What is our Problem? - part 2

See also BUGB (Baptist Union) and Baptist Times

Baptist Missionary Society against Israel

The Baptist denomination does not enforce a theological position on its members in any matter apart from Believers Baptism by immersion. The Baptist's legacy from Spurgeon has fallen into disuse while many popular, present dayBaptist speakers propagate an entirely different story.

 

BMS World Mission - Baptist Missionary Society

Anti-Israel initiatives - in reverse chronological order - latest first.

2013

BMS World Vision

Quarterly Magazine - "Mission Catalyst" March 2013

The BMS quarterly magazine "Mission Catalyst" (Issue 2 - 2013) is a pro-Palestinian / anti-Israel edition. It reads like the biased reporting of the secular media.

You can view the magazine on screen (not very easy) or subscribe at http://www.bmsworldmission.org/catalyst

Baptists 4 Israel has obtained a copy and analysed the contents - see below.

Download a .pdf copy of Mission Catalyst here (20Mb)

 

It is very biassed and contains some very dubious theological justifications for attacking Israel and Christian Zionists behind a pretence of balance.

Even the cover betrays sympathies.

The title assumes Israel and Palestine are both states, there are four minarets and no synagogue, the background is Islamic art, and there are Palestinian flags but no Israeli flags.

 

BMS Mission Catalyst - "Intelligent comment on faith and culture"

What is the objective of providing the above?

As a catalyst to engaging in Mission / Outreach; presumably.

Is it achieving that?

Page 1 (front cover)

Title "ISRAEL-PALESTINE" on an Islamic art background with four minarets. The pattern includes Palestinian flags but not Israeli flags.

Page 2 - Editorial "ISRAEL-PALESTINE Ignorance is not an option" - By editor David Kerrigan General Director "This issue of Catalyst features pieces from the perspectives of Christian Zionism, Palestinian Christianity, Messianic Jewish Christianity, Judaism and secular history"

Problems.....

The first sentence speaks of "migration of Jewish people to the land of Palestine" - straight in to the assumption that Jews moved into the nation belonging to the Palestinians.

He refers to the Holocaust as the "extermination of six million men, women and children" not to six million Jews plus Roma, homosexuals, communists, Jehovah's witnesses and Christian opponents.

He talks of Israel enjoying support because of Holocaust guilt and political factors, but makes no mention of the Bible!

He says Christian Zionism springs from dispensationalism but it does not; it was the evangelical norm in Britain before JN Derby. Also said Derby believed Christ would return when Israel was gathered in But so did CH Spurgeon (most famous Baptist preacher.)

He talks about persecution of Palestinians without providing any justification.

He appears to claim that the collections of articles provides a balanced coverage. As we will see, this is not the case.

Page 3 - To my Christian Zionist brothers and sisters, by Tanas Alqassis (native Palestinian)
"A Palestinian Christian reflects on Christian Zionism and his family history"

The author quotes unfortunate encounters with ignorant Christians identified as Zionists.
Like many such stories with a Christian front, it recounts the standard Palestinian narrative of being expelled from their homes and land by Jewish intruders.

e claims that his family had to leave everything because the Jewish underground terrorist organisation were on their way. The Arabs mostly left on the instructions of their leaders who promised they could come back once the Jews were destroyed. He actually projects Palestinian terror tactics on to the Jews.

He speaks of Christians being willing to justify what Israel is doing (obviously assuming we all believe Israel is guilty of many things)

He talks of "bringing Jews on to our land." on the basis that the land is Palestine and he is a Palestinian, but at that time the Jews were known as Palestinian Jews and Arabs only started calling themselves Palestinians after the 1967 war that they lost.

He complains of difficulty of access to Jerusalem, but makes no concession that this difficulty is because of Palestinian terrorism, nor any acknowledgement that Arabs who stayed in Israel enjoy full equality with Jewish citizens.

The author is not the only type of Palestinian Christian - some believe the whole Bible, do not support the Palestinian Authority (Muslim) narrative and are even Zionists. (they did not get a say)

Page 4 & 5 - Q & A with Rabbi Arik Ascherman - "An Israeli rabbi who has been arrested for defending Palestinians talks Zionism and Justice"

Rabbi Ascherman is obviously included because he is critical of Zionism and accepts anti Israel jargon without challenge (eg Occupied Palestinian territories)

hat he actually demonstrates is Jewish concern for righteousness, willingness to argue and freedom to disagree publicly with the government none of which apply in the Palestinian Authority controlled areas.

Find me a Palestinian organisation concerned with the rights of Jews!

Some of the rabbi's comments show his left wing position and modern morality projected on to God. Why not include a rabbi from with different perspective?

Page 6 8 - A Brief History of Zionism by the editor - "Understanding the history of the Holy Land is essential if we are to understand contemporary disputes over it"

This is a misleading, inaccurate and slanted overview of the progress of land ownership in the "Holy Land" - A term that helpfully ignores Israel's history in the land.
It would have provided some helpful context to point out that the land is question is a tiny land, the size of Wales and that the Arabs own land 620 times the size of Israel, but are fighting to take over this tiny piece of land and cast out the Jews.

The map shown in Catalyst showing the contested land over a period of time is not British Mandate Palestine, within which Britain promised to establish a Jewish homeland. The area shown is only 28% of British mandated Palestine 72% was given to the Arabs of the area as Transjordan. (now Jordan)

Jordan should have been called Palestine, with the benefit of hindsight. Indeed various rulers of Jordan have said "Jordan is Palestine - Palestine is Jordan".

It would be interesting to know the source of these maps! They look very much like the maps supplied by the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign. This Economist article is interesting.

The Arab lands (620 times the size of Israel) are also modern products of World War 1, including the French and Russian Mandates.

The creation of Israel and the Arab nations from the mandates had as its legal basis, the San Remo conference and not the Balfour declaration. The map above shows that the British mandate also included Iraq and the gulf states as well as "Palestine." (The dividing line can be seen just to the left of the M of Mandate)

There were actually more Jewish refugees from the Arab lands, dispossessed and driven out of their homes than Arab refugees misled by their leaders into leaving Israel. Little Israel absorbed their refugees while the Arab nations turned their backs on their Arab brethren and used them as the political paws that they still are today. Population exchanges such as Israel and the Arab states absorbing their own people were not new, and have happened following many conflicts.

Sadly, the editor appears to have sided with the people who can be heard at rallies chanting "Palestine will be free from the River to the Sea" (Jordan to Mediterranean)

As far as concern for Palestinian Christians is concerned, he appears not to have heard the Muslims in Palestine chanting, "First we kill the Saturday people, then the Sunday people."

Page 9 - Why Christian Zionists really support Israel. Pastor John C Hagee - "Christian Zionism's most famous exponent addresses criticisms relating to politics, theology and eschatology."

Just one page extracted from an article from elsewhere; not addressing the accusations in Mission Catalyst.

John Hagee is certainly the most high profile (American) Christian Zionist and is sometimes over the top for British tastes. His inclusion appears to be as a token Christian Zionist, but also one to whose statements British Christians are most likely to take offence.

avid Pawson (a Baptist minister for many years) would have provided a far better defence if one had been wanted.

Further articles (anti presumably) are offered at bmsworldmission.org but viewpoints such as icej.org (International Christian Embassy Jerusalem) or wildolive.co.uk are not offered.

Page 10-11 - QA with Dr Yohanna Katancho Academic Dean of Bethlehem Bible College. - "Christian Zionism, Psalms as a single book and Replacement Theology discussed by a Palestinian evangelical theologian."

It should be pointed out that Bethlehem Bible College is a major source of Baptist official belief, along with Christian Aid and the World Council of Churches.

Dr Katancho engages in semantics to disconnect the Jews of Israel from the Bible and question whether God gave the land to Abraham ignoring the covenant.

He appears to be hung up about gifts and callings and envious of the Jews; strange really when many Jews have wondered down the centuries why God had to choose them. God's call was a commission for holiness and service for which the Jews have suffered so much.

He uses Jonah to make the case that God loves to spare people and "for God so loved the Palestinians.... " suggesting that Christian Zionists hate Palestinians (like Jonah disappointed God relented from destroying the people of Nineveh) He overlooks the fact that God spared the people of Neneveh because they repented and turned to him as must Jews, Palestinians and other Gentiles.

If Dr Katancho believes God will not destroy nations that hate him, he can't have been reading his Old Testament prophets - or even Revelation. Either that or he has succumbed to Marcionism (the God of the Old Testament is a different God from the New Testament)

Dr Katancho says Replacement Theology is a dangerous theo-political position and distances himself from it, but he goes on to expound Fulfillment Theology, which is the latest rebranding of Replacement Theology. (the Church has taken over / fulfilled Israel's role in God's purposes)

I find his exercise in taking the book of Psalms as one sequential text to prove that God does not destroy nations to be merely theological smoke and mirrors. The common factor uniting the psalms is praise of God and using their sequence to prove an eschatological viewpoint is irresponsible.

The other end of the Palestinian Christian spectrum, that is not represented in Catalyst, is the fellowship of First Baptist in Bethlehem. They believe and preach the whole Bible and do not accommodate their pronouncements to the Palestinian Authority narrative; and they suffer seriously for taking that position.

Why do Baptists ignore them? - Now, their American Church funding is drying up because of the Bethlehem Bible College and it's thrust to give legitimacy to the Palestinian narrative.

Pages 12 & 13 - (the token Messianic Jew) - "Journeying towards reconcilliation Messianic Jewish Believers & Palestinian Christians" - by Lisa Loden head of Leadership Development at Nazareth Evangelical Theological Seminary and Communication Director at the Global Network for Reconcilliation.

I found the whole article full of Politically Correct, non-judgmental, professional reconciliation language, dwelling on ones pain rather than looking towards God and his Holy Spirit power that moves in many Messianic Fellowships in Israel. There one can find Jews and Arabs worshipping and working together as truly one new man, having put off their "pains" and resentment.

There is no Mission or Catalyst for Mission here, only dressing up worldly conflict resolution theory in Christian terminology. The problems of Palestinians holding on to Replacement Theology, Fulfilment Theology, Liberation Theology etc as the cause of their resentment is not considered, and natural Jewish wariness born of years of Palestinian terrorism and centuries of Christian persecution receive no mention.

Real Mission would be helping the vibrant Messianic communities of Israel to reach out to more Arabs and save them from bondage to the Muslim cult of resentment, violence and death.

Pages 14 & 15 - 7 Challenges to Christian Zionism extracted from "Zion's Christian Soldiers" by Rev Steven Sizer

(reviewed on the back cover)
The Baptist Times has previously used Rev Sizer's book for an extensive article and his views are so well known as to make detailed comment here somewhat superfluous.

Rev Sizer is currently facing charges of anti-Semitism in the Anglican church and associates with some very unsavoury anti-Semites.

The inclusion of material from Rev Sizer is little more than bringing in a big gun to attack Christian Zionists. Most of his points are Fulfilment Theology ( the promises in the Old Testament were all fulfilled in Jesus and the Jews no longer have any special part in God's plans. (What about the 144,000 in Revelation?)

1 Sizer claims that God's promise of Genesis 12:3 was to Abraham only and no one else, but while the Mosaic covenant was superceded by Yeshua's new covenant, the Abrahamic covenant was not, and it applied to his descendants (descendants through promise - not Ishmael who had his own promise). (Sizer is using Fulfilment Theology)

2 He objects to Israel being exclusively "chosen", but Israel was called for a purpose and God's Gifts and calling are irrevocable (Romans 11)

4 He objects to the Assertion that Jerusalem is the exclusive and undivided, eternal capital of the Jewish people. This is not the slogan of the Christian Zionists but Israeli government. There is some truth in his objection because Jerusalem is eternally God's but has not always been allowed to the Jews/Israel; but the Jews are still His people, entrusted to minister there.

5 He objects to the pre-Tribulation rapture, but that is a Dispensationist doctrine; not Christian Zionist, although some do believe it.

Pages 16 & 17 (a token Israeli historian) - Professor Ilan Pappe "6 MYTHS Truth and the Holy Land"

There is a small group of Israeli historians who have the goal of re-examining the history of Zionism using government documents which have become available since the 1980s.   The most prominent members are Benny Morris, Ilan Pappe and Avi Shlaim.   Whatever the motives of these historians, the work of Ilan Pappe appears to provide a major weapon in the arsenal of organisations which hate and campaign against Israel, so some examination of his background and work seems to be called for.

Ilan Pappe is a Marxist, who refuses to acknowledge the meaning or purposes that Zionism was created to address, ie the needs and rights of Jews to dwell secure in their ancient homeland - or any homeland.   Pappe claims that all who attack the Zionist idea are silenced by Israel, but somehow he continues in post as a tenured professor in an Israeli university and is allowed to propagate his ideas to the detriment of Israel.  

Pappe's methods are criticised by respected historians, as he dismisses the legitimacy of historical facts and rewrites history to support his ideologically determined agenda.  He has admitted to the predominance of the Marxist worldview in defining conclusions and outcomes, by asserting that, "we do [historiographically] because of ideological reasons, not because we are truth seekers."    Colleague Benny Morris remarked of Pappe's latest book that, "Anyone interested in the real history of the Palestine/Israel conflict would do well to run vigorously in the opposite direction!"  

Pappe is widely regarded as an advocate of Israel's destruction, since his recipe for a "multinational democratic state"  conforms to a PLO formula, which would result in the immediate and complete destruction of Israel. - - wildolive.co.uk/israel_against_israel

Pages 18 & 19 - Dr Stephen Finamore Principal of Bristol Baptist College - "Romans 9-11: The apostle Paul, the people of Israel and the purposes of God"

Great credit is due to Dr Finamore for tackling Romans 9-11 while most Christians ignore it altogether. He makes the point well that Paul was particularly concerned that Gentile believers should stop pretending they are in any way superior to their Jewish brothers.

Unfortunately, there is a "however" two thirds of the way through the article. From there onwards he asserts that Paul "does not see the promises in terms of one piece of land" therefore Romans 9-11 would suggest that the "present state of Israel is simply to be understood as a political entity" and "Paul is not concerned with the political ownership of the land" Somehow the article appears to be included to cast further doubt on the right of Israel to exist and refute Christian Zionism. All this proves is that Paul was addressing the role of the Jews and attempting to forestall the rise of Replacement Theology rather than making any observations on the land.

Back page - "Relevant reads for Christian Leaders"

Reviews (recommendations) of four books all by notable pro-Palestinian anti-Israel and anti Christian Zionist authors.

THE LAND OF CHRIST a Palestinian cry Yohanna Katancho

PALESTINIANS IN ISRAEL Segregation, Discrimination and Democracy Ben White

ZION'S CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS? - The Bible Israel and the Church Steven Sizer

WHOSE PROMISED LAND? - Colin Chapman

If this was offered as a balanced reading list, it should have included, at least

DEFENDING CHRISTIAN ZIONISM David Pawson,

WHY CARE ABOUT ISRAEL Sandra Teplinsky

YOUR PEOPLE SHALL BE MY PEOPLE Don Finto.

Conclusions

So does this booklet provide any kind of catalyst for Mission, in the Middle East or anywhere else, or is it merely a pretence for another attack on Israel and the Christians who love Israel?

All through this publication, the crimes of which Israel is unjustly accused are taken as read while the fact that the Palestinians are guilty of comitting those crimes against Israeli citizens is completely overlooked.

I have examined the accusations of Apartheid, Ethnic cleansing - Occupation and land theft , defiance of International Law and even terrorism on wildolive - along with Palestinian indoctrination of hatred in their young people, as documented by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) and their perpetuation of the Blood Libel format.

There is no recognition of the possibility that "If the Arabs put down their weapons there would be no more conflict, but If Israel put down its weapons there would be no more Israel"

You might not find this document pleasant to read, but you might wish to Subscribe and and read a paper copy, on which you can make your own notes. You may download a .pdf version here. Mission Catalyst.pdf

Spring 2014 saw another anti-Israel article in Catalyst

Article from Mission Catalyst Issue 2 2014

DR YOHANNA KATANACHO - Bethlehem Bible College

This article just sounds wrong - but why? - Observations in italics.

One friend described this article as a wolf in sheep's clothing, which sums it up rather well.

ISRAEL - PALESTINE AND A LOVE STRONGER THAN HATRED

GOD CALLS US TO BOTH JUSTICE AND LOVE, EVEN IN THE MIDST OF HATRED

I note a lot of hatred from the Palestinians towards the Jews, but my experience of the Jews is their sympathy for the Palestinians in the difficulties they suffer because of their leaders.

Growing up in Jerusalem and victimised for his identity as a Palestinian Arab, for a long time Dr Yohanna Katanacho struggled to believe that God is a God of justice who is on the side of the oppressed.

God isn’t on anybody’s side. Joshua 5:13 – God on the side of the oppressed is Liberation Theology.

As a Palestinian, he would have suffered worse in most Arab nations! But is he really a Palestinian if he was born in Jerusalem, Israel.

"I was continually reminded that God loves the Jewish people, I was never told that God loves the Palestinian people," he says.

That’s just a matter of who one hangs around with. He tells us he was an atheist, so this is probably not the fault of Jews, or Christian Zionists.

But now he is able to stand in front of audiences speaking of his love for God and his love for the Jews.

As remarked elsewhere, talk is cheap – where is the proof of this love for the Jews among his people – where is Palestinian Mothers against Rockets on Sderot?
In his talk at Catalyst Live, Dr Katanacho explained how God changed his heart and how we, as Christians, have a responsibility to stand alongside our Palestinian brothers and sisters in a plea for justice: because "love is not an excuse to abandon justice, love is an opportunity to pursue justice."

Yes; but standing alongside the Palestinians seeking to destroy Israel by terror and delegitimisation ?

See footnote.
Dr Katanacho likens the Israel-Palestine conflict to the story of Hagar. "She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: `You are the God who sees me."' (Genesis 16:13)
Hagar was oppressed by Abraham and Sarah, says Dr Katanacho, the very couple whom God had called to bless the whole world. "Hagar was living in the Holy Land with the holy family and they were supposed to be a blessing;" says Dr Katanacho.

Where did titles Holy land and holy family come from? “Holy Land” tends to be used to deny that it was/is the “Promised Land.”

"Yet, Hagar was living in their home and was not blessed. In fact, the Hebrew text tells us that Sarah physically oppressed Hagar.

Really? Sarah told Abraham to throw out Hagar and her son, after Ishamael made fun of Isaac. (Genesis 21:8-10)

'The angel of the Lord met Hagar and transformed her identity from a slave maid to a matriarch, reminding her that God hears the cry of the oppressed. Reminding her that God sees."

Reminding her, hopefully that she and Ishmael’s descendants are blessed with far more territory than Isaac. But not Israel! (Genesis 21:17 and 25:12)

A personal revelation
A professed atheist studying at university, Dr Katanacho was terrified when God met with him one night and turned his life upside down. He started reading the Bible.

The whole Bible? Or just the New Testament, like most Palestinian Christians, who are taught the Old Testament is “a rubbish book.”

"I was shocked when I read the Sermon on the Mount because it says `love your enemies'," says Dr Katanacho. Mocked by Israeli soldiers at the gates of his university and once arrested for going to a chemistry class, he didn't need to turn to a dictionary to define who his enemies were. "I hated that text, and I didn't know what to do."
Wanting to obey the God he had put his trust in, but unable to love his enemies, Dr Katanacho made a compromise. He began carrying flyers about God's love with his ID card, so that whenever he was stopped by an Israeli soldier they would read about God's love. "I didn't want to lie and tell them `I love you', because I didn't. But day after day God started changing my heart. I started praying `Lord let them stop me so I can share Jesus Christ with them.'

Hardly a glowing example of love – merely a compromise. Sounds like he was still nursing a chip on his shoulder and bitterness in his heart.

"God taught me that love is not a feeling love is a decision that we make. Our love muscles grow stronger in the context of hatred."

I thought muscles grew stronger with exercise; not resentment.

 

A complex identity
When he became a Christian, Dr Katanacho's already complex identity became more so - seemingly full of contradictions and inextricably linked to the conflict surrounding him in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.
"I am a Palestinian, Arab, Israeli Christian," he says. "Every label in my identity is charged with a myth. It's really hard sometimes to explain who I am."

Did he not notice that as an Israeli Arab he was so much better off than Arabs in other lands?

Yet, while people have often made assumptions about him because of his identity as a Palestinian and an Arab - having been called a terrorist and an enemy of the Jews many times

Perhaps that’s because he can’t or won't unequivocally separate himself from the terrorists among his people.

Dr Katanacho loves to demonstrate that Arabs have always had a part in God's story. "I was surprised that the label `Arab' occurs 16 times in the Old Testament," says Dr Katanacho. "

What is the relevance of this line of argument?

If the Arabs had accepted the Jews’ role as God’s chosen priesthood to bring blessing to the world, they wouldn’t have started their own supplanting, chip on their shoulder religion.

I could only find

2Ch_9:14 all the Arab kings and regional governors brought gold and silver to Shlomo.

Neh_2:19 When Sanvalat the Horoni, Toviyah the servant, the `Amoni, and Geshem the Arab heard about it, they began mocking us and jeering,

Neh_6:1 When it was reported to Sanvalat, Toviyah, Geshem the Arab and the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the …..

And, of course, Genesis reports the birth and blessing of Ishmael – the father of the Arabs; but not the child of the promise.

Job is believed to be an Arab by many Old Testament scholars.

Really? Wikipedia says “Job is the central character of the Book of Job in the Bible. The story is also related in the Quran. Job (Arabic: أيّوب, Ayyūb‎) is considered a prophet in Islam and in rabbinical literature Iyov (אִיּוֹב). is called one of the prophets of the Gentiles.” The Qur’an obviously got it from the Jews – not vice versa, since the Qur’an did not come into existence until the seventh century CE.

Proverbs 30 and 31 were written by an Arab."

Prov 30 "The words of Agur the son of Jakeh." Some say that these are actually Hebrew appellations for Solomon, rather than a personal name.

Prov 31 "The words of king Lemuel," Lemuel (biblical king), The ancient Rabbinical commentators identified Lemuel with Solomon. The Babylonian Talmud (Tractate Aboth, Chapter 5) says that six names were given to Solomon: Solomon, Jedidiah, Qoheleth, Ben Iokoh, Agur, and Lemuel.

Arabs also appear in the New Testament, I can’t find them. But what does it matter? he says: "in fact, historians tell us that John the Baptist lost his head defending the rights of an Arab woman, because the wife of Herod Antipas was the daughter of Aretas the fourth, a Nabatean Arab. "A Jewish prophet lost his life defending the rights of an Arab woman," he says.

So what? He wasn’t defending the rights of anybody; but pointing out sin and righteousness!

Despite their long presence in the biblical story, hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs were forced off their land when the State of Israel was proclaimed in 1948 and war broke out. Many of the displaced still remain in Israel or Israeli occupied territories. (Disputed Territories – under Palestinian Authority control)

Same old story (myth)! The Arabs were told by their leaders to leave while the Arab armies destroyed the fledgling state of Israel, so that they could come back later and take over the property of the Jews. It didn’t happen that way because they lost. Whereas the somewhat higher number of Jews who were dispossessed and expelled from Arab lands were absorbed by Israel, the displaced Arabs were not absorbed by Arab nations but shut in camps to be used as political pawns

It was only in 1967, the year of Dr Katanacho’s birth, when the Arabs, having failed a second time to destroy Israel, that the Arabs first started calling themselves Palestinians and developing their Palestinian history. .

 

An issue of land
The decades-old conflict over land continues in Israel-Palestine, affecting countless Palestinians (and Jews) . "My people are suffering injustices," says Dr Katanacho . (the Jews are suffering murderous attacks) "The problem is not the Jews, the problem is sin and oppressive measures."( and terrorism and incitement)
One of the key injustices from the Palestinian point of view is the continuing loss of land to Israeli endeavours such as the `wall of separation' “Security Barrier” necessitated by Palestinian terror. and the expansion and establishing of new illegal (only by a Palestinian definition of International Law) settlements by Israelis on Palestinian land. (Land that Palestinian want rather than actually own – land that the nations want for the Palestinians, believing that giving it to them will bring peace)
"For me as a Palestinian follower of Jesus Christ, the issue of land is really crucial," says Dr Katanacho. "I don't want a two state solution that will exclude the Jewish people, or a one state solution that will exclude the Jewish people.

Why is he so angry about land disputes and indignities caused by anti-terror security measures but makes no mention of murder and incitement to murder?
"I don't want a political solution that is rooted in hatred or bitterness. Every Jewish person is a gift from God, I want to nourish that gift, take care of it. But that's not an excuse to overlook injustice."

So why is he supporting and arguing for those who hate the Jews and want to create, first a Judenrein state of Palestine and then to drive the Jews in what remains to them, into the sea?


A God of justice, mercy and love
Dr Katanacho feels his plea to UK Christians is one rooted in love and in the character of God. "When we look at John 3: 16 we talk about love," he says._ "For me that's true, but it's not the whole picture. John 3: 16 is also the ultimate expression of justice. God cannot overlook sin. God has to deal with sin. But his motive is love. And his expression is love."

This sounds like a theological devaluation of God’s love. John 3:16 is not a matter of deciding between peoples but redeeming all!

Having overcome huge personal and political barriers in order to love the people he used to see as `enemies', Dr Katanacho urges Western Christians to also seek after God's heart when it comes to the multifaceted and ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine.

Amen to that – so why propagate the awful libels against Israel that come from CATC and BBC?

"God wants us to have a theology full of mercy, full of grace, full of love," says Dr Katanacho. "When love is impossible, God is there next to us to make it possible. I want you to speak up, to stand with your Palestinian brothers and sisters - not against the Jews, but for the Jews. Because we need to love the Jewish people in ways that will highlight justice and righteousness, and we need to love the Palestinians in the same way.

So why is Bethlehem Bible College and their CATC conference seeking to turn the world’s evangelical Christians against Israel?

"Let's go to our churches and raise awareness.
"If you love the Jewish people, God bless you, I love them too. To love one group does not mean to hate the other. But to love both groups does mean to pursue justice and righteousness."

To love both groups means to pray and work for the good of both. Where is the evidence of this love for the other group from Dr Katanacho and his group of Palestinian Christians?

I am well aware of an entirely different heart among other, born again, Arab and Palestinian Christians.

Words: Sarah Stone

A final thought on the call for justice as a Christian imperative.

Luke 12:13 Someone in the crowd said to him, "Rabbi, tell my brother to share with me the property we inherited." But Jesus answered him, "My friend, who appointed me judge or arbitrator over you?" Then to the people he said, "Be careful to guard against all forms of greed, because even if someone is rich, his life does not consist in what he owns."

 

2008

Demonstrating that BMS World Mission has thrown in its lot with all the other anti-Israel groups, The Baptist Times recorded their involvement .....

"WITH the passing of the 60th anniversary of the creation of the state of Israel last week, both BMS World Mission and the Baptist Union of Great Britain (BUGB) were involved in action calling for peace in the region.

http://www.baptisttimes.co.uk/freepalestinephotostory.htm

(one of many photographs of the event.)

If only they understood the reality of justice and solidarity with the born again Palestinian Christians!

On Saturday, BMS regional secretary for the Middle East and North Africa Gordon McBain took part with his colleagues in a march in London to show solidarity with Palestinians.

The general secretary of BUGB signed a joint declaration calling for a 'just peace' between Israelis and Palestinians. The declaration was published in The Independent newspaper.

A reported 15,000 people took part in the march, representing groups as diverse as trade unions, the Amos Trust, War on Want, Pax Christi, Jews for Justice for Palestinians and the British Muslim Initiative.

It culminated in a rally on Trafalgar Square, where speakers called for an end to the siege of Gaza, withdrawal from the occupied territories and the right of return for Palestinian refugees.

 

BMS position on Palestine

A friend passed me a campaigning leaflet about Kairos Palestine from  just peace for palestine.org

Of course it contains all the usual Palestinian solidarity distortions of the situation in Israel, with a sugary religious coating to lead Christians into despising Israel.

The Kairos theme comes from the campaign that came out of South Africa against the Apartheid regime. The Palestinian Christians are seeking to promote Palestinian delegitimisation of Israel and recruit christians to their cause.

What is more shocking is to note that one of the supporting organisations is BMS World Mission

Some of the content of the handout can be found here. Kairos Palestine

justpeaceforpalestine.org/peace

Organisations  subscribing, including BMS

justpeaceforpalestine.org/organisations

Palestinian (cultural) Christians are steeped in Replacement Theology and Liberation Theology ( and apparently have no problem siding with the Muslims who will destroy them once they have destroyed Israel.

This is not representative of all Palestinian Christians. Some Other Arab Baptist fellowships, such as First Baptist Church in Bethlehem, hold to a Bible based world view including love for the Jews of Israel.

 

Surely this involvement brings shame on by the Baptist Missionary Society after all the great work done over the years?

What is the BMS doing in "Israel / Palestine" apart from sniping at Israel and Christian Zionists from a safe distance?

The "Israel / Palestine" conflict would cease if Christians evangelised the Muslims, saved them from the false god to whom they are in subjection and shared the whole Bible with them. Instead, the BMS encourages the Muslims in their genocidal "struggle" / "resistance against Israel".

BMS is not even in touch with significant, born again Palestinian Christians.

First Baptist Church Bethlehem is suffering for being true to the whole Bible (including the Christian Zionist bits) but it is ignored by most of the Baptist denomination. Instead, BMS and BUGB support the Bethlehem Bible College, whose convoluted theology can be sampled in the Catalyst article by the principal.

Even among some "Evangelicals" the Old Testament is ignored, and young Christians are told that "the Old Testament is a rubbish book."

 

See also observations on the church becoming political

Whither the Church? - Poverty and the Church? - Social Gospel? - Bad Theologies

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