Lutherans Denounce Israel, Just in Time for Christmas – Mark D. Tooley

anti

Led by a Palestinian Lutheran bishop, 16 Palestinians Christians have blasted Israel in a new declaration that the 4.9 million Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)  is obligingly disseminating.

“We…declare that the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land is a sin against God and humanity because it deprives the Palestinians of their basic human rights, bestowed by God,” asserted the “Kairos Palestine Document.  “It distorts the image of God in the Israeli who has become an occupier just as it distorts this image in the Palestinian living under occupation.”  Not content to criticize the Jews, the manifesto also excoriates Christians who support Israel.  “We declare that any theology, seemingly based on the Bible or on faith or on history, that legitimizes the occupation, is far from Christian teachings, because it calls for violence and holy war in the name of God Almighty, subordinating God to temporary human interests, and distorting the divine image in the human beings living under both political and theological injustice.”

ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson, from his Chicago office, evidently wasted no time hailing the new appeal, though it simply rehashed traditional Palestinian complaints against Israel, Christian or not.  “The ELCA has received with somber, yet hopeful hearts this authentic word from our brothers and sisters in the Palestinian Christian community,” Hanson rejoiced.  “Their perspective on the current conflict between Israel and the Palestinians warrants our respect and attentiveness.”  Hanson pledged that we “join these leaders in their search for signs of hope and positive responses in the midst of a dire and seemingly intractable situation.”

The Kairos Palestine Document cited a litany of unpleasant “realities” for Palestinians, for which Israel (backed by Christian allies in the U.S.) is evidently exclusively at fault, beginning with the assertion that “the reality is one of Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, deprivation of our freedom and all that results from this situation.” The international Religious Left often likes to speak of “kairos” moments as specially historic times when Liberation Theology is ostensibly more relevant than ever.  Deprived of the pleasure of bashing the old Latin right-wing military dictatorships of past decades, or old Apartheid South Africa, Israel remains virtually the only nation, besides the U.S., that the Religious Left still anathematizes with special relish.

Christians barely comprise one percent of Palestinians any more, thanks to low birth rates and mass immigration. But the few remaining Christians are often convenient props for the international Religious Left’s ongoing campaign against Israel.  And many Palestinian Christian representatives, as a besieged minority, have always felt obliged to burnish their nationalist credentials by condemning Israel as loudly as any Muslim Palestinian.  Declarations against Israel like the Kairos document also useful excite attention and support from Western Oldline Protestant elites, who otherwise are uninterested in the plight of Christian minorities struggling to survive within Islam.

This Palestine Kairos manifesto is apparently an outgrowth of the Swiss-based World Council of Churches Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF).  According to the ELCA news service, PIEF is an “advocacy” initiative to “help Palestinian Christians strengthen their presence in the Holy Land and mobilize churches around the world for peace with justice in the Middle East.” In other words, PIEF is enlisting Palestinian Christians to publicly condemn Israel for the benefit of Western, and especially American ears, with hopes of minimizing U.S. support for Israel.

Lutheran bishop Munib Younan of Jerusalem was apparently more than happy to help out with the anti-Israel campaign by helping to organize the Palestine Kairos blast, which is predictably modeled on a similar condemnation by theologians in 1985 of racist South Africa, with which the international Religious Left always compares Israel.   “Our Kairos document is an expression of the aspirations of Palestinian Christians inspired by our common spiritual heritage,” Bishop Younan helpfully explained to the ELCA news service.  Naturally, these aspirations do not include any concerns about Hamas or radical Islam, which apparently is treating Palestinian Christians just find and do not excite any worry at all.

Since radical Islam supposedly poses no threat to Christians, the Palestine Kairos Document describes the true dangers to Palestinian Christians:  Israel’s “separation wall,” which ostensibly turns Palestinian villages into “prisons,” the “daily humiliation” of military checkpoints, “Israeli disregard” for international law, and Israeli “discrimination” against Arabs within Israel itself.   Israeli settlements “ravage” Palestinian land.  And Palestinians prisoners “languish” in Israeli jails for seemingly no reason.  It also complains about Palestinian refugees, who have patiently been “waiting for their right of return, generation after generation.”   Israel’s security measures against Palestinian terror are unneeded, they professed, because “if there were no occupation, there would be no resistance, no fear, no insecurity.”  Of course, what exactly is “occupied?”  Just the West Bank and Gaza, or is all of Israel an unjust “occupation” begging liberation?  The  manifesto revealingly does not explain.  But it provides a hint by describing Israel’s founding as a “Nakba” i.e. “catastrophe” that Palestinians will never forget.

Naturally, these Palestinian Christian spokespersons want “economic sanctions and boycott” against Israel, and “everything produced by the occupation,” despite largely failed attempts by some left-leaning church elites to divest from firms doing business with Israel.  And they pledged that “Christian love invites us to resist” the ”evil” and “sin” that is the Israeli occupation.   “Resistance is a right and a duty for the Christian,” they insisted.  “We do not resist with death but rather through respect of life,” they asserted, evidently pointing to civil disobedience. More mercurially, they added:  “We respect and have a high esteem for all those who have given their life for our nation.”  To whom did they refer? Suicide bombers?  Rock throwing youth?  Hamas militia?

“The roots of ‘terrorism’ are in the human injustice committed and in the evil of the occupation,” the Palestinian Christians inevitably declared, of course forgetting that Palestinian terrorism began well before any Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.  Or maybe they did not forget, since they never defined what exactly is “occupied.”  And of course, they want “repentance” by “fundamentalist” Christians primarily in America who have purportedly turned God’s Word into a “weapon with which to slay the oppressed” while offering a “theological cover-up for the injustice we suffer.”

This Palestine Kairos Document not so covertly portrays Israel itself as an illegitimate nation that must be dissolved in favor of a Palestinian alternative.  In such an unlikely eventuality, Christians likely would not be very welcome in a newly “liberated” Palestine.  And the international Religious Left of course would have no interest in the plight of Palestinian Christians struggling to survive under unrestrained Islamic rule.   Brandishing such a proposal is evidently some Lutherans’ way of wishing “merry Christmas” to the land where Christ was born.

  • Robert Bernier

    Christians in Gaza.
    There are only some 3,500 Christians, in Gaza. Over the past three years, al-Qaeda-affiliated groups have claimed responsibility for attacks against Christian figures and institutions with the stated goal of driving Christians out of Gaza.The problem is not their behaviour but, in the eyes of the Islamist jihadists, their very presence. They live in hope that some faraway event does not inflame the anti-Christian wrath of their neighbours. Is it any wonder that Christians in such situations desire to emigrate? Could anyone judge the few thousand Christians in Gaza if they were to leave entirely? More at :
    http://israelagainstterror.blogspot.com/2008/02

  • Name

    Please don't lump the liberal ELCA in with all other Lutherans in the US who are mostly conservatives, still view Jews as God's chosen people and the state of Israel as the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy. The ELCA has moved very far away from Biblical Christianity and their phrase “subordinating God to temporary human interests” is an almost laughable projection. True Lutheranism centers on Christ as the Light of the World, and everything else radiates out from that light.

  • C. Mall

    Please note in the future that ELCA does not represent all lutherans and all lutherans are definitely not in agreement with ELCA about a host of theological and political issues. While I don't pretend to think the other Lutheran synods are perfect, ELCA is to the Left of every other synod with which I am familiar. Due to the organization of the Lutheran Church into various synods, non-lutherans are not aware for example, that neither the Missouri synod nor the Wisconsin synod will allow ELCA members to take communion with them. The disagreements on many issues are far more pointed among the various Lutheran synods than is commonly known.

    For my part, it seems that if ELCA is for something, I against it and visa versa. They have an uncanny ability to stake out positions with which many lutherans completely disagree. I'm not sure why they still call themselves Lutheran!

  • Mo

    These are not Christians! Followers of Jesus Christ do not lie and despise the Jewish people, of whom Jesus was one!

    • http://www.cmep.org Hal Smith

      Christ did despise actions of Jewish rulers, calling them a brood of vipers because they put their earthly power before doing God's commandements. Likewise, I doubt the Palestinian Christians' resolution despises the Jewish people. It condemns the actions of Israel's government in persecuting them.

  • rogert

    I, for one, do not “lump the liberal ELCA in with all other Lutherans…” This latest trashing of Israel is a shining example of why the Lutheran churches split.
    It is incomprehensible how they channel their (ELCA) thinking. It certainly is not Bible based! A new Sunday school student in primary grades could see that.

    I have studied the Bible since I was saved in 1979. And I DO MEAN STUDIED! Old and New Testaments, Greek, history, archaeology, local/historic nuances of language…ad infinitum.

    When I was confronted with a difficult passage or concept…I looked into it! Something the ELCA has, apparently, decided is unnecessary. More's the pity from a body which claims to follow Christ. The question remains…which Christ do they follow? THE Christ or the “instead of” Anti-Christ?

  • STUinSDGO

    Just to clarify things, the ELCA represent the left-of-the-left of the “Lutheran Church”. My own Lutheran congregation here in San Diego (and the largest one in Southern California) recently voted nearly unanimously to leave the ELCA due to its leftist march over the past decade. And I might add that our congregation strongly supports Israel…

  • enough11

    The ELCA has issues. They are hardly Christian any more, this is just another example of their leaving God for their "worldy" wisdom. Here is more info. <a href="http://www.exposingtheelca.com/” target=”_blank”>http://www.exposingtheelca.com/

  • lawhawksf

    Thanks for reminding me of one of the reasons I left the ELCA years ago and joined Missouri Synod. The ELCA has become the Episcopalians without the high drag shows. Please don't lump all Lutherans in with the ELCA. ELCA left religion years ago to become a left wing social engineering body.

  • steven L

    Luther himself was known to be an open anti-Semite. This is no news.
    That is why most Scandinavian countries are against Jews and Israel.
    They already love the Muslims. See Malmo

  • marge

    It is truly a blessing to read that christians are finally speaking out against the brutal occupation of the Israeli Jews, and recognizing that Palestinians are also children of God and entitled to basic rights as human beings. I have prayed for this day to come and hope more christians will speak out and take to the pulpit for Palestinians, because in doing God's work one must advocate for the sick, hungry, poor, and those in bondage and unable to do for themselves. The Palestinians are all of these and need the christian community to help free them from Israeli Jew bondage. Christians can give that help by spreading the truth about Israel's brutal occupation of the Palestinians and stopping all donations to Israel, which are used to settle Jews from abroad on land stolen from the Palestinians. I applaud the ELCA for doing God's work and hope that more christians will do the same.

  • Mo

    What idiocy and ignorance you have spouted off here. Do you even know or care who the aggressor is in the Israel-Palestinian conflict? Of course not. Hint: It's not Israel.

    • http://www.cmep.org Hal Smith

      Whoever is responsible for Israel's occupation, the Palestinian Christians are some of the biggest victims!!!

  • edwinsvigals

    'Lutheran' says it all: Martin Luther, for whom their church was named, wrote a pamphlet entitled “Concerning the Jews and Their Lies”. In it he called for a pogrom: Jews should lose civil liberty, their homes and businesses should be destroyed. It took several centuries, but the program was finally put into effect by Hitler.
    It was the model for the infamous Nurenberg Laws, the Nazi's first step in the destruction of the Jews…Those who read this weepy little complaint against Israel should be reminded of its origin…

  • dougcorrigan

    Jews and Christians offer the moslems an example to follow to serve the True God; but moslems prefer to worship the made-up god, allah, of the madman mohammad. This being the case, there is no reason to put up with the obnoxious behavior of these animals. There is little reason to try to reason with the religious left. Wipe out islam and be done with it; and leave the left to cry in their milk of human stupidity.

    • http://www.cmep.org Hal Smith

      Better we be fools for Christ in the milk of our stupidity than suffer the guilt and flames of a bloody, hateful war. Remember, the Jews and disciples expected a military Messiah, but Christ conquered with his own death and resurrection.

  • 080

    That Lutherans are not fond of Jews comes as no surprise. They also opposed rationality in the form of the Renaissance. They have also sufficiently diverged from the teachings of Luther as to be unrecognizable.

  • Anneke9

    The more I see when I look at 2009, the more convinced I am that a significant part of the world has gone absolutely, stark raving mad. What does Lutheran bishop Munib Younan of Jerusalem think will happen to his congregation and himself if Israel is turned over to the Palestinians? Maybe he should have a chat with the Archibishop of Constantinople. As Christians we should have compassion for the afflicted, but inviting murderers into your home and giving them the seat of honor at your table is an invitation to genocide.

  • Yehuda

    It's not that these Lutherans love “Palestinian ” Arabs; it's that they hate THE Jews.
    So does “The Rev. Wright, President Obama's spiritual mentor, who hates the USA as well as “them Jews.”Is he a closet member of this Lutheran organisation?

  • Yehuda

    Marge, will you organise a crusade to “liberate” the Holy Land from “the infidel Jews”?
    Is it your intention to hasten Armageddon? Martin Luther would be proud of your obvious “love” of your fellow human being. He was so loving to the Jews himself, a real “mentsch”, one could say, a true saint.

  • marge

    edwinsvigals,

    Jews obviously learned well from Hitler because they are doing to Palestinians exactly what they claim the German Nazis did to them. Israel, with its land stealing, ethnic cleansing, and inhumane treatment of the Palestinians, is despicable to any person that believe in basic human rights. Israel is a problem for the Middle East and world that must be resolvedl

    Too bad all truth tellers about Israel are labeled Jew hater, antisemite, and etc.

  • barrylund

    God restored the Jewish state in 1948 against all human odds as He said He would in scripture. Israel is a democracy in the region and is only trying to survive. How professing Christians do not see the hand of God in Israels past, present and future, I believe, shows that they do not know the truth or the God of the Bible. No Arab nation wants the Palestinians, yet the ELEA wants Israel to open up their land to suicide bombers. I pray for Israel as the Lord commands.

    • http://www.cmep.org Hal Smith

      Pray for Palestinian Christians too. God may have allowed Israel to return to the Holy Land as it did many times in the past. But remember! Many times it abused God's trust and the Old Testament teaches that it was scattered as a result!

      If Israel destroys the Christians living in the Holy Land (a significant minority still lived there when the occupation began), and continues to commit cruelty, what will happen?

      Pray for God to forgive Israel and to forgive us for supporting its persecutions! Pray that we turn from any sins as the prophets told us many times before!

  • barrylund

    Thanks Mo, This is so true. As a believer the Holy Spirit has revealed to me thru the scriptures the truth of Gods covenant with the nation of Israel. He does bless them that bless Israel and I for one want Gods blessing. I encourage all to search the scriptures for in them they will find truth.

  • starkermann

    If the Jews learned from Hitler and the Germans on how to deal with the Palestinians, they(The Jews) would have annihilated the Palestinians a long time ago. I for one do not trust any of these Christian Groups, religious or otherwise when they say “They loves Israel or the Jewish People) What they are really saying is this” Either convert or we will kill you” Nothing has really changed in the past 1500 years.

  • richardpond

    The Lutheran Church must not read the Hebrew Scriptures????
    Israel is home!!! Just as Ezekiel predicted in chapter 36 & 37
    Tragic news!!!!

    • http://www.cmep.org Hal Smith

      If Israel has come home, then it IS tragic! What will God do when he sees how the Palestinian Christians have suffered?

  • AbdullahtheButcher

    Actually, the Scandinavians are against Jews because of their left wing ideology, and because they want to suck up to the Muslims in their countries. Luther's prejudices, while not a good thing, were not uncommon in “Christian” Germany or Europe for that matter. Anti-Semitism long predated Luther.

  • AbdullahtheButcher

    And yet the Nazis' motivation was that Jews were inferior racially to the “Aryans” i.e. Germanic peoples. They basically got their ideas from a lunatic head measurer (who, ironically enough, was French). Luther's sentiments, while unhealthy, were not uncommon in the Germany and Europe of his time. Look at how Spain treated their Jews. Were they Lutheran?

  • AbdullahtheButcher

    The Palestinians have all of Gaza and most of the West Bank if I'm not mistaken. What did they do with it? Did they set up the infrastructure for a viable state, one with the rule of law and respect for property? Arafat and his cronies put millions of dollars intended for aid to the Palestinian people in their pockets instead. Arafat also drummed up anti-semitism and pro-war jingoism (probably to cover up his corruption) which makes bringing about peace more difficult.

  • AbdullahtheButcher

    “Jews obviously learned well from Hitler because they are doing to Palestinians exactly what they claim the German Nazis did to them.”

    “Claim” It's been proven that six million people of Jewish descent did indeed die. Ain't nothing “Claimed” about that. Also, it the Israelis were out to genocide the Palestinians out of existence…well, maybe it's just me, but I feel that there would probably be far fewere Palestinians in the world today.

  • AbdullahtheButcher

    Maybe Younan is scared for his congregation and all the other Palestinian Christians.

  • LucyQ

    Many Christians, like this group, only care about hating Jews….not loving Christians or Christianity. They are kissing the butts of Islamic Muslims and Islamic Christians, the same ones who are killing Christians and blowing up their churches in all 22 Islamic ME nations and the two territories. According to these Christians, it's all Israel's fault that Islam has 'suddenly' gone berserk. They are no different from the Roman gentiles who killed Christ.

  • LucyQ

    The so-called 'truth tellers' are labeled Jew-haters because that's exactly what they are. If you're so against land stealing, ethnic cleansing and so on, why aren't you upset living in America, Australia, New Zealand and about 50 other nations who were not the original inhabitants not including Israel which was always there? Can it be because those nations simply genocided the vast majority of originals and put the rest in reservations? How do you explain the tripling of the Palestinian population over the last 30 years if they're being 'ethnically cleansed?

  • marge

    barrylund,

    God did not put Jews in Israel. The US and UN gave Jews a homeland in Palestine which was later named Israel. However, before deciding on Palestine, the US and UN contemplated on settling Jews in the US, Canada, Australia, Africa, and a couple of other countries. I am sure those countries are thanking their lucky stars they did not get the violent, Israeli Jew land thieves and criminals as their countrymen. BTW, the US is also keeping Israel afloat with US aid, weapons, and veto protection, not God.

  • marge

    LucyQ wrote:

    According to these Christians, it's all Israel's fault that Islam has 'suddenly' gone berserk. They are no different from the Roman gentiles who killed Christ.

    ********

    According to the Bible, Jews and Roman gentiles share equal blame for the killing of Christ. Christians were not to blame in anyway.

  • LucyQ

    But there were no Christians then. They came after Christ was murdered by Roman gentiles. Christ only believed in, studied and indeed, became a rabbi of the Original Testament and the Hebrew children loved him. He had never heard of the New Testament in any language.

    But according to your logic, all Jews are either subhuman or inhumane….including Christ.

  • Keren

    error: that should read “mass emigration” not mass immigration.
    The Dutch national church (PKN) rejected the document within 48 hours.
    I'd like to see more condemnation of Ceylon, where the government “disappeared” between 100,000 and 300,000 Tamil citizens – where are they? what happened to them? how are the people left in the concentration camps? why are “human rights” organisations silent on this?

  • AbdullahtheButcher

    Actually, we ALL are to blame for Christ's death. He died for all of mankind's sins.

  • AbdullahtheButcher

    Yet, countless times, hateful maniacs have tried to exterminate the Jewish people from existence. Like Nazi Germany. They tried to and failed. Also, Germany was defeated and destroyed. Which reminds me of the whole “I will bless those that bless you, and curse those who curse you”(or however it went).

  • AbdullahtheButcher

    Besides, Scandinavians (at least nowadays) aren't very religious.

  • benkin

    Based on some of the comments here…it seems that the ELCA represents only a minority of Lutherans. If that's the case, it is wrong to generalize what the ELCA did to reproach Lutherans in general. I know Chomsky and Finkelstein are a far cry form representing Jews, and I'd also say J Street represents an extreme fringe view that should not be ascribed to the rest of jews. Perhaps other more mainstream Lutheran organziations should be given an opportunity to reject the statements by the ELCA before those statements are attributed to “the Lutherans.”

  • Name

    The ELCA is in serious trouble, with many congregations withdrawing from the organization, or withdrawing financial support. The governing body is out of step with many, if not most, congregations. The ELCA does not faithfully represent the majority of its own members. Visit the Lutheran CORE website to see where many faithful are seeking the way forward.

    I would hope that Christians of any stripe would understand that Martin Luther was a man of his time. His understanding of the grace of God was far beyond that of his contemporaries, and the reformers who followed were indebted to his transformation of the faith. His translation of scripture made true faith available for the first time to the common people. His journey to understanding was very long, considering the starting point. Over his lifetime, his views of many things matured. I do not believe that he held the same view of the Jews in the end.

    It saddens me to see Lutherans branded with this political nonsense. The worldwide Lutheran church provides prodigious amounts of relief to victims of disasters, often being the first on the scene with food and medical help.

  • barrylund

    Marge, Gods hand is on everything and His promises will be carried out as revealed in scripture. He uses man to bring about His will and purpose as He did using the UN to bring the dispursed Jewish nation back to their promised homeland. Denying something does not change the truth. God raises up nations and puts them down as He wills. I pray that during this Christmas season you will allow the word of God to enter your heart and cause you to submit to the saving gospel of Jesus Christ. His birth, death, burial and ressurection is the answer and really the only thing that matters. When one experiences the true saving power of Jesus the truth becomes clear. I am praying for you.

  • ratonis

    Ayn Rand said it best back around 1968 when asked, by Johnny Carson, why the Arabs hated the Jews so much. She said, in her distinctive Russian accent,
    “because they are a bunch of primitive savages who are jealous of an intelligent and creative people who have transformed a dry dessert into a viable economy, cities, farms, and gardens.” (Or something pretty close to that). The ELCA is a denomination that poses something of a modern parallel to the old Deutsch Kirche of the 1930s. Anti semitic, and sold out to an alien, non-Christian worldview.

  • idviking

    I had the sad experience to hear this sort of rhetoric at a Christmas service last night.
    I thought it a bit disingenuous to blame the oppression of Palestinian Christians on the Israelis when the Koran itself subjugates non-Muslims to slave(dhimmi) status. It is troubling when people who are supposed to study religions ignoring such obvious dogma and use a bully pulpit to advance and idea that will only lead to more bloodshed. Would Palestine or Israel be safer without the wall between them. Sadly doubtful. If the Islamics refuse to reject the call to slay the non-Muslim and the world community will just sit by and let radical Islam destroy what is left of Israel then what other possible measures would work? Does the wall stop all out war? Probably. Is the extermination of the entire Jewish race the only acceptable alternative for those with a pro-Islamic view? I hope not. If Israel relocated to the Bahamas is there anyone out there that thinks this hatred would stop?
    The existence of Israel is not justification for the murder of non-Muslims. Finally, if jihad was an anomaly in the Islamic religion then wouldn't there be similar rates of violence in other religions like Buddhism, Hinduism or Christianity? As I scroll over the news in the past year alone there is an overwhelming majority bias in violent acts contributed by one particular religion. Anyone want to take a guess as to who that might be…

  • bearone7777

    Hello,
    These so-called ministers are full of themselves. They do not even know what theya re speaking about. They go over to the Holy-Land and start to spew off at there mouth. That is absolutely foolishness on there part. They do not even know what they are saying. All of this junk with these people that call themselves Palestinians is noting more than a HOAX. They are trying real hard to get the Israeli nation to give up on what actually belongs to them. I am so sick, and fed-up with groups that do not understand what they are doing, and saying being allowed to be called a Christian organization. A true Believer knows what the Holy-Land is all about, and we do not try, and tell Israel how, or where to call there borders. As will we all find that to be the wrong thing to do in the future when God judges mankind.

    Thanks,
    Larry D. Crumbley
    bearone7777@yahoo.com

  • Steven Brady

    I used to attend an ELCA church. It was a thriving Christian community, at the time, with an attendance of about 400 in a town with a population of 2500. That's when they sent the first lesbian minister …

    Today, and two lesbians later, the same church has an average attendance of about 30, most of them women.

    But they are really so progressive!!

    ELCA knows what they can do with their support of the PAL cause …

  • mcjenny

    I am an ELCA member and I am not only appalled but embarrassed to think that my church would support this view. I have been disappointed in the stances the ELCA has taken in the past against Israeli rights. Before the end of the year I am going to sever my ties to the ELCA and will be letting the Bishop's office know exactly why. This is going to be difficult since I was baptized a Lutheran as an infant and am now 62 years old but I can no longer support the ELCA in any form.

  • mcjenny

    The ELCA is the largest of Lutheran groups in the US followed by the Missouri and Wisconsin Synods. It has around 4.6 million baptized members. Missouri has around 2.4 million and Wisconsin probably around 1/2 Million. So, yes, the ELCA supposedly does speak to the majority of Lutherans and IS the mainstream organization. I was intrigued by the CORE group that someone mentioned earlier. This would be a good time to have a long talk with my minister and see what his vision is. Most individual congregations are concerned with local issues and barely know what Chicago is doing. Time to wake up, for sure!

  • TexasLutheran

    Please, before you leave, engage your friends and fellow worshippers in dialogue about the things which concern you. Speak to your pastor. Some do not wish to stir the waters, if it does not seem to be an issue, because these discussions are divisive. Some pastors are in agreement, and some do not wish to awaken their own congregations.
    I am fortunate to have a pastor who is ready to lead. He has held forums for discussion of these issues, and the majority are prepared to follow as he leads us out of the ELCA, I believe the alternative would be a gradual shrinkage of membership, as people come to understand how we have been misdirected by our leadership.

  • mcjenny

    I will do that. My church is quite small and most everyone in this area is fairly conservative. We are small town/rural but do have a small university population. If they knew what Chicago was doing (hopefully) they would be as appalled as I am. I need to put my money where my mouth is and contact my pastor first. Depending on how that goes, I may request some speaking time at a council meeting. Thanks for reminding me not to jump off the cliff. :)

  • Greg

    Stupid f*cking Lutherans. I used to be one. But when they partnered up with the Episcopals, I dropped them like a hot potato. They are the most ignorant mass of 'christians' out there. And none of em know ANYTHING ABOUT WHAT PALISTINIANS REALLY ARE. Lutherans are just a bunch of PC'ed ignor-anuses who are too f*cking lazy to study and dig for the truth. Hey Lutherans! Why don't you look up the word “Pallywood”? I have risen above Lutheranism, Praise GOD.

  • barrylund

    Greg, your tone and use of words trouble me that you do not understand what true Christianity is anymore than the Lutherns or Episcopals you accuse of not understanding. Joining a particulair demomination does not make you a Christian anymore than standing in your garage makes you a car. The Bible says, except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. When you experience the new birth thru the power of the Holy Spirit by your repentance and faith in the finished work of Jesus on the cross you will understand that religion is not the answer to this discussion. Salvation thru Christ, not church menmbership for the Lutherns, Episcopals, Baptists and all church members, allows you to see the truth to the whole Jewish/Palistinian problem. I am praying for you to trust Christ Greg.

  • 18451845

    What rights DOES Israel have? I am fatigued from this nonsense. For those who say that G-d did not place Israel in the land (Marge) methinks you do not know your history. All the League of Nations did was allow Jews to return to their homeland, the Romans drove them out after the Bar Kochba revolt. Forced into exile, Jews lived in Europe which was filled with anti-semitic sentiment. It was only after the Holocaust Jews were begrudgingly given permission to return to their homeland. A two state solution was offered at that time Marge, but the Arabs in the area wanted all of the land rather than share it and all the surrounding Arab nations invaded the day Israel declared her sovereignty and from that day on, the nation has known no peace. So I ask you: What rights does Israel have? Instead of focusing on these supposed injustices that Israel is inflicting on the poor defenseless little Palestinians, please tell me Marge – what rights does the established nation of Israel have? Is she not allowed to defend herself against threats? Do you not see suicide bombers as threats? Do you justify suicide bombing? Lobbing missles? Tell me what you know about those Palestinians serving as MKs in the Israeli Knesset? Those Palestinian Arabs who hold Israeli citizenship and vote?

  • elizabethwerner

    For those who are offended with Christian Scriptures – you may want to scroll past this post (although, my aim here is not for offending nor proselytizing, but rather for exposing the hypocrisy of all of the so-called self-professing 'Christian' kings who speak and act as that Bishop Mark Hanson does. Let those who follow them, who believe themselves to be Christians….take note:

    If your leader is headed for the pit – so are you} Mat 15:14, Luk 6:39

    Isa 42:9 Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.

    Psa 83:4 They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.

    Isa 41:26 Who hath declared from the beginning, that we may know? and beforetime, that we may say, He is righteous?

    Exd 15:14 The people shall hear, and be afraid: sorrow shall take hold on the inhabitants of Palestina. {Song of Moses

    The saints 'sing' this song} Rev 15:3

    It is the sound of war by words} Exd 32:17

    Jer 16:14 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be said, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;

    Jer 16:15 But, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north

    …..for there shall come from the north a smoke, and none shall be alone IN HIS APPOINTED TIMES} Isa 14:31

    Mat 18:16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

    2nd witness) Joe 3:4 Yea, and what have ye to do with Me, … Palestine?

    3rd witness) Isa 14:31 Howl, O gate; cry, O city; thou, whole Palestina, art dissolved: for there shall come from the north a smoke, and none shall be alone – IN HIS APPOINTED TIMES.

    1Ti 1:18 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee – that thou by them – mightest war a good warfare.

    Eph 4:25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour {a Christian Command.

    Are the leaders to the Christian house (there are many) that you belong to 'singing' the Song of Moses? (be your own judges)

    Isa 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to THIS WORD, it is because there is no light in them.

  • robotnik

    ELCA only speaks for ELCA. There are other, REAL Lutherans. ELCA is not
    even an evangelical protestant church anymore, having given up the protestant
    doctrine of Justification by Faith Alone. They are apostate. Your headline
    makes it look as though the whole body of Lutheranism is against Israel.
    They are not.

  • robotnik

    Jimmy Carter (and others) compared Israel to the Apartheid State, South
    Africa. Israel allows Arabs to live and work in Israel.
    How many Jews will the Palestinians allow to live and work
    in the areas they control? I'll bet none.
    Now: who are the real bad guys? You decide.
    May Jimmy Carter take his apology to Israel and stuff it.
    I'm sorry I voted for the bastard.

  • Lee

    Wow. All of these “Christ following”, “Bible believing” and “true Lutherans” sure seem to be living up to their ideals based upon the content of these posts. I know that the passions of controversial issues and differing interpretations of Scripture can be heated, and I assume that is the reason for the tone of these comments, but I must say that most of these posts do nothing to reflect belief in the Bible, faith in Christ or the principles of the Reformation. Do all of you “true Lutherans” remember Luther's commentary in the Small Catechism concerning the commandment to not bear false witness? Do you remember the part that says we are to love our neighbor, do good to him and defend his actions and motivations by viewing them in the best possible light? .

  • TexasLutheran

    Christians, all of them, not only Lutherans, are called to live in the tension between law and grace. Luther said that the church resembles a drunken man riding a donkey, always in danger of falling off on one side or the other. Over time the pendulum swings from “missing the mark” (sin) in one direction or another.
    One must continually examine one's own life in light of scripture, so much more (eternally) important than judging others!
    It is so unfortunate that our immigrant forbears allowed the label “Lutheran” to be attached to their churches. Martin would be horrified!
    His intent was merely to correct the direction the church had wandered away from true faith. Our national council needs correction. Most congregations are not in agreement with the policies that are being forced from the top down.
    I am beginning to wonder if our reputation can ever be repaired.
    I agree that Christian faith is not defined denominationally. But the Lutherans were the first to understand “sola scriptura, sola gracia, sola fide” We have a strong heritage of the priesthood of all believers. No pastor or bishop carries great authority over any other believer. We must correct the missteps of those who would mislead the faithful.
    We are not to judge others' motivations, it is true, but people are accountable for their visible actions, and the fruit of them.

  • hanekhw

    The ELCA really should change their name. They really aren't acting what their name implies…..

    Main Entry: 1evan·gel·i·cal
    Pronunciation: ˌē-ˌvan-ˈje-li-kəl, ˌe-vən-
    Variant(s): also evan·gel·ic -ik
    Function: adjective
    Date: 1531

    1 : of, relating to, or being in agreement with the Christian gospel especially as it is presented in the four Gospels
    2 : protestant
    3 : emphasizing salvation by faith in the atoning death of Jesus Christ through personal conversion, the authority of Scripture, and the importance of preaching as contrasted with ritual
    4 a capitalized : of or relating to the Evangelical Church in Germany b often capitalized : of, adhering to, or marked by fundamentalism : fundamentalist c often capitalized : low church
    5 : marked by militant or crusading zeal :

  • John

    Just more revisionist history. No one is occupying anything that doesn't deserved to be occupied. The lands that Israel currently “occupies” was won during hard fighting after the last invasion by the Arab nations surrounding her. If they didn't like to be occupied perhaps they shouldn't have started so many wars they were bound to lose – or at the very least they shouldn't have lost them over and over. To the victor go the spoils. That's they way of things! Do you think the Arab nations would be surrendering land they would occupy if they had won? Hell no! So forget these double-standards by the Arabs and their lackeys in Palestine and Europe! They should be grateful Israel hasn't wiped them from the face of the earth altogether! They have the military power to do just that and have restrained themselves remarkably in the face of rocket attacks and terrorist bombings. Israel is not perfect and does not always behave they way they should, but they occupy land fair a square by any historical standard. The so-called Lutherans who promote this rubbish need to remember that Jesus was a Jew – not a Lutheran or a Palestinian, and the Palestinians have had ample opportunities to get a good deal and have squandered each and every one.

  • emettsedaka

    surprise surprise???
    the spiritual covering for the PROTESTING LUTHERIAN CHURCH
    was (and obviously still is) a rabid anti-SHEM-itic supposed Christian named
    martin luther. his beginnings, pro Jewish, turned wicked and sour
    after his failed attempts to convert the (partially blinded) Jewish people
    without the power of the Ruach Kodesh.
    What else is new????

  • TexasLutheran

    I don't speak for the ELCA, but there are many Christian members of Lutheran congregations world-wide who would never claim the mere mortal, Martin Luther, as their spiritual covering. All true Christians understand Christ alone as our only hope of salvation, through grace, by faith.

    And yes, he did become embittered by his failure to convert the Jews to faith in Christ. He was a vehement man, and his vehemence in defending the secrets of salvation hidden from people he cared about led him to do many things considered outrageous in his time. Those so enlightened by his writings and preaching also did many things he was dismayed to see.

    But the truth is that many generations have benefitted from his defense of the truth he found in scripture, hidden from the common people by the church of his time. The Holy Spirit has used Luther's life and life's work in a mighty way throughout the world. Lutherans do not doubt the work of the Holy Spirit in individual lives, nor throughout history.

    History will unspool itself as God decrees. The time will be ripe when the Jews know their Messiah.

  • Hans

    All of you are too young to have followed the whole mess of what is happening there.

    The Jewish people should never have been plopped down on a poor rural people.

    God according to the Bible made the Jewish people the Chosen people. Chosen by God to be a blessing to all they came encountered. By being who they are they were born to care for others before themselves.

    . Unfortunately the Chosen people thought that meant they were supposed to get everything they wanted.

  • Abron

    As a Lutheran (ELCA), I am not that surprised regarding Bishop Younan. Maybe he and Mark Hanson need a refresher course on radical Islam’s hatred toward Christians, like the Muslim Brotherhood’s killing of Christians in Egypt or a Christian woman in Pakistan getting the death penalty for drinking water from a Muslim well. The list goes on and on. Jews are not the only ones who are targeted by these IslamoNazis, and Hanson, Younan, and every Lutheran better realize that now!