30 Sep 2019

Sometimes They’re Relevant

Some interesting stuff happened this week regarding Christian Millennials opposed to Israel. I’ve written about them a lot.

First, there was the jolting news that Relevant magazine founder and publisher Cameron Strang is stepping down from his role. I would guess it’s temporary, but we’ll see. Strang’s “downfall” came, ironically, because he wasn’t Woke enough for some of his radical staff.

You see, because certain young people have been allowed to get away with nonsense like “gender equality” and “racism behind every bush,” they are emboldened. The very community Relevant publishes for—young Christians—has now turned on Strang due to alleged racist statements and his creation of a “toxic work environment.”

I have no idea about the internal stuff at the magazine, although my interactions with Strang after his 2014 cover story, “Blessed Are the Peacemakers” indicated that he was stubborn and arrogant in his worldview.

Where this is “relevant” for Israel is to see if the magazine will continue in its animosity to the Jewish state, or whether it will chart a more balanced course. Again, I don’t believe Strang is gone for good.

But as I looked at the latest issue, I saw a tiny glimmer of hope. Titled, “Stop Taking Jeremiah 29:11 Out of Context,” writer Thomas Turner took Christians to task for appropriating an Old Testament verse meant for the Jews. Turner writes:

“Like any author worth his salt, the writer in Jeremiah begins by stating the subject of the passage: ‘This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon … ‘ (Jeremiah 29:4).

“This verse, quoted to countless individuals who are struggling with vocation or discerning God’s will, is not written to individuals at all. This passage is written to a whole group of people—an entire nation.”

Wow, this sounds like something David Lewis would have written! Bravo!

Turner then goes on to explain that the verse was meant as a comfort for the Jews exiled after the Babylonian invasion in the sixth century B.C. It’s quite an amazing article, given Relevant’s embrace of Palestinian faux-history. I’m hoping it’s a sign of things to come.

I also reflected this week that many of the people who were running interference for the Palestinian Authority’s official version of the conflict—among American evangelicals—are now sidelined. No doubt some simply went “underground,” but many have been neutralized by the spotlight on their work. I hope in some way this is reflective of Strang as well. For different reasons, Strang, Donald Miller, Lynne Hybels, and Mae Cannon no longer are active publicly in defaming Israel. I think the public didn’t appreciate their propaganda efforts.

The Relevant magazine situation is one to watch in the coming months. When/if Strang reappears, we’ll see if he is contrite enough to admit fault where he should: bashing Israel.