Lausanne Movement attacks support for Jewish state; is silent on ISIS & warm towards Boko Haram

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In a Facebook post this week, the Lausanne Movement urges readers to digest a new article by Steve Haas, from their January 2015 magazine. He claims:

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.

Musalaha promotes priest who explains away Hamas terrorism

Here is a picture from Musalaha:

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Michel Sabbah is the Christian priest who says Hamas protects Christians (claiming that Hamas are merely called a terrorist organisation), and the world should stop boycotting Hamas.

Michael Sabbah said in 2002:

“The situation is simply military occupation, from 1967 until today. Ours is an occupied country, which explains why people are tired and blow themselves up. The Israelis tell Palestinians: Stop the violence and you will have what you want without violence. But one has seen in the history of the last ten years that the Israelis have moved only forced by violence. Unfortunately, nothing but violence makes people march. And not only here. Every country has been born in blood.”

If a “pro-Israel” Biblical teacher or Messianic leader were explaining away the terrorism of Baruch Goldstein or Yigal Amir in these terms, then I am sure Israeli Messianic leaders would call on such a person to repent, and condemn his statements. Musalaha would not certainly not promote them; and rightly so.

So why does Musalaha publicity to an equivalent, who explains away Islamic terrorism against Jews so casually?

Is it considered acceptable for Musalaha to do so, and if so, why?

The Tanakh and the Talmidim of Yeshua

Originally posted on :

Kevin de Young on The Gospel Coalition has a fascinating and very honest post about New Testament use of the Hebrew prophets[Hat-tip: Philip Martin in the comments].

I think anti-missionaries sometimes accuse the New Testament of deliberately distorting the Tanakh, which isn’t the case at all. However, de Young acknowledges the problem which arise from a straight reading the New Testament’s use of the Hebrew Bible:

If we’re honest, the way the New Testament uses the Old Testament seems a little far-fetched. I mean, we can see, just like the scribes did, that Micah 5:2 is a foretelling of the Messiah’s birth in Bethlehem (Matt. 2:1-6), but was Hosea really making a prediction about the Christ just because he happened to mention “Egypt” (Hos. 11:1) and Jesus’ family fled to Egypt (Matt. 2:15)? If we interpreted Scripture like Matthew does, we’d be chased out…

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Dr R. Kendall Soulen: Understanding the Jewish people in God’s Big Plan

Dr. Kendall Soulen (Professor of Systematic Theology at Wesley Theological Seminary and author of The God of Israel and Christian Theology (Fortress Press, 1996) deals with issues such as:

· Did God make a mistake when He chose the Jewish people?
· Has the church replaced Israel as God’s people?
· How do the Jewish people fit into God’s plan of salvation and redemption of all people?
· Do Jews need to stop being Jews?