‘Christ at the Checkpoint’ Continues Aim to Undermine Evangelical Support for Israel

on March 10, 2016

Institute on Religion and Democracy Press Release
March 10, 2016
Contact: Jeff Walton office: office: 202-682-4131, cell: 202-413-5639, e-mail: jwalton@TheIRD.org

“Checkpoint represents a wider movement, mostly confined to Evangelical elites, to neutralize a key pro-Israel constituency in America.”
-Mark Tooley, IRD President

Washington, DC—Evangelical activists are concluding today a provocatively titled conference ostensibly gathering about “empowering the Palestinian church.”

“Christ at the Checkpoint,” meeting March 7-10 at Bethlehem Bible College in the West Bank, includes several high-profile Evangelical Christians and is organized by the Bethlehem Bible College, a non-denominational Evangelical school. This year’s gathering is themed “The Gospel in the face of Religious Extremism” and includes sessions on Christian Zionism.

The gathering’s organizers state that its purpose is to challenge Evangelicals “to take responsibility to help resolve the conflicts in Palestine/Israel by engaging with the teaching of Jesus on the Kingdom of God.”

NGO Monitor said of the 2014 conference that CATC “seeks to advance the Palestinian nationalist agenda within Evangelical Christian churches, while simultaneously reviving theological anti-Semitic themes such as replacement theology.”

Polling of American evangelicals reveals they are overwhelmingly pro-Israel. Citing not just theological reasons, Evangelicals note Israel is pro-American and democratic, offering tolerance to religious minorities, including Christians. Meanwhile, most of Israel’s neighbors are not.

IRD President Mark Tooley commented:

“The Checkpoint’s goal is to highlight ‘injustices in the Palestinian Territories’ by Israel and, more centrally, to steer U.S. Evangelicals especially away from traditional friendship for Israel towards neutrality or even hostility.

“Checkpoint represents a wider movement, mostly confined to Evangelical elites, to neutralize a key pro-Israel constituency in America, with hopes of moving the U.S. geo-strategically towards neutrality between Israel and its enemies.

“Unfortunately, their perspective ignores the nasty reality of the Middle East, where democracy, human rights and religious liberty at largely confined to Israel and absent nearly everywhere else. 

“Israel has the only growing Christian population in the region. Exertions by Checkpoint and its allies in the wider movement to curtail Evangelical-Israel friendship does no favors for Palestinians by feeding their victimology and usually ignoring the deep issues among Palestinians that mitigate against responsible statehood.

“Evangelicals do need a new, updated public policy perspective regarding the Middle East that stresses human rights for all people. But Checkpoint’s tired old version of Liberation Theology and anti-Israel bias has little constructive to offer.

“No doubt sincere, well-intentioned people will embrace Checkpoint. But they are dangerously naïve to accept much less to promote Checkpoint’s narrative.”


  1. Comment by FresnoJoe on March 10, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    I Ask You

    “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.”

    “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:”

    “For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.”

    “As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.”

    “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” Romans 11:25-29

    What Will Christ Do

    “The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.” Joel 3:16

    At The Cross Roads

    “Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem.”

    “The LORD hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, even the LORD, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more.”

    “In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack.”

    “The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.” Zephaniah 3:14-17

    God Bless Israel
    And God Bless Her Children, The IDF

    In Jesus
    Love, Joe

  2. Comment by Steve on March 14, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    Let me see, Arabs are Semitic, how can they be anti? I know of course, it’s Jews that only matter. That’s the purpose of this article.

  3. Comment by The_Physetor on April 3, 2016 at 9:41 am

    Very amusing.

  4. Comment by Alan Hoffman on April 8, 2016 at 8:59 am

    The author makes sense and provides a good analysis of how ideology or “beliefs” can ignore reality. There is room to criticize Israel on certain policies, but one-sided demonization and conflating the Arab-Israeli conflict as “anti-Christian” only ensures that anti-Semitism (the term was invented to apply to Jews and no one else, semitic semantics aside) remains welded to anything Christian.
    Let’s recall that international law, United Nations, created the modern state of Israel (since no one else wanted Jews in 1948) and 5 Arab countries immediately attacked, and continued to attack until today. Sure, some truces (Egypt, Jordan) have developed, but general Islamic antipathy to anything Jewish (they call it dhimmi) or even historically accurate (Jews are infact indigenous to Judea, Samaria and Aza based on blood and DNA studies long before nomadic Arabs laid claim to it after invading).
    I find it interesting that the simple truth is, if Arabs stopped killing Jews and lived in peace to develop their own land, Israel would have granted the division of borders and an economic miracle would have developed long ago (recall the PLO always said no, even when Israel offered 98% of their ask). But if Islamic dar-al-islam and dar-al-harab and dhimmi drive Arab views, peace will always be elusive.

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