Several years ago Dr. Stephen Sizer said:
“There are certainly churches in Israel/Palestine that side with the occupation (of the West Bank, Gaza and Golan Heights), that side with Zionism. One of my burdens is to challenge them theologically and show that they’ve repudiated Jesus, they’ve repudiated the Bible, and they are an abomination.”
He made this pronouncement at the same time that he was expressing his desire for friendship and dialogue with Messianic Jews in Israel. Sizer has a habit of trashing Israel in one venue (like when he speaking to Islamic leaders) and then oozing love towards us in another.
It doesn’t appear that he realized that he was being recorded. However the video was publicized. After much pressure was put upon him he offered a sort of apology for the benefit of his accusers who “need to see things in black and white.” He comes across as far more irritated with the fact that he has to apologize, than he is concerned with the shocking nature of his quote. He seems miffed and stunned that people are offended. Without expressing what he actually meant when he said we are an abomination, he withdrew the comment. And to be honest, when I watched the video, I wasn’t sure whether he was referring to Palestinian Christians who love Israel or Messianic congregations or both—but his apology is directed to Messianic Jews, so it is safe to assume we were his target.
I thought that was the end of the matter… I was wrong!
Sizer Reaffirms Quote
However in a debate with my good friend and apologist Dr. Michael Brown recently, Dr. Brown confronted him with the quote. Sizer first denies that he made the statement, responding, “[light laughter] I didn’t say that.” Maybe that was because Dr. Brown got a word or two wrong.
But then, Dr. Brown informs him that he has the quote in front of him. Dr. Sizer asks him to repeat it. Dr. Brown does, adding that it was at a “Q&A at Rivercourt Methodist Church, Kingstreet Hammersmith, October 6th 2011.”
There is silence. The moderator asks Dr. Sizer to respond at which he reluctantly says, “I am comfortable with that comment,” thus rendering his repentance and apology a sham and showing his true face to Messianic Jews here in Israel, where he will show up any day now for an anti-Israel conference, and once again seek fellowship with Messianic Jews.
You can listen to the whole debate below…recommended!… or just the part where Sizer is confronted with his quote at 50:20.
Picture: Sizer poses with Islamic Radical Raed Salah. According to witnesses, on February 16, 2007, Salah accused Jews of using children’s blood to bake bread. Israeli newspapers at the time quoted him as saying:
We [Muslims] have never allowed ourselves to knead [the dough for] the bread that breaks the fast in the holy month of Ramadan with children’s blood. Whoever wants a more thorough explanation, let him ask what used to happen to some children in Europe, whose blood was mixed in with the dough of the [Jewish] holy bread.