"Checked" at the Checkpoint
By Jan Markell
March 15, 2012
Call me passionate. Or angry. How about frustrated? Maybe just disgusted. To sum it up -- all of the above. Someone presented the truth at the troubling "Christ at the Checkpoint" conference at Bethlehem Bible School March 5 - 9 and it was rejected. The truth-teller was rebuffed and even mocked. I'm reviewing all for new readers but there is mainly new news here.
By way of review, a team of religious Leftists put on a conference that week in Bethlehem. The imagery is war-like: "Checkpoint" and "wall of separation" to begin with. You can read what I wrote a few weeks ago here. The event was really a bash-Israel brigade that called Israel apartheid Nazis "occupying" Arab land. There is not a word that the land is God-given to the Jews and that covenants are everlasting. Their secondary intent was to smash the image of Christian Zionists (Christians who are friends of Israel) and smear theology that considers end-time issues and Israel's rightful role in those issues.
This crowd believes that the church is the new Israel, a theology known as Replacement Theology. It allows them to disinherit Israel and to even look past Arab terror attacks on Israel just as Germany's churches disregarded anti-Semitism 80 years ago thanks to Replacement Theology. God was finished with the Jews. Enter the royal church center stage.
Here's what's new: The message by Pastor Wayne Hilsden of King of Kings Assembly. The story is that he was a "fig leaf" thrown by the event, but whether that is true or not doesn't matter. Whatdoes matter is his Bible-based message. Watch it below. Simply stated, Hilsden presented a great example for those wishing to present the case for Israel's restoration to Christians who may still be on the fence regarding the Jewish state.
The pastor stated that the physical return of the Jews to their ancient homeland is biblically mandated, and, according to the prophetic timeline, that physical restoration as a nation-state must precede the spiritual restoration of Israel's collective heart to God. Not too confrontational or controversial, right?
Yet the very next speaker, Dr. Manfred Kohl, laid into Wayne's theology by labeling the literal reading of scripture as "the theology of fools who delight in their own idiocy." Those are fighting words that should make most readers upset.
The day's MC, Sami Awad, who had before thanked Wayne for his speech, then backed up Kohl's position by saying it was time for Christians who use the Bible to support Israel's restoration to stand before the security wall in Bethlehem and, similar to John F. Kennedy before the Berlin Wall, declare, "I am an idiot."
More fuel for discussion but this crowd had made up its mind. However, so has God. But it gets worse, thanks to Vicar Stephen Sizer, who never met a terrorist he didn't link arms with. He suggested Pastor Hilsden had demonstrated a "tantrum."
Wait. Things are going to tank again. There is reality in Bethlehem but it is shut down! There is truth and there is light. It is at the First Baptist Church of Bethlehem, Israel. So, what's the problem? Salam Fayyad, Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, was in attendance at "Christ at the Checkpoint." He has since boarded up the truth-telling First Baptist Church of Bethlehem. Thanks, guys! Tell the truth, get shut down. It frequently happens!
Learn more about this church here. They are Arabs. They love the Lord and Israel. Imagine that!
"Christ at the Checkpoint" produced a "manifesto." You can read about it here. It represents either Amillennialism or Dominion/Kingdom Now Theology. Any of these options are not options!They're bad theology. We're not in the Millennium now and the church is not destined to reign on earth. But those theologies conveniently knock Israel and her rightful end-time role out of the picture. Thus, they're a part of the "manifesto" from the "Christ at the Checkpoint" event.
The International Christian Embassy, Jerusalem, sums up "Christ at the Checkpoint" by saying, "Evangelicals are being shamed into abandoning Israel because they are supposedly uncompassionate and blocking peace. Indeed, this new initiative aims to totally discredit pro-Israel evangelicals with clever lies and distortions. As one person observed, 'The usual understanding of Israel as an aggressive, colonial, apartheid state, robbing the Palestinians of their heritage, is quite possibly the greatest political scam of modern times. It is the outcome of a mixture of historical amnesia, ideological prejudice, and reflex hostility, which keep it mind-proof.' "
I interject; it is first and foremost the fruit of Replacement Theology. If your favorite Bible teacher represents this, understand that things will be skewed and the one you think is so sound, has serious issues with God, not man. This is the theology of an unfaithful covenant breaker who doesn't keep His word.
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We are nearing the second anniversary of a terrible event -- the killing of many members of the Fogel family in Israel by Palestinian terrorists. The intruders were unmerciful, going from room to room in their act of evil, thankfully overlooking two small children. A third was out for the evening but had to return to the scene.
If the strong delusion that is racing across the globe doesn't shock you, something is wrong! Whether it was the ecstasy on thousands of faces in St. Peter's Square waiting with adoring eyes for their new Pope, or the shenanigans in Israel a few weeks ago, it's a scary time. It's both a privilege and a challenge to be born for such a time as this.