The Growing Influence on Liberal Christian Denominations of Anti-Israel Propaganda

February 17, 2020 | Melanie Phillips
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In March the World Council of Churches (WCC), an ecumenical group that includes most mainline Protestant churches as well as many Eastern ones, will hold elections for its new general secretary; one of the two candidates for the position, a member of the South African United Presbyterian Church, is a longstanding advocate for boycotting the Jewish state—a stance that has become all too common in the organization, as Melanie Phillips writes:

The WCC has played a key role in turning much of the world against Israel. Through its “liberation theology,” it has for decades infused liberal churches with neo-Marxist, anti-capitalist, anti-Western attitudes—thus placing a virtual halo over the anti-Semitism of the left. In Britain, the Church of England and other liberal denominations are institutionally hostile to Israel. Such churches, along with immensely influential Christian NGOs such as . . . Christ at the Checkpoint, disseminate boiler-plate distortions and falsehoods that demonize Israel and sanitize Palestinian-Arab aggression.

While many Christians who subscribe to such views are just going with the flow of the prevalent (and unchallenged) narrative about the Middle East, that narrative’s roots lie in a toxic combination of Marxism, Palestinianism, and theological Christian anti-Semitism. The deepest root of the church’s hostility toward Israel lies in the resurrection of the previously discredited doctrine of “replacement theology,” also known as “supersessionism.” This doctrine, which holds that because the Jews denied the divinity of Jesus they were stripped of God’s favor so that Christians became the “new Israel” while the Jews were damned, was the source of centuries of murderous Jew-hatred until the Holocaust drove it underground.

It was given new life by Palestinian Christian liberation theology, which states falsely that the Palestinian Arabs were the original possessors of the land of Israel. It thus gives the Palestinian claim to the land the status of supposedly holy Christian writ, turning Israel into an ungodly interloper and its defenders into the enemies of God.

Yet, on [the] worldwide persecution of Christians, the liberal churches are all but silent—[although] Israel is the only country in the Middle East where Christians are safe.

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