Posted by: gmscan | December 2, 2010

Disturbing Signs of Anti-Semitism in the PC(USA)

I have been trying to avoid getting into politics on this blog. I really have. Some time ago I wrote that I was looking for a church that would focus on eternal truths and salvation, not secular politics of the left or the right. I said there are plenty of places I can go for political activism. I don’t need a church for that.

I thought I had found that in the church I joined. I knew that the Presbyterian denomination was tilting more and more liberal on social issues, but my congregation said it was a “confessing church,” which meant it would stick to the Bible, regardless of current trends in secular thinking.

I have not been disappointed in that decision. The people in my congregation probably have a variety of political views, but they are united in, as they say, “Knowing Christ, Growing in Christ, and Showing Christ to the World.” They have taught me a lot and every day I learn more.

As part of that learning I am tackling some of the most intellectually demanding material I have ever read, as well as some of the kindest and most loving ministries I have ever witnessed. I also read a number of blogs about current happenings within the Presbyterian denomination (Presbyterian Church USA), and have watched from a distance as the governing bodies of the church argue about issues like ordaining gay ministers. As a mere lay member of the church, I can only pray that it all gets sorted out in keeping with what Christ would want.

But one of the blogs I most respect is called “Naming His Grace,” by Viola Larson. I don’t know anything about Mrs. Larson, except that she seems very knowledgeable and well-grounded. I never fail to learn from her postings.

She has been writing about Israel and the PCUSA and included a link to the web site and facebook page of the “Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA)”

I am in shock. I have never seen such a collection of anti-Israel propaganda assembled in one place before. This group, which was formed by the PC(USA) in 2004, is completely one-sided and hateful. I am suddenly ashamed to be associated with an organization that would sponsor such calumny.

This group shamelessly uses the words of Christ as a cover for raw anti-semitism. Much of the material it features goes well beyond any current dispute over borders or the rights of Palestinians to include ideas such as going back to the pre-1948 situation. That is, pushing the Jews back into the sea.

This is unacceptable. As a Christian, I am also a Jew. Not only is the Old Testament an essential part of my beliefs, but Jesus came to Earth specifically to fulfill the prophesies of the Old Testament so that he could establish a New Covenant with us.

Israel has every right to defend itself against suicide bombers and rockets that are launched specifically to terrorize civilians. The blame for the ongoing conflict rests squarely with Arab leaders who refuse to accept the presence of a Jewish state, and who in fact use the existence of Israel as an excuse for their own failure to improve the well-being of their own people.

I pray to God that Presbyterians everywhere come to their senses and reject this horror show.

 

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Responses

  1. It does appear that the website referenced does not provide objective analysis and full information regarding its stories. The word “illegal” refers to breaking of a law, and that refers to sovereignty, which is the issue under discussion. Thus, by using language as it does without elaboration or explanation the website appears to have made its determinations in advance and feels no need to bother with relevant facts.

  2. I had no idea about the “Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA)”. This is very disturbing. I love our local Presbyterian church, but some of the things I read about, that the church on a national supports, make me question what my family and I belong to. My only consolation is that I love and support our church locally and that very little gets sent on to the national organization.

  3. Folks:
    I am officially Jewish (born to a Jewish mother (and father) and raised Jewish.
    I have taken pretty much of a “hands-off” approach on Israel the country, as I believe God and Jews are bigger than one country.
    In fact, as long as we can study and observe our Torah (both written and oral versions), Judaism will thrive.
    We have not had an official state for the vast majority or our existence as a people.
    That being said, I think it is important for Israel to survive, at the very least for symbolic value.
    Even if you get away from theological ownership rights, we’re talking about a very, very small piece of land. The Arabs got the oil – what did the Jews get in 1948 – basically a desert.
    You cannot negotiate with an enemy who wants to drag you into the sea.
    Jesus said to love your enemies.
    That means we will have enemies, particularly if you lead a righteous life (righteous meaning right relationship with God).
    All right, we love you. Now, leave us alone!
    Shalom,
    Don Levit

  4. Thanks so much Greg. Your posting is so important. I hope others will do the same.

  5. I recently returned from a Holy Land tour….very enlightening. How can one be a Christian and not embrace the Jewish people and support Israel as they defend their land.
    BTW: I had no idea that the four quarters of Old Jerusalem house the four different religions which seem to coexist peacefully.

  6. Thanks, folks, for the comments. Like Chip, I love my church more and more every day, but the political leadership of the denomination is a real problem. Another reader told me about an article in today’s Walls Street Journal, “Presbyterians Against Israel,” by two rabbis at the Simon Wiesenthal Center. They add more insights to this discussion. See —
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703572404575634813393141110.html#printMode

    We cannot risk repeating the mistakes of the past.

    Greg

  7. I’m with you, Greg. I understand how anti-semitism evolved in the Christian church, and why, but that it should survive in the American church is very troubling. Part of the answer may be found in a kind of dispensationalism that divorces the Old Testament from the New, but it would be hard to read the NT at all and not feel a deep sympathy with the Jewish people. It is, I think, but one more testimony to the doctrines of original sin and total depravity.

    Keep your eyes on Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh – which includes the visible church.


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