Why Presbyterians Took Up the ‘Palestinian Cause’

rel-pcusWhat has happened to America’s Presbyterians? Leaders of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) have joined ranks with the radical left in recent years. They vilify Israel, apologize for Islamic terrorists, and cheer on the Palestinian cause.

Now, these leftist elites are savoring an important victory, having pushed through a resolution to divest from U.S. companies operating in Israel: Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions, and Hewlett Packard. The contentious vote in the church’s general assembly passed by a narrow 310-to-303, and was a long-time goal of leftist Presbyterians, who since 2006 had submitted four divestiture resolutions that failed to muster sufficient votes.

Divestiture is largely symbolic: The companies in the portfolio of America’s largest Presbyterian denomination represented a pittance of its investments, about $21 million. But leftist Presbyterians saw divestiture as a way to shame the companies and ostracize Israel over what they believe is its humiliation of Palestinian Arabs and illegal occupation of their lands – a situation they claim begets terrorism. They conveniently forget that Israel has been ready to trade land for peace since its birth in 1948. As for the companies they vilify: Caterpillar’s bulldozers are used in anti-terror operations; and Motorola Solutions and Hewlett Packard provide electronic security systems.

More than a few rank-and-file Presbyterians were outraged over the June 20th divestiture vote; tens of thousands have left the church in recent years as it drifted left. “We stand in full support of Israel’s right to protect its citizens and of all American companies to engage in honest free enterprise,” said Rev. Paul deJong, senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Fort Myers, the oldest Presbyterian church in Lee County, Florida.

“The church has been infected,” a Presbyterian seminary student in Texas once told me, a women in her 30s who became a minister. She was referring to a pro-Palestinian conference hosted several years ago by Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, an affiliate of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). At the time, leftist Presbyterians were calling for a divestiture resolution.

Israel is not perfect, of course; no country is. But the venom of Israel-bashing Presbyterians has been troubling because of how it negates anything positive about the Middle East’s only democracy. Israel is singled out as a rights abuser.

What accounts for this moral confusion?

Israel-bashing didn’t used to be fashionable, including among Presbyterians. Indeed, Israel was widely admired in the years after its birth and miraculous growth. Upbeat news articles spoke of those “plucky Jews.” But no more. Now Israeli Jews are denied credit for their nation’s economic and democratic miracle, growing out of a region that American writer Mark Twain – passing through as a travel writer in 1867 – had described as an unpopulated and “desolate country.”

Now, Israel’s story has a new twist, one put forth by left-leaning Presbyterians and fellow-travelers in other Christian denominations. Jews achieved what they did because they exploited somebody else: Palestinian Arabs. In this view Palestinian Arabs, not Jews, are now the chosen people.

This Israel-bashing narrative also bristles with anti-Americanism, and over the years it has become popular in America’s universities. That’s an old story. But what’s less well known is that this same narrative has gained currency at many Christian seminaries. Many seminary professors have adopted a world view similar to the post-modern left; what for them is a strange hybrid of Christianity, Marxism, and Edward Said. (Said, of course, was the high-profile Columbia University professor who popularized the idea of Palestinian victim hood within an anti-Western context.) At some Presbyterian seminaries, students in their early 20s –  future ministers and church leaders – have been indoctrinated for years with the ideological poison of the post-modern left, albeit within a Christian context.

Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

One Presbyterian seminary that I’m familiar with is in Texas: a 112-year-old institution whose idyllic grounds are near the University of Texas campus in Austin, the state capital. I’m not a Presbyterian, incidentally. I’m not even a regular church-goer, although I regularly attended a mainline Protestant church as a youngster. Eight years ago, however, I took a greater than usual interest in religion, after noticing  Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary was hosting a thought-provoking conference: “American Churches and the Palestinians.” The theme of the two-day event was inspired by a line from Isaiah 58:6: “To Loose the Chains of Injustice…”

I briefly visited the conference, and that passage’s subordination to a political view quickly became clear: Israeli Jews were colonial oppressors; and Palestinian Arabs were their victims. The event’s main sponsors were hardly friendly toward Israel: The Interfaith Community for Palestinian Rights; Friends of Sabeel-North America; and Pax Christi USA. Hundreds of religious leaders from around the country, representing various denominations, attended along with seminary faculty.

Consider three high-profile guest speakers:

Robert Jensen, a radical left-wing University of Texas journalism professor, discussed what he claimed was biased media coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – biased, that is, against Palestinian Arabs. Jensen was hardly unbiased himself, however. Days after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, he gained national notoriety for his inflammatory Op-Ed in the Houston Chronicle, “U.S. Just as Guilty of Committing Own Violent Acts.” The attacks, Jensen argued, were “no more despicable than the massive acts of terrorism…that the U.S. government has committed during my lifetime.”

Two years earlier, Jensen published an Op-Ed in the Houston Chronicle and Palestine Chronicle. Its title and first sentence were the same: “I Helped Kill a Palestinian Today.”

“If you pay taxes to the U.S. government, so did you,” Jensen explained. He went onto to say that “the current Israeli attack on West Bank towns is not a war on terrorism, but part of a long and brutal war against the Palestinian people for land and resources.” He said nothing about billions of U.S. dollars of international aid flowing over the years into the Palestinian territories – only to be squandered, pocketed by corrupt officials, or used to fund terrorism.

At the conference’s dinner, the main speakers were Cindy and Craig Corrie, parents of Rachel Corrie. At age 23, Rachel Corrie died when she stood in front of an Israeli Defense Forces bulldozer conducting anti-terror operations – clearing tunnels utilized by Palestinian terrorists. The driver failed to see her, and she was run over. Corrie is now a martyr to her supporters – their very own Joan of Arc. But the more accurate description of her would be “terror advocate.” A memorable photo shows her clad in Muslim garb – her face contorted with rage as she holds a burning American flag drawn on a piece of paper.

Corrie’s parents head the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice, a non-profit “that conducts and supports programs that foster connections between people, that build understanding, respect, and appreciation for differences, and that promote cooperation within and between local and global communities.”

The conference’s star speaker was the Rev. Naim Ateek, a Palestinian Episcopal priest who founded and directs the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem. He has questioned Israel’s right to exist, and like his Presbyterian counterparts apologizes for Islamic terrorists. He distributed a thought-provoking scholarly paper he’d written: “What is theologically and morally wrong with suicide bombings? A Palestinian Christian Perspective.” The subject was timely. Suicide bombings were more common at the time: Israel’s “separation barrier” – which has saved lives by thwarting suicide bombers, but that leftist Presbyterians widely criticized – was not finished at the time.

Ateek’s paper navigated a thicket of theological issues, but its conclusion was fairly simple: Suicide bombers do indeed violate Christian doctrine – but the desperation fueling their misguided actions is understandable: It’s Israel’s fault. Neither Ateek nor his Presbyterian supporters, incidentally, have ever given credence to three other “root causes” of Palestinian Arab terrorism: Islamist ideology; the culture of hate permeating Palestinian culture; or an “honor-shame” mentality that undermines efforts for peace which the overwhelmingly majority of Israelis desire.

Visiting the conference, I walked down hallways lined with exhibits outside classrooms where “workshops” were held. The exhibits bristled with pro-Palestinian political literature and books. One focused on Palestinian culture, displaying clothing and other items. (Not included were suicide vests or a replica of the Sbarro pizzeria suicide bombing; such an exhibit was displayed by clever Hamas student activists at al-Najah University in Nablus).

Rev. Ateek, of Sabeel, must have felt right at home. He was clearly a favorite speaker – a veritable celebrity. Conference-goers eagerly repeated his stories of alleged Israeli terrorism against Palestinians, including when, he says, his family was forcibly removed by Israeli troops on May 12, 1948. This, of course, was days before Arab armies tried to wipe Israel off the map. Perhaps Ateek’s personal stories are true; perhaps not. However, what’s clearly false about these stories, revolving around Israel’s creation, is that Ateek presents them as normal and everyday occurrences, the result of Israel’s aggression; the defining narrative of what Israel was and became.

The conference was a sold-out event; and no doubt it and similar events in recent years have persuaded increasing numbers of Presbyterians to support divestiture. The conference’s main organizer, Whitney S. Bodman, must have been pleased. A high-profile professor at Austin Seminary, he is an expert on Islam. He’s an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, and holds a doctorate in comparative religion from Harvard University. His research interests, he says, includes “Christian theology in an Islamic context.” Politically active, Bodman has praised terror group Hezbollah as a nation-building organization that fends off Israel’s aggression. He has worked closely with the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the problematic Muslim group. Above all, he has been a prominent figure on the “inter-faith dialogue” circuit that attempts to bridge differences with Muslims. That effort kicked into high gear after the 9/11 attacks.

Speaking at a “religious diversity” symposium not long after Europe’s infamous “cartoon riots,” Bodman belittled the idea that Muslims alone were responsible for Islamic-inspired terrorism and mayhem, and endeavored to smooth over the hurt feelings of Muslims. He explained: “First, remember that no incident happens in a vacuum and the violence and hatred exploding throughout the world today is not really about one event or something as seemingly trivial as a cartoon. It is an accumulation of hurt over months and years. It is Iraq and Palestine, suicide bombings and Abu Ghraib and Gitmo and 9/11 and this whole sense that there really is a clash of civilizations, an insidious danger to our way of life.”

What must the learned professor have thought about an Islamic terror plot in Canada that made headlines around this time – one involving 17 young Muslim men and youths? Their roots were not in the Middle East but Canada – home to anti-Americanism, multiculturalism, and unlimited tolerance. Yet they wanted to blow up Canada’s landmarks and behead the prime minister.

In their eagerness to appease Muslims, some Presbyterians have put themselves in even more compromising positions. In October, 2004, Ronald Stone, a retired professor of Christian and social ethics at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (affiliated with Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), met in southern Lebanon with Hezbollah commander Sheikh Nabil Kaouk, while on an official “fact-finding mission” to the Middle East.

Stone caused a furor when he told an Arab television channel that “relations and conversations with Islamic leaders are a lot easier than dealings and dialogue with Jewish leaders.”

“We treasure the precious words of Hezbollah and your expression of goodwill towards the American people,” he added. It was an odd way to describe Hezbollah, which Washington has designated a terror group for killing hundreds of Israeli and Americans. This included 200 U.S. Marines in the 1983 suicide bombing of their Beirut barracks and deadly attacks on the Israeli Embassy in Argentina in 1992 and Israeli cultural center in Buenos Aires in 1994.

Stone was part of the lead group of the church’s Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy. The church repudiated his remarks. But the controversy didn’t stop the head of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in the Chicago area, Rev. Robert Reynolds, from meeting nearly one year later with a Hezbollah commander, much to the outrage of Chicago-area Jewish leaders.

Subtle Indoctrination

It’s hardly coincidental that these Presbyterian leaders and activist echo the political and theological line that’s promoted at more than a few Presbyterian seminaries. Sometimes, the political indoctrination of young seminary students can be insidious.

A few weeks before its pro-Palestinian conference, Austin Seminary hosted a photography exhibition related to the conference’s theme: Palestinians as victims; Jews as their exploiters. Dozens of heart-rending photos adorned hallway walls outside classrooms. For future ministers and religious leaders, the photos were there to see, ponder, and absorb. The exhibit was from left-leaning documentary photographer Alan Pogue, a Vietnam War-veteran specializing in political and social issues from a “social justice” angle.

The exhibition’s theme was unmistakable: European Jews displaced by World War 2 had created Israel – and ejected Palestinians from their ancestral homes. In fact, this was the caption of one photo. There were no positive photos of Israel or Israeli-Jews.

Two photos arranged side by side impressed me for the subtle anti-Americanism and moral equivalence suggested by their juxtaposition. One was a photo from New York City after the September 11 attacks – a poignant scene of a make-shift sidewalk memorial. It was a still life of sorts: flowers, photos, and mementos left by friends and family members.

Beside it was a strikingly similar photo – one of a Baghdad sidewalk memorial. It remembered the approximately 300 mostly women and children killed by a U.S. precision-guided bomb during the U.S.-led liberation of Iraq. They died in an underground shelter that U.S. military planners presumed was one of Saddam Hussein’s command-and-control centers. Just before the war, however, it was converted into an air-raid shelter – one Saddam’s military men avoided. This of course is a common tactic among Middle Eastern terrorists and “insurgents” – putting civilians in harms way, and then when they are killed blaming and shaming the enemy.

Pogue saw things differently. His caption referred to the photos’ “similarities.” The subtle impression was that Americans now knew the same horrors their government had visited upon foreign lands.

Curiously, the photo exhibit was removed the day before a rare event at the seminary: a colloquium of Presbyterian ministers and rabbis held two weeks after the pro-Palestinian conference. The event’s title: “A Difficult Friendship: Divestment, Dialogue, and Hope.”

It was a revealing title. Seminary professors have gone out of their way in recent years to bridge “differences” with Palestinian Arabs and Muslims – even to the extent of excusing Islamic terrorism or apologizing for Judeo-Christian culture and history. Yet their “difficult relationship” is with Jews – not Muslims.

No wonder that a generation of seminary students has been infected with the poison of the postmodern left: a poison that vilifies Israel, America, and even the West. In casual conversations I had with young and idealistic seminary students, I noticed a common thread: They couldn’t bring themselves to condemn other cultures — especially those they considered underdogs. You’ve heard of self-hating Jews. They were self-hating Christians.

One Austin Seminary student in her early 20s, an honor student, told me about participating in an “interfaith” function with Muslim men at Austin Seminary; and after the Muslims broke their fast she offered to shake hands with one man in a flowing robe. Yet he only reluctantly grasped her hand, she recalled.

She wasn’t shocked or put off.

She made excuses for him, explaining it was important to “understand” his culture. Yet this was in a Christian seminary — and a Muslim holy day was being celebrated there.

In explaining Arab rage against the West, this same student mentioned the “crusades” – no matter that quite a few Jews had their heads lopped off by crusaders; or that the crusades were a delayed response to Muslim aggression. Now, Islamic aggression is on the march again – and some of its religious underpinnings are making inroads into the Christian faith, judging by what’s being taught at more than a few Christian seminaries.

One seminary student even spoke of terror master Yasar Arafat as a freedom fighter. “You know, he won a Nobel Peace Prize,” he reminded me.

Recently, Austin Seminary got a new dean, a long-time theology professor at the seminary named David H. Jensen. One of his more interesting scholarly articles pondered the cultural imperialism fostered by America’s most famous hamburger: the Big Mac. In “The Big Mac and the Lord’s Prayer,” Jensen argued that McDonald’s and its all-American mean were emblematic of the dark underbelly of globalization – and even at odds with Christian values. “The McMeal is…a parody of the Eucharist, extending an invitation to all, but embodying only one culture,” he wrote. Interestingly, McDonald’s strongest sales at the time were in none other than anti-American France and former Cold War enemies China and Russia. All of which underscores the perception gap that exists between leftist elites and ordinary people – a gap now reflected in the battle between rank-and-file Presbyterians and leftist elites in Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Years ago, the Presbyterian church was part of the venerable WASP establishment. It had produced many presidents over the years. Its parishioners were well-heeled, well-educated, and very successful. They believed in America. Those days are gone.

Now that divestiture is finally a reality, the soul of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) may have been lost forever to the left. Decent Presbyterians, like those at First Presbyterian Church of Fort Myers, will face an uphill battle to reclaim it.

The left is in charge, for now.

David Paulin, an Austin, Texas-based freelance writer, is a former foreign correspondent previously based in Venezuela and the Caribbean.

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  • Larry Larkin

    Of all the Christian sects infected by the KGB’s liberation theology the Presbyterians and Jesuits stand out. They bought into it on the wholesale level.

    • Zeezus

      what was England thinking when they promised sponsorship of a Jewish anything in Asia? The biggest Christian Zionists were Jewish converts>Don Lewis ‘origins of christian zionism’

      • SCREW SOCIALISM

        Jesus was a Jew, as were his parents.

        What’s your point pinhead?

  • Noam Nesty

    A few simple truths to consider …

    - Saul Alinsky, Obama’s primary ideological influence, was a Russian Jew.
    - David Axelrod, the media mind behind Obama is a Russian Jew
    - Jews like Maurice Samuel openly admit their hatred for Christian civilization
    - As Derzhavin noted, the Jews are nothing but a band of clever robbers.
    - Lev Bronstein and the Bolsheviks committed the greatest holocaust of all time
    - San Juan La Laguna, a town in Guatemala, is asking all Jews to leave
    - Lois Lerner, Gyorgy Schwartz, Cass Sunstein, Ezekiel Emanuel – all Jews.
    - There are too many Jews on the Supreme Court.

    Finally, as Rabbi Stephen Wise noted – “Some call it Marxism, but I call it Judaism.”

  • Lanna

    This is the False Church that champions the New Age philosophy, the same ideology of Obama, showing the hatred for Israel.

  • Webb

    I was raised in the Presbyterian church. It’s now home to wiccans and crap. Trashy witchcraft hippies.

  • StanleyT

    I think that’s a heck of a lot of words for a very simple answer to the question posed in the headline. Quite simply, it’s the Jews. For a while there, you could not openly display your Jew hatred, but now, Israel has provided a convenient excuse. And the Presbyterians couldn’t wait!

  • Damaris Tighe

    ‘In this view Palestinian Arabs, not Jews, are the chosen people’. Here lies the problem. When you make a nation as a whole either saints or sinners reason flies out the window. The psychoanalyst Melanie Klein identified this way of thinking as an infantile pathology: all the good is placed on one person/people, all the bad on another. So, first the Jews could do no wrong, now its the Palestinians who are put on the pedestal. Very childish.

  • Wolfthatknowsall

    While working on my undergraduate degree, I started going down to the Methodist Student Center for coffee. The place was quiet, one could study, and occasionally have a chat with pleasant people.

    This student center also was the campus center for SISPES, “Students in Support of the People of El Salvador”. I wasn’t overly political, and didn’t go to any of their rallies or take any literature.

    Once, a man came over and started talking to me. He was about 35 years of age, and seemed to be a friendly person. I talked back. Then, I started noticing things about him that brought me back to another age in my life.

    In Vietnam, I worked with the Defense Intelligence Agency, the DIA. My duties were to “collect” evidence for them, in the Ashau Valley. Since I was a sniper, I would shoot anything that was carrying a Russian weapon, my spotter/radio operator would send DIA a burst message, and their agents would come. Any white persons with the NVA or VC, I would merely wound, if possible.

    Back to the student center, I noticed that the man had a slight … you had to listen for it … Russian accent, and he had this distinctive Great Russian look. After listening to him for a few minutes, I looked at him and said, “You’re KGB, aren’t you?”

    Shocked at first, he immediately got up and left. Within a couple of minutes, the “minister” approached and threw every word in the book towards me. I confronted him with my theory that the guy was KGB, and he said, “Of course, he’s KGB. We need help in our efforts to free whole peoples from US domination.”

    I called him an idiot, left, and never went back again.

    To a certain extent, every mainline Protestant church, and certain groups within the RCC, have been guilty of supporting the enemies of the United States, and on the attack against Israel. The Presbyterians are one of the worst offenders. You see, when you abandon belief in God, all you have left is this world.

    • Wolfthatknowsall

      Sorry for the length of my comment, above …

      • Damaris Tighe

        No need to apologise, very interesting & especially like your last line.

        • Wolfthatknowsall

          Thank you!

          • Damaris Tighe

            Actually what you say links with my own comment: when you make God out of something in this world you’ll be easily disappointed & increasingly irrational & strident.

          • Wolfthatknowsall

            Observe the Obama supporters, for proof of this. Or remember Josef Goebbels … a man who forced his wife to kill their children (I think there were six), because he didn’t want them to live in a world without H!tler or NazIism …

            Insanity …

          • Damaris Tighe

            Indeed. Melanie Klein, who I referred to, believed that maturity is realising that life is disappointing; in other words, for a religious person, that God is not of this world.

          • Wolfthatknowsall

            My undergraduate adviser was a Yale Ph.D. graduate that the ideology factory didn’t get to. He worked for several years with Mahatma Gandhi, and his movement. Worried about all of his students, he once told me the following:

            “The most irrational belief is that there is no God. It is at the heart of all extremism and atrocities.”

            Life has shown me the truth of his wise words. Since he was a philosopher, he truly was a “lover of wisdom”.

          • Damaris Tighe

            Yes, & linked to that if there is no God to worship there are only idols like the Palestinians or the Jews which are easily replacable if they disappoint.

      • Webb

        No, what an amazing encounter. Thanks. Made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. But I believe they hate God and want to be ruled by Satan, and that’s why Alinsky dedicated his book to Lucifer — Satan’s name before God changed it. If they destroy Israel, then they knock God off of his perch by destroying his promise. They count themselves as active physical enemies of God, and you can see it in the witchcrafty banners now hanging in Presbyterian churches. The ‘Christ’ they promote is the antichrist. So certainly they’re going to take their fight against God right into the inside of the dead old mainline churches.

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      GREAT story. Thanks for relating your experiences.

    • Drakken

      As one of those who played in El Salvador at the time, you really could have saved us a lot of trouble by shooting both of those commi bastards. As a Catholic myself, I found it extremely troubling that those bloody Jesuits were helping fund, transport and hide weapons on Church property, and claim ignorance when we found what they were doing, we put a very sudden stop to their activities the hard way. It is a lesson I have never forgotten, if you support and defend the enemy, you are the enemy and should be dealt with as an enemy combatant, traitor or collaborator.

      • Wolfthatknowsall

        I hear that!

        As an aside, even though I wasn’t required to, I accepted a quick assignment to travel to El Salvador and speak with Archbishop Romero, and assess him. I found him to very charismatic and charming, but also knew that he wasn’t taking many security precautions.

        In my report, I practically begged for a security team to be sent there to keep a clandestine watch over the man, because the rebels would gain much, were he to be assassinated (in which case WE would be blamed).

        The rest is history. Thanks for your service there, Drak …

        • Drakken

          By Jove, I think I know who you are, I ran into you down there at around the same time. If memory serves me correctly, you were extremely vocal about lack of protection of the Archbishop and the lack of cooperation including the Vatican and were extremely frustrated by it all? We spoke in German to hide what were saying from everyone if I recall correctly and it was over a lot of god awful beer. Either that or I might have the first signs of dementia? ;)
          God Bless Wolfy!

          • Wolfthatknowsall

            I spoke to several Americans … intel types … while I was in El Salvador, and I am a US/German dual citizen. Do you happen to remember having a cerveza or two in a bar that was reputed to be filled with rebel/types?

            Ten-to-one my report is still unopened in some archive …

    • UCSPanther

      The KGB were like roaches: They were everywhere and you never knew where one would show up.

      Makes me wonder how many were sneaking around the antiwar protests during Vietnam…

      • SCREW SOCIALISM

        How many KGB operatives are advising Obama?

        • Johnny Palestine

          Rockefeller is advising as is Soros, the agent for Rothchild. The RoRo gang formed both CIA and KGB. All linked even by marriage. Like spiders and ants they are everywhere: media, military leaders, government and academica. Between them and the Saudis the West is doomed

      • Wolfthatknowsall

        More than enough, Panther.

    • 95Theses

      Please, please, PLEASE! Having once been member of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, I think it is important that some distinctions are crying out to be heard here, the first being that there is no monolithic “Presbyterian Theology”. Nor is there a hint of anti-Semitism in either the OPC or the PCA (Presbyterian Church in America) – the former being the church founded back in the 30’s by Gresham Machen (author, among other books, of Christianity & Liberalism – wouldn’t you know), and the latter well known (at least in my circles) for its deep-thinking theologically conservative personages like Francis Schaeffer, George Grant, Tim Keller, and RC Sproul – to name just a few. And there are very friendly relationships between the two denominations.

      Yes, I know, I know – it is all quite confusing, made all the more so because of the many schisms and fissions/mergers and consolidations
      in the history of the Presbyterian church here in America. And as with
      Presbyterians, so with Lutherans — where there are several synods and all having different confessionals.

      That there will be a split within the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. seems almost inevitable, in much the same way that happened back in 2010
      when the NALC was formed due to the provocative decision of the ELCA leadership (and contrary to laity consensus) to ordain “committed” partnered gay clergy. That act of treachery to the historical, orthodox, traditional, biblical doctrine on marriage served as the catalyst that gave birth to the NALC. It certainly isn’t the first schism in church history and, assuredly, will not be the last.

      So please … tread carefully here, and make distinctions. Thank you.

      • Wolfthatknowsall

        I should have used the term PC-USA. I know that there are many different synods, just as the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod would be offended at lumping all Lutherans together. In my original comment, I was talking about a Methodist Student Center of the United Methodist Church (a denomination which is slowly dieing the death of a thousand cuts). However, within the UMC are outposts of another time.

        For example, in Greenville, South Carolina, is a Methodist Church (UMC) that describes itself as a “Bible-believing church”. They are certainly not dying. They are currently running about 2400 people in several services.

        Just a few miles from where I live is an ELCA church that used to have about 350-400 is Sunday Worship. Then, came the decision of the ELCA leadership that you mentioned. Now, the same church is lucky to have 30 people present in morning worship (mostly women). This, after two disastrous lesbian “ministers”.

        I will take your advice and make those distinctions you asked for.

        • 95Theses

          Thanks. And I was not directing my comment to you exclusively (because I respect and appreciate your postings) but to the community generally.
          Ciaø.

  • Sassy Serf

    Another short answer is: Pride and Rebellion. Also see Jamie Glasnov’s exposition of Leftist motives and goals.
    The PUSA started down this road a long time ago. The church I attended in the 70′s sent out a letter urging members to write the state legislators and governor in support of abortion rights. I left that church soon afterward.

  • Walter Sieruk

    That the Presbyterian “church” is taking the side of the [ Muslim/Arabs] the”Palestinians” against Israel is no surprise. The just one more thing in a long list of the many things that is wrong with the Presbyterian “church.” Another example of the many things wrong with it is that in now approves of “gay marriage.” Which the Bible teaches is wrong, Romans 1:26,27. Getting back to the subject of Israel. That the Presbyterian “church” is even for the dividing that land that now composes the State of Israel exposes the this “church” is some of the spirit of the coming Anti-Christ in it. For the Anti-Christ who is predicted in the Bible to come some time in the future and do much evil is also called “the man of sin” and “a vile person.” One thing the future villain will do according the Bible is to “divide the land…” Daniel 11:39. This alone shows that something is very wrong with the Presbyterian “church.”

  • zeezus

    Glad the Prods are commin around on this>theyre the ones that shoe-horned Israel in down there.

    • EzraNehemiah

      I wonder how Presbyterian Theology interprets, “Jacob I loved, Esau I hated” in light of the Palestinian issue?

    • SCR EW SOCIALISM

      G-D “shoehorned” Israel where it is. and will be forever.

      The so-called “paleswinians” will soon be returning to their home in H E L L .

  • giatny

    This type of outrageous anti-semitic behavior is why people are
    leaving churches. There is nothing in Christianity that supports
    this vile action.

  • ZombieReady

    Just another apostate denomination. When the rapture happens, see how many are still here. They will embrace the anti christ.

  • johnnywood

    The PCUSA took up the cause of the Palestinians because they ” are of their father, the Devil”, John 8:44.

  • Dolly M.

    These are “churches” in name only. Fact is, they’re havens and sanctuaries for rebel-types, zealots, malcontents. God Bless Us.