McLaren’s Palestinian Justice Speech, Part 2

In the last half of his plenary talk at a FOSNA conference this April in Portland, Oregon, in his case to prove that Christians are responsible for creating the injustice that currently exists in Palestine, Brian McLaren went into further detail about his problem with all the accounts in the Bible where God said to wipe out the surrounding nations, people and even animals, in what he calls the ‘texts of genocide.’

“Through its appropriation of “texts of terror” and especially through the application of those texts to the Jews, the Christian religion created the conditions for the oppression of Palestinians.”
-Brian McLaren, Seeds of Hope and Justice for Palestinians and Israelis [1]

McLaren then talked about the holocaust being one of many world wide genocidal atrocities which the church has been behind, saying that “The lament that Christians should have is that Israel is treating Palestinians exactly the way Christians treated Jews, and we now lament that past.”

But is it true that the Christian religion created the conditions for oppression of Palestine? While many atrocities in the world have been done in the name of Christ, is it true for McLaren to say that Israel is treating Palestinians the way Jews were treated in the Holocaust?

First of all, it was Hitler and the Unholy Alliance who were behind the annihilation of the Jews. Secondly, Israel today treats the Palestinians better than they are treated by their own leaders. Where is the genocide happening in Israel? Just this week Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu showed to the world “the true Israel, the advanced, modern and tolerant Israel, in effect, the only country in the Middle East that ensures complete freedom of worship to those of all faiths, guards the holy places and ensures the rights of all – Jews, Muslims, Christians, everybody.”[2]

Israel is not oppressing Palestinians. The exploitation of Palestinians appears to be coming from a leadership that does not want peace, using its people as pawns while trying to annihilate Israel.

The reality is that Israel, not only as a country, but as individual citizens, lives at peace with the Palestinians. Hard to believe – but it’s true. Since 1947, when Israel accepted the U.N. Partition Plan, which gave them sovereignty over a crumb of land, Israel has continuously reached out to the Arabs for peace, only to be met with a just as continuous chant of no, no, no.

-Israel at Peace, Palestinians at War http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/gideonisrael/israel-at-peace-palestinians-at-war/

(It is important to understand all the facts in the above article if one is to counter the anti-Israel myths.)

Nearly at the ten minute mark in the second half of his talk, McLaren says that “More of us are going to have to stand up to the Christian Zionists and others…”

Christian Zionists everywhere should be alarmed by that statement and prepared to stand up for Israel and ask McLaren and friends how they think this is going to look.

In a classic misinterpretation of the Bible, McLaren said that after Jesus read the scroll of Isaiah and rolled it up (Luke 4), what he meant by doing that is that it’s time to move on from the ‘vengeance way’ of reading the Bible, the ‘exclusive way’ – and on to a ‘universal way’ of reading the Bible.

One day men like McLaren will tremble at the real reason that Jesus stopped reading in the middle of the prophecy. He purposely stopped at the comma because the next part was about his second coming. Jesus came the first time to do his ministry in order to set the captives free. We are now living in the comma, in the age of grace, the church age, before His second coming. When the other half of the Isaiah prophecy is fulfilled – then the world will see that the ‘vengeance’ part was not left out by Jesus to move on to a ‘universal way’, as Mclaren would have his listeners believe.

At the 12:22 minute mark, McLaren says: “It is time to join with Jews, Muslims, and others who seek peace, justice and the common good.”

Someone should ask McLaren to explain why (if the religion of Islam truly seeks peace) do the Muslim nations want to destroy Israel and drive them into the sea? If they really want peace, why did they not accept the peace offerings they were first given? Are Palestinians really ‘victims’ of an ‘occupation’?

Palestinians would not have become refugees in 1948 had they agreed to the 1947 UN Partition Plan. There would have been no Palestinian refugees, had they chosen not to attack and terrorize the Jewish community in Palestine in 1929, 1936-1939, and later in 1948, when they attempted to extinguish the nascent Jewish state. History repeated itself in 1967. After the Six Day War, Israel offered to negotiate peace with the Arab States. The response came from the Khartoum, Arab Summit, “No to Peace, No to negotiations with Israel, and No to recognition of Israel.”
… The “occupation” mantra is meant to appeal to emotions and not facts. Israel is the legal administrator of the territories until a peace settlement is reached. The “occupation” could have ended in 1967 if the Arab states and the PLO had agreed to make peace as UN Resolution 242 required. The Palestinians could have acquired statehood in 1947, or once again under the Oslo Accords process. They chose instead to launch an intifada (uprising) against Israel, rather than “end the conflict.”

- The Self-Inflicted Palestinian Victimhood http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/joseph-puder/the-self-inflicted-palestinian-victimhood-2/

Near the end of his talk, McLaren promotes his new book, “We Make the Road by Walking” (a re-imagined re-telling of the Bible). On his powerpoint beside his book is a CS Lewis photo with the caption: “It is time to reclaim the Bible as “a book for grown ups.” This CS Lewis quote seems to be out of context. It is from Mere Christianity, where Lewis makes fun of those who reject the Christian’s idea of heaven because they don’t want to spend eternity playing harps. He says, “The answer to such people is that if they cannot understand books written for grown-ups, they should not talk about them” (p 121, Mere Christianity). Perhaps it is time for someone to suggest to Brian McLaren that if he cannot understand the Bible, he should not try to re-tell it [3].

Under McLaren’s powerpoint topical sentence: “We cannot be naive about the possible subconscious motivations for maintaining the status quo,” he notes that what happened recently with World Vision (hiring gays)[4] was just a matter of economic bullying by the elite. One of his other points, which he does not read out loud, is; “legitimization for a new scapegoat Islam”.[5] Does this mean that McLaren thinks that Islam is being bullied by the elite?

McLaren ends his presentation with a ‘thanks to Sabeel for the great leadership’ [6] followed by a very short Q&A where at 16 minutes he says that ‘the fundamentalist ways of reading the text are just soooo unfair to the text. When you really love a text you realize there is so much more going on.’ Does McLaren love the Biblical text enough to realize there is so much more going on?

After reading the question (at 19:30, followed by audience laughter): “Do you think peace in Israel will signal the end times?” – the moderator then asks McLaren to briefly comment on Revelation. McLaren answers that Revelation is a literature of the oppressed… a message that is speaking the truth indirectly. Like the sword on the guy riding on the horse that is coming out of his mouth (Revelation 19)[7]. If you wanna take that literally, says McLaren, that is comic. He then explains that the unarmed peaceful Messiah who rode in on a donkey is the real message, that peace is more powerful, and that the blood on his robe is only the blood of the powerless victim that overcomes the violence of his oppressor. (This is in keeping with the heretical non-violent atonement theory of Steve Chalke and others which denies the penal, substitutionary atonement of Christ on the cross.)

Teachers like McLaren cannot discern that the sword in Jesus’ mouth represents the power of His Word, that His robe is stained in either the blood of His enemies or His own blood (a reminder of the cross). They cannot see that this is not the meek and mild Jesus who came the first time as a lamb. This Jesus is the returning King, the Lion of Judah, who by His righteousness will demand attention and submission when He comes back (as prophesied) to the rebellious world in the day of vengeance at the end of this age of grace. How sobering for any man who dares to take away the power of that image in the words describing the things which shall be hereafter, as told to us in the revelation of Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

“And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” Revelation 22:19

Why is it important to critique the clever words of those like McLaren? Because of the way they are valued by Christian denominations, some Mennonite, who have allowed emerging church literature and resources with McLaren’s name on the label into their churches and institutes of learning, or have had him in as a guest to speak, or are involved in the same causes as McLaren and friends that contradict the Word of God. The question of urgency in these perilous times is: are you a friend Jesus, the soon returning King? Or Brian McLaren, friend of Sabeel and FOSNA[8], who says the guy on the horse with the sword is comic?

 

Endnotes:

[1] At about 4 minutes into the Part 2 youtube clip of his presentation, see: Christian responsibility for Palestinian Justice, Part 2 of Brian McLaren’s plenary talk at “Seeds of Hope and Justice for Palestinians and Israelis” at a FOSNA(Friends of Sabeel North America) conference, April, 2014 in Portland, Oregon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hM7Us1wDzk
[2] Netanyahu: Pope visiting only Mideast state to offer true freedom of religion http://www.jpost.com/LandedPages/PrintArticle.aspx?id=353279
[3] http://mennolite.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/mclarens-new-book-a-new-kind-of-year-long-church-curriculum/
[4] World Vision: Why We’re Hiring Gay Christians in Same-Sex Marriages http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2014/march-web-only/world-vision-why-hiring-gay-christians-same-sex-marriage.html?paging=off
[5] Powerpoint slides available at
http://www.slideshare.net/brianmclaren/sabeel-2014
Published on Apr 21, 2014 by FOSNA Sabeel (Friends of Sabeel North America) (www.fosna.org)
[6] “Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center, headquartered in Jerusalem, has been a persistent source of anti-Zionist agitation in mainline Protestant churches in the United States since its founding in 1994. The organization subjects Israel, Jews, and Judaism to intense scrutiny while remaining nearly silent about Arab and Muslim extremism in the Middle East. In addition to publicizing the writings of its founder, Anglican priest Naim Ateek, Sabeel broadcasts its message via regional conferences in the United States and regular study missions to Israel. Far-Left American and Israeli Jews are given prominent display at Sabeel conferences, where Israel is held up to a strict biblical standard of conduct while its adversaries are held to no standard at all. By giving its followers the sense that they are engaging in a showdown with the forces of evil embodied by Israel and its U.S supporters, Sabeel reenacts the church-synagogue rivalry documented in early Christian writings.”
Read this and much more about Sabeel here:
Updating the Ancient Infrastructure of Christian Contempt: Sabeel http://jcpa.org/article/updating-the-ancient-infrastructure-of-christian-contempt-sabeel/
[7] Revelation 19 http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Rev&c=19&v=13&t=KJV#s=1186013
[8] “Rather than truly seeking ways to coexist or to build up a normal Palestinian-Arab society, FOSNA has assembled a roster of Israel-haters and antagonists to present discussions and workshops geared toward delegitimizing and defaming Israel, hurting the Jewish state economically, and eroding support for Israel – particularly among American Christians…
.. Sabeel and Friends of Sabeel also distort history, international law, and the situation on the ground – casting Israel as “oppressors” and responsible for every “injustice” that allegedly afflicts Palestinian-Arabs. Everyone else is apparently blameless for their claimed suffering…
… Further, Sabeel considers all of the land as “Palestinian,” accuses Israel of practicing “apartheid,” and dates the “occupation” to 1948. The facts that the Palestinian Arabs rejected the U.N. Partition Plan in 1947 that offered them a state of their own, that the international community gave the land to the Jewish people for “close settlement” (as per the Mandate for Palestine issued by the League of Nations), that Judea and Samaria and the eastern half of Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip were illegally occupied respectively by Jordan and Egypt from 1948 to 1967, and that the charge of “apartheid” is laughable do not seem to matter.”
Source: The Palestinian Narrative: Seeking Peace by Waging War http://www.levitt.com/news/2014/03/29/

Related:

McLaren’s Palestinian Justice Speech, Part 1 https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/mclarens-palestinian-justice-speech-part-1/

*Find this blog’s 5 part critique of McLaren’s teaching at Canadian Mennonite University in 2011, here: http://mennolite.wordpress.com/2011/03/17/cmu-student-found-refreshing-winds-very-cool/

**The following links may provide answers to some issues McLaren mentioned:

Why did God condone such terrible violence in the Old Testament? http://www.gotquestions.org/Old-Testament-violence.html

Why Would a Loving God Tell Israel to Wipe Out Her (enemies?) http://www.thebereancall.org/content/why-would-loving-god-tell-israel-wipe-out-her

Why would God order the destruction of men, women, and children? http://carm.org/bible-difficulties/joshua-esther/why-would-god-order-destruction-men-women-and-children

Christians condemn the Quran and Islam for all the violence taught therein, but say nothing about all the OT brutalities such as God commanding the utter annihilation of the Amalekites, including women, children and animals. Why this inconsistency? http://www.answering-islam.org/Shamoun/q_amalekites.htm

Klavan’s One State Solution: Give the Middle East to the Jews http://moriel.org/MorielArchive/index.php/discernment/israel/klavans-one-state-solution-give-the-middle-east-to-the-jews

SABEEL ECUMENICAL LIBERATION THEOLOGY CENTER http://www.ngo-monitor.org/article/sabeel_ecumenical_liberation_theology_center

Attacks on Christian Zionism http://www.levitt.com/essays/christian_zionism

Palestinian Liberation Theology http://www.levitt.com/news/2012/02/15/palestinian-liberation-theology/?shared=email&msg=fail

***Also see:

The End of Evangelical Support for Israel? The Jewish State’s International Standing http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=15597

‘Jesus Was a Palestinian': The Return of Christian Anti-Semitism by Melanie Philips http://www.commentarymagazine.com/article/jesus-was-a-palestinian-the-return-of-christian-anti-semitism/

Bethlehem’s ‘Christ at the Checkpoint’ Conference: A Personal Report By: Brian Schrauger http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/bethlehems-christ-at-the-checkpoint-conference-a-personal-report/2014/03/18/0/?print

Who Are the Peacemakers? http://blogs.jpost.com/content/who-are-peacemakers-0

7 thoughts on “McLaren’s Palestinian Justice Speech, Part 2

  1. It’s amazing and yet shocking irony how McLaren, a hack job liberal, blames fundamentalism for the holocaust when Germany was the center of liberalism for the 100 years before 1939.

    McLaren’s ideological grandparents are the ones who are to blame for the fact that much of the German “Christians” sat by and watched the Nazi war machine rise to power. The German liberals did nothing to oppose the rise of the third Reich, seeing that they had swallowed all the theological feces coming from places like Tubingen, and had done so for generations. The same guys that were looking for the historical Jesus were looking the other way when the historical Hitler took over and martyred believers like Bonhoeffer.

    McLaren is a man that will one day taste the business end of Christ’s sword that he loves to mock so much. I pray that God grants him a return to his senses before the opportunity for repentance passes.

    • Well said. In the same way, we must not sit idly by and watch liberal ‘Christians’ spread this theological garbage. Those who side with McLaren’s view are joining Israel’s enemies as history repeats itself.

    • Everyone will weak up one day and will realise that they are dead and then it will be too late,
      God will not be mocked, he is the righteous judge of all iniquity.

  2. Dear brethren,

    On this occasion it is a mercy that the ITV blocked the video clip which contained photographic representations of the Lord Jesus Christ. Such manifestations are wholly unnecessary and contrary to the Word of God.

    I note that in these days there are many Bible believers that are very comfortable with the use of idolatrous images of the Lord.

    I am very disturbed at this development and would urge some reflection on these practices and especially be thoughtful of the detrimental effect these trends have on our witness to dear Roman Catholic people to whom we should earnestly witness the Gospel of salvation and holy, obedient living.

    I express this in the love of Christ the Lord,
    Tony Beasley – London

  3. Pingback: Upcoming Conference Concern | Menno-lite

  4. Pingback: Anti-Christian Zionist Event Organized by a ‘Mennodox’? | Menno-lite

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