John Hagee is awesomely porky. Imagine a 5 foot by 5 foot by 5 foot cube with a 1x1x1 foot cube placed squarely in the middle of the top plane, the total configuration weighing in at the very least 800 pounds and you've got a reasonable image of John Hagee, born April 12, 1940, Goose Creek, Texas, to Vada Mildred Swick and the Reverend William Bythel Hagee.
Little old Goose Creek, situated in one of the bayous just north of Galveston Bay, is now part of Baytown. From Goose Creek, John Hagee went on to Trinity University in San Antonio:
He was on a football scholarship and appeared on the Academic Dean's List. Hagee received a Master's degree in Educational Administration from the University of North Texas in Denton in 1966 and completed his theological training at Southwestern Assemblies of God University with a Diploma in Theology in Waxahachie, south of Dallas. In 1989, he received an Honorary Doctorate from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma.Assemblies of God and dispensationalism:
... the 16 essential doctrines adhered to by the General Council of the Assemblies of God in the United States of America. These doctrines are heavily based on evangelical confessions of faith but differ by being clearly Pentecostal.Now, this here rapture dispensationalism may or may not have Calvinistic roots according to the commentary by the Reverend Doctor Thomas Ice:
.... The "imminent and blessed hope" of the Church is its rapture preceding the bodily return of Christ to earth.
.... The rapture of the Church will be followed by the visible return of Christ and his reign on earth for a thousand years.
Before proceeding further I need to provide working definitions of what I mean by Calvinism and Dispensationalism. First, by Calvinism, I am speaking mainly of the theological system that relates to the doctrine of grace or soteriological Calvinism. This would include strict and modified Calvinism (i.e. four and five point Calvinism). I am referring to that aspect of Calvinism that speaks of the fallen nature of man and the elective grace of God.But, John Nelson Darby, the guy who thought up dispensationalsm, was clearly descended from the Anglican branch of Protestantism:
Second, by Dispensationalism, I have in mind that system of theology that was developed by J. N. Darby that gave rise to its modern emphasis of consistent literal interpretation, a distinction between God's plan for Israel and the church, usually a pretribulational rapture of the church before the seventieth week of Daniel, premillennialism, and a multifaceted emphasis upon God's glory as the goal of history. This includes some who have held to such a system by may stop short of embracing pretribulationism. The focus of this article will be upon Dispensational premillennialism.
John Nelson Darby (18 November 1800 – 29 April 1882) was an Anglo-Irish Bible teacher, one of the influential figures among the original Plymouth Brethren and the founder of the Exclusive Brethren. He is considered to be the father of modern Dispensationalism and Futurism in the English vernacular.And the Plymouth Brethren can trace their roots in Anglicanism:
The Plymouth Brethren is a conservative, low church, nonconformist, Evangelical Christian movement, whose history can be traced to Dublin, Ireland, in the late 1820s, originating from Anglicanism. Among other beliefs, the group emphasizes sola scriptura, the belief that the Bible is the supreme authority for church doctrine and practice over tradition. The churches are all independent, self-governing, local congregations, and there are no central headquarters or formal affiliation with any denomination. Although the group is notable for not taking any official "church name" to itself, the title "The Brethren," is one that many of their number are comfortable with in that the Bible designates all believers as "brethren". "Brethren assemblies" are commonly perceived as being divided into at least two branches, the "Open Brethren" and the "Exclusive Brethren".So there you got the tangled and murky and motley roots of dispensationalism theology -- and I haven't even gotten to their themes of blood, violence and gore -- and Israel yet. And, there's the pesky Evangelical Lutherans too, who have stuck their oar into this discussion, below the fold:
It takes stiff-necked Lutheran, nurtured in the long, dark and gloomy winters of Northern Europe where they brood a lot, to cast a cynical fish-eye on the dispensationalism stuff and their literary tendencies into theological myths of oceans of blood and gore. The Reverend Barbara R. Rossing, whom, it appears, has been excised from Wikipedia but, according to her bio at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, Rossing has a BA from Carleton College, a Master of Divinity from Yale University and a doctorate in theology from the Harvard Divinity School.
Rossing has written a book, The Rapture Exposed: the message of hope in the Book of Revelation, also excised from Wikipedia. In the book Rossing discusses Tim LaHaye's Left Behind series and John Hagee, she quotes Jana Reiss of Publisher Weekly, for a beginning:
"The authors can't be unaware that slaughter, theological or non-theological, sells books ... No previous Christian novelist has detailed so many revolting ways for innocent civilians to bite the dust" [Here I must interject to say that this sounds just like God-damned Iraq and ISIS] Indeed, before the Left Behind series concluded with the twelfth novel in 2004, Tyndale Publishing House had already launched a new military spin-off series, recapitulating the same storyline from the perspectives of American military rangers stationed in the Middle East. .... An ethos of righteous Christian violence permeates all dispensationalist rhetoric today, fiction and nonfiction alike. Hagee's latest Christian novel is called Avenger of Blood ...John Hagee likes to use the work "blood' a lot in his book titles.
Again, I haven't gotten to Israel yet, inasmuch as I cannot claim to be privy to God's plan for Israel as the Reverend Doctor Thomas Ice is, but I am so exhausted by the twisted and convoluted logic of the dispensationalists I can't begin to explain the role of Israel.
And, suffice it to say, I am overwhelmingly fond of the basic theology of the Evangelical Lutheran Church as stated in the Apostles' Creed, 15th century, derived from the Nicene Creed, 325 A.D., back in the days when Christians eschewed violence:
We who were filled with war, mutual slaughter, and every wickedness have each, through the whole earth, changed our warlike weapons—our swords into ploughshares and our spears into implements of tillage. In their place, we cultivate godliness, righteousness, philanthropy, faith, and hope, which we have from the Father himself through the One who was crucified.Justin Martyr, St. Justin, yes he was martyred....