“I have a real issue with the Old Testament” and the “mixing up” of ancient and modern Israel, the late Edward Said’s sister Grace stated during the November 8-9, 2013, Waging Peace in Palestine & Israel conference in Washington, DC. As previously analyzed, this event of self-professed Christians castigated modern Israel’s entire existence as unjust, yet, as Said indicated, Israel’s Biblical past did not go unscathed at the conference either. The conference’s revisionist history delegitimized Israel with a transformation of the Bible’s Jewish heritage into the inheritance of a Palestinian people who in turn appeared unified across centuries and cultural divides.
The “racist concept” of a Jewish national state is an “impediment to peace,” Philip Farah of the Palestinian Christian Alliance for Palestine (PCAP) judged during the panel “Myths about the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict and Impediments to Peace.”
Boykin, Paul, and others indicated throughout VVS that adherents of Judeo-Christian morality and theology are under siege in a two-front war waged culturally by secular-sexual agendas at home in Western countries and literally abroad by what Paul termed a “fanatical element of Islam.”
“I would love not to speak about Christians and Muslims ever again,” Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, stated at the Hudson Institute on September 30, 2013. Speaking during a luncheon briefing on “Egypt’s Copts during the Current Period of Political Transition,” Angaelos analyzed recent upheavals in his and his church’s native Egypt as well as elements of a more just Egyptian future.
Indonesia has appeared “for a long time as a role model” for Muslim-majority societies seeking to maintain equality before the law for all believers, Christian Solidarity Worldwide’s (CSW) South Asia expert Benedict Rogers stated at a Hudson Institute briefing on September 12, 2013. Yet the past and present of the world’s largest Muslim community belie in reality rhetoric of Islamic religious tolerance, a troubling fact for Christians and others worldwide seeking domestic peace in the lands of Islam.
My conversation partners on August 14, 2013, had their assembly displays in a room hosted by Lutheran CORE, a cross-denominational Lutheran group for “evangelical renewal.” Given the culture war divisions that have also not spared the ELCA in recent years, much of my conversation with Lutheran CORE’s director, Pastor W. Stephens Shipman, Jr. concerned human sexuality. Shipman, in particular, had the “most horrible feeling” after ELCA’s 2009 decisions to allow congregational autonomy concerning same-sex unions and clergy in such unions. “For the first time I was embarrassed to be a pastor,” he said.
A previous Juicy Ecumenism article examined the brave new genderless and “pansexual” world propagated by the Lutheran homosexual group ReconcilingWorks during the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s (ELCA) 2013 Churchwide Assembly. Further examination of ReconcilingWorks’ (RW) website, though, only deepens a disturbing understanding of RW’s heretical and immoral agenda. As analyzed by this article in particular, RW stands for the ideological deconstruction of natural human gender, however harmful the consequences.
Rt. Rev. Dr. Munib A. Younan, president of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL), addressed the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s (ELCA) 2013 Churchwide Assembly yesterday, August 15, 2013. The Palestinian Younan’s comments to the assembly in Pittsburgh’s David L. Lawrence Convention Center prompted many questions, often unintentionally, about Christianity and its various members in the Middle East and beyond.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) elected Elizabeth Eaton, ELCA’s bishop for the Northeastern Ohio Synod, as the denomination’s first female presiding bishop on August 14, 2013. Despite Eaton’s professed desire to unite Lutherans divided over contentious issues such as homosexuality, however, analysis and evidence indicate that her historic election has little chance of altering the “liberal-leaning” ELCA’s ongoing woes.
Optimism literally projected on screen at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s (ELCA) 2013 Churchwide Assembly in Pittsburgh running from August 12-17, 2013, cannot ultimately hide the membership decline that has accompanied this denomination since its origins in 1987. Although much heralded 25 years ago as a unification of American Lutherans, the ELCA’s anniversary slogan of “Always Being Made New: 25 Years Together in Christ” on display at Pittsburgh’s David L. Lawrence Convention Center rings bitterly ironic in light of ECLA’s dwindling, aging congregants and sinking contributions. Liberal theology and politics in America’s so-called Mainline Protestant denominations apparently just gets older and older.