During the recent Christ at the Checkpoint (CATC) conference in Bethlehem, Rev. Stephen Sizer, one of the leaders of the movement to separate Evangelicals from Israel, referenced an old and false quote attributed to Pastor John Hagee. Several years ago, CUFI's spokesman wrote an op-ed exposing this quote as phony. A month later the author most responsible for advancing the quote admitted it was fake. CUFI's spokesman tweeted both relevant articles to Sizer, and Sizer even responded to one of the tweets, but that didn't stop Sizer from advancing the fake quote in a subsequent blog post.
That Sizer knowingly lies about Hagee is troubling, but truth-be-told Sizer's impact is minimal. Despite his best efforts, Christian Zionism is on the rise, and the organization Hagee founded, Christians United for Israel, continues to grow in both size and influence at an astounding rate.
None-the-less it is important to note that Sizer's dishonesty is consistent with the strategy employed by the larger movement to separate Evangelicals from Israel. Put bluntly, this movement is built on duplicity. Their stated goals, are not their real goals; their "facts" are not the real facts. more >>
When President Obama visits Saudi Arabia next week, he will have an opportunity to follow through on his inspiring words at the Feb. 6. National Prayer Breakfast. There, he told thousands of Christian leaders that "the right of every person to practice their faith how they choose" is central to "human dignity," and so "promoting religious freedom is a key objective of U.S. foreign policy."
The freedom so central to human dignity is denied by the Kingdom. The State Department has long ranked Saudi Arabia among the world's most religiously repressive governments, designating it a "Country of Particular Concern" under the International Religious Freedom Act. Yet the Obama administration, like its predecessors, has not pressed Riyadh to respect religious freedom.
Saudi Arabia is the only state in the world to ban all churches and any other non-Muslim houses of worship. While Saudi nationals are all "officially" Muslim, some two to three million foreign Christians live in the kingdom, many for decades. They have no rights to practice their faith. The Saudi government has ignored Vatican appeals for a church to serve this community, despite the fact that in 1973 Pope Paul VI approved a proposal for the Roman city council to donate city lands for a grand mosque in Rome. The mosque, opened in 1995, is among the largest in Europe. more >>
"To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting Him to public disgrace"-Hebrews 6:6
The United Nations, Western governments, media, universities, and talking heads everywhere insist that Palestinians are suffering tremendous abuses from the state of Israel. Conversely, the greatest human rights tragedy of our time-radical Muslim persecution of Christians, including in Palestinian controlled areas-is devotedly ignored.
The facts speak for themselves. Reliable estimates indicate that anywhere from 100-200 million Christians are persecuted every year; one Christian is martyred every five minutes. Approximately 85 percent of this persecution occurs in Muslim majority nations. In 1900, 20 percent of the Middle East was Christian. Today, that number is less than two percent. more >>
The idea that God is finished with the Jewish people as a nation and that the church has replaced Israel in God's plan is not only a serious theological error. It is a deadly one as well.
It was this false theology that helped fuel the fires of Jew-hatred in one of the early church's most respected leaders, John Chrysostom (347-407), who once said, "God hates the Jews, and on Judgment Day will say to those who sympathize with them: 'Depart from Me, for you have had intercourse with My murderers!' Flee, then, from their assemblies, fly from their houses, and hold their synagogue in hatred and aversion."
Without this erroneous theology, the Crusades would never have taken place 700 years later. more >>
Islamic nations are again learning that the jihad is a volatile instrument of war that can easily backfire on those who preach it; that "holy war" is hardly limited to fighting and subjugating "infidels"-whether the West in general, Israel in particular, or the millions of non-Muslim minorities under Islam-but can also be used to fight "apostates," that is, Muslims accused of not being Islamic enough.
In an unprecedented move and following Egypt's lead, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain recently withdrew their ambassadors from Qatar, largely due to its Al Jazeera propaganda network which, since the ousting of the Muslim Brotherhood, has been inciting chaos in the region.
According to a March 7 Reuters reports, "Saudi Arabia has formally designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, in a move that could increase pressure on Qatar whose backing for the group has sparked a row with fellow Gulf monarchies…. Saudi Arabia and the UAE are fuming over Qatar's support for the Muslim Brotherhood, and resent the way Doha has sheltered influential cleric Yusuf Qaradawi, a critic of the Saudi authorities, and given him regular airtime on its pan-Arab satellite channel Al Jazeera." more >>
A four day Evangelical conference out of Bethlehem focusing on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict kicked off on Monday, even as several Christian leaders spoke out against the event and suggested that it was a veiled attempt to dampen the Church's support for Israel.
The Bethlehem Bible College (BBC), an institution founded by Palestinian Christians in 1979 with the intent to train Arab Israeli and Palestinian pastors, has sponsored Christ at the Checkpoint (CC) bi-annually since its inaugural event in 2010, and according to its mission, seeks to challenge "evangelicals to take responsibility in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through Jesus' teaching on the Kingdom of God."
Several of the 10 points of the conference manifesto state that "racial ethnicity alone does not guarantee the benefits of the Abrahamic Covenant," "all forms of violence must be refuted unequivocally," that the "the Church in the land of the Holy One, has born witness to Christ since the days of Pentecost," and "must be empowered to continue to be light and salt in the region, if there is to be hope in the midst of conflict." more >>