Yet, for over 60 years, many evangelicals have clung to a very narrow theological narrative that weds Christian theology with a political ideology known as Zionism.
Haas makes a clumsy comparison between Zionism, the Crusades, apartheid and the Spanish inquisition:
The litany of attempts to protect God in our theology is not branded Made in the USA or confined to our country’s timeline or borders. It was ill-conceived theology that launched the ships of the Spanish Inquisition and the legions of religious purifiers known as the Crusaders. Evangelism by the sword makes it hard to have conversations with Muslims or other unbelievers aware of this history. Even in the last century, amidst the horrors of apartheid in South Africa, many who voted to restrict the rights of the blacks were pillars in their church communities.
Here, Lausanne denounces other people’s theological fascination with Zionism, yet its own theological fascination with Zionism is not discussed. Lausanne is so focused on criticising the Jewish state that it has little-to-nothing to say to criticise of any of the world’s 57 Muslim states.
Many of these Muslim states have harsh blasphemy laws against Christians. In Pakistan, lynch mobs have burned Christians alive who “blaspheme”, and in Saudi Arabia, a Muslim citizen who declares a new belief in Jesus as divine Messiah is liable to be put to death by the state.
The Islamic State currently beheading Christians across Iraq and Syria, warrants no attention from Haas – or indeed from the Lausanne Movement itself, which appears to have nothing it wants to say against ISIS in print. Lausanne has not raised a word in opposition to the concept of Islamic states. Instead, Lausanne is rather warm towards Islamist terrorists.
Lausanne has mentioned ISIS once, in passing, in an article about Boko Haram which tried to contextualise the group’s massacres against Christians, claimed Boko Haram’s beliefs had been distorted by the media, and suggested that Nigeria’s Christians were the radicalised ones who now needed counselling.
The Lausanne piece on Boko Haram concluded in positive terms, suggesting Boko Haram are in fact an anti-secular group could be an example for evangelicals:
“Lastly, ‘de-secularisation’ groups like Boko Haram may be calling the evangelical communion to a long overdue conversation about the effects of the secularisation of society and culture on religious commitment.”
Lausanne needs to rebalance its agenda, and steer away from admiring Islamist terrorists who murder Christians, because they are an “anti-secular force”. Currently, Lausanne is too busy channelling its energy into delegitimising the Jewish state.