A blog dedicated to investigating events as they occur in Judea and Samaria, in Israel and in the world, and as they relate to global powers and/or to the Israeli government, public figures, etc. It is dedicated to uncovering the truth behind the headlines; and in so doing, it strives to do its part in saving Judea and Samaria, and by extension, Israel and the Jewish People, from utter destruction at the hands of its many external and internal enemies.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Very interesting: Anglicans openly ally themselves to Muslims against Israel. What is not widely reported , though, is the COOPERATION between the Catholic and Anglican Churches; but it is apparently not for joint prayer; then what for: POLITICS???

In a joint statement released Feb. 12, Bishop Malone and Bishop Farran said the Vatican had "expressed concern about a simultaneous celebration and the possibility of confusing messages being given to the people."

Bishop Malone, who represents the Catholic bishops of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory on the NSW Ecumenical Council, also said in the statement that he believed that because a similar celebration had been held in England in 1989, a precedent had been established, and he apologized to those who would have been involved.

Bishop Farran said in the statement: "I am disappointed that this simple expression of a liturgical aspect of the Tri-Diocesan Covenant cannot be celebrated. I appreciate the difficulties faced by Bishop Malone and fully understand his situation."

An official at the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments told Catholic News Service in Rome March 5, "It is absolutely true that we asked that this not take place because it could send confusing messages."

Because Catholics and Anglicans are committed to increasing cooperation and occasions of joint prayer, "this is one of those things that seemed like a good idea" but probably should have been thought out more carefully because it directly involves a sacrament, he said.

A.M. sent this
The Spectator

Beware the new axis of evangelicals and islamists

Wednesday, 4th March 2009

Melanie Phillips says there is a dangerous new alliance between anti-Israel Christians and radical Muslim groups, often plotting in secret against their common enemy

Last weekend the Revd Stephen Sizer, vicar of Christ Church, Virginia Water appeared at an anti-Israel meeting with an Islamist called Ismail Patel. Patel has not only accused Israel of 'genocide' and 'war crimes' but considers Disney to be a Jewish plot and supports Hamas, Iran and Syria.

Sizer is a virulent opponent of Christian Zionism and of Israel, which he has said he hopes will disappear just as did the apartheid regime in South Africa. He has also applauded Iranian President Ahmadinejad for having 'looked forward to the day when Zionism ceased to exist'. Nevertheless, the appearance of an Anglican churchman on a pro-Islamist platform in Britain is a new and significant development. The Church of England recently banned its clergy from joining the BNP; should it not equally ban them from siding with the forces of Islamofascism?

Sizer's participation, however, must be seen in the context of a disturbing realignment in the services of the forces of darkness against the free world: the emergence of an axis between a body of evangelicals, the hard left, the Islamists — and the far right.

Last July, a discreet meeting was held by a group of influential Anglican evangelicals to co-ordinate a new church approach towards Islam. The meeting was convened by Bryan Knell, head of the missionary organisation Global Connections, and others from a group calling itself Christian Responses to Islam in Britain. The 22 participants, who met at All Nations Christian College in Ware, Hertfordshire, were sworn to secrecy. The aim of the meeting was to develop the 'grace approach to Islam', which 'tries to let Muslims interpret Islam rather than telling them what their religion teaches'. The meeting had in its sights those 'aggressive' Christians who were 'increasing the level of fear' in many others by talking about the threat posed by radical Islam.

The aim was thus to discredit and stifle those Christians who warn against the Islamisation of Britain and Islam's threat to the church. Those who do so include the Bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali, the Africa specialist Baroness Cox, the Islam expert Dr Patrick Sookhdeo and the Maranatha Ministry. A few weeks ago, Dr Sookhdeo became a spectacular victim of precisely such a discrediting process. Dr Sookhdeo, an Anglican canon, a Muslim convert and one of this country's premier authorities on Islam, runs the Barnabas Fund, an aid agency helping persecuted Christians. He has written many books about Islam of which the latest is Global Jihad: The Future in the Face of Militant Islam.

In January the website of Fulcrum, an evangelical group, carried a review of Global Jihad by Ben White, a frequent contributor to the Guardian. His review rubbished Sookhdeo's scholarship on the grounds that he had identified a theological problem with Islam when Islamic aggression was rooted instead in global grievances, particularly the existence and behaviour of Israel. To cap a farrago of ignorance and historical illiteracy, White tried to damn Sookhdeo by association, citing 'hard-line conservatives and pro-Israel right-wingers' who endorsed his work as proof that Sookhdeo was beyond the pale.

White then drew his review to the attention of a blogger, Islamist and Muslim convert called Indigo Jo. On his website, Indigo Jo anathematised Sookhdeo as the 'Sookhdevil'. This attack was reproduced on various other Islamist websites and Sookhdeo has received a death threat as a result.

So why should Christians betray another Christian to radical Islamists? Fulcrum have denied any connection to the Indigo Jo site along with any intention to discredit Sookhdeo. They say they merely wanted to 'provide a forum' to discuss the issues raised by his book. But why use Ben White, who clearly knows little about Islam, to review a book by an Islam scholar? A recurring thread of White's writing is his hatred of Israel. He justifies Palestinian terrorism against Israel as legitimate self-defence to bring about the 'decolonisation and liberation from occupation and Zionist apartheid'. He says he can 'understand' why some people are unpleasant towards Jews because of Israel's 'ideology of racial supremacy and its subsequent crimes committed against the Palestinians' and also 'the widespread bias and subservience to the Israeli cause in the Western media'.

Enter at this point the non-evangelical, secular Left in the shape of Andrew Brown, who joined White's onslaught against Sookhdeo on the Guardian's Comment Is Free website. Brown claimed of Sookhdeo's supporters that they constructed 'a closed mirror-world of hatred to stand against the Islamist one'.

Brown's article, too, seemed to be driven by hostility to anyone who supported Israel. His objection to Sookhdeo was principally that 'in practice the Sookhdeo view of Islam is always coupled with a stance in favour of the greater Israel' — which enabled Brown to make a witty crack insinuating that the Jews were 'people who are instructed by their religion to be violent, treacherous and imperialist'.

There has long been a notable crossover between the Left and the Islamists, who bury their considerable differences because of their all-consuming hatred of Israel and the West — and in which they find an echo in neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups. But what's new in this explosive mix is the presence of Christian evangelicals. What is extraordinary, moreover, is the targeting by Christian missionaries such as Brian Knell of Sookhdeo, a principal campaigner to end the death sentence for Muslim converts to Christianity. So why are such evangelicals trying to destroy people who are defending Christianity against Islamist aggression?

The answer lies in a profound split amongst evangelicals: between Christian Zionists who love Israel and want to defend the church against the predations of radical Islam, and those who want Israel to be destroyed and radical Islam appeased. Brian Knell, for example, blames Israel's 'institutionalised terrorism' for the radicalisation of Muslims worldwide. He thus ignores Islamist statements about the innate perfidy of the secular West, the cosmic evil of the Jews throughout history and the need to impose doctrinal purity upon other Muslims in the face of Western modernity.

The warped obsession with Israel is fundamental to these evangelicals' desire to accommodate radical Islamism. Another participant at the All Nations meeting was Colin Chapman, the father of the UK movement against Christian Zionism — and whose animosity is rooted in a theological prejudice against the Jews. Chapman's hugely influential book, Whose Promised Land, resurrects the ancient Christian canard of 'supercessionism' — the belief that because the Jews denied the divinity of Christ, God transferred His favours to the Christians while the Jews were cast out as the party of the Devil. This doctrine lay behind centuries of Christian anti-Jewish hatred until the Holocaust drove it underground.

In his book, Chapman writes that violence has always been implicit in Zionism and that Jewish self-determination is somehow racist. He also subscribes to the canard of sinister Jewish power. He has written: 'Six million Jews in the USA have an influence that is out of all proportion to their numbers in the total population of 281 million... It is widely recognised, for example, that no one could ever win the presidential race without the votes and the financial support of substantial sections of the Jewish community.'

It is a sobering fact that such a subscriber to anti-Jewish prejudice should be so influential in the church. And such thinking has many followers, including Stephen Sizer. 'The covenant between Jews and God,' he has written, 'was conditional on their respect for human rights. The reason they were expelled from the land was that they were more interested in money and power and treated the poor and aliens with contempt'. And he has denied validity to Judaism itself saying: 'to suggest ...that the Jewish people continue to have a special relationship with God, apart from faith in Jesus, in the words of [the leading Anglican evangelical] John Stott, "biblically anathema".'

And now look at other groups with which Sizer is making common cause in his hatred of Israel and the Jews. He has given interviews to, endorsed or forwarded material from American white supremacists and Holocaust deniers. Last year, he sent an article printed in the Palestine Chronicle about the alleged influence of 'Israel in Washington' through 'powerful overtly Jewish Washington organisations and, increasingly, through Christian Zionist organisations' to an appreciative Martin Webster, the former leader of the neo-Nazi National Front.

Many will be deeply shocked that the Church of England harbours individuals with such attitudes. But the church hierarchy is unlikely to act against them. Extreme hostility towards Israel is the default position among bishops and archbishops; while the establishment line is to reach out towards Islam in an attempt to accommodate and appease it. With Christians around the world suffering forced conversion, ethnic cleansing and murder at Islamist hands, the church utters not a word of protest. Instead, inter-faith dialogue is the order of the day, with Canon Graham Kings — the theological secretary of Fulcrum, no less — a key player in Anglican inter-faith work. And now Israel's war against Hamas has had a pivotal effect. There is now a widespread sense that Israel must finally be defeated once and for all — and then the Islamists will calm down.

It is horrifying that so many in the church should be preaching against the victims of Jew-hatred and Islamist violence and seeking to accommodate those who stand for the persecution of Christians, the destruction of western and Christian values and the genocide of the Jews. It is horrifying that the church is providing a platform for the dissemination of lies about Israel and ancient theological bigotry against the Jews. And it is horrifying that it contains people who are not just virulently hostile towards Israel but also towards anyone who supports it.

Given the common but no less odious view that British Jews who support Israel are guilty of 'dual loyalty', it would seem that the church is truly supping with the devil and setting the stage for a repeat of an ancient tragedy. 

The Spectator, 22 Old Queen Street, London, SW1H 9HP. All Articles and Content Copyright ©2007 by The Spectator (1828) Ltd All Rights Reserved


Stephen Sizer said...

Melanie Phillips’ article “Beware the New Axis of Evangelicals and Islamists” published in the Spectator last week is libellous. It contains untruthful statements about me.

In copying her article on your website you are also guilty of libel.

I have never said that I wish Israel, in her words, “to be destroyed” or to “disappear just as did the apartheid regime in South Africa.” I have never believed this and categorically reject any position that threatens the integrity of Israel as a sovereign nation.
On the contrary I have repeatedly stated in writing (for example here, here and here) that I wish to see a safe and secure Israel with internationally recognised borders, alongside a sovereign, viable, independent Palestine.
I have, however, spoken out against Holocaust denial as well as religious extremism. I have also highlighted British involvement in saving Jewish people from the Nazi Holocaust. I have specifically challenged Christians who see nothing incompatible with membership of the BNP.
Far from seeking to “appease radical Islam”, I have criticised Islamist attacks against Christians in Iraq here and here, as well as in Afghanistan. I have challenged Iran’s human right’s record here and here and commended an important book about the Church in Iran here.
I have never knowingly, to use her words, “given interviews to, endorsed or forwarded material from American white supremists and Holocaust deniers”. My publisher in the USA, InterVarsity Press, occasionally arrange TV and radio interviews for me with Christian stations to promote my books. I trust their judgement.
On her use of the term “islamofacism“, I subscribe to the view of a leading authority on Fascism, Walter Laqueur, who concluded that “Islamic fascism, Islamophobia and antisemitism, each in its way, are imprecise terms we could well do without but it is doubtful whether they can be removed from our political lexicon.” The best piece of writing I have seen recently on “Radical Islam” is by Fareed Zakaria in Newsweek.
I keep an extensive and growing mailing list and am no more responsible that Melanie Phillips is for how others make use of material I write, or forward, which is invariably from mainstream newspapers and journals. Unlike those who choose to use anonymous blogs and websites to express their opinions, I have made my own views plain and my external ministry public.
“we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:2).
To clarify my position and to anticipate such criticisms, in my book Zion’s Christian Soldiers?, I wrote the following:
“It is true that at various times in the past, churches and church leaders have tolerated or incited anti-Semitism and even attacks on Jewish people. Racism is a sin and without excuse. Anti-Semitism must be repudiated unequivocally. However, we must not confuse apples and oranges. Anti-Zionism is not the same thing as anti-Semitism despite attempts to broaden the definition. Criticising a political system as racist is not necessarily racist. Judaism is a religious system. Israel is a sovereign nation. Zionism is a political system. These three are not synonymous. I respect Judaism, repudiate anti-Semitism, encourage interfaith dialogue and defend Israel’s right to exist within borders recognised by the international community and agreed with her neighbours. But like many Jews, I disagree with a political system which gives preference to expatriate Jews born elsewhere in the world, while denying the same rights to the Arab Palestinians born in the country itself.”
I endorse the position taken by the Heads of Churches in Israel regarding the need for a peaceful resolution of the conflict.
Others such as former US President Jimmy Carter and Archbishop Desmond Tutu have made comparisons between Israeli policies in the Occupied Territories and South Africa under apartheid.
I do wish to see the present illegal occupation of Gaza, the Golan and the West Bank “disappear”, but only as a result of the peaceful implementation of all relevant UN Resolutions, the Roadmap to Peace previously agreed by the US, EU, Russia and UN in April 2003, and Annapolis Agreement of November 2007 and Quartet Statement of December 2008.
I have a high regard for Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali and the courageous stand he has taken on inter-faith as well as ecclesiastical issues. Indeed I helped organise and promote his recent visit to Guildford Diocese.
I also deeply regret hearing that Patrick Sookhdeo has received a death threat as a result of writing his recent book, Global Jihad. Unfortunately, it is increasingly common. I have too. Veiled threats even feature on pro-Zionist Christian websites. Thankfully, the police are taking these seriously and have arranged a measure of additional protection for my family also.
Regarding her comments about my involvement in interfaith conferences or TV programmes, alongside Jewish or Islamic leaders, her tactic of making provocative allegations about them is a tried and tested method intended to alienate, isolate and silence the views of those deemed critical of her own.Prior knowledge of, and agreement with, the views of others invited to speak at conferences or on radio and TV panels is not a significant criteria I use to decide whether to participate. Gaining a hearing for an explicitly Christian perspective committed to peacemaking and non-violence is.
What saddened me most, however, about Melanie Phillips’ article, were her concluding remarks criticising the Archbishops and Bishops of the Church of England. This is what she wrote:
“Many will be deeply shocked that the Church of England harbours individuals with such attitudes. But the church hierarchy is unlikely to act against them. Extreme hostility towards Israel is the default position among bishops and archbishops; while the establishment line is to reach out towards Islam in an attempt to accommodate and appease it. With Christians around the world suffering forced conversion, ethnic cleansing and murder at Islamist hands, the church utters not a word of protest. Instead, inter-faith dialogue is the order of the day…”
I have been a Christian minister for just short of 30 years but have yet to meet a priest, let alone a Bishop or Archbishop who displays, “extreme hostility towards Israel” or who wishes to “accommodate and appease” Islam. Just the reverse. While there is clearly a spectrum of opinion on the best way to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict within the House of Bishops, and the most appropriate way to present the good news of Jesus Christ in a multi-faith context, they are nevertheless united in opposing racism and religious intolerance whether directed toward Jewish people or Muslims.

DS said...

Well, I am delighted to see, first of all, that this blog is being read by people all over the world, including Christian ministers in England. It makes me take this work even more seriously.

In addition, if the statements are not true, then by all means, feel free to correct them. Of course as Jews in Israel we would prefer less enemies, rather than more . As long as you are open about your TRUE intentions, so we know whom we are REALLY dealing with.
So now the other readers can see what you profess, personally: good. Nothing like first person report.

IF there was a libel here, I apologize. I cannot verify everything that people write, I always remind everybody to do their own due diligence. I report what important writers publish, and then it is up to the reader to decide what to make of it. So thank you for correcting misconceptions.

On the other hand, it doesn't mean that I agree with you: ABSOLUTELY NOT. Eretz Yisrael belongs to the Jewish people, and if you don't agree with it, it doesn't make one iota of difference, since GOD HIMSELF gave us this land. Minister or not, I am afraid you have NO SAY in the matter: you can wish, you can try, but it won't work at all.Just remember the account of the Exodus from Egypt: whoever goes against God's wishes LOSES, and LOSES BIG!

Anonymous said...

Yes Stephen Sizer did forward antisemitic emails from antisemites: