The dark and damning cloud of Christian antisemitism over the centuries has morphed, changed names, and re-defined itself many times, but its momentum and influence are as evil and pervasive as ever. Among today’s manifestations within a swath of Canadian (and world-wide) Christianity is the organization Sabeel.
In Vancouver in April, under the conference banner of Seeking the Peace of Jerusalem: Overcoming Christian Zionism in the Quest for Justice, Rev. Dr. Naim Ateek and his entourage treated attendees to a blend of false teaching that inevitably flows when Christian leaders decide to stray from Biblical truth, justice, and authority and a balanced view of history. The conference, presented by Canadian Friends of Sabeel and co-sponsored by the Anglican Church of Canada, Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA), Presbyterian Church in Canada and United Church of Canada, was both an anti-Christian Zionist diatribe, and a pro-Palestinian / anti-Israel series of messages.
The conference sub-title was: “…examining the prevalence of Christian Zionism, its influence in the mainstream churches, and its adverse impact on the realization of a just peace.” That’s quite a mouthful from “Christian” leaders who apparently have little if anything to say about the attitudes, activities and actions of Israel’s enemies and haters. Could it be that they are among them? I sincerely hope not, but their words, or lack thereof, speak for themselves. I repeat, this is the predictable result “when Christian leaders decide to stray from Biblical truth, justice, and authority and a balanced view of history.”
A group of Christian Zionists, Canadians United for Zion, participated in the conference by respectfully providing balanced material and displaying informative placards defending Israel, Christian Zionism, and Biblical truth and justice. Most of these folks were directly or indirectly connected with Canada Celebrates Israel.
Summarizing the event, Christine Williams, ICEJ Canada Public Relations and Media Consultant, note: “A new antisemitism has emerged which promotes a lie that Israel is an apartheid state, is deserving of delegitimization through BDS drives, while it mostly ignores threats to Israel, the fact that Israel offers freedoms and refuge to persecuted peoples—that none of its surrounding neighbors allow. The fact that Hamas uses its own people as human shields is also ignored…Sabeel advocates replacement theology and promotes “Jesus the Palestinian.””
In Israel since 1976, Bridges for Peace seeks to be a ministry of hope and reconciliation and is an organization of Christians supporting Israel and building relationships between Christians and Jews in Israel and around the world. It is our desire to see Christians and Jews working side by side for better understanding and a more secure Israel.
Through programs both in Israel and worldwide, we are giving Christians the opportunity to actively express their biblical responsibility before God to be faithful to Israel and the Jewish community. For too long Christians have been silent. For too long the Jewish community has had to fight its battles alone. It is time Christian individuals and congregations speak up for the people who gave us the Bible.