Mainline Protestant agencies are typically hostile to Israel. So their morally empty statements about Hamas terrorists murdering hundreds of Israeli civilians are lamentably unsurprising. These denominations are largely inconsequential given their decline and loss of public influence. Here’s the United Methodist missions board:
We are witnesses to the escalation of violence in the region and we call on Methodist people all over the globe to continue to pray for peace and for an end to the violence.
Pray for those who have lost family members and livelihoods, the injured, for those who perpetuate violence and for World Leaders that they may work for peace, the churches and all religious leaders and for those who work for peace in the region.
The situation is complicated, and we recognize the fear and sense of injustice that are felt, but we call on both sides not to resort to further violence and to engage in negotiation to establish a peaceful solution for all who live in the Holy Land.
“Complicated.” United Methodist agencies and officials make lots of controversial political statements about very complicated situations. Yet these complications don’t hinder their often polemical perspectives. But terror against Israel is apparently too complicated for any strong opinion.
Perhaps the Presbyterian Church (USA) statement is worse:
Bloodshed has come once again in the latest clash between Israelis and Palestinians with declarations of war and revenge coming from Israeli leaders. As hundreds lay dead and thousands injured, we grieve. We stand in shock that this long, battle-scarred conflict has taken yet another deadly turn.
We pray for those that have died, are dying, and wounded on both sides. We ask the Holy Spirit to intervene to bring calm and reason when vengeance and hatred now appear to have taken control.
We pray for our mission co-worker who must navigate this ever-changing landscape and for our partners who have placed their own safety on the line, not only seeking solutions to the ongoing crisis in the region, but also those in Gaza, at the hospitals that are overwhelmed with the dead and injured. We pray that leaders on both sides can step back and consider a peaceful and just solution that benefits all.
While these events continue to unfold, we come to you, O Lord, for your calm voice and guiding hand. Even in the midst of fire, destruction, and the cries of pain from both sides of this horrific scene, we know you are in the midst. May your Spirit dwell among them and guide them to a peaceful outcome for all.
Note the Presbyterians lament “declarations of war and revenge coming from Israeli leaders” without even citing Hamas. The terror attacks are described as “the latest clash between Israelis and Palestinians.”
Here’s The Episcopal Church:
We offer our prayers and support during this time of violence in Israel and Palestine. In Luke 19:41, we are reminded ‘That when Jesus drew near and saw the city, he wept over it.’ Many still weep.
We pray for those who have been killed, injured, are searching for loved ones, and are struggling with grief and fear. The Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem has consistently advocated for peace and justice, teaching us all what it means to walk in the way of love, to which Jesus points.
We are praying for Israelis and Palestinians.
We give thanks for the dedicated staff at al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza, part of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, and for all who are offering medical care in the region. We pray for their strength and safety.
“Time of violence.”
Jewish friends need not fret very much about these statements, which speak for almost no one, including the shrinking numbers of people in these once influential denominations. The political pronouncements of Mainline denominations are unserious and nearly irrelevant, except as examples of how once great and mighty churches commit suicide.