A Cry for Help from Jerusalem

TJerusalem by night

I have just received a desperatee call for help from a very good Christian Palestinian friend. It is related to the implications of the recent decision of the American president to move their embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

My friend is telling me that more and more of the evangelical churches in Palestine (representing something like 1% of the Palestinian Christians, who are, themselves, about 1% of the entire Palestinian population in the West Bank) are adopting a Zionist theology, in an attempt to schmooze American churches to support them financially (you may rightly call it ecclesial prostitution). This is, of course, a luxury that historical churches in Palestine (not only Greek Orthodox, Melkite, and Latin churches, but also Anglicans and Lutherans) do not have. Continue reading “A Cry for Help from Jerusalem”

Israeli Settlements Explained

The latest discourse of Secretary of State John Kerry on the danger for peace in the Middle East represented by the constant extension of the Israeli settlements in the Palestinian occupied territorries stirred again the debate on the lack of solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the obvious resistance of the Israeli right wing government to come to a peaceful two-state resolution of this conflict.

I am sure many of you, especially those who have been influenced by Zionist propaganda – whether Christian Jewish or secular, or by the suspect dispensationalist interpretations of the sacred text, wonder what is the big fusss with these seettlements. Continue reading “Israeli Settlements Explained”

Benjamin L Corey – 5 Reasons We So Blindly Support Israel in Spite of the Truth or Biblical Ethics

mary-joseph-israeli-soldiers

Over the course of time I’ve noticed a troubling trend: it’s *almost* impossible to have a reasonable discussion with fellow Christians who believe we are called to give unwavering support the modern secular nation state of Israel.

This of course, has led me to try to figure out why this is the case. Why do so many Christians reject basic facts about Israel? Why do so many of us have an aversion to believing truth on this issue?

As your list-maker-in-chief, I have a few ideas as to why this seems to occur. So, here are my 5 reasons so many of us irrationally support Israel– in spite of truth or biblical ethics:

1. Bad theology regarding Israel has led us to become victims of our own confirmation bias

2. We don’t listen to Palestinian voices– not even our Christian brothers and sisters in Palestine

Continue reading “Benjamin L Corey – 5 Reasons We So Blindly Support Israel in Spite of the Truth or Biblical Ethics”

Gary Burge & Daniel Juster – Dialogue on Replacement Theology

This dialogue has been for me the absolute highlight of this conference. The irenic dialogue between Gary Burge, a critique of Christian Zionism, and Daniel Juster, a leader of Messianic Christians was a model for the way that Christians holding strongly opposing views on important matters should engage with each others.

Stephen Sizer – Seven Biblical Answers to Popular Zionist Assumptions

Rev. Stephen Sizer is the vicar of Christ Church, the community church of Virginia Water in Surrey, England.

This presentation is a summary of my book Zion’s Christian Soldiers published by IVP. stephensizer.com/books/zions-christian-soldiers/

It was delivered at the Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding Executive Briefing in Fremont, California in November 2011. emeu.net

It was also delivered at the Christ at the Checkpoint conference in Bethlehem in March 2012. christatthecheckpoint.com/

An outline of this presentation is available here sizers.org/articles/7answers.pdf

A set of Bible studies is available here withgodonourside.com/Study%20Guide/WGOOS%20Study%20Guide.pdf

To purchase a copy of this presentation on DVD visit emeu.net

Here is the summary of this presentation in PDF form.

Stephen Sizer – Seven Biblical Answers to Popular Zionist Assumptions

Christians face extinction in Middle East, warns UK Minister

Christians face extinction in Middle East, warns UK Minister.

A sobering warning. But it seems that Western Christians could not care less. The Zionists among them are more concerned about supporting the racist aims of the secular state of Israel that about what happens with the Christians in the Middle East.

Church of Scotland – The Inheritance of Abraham. A Report on the ‘Promised Land’

Church of Scotland

The report attached below, which was published recently on the website of the Church of Scotland, was subsequently removed from the site, most probably at the pressure of the Jewish lobby in Great Britain, and replaced with the following statement:

The Church of Scotland and representatives of the Jewish Community in Scotland and the United Kingdom, held useful discussions facilitated by the Council of Christians and Jews this afternoon (Thursday 8 May). We agreed that the drafting of the report published by the Church and Society Council for discussion at the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has given cause for concern and misunderstanding of its position and requires a new introduction to set the context for the report and give clarity about some of the language used. Continue reading “Church of Scotland – The Inheritance of Abraham. A Report on the ‘Promised Land’”

My Neighbourhood – An Eye Opening Documentary

When a Palestinian boy loses half of his home to Israeli settlers in East Jerusalem, he joins his community in a campaign of nonviolent protests. Efforts to put a quick end to the demonstrations are foiled when scores of Israelis choose to stand by the residents’ side.

A Just Vision Film

Directed and Produced by Julia Bacha & Rebekah Wingert-Jabi
Executive Produced by Ronit Avni
Co-Produced by Jessica Devaney, Irene Nasser, Rula Salameh, Vicky Wingert Continue reading “My Neighbourhood – An Eye Opening Documentary”

Kirsten Powers – What Evangelicals Get Wrong About Israel and the Palestinians

American evangelicals need to realize that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is no battle between good and evil. The more Christian view, far from blind loyalty to Israel, is recognizing the Palestinians’ humanity, says Kirsten Powers.

“Blessed are the peacemakers.”

Sadly, this isn’t Scripture you hear many evangelicals quoting when discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, though Jesus uttered the words in the Sermon on the Mount. Instead of making peace, American evangelicals have mostly picked sides and offered unquestioning, blind loyalty to Israel, with little to no regard for the plight of the Palestinian people. Continue reading “Kirsten Powers – What Evangelicals Get Wrong About Israel and the Palestinians”

Our Responsibility for the Church in the Middle East

What do we owe to the Church in the Middle East in general and Palestine in particular and why our indifference can condone even more injustice in the (not so) holy land and can make the Church disappear from the land where she was born twenty centuries ago.

Uri Avnery – Our Muslim Brothers

Everybody knows by now why we are stuck in Palestine.

When God instructed Moses to plead with Pharaoh to let his people go, Moses told him that he was unfit for the job because “I am slow of speech and of a slow tongue” (Exodus 4:10).

Actually, in the Hebrew original, Moses told God that he was “heavy of the mouth and heavy of the tongue.” He should have told Him that he was also heavy of the ears. So when God told him to take his people to Canada, he took his people to Canaan, spending the prescribed 40 years — just long enough to reach Vancouver — wandering hither and thither in the Sinai desert.
So here we are, in Canaan, surrounded by Muslims.

For decades, my friends and I have warned that if we dither in making peace, the nature of the conflict will change. I myself have written dozens of times that if our conflict is transformed from a national to a religious struggle, everything will change for the worse. Continue reading “Uri Avnery – Our Muslim Brothers”

Shane Clairborne – The Barriers That Divide

I  continue here the series of video recordings of presentations made at the Christ at the Checkpoint conference in Bethlehem, in March 2012.

Shane Claiborne (born July 11, 1975) is one of the founding members of The Simple Way in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This community was featured on the cover of Christianity Today as a pioneer in the New Monasticism movement.[1] Claiborne is also a prominent activist for nonviolence and service to the poor.

Stephen Sizer on Connecting with the Palestinian Church

Rev. Stephen Sizer, vicar of Christ Church in Virginia Water, UK shares about his burden to see the Church worldwide connect with the Palestinian church to work toward justice and reconciliation in the holy land. christatthecheckpoint.com

Dr. Gary Burge: Theology of the Land in the New Testament

Dr. Gary Burge, Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College, shares about “Theology of the Land in the New Testament” at Christ at the Checkpoint 2012

Palestinian Christians attacked for challenging Christian Zionism

Here is a fragment from this article published on the Electronic Intifada website:

Conference attacked

The aims of the Christ at the Checkpoint conference did not go unnoticed. For months before the conference, Christian Zionists and Israeli Messianic Jews waged a campaign against the conference and its organizers, labeling them “anti-Semitic” in an attempt to have the conference canceled.

“You wouldn’t believe the negative stuff that was written about us — sometimes [it] was nasty, some was personal,” said Isaac. “Major Christian media stations have spread lies about Bethlehem Bible College, just because of this conference. I never expected it to get this nasty and this personal.”

These critics suggested the conference was one-sided, biased and anti-Semitic, and speakers were attacked individually and accused of being anti-Jewish and anti-Israel. One op-ed in The Huffington Post even asserted that Stephen Sizer had “joined hands with the Iranian regime” (“Christ at the Checkpoint Conference will only breed more Theological Extremism,” 9 November 2011). Continue reading “Palestinian Christians attacked for challenging Christian Zionism”

Christ at the Checkpoint Conference Statement

A major breakthrough in the evangelical world took place in Bethlehem through a gathering of over 600 international and local Christians, including renowned evangelical leaders. Organized by Bethlehem Bible College, the conference, under the banner “Christ at the Checkpoint,” addressed the issue of how to find hope in the midst of conflict. The conference exceeded all expectations.

For the first time, a broad spectrum of evangelical believers met literally at the “checkpoint,” and engaged biblically on issues that have historically divided them. Subjects included, Christian Zionism, Islamism, justice, nonviolence, and reconciliation. These themes were intended to create an ongoing forum for Christian peacemaking within the context of the Israeli Palestinian conflict. These issues were discussed in the form of inspirational messages, Bible study, interactive workshops, panels and site visits. Continue reading “Christ at the Checkpoint Conference Statement”

Christ at the Checkpoint Student Delegation March 2nd-12th, 2012 | Middle East Fellowship

Christ at the Checkpoint Student Delegation March 2nd-12th, 2012 | Middle East Fellowship.

Those who want to follow the conference at which I participate this week in Bethlehem can watch it live on the site above.

Jesus Loves the Little Palestinian Children, too


Palestinian Children watching an Israeli Soldier from behind barbed wire
(Source, here)

Dick Staub shares in an article in The Washington Post the way he changed his mind from the extreme Zionism of his parents to a more balanced and biblical position, summarised in the title of this post.

Before I proceed, sharing with you some of this text, I need to mention that it occurred to me for the first time that, in fact, there is not much difference between the eschatological fury of Christian Zionists and  that of Jihadists, like Ahmedinejad. This is really scary.

Here are a few significant quotes. Continue reading “Jesus Loves the Little Palestinian Children, too”

David Gushee – Zionisms and the quest for peace

This is the last in a series of four columns about my recent trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories. It reflects on the disturbing role of Jewish and Christian Zionism in worsening the conflict in this complex land.

A casual newspaper reader might think there are two discrete places called “Israel” and “the Palestinian territories” but a visitor soon discovers the intertwining of these populations. That intertwining could be a good thing. There were parts of uncontested Israeli territory that we visited in which Jews and “Arabs”/Palestinians live near one another without a problem.

But a visitor soon discovers that “the West Bank,” which is supposed to belong to a future Palestinian state, has been intentionally populated over the last 40 years by hundreds of thousands of Jewish “settlers” in dozens of civilian communities. They are able to take this land because Israel has occupied it since its military victories in 1967, even though it is still Palestinian territory under international law. Continue reading “David Gushee – Zionisms and the quest for peace”

Israel’s Defensible Borders | Jesus Creed

Israel’s Defensible Borders | Jesus Creed.

What do you think?

US Jews Protesting Against Israel and Zionism

Rabbi Feldman: Zionism Is An Illegitimate Political Movement

Chosen, but Not Special

Michael Chabon, a well known American author of Jewish origin published on 4 June in The New York Times, following the Gaza flotilla affair, an article titled ‘Chosen, but Not Special‘, in which he criticises the militaristic policies of the state of Israel and their rooteness in the idea of the special role that Israel has in history, as a justification for their excessive use of force in their legitimate attempt to safeguard their nationhood.

It is a very interesting text, which is worth reading by those who side unquestioningly with Israel and by those who criticise the Jewish state.

Continue reading “Chosen, but Not Special”

The Theology of Christian Zionism

The Historical Roots of Christian Zionism

Israelis Uprooting Olive Trees in Palestine

Happened: 3 March 2010, in Beit Jala, near Bethlehem

Purpose: Bringing Palestinians to despair, so that they leave and let the land at the disposal of Zionists.

* * *

Note: The video is back in business. They have just deleted a few letters from the address. Which means WordPress is not totally safe. Not that I was as naive to think that it is.

Christ at the Checkpoint

The ‘Christ at the Checkpoint’ Conference organised by Bethlehem Bible College started today at the Intercontinental Hotel in Bethlehem, Palestine.

Beginning tomorrow, you may watch online HERE the the keynote addresses, Do not miss tomorrow at 9-10.15am (GMT+2) Stephen Sizer’s presentation titled ‘The Bible, Israel and the Church. Challenging Zionism, Anti-Semitism and Replacement Theology’. Continue reading “Christ at the Checkpoint”