Thanks to one of our readers for letting us know about this self-defence against all the criticism they faced by attending CaTC offered by the CaTC 2014 Messianic Jews, hosted on Kehila.com.
First thing to notice is that those who signed this all claim to be Israeli in the title and that they all took part in CaTC. However one is not an Israeli citizen and does not live in Israel and only three of the five “took part” in the sense of having a slot to speak in, another was invited to offer a prayer. Not a good start really!
But on the positive side we at RPP have long called for an honest and balanced alternative to CaTC and can warmly agree with this call in point 3. However it must be clear that such alternatives have already be taking place for years as we blogged on here.
“We call upon our Messianic Jewish brothers and sisters to promote a similar conference with equivalent quality of presentations, organization and publicity, and to invite Palestinian Christian contributors with different views to participate.”
So far CaTC has been primarily an English language affair, alienating Messianic Jewish Hebrew and Russian first language speakers, so this statement being translated into both Hebrew and Russian is a good sign that CaTC.ALT can speak to a much wider Israeli Messianic Jewish community. Such a future CaTC alternative ought really to primarily be in Hebrew and Arabic if it is truly to be reconciliation between Israel Messianic Jews and Arab Palestinian Christians brethren and sisters!
Summary Statement by Israeli Jewish attendees at CATC 2014
Daniel Juster | April 14, 2014 |
As Messianic Jews who took part in the 2014 “Christ at the Checkpoint” Conference in Bethlehem:
1. We received a genuinely warm welcome from our hosts. The conference organizers extended their hospitality, treated us with respect, and gave us a fair hearing as we presented our own perspectives on theology, politics and reconciliation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
2. We appreciate the sincere and unflagging attempts by some in our Messianic community to persuade us not to attend. However, after much prayer, counsel and reflection, each of us came to the conviction that the Lord was guiding us to attend. We call upon our Messianic Jewish brothers and sisters and those who identify with them to recognize that there are legitimate issues where believers must be free to disagree, while maintaining bonds of mutual respect, affection, sympathy and love.
3. We appreciated the opportunity to participate in this conference, while at the same time disagreeing with some of the general aims of the conference. We expressed these disagreements and stated our firm convictions about the election of the Jewish people and our destiny in the Land. We have had much positive feedback on our contributions. We call upon our Messianic Jewish brothers and sisters to promote a similar conference with equivalent quality of presentations, organization and publicity, and to invite Palestinian Christian contributors with different views to participate.
4. We see the need of our movement to grow in its ability to handle disagreement on issues such as “Christ at the Checkpoint” with spiritual and personal maturity, and biblical and theological integrity, both among ourselves and with those outside our movement. To this end, we call on our Messianic Jewish brothers and sisters and those who identify with them to provide appropriate forums where these matters may be discussed in an atmosphere of mutual respect, and at which different positions on this topic may be discussed while maintaining the bonds of unity that we have in the Messiah.
5. We acknowledge the problematic and controversial nature of the conference for many of our brothers and sisters in the Messiah. However, we are convinced of the need to seek godly relationships with our Palestinian Christian brothers and sisters, and appreciate also the difficulties they have with us and our positions. Therefore we strongly encourage both our Palestinian Christian and our Messianic Jewish brothers and sisters to engage more fully with the reality of the one new man in Messiah, actively seeking to live according to the life and teaching of our Messiah Yeshua. To this end we commit ourselves, believing this to be a strategic priority for the maturing of our movement, and to be a means of blessing and hope for the whole body of Messiah.
Lisa and David Loden
Dr. Richard Harvey (UK)