The “religious left” has always troubled me. They seem to be focused on things that are unscriptural and unspiritual. Their world view is hardly that of the conservative, Bible-believing Christian. In the early days of my ministry I would now and then minister in these churches—at least those bold enough to invite a pro-Bible prophecy, pro-Israel speaker. I give that remnant credit! However, there were never more than two or three in attendance at my classes even though the church membership was in the thousands. Conclusion: I was not tracking with these people who wanted to hear about poverty, the environment, a Palestinian state, and human rights! And it finally dawned on me that I was but spinning my wheels. They didn’t have the eyes to see or ears to hear the truth. Members of these denominations are not bad people. They are misled by ministers of the Gospel who sadly misinterpret Scripture.
Now “The Institute on Religion and Democracy” which monitors activity in Mainline Protestant denominations, reports that human rights criticisms among these denominations are out of balance. They find that between 2000 and 2003, 31% of these criticisms were directed at the U.S. and 37% were directed at Israel. No mention of the colossal abuse of humanity in parts of Africa, including Sudan, and the vast abuses in the Islamic world. But two of the world’s shining examples of democracy, both rooted in Judeo-Christian principles, were singled out as big bad bullies by the Presbyterian Church USA, the Episcopal Church, the United Methodist Church, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Earlier this year the Presbyterian Church USA voted to divest all economic interest in Israel and the Episcopal Church may follow next. So, let’s economically strangle America’s biggest ally in the Middle East and so weaken her that she could be of little productive use in America’s war on terror.
On October 3, 2004, over 50,000 evangelical churches observed the “International Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem Day.” Earlier this fall the World and National Council of Churches had a “Day of Prayer for Peace”. They quoted PA spokeswoman Hanan Ashrawi on a PA Web site speaking about Middle East peace, a subject matter about which she hasn’t got a clue. There was no mention that on that same PA Web site was footage of two PA TV programs showing official religious leaders openly calling for the genocide of Jews.
Visit the Web sites of the World and National Council of Churches which the above-mentioned denominations are members of, but if you’re a Bible-believing Christian you may be prompted to laugh or cry. Weeping is more appropriate. You will search in vain for references to Jesus, Christ, God the Father, the Holy Spirit, or salvation. What you will find is article after article protesting Israel’s security fence that has reduced suicide attacks by over 80%. Articles and positions discuss environmental issues, the Iraq war, health care, the needs of ex-offenders, the Geneva Convention, refugees, migrant labor, women’s rights, and a plea to understand Native American culture. The NCC has a page describing their boycott of a pickle factory! How about boycotting an abortion factory? Ecumenism is the real god of the leaders of the NCC and WCC and again, the people are left spiritually starving.
These outfits are angered that President Bush would make a suggestion that his actions are often guided by his faith. I often wonder what those criticizing this would prefer the president be guided by?
These are the very denominations that believe in “Replacement Theology”—that the Church is the new Israel. Modern-day Israel has no more relevance than the Canary Islands. When you embrace this false teaching, you also end up with “replacement reality.” In other words, reality gets totally skewed. This is all a part of that “end-time” falling away the Bible predicts and the rampant apostasy of the latter days. Is it any wonder that attendance in these churches is plunging and as a result, and their income as well? I’m sure it’s tough for God to bless denominations that are skewed in their world view and theology like this. Following the pattern of Genesis 12:3, there should be some literal “cursing” going on.
Pray for these denominations, however. God’s grace is gracious enough to open the eyes of some who may be questioning some of this. The human condition in me would rather write them off as hopelessly blind but the Bible tells us not to give up and to keep pursuing righteousness, believing that some who seem so very lost can still turn from their unbiblical ways and see truth. Anger should not be directed at the sheep being led astray who would likely receive the truth if their leaders would ever teach and preach it.
(Jan Markell is founder and director of Olive Tree Ministries. For more information or to learn of similar false theologies, visit her Web site,www.olivetreeviews.org. Sign up for her free newsletter at the Web site as well as email alerts.)