Marlowe's Shade

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

U.S. Presbyterian Delegation Meets With Hizbollah

Originally posted at Israpundit

The head of a visiting U.S. Presbyterian Church delegation called on Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian territories and said Monday that his church is studying the possibility of withholding investments to increase pressure on Israel.

"The occupation by Israel in the West Bank and Gaza must end because it is oppressive and destructive for the Palestinian people," the Rev. Nile Harper said in an interview with The Associated Press.

He criticized as "unhelpful" the barrier Israel is building in the West Bank to prevent Palestinian suicide bombings.

Harper, of Ann Arbor, Mich., warned that the General Assembly of his church, whose investments in U.S. firms total $8 billion, had instructed its investment agency to study the possibility of withdrawing its money from U.S. corporations whose products "are being destructively used against the Palestinians" by Israel.

The 24-member delegation traveled to Lebanon on Sunday and met with the south Lebanon commander of Hezbollah, a group Washington calls terrorist but Lebanon sees as a legitimate resistance movement against Israeli occupation of Arab lands.

On Monday, they traveled to Syria, where they met with the minister of expatriates. They were scheduled to meet with President Bashar Assad on Tuesday and to travel to Jordan on Wednesday.

The Presbyterians have not only joined the Episcopalians by threating to divest from Israel, but have upped the ante by actually meeting with terrorists. That they would actually meet with sworn enemies of Israel is shocking to me, and is further proof that both of these mainline churches have strayed far from their core values. It is evident that they are following a secular political agenda, especially compared to the support that Israel receives from Bible believing denominations such as Baptists, evangelicals and Pentecostals.

The Barna Group reports that a relatively low percentage (28%) of the mainline churches such as the Episcopal and Presbyterian Churches have pastors with a Biblical worldview, which basically entails a belief in absolute moral truth based on the Bible. The alternative is a secular worldview which involves a liberal theology based on moral relativism and equivalency. Without an absolute moral compass, the message from the pulpit is a more sanctimonious version of leftist ideology. So the mainline churches find themselves comfortably in the same camp as secular Europeans and our own radical left.
It's also significant to note that attendance has been steadily dropping in these mainline churches while Bible believing congregations have been growing.
But from the point of view of Israel, the growing hostility of this minority of American Christians must look ominous and open up old wounds that the majority of our nation's faithful have been trying to heal.
papijoe 6:12 AM