Why It Matters That Support for Israel Among Young Evangelicals Is Falling
Plus, Ticket-Splitting Voters Are Disappearing—Which Makes Them Even More Valuable
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PETER WEHNER argues Why It Matters That Support for Israel Among Young Evangelicals Is Falling.
There is no single cause that satisfactorily explains the loss of support for Israel among a younger generation of evangelicals; it is a confluence of factors. One of them is theological, having to do with the issue of eschatology and Biblical end times, topics that don’t loom nearly as large for young people today as in the past.
Older evangelicals are more likely to hold premillennialist views. This perspective believes that Jews will return to their ancient homeland, portending the second coming of Christ, which will itself be a fulfillment of prophecy. Amillennialism—the denial that an earthly millennium of universal righteousness and peace will either precede or follow the second coming of Christ—doesn’t believe that Jews have a role to play in how the end times unfold.
Professors Inbari and Bumin told JNS that there has been a significant erosion in support for premillennialism among younger evangelicals. Younger pastors are more amillennial than older ones, there’s less focus by the newer generation of pastors on the end times, and less attention paid to Israel within that context. To put it another way, premillennial theology has been weakened, and that bears on how some Christians view the Jewish state. A Biblical scholar who teaches at a Christian liberal arts school told me that “eschatology is simply not a big deal for my students.”
To be sure, many Christian Zionists support Israel based not on eschatology but on covenant—that is, on what they believe are the promises of God made to the Jewish people which are irrevocable—and because they believe standing with the Jewish state is the right place for Christians to be, both biblically and historically, including given the terrible history of Christian anti-Semitism.
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LAKSHYA JAIN and HARRISON LAVELLE write: Ticket-Splitting Voters Are Disappearing—Which Makes Them Even More Valuable.
The days of conservative Democrats from rural Tennessee and liberal Republicans from Silicon Valley are all but gone. The single best predictor of how a district will vote for a House race is now its presidential result, and if the trends of the past 30 years continue, this relationship will grow stronger, which will further decrease the importance of candidate quality, incumbency, and media spending.
For now, there still exists room for candidates who work hard at it to establish a strong, independent brand that lets them achieve significant crossover support. The question is just how long they can hang on.
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That’s the point…
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