Apr 9, 2018

The Vulture Has Landed

Well, it’s come to America.

Of course.

The “Christ at the Checkpoint” conference, which promotes the PLO view of the Arab-Israeli conflict, has grown beyond its Bethlehem-based borders.

In October, 2018, the group will come toOklahoma City, Oklahoma.

My old hometown. Middle America. The Heartland.

This is very smart on the part of the CATC, with its odious political statement reflected in the use of the name of Jesus Christ. For years, I’ve researched groups like this, and it is dismaying that the wider Evangelical community in America lets it happen. Where are the voices of leadership in opposition?

The fact is, leftist ideology has infested the Evangelical community. As I’ve been saying for a very long time, when famous leaders like Bill and Lynne Hybels, World Vision, and now others like Jonathan Merritt and Ann Voskamp give sympathy to causes like this, we end up with a virulently anti-Israel group in our midst.

It’s not 1975 anymore, for sure.

The pricey registration ($300) is curious. Surely, Mahmoud Abbas could earmark some money to help—if he weren’t paying the murderers of Jews.

The 1st national conference of CATC will meet from October 15-18, at the Tower Hotel. Not surprisingly, a United Methodist group is helping. Rev. Darrell Cates, a UMC elder who now works for the United Methodist Oklahoma Foundation, like his friends, cannot bring himself to say “Jews” or “Israel”:

“In more than twenty years of leading groups to experience the land of the Bible, I’ve discovered a community of Jesus followers seeking to live out a vital and faithful witness who are largely discounted and forgotten. Christ at the Checkpoint USA is an effort to tell their story.”

They’re telling their story, all right. It is the Palestinian Narrative. This will no doubt be another left-wing confab featuring a litany of speakers claiming to be “pro peace.”

True pro-peace would be dismantling the PLO/PA and repenting of blaming Israel for everything.

Cates is director of conference and church relations. I hope Bible-based pastors in Oklahoma will oppose this loud and long.

Please avail yourself of the online literature with regard to CATC, and let Rev. Cates know how you feel.

From its website, this “CATCUSA” group describes itself this way:

“We are a community of evangelical Christians who believe that following Jesus with integrity means that our lives are formed by our love for God, the teaching of the Bible and a fearless life of discipleship in the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We believe that one of the first hallmarks of discipleship is love for both our own community and for our enemies. We wish to find Jesus at the center of everything we do and to make his life our life. Which means finding courageous love for Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Jews alike.

“We also believe that our discipleship requires a prophetic voice. We feel compelled to address the injustices that have taken place in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine, particularly the Palestinian lands under occupation. We gather with many communities from around the world to say that our present circumstances are intolerable and do not reflect the righteousness of the Kingdom of God. We abhor violence. And we believe that standing up nonviolently to injustice is an acceptable expression of our faith.

“We do not condemn the Jewish people and we reject any forms of anti-Semitism. In fact, there are many Israeli Jews who believe that the present Israeli treatment of the Palestinians does not reflect the deeper moral values of Judaism itself. We simply wish to find a life in the entire Holy Land that is free of discrimination and injustice, where each person can live without prejudice toward their race or religion. This also means we reject theologies that lead to discrimination or privileges based on ethnicity. Worldviews that promote divine national entitlement or exceptionalism do not promote the values of the Kingdom of God because they place nationalism above Jesus.

“Since 2010, under the leadership of Bethlehem Bible College and led by Palestinian Christians, an international conference has been held every other year exploring the obstacles to peace in our world and the opportunities for peace-making that spring from our Christian faith. We join with this effort by holding a similar conference in the US. We pray that we are faithful to Jesus and regularly confess our shortcomings when we fail to exhibit Jesus’ highest call to love. We also call upon evangelical Christians everywhere to join us in the hope that we can build a better world where goodness and truth reign free and where the love and fairness of God are common.

“We invite you to join us in October, 2018 in Oklahoma City, OK. We hope you will join Christians from all over the United States from a wide diversity of backgrounds and viewpoints. We believe that the conversations that begin in these gatherings will result in the hope we need in our world.”

Here is the group’s “manifesto”:


  1. The Kingdom of God has come. Evangelicals must reclaim the prophetic role in bringing peace, justice and reconciliation in Palestine and Israel. 
  1. Reconciliation recognizes God’s image in one another. 
  1. Racial ethnicity alone does not guarantee the benefits of the Abraham Covenant. 
  1. The church in the land of the Holy One has borne witness to Christ since the days of Pentecost. It must be empowered to continue to be light and salt in the region, if there is to be hope in the midst of conflict. 
  1. Any exclusive claim to land of the Bible in the name of God is not in line with the teaching of scripture. 
  1. All forms of violence must be refuted unequivocally. 
  1. Palestinian Christians must not lose the capacity for self-criticism if they wish to remain prophetic. 
  1. There are real injustices taking place in the Palestinian territories, and the suffering of the Palestinian people can no longer be ignored. Any solution must respect the equity and rights of Israeli and Palestinian communities. 
  1. For Palestinian Christians, the occupation is the core issue of the conflict. 
  1. Any challenge to the injustices taking place in the Holy Land must be done in Christian love. Criticism of Israel and the occupation cannot be confused with anti-Semitism and the delegitimization of the State of Israel. 
  1. Respectful dialogue between Palestinian and Messianic believers must continue. Though we may disagree on secondary matters of theology, the gospel of Jesus and his ethical teaching take precedence. 
  1. Christians must understand the global context for the rise of extremist Islam. We challenge stereotyping of all faith forms that betray God’s commandment to love our neighbors and enemies.

I’m surprised all this wasn’t drafted in the Kremlin. Let’s look at a few things from the CATCUSA descriptions:

  • They describe themselves as “evangelical Christians.” By identifying with mainstream, rank-and-file evangelicals in America, they present themselves as part of the Fam. One of us. This is a way to burrow-into evangelical churches.

It forces some of us to find another way to self-identify, other than “evangelical.”

  • Notice that they refer to “Palestine.” Such a place does not exist; to use the term is to tip your hand that you are a political tool of the Left. And anti-Israel.
  • Allegedly, the “occupation” is the source of problems in the Middle East, not Arab intransigence and anti-Jew hatred.
  • They don’t “abhor violence,” or they would demand an end to the PLO/PA.
  • Notice the gobbledygook about rejecting anti-Semitism. I’ve never heard one of these people lament the murder of Jewish men, women, and children in the Land of Israel. The mentors of the CATC are the most anti-Semitic people on the planet.
  • Christians must understand the global context for the rise of extremist Islam!

This is shocking, and dangerous. The “global context” is that Islam itself seeks to dominate and enslave, all for the false god, Allah. That self-described evangelicals peddle this dhimmi attitude is grotesque.

The organizers of this unholy conference are either dupes, suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, or complicit in the evil of the PLO.

I call on Christians United for Israel, The International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem, Bridges for Peace, and Friends of Israel—along with pro Israel churches and individuals—to publicly oppose this conference.


Last Modified on April 10, 2018
This entry was posted in Israel Watch
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