I’ll be honest upfront. I’m not a big Hagee fan. I disagree with a lot the guy says, and wouldn’t necessarily line myself up next to him. But there is a big difference between what Hagee has said and what Obama’s pastor, Rev. Wright. What Rev. Wright said was not really based in the slightest on any particular passage, whereas Hagee has said these things while going through passages and teaching on the end times. Here’s what he said that really got him in hot water.
First, Hagee said that Hitler sent by God to lead to the events that would bring the children of Israel back to the land of Israel when speaking of Jeremiah 16:15. Anytime you bring up the name ‘Hitler’ and you don’t immediately condemn him, you’ll get in trouble. Hagee said that God allowed it to happen. That is true. Can God use evil people to do his bidding? He sure did in the Old Testament. He brought Assyria and Babylon, who were known to be pretty bad bullies on the block, and used them to take Israel out of the land of Canaan.
But the problem is that in that situation, we know that God raised up the nation of Assyria to take the children of Israel out of the promised land. In this situation, Hagee is speaking where the Word of God is not clear. He is speaking on behalf of the world, instead of letting the Word of God speak. God can allow this to happen, but he makes the error when he connects the dots, saying that God allowed Hitler to kill the Jews so that they would go back to the land.
He makes the same mistake when referring to the Catholic Church as the ‘Great Whore’ in Revelation. Again, you can preach through that passage, but there is no way we can know who the ‘Great Whore’ is until we are in that time. Hagee makes a practice of speaking where the Bible remains silent, and that is where he gets in trouble. He made the same mistake with saying that Hurricane Katrina came because of the disobedience of the people in the region.
Preachers can think that they are bearing the reproach of the people on account of taking a stand for the Gospel. But there is a line between being persecuted for speaking truth, or for speaking your own mind. I believe it is the latter that gets Hagee and others in trouble. If we are going to face opposition, we better make sure it is the Gospel that is being objected, and not our own words or delivery.
(On a side note, McCain, in reaction to Hagee and another pastor who had the nerve to say that Islam is an inherently violent religion said this: “I believe there is no place for that kind of dialogue in America.” Speaking from a freedom of speech point of view, that’s one thing that’s supposed to be great about America. That there is room for people to say crazy things without fearing retribution, as long as its not slander against a person. I think McCain speaks big here, but not thinking about what he’s saying. I believe this is protected by free speech.)