Aug 21, 2017

The Palestinian Man

This past week, Danny Akin, a Southern Baptist bigwig and president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (Wake Forest, NC), liked a tweet by Michael Bird, a lecturer in Theology and New Testament at Ridley College.

Now that I have the credentials out of the way, the tweet itself:

“White Christians should remember that they worship a brown-skinned Aramaic-speaking Palestinian man seated at the right hand of the Father.”

To which Akin replied:

“Good word and reminder @mbird12. Thank you!”

No, not a good word at all. And Bird should remember—or know in the first place—that we worship an ethnic Jew. Akin should know that, too. He leads a major seminary? That’s literally shocking.

But this reality is hateful for much of today’s evangelical leadership.

In a May 6, 2016 op-ed in the New York Times, Russell Moore said this:

“The man on the throne in heaven is a dark-skinned, Aramaic-speaking ‘foreigner’ who is probably not all that impressed by chants of ‘Make America great again.’”

(By using the word “foreigner,” Moore was also able to insert his leftist, open-border worldview into the discussion.)

Moore, like his friend Akin and others in key leadership positions within Evangelicalism, are loath to mention the Jewishness of Jesus. “Aramaic” and the grotesquely wrong “Palestinian” are actually used now to identify the man born into a Jewish family in Jewish Bethlehem. Jewish lineage.

Jesus is Jewish is the same as the sky is blue, but in today’s evangelical world, the sky is purple, or red, or no color at all.

Now, it’s at this point that people like Akin and Moore and Bird would use their deflection spin to ask me, “Why are you over-emphasizing the Jewish background and Judaism? Are you a Hebrew Roots convert?”

Or something close to that. This allows them to deflect from the important issue at hand: Jesus Christ is a Jew.

These men don’t like that and my proof is their public comments, such as above.

(Comically, Bird sits on the “Editorial board for Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus.” My goodness, if that board thinks Jesus was a Palestinian, they need to be educated.)

Part of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Bible problem is the ecumenical nature its leadership has pursued for a very long time. This brings much “diversity” into the tent, and theological diversity is poison for Bible teaching. A couple generations ago, Christian leaders would have thoroughly rejected the “Jesus was a Palestinian” nonsense.

But today’s leaders like it. They spread this falsehood.

Remember, such “evangelical” outsiders as Philip Yancey began the “Jesus is a Palestinian” nonsense two decades ago, just as Yasser Arafat did. Isn’t that disturbing?

Here we have in 2017 a Southern Baptist seminary president spreading the same anti-Semitic propaganda that the PLO chieftain did. And again, I know what the response would be: “Oh come on, you can’t be serious; that’s a serious leap and ‘guilt by degrees of association.’”

To which my reply is: If the keffiyeh fits…

I have spoken and written for a few years now that pro Israel support in the American Church is slipping. I now feel it’s in danger. We tried to be nice to the other side and be reasonable (at the same time legitimately good advocacy was done on behalf of Israel), but our ideological opponents are vicious and relentless. Those pro Israel leaders in the Church who were too nice about it—I could name them—have presided over, in my opinion, the demise of Christian Zionism in this country as a hegemonic movement.

I stand by that statement.

One has only to watch the demonic and ludicrous atmosphere of “protest” against Donald Trump and his agenda to see that we are not going back to some idyllic past.

And it is evangelical leaders who are either standing-down or are complicit when it comes to leftist ideology being promoted, right in the pews. They are certainly doing it at their conferences.

The evangelical leadership, in its arrogance, bares its fangs at “critics,” such as the author of this column. In this way, they detract from the real issues that are raised. In general, though there are still marvelous numbers of Bible-believing people in the pews, the basic laity is either clueless about these things, or embrace Replacement Theology themselves.

The recent flap within the Assemblies of God, regarding pro Israel support, is another indication that the traditional champions of the Jewish people are now under assault by leftists who believe Jesus was a Palestinian.

I no longer believe in “hoping for the best.” What I’ve written here today is simply factual, and without too much emotion, honestly. I expect strong pockets of pro Israel Christian support will go on until the end. Yet the majority of the American Church, with much help from the Danny Akins and Russell Moores of the world, will sooner-rather-than-later embrace the poison of a Palestinian state and many other threats to the Jewish state.

It’s simply where we are.