Skip to comments.Lutherans Denounce Israel, Just in Time for Christmas
Posted on 12/24/2009 6:53:45 AM PST by rhema
Led by a Palestinian Lutheran bishop, 16 Palestinians Christians have blasted Israel in a new declaration that the 4.9 million Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is obligingly disseminating.
We declare that the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land is a sin against God and humanity because it deprives the Palestinians of their basic human rights, bestowed by God, asserted the Kairos Palestine Document. It distorts the image of God in the Israeli who has become an occupier just as it distorts this image in the Palestinian living under occupation. Not content to criticize the Jews, the manifesto also excoriates Christians who support Israel. We declare that any theology, seemingly based on the Bible or on faith or on history, that legitimizes the occupation, is far from Christian teachings, because it calls for violence and holy war in the name of God Almighty, subordinating God to temporary human interests, and distorting the divine image in the human beings living under both political and theological injustice.
ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson, from his Chicago office, evidently wasted no time hailing the new appeal, though it simply rehashed traditional Palestinian complaints against Israel, Christian or not. The ELCA has received with somber, yet hopeful hearts this authentic word from our brothers and sisters in the Palestinian Christian community, Hanson rejoiced. Their perspective on the current conflict between Israel and the Palestinians warrants our respect and attentiveness. Hanson pledged that we join these leaders in their search for signs of hope and positive responses in the midst of a dire and seemingly intractable situation.
The Kairos Palestine Document cited a litany of unpleasant realities for Palestinians, for which Israel (backed by Christian allies in the U.S.) is evidently exclusively at fault, beginning with the assertion that the reality is one of Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, deprivation of our freedom and all that results from this situation. The international Religious Left often likes to speak of kairos moments as specially historic times when Liberation Theology is ostensibly more relevant than ever. Deprived of the pleasure of bashing the old Latin right-wing military dictatorships of past decades, or old Apartheid South Africa, Israel remains virtually the only nation, besides the U.S., that the Religious Left still anathematizes with special relish.
Christians barely comprise one percent of Palestinians any more, thanks to low birth rates and mass immigration. But the few remaining Christians are often convenient props for the international Religious Lefts ongoing campaign against Israel. And many Palestinian Christian representatives, as a besieged minority, have always felt obliged to burnish their nationalist credentials by condemning Israel as loudly as any Muslim Palestinian. Declarations against Israel like the Kairos document also useful excite attention and support from Western Oldline Protestant elites, who otherwise are uninterested in the plight of Christian minorities struggling to survive within Islam.
This Palestine Kairos manifesto is apparently an outgrowth of the Swiss-based World Council of Churches Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF). According to the ELCA news service, PIEF is an advocacy initiative to help Palestinian Christians strengthen their presence in the Holy Land and mobilize churches around the world for peace with justice in the Middle East. In other words, PIEF is enlisting Palestinian Christians to publicly condemn Israel for the benefit of Western, and especially American ears, with hopes of minimizing U.S. support for Israel.
Lutheran bishop Munib Younan of Jerusalem was apparently more than happy to help out with the anti-Israel campaign by helping to organize the Palestine Kairos blast, which is predictably modeled on a similar condemnation by theologians in 1985 of racist South Africa, with which the international Religious Left always compares Israel. Our Kairos document is an expression of the aspirations of Palestinian Christians inspired by our common spiritual heritage, Bishop Younan helpfully explained to the ELCA news service. Naturally, these aspirations do not include any concerns about Hamas or radical Islam, which apparently is treating Palestinian Christians just find and do not excite any worry at all.
Since radical Islam supposedly poses no threat to Christians, the Palestine Kairos Document describes the true dangers to Palestinian Christians: Israels separation wall, which ostensibly turns Palestinian villages into prisons, the daily humiliation of military checkpoints, Israeli disregard for international law, and Israeli discrimination against Arabs within Israel itself. Israeli settlements ravage Palestinian land. And Palestinians prisoners languish in Israeli jails for seemingly no reason. It also complains about Palestinian refugees, who have patiently been waiting for their right of return, generation after generation. Israels security measures against Palestinian terror are unneeded, they professed, because if there were no occupation, there would be no resistance, no fear, no insecurity. Of course, what exactly is occupied? Just the West Bank and Gaza, or is all of Israel an unjust occupation begging liberation? The manifesto revealingly does not explain. But it provides a hint by describing Israels founding as a Nakba i.e. catastrophe that Palestinians will never forget.
Naturally, these Palestinian Christian spokespersons want economic sanctions and boycott against Israel, and everything produced by the occupation, despite largely failed attempts by some left-leaning church elites to divest from firms doing business with Israel. And they pledged that Christian love invites us to resist the evil and sin that is the Israeli occupation. Resistance is a right and a duty for the Christian, they insisted. We do not resist with death but rather through respect of life, they asserted, evidently pointing to civil disobedience. More mercurially, they added: We respect and have a high esteem for all those who have given their life for our nation. To whom did they refer? Suicide bombers? Rock throwing youth? Hamas militia?
The roots of terrorism are in the human injustice committed and in the evil of the occupation, the Palestinian Christians inevitably declared, of course forgetting that Palestinian terrorism began well before any Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. Or maybe they did not forget, since they never defined what exactly is occupied. And of course, they want repentance by fundamentalist Christians primarily in America who have purportedly turned Gods Word into a weapon with which to slay the oppressed while offering a theological cover-up for the injustice we suffer.
This Palestine Kairos Document not so covertly portrays Israel itself as an illegitimate nation that must be dissolved in favor of a Palestinian alternative. In such an unlikely eventuality, Christians likely would not be very welcome in a newly liberated Palestine. And the international Religious Left of course would have no interest in the plight of Palestinian Christians struggling to survive under unrestrained Islamic rule. Brandishing such a proposal is evidently some Lutherans way of wishing merry Christmas to the land where Christ was born.
Lutherans are a small group that are losing their membership in droves. They aren’t newsworthy. Only the liberal gay MSM cares what they do.
Many Nazis were Lutherans. The Lutheran church has a long history of anti-Semitism - all the way back to Martin Luther himself.
Isn’t that the same G-d who gave the land to the people of Israel in the first place?
We declare that any theology, seemingly based on the Bible or on faith or on history, that legitimizes the occupation, is far from Christian teachings, because it calls for violence and holy war in the name of God Almighty, subordinating God to temporary human interests, and distorting the divine image in the human beings living under both political and theological injustice.
A statement which is immediately preceded, and without irony, by this:
declare that the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land is a sin against God and humanity because it deprives the Palestinians of their basic human rights, bestowed by God,
Hitler was a Catholic.
I’ll bet Martin Luther wouldn’t approve of this declaration.
The ELCA is disgusting. I left them a few years ago and have not looked back. Hoping that sanity will retake the Lutheran Church. Currently there are a bunch of homo sympathizers, pali symapthizers, and socialists “guiding the flock” and people are leaving in droves.
* as of August 19, AD 2009, a liberal protestant SECT, not part of the holy, catholic and apostolic CHURCH.
Marantha--Come, Lord Jesus!
Luther was originally viewed favorably by the Jewish community (as opposed to the Vatican), because he was accepting of Jewish traditions. The road parted when it became apparent that his “acceptance” was a prelude to converting Jews to Lutheranism....
An accident of geography. Austria and southern Germany (particularly Bavaria) were primarily Catholic. Northern Germany was primarily Lutheran.
ELCA, not Missouri Synod. They give us a bad name.
These churches, once infected with liberals, rarely revert to Christianity.
So the story goes. In actuality, Hitler rejected the Catholic faith in his youth.
Communist Goals 1963
27) Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with “social” religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity, which does not need a “religious crutch.”
What’s a Palestinian?
Lutheran lesson for all of you ignorant people.
There are three major organizations in the US that call themselves Lutheran
ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church of America): A liberal anti-God, anti-American, leftist organization that is led by a group of light in the loafers libs that put their own desires before scriptures.
LCMS(Lutheran Church Missouri Synod): Conservative and rooted in the basics of scripture. Women can’t be preachers or lead the churchc.
WELS (Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod): A group that is politically to the right of Rush Limbaugh. So conservative that women are not allowed to vote or serve. They did loosen up a few years ago; women can now pass the plate during tithing.
You speak truth about the ELCA. On Good Friday in ‘08 (During O’Bozo’s campaign) I unknowingly attended an ELCA church as I was out of town. I thought since it was a Lutheran Church it should be reasonably similar to mine (Missouri Synod). I almost walked out of this steaming pile of craps sermon. Jesus’ suffering was compared to O’Bozo’s persecution by the media because of his association with the upstanding Jerimiah Wright. I kid you not. I never felt this dirty for attending a church service.
To all my fellow Freepers
Please note this is the crazy ELCA again. There are many conservative Lutheran synods that are not a part of this crazyness, and are some of the most conservative Christians you will ever meet. I wish this group of apostates would stop calling themselves Lutheran.
The Palestinians HAVE a State. It’s called JORDAN.
The ONLY Reason they want another State is to destroy Israel.
I was Missouri Synod for 28 years of my life, wandered around some, and then “returned to Rome” the Church Luther left.
Did they use the litany that said something like, "We pray for those who call upon you by other names?" I about hit the roof over that. I am LCMS now.
Absolutely sickening. This is another reason why I didn’t stick around. Mark Hanson, and his recent ilk, have truly led this denomination off the cliff.
You should have given them a “Joe Wilson” shout out. “YOU LIE”
WTF is wrong with these people? No wonder the old line churches are disintegrating.
Therefore, Luther started WWII. I get it now, idiot.
I think it is probably more accuate to say that Lutheranism was based on German culture, i.e. the bible in German, liturgy in German rather than Latin and ultimately the rejection of the Bishop of Rome and the Primacy of the Church of Rome which has been part of the Church’s traditiion going back to the end of the 1st century [St. Clement’s Letter to the Church in Corinth, St. Ignatious of Antioch’s letter in 107 AD, the Bishop of ROme excommunicating the heretic Marcion over the debate of what was canonical scripture, St. Ireneaus of Lyon in 170 AD and Canon 6 of the Council of Nicea, which also gave a secondary primacy to Antioch and Alexandria].
Thus the breakdown of Catholicity and Catholicism ultimately lead to Protestant Churches being tied to the Nation State [Church of England/Anglicanism in England, Lutheranism in Germany, Reformed Protestant in the North Holland and Scotland, etc, etc,]. Thus, what Hitler admired in Luther was his sense of German nationalism, and ultimately as securarlism and rationalism and the elevation of the individual’s conscience to arbitrate what is right or wrong apart from tradition, is what allowed ideologies that elevated the Nation State [Nazism] or Class Struggle [Communism] to become in essence the “Religion to be believed” and a rejection of the “continuity of Tradition” down through the centuries which brings one back to Rome and the Catholic Church, which has to be rejected.
So, Luther did not cause WWII, but the sense of Nationalism that seemed to coincide with Protestantism was the beginning of what lead to Indiviudalism and rationalism which were also the foundations for the miltant secularist ideologies that we saw in the last century.
I see Bishop Hanson is serving “his” fathers purpose again.
Jesus would tell him he belongs to the one he serves.
His father is the Devil.
And I suspect that some Nazis came from Roman Catholic families, as did people in every sector of the German nation, whether civil or military. However, we do not know how many Nazis, or servants of the German National Socialist Party in general, were believing and practicing (i.e., worshipping) members of whatever denomination or sect to which they had familial connections. We must try to avoid non-sequiturs.
I would not presume to speak for the Lutherans of WWII era Germany, but as a lifelong (eight decades) American and Lutheran, I will assert that I do not know any Lutherans that are or were, as a group, pro-Nazi or anti-Jewish, although it would not surprise me if a few shared the odd anti-Jew attitudes of many Americans, of various and sundry religious beliefs.
To lump all Lutherans together in terms of political or social attitudes is to paint with a very, very wide brush.
Martin Luther’s regrettable (even ultimately, I would suspect, to himself) condemnations of Jews were rather narrowly focussed in the area of religious/spiritual concerns. That God’s “chosen people” would reject the Messiah, whom Luther believed to manifest the fulfillment of God’s plan for man’s salvation, must have seemed incomprehensible to him, being an expression of the one unforgivable sin, rejection of the Holy Spirit where it should least have been expected.
And many Nazis were Catholics. Anti-Semitism was part of “Christian” Germany and Europe before Luther’s time. Look at how Spain treated it’s Jews, for example.
The ELCA does not have 4.9 million members anymore. It is only 4.6 million.
Missouri Synod bump
We...declare that the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land is a sin against God and humanity because it deprives the Palestinians of their basic human rights, bestowed by God" ...Not content to criticize the Jews, the manifesto also excoriates Christians who support Israel.