Thursday, August 09, 2007

SPECIAL: 34 Evangelical Leaders Sign Pro Palestinian State Letter

SPECIAL: 34 Evangelical Leaders Sign Pro Palestinian State Letter to President Bush
Including: Chritianity Today, C&MA, Fuller, Wheaton, Vineyard USA

Warning Light

Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Indeed, has God said, `You shall not eat from any tree of the garden'?" - Genesis 3:1

Then the devil *took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and *said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, `HE WILL COMMAND HIS ANGELS CONCERNING YOU'; and `ON their HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP, SO THAT YOU WILL NOT STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.' "Jesus said to him, "On the other hand, it is written, `YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.' " - Matthew 4:5-7

By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, "I have come to know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. - 1 John 2:3-6

Before the decree takes effect--
The day passes like the chaff--
Before the burning anger of the LORD comes upon you,
Before the day of the LORD'S anger comes upon you.
Seek the LORD,
All you humble of the earth
Who have carried out His ordinances;
Seek righteousness, seek humility.
Perhaps you will be hidden
In the day of the LORD'S anger.
- Zephaniah 2:2-3

From that time Jesus began to preach and say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." - Matthew 4:17

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites.

"As evangelical Christians, we embrace the biblical promise to Abraham: "I will bless those who bless you." (Genesis 12:3). And precisely as evangelical Christians committed to the full teaching of the Scriptures, we know that blessing and loving people (including Jews and the present State of Israel) does not mean withholding criticism when it is warranted." - Letter to President Bush From Evangelical Leaders

When I read this sentence in the third paragraph of an open letter to President Bush published in the New York Times on Sunday July 29, signed by thirty-four evangelical leaders, I was very saddened.

From the above scriptures we see one of the hallmarks of Satan. That is the taking of scripture out of context, without the light of its co-text, and then using it in a manner that subtly distorts or sometimes outright twists the truth.

These 34 signers are saying in effect, "it is written, 'I will bless those who bless you' ". Our response should be, "on the other hand it is also written, 'and the one who curses you I will curse' ".

At this point we really should not be surprised to see anything other than this sort of miss-handling of the scriptures from this group since this is what they have been doing for quite some time now, slipping further and further from the truth despite the admonishment of many.

What I ask is if and when those true believers who continue to follow and support these ministries will say enough is enough and come out and be separate? As the scriptures declare:

"Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues;
- Revelation 18:4b

Are you going to participate in her sin and receive of her plagues or come out?

Plagues are coming upon the church in many forms because of the blatant disregard for the Word of God. I am not just talking about struggling with a certain sin in your life but a supposedly bible believing church that worships it's God in name only since it knows nearly nothing of the truth that is so easily available to anyone who truly desires to know and follow it as it is written.

These so-called evangelicals are not because they preach the words of men - because they read the words of men - because they are counseled by the words of men - because they are consumed with the words of men. They preach the bad news of man made philosophies and doctrines and they have become nothing more than the same blind guides Jesus rebuked during His last Passover (yes, a JEWISH Passover) He celebrated here on earth before His crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection, so that He who knew no sin could become sin, so that we could become the righteousness of God.

I pray that the Lord give us wisdom because I do believe that the schism must happen so that our efforts can be about preaching the true gospel of the kingdom, working in the light before the darkness comes when no man can work.

Below is

  1. The Letter
  2. The New York Times coverage
  3. Jerusalem Post coverage
  4. Commentary from Jacob Prasch


1) Letter to President Bush From Evangelical Leaders

Open Letter - Published: Sunday, July 29, 2007 in THE NEW YORK TIMES

President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We write as evangelical Christian leaders in the United States to thank you for your efforts (including the major address on July 16) to reinvigorate the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations to achieve a lasting peace in the region. We affirm your clear call for a two- state solution. We urge that your administration not grow weary in the time it has left in office to utilize the vast influence of America to demonstrate creative, consistent and determined U.S. leadership to create a new future for Israelis and Palestinians. We pray to that end, Mr. President.

We also write to correct a serious misperception among some people including some U.S. policymakers that all American evangelicals are opposed to a two-state solution and creation of a new Palestinian state that includes the vast majority of the West Bank. Nothing could be further from the truth. We, who sign this letter, represent large numbers of evangelicals throughout the U.S. who support justice for both Israelis and Palestinians. We hope this support will embolden you and your administration to proceed confidently and forthrightly in negotiations with both sides in the region.

As evangelical Christians, we embrace the biblical promise to Abraham: "I will bless those who bless you." (Genesis 12:3). And precisely as evangelical Christians committed to the full teaching of the Scriptures, we know that blessing and loving people (including Jews and the present State of Israel) does not mean withholding criticism when it is warranted. Genuine love and genuine blessing means acting in ways that promote the genuine and long-term well being of our neighbors. Perhaps the best way we can bless Israel is to encourage her to remember, as she deals with her neighbor Palestinians, the profound teaching on justice that the Hebrew prophets proclaimed so forcefully as an inestimably precious gift to the whole world.

Historical honesty compels us to recognize that both Israelis and Palestinians have legitimate rights stretching back for millennia to the lands of Israel/Palestine. Both Israelis and Palestinians have committed violence and injustice against each other. The only way to bring the tragic cycle of violence to an end is for Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate a just, lasting agreement that guarantees both sides viable, independent, secure states. To achieve that goal, both sides must give up some of their competing, incompatible claims. Israelis and Palestinians must both accept each other's right to exist. And to achieve that goal, the U.S. must provide robust leadership within the Quartet to reconstitute the Middle East roadmap, whose full implementation would guarantee the security of the State of Israel and the viability of a Palestinian State. We affirm the new role of former Prime Minister Tony Blair and pray that the conference you plan for this fall will be a success.

Mr. President, we renew our prayers and support for your leadership to help bring peace to Jerusalem, and justice and peace for all the people in the Holy Land.

Finally, we would request to meet with you to personally convey our support and discuss other ways in which we may help your administration on this crucial issue.


Ronald J. Sider, President
Evangelicals for Social Action

Don Argue, President
Northwest University

Raymond J. Bakke, Chancellor
Bakke Graduate University

Gary M. Benedict, President
The Christian & Missionary Alliance

George K. Brushaber, President
Bethel University

Gary M. Burge, Professor
Wheaton College & Graduate School

Tony Campolo, President/Founder
Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education

Christopher J. Doyle, CEO
American Leprosy Mission

Leighton Ford, President
Leighton Ford Ministries

Daniel Grothe, Pastoral Staff
New Life Church (Colorado Springs)

Vernon Grounds, Chancellor
Denver Seminary

Stephen Hayner, former President
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

Joel Hunter, Senior Pastor
Northland Church
Member, Executive Committee of the NAE

Jo Anne Lyon, Founder/CEO
World Hope International

Gordon MacDonald, Chair of the Board
World Relief

Albert G. Miller, Professor
Oberlin College

Richard Mouw, President
Fuller Theological Seminary

David Neff, Editor
Christianity Today

Glenn R. Palmberg, President
Evangelical Covenant Church

Earl Palmer, Senior Pastor
University Presbyterian Church Seattle

Victor D. Pentz, Pastor
Peachtree Presbyterian Church, Atlanta

John Perkins, President
John M. Perkins Foundation for Reconciliation & Development

Bob Roberts, Jr., Senior Pastor
Northwood Church, Dallas

Leonard Rogers, Executive Director
Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding

Andrew Ryskamp, Executive Director
Christian Reformed World Relief Committee

Chris Seiple, President
Institute for Global Engagement

Robert A. Seiple, Former Ambassador-at-Large,
International Religious Freedom
U.S. State Department

Luci N. Shaw, Author, Lecturer
Regent College, Vancouver

Jim Skillen, Executive Director
Center for Public Justice

Glen Harold Stassen, Professor
Fuller Theological Seminary

Richard Stearns, President
World Vision

Clyde D. Taylor, Former Chair of the Board
World Relief

Harold Vogelaar, Director
Center of Christian-Muslim Engagement for Peace and Justice

Berten Waggoner, National Director
Vineyard USA

2) Coalition of Evangelicals Voices Support for Palestinian State

NEW YORK TIMES - By Laurie Goodstein - July 29, 2007

In recent years, conservative evangelicals who claim a Biblical mandate to protect Israel have built a bulwark of support for the Jewish nation - sending donations, denouncing its critics and urging it not to evacuate settlements or forfeit territory.

Now more than 30 evangelical leaders are stepping forward to say these efforts have given the wrong impression about the stance of many, if not most, American evangelicals.

On Friday, these leaders sent a letter to President Bush saying that both Israelis and Palestinians have "legitimate rights stretching back for millennia to the lands of Israel/Palestine," and that they support the creation of a Palestinian state "that includes the vast majority of the West Bank."

They say that being a friend to Jews and to Israel "does not mean withholding criticism when it is warranted." The letter adds, "Both Israelis and Palestinians have committed violence and injustice against each other."

The letter is signed by 34 evangelical leaders, many of whom lead denominations, Christian charities, ministry organizations, seminaries and universities.

They include Gary M. Benedict, president of The Christian and Missionary Alliance, a denomination of 2,000 churches; Richard J. Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary; Gordon MacDonald, chairman of World Relief; Richard E. Stearns, president of World Vision; David Neff, editor of Christianity Today; and Berten A. Waggoner, national director and president of The Vineyard USA, an association of 630 churches in the United States.

"This group is in no way anti-Israel, and we make it very clear we're committed to the security of Israel," said Ronald J. Sider, president of Evangelicals for Social Action, which often takes liberal positions on issues. "But we want a solution that is viable. Obviously there would have to be compromises."

They are clearly aiming their message not just at President Bush, but at the Muslim world and policy makers in the State Department.

Mr. Sider said he and three other evangelical leaders got the idea for the letter in February at the U.S.- Islamic World Forum in Doha, Qatar, where they met Muslim and American diplomats who were shocked to discover the existence of American evangelicals who favored a Palestinian state. Mr. Sider says they will translate the letter into Arabic and distribute it in the Middle East and Europe.

"We think it's crucial that the Muslim world realize that there are evangelical Christians in the U.S. in large numbers that want a fair solution," Mr. Sider said.

In the last year and half, liberal and moderate evangelicals have initiated two other efforts that demonstrated fissures in the evangelical movement. Last year, they parted with the conservative flank by campaigning against climate change and global warming. This year, they denounced the use of torture in the fight against terrorism. Some of the participants in those campaigns also signed this letter.

The Rev. Joel C. Hunter, senior pastor of Northland Church in Longwood, Fla., said, "There is a part of the evangelical family which is what I call Christian Zionists, who are just so staunchly pro-Israel that Israel and their side can do no wrong, and it's almost anti-Biblical to criticize Israel for anything. But there are many more evangelicals who are really open and seek justice for both parties."

The loudest and best-organized voices in the evangelical movement have been sending a very different message: that the Palestinians have no legitimate claim to the land.

The Rev. John Hagee, who founded Christians United for Israel, was informed of the letter and read most of it. He responded: "Bible-believing evangelicals will scoff at that message.

"Christians United for Israel is opposed to America pressuring Israel to give up more land to anyone for any reason. What has the policy of appeasement ever produced for Israel that was beneficial?" Mr. Hagee said.

"God gave to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob a covenant in the Book of Genesis for the land of Israel that is eternal and unbreakable, and that covenant is still intact," he said. "The Palestinian people have never owned the land of Israel, never existed as an autonomous society. There is no Palestinian language. There is no Palestinian currency. And to say that Palestinians have a right to that land historically is an historical fraud."

Christians United for Israel held a conference with 4,500 attendees in Washington this month, and Mr. Hagee sends e-mail action alerts on Israel every Monday to 55,000 pastors and leaders.

There is a crucial theological difference between Mr. Hagee's views on Israel and those expressed by the letter writers, said Timothy P. Weber, a church historian, former seminary president and the author of "On the Road to Armageddon: How Evangelicals Became Israel's Best Friend."

Mr. Hagee and others are dispensationalists, Mr. Weber said, who interpret the Bible as predicting that in order for Christ to return, the Jews must gather in Israel, the third temple must be built in Jerusalem and the Battle of Armageddon must be fought.

Mr. Weber said, "The dispensationalists have parlayed what is a distinctly minority position theologically within evangelicalism into a major political voice."

3) Evangelicals' letter backs PA state

THE JERUSALEM POST - By Staff and Etgar Lefkovits - July 29, 2007

Many evangelical Christians throughout the United States support a two-state solution to the Israeli- Palestinian conflict, and seek "justice" for both sides, reads an open letter to US President George W. Bush published in Sunday's New York Times.

The letter, signed by several dozen evangelical clergy and activists, urged the Bush administration not to "grow weary" in its attempt to negotiate a "lasting peace" in the region.

The letter's authors sought to correct what they called a "serious misperception" that all American evangelicals objected to the establishment of a Palestinian state, and said they hoped that the awareness of a large body of evangelical support for a permanent status agreement between Israel and the PA would "embolden" Bush.

Those who love [Israel] are not forced to withhold criticism, the letter argued, adding that "genuine love and blessing" meant promoting one's neighbors well- being.

According to the letter's authors, both Israel and the Palestinians had rights to the land of Israel that stretched back "millennia." Both sides, the letter said, had committed acts of violence.

Only a lasting peace agreement, the letter exhorted, would end bloodshed and ensure that each side had a "viable" state. To this end, the letter's authors expressed their support for the road map peace plan, and endorsed former British prime minister Tony Blair's efforts in his new role as the Quartet's Middle East envoy.

"We renew our prayers and support for your leadership... and justice and peace for all the people in the Holy Land," the letter concluded.

But other senior evangelical Christian leaders in the US blasted the letter as misrepresenting mainstream evangelical beliefs.

"The authors of this letter do not represent the views of the vast majority of Bible-believing mainstream evangelicals in America," said San Antonio-based Pastor John C. Hagee, a prominent Israel supporter.

"The problem in the Middle East is that Israel has no partner for peace, and Israel's neighbors refuse to recognize Israel's right to exist," Hagee said.

He added that the assertion by letter's writers that the Palestinians have a historic connection to the Holy Land is "absolutely incorrect."

Hagee's organization "Christians United for Israel" which has been dubbed the Christian AIPAC and which held its second-annual Washington summit last week with 4,500 delegates from across the US, is planning on sending US President George W. Bush its own letter voicing their opposition to American pressure on Israel for any further land withdrawals. - - - -

4) The July 29th Letter To President Bush By Pseudo Evangelical Theocrats Calling For Placation Of Islamic Demands For Biblical Israeli Land

By James Jacob Prasch - August 6, 2007

The letter by supposedly Evangelical leaders to President Bush predictably ignores the plight of Christians persecuted throughout the Arab and Islamic world. It unsurprisingly avoids the pro-Israel views of Arab Evangelicals such as Walid Shoebat and Joseph Farah.

It also avoids the issue that territorial concessions already made by Israel, under pressure from the oil interest controlled Bush administration, only resulted in the Moslems using the forfeited territory to continue the persecution of Arab Christians, the Jihad against Israel and The West and created an Iranian-controlled Islamic base in Gaza akin to the one created by George Bush Sr. in Lebanon.

Predictably the letter also overlooks that the Al Aqsa Brigade of Abbas & The Fatah dominated Palestinian Authority is no less an Iranian linked terrorist organization than Hamas. It overlooks that Fatah continues to inculcate their children to be suicide bombers and broadcasts a continuous stream of anti- American, anti-British, anti-Semitic, and anti-Christian rhetoric and propaganda. It overlooks that Fatah has no electoral democratic mandate from the Palestinian Arabs and that the real so called suffering of the so- called 'Palestinian people' is a double myth.

In 1970 King Hussein of Jordan proclaimed Jordan to be Palestine and Yasser Arafat proclaimed Palestine to be Jordan in 1968. When did self proclaimed Jordanians become an ethnic Arab nation that never existed before in history? Moreover, by definition a people proved indigenous by the archaeological record cannot be called an occupying presence. Jews cannot occupy Judea and Samaria anymore than Apaches can occupy Arizona.

The second myth is that Israel has responsibility for Palestinian Arab hardship. In fact standards of living in everything from infant mortality to longevity to unemployment improved under Israeli rule prior to the Islamic Intifadas by 320% in the West Bank and 370% in Gaza above what it had been under Islamic governments.

What is even more apparent however is the heretical doctrine of so many of the apostate signatories ranging from Richard Mouw's reapproachment with the Mormon cult to Leighton Ford's departure from the biblical gospel which states that 'Christians should preach the gospel, but not believe they alone have all of the truth'. The twisted doctrinal position of Gary Burge of Wheaton College is too ludicrous to warrant serious comment. 'Christianity Today' has published openly heretical and apostate positions by heretics such as Bart Campolo, along with material supportive of the post modern/ neo-gnostic 'Emergent Church'. World Vision, having abandoned its biblically evangelistic origins is best renamed 'World Hallucination' and is nothing more than a cheap political crusade with a social gospel. Ron Sider of the UK is best known for his combination of abject theology and bogus economics in his attempts to repackage Christianity as a sanctified socialism of some design of his own, void of authentic biblical substance and economic common sense.

Hypocrisy of hypocrisy

The final signatory to this hideous diatribe was the director of the Christian - Moslem Center for Peace & Justice. Why are Sider, Ford, Mouw, the Christian Missionary Alliance, and the Presbyterian Church concerned about alleged injustices by Israel, the one nation in The Middle East fully protecting the human rights and religious freedom of Arab Christians, while remaining silent about the Islamic genocidal extermination of Christians in Islamic countries from the Far East to North Africa? A New Testament cannot even be brought into Saudi Arabia.

Long before this unfortunate and misplaced letter emerged, for purely theological reasons we have sounded the alarm against "Christianity Today" and "World Vision" that have, in our assessment and in the estimation of others, long departed from their biblical origins. We have also exposed those we have regarded as teachers of false doctrine such Mouw, Ford, Sider, and Burge, in our efforts to shield the body of Christ from wolves in sheep's clothing.

This pathetic letter, whose logical deficiency and lack of exegetically sound biblical foundation is eclipsed only by its hypocrisy, further affirms our convictions surrounding these individuals and organizations. The list of signatories resembles more a "who's who" of backslidden and/or biblically, historically, politically ignorant theocratic hooligans than a bona fide list of "Evangelical Leaders" by any scriptural understanding of the term.

James Jacob Prasch

No comments: