World Council of “Churches” (WCC) Commission moderator of International Affairs, Frank Chikane equated Israel with demons in a recent online address.
Chikane told those in attendance that he was “convinced that [Palestine] is dealing with the same demons we dealt with in South Africa. Except that in their case the demons have invited other demons to make their struggle much more difficult…It’s almost like the whole world is against the Palestinians; nobody cares.”
He then asserted his belief that “the whole world seems to be conspiring against them. Trump’s administration came with what was called the deal of the sanctuary; which was really an entrenchment of the oppression and brutalisation of the people of Palestine, permanently robbing them of their rights.”
As The Algemeiner’s Dexter Van Zile retorted,
‘Chikane levelled a hostile incendiary assault on the legitimacy of the Jewish State, and an implicit threat against those who support it. Chikane, who offered not one word of criticism toward the Palestinians, made it perfectly clear that he is devoted to using his position of influence within the WCC to portray the Jewish state as a singular source of violence and sin in the Holy Land.’
Algemeiner explained that ‘the list of participants on the Zoom call included anti-Israel activists and anti-Zionist authors.’
According to Van Zile, Chikane’s address was organised by Christian organisations who have a ‘well-documented history of singling Israel out for condemnation while downplaying Palestinian hate, incitement, and violence towards Israel’ Such as ‘Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center, Christ at the Checkpoint, Kairos Palestine, and the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation.’
In response, the much-respected Jewish human rights organization, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre called on Christians to show their disagreement, writing on a Facebook link to The Algemeiner,
‘Wanted: Christians who will declare to WCC “not in our name!” Medieval Christendom Jew=Devil dehumanized our people, paved the way to blood libel pogroms and Auschwitz. Now WCC declares Israel=Devil as the Jewish state is threatened by Genocidal Iran, Hamas, and Hezbollah?’
The WCC’s ambiguity about where it stands when it comes to Arab-Israeli conflict is renowned. Specifically, the WCC’s clandestine support for BDS – The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions protest movement designed to pressure Israel into conforming with its stated ideals, by ending international support for Israel.
Van Zile was right to state in a February 18 follow-up piece, with Frank Chikane voicing support for the misleading, and emotionally charged widespread claim, that “Israel is practicing Apartheid” there’s no doubt to where the World Council of Churches stands.
He adds that WCC advocacy against Israel, while not speaking out against ‘actual crimes against humanity in China and Syria’ – only adds to Jewish suspicions about Christians.
I flat-out agree. The caveat being that the WCC left Christian Gospel orthodoxy for the social gospel of progressive leftism years ago.
It’s best not to equate Leftist “Christianity” with Biblical Christianity.
To qualify terms, Leftist “Christianity” generally rides the Liberation Theology victim train, replacing God’s justice with social justice, and Christ with Marx.
To be blunt about it: Liberation Theology is not a theology of Christian liberation.
As was brilliantly explained by Karol Wojtyla (Pope JPII) in his 1979 Address to Latin American Churches, and Joseph Ratzinger in ‘Theology of Liberation’ (1984) and ‘Christian Freedom & Liberation’ (1986).
All three remain vitally relevant to a Biblical Christian framework of true Christ-centred liberation. The context of which is the self-revealing God, who, in, through and with Jesus Christ, makes Himself known, and makes clear His existence, along with the important distinction between God setting humanity free from sin, not setting humanity free to sin.
Although, WCC members have in the past called their apparent, Marxist “upgrade” of the Gospel, and observable strands of apostasy, “a myth” (see ‘National Council of Churches Faces a New Type of Critic,’ NYT, 1982), they are open advocates of asinine movements such as “Climate Justice,” calling it a ‘the focal point of the WCC advocacy’ in its participation with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Chikane accusing Donald Trump of protecting Israel’s ‘oppression and brutalisation,’ along with there being no mention of peace deals that the Trump administration orchestrated between Israel, and some predominantly Muslim countries, also shows that the WCC has taken a hard lean to the Left. Many of whom mock those peace deals, laughing them off as ‘dodgy.’
In an op-ed for the Christian Post Rabbis Cooper and Alderstein responded, saying,
‘The WCC’s moral blindness means that it serves as an expression of Christian love about as successfully as ISIS can raise the banner of Islamic compassion…‘the time has come for Christians to declare “Not in our name.” For their good, more than ours…The WCC’s moral failure is not limited to Israel, however, and that is why it is a danger to those who take their Christianity more seriously than something to use as a political football.’
Fall back on what Eric Metaxas suggested this week and see the dangers for what they are: Americans (and I’ll add Australians) turning-a-blind-eye to CCP human rights abuses, in exchange for cheap Chinese made, Communist Chinese owned, tech – like Hisense big screen TVs and white goods – is in the same ball-park as German society conveniently ignoring the smoke stacks, trains, and violent removal of Jews.
Tack onto this any leap-before-you-look support for dubious schemes like BDS, “Climate Justice,” and support for equating Israel with white supremacy; the concerns of Van Zile, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, and the Jewish community find sound justification.
It’s right to stand with Israel, on the proviso that Israel maintains its gracious humanitarian outreach to those who identify as Palestinians, hand-in-hand with Israel’s right to self-defence.
The WCC supporting a one-sided political narrative demands the strong rebuttal: not in my name!
First published on Caldron Pool, 19th February, 2021.
©Rod Lampard, 2021.