Tag Archives: Evangelicals

The Real Republican Maverick choice

Sarah Palin is not a Maverick. John McCain is not counterculture. Vermin Supreme is your Man! Evangelicals for Vernon Supreme!

“Vermin runs for president of the United States because it’s the highest office on the ballot, but his real campaign (or “cam-pain,” as he spells it) is for Emperor of the New Millennium. It’s an important job, considering he won’t be up for re-election until the year 2999 if he wins. And if he does, we’ll gladly yield to his mighty authoritarian leadership, as long as it’s as much fun as he promises.”

1 Comment

Filed under Politics

An Evangelical Declaration Against Torture

Now here is a statement I did sign. David Gushee has organized a conference in the fall titled “Religious Faith, Torture, and Our National Soul.” George Hunsiger is among the participants. I’m so grateful for this kind of Evangelical activity.

Leave a comment

Filed under Personal

Just how ecumenical are Evangelicals?

The more I learn about Evangelicalism, the more I understand it as a movement in transition, fluid, interchangeable, and hardly controlled. The one constant thing is the desire to reimagine and disseminate fundamentals without being called fundamentalists! Evangelicals love definitions, but they don’t want them narrowed down. For this reason, it’s amazing that you can find self-proclaimed Evangelicals in nearly every denomination! At the same time, as the word has become synonymous with Mainstream American religion, Evangelicals fear being uncontroversial.

For some time Evangelicals seemed to want to give the World Council of Churches a black eye. Now they’re wanting a conversation and seem eager to learn. But is ecumenism still too thorny, too dialogical, too theological for Evangelicals?

Leave a comment

Filed under ecclesiology, ecumenism

Evangelicals for Vermin Supreme

Evangelicals for Vermin Supreme! Join today!

Leave a comment

Filed under Media, Politics

unpublished paper on Palestine

Shortly before coming on staff for Cornerstone Mag and Cornerstone Press, I began a personal journey toward understanding the second Intifada and the nature of the Middle East peace process. Every day I took it upon myself to follow the international news regarding the atrocities perpetuated by both Israelis and Palestinians. After two years I embarked on a journey to Israel and Palestine in 2003. This year at Cornerstone Festival I made a new friend, Andrew Taylor, who’d begun a similar journey that led him on a trip to the West Bank with Christian Peacemaker Teams. After reading his journal, I realized that all my own material hadn’t been backed up very well on the web, and I was inspired to republish it here.

The following paper has been seen by only a few people to date, because, quite frankly, I didn’t have the guts after writing it to let anyone see it. In the years following my trip I began work on a blog on military occupation. With the war on Iraq, the United States strengthened the legitimacy of Military Occupation for future generations. I regard all military occupations as immoral and illegitimate, resulting only in future generations of barbarism. Much has changed in Israel and Palestine in the last five years. Illegal settlements in Israel have grown exponentially. The Separation Wall continues to claim land. Arafat has passed and the PNA is now split between Fatah in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza. I heard a rumor the other day that Israel might just seize East Jerusalem pushing back the clock to 1967. The elephant in the room these days in the Middle East however, is the United States.

My journey has taught me that to be a Christian today is to inherit the responsibility of repenting for all the harm my people have allowed and done in the world. I see Christians in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza sharing in the weakness and suffering of their nations, side by side with Muslims, refusing to leave their land, knowing that Jesus suffers there and they are called to suffer too. This shames me and I’m chastened into asking, “Am I too willing to take the cup?”

There are Christians like this all over the world. Am I one of these?


Finding Perspective and Finding My Voice:
An American Evangelical comes to terms with the Israeli Occupation
by Chris L. Rice
January, 2002

I never had much interest in the Middle East up until just over a year ago. Like most casual observers I caught sound bytes here and there on the news, but without context the news was at best cryptic. All I knew was what everyone knows, namely that the civil unrest in the region has been continuing for an awfully long time. Short of all out riots or suicide bombings the infighting is so common it doesn’t seem to be worthy of attention to most people. Perhaps that realization, that people could be dying every week and that the world was so jaded by it it had become apathetic, was where my interest began. I came to believe some time ago that my religion was useless unless it could confront the worst of this world with the gospel and make a difference. The Intifada has challenged my faith in a big way.

I came in very late to this conflict, my interest probably began during Camp David II where Clinton sat down with Barak and Arafat and tried to hash out an agreement based on a schedule developed during the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords. Usually I would hear about the Peace Process and think with amusement about how long these talks had been going on without any real results. But in a way Camp David II was seen as this last ditch effort to shore things up. Fast-forward to the present and it is apparent that the country has changed drastically over the last year.

What does it say about a society when a car bombing is welcomed as part of a crime rather than terrorist related? In a New York Times article that covered a July car bombing we get some sense of what life in Netanya Israel is like for average citizens. A woman rides the bus and carefully watches everyone that gets on and gets off. Another man drives his car careful to stay clear of buses altogether. A cell phone salesman said he checks his car before getting in and even public bathrooms before using them because “maybe there’s a bomb”. A woman with two small children says, “It’s not living, this always being afraid”. She doesn’t usually bring her children with her shopping but on that day couldn’t find a baby sitter.

A couple sitting in a cafe reflected on the crime related bombing, “It was a relief that the Arabs did not do that one” said the woman, and her companion adds, “I prefer a criminal attack, they can kill each other for all I care. It’ll clean up the city.” 1

The Arabs this man says he can dispense with don’t have life any easier. In an article posted on the Palestine Monitor’s website, Aryeh Dayan tells the story of Zarifa Hassan Anis a-Sa’ad, a 49 year old mother of nine from Silat al-Harthiyal in the Jenin Region in the northern West Bank. She is a cancer patient who had undergone two operations in Ramallah and radiation treatments in Tel-Aviv. She was scheduled for treatments in a Ramallah hospital on March 14. This is where the journey begins:

“The 40-kilometer journey between the two cities lasted more than three-and-a-half hours; the two main roads which run between Jenin and Nablus were blocked-off by the IDF, and so the cab driver had to wend his way to Nablus on rough, dirt roads. At the Nablus central bus station, they embarked on a bus slated for Ramallah; but the bus only made it as far as the Burin junction, about halfway between the two cities. IDF soldiers at the Burin check point ordered the bus driver to turn around and head back to Nablus. The driver did what he was told to do. So at 3:00 P.M. a-Saad and her husband found themselves back in Nablus. They decided to sleep at a relative’s house, and to resume the journey to the Ramallah hospital the next morning.
On March 13, the couple tried the sherut, the taxi service, which runs between
Nablus and Ramallah. The cab driver bypassed the Burin checkpoint by using dirt roads. After a journey of three hours, a-Saad was waylaid by a new obstacle: concrete blocks and dirt trenches at a roadblock near the al Jalazun refugee camp.
Passengers in the cab decided to get out and cross the roadblock by foot; they hoped to find another cab on the other side. At this point, “my head hurt terribly,” a-Saad testifies in the B’Tselem report. Weakened by her disease, she couldn’t walk on her own, and needed to be carried by her husband and two other passengers. They found a cab, which took them as far as the Surda village; at Surda they were derailed because the IDF had dug up the road as part of the closure policy, to prevent cars from going to Ramallah. Once again, a-Saad had to be carried by her husband and passengers to the other side of an IDF roadblock. There she boarded another cab – the third taxi of the morning – and was taken to the Ramallah hospital. She arrived seven hours after her departure from

This story is not unique. Just as Israelis live in fear that each day may be their last, Palestinians face eviction, random strip searches, and water shortage. Is it right that this woman should have to suffer in this way to ensure Israel’s domestic security? Are these enclosures insuring security or driving good people insane? Is this the price of a secure and free democracy in Israel? These are the issues I hope to raise in this look at the Israeli occupation.

In late May the BBC reported that the previous eight months of fighting had cost Israel’s economy $2 billion, with a “sharp decline in exports, construction and tourism”. The agricultural and construction sectors were heavy hit because road blocks by the IDF in the West Bank and Gaza kept about 100,000 Palestinians from getting to work. The Palestinian National Authority claimed losses at $20 billion. The UN estimates the daily loss at $8.5 million.3 One of the most important and well-known industries in Israel is tourism. The month of June 2001 reported tourism down by 55%from 2000.4

The cost to both sides in Israel is staggering. Life has become hell.

The first Intifada began in 1987, as a popular uprising of the people. It was an identity movement in which the Palestinians themselves established visibility. Day to day violence was largely no more than rock throwing by young people. They were sending the message that they were disgusted with life in the refugee camps and living as second class citizens in Israeli occupied areas without self-determination. Thomas L. Friedman encapsulates the movement in interviews in his book “From Beirut to Jerusalem”.

He tells of a young man in the Kalandia refugee camp named Jameel. Jameel had a physique that would have placed him “in an elite commando in any Palestinian army.” But when he asked if he were trying to hurt Israelis by throwing a stone he answered, “A woman is being raped and while she is being raped she uses her nails to scratch the body of the rapist. Is that violence? We have been raped for years, but instead of our brothers helping us, they stood around and watched.” [And now through the Intifada]“the wounds of the rape are starting to heal. The woman is combing her hair and looking in the mirror again.”5

Friedman writes, “Whenever I probed Palestinian youths as to why they threw stones, they did not respond by quoting Marin Luther King, Jr. They simply said, “Because we don’t want to face Israeli tanks.” And with good reason. Prime Minister Shamir was once asked what would happen to the Palestinians if they began to use firearms widely in their Intifada. He answered tersely, “There will not be even a memory of them left.”6

I first read these statements in October of 2000 soon after the Al Aqsa Intifada was getting started. The thought of the Palestinians being wiped out loomed large in my mind. How could this happen with the eyes of the world on Israel? The same way thousands of homes and fields have been destroyed on Palestinian land for the sake of “national security.” It seems even more real every time the IDF targets another member of Fatah or Hamas for assassination in retaliation for a suicide bombing. The helicopter gun ships will sweep in and kill a man in his driveway as he starts his car or will take out an office building where the key people are known to be. And its “ just too bad” for the old ladies who happened to be passing by the driveway or the young children by the office building. If pressed the Israeli Foreign Ministry might claim they were intentional shields. Then the helicopters are gone as quickly as they came leaving residents wondering if it was a bomb, a tank, a fighter jet, or a helicopter that attacked. It all happens too quickly.

I remember seeing Apache helicopters at an air and water show down by the lakefront here in Chicago. They flew in toward the shore doing a mock strafing of the beach line. The sound was deafening and I remember both being impressed and scared at the same time. For a moment I felt like the enemy. If those were real bullets being fired at me and my family we’d be powerless to defend ourselves. It took maybe three seconds for those Apaches to fly in, strafe the beach, and leave. My heart sinks today as I realize these are the same helicopters being used on civilians in Israel.7

What is each side saying? The Israeli government sees the problems only in terms of the Palestinians’ terrorist actions. They “have no choice” but to resist the violence with tougher measures. In a statement posted on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, the Israeli government places the blame for the violence squarely on the heads of the Palestinian National Authority.

The Israeli government regrets the loss of any life, whether Jewish or Arab, in the present wave of violence. In the final analysis, however, responsibility for these casualties lies with the Palestinian Authority, which has initiated the violence and stubbornly refuses to bring it to an end.” 8 This raises the question of whether the Palestinian National Authority is only an umbrella organization of terrorists or a would be government to be negotiated with. One day the Israeli government is calling for quiet and peace and that the PNA arrest terrorists, the next day they are bombing the PNA and calling them the enemy. To the Palestinians the Israeli government has been the perpetrator of cruel oppression on the civilian population since the Occupation began in 1967. Their way of life has been a living hell and that hell cannot help but spill back over onto the heads of the Israelis. This can be seen in the number of acts of violence carried out not by terrorist organizations but by average citizens who have had enough. 9

The most pressing concern for the Palestinians is the issue of the Occupation itself. They maintain that the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza by Israeli Defense Forces is in violation of international law and that the Occupying force has always governed half-heartedly at best and cruelly at worst. The Israeli government leaves the question open as to what the clause in the UN Security Council resolution 242 that states “withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict” really means. Of course for the Palestinians the Israeli armed forces have never withdrawn at all. In a communiqué regarding a 1999 Paris visit, Ehud Barak uses the same UN resolution to explain the need for Israeli troops in Palestinian territories by emphasizing the clause that referred to “the necessity for defensible borders in light of the character of the region”:

“We are not flying in a balloon over the skies of Europe; our feet are on the ground of the Middle East. Here, a fundamentalist wave can sweep an entire country; here, a terrorist attack can be launched against Israel; here, conventional militaries can try to eliminate Israel; and here, an irresponsible tyrant can launch missiles against peoples’ homes. All this has already happened – and can still happen – in the Middle East. Therefore, our determination to insist on secure borders is not some caprice or excuse, but a genuine need and one of our responsibilities for the future existence of the State of Israel.”’10

The clause Barak refers to immediately follows the clause regarding “withdrawal of Israeli armed forces” and is exactly stated:

“Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.”11

In other words each State will quit the bickering over land and acknowledge each other’s right to exist and protect themselves. The trouble of course for the Palestinians is that this resolution doesn’t really include their rights. In 1967 they didn’t have a State and still to this present day they have not attained Statehood. The ‘secure and recognized boundaries’ run right over and through their villages and homes. Thus the very resolution which calls for Israel’s forces to withdraw also insures their right to not do so, and both sides use the same resolution, because of it’s inadequate language, to state their case. For the Israelis it works best not to demark where national boundary lines are at all. Without declaring borders the IDF can control the whole region of historic Palestine to insure Israeli security.

The issue of the Occupation is inextricably intertwined with the question of Statehood and Right of Return. Israel outright opposes any right of return for refugees because it believes an influx of Arabs will shift the delicate population balance and thus destroy Israel as a state. In the same way, to pull the IDF out of the land of the West Bank and Gaza strip would be to give up the entire infrastructure Israel has built over the last thirty-five years that connect these two territories. When Israel moved into these areas after the Six Day War they immediately began clearing the land for settlements. The Occupation is not just about security of Israeli borders, its about extending those borders.12 The Palestinians long to have their own homeland with self recognition and self autonomy. They have never been recognized as citizens in Israel and at this point have no hope of recognition in Israel. In the same way that Israel says the Palestinians can never return to their homes, they blame surrounding Arab states for the Palestinian condition and claim that Palestinians are just squatters who really belong to Jordan or Lebanon or Syria.

Another equally important issue is control of Jerusalem. Both Jews and Palestinians claim Jerusalem as the capitol of their perspective peoples. Jews claim that Palestinians only want control of the city so that they may eventually depose the Jews, and that the city itself has very little religious significance to Palestinians and Arabs, the Dome of the Rock being a lesser sight compared to Mecca or Medina. Of course this stirs up tremendous fury for Palestinians. Many Palestinians own houses in and around Jerusalem and have been forcibly removed since 1967. As part of the truce in 1948 Israel was forced to give up Jerusalem, but after the Six Day War they gained complete control. Israel now controls Jerusalem and tightly controls the balance of its population favoring Jews. During times of security concerns, Israel shuts down Jerusalem severely restricting Palestinians from entrance into the city. Whether concern for security in these times is legitimate or not is beside the point, the effect this has on Palestinians is tantamount to inciting war. They see such shutdowns as illegal and an encroachment upon their homes and livelihood.

My head is dizzied by all the arguments, and I am exhausted by the seemingly endless reasons why it is impossible for these two peoples to live together. Why should I worry myself at all with troubles in Israel, and why should I invite you to take an interest? There are a few reasons. Primarily, I am writing as an American Christian and for the same audience. As Christians, specifically Evangelicals, we share a love for the Scriptures, and this region is the land of the Bible. It is a land not just locked away in history. It’s significance is not just metaphorical, and its importance should never be forgotten or minimized in our application of the Scriptures. The land continues to bear witness to our faith- or lack of it. We have a responsibility to fellow Christians in the region to concern ourselves with their treatment and well-being. What do most Christians there think of the circumstances? Where do they believe the answers lie? Most are certainly not Zionist in their approach. They see the Israeli ‘democracy’ so easily touted in America as actually very biased and even racist in practice toward non-Jews.

The other reason is that whether we like it or not, we American Christians have helped to create the present situation by historically standing with Israel’s far right in American politics. By far most Evangelicals are pre-tribulational in their End Times approach. Hal Lindsey’s book “The Late Great Planet Earth” impacted a generation of new believers in the early 70’s. Lindsey as well as Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Tim Lahaye and Jack Van Impe, are outspoken Christian Zionists. Stephen Sizer, vicar of Christ Church Virginia Water, has posted several online articles defining Christian Zionism.

“…in 1967, following the passing of U.N. Resolution 242 in protest at Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, and Palestinian Jerusalem, when the entire international community closed their embassies in Jerusalem, the International Christian Embassy moved to Jerusalem expressly to show solidarity with Israel. They and other Christian Zionists believe that the modern State of Israel, and Zionism in general, are divinely mandated, the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham. ‘I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.’ (Genesis 12:3) So, Hal Lindsey could assert, ‘The center of the entire prophetic forecast is the State of Israel.”13

I must confess that part of what forged my interest in this field was my own background in Pre-tribulation Evangelicalism. I grew up hearing Tim Lahaye and Jack Van Impe’s expositions on the book of Revelation and I always wondered how they could wrap up the future in such a neat little package. The ‘proof in the pudding’ that made the whole she-bang believable was somehow always the Return of the Nation of Israel. I don’t call Israel’s legitimacy as a nation into question. Her existence is secured. Rather I question a theology that legitimizes every action a State makes based on the presumed descent of it’s people.

Lahaye’s eschatology (mirrored in Classical Dispensationalism) in effect calls into question God’s very character and way of dealing among men-pitting one group of people over and above another, calling their military empowerment God given and God ordained. When I look at the Scriptures I see God dealing with the nations in a very different way. Nations rise or fall based on their actions in relation to his principles. God uses nations for His purpose. While God promises an everlasting blessing to Abraham and his seed, he repeatedly chastises their kings and rulers for their disobedience. This idea is in agreement with the Dutch church document of 1971, entitled “Israel, People, Land and State” which states,

“The assertion of the Israeli State’s right to exist is, therefore, far from unconditional: it is qualified by the vocation of Israel to grant equal rights (in biblical terms: to acknowledge the validity of “one law”) to the Jews and to the other inhabitants of the land.”14

America’s historic and continued support for Israel is another concern. America has over time given more financial and military aid to Israel than to any other foreign country. That money has come from taxpayers of which I am one. I have the right and the responsibility to question that support when it is used to strengthen a military that is in effect imposing an apartheid on its minority population and has the potential for committing genocide in order to create a more perfect democratic Jewish state.

As an American opposed to my governments foreign policies I am placed in a hypocritical position. Noam Chomsky says, “In general, it is pure hypocrisy to criticize the exercise of Israeli power while welcoming Israel’s contributions towards realizing the US aim of eliminating possible threats, largely indigenous, to American domination of the Middle East region.”15 This realization puts a fire under me to find my voice and speak out against US aid to Israel and the Occupation, both issues which don’t seem to currently even be on the table. At this point ending the Occupation is the furthest thing from Israel’s mind. If anything the opposite, namely a complete takeover and evacuation of the native people from their land is immanent.

The quiet apathy of most American Christians is in effect its own form of violence. We must not succumb to a belief that there is nothing we can do. Rather we need to become educated and begin to feel our way around the field of action and find our place. This article is an invitation by a fellow pilgrim to join in the journey toward understanding and speaking out.

What can be the effect of Christians speaking out in this way? Well, first of all we can expect a hail storm of opposition. On the one side we will be labeled Anti-Semites and Jew haters. Fellow Christians will tell us we are under God’s curse because God “blesses those who bless Israel and curses those who curse Israel”. It appears to be shaky ground because in effect to call an end to the Occupation is to call for the same demands as the Hamas, Saddam Hussein, and Osama Bin Ladin. This needn’t serve to confuse though. It is common for radical groups and demagogues to take up good causes. We cannot be swayed from speaking out because violent men are also speaking. Violence has done nothing for the region. It has not shut either group up or forced them to back down. It has only led to retaliation. This is all the more reason for peaceful reasonable voices.

The International Community has been calling for a withdrawal since UN Resolution 242 in 1967. Ending the Occupation has always been the right thing to do. We just have to have the guts to say it. At foremost in our minds should be the question “Is the Occupation working?” Has it made Israel more secure? No. Has it bettered the lives of its occupants? No. Has it increased the hatred and violence and made Israel more enemies than ever? Yes.

Finally, we must consider the cost of remaining silent. If concerned Christians do not begin to take up the cause of their brothers and sisters in Palestine, other Christians whose allegiance is more narrow will speak for us. They are already petitioning the President and Secretary of State to move the US embassy to Jerusalem and to cease all negotiations with the PLO. Herbert Zweibon, chairman of Americans for a Safe Israel, is quoted as saying, “Our problem today is, how do we turn the White House around so they don’t side with the peacemakers and give up what is rightfully ours?”16 Since when are Christians not called to be peacemakers? It is however true that Christians should not seek for peaceful solutions through politics alone. Those Christians on the ground in the Middle East work in various practical ways to achieve peace. With bullets flying and shells falling and at great risk to personal safety, they continue to promote reconciliation between peoples of all faith and nationality.

One such notable pastor, Fr. Elias Chacour of Ibillin Galilee said, “I felt that it was useless to continue with the complaints and with decrying this or that situation, this or that group of people. We risk getting used to throwing the first stone on the houses of others- forgetting that our own house is made of fragile glass. I wondered what could I do to improve the situation. That’s how I was lead to undertake the projects of building Secondary Schools, after having been building Community Centers and youth centers with public libraries wherever this was possible and wherever the local population was ready to share the vision and to match the efforts, even financially.”17 Such is the vision behind the Mar Elias Educational Institutions which are perhaps the only schools in Israel which offer training indiscriminately to both Jewish and Palestinian students. Another project is being undertaken by the Latin Patriarch in Jerusalem to build public housing for Arab Christians in Birzeit north of Jerusalem. Several factors contribute to the need for this project such as severe restrictions on building permits, the lack of employment opportunities, and the confiscation of land for use by Israeli settlers.18

It is of paramount importance to realize that the justice so badly needed in the Middle East is found in Christ and that we are ambassadors of his gospel. Markus Barth said, “To believe in God, in view of the present situation, means to hold on to and to build upon the certainty that reconciliation and peace really do exist, even in situations where there is apparently no way out. The establishment and proclamation of reconciliation and peace (2 Cor. 5:18-20; Eph. 2:11-18) are, as a result of the coming of Jesus Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit, reality and not wishful dreaming or utopia-even though what we are now seeing with our own eyes may utterly contradict them. The divine justice made known to us is called “justification of the sinner,” whether the sinner be of Jewish or non-Jewish origins.”19 This is the nature of the gospel and what we as Christians believe that is unique to the situation. We hold out and proclaim the possibility of changed lives, forgiveness, and reconciliation.

The simple words of Jesus, “Love your neighbor as yourself” are easy to picture in peace time and sound very fitting, even quaint in a country like the United States, but they are particularly poignant under the tense circumstances in Israel. When from childhood residents are raised not to trust their neighbors across the Green Line and that their own survival is dependent on their neighbors’ displacement Jesus’ words are put to the test. Even more difficult are Jesus’ words “Love your enemies” and “Turn the other cheek”. They create tremendous difficulties.

How do we apply these Scriptures to Israel? Surely she has the right to protect her citizens and defend herself against terrorism. These are legitimate but the issue is not just protection from evil men but who retains the right of Israeli citizenship and to what extent. Palestinians who chose to remain in Israel were granted a citizenship of sorts, but it was not extended to their spouses or children. Citizenship is controlled directly by the Ministry of Interior. Israel grants citizenship to Jews based on lineage and conversion.

Must love and security be in opposition? 1 John 4:18 says, “In love there is no room for fear; indeed perfect love banishes fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and anyone who is afraid has not attained to love in its perfection.” What is the Biblical way of dealing with one’s enemies?

In typical Evangelical fashion I feel it appropriate to finish by allowing the Scriptures to speak for themselves:

Proverbs 16:7 ,

“When the Lord approves someone’s conduct, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him.”

Romans 12:17-20,

“Never pay back evil for evil. Let your aims be such as all count honorable. If possible, so far as it lies with you, live at peace with all. My dear friends, do not seek revenge, but leave a place for divine retribution; for there is a text which reads, ‘Vengeance is mine, says the Lord, I will repay.’ But there is another text: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; by doing this you will heap live coals on his head.’ Do not let evil conquer you, but use good to conquer evil.”20

Let us not be content to allow evil to conquer the Middle East landscape. I believe our involvement can make a difference. That together we can use good to conquer evil.


1NY Times Int’l. July 27, 2001. Netanya Journal. “Be Grateful: That Was No Terrorist, Just A Criminal” By Clyde Haberman

2Palestine Monitor, June 24, 2001, by Aryeh Dayan http://www.palestinemonitor.org/archives/medical_article.htm

3“Israeli economy hit by troubles” BBC News May 30, 2001

4Ha’aretz; Monday, July 23, 2001 Decline of 55 percent in tourist entrances to Israel in June By Irit Rosenblum and Ha’aretz Service

5Thomas L. Friedman, From Beirut to Jerusalem, Anchor Books, 1990 p.383

6 Ibid. p.384

7 Profile of the Boeing AH-64A Apache Hebrew nickname: ‘Peten’ (‘Adder’)


8 The Terror Intifada: The Current Wave of Palestinian Violence Answers to Frequently Asked Questions”

9 Los Angeles Times, “Ten Wounded By Gunman in Tel Aviv”, August 6th, by Mary Curtius

Cites the attempted bombing of Tel Aviv’s central bus station Friday by a 23-year-old mother of two, and notes that gunman was “a 30-year-old painter from a refugee camp north of Jerusalem. Married and the father of three, he had no previous record of attacking Israelis. Palestinians said his name was Ali Julani. He apparently had an Israeli identity card and was driving a black sedan with yellow Israeli license plates that allowed him to proceed undetected into downtown Tel Aviv.”

CNNfyi.com February 14, 2001 by Jerrold Kessel and Anchor Ralitsa Vassileva

“Israel Television identified the Defense Ministry shooter as a 30-year-old painter from a refugee camp north of Jerusalem. Married and the father of three, he had no previous record of attacking Israelis. Palestinians said his name was Ali Julani. He apparently had an Israeli identity card and was driving a black sedan with yellow Israeli license plates that allowed him to proceed undetected into downtown Tel Aviv.”
10“PM Barak Briefs Cabinet on
Paris Meetings”, Jerusalem, 10 November 1999, http://www.israel.org/mfa/go.asp?MFAH0g500
11 U.N. Security Council Resolution 242,
November 22, 1967, http://www.israel.org/mfa/go.asp?MFAH00p40

12 See Noam Chomsky, Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel and the Palestinians, updated edition, South End Press, Cambridge, MA, 1999.pg. 103-108

13 http://www.virginiawater.co.uk/christchurch/articles/czdefine1.html

14 cited in Markus Barth, Jesus the Jew: Israel and the Palestinians John Knox Press, Atlanta, 1978, pg. 95.

15 Chomsky, Fateful Triangle, p. 2

16 The Washington Times, “Evangelicals urge U.S. to relocate embassy”, by Larry Witham, 8/5/01
17 “Restoration and Redemption of Palestinian Christianity” by Elias Chacour. http://www.al-bushra.org/chacour/restoration.htm

18 http://www.hcef.org/projects/livingstones.html

19 Barth, Jesus the Jew, pg. 89-90.

20 All Scripture passages from Revised English Bible, Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press, 1989.


1 Comment

Filed under Israel/Palestine, Personal, Politics, theology

Huckabee and Copeland

Frank Lockwood has an important article on his blog about Mike Huckabee’s scheduled nationally televised meeting Kenneth Copeland. Well reported with disturbing detail. Whenever Copeland sits down with someone watch out! The best word, however, comes from Assembly of God general superintendent George O. Wood, who says his family never bought into this “Las Vegas slot machine of Christian stewardship,” :

 “My mother always used to say to me, ‘Son, when we stand before Jesus, he will not ask us if we’ve been successful. He’ll ask us if we’ve been faithful.’”

If Huckabee has the Evangelical vote next year, and Copeland is the man influencing the purse strings,  God help us all.

1 Comment

Filed under blogs, money, religion and politics