Christians protest Pastor calling for Palestinian state

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Israel
Written by Chris Perver  
Wednesday, 29 August 2007 02:58
Dozens of Christians in Florida staged a protest outside their Church on Sunday when they discovered their Pastor was one of the signatories to a letter urging President Bush to press for the creation of a Palestinian state. A coalition of liberal evangelical leaders and charitable organizations sent the letter to the US President last July, stating they were not against Israel, but believed that Arabs had "legitimate rights, stretching back for millennia to the lands of Israel/Palestine" - even though the Arab people were promised land to the east of the Jordan in Scriptures, and at no point in history has Palestine ever been a sovereign state. The signatories conceived of the idea for the letter after visiting the US Islamic World Forum in Qatar, where Muslims were pleasantly surprised to find there were Christians who thought the same way they did. The group is planning to translate the letter into Arabic and publish it throughout the Middle East. The article quoted Pastor Joel as stating that Christian Zionists thought "Israel and their side can do no wrong", and that there are other evangelicals who seek "justice" for both sides.

Quote: "The Rev. Joel C. Hunter, senior pastor of Northland Church in Longwood, FL, said: "There is a part of the evangelical family, which is what I call Christian Zionists, who are just so staunchly pro-Israel that Israel and their side can do no wrong, and it's almost anti-Biblical to criticize Israel for anything. But there are many more evangelicals who are really open and seek justice for both parties."

Christian Zionists do not believe Israel "can do no wrong", far from it in fact. We apportion blame to those to whom it is due, and sad to say that is Palestinian terrorist organizations and Arab states more often than not . Prior to June 1967, Israel occupied none of the territory now under contention, yet half a dozen Arab states not only refused to recognize the Jewish state, but actively sought to destroy it. Nor did Transjordan ever offer to create a Palestinian state on territory it captured during the War of Independence in 1948. It is Israel that must constantly concede to the demands of those that still refuse to recognize its right to exist. Where we differ from these liberal theologians is, we do believe that Israel has a God-given right to the land, that Israel's regathering is a fulfilment of Biblical prophecy, and that the situation that is playing out before our eyes will result in the division of God's land as prophesied in Joel 3:2. But apparently many of Pastor Joel's own congregation had no idea he held such unscriptural views, and some decided to organize a protest in response to the Pastor's call for the creation of a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria. 

Quote: "The Sunday protestors were outraged at the pastor's stance so blatantly against the Bible whose message he preaches. John Hellein, of a church just two miles away, told Arutz-7, "I heard the news while riding my bicycle and listening to an Ipod radio broadcast - and I nearly fell off my bicycle. I was amazed that the pastor of a church so close to home would say something so opposed to the Bible. I knew right then that I wanted to organize some kind of protest." Hellein said that many of the church members were unaware of the controversial stance their pastor had taken, and "thanked us for informing them of it and protesting. This is not to say that everyone agreed; there were also other opinions."

Two Jewish radio hosts, Ari Abramowitz and Jeremy Gimpel from Arutz 7's "Light unto the Nations" programme, asked Pastor Joel to come on their show to explain his views, from purely a religious standpoint. But the Pastor declined, his assistant stating that this "just isn't the best forum for Dr. Hunter to explain his position on this issue". How sad that a Pastor of all people should decline such an opportunity to witness for Christ and to give a reason for the hope that is in him! But he eventually conceded to a debate with Jeremy Gimpel, which will be broadcast on BBC Radio this Thursday, August 30th, at 10:20 AM EST. Abramowitz and Gimpel said Pastor Joel would be wise to heed the warning from his namesake, the prophet Joel, who warned that God would judge the nations that were responsible for scattering His people and parting His land.

Quote: "Abramowitz told Arutz-7 he is happy to be able to debate the issue in purely religious terms. "There are many truth-seekers in the Christian community who are willing to stand with Israel even if they have to defy their own leaders," he said. "Truth resonates. As the Jewish people, we are not seeking allies; we have a responsibility to share the truth and clarify it to a world that may not want to hear it."

If find it particularly sad that it should be left to two Jews, perhaps not even believers at that, to debate with a Christian Pastor on Israel's rightful place God's prophetic calendar, a Pastor who is supposed to be led by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. As Abramowitz stated, it is mainstream Christian organizations and theological colleges that are churning out this anti-Semitic teaching. They wilfully ignore secular history by supporting the creation of a Palestinian state. They turn a blind eye to the truth of Scripture in calling for the division of God's land. And they are replacing God's absolute law with the world's shifting standards of morality, in their moral equivalence of Palestinian terrorism and Israel's right of self-defence.

Source NY Times, Arutz 7

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