Skip to comments.Beware the new axis of evangelicals and Islamists
Posted on 03/05/2009 3:33:44 PM PST by Parmenio
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?
Sizers 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 Islams 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 countrys 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 Sookhdeos 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 Whites 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 Israels 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 Whites onslaught against Sookhdeo on the Guardians Comment Is Free website. Brown claimed of Sookhdeos supporters that they constructed a closed mirror-world of hatred to stand against the Islamist one.
Browns 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 whats 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 Israels 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. Chapmans 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 ...is, 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 yet another participant in the All Nations meeting, Canon Graham Kings the theological secretary of Fulcrum, no less a key player in Anglican inter-faith work. And now Israels 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.
Are any US evangelicals coming out against Israel? Outside of the mainline legacy denominations I mean. I haven't heard of any.
Please don’t refer to pro-Islam religionists as Evangelical Christians.
Biblical Christians support Israel.
I am watching very carefully for some kind of christo/mohammadan merger. All that is standing in the way is Christian insistence on the divinity of Christ.
I was in the car last night and National People’s Radio devoted a whole hour to debunking the Jesus “myth”.
sounds like leftist so-called christians like the ucc and the episcopalians
Many anti-freedom, anti-truth, anti-individual, anti-life collectives and individuals will join forces.
WORDS & DEEDS BUMP!
I didn’t refer to them that way. The author of the article did.
How can you be a Christian and not support Israel?
Why? Because Christianity is not anti countries or ethnic groups.
Christians, that have a brain, WILL respectfully tell people that hold beliefs opposite to their own why they think they are wrong.
How can you be a Christian and not support Israel?
Outside of the drug-induced hallucinations of radical leftists, no.
I can see yer white hat.
I’m after the statements of the author of the article. Any damage to you was only collateral and not intended:).
“Are any US evangelicals coming out against Israel?”
If they were, I would not consider them to be evangelicals. Or Christians.
“15 Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
21”Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”—Matthew 7
This shows again why the term "Evangelical" is so broad as to be essentially meaningless. When whackjob liberal Presbyterians and Anglicans can be called "Evangelicals", the term has run its course and needs to be put to bed.
IIRC, there is some "latent" anti-Israelism/anti-Zionism in some quarters even of conservative American Christianity, mostly groups holding to amillenial eschatology and related heresies who believe (in some form or fashion) that "the Church" IS Israel, which would obviously make Israel NOT Israel....if that made sense.
Simply, no. At least not any more so than you could find people who practice satanism or other scatterred loonie nut-jobs of no social or numerical significance. The author of the piece referring to some so-called "profound split" is ridiculous. I suspect there may be some agenda here in trying to drive a deeper wedge between Jews and evangelical Christians.
Did you mean “descendants”?
Christians who hate Jews are the same type that love abortion and homosexuality—Either seriously misguided or false, like Obama’s spiritual leader Rev. Wright. I certainly wouldn’t call Jew-hating so-called Christians “evangelical.”
Shalom, and Amen.
***Please dont refer to pro-Islam religionists as Evangelical Christians.
Biblical Christians support Israel***
PING and re PING
Only massively idiotic, Biblically illiterate libs think that you can be anti-Israel AND Evangelical.
(The same brain-frieded who are always quoting the book of Revelation”S”).
1 By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.
2 We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.
3 For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.
4 How shall we sing the LORD's song in a strange land?
5 If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.
6 If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.
7 Remember, O LORD, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof.
8 O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us.
9 Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.
These fools must be holding their Bibles upside-down.
“Christians who hate Jews are the same type that love abortion and homosexuality”
Bing bing bing - give the man cupie doll! Spot on!
This doesn’t surprise me. NAZI Germany had three SS divisions made up of and commanded by muslims. They worked in the Balkins on the final solution and most Arab leaders after the war had direct ties to these SS troops.
There must be 8 or so of these people in the world.
If you'd like to be on or off, please FR mail me.
Jimmy Carter hanging with Islamists isn't new.
The Spectator uses the term "Evangelical" in a way that that is NOT the equivalent of "Evangelical" in America. The Anglican Church, or Church of England, would be considered a "Mainline" or "establishment" church in the US.
This article seems intent on casting aspersions on Evangelicals, who, with the exception of some like Jim Wallis, are supporters of Israel
FYI, there is an evangelical movement in the Church of England.
(See my personal page)
Oh, by the way. I had the honor to serve with Diggers in Afghanistan. Great soldiers, great people!
God bless, brother.
Every child knows that the Jews will once again gather in their promised land (Israel) and that God himself will protect them against the aggressors. This is neither radical nor evangelical. It is what is written in the Bible, the Torah, the Word of God.
If Christians are railing against Israel and against the perseverance of the Jewish state, they have not read their instruction book. They are denying the Word of God. So what instruction book are they reading?
If anyone is a true Christian, and they don’t support Israel, they are in for a very rude awakening. And I don’t think God’s averse to knocking them upside the head to accomplish that awakening.
There are many strong messages in the Bible, but one of the main lessons is PROTECT MY ISRAEL. And God will protect you.
Christians have no excuse for not being Zionists. None.
Yes of course. Sorry.
Blunders of Sitting President
Roundup of What is influencing our lives and future
thnx for the ping
marked to read tomorrow, so i can sleep tonight. this could get me agitated me thinks
Sounds to me like that these people are more like neo-Nazi white supremacists rather than Christians.
And I don't see how anyone calling himself or herself a Christian can be "anti-Israel" considering Christianity's close historical and theological ties to Judaism.
This just does not pass the smell test.
So they find one whacko in England and call that a Evangelical-Islamic alliance.
IMHO, this is a typical liberal MO...making up an alliancce out of an obscure event so they can paint the whole with the same brush.
In the UK, the popular definition of “evangelical” is broader than in the USA. Evangelical can be used about anyone who accepts the literal resurrection of Christ, and the other general creedal truths of the bible.
C. S. Lewis for example was in England considered very evangelical—though he did not accept the inerrancy of scripture. (Lewis had a very high view of scripture, but still not what the American understanding of evangelical requires).
Personally I think one must be careful about this article, as the author seems to have an axe to grind. One need not be a blind fanatical supporter of Israel for-Christian-prophecy reasons (the perception of many of what so-called “Christian Zionists” are about) to support Israel, the only real democracy—and civilized country—in the Middle East.
I heard Bishop Nazir-Ali—a key anti-Islamist mentioned in the article—speak at a conference recently, and his main point was that the reason immigrants in the UK (and Europe in general) are so isolated culturally from the Europeans, is in a large measure due to the un-Christian (or really post-Christian) lack of acceptance and bigotry they’ve faced over the last 40 years—coincidentally exactly when Britain turned its back on the Christian faith.
Islamic immigration in Europe is in marked contrast to Hispanic immigrants in America—where typically in one generation, or maybe 2, they fully know the language, and (although there are way too many illegals!) actually do integrate into our society. In Europe, with Muslim immigrants, this is not the case.
If evangelicals in the UK can win Muslims to faith in Christ (instead of fighting to force them out of the country) why is that a bad thing?
Religions driving politics will result in continued death and destruction.
I beg to differ. Some 80% of the population of modern-day Israel are agnostics or atheists. Their religiosity (and liberal politics, btw) is not much different than Europe, or the most secular parts of the USA.
I'm a big supporter of Israel--as it is the only independently democratic--and fully civilized--country in the Middle East. But should I support them merely (or mainly?) because most of them have a Jewish heritage? Should I support them, be they right or wrong, out of fear of being cursed by God, or somehow to quicken the 2nd Coming of Jesus? I think that kind of support verges on religious superstition, not a wise evaluation of the actual nation on the ground.
The nation-state of Israel today, should not be confused with the ancient theocracy of the Kingdom of David from 1000 BC.
Support Israel today? Yes, but hold them to the same standards as any other country on earth, not as some mystical favored (or spoiled?) child of God--particularly when the landslide of the population is irreligious.
Yes, I am an evangelical Christian--and scripture teaches--a spritual descendant and heir of Abraham. Please, however, do not call me a "Christian Zionist," only a Christian; as no follower of Christ should have divided loyalties.
Thank you for this information. It clears up some questions I had.
Thanks for the ping!
You are one strange looking bloke LOL -
God bless you too Sister!
You don't believe we do that? Please give an example of what you're talking about please.
About 6 years ago, I had the bad luck of being in a situation of having to listen to an America guy, supposedly an evangelical go after Bush, Republicans and wanting the destruction of Israel for a few minutes.
He and his wife were from N Wisconsin/ S Minnesota and now live in Medford/Ashland, Or. area. They were members of some so called born again evangelical group back in the mid west and SW Oregon. I never found out which group as I got the hell away from him.
He had been a spec op in the Nam era, serving in Laos. He now hates the American Military about as much as he hates Israel’s existance.
The guy and his wife changed personalities in seconds and went into their above hatreds.
Reading your post reminds me that most US Jews feel the same way you do, thus their voting behavior.
Very self destructive.
Nice roundup, and it only took the surrender monkey 6 weeks.
An excellent website which I have frequently referred friends and acquaintances over the past five years!
If people only knew and understood...
Look at this link, I think you will find it interesting.