While the Jerusalem embassy stunt failed to secure Wentworth and may incite terrorist attacks, it does further the fulfilment of the Pentecostal “end times” prophecies, writes Dr Jennifer Wilson.
Australians might well ask is why did Morrison hurl himself (and us) into this quagmire in the first place? There was no reason for Australia to noisily insert itself at this time. A blind and misplaced aspiration to tag along with Trump and a chance to seduce the Jewish voters of Wentworth, who support embassy relocation, are two possible explanations.
Also worthy of consideration as background to his decision is the question of Morrison’s religious beliefs. The Prime Minister is a member of the evangelical, Pentecostal Christian Church. The Washington Post estimates that half of Pentecostal Christians support Israel because they believe it is important to the fulfilment of “end times” or “Rapture” prophecies.
These prophecies predict the second coming of Jesus Christ — a time when believers will flourish and non-believers will be culled. Jerusalem is regarded as the biblical capital of Israel through an eternal promise given to the Jews by God and as the “touchstone” of end times prophecies. Evangelicals also believe that the existence of Israel fulfils the prophecy of the second coming.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is a fervent follower of this doctrine and is widely thought to exercise considerable influence over the godless Trump, in his effort to cultivate and secure the religious vote. “Trump has handed Israel policy to the evangelicals”, claimed The Forward’s Jane Eisner, as speculation on the extent to which Pence’s beliefs determine the administration’s policies intensified earlier this year.
For an evangelical Christian Zionist such as Scott Morrison, recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the eventual relocation of the Australian embassy to that city is a mark of progress on the journey towards the desired second coming. It is an announcement to the global Pentecostal movement of one more step in the creation of circumstances required for the Rapture to unfold.
Morrison was perhaps not signalling his support for Trump as much letting his fellow Pentecostals know that, as a political leader on the global stage, he is committed to furthering their ambition to prepare Jerusalem, as required by God, for the second coming of his son.