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15 February 2010
An Anglican priest who recently attended a Palestine conference organised by the Federation of Islamic Student Societies today blogs of his participation in the conference. Revd Stephen Sizer also refers to the Jerusalem Declaration, a document he helped draft and which he says "repudiates Christian Zionism as a deviant heresy".
This is strong language indeed. Of course, it is no secret Revd Sizer has widely publicised his intense dislike of Christian Zionism, which he has every right to do. But surely labelling millions of fellow Evangelical Christians deviant heretics goes too far. There is a time to speak out against genuine, grave heresy, and those destructive false teachers repudiated in the New Testament usually have a major trait in common. Whether the Galatian heresy which denies the power of Christ's salvific work through the cross, the Colossian heresy, incipient Gnostic dualism in the Johannine writings, or the heretics Jude warns against who "deny our master the Lord Jesus Christ", the heresies roundly condemned in the New Testament tend to deny the person and work of Jesus Christ. In short, they Christologically defective. Thus, it is quite one thing to challenge particular doctrines and teachings one may disagree with (including Christian Zionism or for that matter supercessionism), but quite another to label millions of fellow Christians who have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal saviour are deviant heretics, a label generally reserved for those whose teachings and beliefs in some way deny the person of Christ.
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware. (1 Corinthians 12:1)
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus"¦For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14, 16-17)
For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; (1 Corinthians 10:1-2)
The words underlined in each of the above passages all come from the same Greek word "agnoeo" which many translations render as "to be ignorant". The word is used to not just advise that we should not lack information on the highlighted issues, but should go out of our way to avoid being mistaken or in error where such things are concerned. In other words, Paul specifically admonishes Christians that they are to understand, pay attention to, and not be biblically ignorant where three issues are concerned: spiritual gifts, the Rapture, and Israel. Why is it that at the center of present-day Christianity we find the most commonplace error and ignorance on at least one if not all three of these topics?
by Jackie Alnor
In analyzing a book that promotes itself as a manual on "how to become a part of the supernatural generation," it must be approached with prayer and humility. The temptation to condemn everything in the book risks trampling upon holy things. John Crowder, in his book "Miracle Workers, Reformers and the New Mystics" mixes the holy with the profane. Discerning between the two, especially in gray areas, is a giant task for any believer to take on.
So this analysis will highlight the spiritual quicksand in the book so that fellow pilgrims won't fall into the mire, just like the two travelers in the book, "Pilgrim's Progress" put up a road sign warning others not to go the way leading to the slough of despond.
by Berit Kjos
Back in the 1920s and 30s, Western missionaries brought the gospel to Korea. The people received it with joy and, by God's grace, Biblical faith spread like fire. The news of their zeal spread to China, and Chinese believers came to visit and learn from them. But everything changed when the Communists took control. By the 1950s, thousands had been killed. Torturous persecution had forced others into hiding.
Near the village of Gok San, a group of 24 adults and 4 children lived underground in hand-dug tunnels. They were discovered when communist workers built a road near their tunnels. The Christians were pulled out, bound and led before a village crowd for a public "trial" and execution.
Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the assembly of Israel and spread out his hands toward heaven. He said, "O LORD, the God of Israel, there is no God like You in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and showing lovingkindness to Your servants who walk before You with all their heart, who have kept with Your servant, my father David, that which You have promised him; indeed, You have spoken with Your mouth and have fulfilled it with Your hand as it is this day. Now therefore, O LORD, the God of Israel, keep with Your servant David my father that which You have promised him, saying, "˜You shall not lack a man to sit on the throne of Israel, if only your sons take heed to their way to walk before Me as you have walked.' Now therefore, O God of Israel, let Your word, I pray, be confirmed which You have spoken to Your servant, my father David. (1 Kings 8:22-26)
One of the central, recurring sources of discussion by Jew and Christian alike is the Temple in Jerusalem. There is a lot of Scripture devoted to the Laws and operation of the Temple and the priests and Levites supporting it, but from a purely historical perspective the two temples, along with their precursor the Tabernacle, only stood for a brief fraction of time in terms of the whole of mankind's history. And yet mainstream Judaism and Christianity alike believe a third Temple is not only inevitable but imminent. I personally find it fascinating that the majority of Jews and Christians alike seem to miss the greater purpose of the Temple, often focusing on all the things humans are supposed to do in the course of operating the Temple. But Solomon's dedication of the original Temple reveals that what is most important is not what MAN does with it, but God. And this is no small lesson to be lost on Christians who are repeatedly taught in the New Testament that THEY are now the Temple. The original, intended role of the physical Temple probably has quite a bit to teach New Testament believers about their greater role and purpose as His spiritual Temple.
The misplaced remarks of Canon Jonathan Wilmot of RCN attacking Pastor John Angliss and journalist Alan Franklin for their criticisms of Barak Obama's pro-abortion and pro-same-sex marriage policies as unbiblical and dishonoring of those in authority, and his appeals to Imagio Dei arguments, reflect a fundamental ignorance of scriptural doctrines and principles.
Jesus Himself as our perfect divine example incarnate directly denounced Herod as a "fox" referring to his dubious character (Luke 13:32). Was Jesus guilty of dishonouring the one in authority, or with his unscrupulous actions and demeanor did Herod dishonor himself?
Great Britain is officially a Christian nation but is becoming more against the gospel. The same can be said about America. Please note the similarities between Tony Blair and Barack Obama.
Over recent years there has been a steady build up of opposition to and outright rejection of what some term as "˜the theory' of "˜penal substitution'. Amongst the definitions for Ã‚Â "˜theory' is one that reads "“ "˜a conjectural view or idea'. When it comes then to understanding what was happening on "the cross of Christ" for the faithful Christian the doctrine of "˜penal substitution' is not a matter of "˜conjecture' but it is the factual and glorious heartbeat that sustains God's gift of "eternal life" [Romans 6:23]. "˜Penal substitution' is a factual divine truth that leaps from the pages of the Bible and to deny otherwise is quite simply to set oneself up as an "˜enemy of the cross of Christ'.
Joel Edwards is a consummate theocrat whoÃ‚Â has doneÃ‚Â nothing as one false and unbiblical route to revival after another failed in Great Britain during his EA leadership. Thus included the Maurice Cerullo fiasco (exploitative in particular of Afro Caribbean's)Ã‚Â and the Toronto debacle that after all of the big talk and promises of its proponents amounted to absolutely nothing.In The 1990"s according to The Brierly Report, church attendance in the UK declined by over 1 million despite Toronto, Alpha, and other gimmicks mainly during the supposed leadership tenure of JoelEdwards as honcho of the spiritually and theologically declining EA..Ã‚Â By any reasonable assessment, Joel Edwards isÃ‚Â a failed leader and a mere theocratic politician masquerading as a would be voice for UK Evangelicism.
As even bringing a bible into Saudi Arabia is illegal, as the dearth toll of Black African Christians exterminated by Islam in Sudan reaches 3.3 million, and as becoming as Christian remains in illegal in even more moderate
Arab countries such as Egypt, true to his chameleon nature,Ã‚Â Joel Edwards singles out IsraelÃ‚Â for criticism despite Israel being the one country in The Middle East fully protecting the human rights and religious liberty of Arab Christians - especially Evangelicals.
He has undoubtedly learned the idiotic litany of Dr. Awad in Bethlehem but has predictably ignored the voices of Pro Israel Arab Evangelicals such as Yoserf Fara. Joel Edwards makes no comment on the Hamas threats to Arab Christians such as closure of Christian book shops in Gaza after the Israelis departed. He makes no mention of the Islamic terrorist takeover of the Church of The Nativity in Bethlehem when the Israelis negotiated the rescue of the hostage clergy, or of the fact that Bethlehem has been politically and demographically transformed from an Arab Christian town to a predominantly Islamic one.
Neither does Joel Edwards have any comments on theÃ‚Â genocidal extermination of Christians by Islam in the Southern Philippines, East Timor, The Malaccan Islands, or Somalia.Ã‚Â He ignores the Christmas appeal of Barnabas Fund on behalf of the persecuted church in the Islamic world and only has Christmas occasionÃ‚Â to misrepresent the truth about Israel.
Islamic terror of the same brand responsible for the London tube bombings forced Israel acting in self defense Ã‚Â to build aÃ‚Â barrierÃ‚Â that has saved many lives, both Arab and JewishÃ‚Â . As Joel Edwards turns a deaf ear to the cries of the countlessÃ‚Â Christians suffering even martyrdom for their faith in Jesus in Islamic countries to bully Israel guilty of nothing more than standing up to the Jihadist oppression that murders Christians, Joel Edwards remains as ever true to his own well established reputation for compromise, hypocrisy, and unmitigated failure as a supposedly Christian leader.
Whether Joel Edwards is a mere religious liar or an ignoramus is a judgment we prefer to leave to others. But his action further affirm the rank folly of the Evangelical Alliance and lends further credence to those who have left it as the useless relic ofÃ‚Â the better age in 1846 that it truly has become.
It is very difficult not to interpret Joel Edward's actions as a cheap publicity stunt of a failed leader, who unable in his demonstrably inept capacity to come to terms with the downward spiral of biblical Evangelicism in the UK, diverts attention to a bias perspective of events in The Middle East, uttering not a word about the plight of Christians in Iran where over 40% of the pastors have been murdered by radical Islam. I personally only wish that Joel Edwards would go and find himself an honest job and that biblical Christians would seek the Lord to raise up an alternative to the abject Evangelical Alliance, whose theological bankruptcy is only eclipsed by the incompetence of its hypocritical leadership.
Joel Edwards is a Black African Christian in Britain. If he were rather a Black African Christian being persecuted by Islam in Darfur or Northern Nigeria in Africa, he wouldÃ‚Â be singing a very different tune.
J. Jacob Prasch
Israel "“ Peace At A Price
Christmas message from the Rev Joel Edwards, General Director of the Evangelical Alliance.
Peace on earth has always come at a price - this was brought home to Joel Edwards during his visit to Bethlehem just before Christmas.
The land is now divided by the wall installed by the Israeli Government; but Israel's security has come at a heavy cost to Palestinians. Those living in Bethlehem rely on the tourist trade, which has almost ceased
Joel met Palestinian Christians in Bethlehem - home of one of the largest Palestinian Christian communities in the Middle East and spent time talking to its mayor and deputy mayor. The deputy mayor's daughter had been shot dead; but he had taken the decision to forgive.
In his Christmas message, Joel vividly describes watching a businessman weep beside the dividing wall, and visiting an evangelical Bible College in the heart of Bethlehem.
Many Christians will regard the nation of Israel as a sign of God's fulfilled promises to his people, but Joel's visit also led him to a deeper recognition that in the complex situation in today's Bethlehem, the words 'Palestinian' and 'Christian' are not contradictory.
He speaks of the first Christmas, also a time of military tension, when God called both ordinary Jewish shepherds, and high-born Persian wise men, to honour Jesus.
Joel says the experience of his visit to Bethlehem has spurred him to prayer: "for the security of the Jewish people, who are returning to the land of Promise. And to work for justice for those who are oppressed."
The message will be available within the next few days online at http://www.eauk.org/ .
020 7207 2115
Notes To Editors
The Evangelical Alliance UK, formed in 1846, is an umbrella group representing over one million evangelical Christians in the UK and is made up of member churches, organisations and individuals. As part of a movement 'uniting to change society', the Alliance promotes unity and truth, acts as an evangelical voice to the state, society and the wider Church, and provides resources to help members and other evangelicals live out their faith in their communities.
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