This astonishing documentary explores their world - in their homes, at conferences, and on a wide-ranging tour of Israel. By interweaving Christian, Zionist, Jewish and critical perspectives along with telling archival materials, the filmmakers probe the politically powerful - and potentially explosive - alliance between Evangelical Christians and Israel...an alliance that may set the stage for what one prominent Evangelical leader calls "World War III."
“Christ will come back with a sword on his side. And, he will come back as the ultimate judge of the world. We’re going to be behind him with, I believe, swords in our hands and we’re going to be his army. And, this battle…the blood from this battle will be as high as a horse’s bridle. It’s just something mankind has never witnessed before.” Laura Bagg
The film opens with portraits of three Evangelical families –James and Laura Bagg, a Connecticut couple who work as military jet-propulsion engineers, Tony and Devonna Edwards in McAlester, Oklahoma, and Dr. H. Wayne House in Salem, Oregon -- all certain that upon Christ's Second Coming they will be "raptured" or lifted into the skies to join Christ while the rest of humanity suffers for seven years during “The Tribulation."
The Edwards' daughters, in particular, struggle with their own future. If they are raptured soon, how will they ever marry, or have children of their own?
“It doesn’t seem fair. I mean, you know, your grandparents have lived these long lives, have all these stories to tell you. And, they’ve kind of adjusted to the fact that, you know, they’re not going to live terribly much longer. And, so, you’ve grown up hearing all these stories and you want your own stories. And, you want to live these experiences yourself. And, if you’re done at 24, then there’s only so many experiences you get to have.” Kristin Edwards
Despite their very different lives and locations, all three families find the modern world laden with symbolism that suggests the End Times are at hand, and they proclaim the immense importance of Israel, where the battle of Armageddon will leave the earth ravaged, before Christ creates a new and perfect world.
The film then follows Wayne House and fellow minister Robert Dean as they lead a Christian Study Tour group to Israel -- among the tens of thousands of Evangelicals who pour into the Holy Land each year. As Wayne and Robert baptize their entourage in the River Jordon, sing the US national anthem on the Sea of Galilee, proclaim love for Israel, and describe how the Dome of the Rock, one of the holiest sites in Islam, must be destroyed in order for Jesus to return, a revealing and controversial relationship between Christian Evangelicals, Jews, and Muslims emerges.
Finally, we follow Wayne House and Robert Dean to a massive gathering in Dallas, Texas, where Evangelicals debate, in highly sophisticated terms, the need to spread Biblical literalism to counter the dangerous effects of post-modernism. The climax of the conference comes as Pastor John Hagee, the enormously influential Texas Minister of an 18,000-member megachurch, declares, "World War III has started."
“There is a war between Islamofascism and freedom. There is a war between the culture of death and those who love life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is a war WE MUST WIN. The Bible says that you, ladies and gentlemen, are the light of the world. May God anoint each of you and there can be a spiritual awakening in this country. That Christ will be seen as the answer. For there is no other name given among men whereby we might be saved.” Pastor John Hagee
By portraying the Evangelical apocalyptic worldview from within their community, Waiting for Armageddon seeks to clarify the elusive relationship between Christian Zionists and Jews, and foster dialogue among dissenting groups. In the end, the film asks whether this large American voting block is creating a self-fulfilling prophecy of international holy war.