The Painful Truth About the Situation in Donald Miller s Mind
Vol: 143 Issue: 31 Saturday, August 31, 2013
Only in the last decade have various “new” threats to Israel arisen. We all know about the Arab wars launched against the tiny Jewish state, the marginalization in the U.N., the boycott threats from leftists, and now the Iranian threat.
There is another emerging now, though, and it is perhaps the most insidious campaign one could imagine. The whole affair smacks of old Soviet propaganda, which relied on Western dupes to further their stealth agenda of taking down America.
This new threat I’m describing harms Israel directly. The Jewish state is hated the world over (I think the answer for that is found in Genesis 3, but that’s a discussion for a later time) and now we find ourselves living in an era in which…evangelical leadership in America poses a threat to Israel.
Frankly, I didn’t see this coming, what with the Jerry Falwells of the evangelical world dominating for a couple generations.
Most of them are gone, now, however. The replacements are something that seems alien to me. For what we have now dominating in American Evangelicalism is a center-left perspective that seems to have crept in unawares.
Witness the globalism of Rick Warren. Notice the blending of church with the secular-corporate world, presented elegantly by Bill Hybels. Pay attention to the young leaders being developed by Leadership Network and Catalyst—they of the skinny jeans and heavy emphasis on social justice.
I’ll say it clearly: the American church is being transformed into a leftist entity that in no real way resembles the faith of our fathers and mothers. If the transition isn’t complete, it’s coming soon.
The warning of 2 Peter 3 looms darkly on us now. In the church we have open scoffers who both embrace Darwinian philosophy and chuckle about the Second Coming. This tragedy is not sudden, though the manifestation of it is. Here is a tidbit from a book called A Christian Faith for Youth (a Methodist Youth Emphasis Book, written by Nevin C. Harner):
“Some people look for the kingdom to be ushered in dramatically, with Jesus’ return in the clouds of glory. This idea has been present in the church for a long time…In our day we still have groups of sincere people who earnestly await Jesus’ second coming…Now you can find this idea in the pages of the New Testament, but as the centuries went by and Jesus did not return in visible form, the church for the most part settled down to another conception, namely, that of the slow coming of Jesus into individual lives and into our common life. This is probably the better way to view the matter.”
Here’s the chilling part: that book was written in 1950!
Harner was himself fulfilling 2 Peter 3; his phrase “but as the centuries went by” fits perfectly.
In The Adult Student, from April, 1951, we read:
“The second section [of Genesis], Chapters 12 through 50, is made up of hero stories out of the semi-legendary past of the Hebrew people.”
This view is at once ludicrous…and accepted! Think of what we hear now from pulpits, seminaries, Sunday school literature—most hardly different from the miracle-denying features about the Bible in news magazines and National Geographic.
Here we get to the core of the matter, friends. Liberal scholarship for the past 150 years, in Europe and America, has sought to disconnect the Bible from the miraculous. In his extraordinary 1997 book, Beyond the Point of No Return, long-time Methodist pastor Calvin Johnson presented the clearest picture of “what went wrong” in the American church…that I’ve ever read. Johnson understood thoroughly the lies of the left and their agendas:
“Neo-Orthodoxy gave credence to two Biblical truths—the sinfulness of man and the need for a life-changing encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ. However, it did not accept the miracles and the historical events of the Bible as true.”
You see, don’t you? “Neo-Orthodoxy” was a stealth campaign designed to appear biblical (“a life-changing encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ”) but by knocking the props out from under the historicity of Genesis, its proponents ensured that generations of young people would see the disconnect and abandon the faith.
That’s what has happened.
And it is the chief reason we see support for Israel slipping. The German church followed this model in the lead-up to Hitler: deny the Jews’ history and they become sub-human.
The whole so-called Emergent community is Neo-Orthodox to the core and they are rapidly filling the leadership ranks in this country. They have also given rise to what my friend Paul Wilkinson has brilliantly termed “Christian Palestinianism.”
This is a new concept for most. It is the counter-weight to the influential community of Christian Zionists, who have long been the main, true friends of the state of Israel. What Paul is talking about is a group of influential evangelical leaders who are now selling-out to the so-called Palestinian narrative (which says, among other things, that the “occupation of Palestine” by Israel is the chief threat to stability in the Middle East and the source of a great injustice).
Which brings me to the title of this piece: Donald Miller.
Miller, a writer in the Pacific Northwest, wrote Blue Like Jazz a decade ago. This seminal work has hugely influenced a whole generation of Millennials, as alleged by the editors of Relevant magazine, the leading periodical for this group. In fact, Relevant promotes Miller and also advocates for the Palestinians.
Most Christians in America over 40 are unaware of this.
In November, 2012, Miller wrote an essay for his blog (http://www.storylineblog.com/) in which he accused Israel of war crimes. He based this on a recent trip to a place he calls Israel/”Palestine.” Of course, he was given a tour by Palestinians and their sympathizers.
Among other things, Miller accused Israeli soldiers of shooting and murdering innocent Palestinians. He accused the state of Israel of—I’m not making this up—controlling the daily caloric intake of Gazans.
Those were just for starters.
Miller issued a blood libel against Israel and here’s the scary part: the post is still up in cyberspace, largely unedited since November (although Miller, the first day, deleted a reference to Benjamin Netanyahu being responsible for more deaths than the jihadists). Not a single national evangelical leader I know of has called him on it.
I have made repeated requests of Miller to back up his claims with documentation, but he refuses to acknowledge my requests. Perhaps someone else can get through to him.
This example of mendacity is the tip of the iceberg for an Evangelical community that bares its fangs at Israel, but embraces without question the Palestinians, who wish to wipe Israel off the map.
Is this not a bizarre moment in which we find ourselves living?
I will write about this more in the coming weeks, but I consider this to be the biggest under-reported story in the American church at present. Some church members seem aware that more pro-Palestinian jargon is being used in their churches, and there is an increase in discussion of how Palestinian Christians are persecuted in their own land (by Israel, of course, so goes the narrative. Acknowledgment of the real source of persecution—jihadists and the PLO—is sanitized from the reports).
Know for now that a growing number of “A-list” evangelical leaders are either embracing bridge-building with Muslims (Warren, Hybels, Bob Roberts, Jr.) or wholesale support of the Palestinians: Lynne Hybels, World Vision, Dale Hanson Bourke, Todd Deatherage, Jonathan Martin, Relevant magazine, Mart Green (Hobby Lobby and Mardel Christian bookstores and producer of the anti-Israel film, “Little Town of Bethlehem”), Sami Awad, and many others.
The people who move in these circles mock Bible prophecy or minimize it, holding up the straw men like Harold Camping, so that youth will see how little credibility the Bible prophecy/pro Israel crowd has.
Because it’s all about justice, right?
The painful truth is that there are twin pillars of prophecy right now that signal we are in the last days. This is mocked by the detractors, but no matter. The drive to marginalize Israel—so incredibly coming from the Evangelical community—is part of the apostasy. The other pillar of course is the real painful truth about Israel—the whole world is gathering in its mendacity to launch a final, Final Solution for the Jews.
The joke is on them. Tragically.
Note: Today’s briefing was written by OL’s newest featured commentator, Jim Fletcher. Jim Fletcher is a pro Israel activist, author, speaker and researcher. He blogs for a variety of publications.