Mainline Churches Lead Way to Saving Half-Million Families in Gaza

December 12, 2019 in News by RBN Staff


Source: WHTT

A Palestinian family break their fast next to their house that was destroyed during an escalation with Israel, in Rafah the southern Gaza Strip, 8 May. AFP

by Charles E Carlson

The Christian Zionist butterfly may be turning into a worm, as a dozens traditional denominations are challenge Israel. Both Mainline and Evangelical Christian church leaders are beginning to acknowledge daily War Crimes in Palestine/Gaza, but are responding in very different ways.

Both Christ-following sides have made errors in the past.
Mainline followers of Jesus have been slow to recognize Israel’s abuse, primarily because of their preoccupation with worthwhile local charities, such as care for the homeless. These efforts, while needed and worthy, have shielded many Mainline Christ Followers from noticing the most evident and deliberate territorial crimes of the 21st century. Furthermore, these are crimes in plain sight in a tiny place called Gaza. (1) (link to Roots
Now, however, the Mainline is taking the lead in its new, outspoken humanitarian position toward Palestine.  Conversely, Evangelical leaders seem to have gone more silent. Some are quietly ignoring the Palestine issue. Some seem to show signs of embarrassment over their controversial scriptural argument that “Israelis are God’s Chosen,” and that Christian Zionism is a belief among some Christians that “the return of the Jews to the Holy Land and the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 were in accordance with Bible prophecy.” The preceding being Wikipedia’s definition of Christian Zionism.
The question to be addressed is, how can followers of Jesus help to save a half-million Gaza families from the risk of death from missiles, disease, and starvation? Can Christian Zionists be rescued from the course of supporting a killer state that plans to keep on killing? What would Jesus say about supporting Israel when we can not help but know they killed unarmed people yesterday and will repeat it tomorrow?
Several new facts indicate “Christian Zionists” are catching on, but the awakening is limited to a thinking few that do not include leadership. Why this indifference? It is because many evangelicals believe that the state of present-day Israel (as opposed to the ancient one of thousands of years ago) is foretold in biblical prophecy and is, therefore, holy and untouchable.
This belief and its adherents in US churches are the subjects of this study because it is at the root of Christian Zionism. It is the excuse for the genocide of the Palestinian people.
The Mainline believes that Jesus Christ fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament. Therefore it is self-evident that today’s Israel is no different than any other political state, and God did not will them the land of Palestine. This difference in basic beliefs separates Mainline Christianity from Zionists in a way that defies compromise.
Evangelical Christians offer junkets to political Israel, usually sponsored by Jewish organizations and guided by the state. Evangelicals intentionally overlook Israel’s acts of proven brutality. They choose not to see, or else dismiss Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian minority as a deserved punishment for misdeeds against “Gods Chosen People.”
Mainline church leaders are beginning to look more objectively to the acts of the state of Israel, as will be documented. An instance of the revolt against Israel’s brutality is evident when17 Christian Groups defended the right of individuals and US groups to boycott Israel. They asked Congress to reject the ‘Israel Anti-Boycott Act.’ Signatories of the letter include not one Christian Zionist church. This group of 17 managed to introduce legislation in the US Senate as S.720 and in the House as HR 169, which did not pass Congress, but would have corrected previous law that prohibited individual Americans from supporting a boycott of Israel.
Fortunately, some secular organizations are beginning to set an example for churches. One of these is Human Rights Watch. Recently, its director for Israel and Palestine, Omar Shakir, an American citizen and a graduate of Stanford University Law School, was deported from Israel for speaking up about its atrocities upon Palestinians. While living in Israel, Shakir did the unthinkable: He spoke out in support of Boycott, Divestiture, and Sanction (BDS), which has exposed Israel for its treatment of the Palestinian people.
Human Rights International (HRI) has also been critical of the Israelis. It operates in some100 countries as “watchdogs” for abuses.
Israel hides its virtual imprisonment of all Palestinians. First, tourists to Israel and researchers are never allowed to see Gaza. Those who ask are usually told it is “too dangerous,” and that rocket fire from Gaza is a constant threat. Most tourists accept this explanation without question. Even those who argue, rarely see Gaza, even from the outside.
Human Rights International knows better and has spoken out. Israel’s genocide is too apparent to ignore. More significantly, several mainline, or traditional churches have finally noticed and have begun to speak out in the last three or four years.
Four large mainline churches we will mentioned have taken essential positions opposing and exposing Israel’s act, at least to some degree and detail. These, including ELCA Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians, and the United Church of Christ. These have all called for sanctions against Israel for its ongoing abuse of Palestinians. Some nine smaller denominations have followed their example. They include the Alliance of Baptists (not the Southern Baptists), the United Brethren in Christ, the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Mennonite Church USA, and finally the giant, Roman Catholics.
Israel has attacked some of these churches in its press. In early 2014, the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America was interviewed on a hostile Israeli TV station entitle, EXPOSING THE ELCA. The Jewish news quoted the Lutheran Bishop as follows:

“We’ve urged our government not to engage in grants to the State of Israel while the settlements are going on.. (in other words, stop financial aid to Israel).”
“We also support lifting the blockade of Gaza.”
“We also engage in selective purchasing. So we not only try to trade with the Palestinian Authority, but we do not purchase products made in the illegal Israeli settlements.”
“We are contacting the Congress, the President, and saying that the illegal settlements must stop. We’re hoping that people are listening to us. I’m not sure that the government of Israel will.”
“Israel is not listening to the United States when we ask for these settlements to be stopped. But we have to keep trying.”
“The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement aims to hold Israel accountable to international law. Traditional or Mainline churches support the movement to recognize and challenge Israel’s inhumane crimes.”
Author notes: Not one of the Evangelical (“Christian” Zionist) churches was a party to the above.
    The UN had forecast that Gaza could become unable to sustain human life by 2020 as a result of Israel’s siege, which blockade ingress/egress of people and resources by land, sea, or air.

The Washington Report went on to state correctly: “During the Great March of Return (2019) last year, along the fences and wall—the “cage”—that separates Gaza from Israel and Egypt, Israeli snipers shot thousands of Palestinian demonstrators. According to Amnesty International, Israeli sharpshooters killed 150 Palestinians at the protests and wounded at least 10,000 others.” (Author notes the number wounded is open to debate, but there is no question that thousands have been wounded, and some have had legs amputated)
This author wrote a report asking how the Israelis marksmen could wound and maim so many, and kill only150?. The answer is that the Israel sharpshooters were at the point-blank range where they could have killed most of those they shot down (less than 150 yards from most targeted Gaza youths). But they had orders to deliberately shoot legs and feet, to keep the death numbers down and out of the press. Some Israeli soldiers admitted this.
The Israeli-friendly media in New York prints only the death figures and does not note the staggering number of disabled people. There is no way to know how many of the unarmed wounded and crippled survived.
Israel proclaimed its innocent to all these atrocities. And not all the resistance from mainline churches can be attributed to an official position of the church proper. Nevertheless, it is highly significant for mainline churches because opposing or criticizing Israelis all but unknown in Evangelical or Zionist friendly churches, such as the Southern Baptist, Pentecostals, and independent mega-churches. And we know of not a single leader from the “Christian” Zionist church who has supported any movements to expose Israel’s mass murderers. We believe they soon will!
We Hold These Truths has known about and exposed these conditions for some 17 years, starting with our first film, Root of Christian Zionism, in which this author witnessed and photographed an Israeli bombing in Gaza that left 40 wounded and four dead.*(link)
Let’s talk about winning. We were once nearly alone among organizations, though we have attracted many individual friends. How do we respond when we start to have stronger allies who have learned much from us? The truth is that We Hold These Truths is among the leaders in a very long, uphill fight. We have popularized and perhaps invented the now accepted label, “Christian” Zionism. We are already moving on, and putting quotation marks around the word Christian, to show that “Christian” Zionism is anything but Christian. The best encouragement we received is from “Christian” Zionist churches that we’ve picketed, and which challenged our members demonstration against their acts.
It’s one thing to explore and expose the brutality of Israel, tacitly endured by the “Christian” Zionist church. It is yet another, more significant task to detect and expose the network of Jewish Zionists who dominate the media and support Israel’s brutality. The Jewish-controlled press has never reported Israel’s acts our ours! Not all those who control the US media are Zionists, but most who are not Jews cater to Jews on issues exposing Israel and its brutality toward Palestinians.
The question is, how do we expose these Jewish power groups? We see the first fire in the hearts of the Mainline Christians we have named! We can only pray that some courageous leaders within the CZ cult will follow them. Both the Christian mainline and the Zionist wing must be the focus of our message and our resources.
We must add educating the mainline to our agenda. The answer seems to be to reach Mainline leaders, who are already noticing Israel. I attend one such church, and last week I approached one of our younger elders (directors). He is an active businessman and sometimes preaches. He is smart, articulate, and genuine, and I would say influential.
This author mentioned Christian Zionism, and He  stopped me to ask what I meant. I gave him the standard definition we have developed for over 17 years. “Christian” Zionism is the belief that the Political State of Israel is the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy.” He rolled his eyes back and responded, “I will have to think about that one.” This elder was not challenging me; he has probably never thought about what Christian Zionism is! I will find out for sure next time to talk to him.
I would guess that half of the leaders in most Mainline and Catholic churches would respond to the effect they have not thought about Christian Zionism, what the Zionizing of Christianity means, and what it has done to churches. As Traditional Christians, most have not been brainwashed to believe that a political state that named itself “Israel” is holy.
We Hold These Truths has struggled to educate evangelicals, but will have much better success in educating mainline leaders. We were involved in a giant cycle of moral leadership. Our country has gone from morally conscious to “tolerant” to complicit in Israel’s daily murders of an unarmed population within. It is past the time for renewal; this is why we titled our keynote video made in Gaza, The Roots of Christian Zionism. (link)
What reaction can we expect from our Jewish-controlled money master? Historically we know that one method for controlling descent is the creation of economic disaster. We might as well expect this sometime in the future. The hardest part of exposing this evil is tying it to Jews, without saying the word “Jew” in any critical way. The reason for this is that these people have had 2000 years of practice in defending themselves by attacking others.
We can also expect those we expose in our country to play the economic crash card. Zionists believe that if they can make us miserable enough economically that we will listen to them for a way out. In the next few years, while we are busy approaching mainline churches, and when we are about to win, we can expect a crunch, if not a collapse, in stocks, bonds, and real estate markets, as well. It is a tactic that has been used by those who have controlled us for the last hundred years, at least ever since the Federal Reserve system came into existence in 1913.
We have our work cut out for us! Let us pray that we find allies who are up to the challenge.

*Christian Zionism: The belief that the state of Israel is the fulfillment of biblical prophecy, and therefore is holy.