I bet that the Messianic Jews who attended CaTC are not so thrilled that their names are forever attached to this conference Manifesto, in fact it turns out the they were not even aware that such a Manifesto was being produced and it was not submitted to the conference to be agreed to by delegates. Hence delegates are stuck with being associated with this heavily slanted statement that promotes Replacement Theology and justifies their delegitimization of Israel, irrespective of what was said at the CaTC 2012 conference. Many it seems will be delighted as it reaffirms the prejudice they attended the conference with. However it is a clear slight to Hilsden, Harvey and Thomas.
Why call it a Manifesto and not just a normal conference statement, do they think, or wish this will be monumental like the Communist Manifesto! Probably however, it is because they were either too lazy or too dictatorial to put it before the conference for a vote in order for it to actually be a conference statement.
How do Harvey, Thomas and Hilsden feel about the manifesto point 3, I doubt very much that they agree with it, in fact it is obvious that the hand of Sizer is behind this Manifesto as it takes advantage of the huge gesture of good will these three took to attend a conference whose track record is so dubiously anti-Israel and replacementist.
3 “Racial ethnicity alone does not guarantee the benefits of the Abrahamic Covenant.”
Point 3 is pure replacement theology, implying that Jews who are not believers in Jesus are no longer recipients of God’s Covenant with Abraham as found in Genesis 12-17. Protestations during the conference that CaTC was not a gathering of replacement theology, is nonsense in the light of this point.
Manifesto point 10 is a case of them having their cake and eating it:
10 “Any challenge of the injustices taking place in the Holy Land must be done in Christian love. Criticism of Israel and the occupation cannot be confused with anti-Semitism and the delegitimization of the State of Israel.”
Therefore they claim that because they attack Israel with a smile on their face, a dog collar round their neck with dulcet tones and careful chosen incendiary words, somehow it is automatically NOT anti-Semitic!
Point 11 is an attempt to make CaTC 2012 seem ground-breaking where in fact Messianic Jews in Israel have had many years of relationships, Congregational visits, shared conferences, sharing foreign speakers with Palestinian Christian congregations.
Here is the CaTC Manifesto and its authors. All I have to say to those from the Messianic community that attended and spoke is, told you so! You have been played.
John Angle, Alex Awad, Bishara Awad, Sami Awad, Steve Haas, Munther Isaac, Yohanna Katanacho, Manfred Kohl, Salim Munayer, Jack Sara, Stephen Sizer
The Christ at the Checkpoint Manifesto
- The Kingdom of God has come. Evangelicals must reclaim the prophetic role in bringing peace, justice and reconciliation in Palestine and Israel.
- Reconciliation recognizes God’s image in one another.
- Racial ethnicity alone does not guarantee the benefits of the Abrahamic Covenant.
- The Church in the land of the Holy One, has born witness to Christ since the days of Pentecost. It must be empowered to continue to be light and salt in the region, if there is to be hope in the midst of conflict.
- Any exclusive claim to land of the Bible in the name of God is not in line with the teaching of Scripture.
- All forms of violence must be refuted unequivocally.
- Palestinian Christians must not lose the capacity to self-criticism if they wish to remain prophetic.
- There are real injustices taking place in the Palestinian territories and the suffering of the Palestinian people can no longer be ignored. Any solution must respect the equity and rights of Israel and Palestinian communities.
- For Palestinian Christians, the occupation is the core issue of the conflict.
- Any challenge of the injustices taking place in the Holy Land must be done in Christian love. Criticism of Israel and the occupation cannot be confused with anti-Semitism and the delegitimization of the State of Israel.
- Respectful dialogue between Palestinian and Messianic believers must continue. Though we may disagree on secondary matters of theology, the Gospel of Jesus and his ethical teaching take precedence.
- Christians must understand the global context for the rise of extremist Islam. We challenge stereotyping of all faith forms that betray God’s commandment to love our neighbors and enemies.
The Christ at the Checkpoint organizers have been forced to clarify:
“The Statement and Manifesto were presented to the conference participants on the last day but were ONLY agreed on and endorsed by the Conference ORGANIZERS (my emphasis).”
“Conference Organizers: John Angle, Alex Awad, Bishara Awad, Sami Awad, Steve Haas, Munther Isaac, Yohanna Katanacho, Manfred Kohl, Salim Munayer, Jack Sara, Stephen Sizer”
OK this is what seems to have happened, Harvey and Hilsden had already left CaTC when Thomas and another couple from his congregation were approached, out of courtesy, and shown the Manifesto. One of them offered some grammatical suggestions, but did not feel the need to challenge anything in the Manifesto that he may have disagreed with because it was “a Palestinian conference”! OK, fine, we might have done different and challenged a fair bit, but that was their choice. However the CaTC Manifesto authors claim that there was Messianic Jewish input from leaders of the Israel Messianic Jewish community, and if they mean that grammatical advice was offered, then it can be stretched to that. However only one of the three CaTC speakers from the “pro-Israel” camp saw the draft. The three that saw the draft are all from the same Messianic congregation, so it is hardly representatives of the Messianic community, as each of the speakers made it very clear that they were there on an individual basis and represented no one but themselves.
The pro-Israel/Messianic Jewish contingent statement, which surprisingly included those who were not speakers at the conference issued a statement to clarify things –
Some of us were shown this statement during the editorial process, out of respect and appreciation for our involvement, and out of acknowledgment of the bridges that were built during the conference. While a few of us offered advice on the composition of these documents, we do not in fact endorse all the points that were finally presented. Nor were we asked by the organizers to endorse them.
However Stephen Sizer, the CaTC Programme director claims:
Before releasing the Conference Statement and Manifesto, the organising committee invited local Messianic leaders to read and comment on it.
So the “local Messianic leaders” who turn out to be only one of the CaTC Messianic speakers and another from the same congregation, were in fact invited to comment on it. This is hardly local Messianic leaders, which gives the impression that it was more than it really was! Anyway they chose to only offer grammatical advice, fine that is their decision, but a bit more clarity would have been helpful.