I see the Church of Scotland is continuing to develop its own version of Biblical truth. Its most recent report which will be presented to the General Assembly in two weeks time, ‘The Inheritance of Abraham? A report on the ‘promised land,’ has generated a good deal of interest in the UK and international media.
The General Assembly has had the Middle East on its agenda for many years. The introduction to the report gives some useful background, “In 2007, in the report What Hope for the Middle East? the Church of Scotland responded to a declaration from Church leaders in Jerusalem, and endorsed their criticism of Christian Zionism and encouraged members of the Church of Scotland to reject it, and in 2009 Christians in the Holy Land came together and produced Kairos Palestine: a moment of truth, offered as a word of faith, hope and love from the heart of Palestinian Suffering”.
Looking back at the 2007 report, it established an agenda, clearly anti-Israel, using inflammatory language, dubbing Scotland’s many born again Christians who pray daily for Israel as ‘Christian Zionists’ and ruling out the teachings of great biblical scholars. Fortunately, one dissenting minister, had the courage to raise his voice.
David Torrance, writing in 2007 said that: “The presence of Israel, back in the Promised Land today by the hand of God testifies to the fact that God is concerned with the daily, physical lives of people and nations......... Prophecy does not map out the future for us. We are called to go forward in faith. Even so, when history unfolds, it allows us to say through the Holy Spirit, ‘This is what was prophesied in the Law and the Prophets. We have in our generation witnessed the Jewish People returning to the Land of Promise....... in so far as God has restored them to the Promised Land we can be sure that God is doing something great and powerful among the nations. We need with humility and in prayer to acknowledge the mighty hand of God.”
Undaunted, the ‘PC brigade’ within the church have continued to promote their ‘gospel of appeasement’ in the name of Middle East peace. The current poorly researched report makes some outrageous statements, even by the Church of Scotland’s historically compromised standards.
To quote some of the report’s conclusions:
“From this examination of the various views in the Bible about the relation of land to the people of God, it can be concluded that Christians should not be supporting any claims by Jewish or any other people, to an exclusive or even privileged divine right to possess particular territory. It is a misuse of the Bible to use it as a topographic guide to settle contemporary conflicts over land.”
The report concludes with a raft of recommendations regarding human rights, land, peace & justice.........mostly aimed at Israel. It would appear that the framers of the report have chosen to ignore the existence of murderous, fanatical regimes such as Hamas which remains in power by terrorising its own people. Perhaps the Church of Scotland in the interests of balance, equality and justice, should consider producing a report which calls for similar actions to be taken against the ‘Islamofascist’ regimes in the region. It’s all too easy to attack a democracy where there is freedom of speech, and criticism does not lead to violent reprisal.
(For a first-hand account of life with Hamas read ‘Son of Hamas’ by Mosab Hassan Yousef, published by Authentic)
In the meantime, I will continue to pray for the Bible believing, born again Christians in the Church of Scotland, who at present must be extremely dismayed by the content of the report. I trust they will have the courage to stand up for truth against the propaganda of the denomination’s liberal appeasers.
They should take heart because God will have the last word. He always does.