Blatant Bias: Anti-Israel Mennonite Monkey Business

Bias: Bias is an inclination of temperament or outlook to present or hold a partial perspective, often accompanied by a refusal to consider the possible merits of alternative points of view. (wikipedia)

There are no words for this outrageously classic piece of anti-Israel church replacement theology.

Opinion: Being pro-Jesus on Israel-Palestine
Apr 27, 2015 by Tom Harder

There is a growing concern among evangelical Christians for the conflict in Israel-Palestine. Prominent leaders such as Lynn Hybels of Willow Creek Church and Gary Burge of Wheaton College are visiting the Holy Land, learning firsthand about the conflict and returning home with a passionate call to do something about it. They are also returning with a deeper understanding of the conflict’s causes and imbalances and the ways the Bible has been used to perpetuate it.
A primary example of the latter is the belief that God commands us to support the state of Israel without question or condition. “Whoever blesses you I will bless, and whoever curses you I will curse,” God declares in Genesis 12.
However, the “you” is not Israel, let alone the modern state of Israel. It is Abraham, whom God intended to be a blessing to all nations and who became the father not just of Judaism but of Christianity and Islam.
A second example is the belief that Palestine rightfully belongs to modern Israel because God promised it to them. Often overlooked is the conditionality of God’s promise: It depended on biblical Israel’s faithfulness to God’s covenant.
Over and over, the biblical prophets chided Israel for its unfaithfulness, particularly its lack of justice for the oppressed. The prophets, in other words, were pro-Israel, but that didn’t stop them from naming injustice when they saw it. (For a thorough, biblical analysis of this issue, read Burge’s Whose Land, Whose Promise?)
Jesus was pro-people, pure and simple. He wanted the best for everyone. But he also wanted the best from everyone. And so he didn’t hesitate to confront injustice when he saw it. One could even argue that he took sides — with the poor and oppressed, just as the prophets and the Torah did before him.
Becoming the oppressors
Many Israeli Jews — particularly their European forebears who experienced the Holocaust — know all too well what it is like to be oppressed and persecuted. They are understandably determined that it never happen again.
But visitors to the Holy Land, if they look closely enough, discover an awful irony. The oppressed have become the oppressors and the persecuted the persecutors.
The victims are the Palestinian Arabs (both Christian and Muslim) who had been living in historic Palestine long before the Jewish immigrants began arriving — displacing the Palestinians, destroying their villages and declaring an Israeli state.
Palestinians who remained in Israel must now live as second-class citizens. Those who fled eastward now live under military occupation, their movements severely restricted, their olive groves destroyed, their water sources seized by the thousands of Israeli settlers living illegally in the West Bank. Those who fled to the area known as Gaza live in what many call an open-air prison.
In 2009, Palestinian Christian leaders wrote a letter known as “Kairos Palestine” to Christians in the West, pleading not just for our prayers but our attention, compassion and help. Meanwhile, the U.S. government continues to support Israel militarily and without condition, giving scant attention to the humanitarian plight of the Palestinian people.
If we follow Jesus’ example, we will be pro-people. We will want the best for everyone. We will remember that in God’s economy, everyone should be able to live without fear, beneath their own vine and fig tree — including both Israelis and Palestinians (Micah 4:3-4).
We will denounce violence, whether committed by Israelis or Palestinians. We will work for peace with justice for all of Israel-Palestine. But if we follow Jesus, we must stand up especially for the oppressed and hold the oppressors accountable to the standard of living and loving required by God.

Tom Harder is co-pastor of Lorraine Avenue Mennonite Church in Wichita, Kan., and chair of the Mennonite Palestine-Israel Network (Menno-PIN) Steering Committee.

*Menno-lite has had enough of the monkey business and betrayal of the Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Word in not only the Mennonite denomination, but the modern day church as a whole. There may be a faithful remnant, and many of the Mennonite people do good works, however, it is time to move on.

Thank you to all for your readership and support.

~ Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools ~ Romans 1:22


Anti-Christian Zionist Event Organized by a ‘Mennodox’?

It recently came to the attention of Menno-lite administration that an upcoming anti-Israel, anti-Christian Zionist mini conference called Challenging Christian Zionism: Canadian Roots and Responses (Oct 24 & 25) is possibly being organized by a Mennonite. Further research has confirmed this… sort of.

Andrew Klager is on faculty at the University of the Fraser Valley (B.C., Canada) where he is a sessional instructor of Mennonite Studies. His research, which includes Anabaptist-Mennonite studies and interreligious peacebuilding, is widely published in a variety of journals, such as Mennonite Quarterly Review, Conrad Grebel Review, and Journal of Mennonite Studies, as well as some books (Stricken by God? Nonviolent Identification and the Victory of Christ and Canadian Christian Zionism: A Tangled Tale).

Klager is also a writer for the Huffington Post and Clarion Journal, where his bio is posted:

After growing up in a conservative Evangelical environment in BC and Ontario, Andrew began attending a Mennonite church when he was 15 years old and received his undergraduate education at a Mennonite institution (Columbia Bible College, Abbotsford, BC)… He is currently a member of Holy Nativity Orthodox Church in Langley, BC. Andrew is still strongly informed by the Mennonite peace tradition(s) and emphasis on social justice, simple living, peacebuilding, and conflict transformation—re-shaped and applied within an Orthodox theological, historical, and ascetic framework—resulting in his informal, somewhat tongue-in-cheek self-identification as ‘Mennodox.’

Klager’s upcoming book, From Suffering to Solidarity: The Historical Seeds of Mennonite Interreligious, Interethnic, and International Peacebuilding, will be released next year.

anti-Zionist lectures poster

This weekend, it appears that the Mennodox Klager has organized a conference sponsored by Friends of Sabeel called CHALLENGING CHRISTIAN ZIONISM
 Dr. Gary Burge and Dr. Ron Dart
. It is a project of Necef Sabeel Canada, hosted by Canadian Friends of Sabeel BC (see PDF).

This is a mini lecture series (in two locations) in place of the larger Friends of Sabeel conference that has been postponed until next spring.

To find out more about these Canadian Friends of Sabeel conferences, see the research at Olive Press:

Anti-Zionist Lectures in Canada

More on the upcoming anti-Zionist mini conference . . .

Stephen Sizer and Friends Are No Friends of Israel

Canadian Friends of Sabeel or Enemies of Israel? (UPDATED)


***See related posts on Mennonites and Sabeel, here:

McLaren’s Palestinian Justice Speech, Part 1

McLaren’s Palestinian Justice Speech, Part 2

The Anti-Israel Movement and the Mennonites: Part 2 – In the Name of Christ

Sabeel, Merton, Mennonite Convergence

Upcoming Conference Concern (UPDATED)

Because some Mennonites have had a connection with Sabeel, and because Paul Wilkinson, who has been mentioned on this blog, recently spoke in a Mennonite Brethren church in Canada and warned about an upcoming Sabeel conference in that very city, today Mennolite is linking to a post at Olive Press about Sabeel’s upcoming Canadian conference. Originally scheduled for two months from now, it has recently been changed to next spring. The Canadian Friends of Sabeel conference is called Facing the New Jerusalem:
 Face-to-Face with Christian Zionism and with Palestinian Christians, and will be held in a university in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia, Canada. Read about it here:

Canadian Friends of Sabeel or Enemies of Israel?


What is Christian Palestinianism?

Mennonite Palestinianism

Sabeel, Merton, Mennonite Convergence

McLaren’s Palestinian Justice Speech, Part 1

McLaren’s Palestinian Justice Speech, Part 2

The Anti-Israel Movement and the Mennonites: Part 1 – What’s it all about?

The Anti-Israel Movement and the Mennonites: Part 2 – In the Name of Christ

The Anti-Israel Movement and the Mennonites: Part 3 – Pawns at the Checkpoint

More Mennonite connections with Sabeel, for research purposes:

Network seeks to mobilize Israel-Palestine peacemaking

Mennonite Palestine Israel Network (MennoPIN)
Steering Committee



Those who are interested can find new information here:

Anti-Zionist Lectures in Canada

The Anti-Israel Movement and the Mennonites: Part 2 – In the Name of Christ

How are the Mennonites involved in the anti-Israel divestment, boycott and sanction movement? What does it mean if they are? Consider the following two articles. . .


In the name of Christ . . .

“The board of directors of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) U.S. unanimously decided that MCC U.S. will not knowingly invest in companies that benefit from products or services used to perpetrate acts of violence against Palestinians, Israelis and other people groups.
The action, taken at the board’s March 16 meeting in Akron, grew from a call from partners in Palestine and Israel, including churches there, and follows a discernment process with leaders of the denominations that sponsor MCC U.S.
MCC staff in the Middle East delivered the message from churches and other partners in a letter shared about a year ago. MCC has worked with partners in Palestine and Israel for more than 60 years and more than 40 years, respectively.
The board agreed that “all reasonable measures” are to be applied immediately to not support violence in the Palestine and Israel conflict, and also that staff should explore “similar actions in support of partners in other parts of the world.”
The action means that MCC U.S. will not invest direct holdings in companies on the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) “Israel/Palestine Investment Screen” list. . .
Byler said another aspect of the action included participating with sponsoring denominations’ peacemaking and justice-seeking efforts as invited. He said opportunities for this exist now with sponsoring denomination Mennonite Church USA.
Mennonite Central Committee: Relief, development and peace in the name of Christ”

SOURCE: MCC U.S. board acts for peace through its investments
Cheryl Zehr Walker, March 26, 2013:

Incidentally, to “not support” or “not invest” means “divest.” Divest means to deprive or take away. Other reports were not so carefully worded:

“Yesterday the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) United States announced that its board of directors had voted unanimously on March 16 to divest the organization’s direct holdings in “companies that support Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.””
SOURCE: Breakthrough: Mennonites divest from ‘companies that support Israel’s occupation’ March 27,2013:

Is divestment a relatively new stance that these Mennonites have taken towards Israel? No, as the following excerpt from a report written nearly nine years ago reveals.


“The Mennonite Central Committee continues to promote a radical pro-Palestinian agenda, including support for demonization of through divestment campaigns. The official responses to NGO Monitor’s previous report not withstanding, MCC’s website features more highly distorted reports on the conflict, while erasing the context of terrorism. This NGO is also active in funding radical political groups as BADIL and Sabeel, in sharp contrast to the goal of peace that MCC professes to seek.”


The MCC blog ( confirms that the Mennonite Central Committee appears to be promoting Sabeel, partnering with NGO groups, supporting ICAHD, and preaching Israeili apartheid. Many other articles confirm this, for example:

“MCC is a donor for ICAHD which is active in promoting boycotts against Israel and aims “to end Israel’s Occupation over the Palestinians””


*MCC’s activities and publications reveal a highly politicized and anti-Israel agenda, including campaigning against the Israeli security barrier while ignoring Palestinian terror and providing links to highly politicized NGOs, including PENGON and the “Stop the Wall Campaign.”
*MCC’s “Peace Office Newsletter” produced by the organization’s Middle East leadership, contains highly vitriolic attacks on Israel, while claiming that the views of the authors do not necessarily reflect those of the MCC.
*Newsletter contains contributions from radical anti-Israel NGOs, including the Palestinian Authority affiliated Applied Research Institute and Jeff Halper from the highly politicized Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, with other links to highly politicized NGOs Al-Haq, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, the Electronic Intifada, the Stop the Wall Campaign, LAW – a leading NGO at Durban conference, Al-Dameer, a Palestinian prisoners’ rights organization, and al-Awda, an NGO promoting the Palestinian ‘right of return’ and destruction of Israel.


It’s not only the MCC that seems to be supportive of the anti-Israel agenda. Another apparent Mennonite link is with Sabeel and Eastern Mennonite University, as was reported in 2012 by Mark Tooley:

Friends of Sabeel-North America (FOSNA), a chief anti-Israel advocate among churches, has hired a Presbyterian minister as its new organizer to reach a “wider Christian audience.” Sabeel’s describes his goal as addressing the “increasing awareness among American Christians and the Palestinian Christian community and the principles required for a ‘just peace’ between Israel and Palestine.”
In other words, the organizer will rally U.S. Christians initially for anti-Israel divestment and more ultimately against any special U.S. friendship for Israel, with the final goal of deconstructing Israel as a primarily Jewish democracy.
The new Sabeel organizer is the Rev. Donald Wagner, who recently served at Eastern Mennonite University in Virginia. He previously headed Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding, which seeks to disengage U.S. evangelicals from their traditional pro-Israel stance. In the 1980s he headed the Palestine Human Rights Campaign. Seemingly Rev. Wagner combines Mainline Protestant, evangelical and Anabaptist connections that will greatly enhance his anti-Israel work.

SOURCE: Anti-Israel Christians Ponder Divestment by Mark Tooley:

Perhaps this is why the anti-Israel campaign had already shown up in in 2010 at Eastern Mennonite University:

“A group of Eastern Mennonite University students on Nov. 12 urged the university to divest from any company actively enabling the Israeli occupation.
The group, Students for Morally Responsible Investing, called for divestment during a presentation to the EMU board of trustees financial and audit committee.
SMRI asked the board to “divest from all companies actively supporting the Israeli occupation and its human rights and international law violations.”
According to The Weather Vane, the EMU student newspaper, 35 students gathered outside the meeting to show support for SMRI’s request.
President Loren Swartzendruber told the students their concerns had been heard.
“I think it’s clear, in terms of this committee and myself, that we are in concert with your concerns relative to Israel and Palestine,” he said.
Leaders of SMRI said they believed progress was made.
“The presence of 35 EMU students right outside of the meeting room, sitting in vigil, in solidarity and in support, was amazing to see,” said senior Jessica Sarriot. “Clearly, implementing more just economic involvement in Israel-Palestine is something many people at EMU care deeply about.”
SMRI sees divestment as an issue that affects not only EMU but also the greater community and Mennonite church.”

SOURCE: EMU students urge Israeli occupation divestment by Mennonite Weekly Review staff:

Where were the Ben Shapiros and the Jessica Marzuccos on November 12, 2010? Were these EMU students never taught about the historical events that led to WWII and Hitler’s extermination of the Jews?

Whether or not these Mennonites are simply well meaning or misled, isn’t it time for the truth to be told?

The following is from the introduction to a well researched and documented report by Dexter Van Zile which confirms that the Mennonites appear to be very involved in many ways within the anti-Israel movement. All who seek to be better informed are encouraged to read the entire article at the link below this excerpt.

• Mennonite-supported peacemaking institutions have been at the forefront of the effort to discredit Israel to audiences in North America. These institutions portray Jewish sovereignty as the cause of conflict and suffering in the Middle East and downplay Muslim and Arab hostility toward Jews and Israel.
• The prescription for peace offered by these activists-especially those affiliated with the Mennonite Central Committee and Christian Peacemaker Teams-is for Israeli Jews to abandon their insistence on maintaining Israel as a sovereign Jewish state and acquiesce to a one-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. This prescription fails to take into account overwhelming evidence that a Jewish minority would not be safe in a Muslim- and Arab-majority country in the Middle East.
• Mennonite expressions of hostility toward Jewish sovereignty and indifference to the plight of Jews in Arab- and Muslim-majority states are ironic and hypocritical. Mennonites enjoy safety and wellbeing by virtue of other people’s willingness to engage in acts of violence. Israeli Jews enjoy no such privilege.
Mennonite anti-Zionism is emblematic of an inability to deal with the reality of evil and the power needed to confront it.

SOURCE: Key Mennonite Institutions against Israel, Dexter Van Zile, July 6, 2009:

Just because well meaning people do things in the name of Christ does not mean that they are right, as we have witnessed throughout history. Are the Mennonites who join this anti-Israel crusade just sincerely mis-led? Whether willingly or unknowingly, they seem to have joined the hands of those who are apostate. Perhaps it’s time to get informed.


Mennonite Palestinianism


See Part 1 and 3 here:

The Anti-Israel Movement and the Mennonites: Part 1 – What’s it all about?

The Anti-Israel Movement and the Mennonites: Part 3 – Pawns at the Checkpoint

Mennonite Palestinianism

A conference was recently held called Impact Holy Land which was attended by well meaning Mennonites. It came into being because of the Christ at the Checkpoint conferences in 2010 and 2012 that were supposedly formed to allow conversations between Christians and Messianic Jews. Impact Holy Land was meant to continue the conversation in the U.S. Because of their partnership with Bethlehem Bible College, representatives from the MCC participated in the conference, enlisting the Mennonite Church USA (Peace and Justice Support Network), to help recruit pastors and leaders to attend.

The following is how the article in the February issue of the MB Herald[1] called Anabaptists join conversation to Impact Holy Land[2] begins.

Shireen Awwad Hilal, a Palestinian Christian, has hope for Israel-Palestine.

“Few people view our situation with hope, and the concept of reconciliation is controversial,” she said at the Impact Holy Land conference Dec. 4–6. “Let us commit to see hope where others see hopelessness.”

Hilal teaches and is assistant dean of students at Bethlehem Bible College, a partner of Mennonite Central Committee. She believes in the power of relationships, which she sees in her role as the women’s minister for Musalaha (Reconciliation), an organization developing relationships between Palestinian and Israeli believers.

“When you know names, you have a friendship,” she said. “You begin to see what you have in common with a stranger.”

The conference, organized by Evangelicals for Social Action, was meant to open conversation around differing perspectives on Israel-Palestine. It was held at the Friends Center in downtown Philadelphia.

About 250 attendees came from a variety of perspectives, including more than 50 Anabaptists. MCC U.S. awarded 50 scholarships for Anabaptists to attend…

Do these conferences truly offer hope for Israel, as claimed? Or is there another agenda underway? As Jan Markel warned just today, there are some very big problems with Christ at the Checkpoint and its associations of which these Mennonites seem to be completely unaware. The next Christ at the Checkpoint conference is coming up very soon. Markel warns…

The event, sponsored by the Bethlehem Bible College, is really all about blaming Israel and her evangelical supporters for most of the problems in the region. It is about hammering away at the “occupation” by Israel of the Palestinians. Those who criticize Christian support of Israel will get applause and even standing ovations. Theology that stresses Israel’s important role in biblical prophecy will be put down. Replacement Theology, which teaches that the church is the new Israel, will be an underlying theme although the leaders will deny that.

The group will gather frequently at the partition wall that separates Israel from the Palestinian territories to mourn the persecution of the Palestinians whose lives have been interrupted by this “checkpoint.” There will be little explanation that the wall was built to stop the brutal Palestinian terror incursions into Israel to slit the throats of innocent Israeli citizens. Or to plant bombs on buses that have taken scores of Israeli lives.

What you will hear will be empathy for Islamists and rhetoric about pacifism. There will be endless calls for peace at the CATC conferences but no acknowledgment that Israel has negotiated for peace for decades. It’s just that she does not have a peace partner. Her Islamic neighbors want her pushed into the sea. She offered to accept 95% of Yaser Arafat’s demands at Camp David in 2000. He returned to Palestine rejecting the offer and chose more war.[3]

The well meaning, peace loving Mennonites who are involved in Impact Holy Land and Christ at the Checkpoint would do well to take heed and look to the Prince of Peace to lead them to all truth. When He returns to ‘impact the Holy Land’, it won’t be to ‘occupied territory’!


[2] Written by Kelli Yoder (assistant editor for the Mennonite World Review, where this article first appeared)
[3] Jesus Isn’t Coming Back to “Occupied Territory”


Mennonites and Christ at the Checkpoint
June 2012

Christ at the Checkpoint 2014: Reconciliation or Indictment?
Feb 7, 2014

Christ at the Checkpoint 2014 Manifestly Biased Manifest

New DVD Exposes “Christian Palestinianism” and the Evangelical Leaders Promoting It

The New Anti-Semitism

Mennonites and Christ at the Checkpoint

“Christ at the Checkpoint is primarily a public relations scheme to dissuade American evangelicals from pro-Israel views. To succeed, they will have to mount blinders on cooperatively gullible evangelicals, guiding their eyes towards disruptive Israeli checkpoints, while hiding the rest of the surrounding reality.”

-Mark Tooley of Front Page Magazine
Christ at an Israeli Checkpoint

This blog recently checked into Christ at the Checkpoint to see if any Mennonites or their associates supported or attended this event. The results were not surprising.

Christ at the Checkpoint was a peace making conference that was held a few months ago at Bethlehem Bible College, which is a Mennonite Central Committee partner. After the event, Ryan Rodrick Beiler, a program administrator for Mennonite Central Committee, promoted it by compiling some favourable quotes from the conference on the blog of MCC Palestine (see 19 Key Quotes from Christ at the Checkpoint). Other participating Mennonites included Palmer Becker (former Mennonite pastor and professor), Linford Stutzman (Eastern Mennonite University professor), three MCC Palestine workers and various student groups. Not surprisingly, an article in the Mennonite World Review also revealed  Mennonite support for the Christ at the Checkpoint event, and more…

“The program involved Israeli, Messianic Jewish and Christian Zionist voices. The dozens of diverse speakers included Ron Sider, a Mennonite theologian and peace activist, and Shane Claiborne, an author and activist who regularly speaks to Anabaptists.”

Source: Event in Holy Land faces Israeli-Palestinian conflict

The very controversial Shane Claiborne, who also spoke at last year’s Mennonite youth conference despite major objections (see Nine Churches say “No” to Shane Claiborne at US Mennonite Youth Conference), has voiced his supportive views on Christ at the Checkpoint, below:

An unholy wall in the Holy Land
By Shane Claiborne

Shane Claiborne’s 5 Great Gatherings in 2012

Brad Jersak, another speaker who has been making inroads into Mennonite circles recently (see Disappointment in the MB Herald and B.C. Mennonite Church Allowing Contemplative Spirituality to be Taught), also attended  the conference. His report of his experience at Christ at the Checkpoint can be heard on the following podcast. In the interivew he mentions that he not only “married into the Mennonites” but once believed in the rapture of the church until an MCC worker blew his eschatology grid…

Christ at the Checkpoint with Brad Jersak

Incidentally, Jersak’s personal views on his time at Christ at the Checkpoint can also be read here:

Dateline Bethlehem: 
Christ at the Checkpoint

Dateline Bethlehem: Christ at the Checkpoint Pt 3 — by Brad Jersak

Are these accurate reports? Are we to believe what these Mennonites and their friends are saying?

While these speakers and supporters echo what today’s emerging voices are saying, it seems that some VERY important truths are being over looked and ignored. Anyone more interested in fact than fiction may want to educate themselves at the following informative links in order to formulate a more balanced opinion.

Forgotten Facts at Christ at the Checkpoint

The Church at Christ’s Checkpoint
A response to the 2012 ‘Christ at the Checkpoint Conference’ can be viewed here by Dr Paul Wilkinson.

Christ at the Check Post? US Ambassador’s Report on West Bank Christians
What Stephen Sizer, Gary Burge, Colin Chapman, Lyn Hybels, Naim Ateek, Sammy & Alex Awad, Salim Munyaner and Tony Campolo Don’t Want You to Know

Messianic Jews Respond after Christ at the Checkpoint Ends

Joint statement on “Christ at the Checkpoint”

Confusion at the Checkpoint?

“Christ at the Checkpoint”
Analysis extracted from articles by Shira Sorko-Ram, Avner Boskey and Malcolm Hedding plus booklet by Paul Wilkinson

About Christian Palestinianism

So Jesus Lived in Occupied Territory?

Israeli Jews: The Impossible People at Christ at the Checkpoint

Why Would “Christ at the Checkpoint” Compare Israel to ISIS?
Oliver Melnick