon was at hand including a critical skirmish with the Soviet Union. Thus, the arms race, the cold war, and neon leotards...ok, not the leotards. This is the theory put forth by Campolo who goes so far as to blame Falwell for the Cold War--a stern warning against the politics of religion, but perhaps Tony went too far.

Ancient history...right? Not quite. But we sure seem to have forgotten.

After Boris Yeltsin gave the preverbial boot to USSR-esque socialism in favor of a more American open-ended capitalism, Joe Shmoe American has decided to forget the silent superpower, especially recently. The imminent concern for upcoming elections, the war in Iraq, and Britney Spear's divorce and custody woes has certainly misdirrected our focus.

But what does the American/Russian relationship look like today? Just like it was before power was handed over to Vladmir Putin? I think not. The current ex-KJB president does tend to favor and revert back to older ideals but that is not the only correlation. It should be no surprise that relations are strained in light of the involvement of the US in the Middle East. It is common knowledge that Putin is sympathetic of what the US deems terrorist nations. As Putin and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad buddy-up, talk of partnerships involving transit, oil, and nuclear powerplants surface--definitely not music to the ears of the current administration.

Campolo suggests that the war in Iraq is fueled by dispensationalists who feel in order to hasten the return of Jesus Christ, Israel must be protected and sustained. According to this theory, (Zionism) post WWII US government was the tool of God in returning Jews to the Holy Land, and has been crucial in their sustenance to this day. Theorists like Campolo believe that Conservative, White, Upper Class Christians have wielded secret power to ensure this, and terrorist groups like those responsible for 911 attacks are fueled by this knowledge.

Whether this is true or not, relations with Russia are at stake. Recently Putin spoke out publicly against the US and its foriegn policy. He condemned America's action, reinforced his willingness to help expand Iran's nuclear capability, and issued a stern warning to the US that any attempt to grab Russia's wealth of fossil fuels was an idea equal to "political erotica."

There doesn't seem to be much difference between 1985 and 2007 besides the lack of interest in maintaining a cordial US/Russian relationship, both by American media and American citizens.


Ken said...

Oh yeeaahh....I read about this in Left Behind!


RC said...

yea, it's interesting. i have a hard time with dispensational theology, especially as it spills over into these arenas.

sometimes, it seems like it looses track of the focus of God and his relationship with his people. It is not for the gentiles to defend israel. God does not need our help.

Nate Watson said...

@Ken...great insight. Took every tactful bone in my body to resist referencing the flimsy exegesis of Left Behind.

@RC...right. It goes beyond that. If God desired our involvement he would give us a divine directive, which is different from a prophecy. Dispenstionalist feel their actions are crucial for the fulfillment of ancient prophecy. Romans 11:1-11:27 warns of the pride you speak of.