Friday, August 19, 2016
Who are our friends? The evangelicals. our enemies? Liberal christians
. and one from the good guys
In an even more comprehensive and positive move, the Southern Baptist Convention in its June gathering passed an anti-divestment resolution in support of Israel. The resolution declared "that the BDS movement seeks to isolate only the nation of Israel economically and socially."
The Southern Baptists resolved to "support the right of Israel to exist as a sovereign state and reject any activities that attack that right by promoting economic, cultural, and academic boycotts against Israel." They added that "at this critical time when dangerous forces are mounting up against the nation of Israel, we recommit ourselves to pray for God's peace to rule in Jerusalem and for the salvation of Israel."
According to Baptist News Global, the lone opponent of the resolution was Pastor Jamal Bishara, who is leader of First Arabic Baptist Church in Phoenix, Arizona. He argued unsuccessfully that parts the resolution "on prayer and support for Israel" are both biblically and factually incorrect.
Bishara, who was born and raised in Nazareth, Israel, reflects, according to critics, a pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel bias deeply embedded within Israel's Christian communities. He has said that Palestinians have "the right to live peaceably in their land. ... Among the Palestinians you have brothers and sisters who are Christians also." However, no Israeli leader has ever suggested denying the Palestinians the right to live in peace. Bishara's comment appears to attest more to an anti-Israel narrative on the part of many Israeli Christian groups, including: Eastern and Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic and evangelical Protestant groups, particularly Bethlehem Bible College, which sponsors the infamous biennial, Christ at the Checkpoint Conferences.
Fortunately, Bishara's opinion represents a fringe minority within the largely pro-Israel Southern Baptist denomination.
This weekend the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) (LIBERALS) overwhelmingly approved two resolutions calling on the U.S. government to end all financial and military aid to Israel until Israel “compl[ies] with internationally recognized human rights standards”, freezes settlement construction on occupied Palestinian land, and for the church to adopt an investment screen to avoid profiting from Israel’s Occupation, at ELCA’s triennial 2016 Churchwide Assembly in New Orleans. ELCA is one of three Lutheran church bodies in the U.S.