It seems most Protestants support the State of Israel and/or the Zionist cause. What theologically distinguishes those who do not?

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    What exactly do you mean by "support the state of Israel"? In any case, of course there are loads of protestants who are very critical of Israel. – curiousdannii Oct 1 '14 at 5:59
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    Perhaps you should do some research into History, and the Nation of Israel, then restate your question. To say that support for Israel is tantamount to supporting the Zionist cause hardly rings true. Protestants and the U.S., for that matter, support Israel's right to exist, as far as the Zionist cause, what we really support is the preservation of Biblical antiquities, so that we may get some idea of Jesus and his life and ministry. – BYE Oct 1 '14 at 11:13
  • I'm sure there is some cantankerous protestant individual somewhere in the world that doesn't support Israel. Maybe narrow the scope of your question? As-is this is likely to be closed for being too broad. – LCIII Oct 1 '14 at 13:20
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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about because it's a yes or no question that is easily answered as "yes, there is at least one Protestant that meets this criteria." – Narnian Oct 1 '14 at 13:34
  • Welcome to the site. We are glad you decided to participate. This question is off-topic and does not fit into one of the question types that the community finds acceptable. Specifically, it's too broad and what we call a list question. If possible, edit this question so that it better fits into one of those question types. – fгedsbend Oct 1 '14 at 19:04

The primary distinction which you will find among protestants regarding this matter will arise from the division between those adhering to Covenant Theology and those adhering to Dispensationalism.

Under Covenant Theology, the members of the modern-day church are viewed as the true children of Israel. The promises made to Abraham regarding his descendants, therefore, apply to the church.

Under Dispensationalism, the modern-day Jews (i.e. the law-practicing blood-descendants of Abraham) are still considered to be the children of Israel. The promises made to Abraham regarding his descendants, therefore, apply to the Jews, and consequently, the Jews living in the modern-day country of Israel.

One of those promises which is commonly brought up is:

Gen 12:3 (NASB)

And I will bless those who bless you,
And the one who curses you I will curse.

Based on that promise, support for the State of Israel, to the dispensationalist, is a religious matter. It is not uncommon for them to believe that if they support the state of Israel, God will bless them, and if they do not, God will curse them.

For an adherent of Covenant Theology, however, it typically becomes a purely political judgement of foreign policy. There is no religious overtone to their decision as there is with the dispensationalist.

So, with that background in mind, to answer your question more specifically, Christians who strictly adhere to Covenant Theology have no religious motivation for supporting Israel. If such people do support Israel, it is not due to their Christian doctrine.

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    Among the regular masses of Christians, those that do not have former theological training, the lines between covenant theology and dispensationalism are blurred. These are the same people that blur the lines between religion and politics. On paper and among theologians, I think your answer is 100% correct, but in reality the average christian believes elements of both. – fгedsbend Oct 1 '14 at 19:18
  • @fredsbend Agreed. Thanks for the suggestion. I've updated my answer to hopefully make that more clear. – Steven Doggart Oct 1 '14 at 19:26

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