Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Smith's "Toward a Lutheran Response to Christian Zionism" and more....

I have already pointed to Robert Smith's article on Christian Zionism, "Toward a Lutheran Response to Christian Zionism," cited by ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson at the Churches for Middle East Peace conference earlier this spring in Washington, D.C.

Here is the link to Smith's full article at the ELCA's Peace Not Walls web site - http://archive.elca.org/peacenotwalls/downloadable/Smith%20(2008)%20-%20Toward%20a%20Lutheran%20Response%20to%20Christian%20Zionism.pdf

Smith is continental desk director for Europe and the Middle East in ELCA Global Mission.

I'll quote this portion:

"The most highly informed Palestinian responses to Christian Zionism have originated with Palestinian Christians, especially those with close ties to North American Christian communities. (40) The most consistent Palestinian Christian engagement with Christian Zionism has been from Munib A. Younan, Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL). In January 2003, the ELCJHL newsletter noted the fact that Bishop Younan, speaking to a Danish newspaper, had declared Christian Zionism to be a heresy: “I hereby declare that Christian Zionism is not only a sick theology but it is a heresy, right along with Arianism and Nestorianism and others. I believe it is time we named this misinterpretation of Christ and the gospel for what it is.” The newsletter identified three objectionable aspects to Christian Zionism, including 1) its promotion of Jesus “not as the Savior but as a military general,” 2) its treatment of Jewish people simply as “characters … in the so-called final battle,” and 3) as “anti-justice, anti-peace, anti-reconciliation.” (41) Bishop Younan was one of the four signatories of the Jerusalem Declaration on Christian Zionism, issued in August 2006 by the Patriarch and Local Heads of Churches in Jerusalem.42 In May 2007, Bishop Younan published a major article on the theological and political implications of Christian Zionism in The Journal of Lutheran Ethics, an online publication of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.43 Bishop Younan seeks to proclaim his understanding that “My Jesus is never the Jesus of the sword. My Jesus is the Jesus of the cross.”

The Jerusalem Declaration on Christian Zionism can be found at the web page of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land - http://www.elcjhl.org/palestine/zionism/zionism.asp

This link takes you to The Journal of Lutheran Ethics - http://archive.elca.org/jle/archive/07-05.asp

For all the best info on Christian Zionism go to http://www.christianzionism.org/

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