An important event has just concluded in Jerusalem: the first “Christian Media Summit.” Coordinated with significant help from the Israeli government, it was a positive development, after many years of networking by pro Israel groups.
Among the attendees were CAMERA’s Dexter Van Zile and the Jerusalem Journal’s Brian Schrauger, perhaps my two favorite reporters. If Dex and Brian are on your side, you’re going to win.
I was unable to attend, regretfully, but it did my heart good to hear that the event was a success. Frankly, it was annoying to hear about the usual suspects in the pro Israel Christian community who just like to be seen. Some posted pics on social media: their important selves pumping the hands of well-known Israelis, including the all-important Bibi. Oh well.
My hope is that the Israeli government will begin to emphasize the role of Christian media in what Benjamin Netanyahu has long called the “battle for truth.”
Problems remain, however, and I now find myself on the outside looking in. I have one big difference of opinion with some of my media friends. The point of contention lies in how to deal with our ideological opponents.
I was dismayed this week to read a blog post by a person advocating interfaith dialogue between Christians, Jews…and Muslims.
There is ample evidence—including from Scripture—that “interfaith” dialogue with Muslims is a trap. Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy has documented that the Muslim Brotherhood is quite interested in “interfaith dialogue” with Christians, so that they can dupe them. In my view, they are succeeding.
Christian leaders in America like Ed Stetzer, Bob Roberts Jr., and staff at Fuller Seminary engage in dangerous dialogue with Muslim individuals and groups. We also know of course that Rick Warren has spoken before Muslim groups.
And these are evangelical leaders.
J.* Dudley Woodberry (putting a single letter at the beginning of your name ensures you will sound more intellectual to the world; *sarcasm alert) is a senior professor of Islamic studies at Fuller’s School of Intercultural Studies.
Unfortunately, very few (if any) pro Israel Christians will identify those in our ranks that engage in interfaith dialogue and/or express sympathy for the Palestinian Narrative.
Michael Brown, a major Charismatic figure, has been invited to speak by the fiendish “Christ at the Checkpoint” gang. Unfortunately, he accepted the invitation. Brown, with a long reputation as being pro Israel, well understands the implications and has written about it here, though I strongly disagree with his decision to appear at CATC. The most important point is that his appearance will be used as propaganda.
Rather than aggressively denouncing the anti-Semitic gang at CATC, evangelical leaders in America—many of whom identify as pro Israel—are silent.
This is the problem.
The aforementioned blog post about interfaith dialogue was published on the website of an ostensibly pro Israel group. The leaders of that group also like to dialogue with some of Israel’s most vicious Palestinian critics.
I don’t understand these people.
Perhaps no one will agree with me—that of course isn’t necessary—but I am certain pro Israel support in this country is slipping badly, especially among young people. And most especially among Christian Millennials. I am also hearing from several sources that even previously pro Israel folks are becoming “weary” of hearing about Israel.
Well, then, get out of the way. Our ideological opponents are waging war on us, and our worldview. Christians of course are traditionally, if not passive, then certainly demure. I get that.
But when it comes to supporting Israel, I am certain that passivity and indifference to evil will do great damage to our cause.
Finally for now, a symptom of this problem of not confronting evil is the infuriating practice of standing silent about the vast networks that subvert biblical Christianity.
What I mean specifically is that too many/most of solid pro Israel groups and individuals stand down when it becomes necessary to spotlight what people like Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, and Andy Stanley are doing. Anti-Israel invective is not the main thing these men and their huge ministries do. But it is absolutely an important part of their communities.
For example, many of Hybel’s church-growth techniques are more than welcome in churches. His books and studies are used in scores of churches and I would argue that the Willow Creek Association is the most influential group, globally, in the Evangelical community.
For that reason, even pro Israel Christian leaders will not call-out Hybels and his wife, Lynne.
Some refuse to identify anti-Israel evangelicals because, frankly, it would cost them money. How? Christian media and publishing are largely corrupt, but serve as important vessels for promoting and cross-promoting various ministries and individuals.
So, for example, if a well-known evangelical heads a large pro Israel ministry—but is also accumulating wealth from the sale of books, etc.—that leader will not call-out Warren & Friends. Such a stance might lead to bookstore chains and other venues refusing to carry said leader’s product. Warren & Friends are that powerful.
Lest you think I am being negative, let me say that as a biblical Christian, I have never been more joyous. Just one of countless reasons is that while I see an erosion of Bible prophecy teaching in churches and ministries (I really think it’s just embarrassing for too many leaders who cannot for ideological or financial reasons swim against the tide of Warren & Friends), prophecy has never been more relevant.
There are still important leaders still emphasizing the glorious nature of Bible prophecy, such as Bill Koenig.
While others will seek to accommodate their ideological opponents—to the point of no longer being ideological opponents!—I will not.
If that makes me a pariah within the pro Israel Christian community, so be it.
It will not make me wrong.