Yesterday, two of our Board members at Song For Israel attended a conference in West Hollywood put on by CAMERA (Committee For Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America). It was an event that was attended by pro-Israel Christians, Catholics and Jewish people.
Speaker after gifted speaker shared their concerns that anti-Semitism is not only increasing around the world, but specifically in America. In addition, news coming to us from the Middle East is often distorted and Americans are believing the lies.
Dr. Tricia Miller, Christian Media Analyst for CAMERA, monitors Christian organizations and media activity in relation to the Arab-Israeli conflict and focuses specifically on the effects of Christian anti-Zionism on support for Israel in the Evangelical world. She shared three developments that began in 2010:
1. Christ at the Checkpoint Conference in Bethlehem -- "Christian Palestianism" abounds with those who support Christ at the Checkpoint. In essence, it is Christian anti-Semitism. Its roots come from the Bethlehem Bible College where they hold that Jesus was a Palestinian (simply because He was born in Bethlehem) and was persecuted by Jews; they compare the existence of Israel and Zionism with the swine flu and other negative comparisons. You may read more about Christian Palestinianism and Christ at the Checkpoint by clicking here.
2. In 2010, Mart Green (one of the heirs to Hobby Lobby), produced a film called "Little Town of Bethlehem" which has a false narrative and demonizes the Jewish state. It is being shown around America in colleges and churches to undermine support for Israel.
3. "Empowered 21" whose mission statement reads: Empowered 21 is an organization that is helping shape the future of the Spirit-empowered movement throughout the world by focusing on crucial issues facing the movement and connecting generations for intergenerational blessing and impartation. Sounds harmless. Don't believe it. It is a movement toward a one-world religion with a call to unity. They demand full agreement. They demonize the Jewish people, deny the Jewish roots of Christianity, and target an Evangelical Christian audience. The movement is based in Tulsa, Oklahoma with a huge backing from Oral Roberts University (which formerly was very supportive of Israel). They now demonize the Jewish people and the state of Israel and have strong financial backing.
Dexter Van Zile is also a Christian Media Analyst for CAMERA, whose work has focused on the failure of the World Council of Churches (WCC) and other Christian institutions to address human rights abuses in Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East. He has also played a major role in exposing the errors in the Palestinian Christian narrative and has made an important contribution in the battle for accuracy in relation to Christian anti-Zionism. He taught that anti-Zionists believe that Jewish sovereignty is against God's plan. Anti-Zionists believe that Evangelical support for Israel makes Muslims less apt to convert to Christianity. He said to watch Wheaton College as many students from this college are attending Christ at the Checkpoint as advocates. He added to Dr. Miller's presentation that "Little Town of Bethlehem" (which you can Google to watch the trailer) has been applauded by Christianity Today. This film twists truth to gain momentum for the Palestinian cause. It does not present a truthful picture of what is going on in the Middle East.
Dr. Laurie Cardoza-Moore was a dynamic and passionate speaker at this conference. She has devoted her life to educating Christians about their Biblical responsibility to stand with their Jewish brethren and the State of Israel. In 2005, she became the founder and president of Proclaiming Justice to The Nations (PJTN), an organization that utilizes the powerful medium of documentary films to educate Christians and facilitate dialogue between the Christian and Jewish communities. Song For Israel purchased one such documentary called the Forgotten People, which we plan to air at one of our future events. She reminded us that we live in challenging and sobering times and that the climax is coming. The "Elect" have been deceived. She quoted 2 Timothy 3 citing that many will turn away from their faith in these deceiving days. Many Evangelical Christians are being deceived right in their churches. She challenged everyone to KNOW the Word of God. It is the only shield we have to guard us with truth. We need to study the whole Bible...the Old Testament with the Torah and the writings of the Prophets as well as the New Testament writings. We need to understand that we as Gentiles, when we became believers in Jesus, that we came into the commonwealth of Israel....a faith with Jewish roots.
Several other speakers, including a panel, presented their findings about the increase of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism spreading across American and landing in Evangelical churches. Christians need to know who Romans chapters 9-11 is talking about and we need to understand our Jewish roots of our faith.
Song For Israel will soon be launching a new study series called Understanding God's Eternal Plan for Israel. In small groups we will cover much of what was shared at this conference. It will give a biblical foundation of support for Israel and a love for the Jewish people. It will give a history of Jewish persecution, an understanding of Christians grafted into Jewish roots, as well as challenge Christians to become pro Israel because the Bible clearly supports that! Sign up to receive more information and watch for the date when our book will be published and available to the public.
We cannot be silent on this issue of anti-Semitism...that is what Christians did as the Nazis took over much of Europe -- demonized the Jews and then exterminated them. It began with silence; then the world watched as six million Jews were put to death -- only because they were Jewish. To be silent now invites this same horror to be repeated. We must know what our Bible says, what we believe, and then stand for truth while we still can...while we still have a voice.