What nation could be “apartheid on steroids”? Surely some Islamic stronghold, right?
Try Israel. That’s according to World Vision’s Steve Haas writing for the Lausanne Movement.
Haas goes on to suggest that all the problems of the Palestinian people perpetrated upon them by Islamic thug dictators are, in reality, the fault of Israel. He even blames the demise of the Palestinian Christian population upon Israel when, in fact, Palestinian Islamic leaders have driven out the Christians.
Haas states, “As peacemakers, we have been tasked by a justice agenda of love and sacrifice. I truly believe we can be pro-Palestinian, pro-Israeli, and pro-justice because we are adamantly pro-Jesus.”
Don’t believe it.
I’ve been present at a tragic event called “Hope for the Holy Land”. The one-night event visited my alma mater a few years ago, Bethel University in St. Paul, MN. It featured a World Vision rep, Mae Cannon, Willow Creek’s Lynne Hybels, and The Holy Land Trust rep Sami Awad.
Their approach offered zero hope for the Holy Land because they only wanted to talk about “the occupation”. Jesus didn’t live in “occupied territory”. It was and is God’s land and the borders are outlined in the Bible.
Efforts to interject truth into that forum were blocked.
Haas says, “For over 60 years, many evangelicals have clung to a very narrow theological narrative that weds Christian theology with a political ideology known as Zionism.” This is in the latest issue of Lausanne Global Analysis.
He compares Christian Zionists — evangelicals with a Bible-based zeal and love for Israel and the Jews — to Spanish inquisitors, Crusaders, supporters of apartheid South Africa, and other historical atrocities.
I don’t put the root of such thinking at the feet of antisemitism as much as I lay it at the feet of “Replacement Theology”. This is the belief that all the promises made to Israel have been transferred to the church. It is raging through many denominations today.
“Replacement Theology” leads to “replacement reality”. That’s what is going on. There is a twisting and a distorting of facts so severe that it has created a “replacement reality.” Folks are believing a lie.
To add insult to injury, pro-Palestinian U.K. Vicar Stephen Sizer last week stated that Israel was likely behind 9/11. The comments were especially egregious coming during the week when most of the free world recognized the 70th anniversary of the liberation of many of the concentration camps.
Sizer’s “replacement reality” leads him smack-dab into the heart of antisemitism, so much so that he hangs out with the daughters of Iran’s Ayatollah Khoumeini.
Here Sizer presents many of his anti-Israel books to the Khoumeni daughters with fond autographed comments.
Sizer has also been a regular organizer, lecturer and panelist at the Christ at the Checkpoint conference hosted by the Bethlehem Bible College. The bi-annual event has been characterized by sentiment that Israel and her Christian supporters are to blame for most of the woes in that region.
Sizer did apologize for his “replacement reality”.
Folks who think this way believe that the old religious Right crassly imposed a pro-Israel U.S. foreign policy based on its end-time theology, creating untold suffering among largely innocent Palestinians. They now hope that more thoughtful, more compassionate evangelicals, will reject that heritage and instead stand with the Palestinians as the victim group most needing compassion.
The fact is that evangelicals are strong supporters of Islamic evangelism around the world. Many evangelical agencies have been raised up, particularly since 9/11, to reach out to lost Muslims, including Palestinians.